Israel and Its Doppelgänger: Reflections on Regime Change

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The article examines the implications of the regime change proposed in Israel during the early months of 2023. This unanticipated move by the government to concentrate power in the executive branch, curtail liberal democracy, and politicize the judiciary, though admittedly influenced by political models from Hungary and Poland, was in fact precipitated by Israel’s military government in the West Bank. The “regime rationale” of this government in which there is no separation of powers has been normalized and institutionalized in Israel for decades, and the proposal to reshape Israel from within was driven by the same forces that promoted the belligerent occupation over the Palestinians. The similarities between the belligerent occupation and increasingly authoritarian rule in Israel are very striking, particularly in their emphasis on hierarchical governance, the instrumental use of laws, the disregard for ethical concerns, and the relentless pursuit of power as the central objective of the political realm. Thus, I maintain, Israel’s encounter with what it has created in the West Bank threatens the democratic integrity of the “home country,” and, moreover, this predicament has given rise to crises of identity and a sense of political homelessness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Authoritarianism
  • Belligerent occupation
  • Israel
  • Israel judiciary
  • Liberty
  • Regime change
  • Uncanniness
  • Yariv Levin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Sociology and Political Science


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