By Sam N. Lehman-Wilzig
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Additional info for Wildfire: Grassroots Revolts in Israel in the Post-Socialist Era
The arrangement lasted through a mere three monarchs, with civil war erupting after Solomon's death. Israel would never again be fully united. What of paternalism from the standpoint of government services? While it would be highly anachronistic (and unfair) to measure the Bible's social welfare ethic in terms of modern socialism or even contemporary social democracy, two things do stand out clearly in the Bible. First, there is a great amount of concern for social justice, equity, fair treatment of the poor and downtrodden, etc.
Once again, this may have been unavoidable (and some would argue, continues to be unavoidable) given the dire financial straits in which the Zionist movement and the State of Israel have continually The Spark 21 found themselves. None of this is to impute some nefarious plot by the authorities-Israeli, Zionist, or non-Zionist-to control the whole enterprise out of any lust for power or financial gain. In almost all cases, objective needs for such an approach did exist in at least some measure, and certainly could be rationally justified in the context of an unusual and quite difficult situation.
Suffice it to say that despite its logic, there were several other factors involved here as we are about to see. To begin with, almost all of Prime Minister Begin's entire efforts were concentrated on foreign policy, by choice and as a result of the radical changes in Egyptian-Israeli relations soon after his accession to power in 1977. However, he understood little of economics per se and had never exhibited any interest in such matters. To the contrary, on two separate historic occasions he discounted the benefits of massive economic aid because of higher principle and national pride: fighting against accepting German reparations in the early fifties, and summarily dismissing America's offer of a large grant in compensation for withdrawing from military bases in the Sinai.
Wildfire: Grassroots Revolts in Israel in the Post-Socialist Era by Sam N. Lehman-Wilzig