A people that shall dwell alone; is that so? Israel and the minorities alliance

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The state of Israel, and the Zionist movement before it, has always considered itself to be facing an existential threat from hostile surroundings. Hence, seeking alliance with non-Arab nations and ethnic minority groups in the area was seen as a means of confronting this challenge. During the early decades of its existence, the Israeli establishment adopted the concept of the alliance of the periphery and the alliance of minorities developed by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion and his protégée, Reuven Shiloah, the founder of the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad. This research project will demonstrate that, in opposition to apologetic and ideologically-motivated arguments that deny that alliance with minority communities has been a systematic policy, the minorities’ alliance has for decades been an important foundation of Israeli strategy vis-à-vis the Arab world. Furthermore, the article will argue and demonstrate that the ‘Minorities Alliance’ is derived from ideological, historical, and strategic considerations anchored in the very existence of Zionism and Israel. Furthermore, and on the same note, this conception and strategy cannot be disconnected from the self-perception of Zionism, its self-directed reading of Jewish history, and the Zionisation of the milieu.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-411
Number of pages16
JournalMiddle Eastern Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Druze
  • Israel
  • Kurds
  • Maronites
  • Pan-Arabism
  • Southern Sudan
  • Zionist movement
  • ethnic minorities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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