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Israel’s National Identity: The Changing Ethos of Conflict

Neta Oren
Israel’s National Identity: The Changing Ethos of Conflict
ISBN: 978-1-62637-784-4
ISBN: 978-1-62637-796-7
2019/291 pages/LC: 2018046213
"An interesting and enlightening monograph that should be given serious consideration by everyone interested in this topic." —David Rodman, Israel Affairs

"[An] excellent study.... [It] will prove valuable to students not only of Israel, Zionism, and the Arab-Israeli conflict but also of political culture and socialization, public opinion, international conflict, and nationalism generally."—Choice

"An important contribution to the literature on political culture in contemporary Israel." —Ilan Peleg, Lafayette College


In a country whose citizens have experienced prolonged exposure to intractable conflict, are there unique features to be found in Israeli society’s core beliefs? And how—and to what effect—have those beliefs changed across the decades? To answer these questions, Neta Oren deeply explores Israel's political culture.

Oren focuses especially on two circular processes: the two-way relationship between the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel’s national identity; and efforts by leaders to shape that national identity while, in turn, shifts in public opinion exert influence on leadership positions. Drawing on extensive data including speeches, party platforms, school texts and curriculums, and public opinion polls, she offers both a unique analysis and a rich reference resource.


Neta Oren is visiting scholar at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University.


  • The Israeli Ethos as an Ethos of Conflict.
  • A Jewish State in Eretz Israel.
  • A Small Country Surrounded by Enemies.
  • A Villa in the Jungle.
  • The Whole World Is Against Us.
  • Patriotism and National Unity.
  • Dreams of Peace.
  • The Prism of Election Platforms.
  • Conflict and Israel's Changing Political Culture.