Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 6(5), pp. 447 - 458
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2018.060501
Reprint (PDF) (207Kb)

Representation and De-legitimation in Semi-democratic Regimes: The Case of the Arab Citizens in Israel

Salim Brake *
School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel


In this article, I offer a brief examination of the political model in Israel and review Arab representation in the Knesset on the basis of the model I propose for describing Israel's political system—that of the semi-democratic regime. I do not believe that the models proposed by other scholars are applicable to the Israel case. My assumption is that the parliamentary representation of Arabs in Israel is blocked and ineffective; hence, Israel cannot be seen as a full democracy. I will review the evolution of Arab parliamentary representation in Israel, its function, and its outcomes as a test case for the claim of the manipulation of representation and exclusion from the political sphere. I cannot discuss all the aspects of the Israeli regime that lead to this proposed model, but will focus on the patterns and trends in Arab Knesset membership, until recently, as a blatant example of a semi-democracy. I will assert that the Arabs' exclusion from the centers of political power means that Israel cannot be a democratic and egalitarian regime, but only an ersatz democracy, whose goal is to paint Israel as a democracy for external consumption, but nothing more.

Semi-Democracy, Representation, Ethnic Minorities, De-legitimation, Arabs in Israel, Palestinians

Cite this paper
Salim Brake . "Representation and De-legitimation in Semi-democratic Regimes: The Case of the Arab Citizens in Israel." Sociology and Anthropology 6.5 (2018) 447 - 458. doi: 10.13189/sa.2018.060501.