Friedman provides a nice analysis (pp. 285-290) of the internal makeup of Israel’s Jews. Secular Israelis make up 50% of the population. Secular Zionists came to Israel as a rebellion against their grandfathers and the orthodox synagogue-oriented ghetto Judaism practiced in Eastern Europe. Science, technology, and turning the desert green were their new Torah. The secular Zionists built a nationalism without reclaiming Judaism. This is how many Israelis really relate to Judaism (p. 315): I will go into the Army. I will serve. I will make heroic sacrifices in battle. But that's it. The 2nd school consists of religious Zionists (30%) who are traditional or modern Orthodox Jews, who support the secular Zionist state but insist it is not a substitute for the synagogue. The 3rd school is made of messianic religious Zionists (5%) and form the backbone of the Jewish settler movement in the West Bank. For them the rebirth of the Jewish state is not simply a religious event it will culminate with the coming of the Messiah. Finally, there are the ultra-Orthodox, non-Zionist Jews (15%), known as Haredim, “those filled with the awe of God.” They do not see in the reborn state of Israel an event of major religious experience. They are content to live in Israel no matter who is in charge. Each of the four main schools of the Israel identity debate were so convinced the others would wither away, that as a group they were never willing to hammer out a consensus about the meaning of Israel.
In December, 1987, the pot boiled over and the Palestinians revolted countrywide in the 1st intifada. It was an expression of rage at the Israelis who never allowed them to feel at home and the Arabs who were ready to sell them out. The intifada was made in Israel, the PLO was caught by surprise. Intifada is translated as a shudder, a tremor. They did not see themselves as overthrowing Israel as much as purifying themselves of "Israeliness." (p. 375). The strike was not meant to put pressure on Israel it was meant to disconnect the Palestinians from Israel. Living in exile, now Arafat had a golden opportunity to reclaim his influence with the PLO, but accommodated the Palestinian's desire to recognize Israel's right to exist, which Arafat did in December, 1988. This was a major positive result of the intifada.