Authoritarianism in Israel: Causes and Effects

Monday | 01.03.21 | 19:00

A panel discussion on the occasion of the publication of

Comfort Zone of a Society in Conflict

By Daniel Bar-Tal and Amiram Raviv


What is our worldview in Israel? How was it constructed, and what are the forces that shaped it? What was the effect of the path that Israeli society followed? These questions are of decisive importance for a society living in the shadow of a longstanding blood-filled conflict that continues to extract a heavy price, including sinking into an authoritarian, antidemocratic regime. Bar-Tal and Raviv’s book tries to answer these questions through an analysis of sociopolitical-psychological processes in Israel’s Jewish population since the establishment of the state, and particularly since the 2000s.

The book’s main argument is that the continuing conflict, accompanied by the unending occupation, is the key to understanding the worldview of Jews in Israel. On the one hand, this worldview makes it possible to perpetuate the violent conflict, and on the other hand, it encourages escape to a comfort zone that makes everyday routines possible, but at a heavy price—primarily, the crumbling of the democratic foundations on which the state is founded (Steimatzky Publishing, 2021).


Opening remarks and chair: Dr. Assaf David, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, Tel Aviv University

MK Aida Touma-Sleiman, Hadash, Joint Arab List

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, The Israel Democracy Institute

Prof. Yuli Tamir, President, Beit Berl College

MK Eli Avidar, Yisrael Beitenu

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