The winners and losers of 2003: Ideology, social structure and political change

Michael Shalev, Gal Levy

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


This chapter suggests that class asserted a powerful influence on the non-Arab Israeli vote in the 2003 elections. It explains that a reaffirmation of the effect of class voting would better account for the outcomes of the elections. Middle-class Ashkenazi voters were attracted by Shinui's enmity towards Shas, which symbolized deeper discontent with the social and economic as well as political gains achieved by Mizrachim during the 1980s and 1990s. Former Soviet Union voters' attraction to Shinui is also consistent with the hypothesis of ethnic competition over material and symbolic resources. The chapter shows that Shafir and Peled still offer the most adequate framework available for analyzing the effects of class and ethnicity on the voting of non-Arab Israelis. Their model's postulation of the key axis of political conflict in Israel as a struggle between liberalism and ethno-nationalism offers an explanation for positions on the hawk/dove cleavage, rather than simply defining it as another issue.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Elections in Israel 2003
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351322270
ISBN (Print)0765802686, 9780765802682
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2005 by Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.


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