From the Yishuv (the pre-state Jewish settlement in Palestine) period until the 1980s, relations between religion and politics in Israel were based on consociational accommodation. Indeed, Dan Horowitz and Moshe Lissak1 contend that all of Yishuv politics need to be understood in consociational terms. In their follow-up study of the statehood period, they claim that many of these consociational practices were abandoned when Israel becam e a sovereign state. Nevertheless, they insist that religion and politics are a striking exception to the rule: they continue to be governed by consociational forms of decision making.*12 These consociational patterns account for the virtual monopoly of the Orthodox camp over religious life and the effective control that the religious parties exercise over many critical aspects of Israel’s religiopolitical life. This control is manifest inter alia in the official status and personal composition of various religious institutions (such as the Chief Rabbinate and the local religious councils), the exclusively religious regulation of all m atters relating to marriage and divorce, as well as in the autonomy of the religious community in the educational domain.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Gregory S. Mahler 2000.