During the second decade of the twenty-first century, Israel’s Religious Zionist camp has undergone a process of accelerated Dealignment of its partisan system, resulting in the transformation of the political parties comprising it into a Dealigned Partisan Subsystem. An example of this process can be found in the transformations that took place in the ‘Jewish Home’ Religious-Zionist political party led by Naftali Bennett. Within 9 years and seven election campaigns, the party succeeded in trying out the Open Camp Party model, experiencing a division led by Bennett himself, and finally reaching the verge of disappearing and once again initiating renewed revival attempts. The Dealignment of partisan systems includes a high level of voters’ mobility; a decline in the support of existing mainstream parties; a decline in voting rates; and a decline in the strength of partisan identification, while voting patterns become more personal. The partisan system itself changes during this stage, with old parties disappearing and others rising in their place, often only to disappear from the political map as quickly as they appeared. This article illustrates the extent to which the Religious-Zionist partisan subsystem in Israeli politics during the second decade of the twenty-first century until the 2022 elections campaign corresponds with most characteristics of a Dealigned system.
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- Religious Zionism
- partisan sub-system
- political system
- voting patterns