The 2013 Israeli elections and historic recurrences

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The 2013 election campaign in Israel shows, at first glance, some unanticipated results and unexpected reactions of several political actors. Three events in particular can be noted: (1) the rise of a significant centrist middle-class party; (2) the association of the newly elected right-wing Prime Minister with his left-wing rivals; and (3) the revival of a national religious party after years of decline. A broad overview, however, reveals that from many perspectives numerous key elements of Israeli politics have remained broadly the same over the decades. Some unanticipated outcomes of the elections are to a substantial extent repetitions of past events, referred to in this paper as historic recurrences. In order to establish this claim about historic recurrence, each event is compared to past events with which several striking similarities are found. In order to explain the phenomenon of historic recurrence in Israeli politics, two sets of concepts are applied: the sociological terminology regarding reference group and collective identity, and rational choice theories about voter behaviour and the preferences of political actors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-308
Number of pages16
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Collective identity
  • Historic recurrence
  • Israeli elections
  • Partisan politics
  • Political change

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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