The Progressive Except on Palestine Phenomenon

Discerning Kate

While living and working in Israel and Palestine, filmmaker Kate Johnston has discovered an unusual phenomenon — Israelis who identify one-way socioeconomically, while politically the other.

LAST YEAR, whilst undertaking a three-month research trip in Israel, I became aware of a not so uncommon phenomenon present in the Israeli political consciousness. I discovered that some Israelis identified socioeconomically one-way and politically the opposite.

I first encountered this type of political identification during an in-depth interview I conducted with a 35-year-old Israeli, David, from Ramat Gan. After relating his desire to see a socialist society constructed within Israel, David surprised me when he boldly declared that he, in fact, identified with the right.

Perplexed, I asked David how this seemingly contradictory combination was even possible.

In a matter-of-fact way, he said:

“We make a complete separation between the Jewish-Arab conflict and the social terms.

“You will only find this in Israel.”

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