A multiethnic, multireligious State, where:
- An “ethnic group” dominates all others
- The sense of belonging to one’s group vastly exceeds “civic loyalty”
- Some political parties are defined by ethnicity and / or lack any interest in the plight of “the others”
- Entire villages have been practically abandoned for decades without any State help, because “inconvenient” to the Government
- Most if not all the national boundaries are completely artificial
- The military are a little too important and their work a little too secret
- There is no shortage of fundamentalists
- A “State religion” controls many parts of life and death of all citizens, including those of another religion
That is the Israel described by Adam LeBor in commenting in the International Herald Tribune the new book “The Hebrew Republic” by Bernard Avishai.
In summary, after 60 years of existence Israel has sort of middle-easternalized itself, like its neighbors a society undermined by its own history. The “only” characteristics distinguishing the Jewish state from the States immediately nearby remain its independent judiciary, free and vocal press, and a robust civil society.
Would those characteristics survive an internal war like those afflicting Lebanon, or even a conflict between the hard-core settlers and the (jewish) rest of the country?