Article Library / 2017 Conference on Shifting Trends

JPPI’s 2017 Brainstorming Conference — Integrative Summary

  • The West takes a particular interest in issues related to the demographics of Jews and non-Jews in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. That is, regarding the significance of continued Israeli control over the West Bank, and potential future Israeli decisions to annex territories or parts of such, and their impact on Israel’s Jewish and democratic nature.
  • There is some interest in the shifts of the relative weight of various groups in Israeli society as well. Especially, there is much attention given to the growth of the religious and Haredi sectors of society given the tendency of these groups to hold right-wing political positions. Moreover, given the lack of separation between religion and state in Israel, these sectors’ desire to strengthen the religious nature of the Israeli public sphere, could be perceived negatively by considerable segments of the liberal West.
  • Another demographic focal point that draws the West’s attention is the influence of immigrants from the former Soviet Union on Israeli politics and society. On one hand, this large wave of immigration has had a moderating effect on processes that threatened to erode Israel’s Jewish majority; on the other hand, these immigrants are largely right-wing in their political positions. Moreover, as a Russian diaspora, they influence and can help improve Israel’s diplomatic relationship with Russia.
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