Abstract and Keywords
This chapter portrays the political and legal regime of Israel in its early years as the product of three factors: the conscious political effort of the Zionist movement; a nation-building process, which was a vast cultural endeavour aimed at constructing a new sovereign Jew; and decolonization in a territory where the British legacy still had significant political and legal influence. The chapter argues that notwithstanding its dependence on great powers and the Jewish Diaspora, and despite its weakness on the international stage, Israel displayed a not insignificant measure of political independence. On the level of intra-Jewish consciousness, the achievement was even greater. Diaspora Jews saw the establishment of the state as a transformative moment in Jewish history; its Jewish citizens felt that they were achieving political liberty.
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