This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 320294


Report on ‘Israel: Religion and Ethnicity as Basis for Different Minority Rights’ (D4.8)

June 2, 2017

The Israeli citizenship regime is a moving target. Some basic social, ethnic and political divisions which are captured by the categories of nationality, ethnicity, class, gender and religiosity are redefined by day-to-day administrative, regulatory and political processes. In these ways, Israeli citizenship is not so much a matter of constitutional debates on abstract rights of all or parts of the citizenry, it is also and more importantly, a manifestation of regulatory processes. The basic divisions are explored here with regard to a newly defined “credit ranking” regime which has been constructed by various state actors during the past two decades. This regime promotes the establishment of a new kind of citizenship, a financial citizenship. As part of its activity, each citizen is categorized according to his or her ‘financial worth’, and their personal financial profile is constructed as a device for identifying, locating and classifying targeted populations. Under these information markets citizens are no longer seen as individual customers, but as varying degrees of commercial risks and revenues. The new regime is expected to enhance competition in the highly centralized banking sector and encourage more competitions in this field. In this sense, these market-building initiatives are part of an extension of the credit based culture (or Financialization) of Israeli citizenship. The research, which is the first academic research on this issue in Israel, analyzes the policy process and extends the discussion around it by analyzing the economic, social and political aspects of Israeli citizenship in general and regarding minority and disadvantaged groups in particular.

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