In the Land of Whose People? Inequality, Neoliberalism, and Shifting Nationalisms in Israel

Authors: Waters, Ryan; Blad, Cory
Almanac: Globalistics and Globalization Studies Global Evolution, Historical Globalistics and Globalization Studies

This essay examines the role of nationalism in legitimating state-led economic strategies. Specifically, we juxtapose the integration of Israeli nationalism into Labor Zionism and, more recently, into Israeli neoliberalization. More to the point, we argue that the discursive form of respective nationalist politics is relational to the political economic context in which it is being applied. Israeli nationalist political rhetoric is reflective of this theoretical which has shifted from collectivist and inclusive to individualist and exclusive, which reflects deep shifts in the paradigmatic political economy of Israel. The sustained legitimating power of nationalist politics points to the role nationalism plays in legitimating state authority; however, the form of that nationalism has shifted to reflect structural realities of Israel's neoliberal turn.

Keywords: neoliberalism, nationalism, legitimation, inequality, Israel, Labor Zionism.