A welfare state without a welfare policy: the case of Israel

Ofer Arian

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1 Scopus citations


Israel was established as a welfare state that sought to provide social justice to its citizens. From 1948 to the late 1970s the political system was run by a social-democratic party that envisioned the creation of a ‘just’, ‘egalitarian’ and ‘inclusive’ society. In 1977, the Likud party gained power and Israelis expected the new government to change the rules of the game, removing existing welfare systems and drastically reducing government control of the economy. Though very few, if any, of the anticipated changes were carried out, broad sectors of the Israeli public believed that the Likud government had changed the face of the Israeli economy and society. This article examines the characteristics of the Israeli welfare system and suggests an explanation for the gap between the way it is viewed and what exists on the ground.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-394
Number of pages26
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Israel
  • competitive market economy
  • distributive justice
  • equality
  • justice
  • liberty
  • welfare state


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