By Ira Sharkansky
All governments face difficulties and are judged by means of their skill to resolve them and the regulations they improve in doing so. in comparison with different Western democracies, Israel has confronted a devastating variety of difficulties of bizarre severity in a comparatively couple of minutes: battle, terrorism, heavy immigration, unsettled limitations, financial stresses, inner disputes approximately ethnicity and faith, and the lingering scars of the Holocaust and different persecutions. Sharkansky’s research of the Israeli government’s exercises and techniques for dealing with such an array of problems, from uncomplicated to advanced to intractable, bargains basic insights into how governments make coverage in a democracy.
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Additional info for Policy Making in Israel: Routines for Simple Problems and Coping With the Complex (Pitt Series in Policy and Institutional Studies)
In helping to bring me to Hebrew University, he sought to introduce to the university an approach to policy analysis distinctly different from his own. Over the years we have had numerous conversa- Page viii tions and not a few disagreements, both directly and through the comments of students studying in his classes and mine. Another colleague, David Dery, has sharpened my interests by his repeated queries about how policy makers think about the issues that face them. More than twenty years of working alongside Yehezkel Dror have not led me to abandon an empirical approach to policy analysis for a normative approach.
The Question of Israeli Distinctiveness The concepts of the Chosen People and the Promised Land have served the Jews well. Since biblical times these concepts have been associated with self-esteem in the face of adversity. We can surmise that Page 6 self-esteem has contributed to Jewish solidarity and survival, as well as to individual success in business, cultural endeavors, and politics. Yet the concepts of the Chosen People and the Promised Land may hinder accurate self-assessment in modern Israel by emphasizing the uniqueness of the nation and its homeland.
Almost all of the immigrants came as refugees from Europe or Arab lands and depended on the state and other public institutions for housing, job assistance, and social services. They have bitter memories of poor housing and meager rations, as well as authorities who were insensitive to personal needs. Immigration peaked again with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The recent wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union has added more than 15 percent to Israel's population since 1988 and has led to job competition with native Israelis, a Page 5 sharp increase in the price of housing, the construction of new towns, and concerns about crowding, traffic jams, land use, and environmental protection.
Policy Making in Israel: Routines for Simple Problems and Coping With the Complex (Pitt Series in Policy and Institutional Studies) by Ira Sharkansky