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Department of Political Science

112- Israeli Politics; Klauber (Spring 2015)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Power in Israeli Politics - Study Guide # 02

Subject: Power in Israeli Politics Who Governs Israel? Michael Barnett & Raymond Duvall (2005); Sharkansky
Case Studies: Sharkansky (2003): (1) Casino in Israel; (2) Agriculture and Water Allotments

Name of Theory

1. Compulsory
Power: Direct
Control Over


Scholars of
Israeli Politics




definition as a
assumption for
ALL Compulsory
Power Theories
(I) Reputationalism

M. Weber



F. Hunter



R. Dahl



Probability that one actor within a social

relationship will be in a position to carry
out his own will despite resistance,
regardless of the basis on which this
probability exists. In simple words, A has
more power than B if A can change Bs
behavior against Bs will. (CPT)
Subjectivity-based evaluations made by
domestic and international actors, which
produce statements in which each actor
gives a presentation of his view referred to
the powerful actors in the community,
state, or international system. In simple
words: Actor thinks that A has more power
than B simply because he has a reputation
of being a more powerful actor.
Dahl (1961) adopts Weberian concept of
power, arguing that A impacts Bs actual
behavior against his/her will. The power is
visible and consequently observable. (CPT)

Bachrach and
Israeli Politics

A / B


S. Lukes






(II) Decisionalism

(III) Nondecisionalism

(IV) Radicalism

2. Structural Power:
Direct and Mutual
Constitution of the
Capacities of

Bachrach and Baratz (1962) argue, that

power still exists even when it is not
observable (Two faces of power: visible and
invisible). In simple words: A has more
power than B when A prevents B from
doing something by formal and informal
means. (CPT)
A dominates B by manipulating his/her
cognition. In simple words: A has more
power over B when A is able to shape Bs
interests, and consequently B is doing what
A needs him/her to do without A ever
saying that. A shapes Bs interests and
consequently his behavior. No observable
behavior of A ordering B1. The conflict is
latent. (CPT)
Structural power works through direct
structural relations between A and B (A:B);
structural constitution, that is, the
production and reproduction of internally

Lukes: [It is] supreme and most insidious exercise of power to prevent people, to whatever degree, from having grievances shaping their
perceptions, cognitions, and preferences in such a way that they accept their role in the existing order of things (Barnett and Duvall, page

Department of Political Science

112- Israeli Politics; Klauber (Spring 2015)
Tuesday, March 24, 2015


3. Productive Power:
Production of
Subjects Through
Diffuse Social

Barnett and




subordination, or domination, that actors

occupy (Barnett and Duvall 2005, page
55). Structuralism is a non-behavioral, nondecisionalist, and non-observable approach.
In simple words: A simply has more power
than B, because this is how the society is
being structured.
Productive power concerns discourse, the
social processes and the systems of
knowledge through which meaning is
produced, fixed, lived, experienced, and
transformed. Thus to attend to the analysis
of productive power is to focus on how
diffuse and contingent social processes
produce particular kinds of subjects, fix
meanings and categories, and create what is
taken for granted and the ordinary of world
politics (Barnett and Duvall, 2005, page

Power in Israeli Politics: Applications

Hunter 1953

Basic Assumptions

Behavior is visible;
People can
estimate where
the Power is
practices produce



Dahl 1961

Bachrach and
Baratz (1962)

Behavior is visible;
Behaviorism must
concentrate in
actions (rather
than inactions);
Elitist vision of
Power is arrogant

Real power is Not

Power can be
silent and must be
discovered in
places where
issues did not
show up.

Application to the Israeli CaseCase-studies

Building theory
based on reputation
is wrong;
True behaviorist
builds theory on
empirical evidence
rather than

Problem with nondecisions;

Problem with
democratic ideal:
people who do not
vote they do not
exercise their
power. Who doesn't
vote in Israeli
Problems with nondecisions these
are simply decisions
not to decide;
Problems with
democratic ideal
back to elitism?

The Bulldozer
The Guardian,
Wednesday 7 November 2001
"Former Israel's belligerent prime minister, Ariel Sharon, has been
supervising the biggest occupation of Palestinian territory since the
start of the Intifadah, entertaining Tony Blair and fending off US
pressure to talk to Yasser Arafat. But Sharon also embarked on a
course of unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Between 16 and
30 August 2005, Sharon controversially expelled 9,480 Jewish
settlers from 21 settlements in Gaza and four settlements in the
northern West Bank.
Voting among Israeli Arabs estimated to reach allall-time low
Haaretz, December 12, 2008

Study: Only about 45 percent of eligible Israeli-Arabs will vote,

endangering their Knesset representation.
"A study commissioned by the Association for the Advancement of
Democracy in the Arab Sector estimates that 52 percent of eligible
Israeli Arab voters are certain they will actually head to the polls, as
compared with 53 percent of Israeli-Arabs and 63 percent of Jewish
Israelis in the last election cycle."
Sharkansky 2003
"Non-decision is problematic, but widely used concept in political
science. ... In this article we have illustrated one kind of non-decision
for an Israeli casino that occurs elsewhere in policymaking: the lack of
decision in behalf of the option that has some opponents, no great
coalition of intense supporters, and which comes on the scene when
there are far more pressing concerns to attract policymakers'
attention. In such cases it is easy to not make a decision, and there

Department of Political Science

112- Israeli Politics; Klauber (Spring 2015)
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

are no great losers as a result."

A non-decision that protects entrenched interests: agriculture and
water: This is a case where non-decision is at least partly the result of
an interest favored by present arrangements using its power to
prevent a change in policy. Israel's farmers have benefited from
highly favorable pricing of water compared to household and
industrial users, as well as generous allotments of water quantities.
"The case [water and subsidies to Israeli farmers] fits the pattern of
entrenched interests preserving their benefits by holding off
policymaking" (Sharkansky 2003).

Terms for the Exams (both midterm and final):

Casino in Israel Towards the Typology of Non-decisionalism (Sharkansky 2003)

Behaviorism (Dahl 1961)

Decisionalism versus Non-Decisionalism (Bachrach & Baratz 1962);

Definition of Power (Weber 1947)

Israeli casino as a product of non-decision where there are no winners and no losers;

Israeli water allotments as a product of non-decision that serves entrenched interests;

Low levels of voting among Israeli Arabs and discontents of behaviorism;

Reputation of Israeli leaders as a problematic tool to identify Power in Israeli politics

Reputationalism (Hunter 1953);

Structural superiority / inferiority (Barnett and Duvall 2005);

Water Allocations in Israeli Politics and Entrenched Interests - Towards the Typology of Non-decisionalism
(Sharkansky 2003)

Department of Political Science

112- Israeli Politics; Klauber (Spring 2015)
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Appendix 01: Power. Who are the Most Powerful People in Israel 2014?
2014? (Forbes, 2014)
Patrick Drahi

Patrick Drahi joins the Forbes Billionaires list this year after Altice, the multinational
telecommunications company he founded, raised $1.8 billion in a January 2014 Amsterdam
IPO. Following a buy-low, sell high mantra, he built Altice through 20 acquisitions of lagging
cable and mobile operators, often at knockdown prices in places like France, Belgium, Israel,
Portugal, and the Dominican Republic. More than 40% of Altice's revenues comes from France
while 27% comes from Israel. The son of two math teachers, he was born in Morocco and lived
there for 15 years. He holds an engineering degree from the prestigious Parisian university cole
Polytechnique and lives in Geneva with his wife and four children. Mr. Patrick Drahi is the
Owner of HOT Mobile Ltd.

Eyal Ofer

Eyal Ofer's business interests are concentrated in shipping and global real estate. He is the
principal of Zodiac Group, based in Monaco, and chairman of Zodiac Maritime Agencies, a
privately-held London-based shipping corporation with a fleet of more than 130 vessels. His
other shipping interests include privately held OMNI Offshore Terminals and a stake in NYSElisted Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, where he has been a director for more than 15 years. His
real estate holdings include the Altria Building and 15 Central Park West in New York and he is
redeveloping the historic St. Vincent's Hospital, in Greenwich Village. He also has a stake in
Mizrahi Tefahot bank in Israel. He and his younger brother Idan are the sons of late shipping
magnate Sammy Ofer, who was once Israel's richest man and died in June 2011. Eyal has built
up a significant trove of contemporary and modern art and inherited half of his father's vast
collection, said to be one of the world's most magnificent.

Stef Wertheimer

Founded Iscar, one of the world's largest (by sales) manufacturers of carbide industrial-cutting
tools, which are used by carmakers like GM and Ford. Son Eitan, who along with his wife owns
Israel's largest horse-breeding stud farm, is Iscar's president. Stef Wertheimer also seeds hightech Israeli startups through four industrial parks. Recently built a windmill at the flagship Tefen
industrial park. After fleeing Nazi Germany the grade school dropout joined the Palmach, the
elite strike force of the Haganah (the pre-state defense organization). A former Israeli parliament
member, he is today an ardent supporter of joint Israeli-Palestinian businesses. In 2002 he
testified before Congress about his idea for a "new Marshall Plan" that advocates U.S. funding
to revitalize the Middle East, a plan he still champions in speeches across the world.

Shari Arison

In 2013 Shari Arison released her latest book ,"Activate Your Goodness: Transforming the
World Through Doing Good." The bulk of her fortune comes from her late father, Ted, who
founded Carnival Corporation. Her billionaire brother Micky chairs the cruise line company. She
also has stakes in Israel's Bank Hapoalim and infrastructure behemoth Shikun & Binui Holdings
Ltd. Israel's richest woman, she controls her investments and philanthropy through the Arison
Group and the Ted Arison Family Foundation, which each year contributes to hundreds of
nonprofits involved in health, education, disabilities and research. A resident of Tel Aviv, she
has tried to position herself as a force for good in business by investing in projects like a massive
desalination plant and a green shopping mall. In 2008 she started Miya, a $100 million venture
that aims to maximize the efficiency of large urban water systems. She also launched
International Good Deeds Day to advocate community service.
Arnon Milchan's New Regency Productions had a mixed year, garnering critical praise for 12
Years a Slave and bombing with Runner Runner, a feature starring Justin Timberlake and Ben
Affleck that was universally panned. After decades of speculation, he finally admitted on Israeli
TV that he worked in secret with Israel's government to get its nuclear program off the ground
in the 1980s. Once a business student and professional soccer player, he transformed his
family's bankrupt fertilizer company into a $125 million business with interests in agriculture,
aerospace, animal health products, plastic, fiber optics and pharmaceuticals. An art collector, he
has lately been making his own paintings. He owns seven homes around the world.

Arnon Milchan