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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article examines the peculiarities inherent to the development of modern Israeli society, while looking into Israel’s experience in solving problems associated with increasing prosperity, social policy and interethnic relations. It shows that Israel’s social-economic strategy puts emphasis on supporting hi-tech fields, the development of which is mainly defined by tasks aimed at ensuring national security and defensive capability. Such projects are also utilized in civil industries: this leads to an increase in labor productivity, as well as the population’s prosperity and life quality, while also strengthening the country’s international status in several areas. The level of relative R&D expenses also says quite a lot: in this respect Israel is ahead of the entire world. Israeli society has developed a strong ability to adapt to constantly changing conditions. But its social stability cannot be long lived, stable and secure when there is such a severe gap in the population’s income; said stability is constantly being threatened, a testament to that being a huge wave of public protests which took place during the summer of 2011, with hundreds of thousands of Israeli participating. Deeply rooted ethnical differences are also evident within Israeli society. However, despite there being some serious problems, said society is quite consolidated, for if that was not the case – it would be impossible to endure in such conditions of constant terrorist threats and with the country’s very existence constantly being challenged. In the last few years a sustained trend has been shaping in Israel – of citizens gaining trust in their own government: this gives Israel quite an advantage compared to many other countries, where restoring trust has become a problem for the authorities. Serious shifts in mass consciousness have also been taking place. New value preferences have been shaping when it comes to national political and socio-economic development. The amount of workers joining trade unions is growing, and they are becoming increasingly more active: their activities now apply to large companies, where they had never been present in the past. It is a significant fact that trade unions are growing despite serious resistance from employers. Workers are successfully standing up for their rights, in the courts too. Considering current conditions, when Russian society and Russian authorities are facing survival and development troubles at point blank (being constantly subject to external pressure and confinement), in this respect Israel demonstrates some noteworthy internal development experience.
economic development, social policy, income, poverty, education, salary, interethnic relations.