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Thesis: Melamed, Israeli Homemade Video Memorials and the Politics of Loss

Melamed, Laliv. Sovereign Intimacy: Israeli Homemade Video Memorials and the Politics of Loss, PhD dissertation. New York: New York University, 2015.
 
URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/37/40/3740826.html
 
Abstract

Sovereign Intimacy takes as its subject of investigation video memorialization of dead Israeli soldiers done by their close family and friends. Mixing private loss, home-made video production, military conduct, state politics, and an institutionalized commemoration, it redraws the affinities between affective intimacy and forms of governing. It delineates the reshaping of sovereignty by filial relationships, video practicing and aesthetics, state and military administration of death and mass media. Sovereign Intimacy inquires into the political currencies of mourning and loss.

The videos respond to an event triggered by operations of state violence—figured by military power—with a personal lamenting of the breaking of intimate ties. These videos are made by the family and for the family, through amateur and semi-amateur modes of production. Although they were meant to be privately circulated, this phenomenon emerged in tandem to the videos being broadcast on television during the events of the National Memorial Day.

Home-made video memorials become a standard of Israeli memorialization during the 1990s. Largely the result of waning public support of the Israeli occupation of the south of Lebanon, and of a growing disavowal of state authority, the phenomenon represented a potential challenge to hegemonic narratives and aesthetic forms, through the appropriation of memory and means of production. However, it did not make way to a new political voice to emerge. Instead, these videos emotionalized violence and victimized its deliverers. Furthermore, the broadcasting of the videos on television—allegedly as a tribute to the families, a communal gesture of listening and a call for solidarity—participated in a national economy of death in which the lives of Lebanese, Palestinians and marginalized people within Israeli society had no value. Lastly, the phenomenon of memorial videos normalized the growing militarization of civil society and neutralized any call for political action.

 

 

 

Thesis: Nissel, Harnessing of the “New Program in Sciences” from Gender Perspective in Israel

Nissel, Orly. Harnessing of the “New Program in Sciences” from Gender Perspective in Israel, PhD Thesis in pedagogy. Chișinău: Universitatea de Stat din Moldova, 2016.

 
URL: http://www.cnaa.md/en/thesis/23981/
 
Abstract

The aim of the research is setting of the theoretical and praxiological foundation of the Methodology of implementation of the new program in sciences from a gender perspective in educational institutions in Israel.

Objectives: analysis of the evolution of studies programs of Israel in the context of gender; establishing of connections between the curriculum in science, gender and students’ achievements; determining of the training components of the new science program of study aimed at integration of a gender dimension; experimental validation of the methodology of implementation of the new program in science from a gender perspective.

The scientific novelty of the research relies in the identification of tendencies of the school curriculum development from a historical and gender perspective; identification of factors and conditions related to the implementation of the new program in science from a gender perspective; determining of the perspectives and training components of the new program in science for integration of gender in the process; development of a Methodology to implement the new program in science from a gender perspective focused on: a Constructivist approach to learning, a Instructional Model to encourage girls students in science and technology, a Profile of excellent teacher who is gender-sensitive, a Instructive Model for parents.

The scientific problem solved in this research consists in setting of the a theoretical and methodological foundation of the Methodology of implementation of the new program in sciences from a gender perspective, reducing of gender stereotypes related to these subjects, and improving of students’ achievements.

Theoretical value of the research: the development of theory of educational curriculum by mainstreaming of a gender dimension in units / subjects in science through the integration, unification and and completion of the structural components of these areas; conceptualization of gender perspectives in the new program in sciences and technology; theoretical and praxiological modeling of the methodology of implementation of the new program in sciences and technology from a gender perspective; developing the concept of career guidance to girls and boys in science and technology by discovering their skills for professions related to science and technology.

Practical value of the research: The Methodology of the implementation of the new program in sciences from a gender perspective is an approach validated by experiment, is useful for improving educational activities of educational institutions, the relationship teacher-student-family. The research results are addressed and can be of real use for teachers, supervisors, trainers, parents and others interested in the field.

The implementation of the scientific results: was conducted in two schools in scientific technological reserve class in Jerusalem, where the researcher works as a teacher and as a trainer and were presented to trainers and managers in science, through papers at scientific national and international conferences, scientific publications, etc.
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Thesis: Kaplen, The Ethiopian Messianic Jewish Movement of Israel

Kaplan, Jennifer. The Ethiopian Messianic Jewish Movement of Israel: An Evaluative Study for Growth and Sustainability, D.I.S. Thesis. Pasadena, Calif.: Fuller Theological Seminary, 2015.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1754414979

 

Abstract

The journey of immigration and integration of the Ethiopian Jews of Israel is a remarkable story. From traditional society and Torah-based Judaism in Ethiopia to high-tech society and Rabbinic Judaism in Israel, the gap is the largest in Israeli pluralistic society. The results are often low socio-economic status, family crisis, and discrimination. A sub-group of the Ethiopian Jews is the Ethiopian Messianic Jews of Israel, whose identity is further compounded by their faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. This research investigates the background and growth of their congregations in the missiological context of Israel. The research also investigates the integration levels of their leaders and how this affects the congregations, and draws conclusions regarding the movement’s sustainability for the future.

 

 

 

Dissertation: Condron, The Nixon Administration between Cairo and Jerusalem

Condron, Aidan. The Nixon Administration between Cairo and Jerusalem, 1969-1974: Concepts, Strategies, and Implementation, PhD thesis. Aberystwyth, Wales: Aberystwyth University, 2015.
 
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2160/30577
 
Abstract

This thesis traces the origins of the Egypt-Israel peace process begun in the immediate aftermath of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War. This American-brokered process led to the restoration of Egyptian land seized by Israeli in 1967 in exchange for a bilateral peace treaty, the first between Israel and an Arab state. Formal US-Egypt diplomatic relations were restored in 1974. By the time of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty in 1979, Egyptian defection from Soviet to American was complete, and Egypt had become estranged from the remainder of the Arab world, which refused to recognise, negotiate, or make peace with Israel. Recontextualising wartime and post-war strategic realignments with reference to developments during the first four and three-quarter years of the Nixon administration, from January 1969 – September 1973, this thesis sets presents a thoroughgoing revisionist account of the origins of this process. Tracing concepts and strategies implemented during and after the war in the antebellum period, the work demonstrates that the concepts implemented during the peace process were developed in negotiations involving Egypt, Israel, the Soviet Union, and the United States from early 1969, and forged into a coherent strategy by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during the period from October 1970 – September 1973. Reversing the usual interpretation that Sadat conformed to an American grand design in the aftermath over the October War, this thesis demonstrates instead that the United States collaborated and colluded in implementing an Egyptian strategy for a new regional order, premised on peace between Egypt and Israel and partnerships both between Washington and Jerusalem and between Washington and Cairo.

 

 

 

Thesis: Chyutin, Judaism, Contemporary Israeli Film, and the Cinematic Experience

Chyutin, Dan. A Hidden Light: Judaism, Contemporary Israeli Film, and the Cinematic Experience, PhD dissertation. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2015.
 
URL: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/26366/
 
Abstract

Throughout its brief history, Israeli cinema largely ignored Jewish religious identity, aligning itself with Zionism’s rejection of Judaism as a marker of diasporic existence. Yet over the past two decades, as traditional Zionism slowly declined, and religion’s presence became more pronounced in the public sphere, Israeli filmmakers began to treat Judaism as a legitimate cinematic concern. The result has been a growth in the number of Israeli films dealing with the realities of devoutly religious Jews, amounting to a veritable “Judaic turn” in Israel’s cinematic landscape. As of now, this “turn” has received meager attention within Israeli film scholarship. The following, then, addresses this scholarly lack by offering an extensive investigation of contemporary Judaic-themed Israeli cinema.

This intervention pursues two interconnected lines of inquiry. The first seeks to analyze the corpus in question for what it says on the Judaic dimension of present-day Israeli society. In this context, this study argues that while a dialectic of secular vs. religious serves as the overall framework in which these films operate, it is habitually countermanded by gestures that bring these binary categories together into mutual recognition. Accordingly, what one finds in such filmic representations is a profound sense of ambivalence, which is indicative of a general equivocation within Israeli public discourse surrounding the rise in Israeli Judaism’s stature and its effects on a national ethos once so committed to secularism.

The second inquiry follows the lead of Judaic-themed Israeli cinema’s interest in Jewish mysticism, and extends it to a film-theoretical consideration of how Jewish mystical thought may help illuminate particular constituents of the cinematic experience. Here emphasis is placed on two related mystical elements to which certain Israeli films appeal—an enlightened vision that unravels form and a state of unity that ensues. The dissertation argues that these elements not only appear in the Israeli filmic context, but are also present in broader cinematic engagements, even when those are not necessarily organized through the theosophic coordinates of mysticism. Furthermore, it suggests that this cycle’s evocation of such elements is aimed to help its national audience transcend the ambivalences of Israel’s “Judaic imagination.”

 

 

 

Dissertation: Poppe, Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of Israeli Writers

Poppe, Judith. “I am writing into deserted times” – Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of the Israeli Writers Netti Boleslav and Jenny Aloni, PhD dissertation. Göttingen: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 2015 (in German).

 

URL: https://ediss.uni-goettingen.de/handle/11858/00-1735-0000-0028-86AD-7

 

Abstract

This study examines a subject that has been disregarded in literary history, namely Israeli literature written in the German language. Two authors, Jenny Aloni and Netti Boleslav, as well as their poetry, are used as paradigmatic case studies to show the relevance of this literature that crosses political and cultural borders. In the late thirties Boleslav and Aloni emigrated from Nazi-Germany and Prague to Palestine/Israel where they found a new home. They wrote poetry and prose in German until their death in the 1980s and 1990s. Their lives and works are reconstructed on the basis of documents such as diaries, letters and unpublished manuscripts that are contained in their literary estates and made public partly for the first time. From a methodological perspective, the hermeneutical analysis of the poems in their poetic value is here complemented by poststructuralist approaches of the Cultural Studies. Focusing on the construction of the “I” (the “I” in the poetry as well as the “I” of the empirical authors), this study pursues the traces of different times and places, where the literature has left its mark. The oeuvres of Aloni and Boleslav emerges at the intersections of two worlds, the German and the Israeli, and they wander between various regions and political units such as Bohemia, Nazi and post-Nazi Germany, the State of Israel and Czechoslovakia. Their poems draw from “Jewish” and “Israeli” literature, German pop culture, bucolic poetry and Zionist historiography. Until now the unique position of German Literature in Israel has been almost completely neglected. The present study fills this scholarly gap. The research combines concepts by Deleuze/Guattari and Kühne in order to coin the notion of “Kleine Zwischenliteratur”, which describes the main features of this literature. One of the main goals of the present examination is to grant this literature a more prominent place in the history of literary. Based on the results of the present thesis’ analysis it becomes apparent that notions of transdisciplinary and transnationality need to be mobilised in order to challenge the accepted categories of the discipline, enabling us to close the blind spot of the Israeli literature written in German.

 

 

 

Thesis: Sahhar, On Western Media Collusion with Israel’s ‘Wars’ and Recovering the Palestinian Story

Sahhar, Micaela. Occupied Narrative: On Western Media Collusion with Israel’s ‘Wars’ and Recovering the Palestinian Story, PhD thesis. Melbourne: School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, 2015.

 

URL:https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/58374

 

Abstract

This thesis seeks to capture the effects of decline in normative narrative structure about the Israel–Palestinian conflict. By engaging in analysis of Western media, the work illuminates the reliance of Western media coverage on Israeli narrative, and the way in which the media has conditioned Western publics to view the conflict. It argues that, historically, privileging a perception in which Palestinians are primarily defined through an Israeli optic has been key to the dissolution of Palestinian narrative internationally and has diminished the weight of contemporary Palestinian claims in diplomatic process. However, it is argued that the first decade of the 21st century saw a growing critique on how Israel-Palestinian relations are defined.

Accordingly, the project takes as its source material the reports and editorials of three different newspapers during two Israeli assaults on the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Operation Defensive Shield (2002) and Operation Cast Lead (2008–9), to document both the way in which certain kinds of narratives are privileged in portraying the Israel–Palestinian conflict, and the decline in narrative dominance which Israeli narrative had previously enjoyed. Both events occurred at the start of a radically different media age for capturing and disseminating information, which created an environment in which depiction of the operations in Western media could not be received as absolute, but circulated alongside other, contestable, narratives. This expanded traffic of information, and Israeli and Western media’s command over and response to this, evince a growing friction between Israeli-driven perspective and emerging alternatives in mainstream discourse. Thus, this thesis seeks to interrogate the inadequacies of received knowledge about the Israel–Palestinian conflict in the West at a moment in which the edifice of dominant narrative has become untenable, and simultaneously a moment in which new narratives might be advanced with hope of a willing reception.

The thesis concludes by evaluating the impact of, and response to, these operations on narrative about the conflict, and considers how this change in narrative direction since Operation Cast Lead could contribute to transforming the dynamic of Israel–Palestinian relations. It argues that shifts in media representation are indicative of the external pressures which have forced Israel to engage in a battle for legitimacy. It considers how certain discourses, such as securitisation and terror, which have privileged Israeli objectives through a matrix of deflection, could be (re)incorporated into an analytical rather than political framework to transform the current discourse on Israel–Palestinian relations, in particular by enabling the international community to scrutinise Israeli action and hold Israel to account. Finally it considers what effect these signs of narrative transformation could have on Israel’s relations with the Palestinians. However, it is concluded that work towards reconciliation will ultimately require radical shifts in the Israeli subjectivity in order to create a willing partner in Israel for meaningful change.

 

 

 

Dissertation: Aronson, Ripple Effects of Taglit-Birthright Israel on Parents of Participants

Aronson, Janet Krasner. Leveraging Social Networks to Create Social Change: Ripple Effects of Taglit-Birthright Israel on Parents of Participants, PhD thesis, Brandeis University, 2015.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1729173165

 

Abstract

In the present accountability-oriented policy environment, funding and replication of educational and public health programs are contingent upon evidence-based evaluations and demonstrable outcomes. In many cases, resource constraints preclude the delivery of interventions to all potential beneficiaries. It is possible, however, for program reach to be extended through consideration of the effects of the program on secondary groups in the social networks of the targeted population. Using a single case of a targeted educational program, this dissertation examines methodological issues in the explicit identification and measurement of such effects, referred to here as “ripple effects” and defined as the dissemination of indirect outcomes of a program through the social network ties of targeted individuals. Specifically, the study assesses the impact of the Taglit-Birthright Israel travel program for Jewish young adults on connections to Israel among parents of participants.

This three-paper dissertation utilizes a mixed-method approach, drawing on semistructured interviews as well as pre- and post-trip surveys of parents conducted between November 2013 and May 2014. The first paper describes the theoretical social network framework within which ripple effects operate and recommends methods to incorporate the measurement of ripple effects in program evaluation. The second paper utilizes a framework of emerging adulthood and focuses on the process of persuasion through which emerging adults influence the views of their parents. This paper concludes that changes in the parent attitudes appear to result from the persuasive efforts of their children. The last paper shows that, for Jewish parents, the primary impact of Taglit is on increased interest in visits to Israel and reduced concern about the safety of Israel travel. The effect of the program was most pronounced for parents who had never been to Israel themselves.

Policy implications of this research include findings specific to Taglit as well as to other programmatic interventions in education and public health. Evidence of ripple effects on secondary groups can lead to the design of programs to maximize and capture those effects. By ignoring these indirect effects, the actual effects of programs might be underestimated.

 

 

Dissertation: Harel, “The eternal nation does not fear a long road”: An Ethnography of Jewish Settlers in Israel/Palestine

Harel, Assaf. “The eternal nation does not fear a long road”: An Ethnography of Jewish Settlers in Israel/Palestine, PhD thesis, Rutgers University, 2015.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3VD71FW

 

Abstract

This is an ethnography of Jewish settlers in Israel/Palestine. Studies of religiously motivated settlers in the occupied territories indicate the intricate ties between settlement practices and a Jewish theology about the advent of redemption. This messianic theology binds future redemption with the maintenance of a physical union between Jews and the “Land of Israel.” However, among settlers themselves, the dominance of this messianic theology has been undermined by postmodernity and most notably by a series of Israeli territorial withdrawals that have contradicted the promise of redemption. These days, the religiously motivated settler population is divided among theological and ideological lines that pertain, among others issues, to the meaning of redemption and its relation to the state of Israel. This dissertation begins with an investigation of the impact of the 2005 Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip upon settlers and proceeds to compare three groups of religiously motivated settlers in the West Bank: an elite Religious Zionist settlement, settlers who engage in peacemaking activities with Palestinians, and settlers who act violently against Palestinians. Through a comparison of these different groups, this dissertation demonstrates that while messianism remains a central force in the realities of Jewish settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it exists these days in more diversified forms than before. In addition, this ethnography illustrates how religion both underlies and undermines differences between Israelis and Palestinians and argues that local communities and religious leaders should be included in peace processes. Finally, by examining how messianic conceptions of time among different groups of Jewish settlers connect to their settlement practices, this study reveals the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be as much about time as it is about space. Accordingly, this dissertation has broader implications for understanding the contemporary role of religion and time within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the political struggles of the Middle East.

 

 

Thesis: Lippert, Detection of a Submarine Aquifer Offshore of Israel using LOTEM (in German)

Lippert, Klaus. Detektion eines submarinen Aquifers vor der Küste Israels mittels mariner Long Offset Transient-elektromagnetischer Messung, PhD Thesis, Universität zu Köln, 2015.

 
URL: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/6351/ [PDF]

 

Abstract

The importance of offshore submarine fresh groundwater bodies as well as of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) became commonly recognized in the recent years for groundwater management. The existence of submarine fresh groundwater bodies extending offshore to distances between a few meters to several tens of kilometers was reported all over the world and SGD was detected and studied also in the eastern Mediterranean, offshore Israel. The Mediterranean coastal aquifer of Israel is one of the main groundwater resources of the country. It has been exploited heavily and, as a result, the quality of water is gradually deteriorating. It is well known that the aquifer is grouped into four subaquifers, which were managed separately. The upper two sub-aquifers are known to be subjected to lateral seawater intrusion and to pollution from above whereas the lower ones are assumed to be, in places, blocked to the sea. For a long time, geoelectric and, particularly, geoelectromagnetic methods were leading geophysical techniques in solving various hydrogeological problems related to the characterization of groundwater salinity. This is due to a very close relationship, which exists between the salinity and electrical resistivity measured by the methods. In order to explore fresh groundwater below the sea the Long Offset Electromagnetic (LOTEM) method, which uses grounded lines (electric dipoles) as both transmitter and receiver antennae, is applied in the marine environment. The presented work is part of a Joint German-Israeli project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST). The LOTEM measuring system from the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne is applied for the first time in the marine environment. Although marine Time Domain electromagnetic methods with a horizontal transmitter dipol are used by the oil-industry or other university working groups for similar targets, it was never reported, besides by the Israeli project partner Geophysical Institute of Israel, to be applied to such shallow waterdepths up to a maximum of 50 m. The main goal of this thesis is to detect the submarine aquifer and to examine its lateral dimension.

 

 
 

Dissertation: Wooten, Gender Integration into the Military

Wooten, Jeff. Gender Integration into the Military: A Meta-Analysis of Norway, Canada, Israel, and the United States, EdD Dissertation, University of New England, 2015.
 
URL: http://dune.une.edu/theses/33/
 
Abstract

Over the past 15 years, the Global War on Terrorism has necessitated an examination of the military’s practices and the way that they meet the complexities of new and different types of war and tactics. Vital to this examination are policies related to the inclusion and deployment of women in combat. Burba stated war is not a setting for social testing, but the American Military must embrace the social subtleties of gender differences in an effort to meet the Armed Services requirement for an ever-changing asymmetrical battlefield. This study compares and contrasts the American current policy divergent to three other countries’ policies that have successfully integrated women into combat: Norway, Canada, and Israel. Through this examination, an opportunity to recognize gaps in training and procedural information that are most important to the successful implementation in the United States is revealed. The scientific data, although supporting the fact that physiological differences exist between men and women, were not supported in the argument that all women should be excluded from combat units. In all case studies, it was found that women who volunteered for combat assignments performed equally as well as their male counterparts without degradation of operational readiness or a lower unity of cohesion. However, I was not surprised that the leaders of the three counties observed that the successful integration of women into combat units is not about changing a culture. It is simply a leadership issue.

 

 

Dissertation: Bardi, Cleansing, Constructing, and Curating the State: India/Pakistan ’47 and Israel/Palestine ’48

Bardi, Ariel Sophia. Cleansing, Constructing, and Curating the State: India/Pakistan ’47 and Israel/Palestine ’48 , PhD Dissertation, Yale University, 2015.

 
URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/36/63/3663495.html

 
Abstract

This dissertation looks at the ways in which the landscape and the built environment have been called upon and transformed into conduits of national belonging, focusing on the near-simultaneous emergences of Israel, India, and Pakistan. It considers the role of space in consolidating new national bodies, drawing on a variety of texts from both regions: memoirs, films, archival and field photos, housing plans, and the architectural landscape itself.

The first chapter explores the Jewish and Indian Muslim bids for sovereign lands along with the rise of Hindu nationalism. Looking at the founding of Pakistan and Israel, it considers the self-replicative logic of partition and the emergence of the homeland state. Arguing for the importance of image and space in conjuring new nationhoods, the second chapter compares systems of spatial control, visual regimes that mounted and imposed new national imaginaries. In India, Pakistan, and Israel/Palestine, selective acts of destruction transformed formerly shared spaces, inflecting the landscape with three distinct new states.

The third chapter looks at post-state refugee rehabilitation projects, focusing specifically on Mizrahi, or Arab Jewish, immigration to the Israeli hinterlands, and Mizrahi, or Indian refugee, resettlement within the Pakistani province of Sindh. In both regions, housing projects re-circumscribed place of origin, challenging the purported unity of each religiously pooled state and relegating refugees to the margins of each new nation. Tracing the relationship between architecture and partition, it considers the different modalities bound up in the process of national absorption. The fourth chapter compares historical preservation projects in India, Pakistan, Israel, and Palestine, and examines the role of heritage sites in visualizing statehood and homogenizing mixed spaces. Considering the furor over India’s Babri Masjid, it posits preservation as a corollary to demolition, and examines a selection of heritage locations in Israel and Pakistan while arguing for the uses of the past in upholding majority collectivities. Finally, the conclusion considers the afterlives of partition in places such as Kashmir, the West Bank, and India’s far northeast, in ongoing occupations that are as visual and spatial as they are material, economic, and political.

 

 

Dissertation: Hankins | Black Musics, African Lives, and the National Imagination in Modern Israel

Hankins, Sarah Elizabeth. Black Musics, African Lives, and the National Imagination in Modern Israel. PhD Dissertation, Harvard University, 2015.

 
URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/17467531

 
Abstract

“Black Musics, African Lives, and the National Imagination in Modern Israel,” explores the forms and functions of African and Afro-diasporic musics amidst heated public debate around ethnic identity and national membership. Focusing on musical-political activity among Ethiopian Israeli citizens, Sudanese and Eritrean refugees, and West African labor migrants in Tel Aviv, I examine how diverse types of musicking, from nightclub DJing and live performance to church services and protest concerts, voice African and Afro-descendent claims to civic status in a fractured urban environment. Grounded in ethnographic participant observation, the dissertation analyzes musical and political activity through the lens of “interpretive modes” that shape contemporary Israel’s national consciousness, and which influence African and Afro-descendant experiences within Israeli society. These include “Israeliyut,” or the valorization of so-called native Israeli cultural forms and histories; “Africani,” an emerging set of aesthetic and social values that integrates African and Afro-descendent subjectivities into existing frameworks of Israeli identity; and “glocali,” or the effort to reconcile local Israeli experience with aspects of globalization.

Tracing “blackness” as an ideological and aesthetic category through five decades of public discourse and popular culture, I examine the disruptions to this category precipitated by Israel’s 21st century encounter with African populations. I find that the dynamics of debate over African presence influence an array of mass-cultural processes, including post-Zionism, conceptions of ethnic “otherness,” and the splintering of Israel’s left into increasingly narrow interest groups. Contributing to the literature on continuity and change within urban-dwelling African diasporas, this dissertation is the first monograph exploring dramatic transformations of Israel’s highly consolidated national culture through in-depth ethnography with migrant groups.

 

 

Dissertation: Harass, Reading the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Through Theater

Harass, Azza. Reading the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Through Theater: A Postcolonial Analysis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis. University of Kent, 2015.

 

URL: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/47909/

 
Abstract
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict dates back to 1917, when British Prime Minister Balfour declared Britain’s support for the establishment of a homeland for Jews in the land of Palestine. The conflict has had many political, social, and artistic implications. On the political level, a struggle that has not been solved until this day has evolved. On a social level, many lives have been crushed: thousands of native citizens of the land became refugees, mainly in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, but also worldwide. Others, like the Arabs who stayed in what was in 1948 declared to be the state of Israel, have been suffering from an identity crisis; many of these Arabs face unlawful detention, demolition of houses, killing and racism. The Gaza strip has almost always been under siege by the Israeli military machine lately. Meanwhile, the Jewish society has never had a day of peace since the establishment of their state. On the artistic level, the conflict has always had implications for Arab/ Palestinian and Israeli writings., I seek to read the depiction of the conflict with its different violent confrontations from both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives starting with the Palestinian Nakba to the violent Israeli oppression of any Palestinian resistance in the Intifada. I also read literary texts about Palestinian resistance, actual material resistance of the first Palestinian Intifada as represented by both sides in postcolonial terms. In fact, I believe that both Palestinian and Israeli literature could be read in the context of postcolonial discourse. On the one hand, for Palestinian and Arab writers, Palestinian writing is and should be read as resistance literature, or ‘Adab al-muqawamah’, a term coined by Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani. Anna Ball’s study Palestinian Literature and Film in Postcolonial Feminist Perspective examines Palestinian literature and film in the light of postcolonial feminism. Ball places the conflict in the context of colonial/ postcolonial discourse and breaks the taboo against using the word colonialism when speaking about Zionism. In fact, the research problem is based on the idea of the inadequacy of ignoring Palestinian and Israeli literature as part of postcolonial studies simply for fear of revealing the colonial status quo of the land. According to Anna Bernard, who seeks to draw attention to what she calls ‘blind spots in postcolonial studies’, mainly Israel/ Palestine: ‘by dismissing a ‘postcolonial’ approach to Israel-Palestine studies outright, [critics like] Massad and Shohat overlook the value of a literary study that seeks to demonstrate the collective and cross-cultural impact of the various modern forms of colonialism and imperialism on artistic production across the globe’. Massad’s argument that there is difficulty in describing space, time and body in Israel/ Palestine as postcolonial is based on his interrogations: ‘Can one determine the coloniality of Palestine/ Israel without noting its ‘‘post-coloniality’’ for Ashkenazi Jews? Can one determine the post-coloniality of Palestine/Israel without noting its coloniality for Palestinians? Can one determine both or either without noting the simultaneous colonizer/colonized status of Mizrahi Jews? (Although one could debate the colonized status of Mizrahi Jews) How can all these people inhabit a colonial/postcolonial space in a world that declares itself living in a post-colonial time?’ Ella Shohat, likewise, is against what she calls the ‘ahistorical and universalizing deployments, and potentially [the] depoliticizing implications’ of the term ‘post-colonial,’ especially that, according to her, it is used instead of important terms like imperialism and neo-colonialism. In spite of the importance of paying attention to the correct description of states of imperialism and neo-colonialism, I still find it possible to read both Palestinian and Israeli texts in postcolonial perspective, agreeing with Bernard ‘that the tools that have been developed for reading these texts comparatively – including colonial discourse analysis, national allegory, minority discourse, and so on – can be usefully applied, tested, and revised in the analysis of Palestinian and Israeli literary and cultural production’. This view resonates with Ashcroft, Tiffin and Griffiths’s in their study The Postcolonial Studies Reader (1995), when they comment on this wide range of relevant fields that the term postcolonial suggests: ‘Postcolonial theory involves discussion about experience of various kinds: migration, slavery, suppression, resistance, representation, difference, race, gender, [and] place’ . In fact, the term ‘postcolonial’ is not necessarily restricted to a real colonial period; it could be used, according to Ashcroft, Tiffin and Griffiths in The Empire Writes Back: ‘to cover all the culture affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day. This is because there is continuity of preoccupations throughout the historical process initiated by European imperial aggression’. Between the view of the land of Palestine as a lawful possession of the Jews and that which sees Jewish presence as a settler or colonial one, a debate about reading the conflict and literary production tackling the conflict within theories of colonial and postcolonial studies arises. What makes reading the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and its literature and literary production within the paradigm of postcolonialism problematic is worth some further investigation. First, the preference and focus on the discursive practices of colonialism over the material practices has resulted in excluding the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict from the field of postcolonial studies by a number of critics like Ella Shohat and Joseph Massad, which is more elaborated on later. Second, the debate about the Zionist project as a settler colonial one could also problematize analysing the conflict within postcolonial theories. The first chapter explores the Israeli/ Palestinian and Arab writing of the conflict from a colonizer/colonized perspective. I mainly focus on the representation of violence as an essential element in a colonized society and the decolonization process, drawing on Frantz Fanon’s theory that violence is inevitable in any colonized community as the backbone of the analysis. For this purpose, I have chosen Syrian playwright Saad-Allah Wanous’s play Rape (1990), to compare with Israeli playwright Hanoch Levin’s play Murder (1997), since both plays represent violence as a vicious circle that does not lead anywhere in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, even though it is an everyday act that has become a way of life for both sides. Crucial terms in the field of postcolonial studies such as resistance/terrorism are examined. Some similarities between the ways the two playwrights write the conflict are also highlighted, which supports the idea that literature can always find shared ground between any two conflicting parties. In Chapters Two and Three I write about the history of the conflict as a chain of endless violent confrontations; violence in this case is on the national level when the two nations fight each other. Chapter Two addresses some of the landmark events in the history of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples, mainly the Israeli War of Independence/Nakba as the same historical event seen from the two extremely different colonizer/colonized perspectives. The chapter also addresses what the Holocaust has to do with the two events and how the Holocaust was exploited by the Israeli state to silence any condemnation of the Israeli/Zionist settler colonial project in Palestine and later on to silence any international condemnation of the Israeli 1967 occupation of more Palestinian and Arab lands. To serve this purpose, the chapter examines Palestinian poet and playwright Burhan Al-Din Al-Aboushi’s play The Phantom of Andalusia (1949) and Palestinian playwright Amir Nizar Zuabi’s play I Am Yusuf and This Is My Brother (2010) compared to each other as two different Palestinian representations of the Nakba and compared to the Israeli narrative of the ‘War of Independence’ by Israeli playwright Motti Lerner in his play The Admission (2010). In addition to this, Joshua Sobol’s play Ghetto is examined as one of the classical Holocaust plays and compared to a contemporary play called Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea (2009) by Palestinian playwright Ahmed Masoud (co-written with Justin Butcher, author of The Madness of George Dubya) to draw the analogy between the living conditions of Jews in ghettoes to that of Palestinians in Gaza as part of the on-going Palestinian Nakba. Chapter Three examines another landmark of the history of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict: the Palestinian Intifada, an event which changed the nature of the conflict and showed that the Palestinians can act to decolonize their country. The Intifada, mainly described as ‘non-violent’, has led to huge impacts on the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians and how they see each other, both in reality and in theatre; however, again, the colonizer and colonized parties see it differently. The chapter examines these different perspectives by analysing the Israeli plays Masked (1990) by Ilan Hatzor and Coming Home (2002) by Motti Lerner, compared with The Stone Revolution (1997) by Egyptian playwright Alfred Farag and Al-Huksh (1992) by Palestinian playwright Adnan Tarabshi. The four plays present the Intifada as either a barbaric or a heroic act, depending on the political ideologies of the playwrights. I read the plays within the context of pro or anti-resistance propaganda. Chapter four is an attempt to read the concepts of diaspora, exile and homeland in both Jewish/Israeli and Palestinian experiences in the postcolonial paradigm. Concepts of exodus and diaspora are found in both Jewish and Palestinian history, but in two very different ways. Throughout the chapter I attempt to examine the similarities and/or differences between these notions in the two people’s memories through reading Yiddish playwright David Pinski’s The Last Jew (1905) in comparison with Palestinian playwright Ismail Al-Dabbagh’s play The Painful Events of the Life of Abu-Halima (2008), as two plays reflecting the notions of Jewish and Palestinian diaspora respectively. In addition to these works, the chapter examines Exile in Jerusalem (1989) by Israeli playwright Motti Lerner alongside In Spitting Distance (2008) by Palestinian actor and playwright Taher Najib. Exile, diaspora and homeland have occupied a significant space in postcolonial theories as outcomes of colonialism, and the aim of my chapter is to read Israeli and Palestinian plays discussing those themes from a postcolonial perspective, pointing out the differences and similarities between the Jewish and the Palestinian experiences of diaspora. It is very important to note that the choice of the plays is ultimately based on the thematic approach I tend to adopt in my presentation of the conflict. In other words, I have attempted to introduce the Israeli versus Arab/ Palestinian theatrical presentation of the same subject matter or the landmark events related to the conflict, again the materialist practices of colonialism regardless of the dates of the plays. This is not because their specific historical contexts are unimportant, but rather because the Israeli/Palestine conflict remains ongoing, in what could be seen as a historical deadlock. Finally, Chapter Five aims at examining the influence of the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict on Western theatre, showing how the West, as an outsider, sees and portrays the conflicted parties. I have chosen the following plays to examine the different approaches to the conflict: Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s An Arab Woman Speaks (1972), Arthur Milner’s Masada (2006) and Facts (2010), John Patrick Shanley’s Dirty Story (2003), Naomi Wallace’s The Fever Chart , Robin Soans’ The Arab Israeli Cook Book (2004), Alan Rickman and Catharine Viner’s My Name is Rachel Corrie (2003), David Hare’s Via Dolorosa (1998) and Wall (2009), Douglas Watkinson’s The Wall (2011), Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children (2009) and Richard Stirling’s Seven Other Children (2009) to examine the different approaches towards the conflict. Again, I approach this literature as postcolonial literature affected by imperialism and Israeli colonial aggression or as justifying and propagating the Zionist colonial project in Palestine or sometimes as both at the same time, depending on the author’s beliefs and ideologies.

 

 

Dissertation: Doron, The Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel

Doron, Guy. Is Empowerment of Disadvantaged Populations Achievable through Housing Policies? A Study of the Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2015.

 
URL: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.647167

 

Abstract
This research project investigates whether the empowerment of Israel’s population — and in particular those who suffer multiple disadvantages — is achievable through housing policies and whether successive Israeli administrations have helped or hindered this process. The research focuses on communities in publicly-subsidised areas during social housing programmes. The housing programmes analysed in this research were: The Demolish and Rebuild Programme, which represents a top-down process, implemented with little residents’ involvement. Neighbourhood Renewal, which was a programme that formally offered partnership, giving residents partial share in decision-making. Finally, Right to Buy represented a resident-led partnership, in which residents felt empowered to overcome their own disadvantaged conditions by taking a leading role in transforming housing policy. The database complementing this research was compiled, in part, from 91 in-depth interviews with residents, policy makers and officials representing these three programmes. It is a unique aspect of this research, as it draws on perspectives about participation from those who have not necessarily had an opportunity to express an opinion before, and communicates a variety of views regarding the projects and residents’ participation in them. This study focuses on how it actually affects people and can even create behavioural change among those who are normally considered dependent. Another exceptional and distinctive factor provided by this research is its analysis of empowerment in the social and political context of Israel. By analysing the Israeli case, this research will contribute both to international knowledge and academic scholarship, highlight the conditions of an individual state and generate an original and provocative narrative. The issue of participation and empowerment in a society so riven with political, social, religious and ethnic tensions is particularly important. Learning from the Israeli experience has the potential to promote understanding of empowerment under pressure. Empowerment related to social housing policy is distinctive in Israel because housing is synonymous with security. Housing is more than a cultural issue, since in Israel owning a property is a matter of security. Another key feature is the focal role of central government which determines almost every aspect in the shaping of social and housing policy. Also critical is the influence of national politics on local decision-making. In Israel the political agenda is based upon bilateralism and the demographic dispersal of population across the state’s formal and informal borders. Empowerment is a complex term. This research, however, explores examined and evidenced empowerment using just two main features: examination of residents’ participation; and evaluation of public policy towards resident participation. This research offers a unique view on empowerment within social housing policies that are subject to multiple pressures, and offers interpretations that could be usefully applied to issues of empowerment in other pressure scenarios.

 

 

 

Dissertation: Strohm, Contemporary Art, Politics and the Palestinians in Israel

Strohm, Kiven. Impossible Identification. Contemporary Art, Politics and the Palestinians in Israel. University of Montreal, 2013.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1504845797

 

Abstract

This thesis explores what it means for the Palestinian indigenous minority in Israel to produce art in a setting that has simultaneously controlled their movements and excluded them from full citizenship. It takes on the question of how Palestinian artists face discrimination within a monolithic state structure that defines itself primarily along religious and ethno-national lines. Most writing about art in colonial and postcolonial contexts tends to see art as a resource for asserting repressed ethnic, racial and indigenous identities in the face of ongoing control and domination. Art, in other words, is considered a political act of recognition through the assertion of a counter identity. The central question of this thesis concerns what happens when artists contest the colonial conditions within which they live without having recourse to identity-based claims about equality and rights. Based on intensive ethnographic fieldwork in the region, this research demonstrates that for Palestinian artists the political aspect of art is not related to claims about identity and that the relationship between art and identity is not homologous. Specifically, it explores artistic processes within a context in which spatiotemporal regimes of identification are being disrupted by an indigenous national minority. It establishes that politics in the case of Palestinian artists in Israel is a form of disidentification that is articulated through the figure of the present absentee. The central tropes found within the works of these artists can be seen as disruptive aesthetic acts, a “taking place” of politics that is between art and non-art, and outside of given identities; that is, a scene for the rupture of the “sensible order” of Israeli society through the affirmation and verification of an already existing equality.

 

 

Subject: Cultural anthropology

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Visual art, Aesthetics, Palestine, Israel, Colonialism, Haifa,

Number of pages: 278

Publication year: 2013

Degree date: 2013

School code: 0992

Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dec 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780499277718

Advisor: White, Bob

University/institution: Université de Montréal (Canada)

Department: Faculté des arts et des sciences

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Source type: Dissertations & Theses

Language: English

Document type: Dissertation/Thesis

Dissertation/thesis number: NS27771

ProQuest document ID: 1504845797