The covert political ethnicity of the Kulanu party

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The Israeli general elections of March 2015 saw the advent of a new middle-class party. Kulanu, headed by Moshe Kahlon, achieved 10 seats for its representatives in the Knesset (Israeli parliament). This article proposes that Kulanu be viewed not only as a middle-class party, but also as a new addition to the list of Mizrahi ethnic parties. Kulanu’s appearance on the political centre-stage in Israel rested, at least among the Jewish population, upon its ability to offer a political wavelength and series of political symbols of upwardly mobile ethnicity in Israel – first and foremost among them the elusive ethnicity of the Mizrahi middle class. Kulanu’s political ethnicity assured widespread legitimacy for its agenda as well as empathy on the part of the source of its power – the Mizrahi middle class.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-682
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Ethnicity
  • Israeli 2015 elections
  • Kulanu party
  • Mizrahim
  • Moshe Kahlon


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