The Evolving Priorities of the Israeli Left: From Social Justice to Security and Back
33 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2014 Last revised: 5 May 2015
Date Written: April 15, 2014
One could define Leftist politician as a "happiness promoter", prioritizing care over defense as the Government principal goal. The present article traces the dynamics of the priorities chosen by leftist parties in Israel. During the period of the British Mandate they maintained anti-militaristic views. Beginning in 1948, leftist in Israel become vividly pronounced "pro-defenders." But during 1977-1982, their views begin to drift toward the original position typical for leftists: the precedence of social spending and goals rather than maintaining the security of its citizens.
A study of the motives for change in the leftist stance supports the hypothesis that the period of leftist "patriotic-defensive" priorities depended on perceiving the state as a party-"corporate" asset of the Left. The decline of their electoral support was the undoing of this perception of the state, returning the Israeli Left to the classic leftist stance of "Guns vs. Butter" in favor of social spending.
Keywords: encompassing interest, pure public goods quality, defense, Labor Party priorities
JEL Classification: D72, D74, H41, H56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation