More documents from Lunat, Ziyaad

Export to your Reference Manger

Please Copy & Paste



Bookmark and Share

"From the river to the sea, humanity will be free" - the dynamics of the new civil society in Israel : Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the European Sociological Association, 2-5 September 2009, Lisbon, Portugal ; RS14 – Chronic Regional Conflicts

[conference paper]

Lunat, Ziyaad

fulltextDownloadDownload full text

(319 KByte)

Citation Suggestion

Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:

Further Details
Abstract This paper argues that a new civil society is emerging in Israel that is fundamentally distinct from the old state-led civil society. Its core organising logic is cosmopolitan, universalist and post-Zionist, expanding its sphere of contestation to challenge the ethno-nationalist and communitarian basis of the enduring Zionist societal consensus. The implications of this phenomenon are uniquely profound for the Israeli context. A cosmopolitan post-Zionist civil society challenges the raison d'être of the state in its current ethno-nationalist construction, calling for the inclusion of marginalised groups into its sphere. The Jewish people have for long debated the merits of universalist ethics vis-à-vis particularistic considerations. The horrors of the Holocaust tilted the balance of the debate in favour of the communitarians, culminating with the establishment of the state of Israel as a Jewish national home. More recently, a growing interconnectedness of social relations has forced a reassessment of the moral basis of the Israeli society reigniting once again the rift, this time between Zionist communitarians and post-Zionist cosmopolitans. To develop this argument, the old and the new civil society will be contrasted on the basis of the conceptual limitations of common understandings of civil society. This will enable an adequate assessment of the empirical and aspirational forms of the term and the merits of a cosmopolitan post-Zionist civil society in a global age. The emerging phenomenon will be then explained through the ongoing process of displacement of identities which have forced Israelis to reconsider existing perceptions of the self, the meaning of being an Israeli; and the construction of external others. Finally, it will be concluded that Israel is at a cross-roads and civil society can play a key role in drawing the future of the state.
Keywords Israel; Palestinian territories; civil society; zionism; consensus; cosmopolitanism; communitarism; Judaism; self-image; identity; universalism; value
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords Palestine; civil society; Zochrot; One state; equality; cosmopolitanism; communitarianism
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
City London
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution