Political parties and parliamentary politics

Reuven Y. Hazan, Chen Friedberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the political parties that mediate between state and society, scrutinizing their socio-political functions in Israel's democratic political institutions. First, there is a brief history of Israeli electoral politics. Second, the main rifts that divide Israeli society and create distinct political parties and blocs are delineated. The focus then shifts to parliamentary politics in Israel, examining—amongst other issues—how the lack of a codified constitution affects the electoral and political systems. The chapter discusses disparity within Israeli politics and society: that despite the declining influence of "traditional" parties, long-established political groups continue to hold the balance of power within the Knesset and the executive. Israeli politics in general, and the party system in particular, can be described as a microcosm of the main social tensions that influence, and are influenced by, the political positions prominent in the body politic, outside of the Knesset. In Israeli society central cleavages exist that find expression in politics through the political parties.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Israel
Subtitle of host publicationPolitical, Societal and Security Challenges
EditorsJoel Peters, Rob Geist Pinfold
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315647357
ISBN (Print)9781315647357
StatePublished - 2018


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