Social Structure of Israel: Essay
In 1948, Jewish Community in Israel under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion reestablished sovereignty over their ancient homeland. Declaration of independence of the modern State of Israel was announced on the day that the last British forces left Israel. This proposal overviews how Israel became a modern state in such a short time. As Benedict Anderson and others correctly have insisted, the modern nation is basically an imagined society. Its members, even though they will never distinguish the mass of their fellow citizens, attain distinctiveness through the image of community that exists in the mind of each. In the formation of this new community, certain institutions take on an added importance.
The Zionist movement, which founded the State of Israel, was the product of the centuries of longing. However, it was a result of the times and place in which it was born. It is based on secular, 19th century Western views and ideologies. Amazingly, the Zionist movement succeeded in building the complete infrastructure of a modern state — replete with a strong army, high tech, immigration absorption etc. out of the wilderness.
In 1948, when the state of Israel was established, it had about 600,000 Jews. Over the next decade, as the society made the change to an independent government and economy, it received over a million immigrants, from over 20 countries of origin, almost tripling the population. Despite noteworthy difference in average accomplishments and social and economic structure with the immigrants, a dual social structure emerged, in which Jews from Christian countries had superior political power, income and educational and occupational attainments than those from Moslem countries.
Another reason for the rapid growth of Israel is American influence. A more insightful cultural association between the United States and Israel than the beginning of American-Hebrew, MacDonald’s, or television game shows has been noticeable from the time of the Yishuv. American progressive ideas of democracy and cultural pluralism and tried to build a new Zionist ideal. Even so, a more substantive transformation along purposely American lines is to be seen in Israeli politics.
The paper will be exploring the social structure of Israel and American influence to understand the reason behind it rapid development and modernity.