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The Ruling Israeli Elite and the Unilateral Withdrawal Plan from Gaza1

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AbstractThis study analyzes, using the elite approach, the relationship between the Israeli ministerial elite and their adoption of a unilateral withdrawal plan from the Palestinian territories because the socio-economic constituents of this elite are so strong and influential that it affects the political conduct of its members.The study shows, through an analysis of the relationship between party affiliation and members’ adoption of the withdrawal plan, that all members of the Shinui Party and 85.7% of Kadima members supported the plan and that all the ministers from the National Religious Party, Yisrael Baaliah and Yisrael Beiteinu opposed it.The study also finds that the socio-economic status of the ministerial elite affects the members’ stand on the unilateral withdrawal plan: those who were seventy, sixty or fifty years old supported the plan while those who were forty opposed it. The study also shows that 56.3% of the ministers who were born in Israel supported the withdrawal plan and 80% of the members of the Israeli elite who lived in major cities ( Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa) approved the plan, while all members of the elite who lived in settlements rejected the plan completely.Furthermore the study shows that all those who practiced or worked in journalism and 75% of lawyers and managers had supported the Israeli unilateral withdrawal plan. With regard to the level of education, the study also shows that the highest percentage of supporters of the unilateral withdrawal plan among the members of the ministerial elite amounted to 75% among master’s degree holders, 66.7% among doctorate degree holders and 56.3% with a bachelor’s degree. On the other hand, the highest percentage of opponents amounted to 33% among doctoral degree holders, followed by bachelor’s degree 31.2% and then master’s degree by 25%. The percentage of the members of the educated ministerial elite who studied in Israel and voted for the plan was 56% while all members who studied in the United States backed the unilateral disengagement plan, while 66.7% of those who studied in foreign universities outside Israel agreed on that plan. This indicates that American universities promote the principles of coexistence in the region.With respect to the recruitment in the army or the political administrative system, about 95% of the ministerial elite had done military service and that about 68.4% of them supported the unilateral withdrawal plan.

Affiliations: 1: An-Najah National


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1. Al-Husseini As-Sayyed Socio-politics: Concepts and Issues 1993 Dar Al-Marefa Al-Jameyya, Alexandria, Egypt
2. Al-Johari Abdul Hadi Studies in Socio-politics 1985 Egypt Nahdat Ash-Sharq Library
3. An-Nashef Tayseer"“The political Elite in Arab Society in Palestine”" Palestinian Affairs 1975Vol Vol. 48 Beirut, Lebanon
4. Barakat Nezam"“The Concept of the ruling Elite as a Matter of Leadership”" The Researcher 1984Vol Vol. 26.
5. Bottomore Tom Elites and Society 1993 London Routledge
6. Lenczowski George Political Elites in the Middle East 2004 American Enterprise Institute Press
7. Manoufi Kamal Basics of Comparative Political Systems 1985 Kuwait Al-Rabea’an Publishers
8. Nofal Mamdouh The Israeli Disengagement Plan: Sharon’s Agenda and Palestinian Options 2005 Madar, Palestine
9. Qabbari M Ismael Socio-Politics: Issues of Coalitions and Development 1980 Alexandria, Egypt
10. Rabea Mohammad, Maqlad Ismael"Encyclopedia of Politics" 1994 Kuwait Kuwait University
11. "“Sharon’s Second Government: Guidelines, Party Agreements and Ministers’ Biographies”" 2003 Madar The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies

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