Strier, Roni. “Fathers in Israel: Contextualizing Images of Fatherhood.” In Fathers Across Cultures: The Importance, Roles, and Diverse Practices of Dads (ed. Jaipaul L. Roopnarine; Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger, 2015): 350-67.
Walking the Israeli fatherhood labyrinth means rediscovering fatherhood as a highly changing and multifaceted construction. The Israeli case confirms the dynamic nature of fatherhood. Fatherhood trajectories (Zionist, ultra-Orthodox, and Immigrant Jewish, as well as Palestinian) already reviewed help us disclose the fluctuating character of fatherhood as a historical, cultural, and class-based construction. The Israeli case also questions the validity of a possible essential Israeli fatherhood and suggests the need to discuss changing fatherhoods in Israel – fatherhood as facing shared processes (westernization, familism, growing inequalities, and national conflict) and huge divides.
Of equal importance is the recognition of the complexity of the fatherhood experience as a multilayered phenomenon in which gendered images of masculinity interact with changing views of fatherhood. The Israeli case study presents fatherhood as a puzzle of internal tensions and external constraints. This frame helps us to acknowledge the contributions and shortfalls of the nation-state to grasp the changing and dynamic nature of fatherhood as a historical construction. finally, the Israeli case calls on fatherhood scholars to keep examining the impact of war and political violence on the well-being of fathers and families. In a more broad, global scope, the experience of fatherhood in Israel should call for a new discourse of fatherhood that includes the respect for human rights, the repudiation of any form of violence and injustice, and the pursue of political goals through nonviolent means.