In contrast to most other welfare states, the development of the Israeli welfare state has occurred in the shadow of an ongoing military conflict. This study examines one of the consequences of this development by focusing on the impact of benefits for disabled war veterans upon the country's social security system. Not only are the benefits for Israeli disabled veterans more generous and expensive than those in other welfare states but they have also had a significant impact upon the nature of other social security programmes. In particular, we identify the differential impact of the policy legacies of this programme on benefits and services for other ‘deserving’ groups in Israeli society and on programmes for those disabled from natural causes.
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