Episode 3: Dani Gottwein and the Raiders of the Welfare State

The third episode of Magash Hakesef features Dani Guttwein, a professor of the Jewish people at Haifa University. In the episode, Guttwein looks at how Israel transitioned from a welfare state to a neoliberal economy and how West Bank settlements are receiving far more government investment than poor towns inside Israel proper.

Some questions for you to consider:

  • If Likud had not come to power in 1977 do you think Israel would still be a social democratic state today - like Finland? Why? Why not?
  • Today Israel is ranked 66th in terms of equality - behind India.  Do you think these inequities will continue to grow under the current economic policies or will they stabilise? Improve?
  • Israeli governments have offered financial incentives to settle across the Green Line which significantly helped the settler population grow. If Israel wants to work to minimise inequalities between different populations it needs to allocate budgets based on economic not political principles. How can these populations advocate more effectively for a more just distribution of resources?
  • What is the impact of incentives the government provides the settlement movement on the hopes for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians? Do such investments make it easier or harder for Israel to withdraw from some settlements and end the conflict?