Multiculturalism as covering: On the accommodation of minority religions in Israel

Michael Karayanni*

*Corresponding author for this work

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9 Scopus citations


"Covering" is a descriptive theory concerning the existence of the gap between how a social-legal order is presented and how that social-legal order operates, in practice. In spite of the fact that the reality of the social-legal order can be repressive, it can nonetheless survive and persist if a cover in the form of a positive agenda is thrown over it. Thus far, covering has been associated with the agenda of assimilation-in the name of which the accommodation of a different identity is denied. In this Article, I argue that covering is also discernible when multiculturalism and its explicit agenda for the accommodation of minority groups, namely, assimilation's antithesis, is the overall guiding norm. When the reality is that of a nation-state where one's group identity can determine the kind of norms by which members are governed, presenting this reality as multicultural covers for repressive group norms over individual group members and helps avoid the construction of a shared identity that can threaten the structure of the nation-state. I will seek to demonstrate this type of covering by focusing on the accommodation of Palestinian-Arab religious minorities in Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)831-875
Number of pages45
JournalAmerican Journal of Comparative Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2018

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