Bulletin: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Bulletin: Jewish Thought and Zionism

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Bulletin: On political history

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New Article: Or and Kuhn, Clearing Minefields in Israel and the West Bank

Or, Dyhan, and Heidi Kuhn. “Clearing Minefields in Israel and the West Bank.” Journal of ERW and Mine Action 15.3 (2015): 24-28.

 

URL: http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/cisr-journal/vol15/iss3/7/

 

Abstract

Recent legislation in Israel has opened the door to demining in Israel and the West Bank. Roots of Peace campaigned for this legislation and will begin demining a village near Bethlehem before the end of 2011.

 

 

New Article: Kaufman, Peace as Opportunity for Social Justice

Kaufman, Roni. “Peace as Opportunity for Social Justice: Establishment of New Social Change Organizations in Israel in the Wake of the Oslo Peace Accords.” International Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020872816639369

 
Abstract

The social work profession is committed to the promotion of peace and social justice. It is often assumed that peacetime enables diverting resources and attention to the promotion of disadvantaged groups. However, little is known about the mechanisms. This study of the Israeli experience following the Oslo Peace Accords suggests that one potential mechanism is the development of social change organizations (SCOs) in the wake of peace. Findings indicate growth in SCO establishment in the periphery and small towns, in vulnerable groups, and in the Israeli Palestinian (Arab) citizen minority group. Implications for social work are suggested.

 

 

New Article: Callan, Thinking through Duration

Callan, Brian. “Thinking through Duration.” Anthropology Today 32.3 (2016): 20-23.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8322.12256

 

Abstract

This narrative offers an alternative Jewish Israeli ‘duration’ of the abduction described by Dalsheim. It agrees that the weight of past experience shapes both present perception and future imagination, reproducing the sense of ‘intractable’ conflict but argues that subjective and collective experience is mediated by what C. Wright Mills called the ‘cultural apparatus’. Taking the case of Israeli Jews who work in solidarity with Palestinian activists, some of whom were raised in extremely right-wing Zionist backgrounds, it shows how subjectivity is shaped by the ‘received interpretations’ of others. More significantly, it shows how this acculturated sense of self can be transcended by the human faculties described by Hannah Arendt as thinking and judging. Drawing upon his own experiences with these activists in the summer of 2014, the author argues as a sign of hope, that thinking and judging enable a divestment of received interpretations of the cultural apparatus, which define and reproduce the conflict as intractable. Sadly, this duration also describes a period when thinking outside the collective became taboo and Jewish compassion for the deaths of Palestinian women and children was vilified and violently opposed by fellow Jewish countrymen and women. With Israel’s cultural apparatus unable to accommodate compassion, there may indeed always be a Gaza War.

 

 

 

New Article: Shikhmanter, Contemporary Israeli Children’s and Young Adults’ Historical Fiction

Shikhmanter, Rima. “History as Politics: Contemporary Israeli Children’s and Young Adults’ Historical Fiction and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” nternational Research in Children’s Literature 9.1 (2016): 83-97.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/ircl.2016.0184

 

Abstract

Historical fiction serves as a powerful source for the dissemination of historical images and the determination of collective memory. These roles are of particular significance in the context of severe political conflicts. In these cases historical fiction shapes the narrative of the conflict, explains its source and central events, and therefore forms the readers’ political stances towards the conflict and its consequences.

This article examines the role contemporary Jewish Israeli historical fiction for young adults plays in presenting the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to young readers. It discusses two of the political perspectives this fiction addresses: the traditional hegemonic narrative and the left-wing narrative. Associated with the right-wing sector of Israeli politics, the former promotes the Zionist myth and seeks to justify the necessity and morality of its premises while ignoring and/or dismissing the legitimacy of the Palestinian narrative. The lack of a consensual Jewish historical narrative that does not negate the Palestinian narrative on the one hand, and the ongoing public delegitimisation of the left-wing on the other, forces historical-fiction authors to place their plots at a historical remove, locating them in other places and times.

New Article: Wiseman, Eternal Peace, a Satire by S.Y. Agnon

Wiseman, Laura R. “Shelom ‘Olamim—Eternal Peace by S.Y. Agnon: Yishuv-Era Society on the Brink of Statehood .” Modern Judaism 36.2 (2016): 163-85.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mj/kjw007

 

Extract

This 1942 satire is set in the period of Israel’s emergent statehood. Agnon delivers a critique of pre-statehood society and leadership at the nadir of drought, wrapped up in self-importance and internal rifts over inconsequential matters while the very existence of the people is threatened from without. While there is room for historical or theoretical examinations of such a story, this article adopts a literary approach for its methodology. It employs textual analysis to highlight a cluster of literary devices including a leitmotif, reverberations of classical Hebrew texts, and exaggerations. Together they animate the scathing satire in this period piece. To deploy the irony in Shelom ‘Olamim–“Eternal Peace” Agnon installs each rhetorical device and echo in an inverted or perceptibly flawed fashion, and magnifies minutiae to hyperbolic proportions. In so doing he crafts a game of nahafokh-hu a topsy-turvy puzzle, making his medium the message. The puzzle and its pieces carry the storyteller’s caustic criticism of the inverted priorities and unwarranted hubris of the leaders of yishuv-era society on the brink of statehood. In contributing a thesis based on textual analysis, an allegorical translation of the ambiguous Hebrew title, and fresh translations of selected excerpts, this article offers English-readers access to the humor and irony embedded in Agnon’s multivalent Hebrew writing and word play.

 

 

 

New Article: Gamliel, The Lasting Hegemony in Israeli Theatre

Gamliel, Tova. “Ghosts and Habitus: The Lasting Hegemony in Israeli Theatre.” Ethnography (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635216643113

 
Abstract

The article asks why the Israeli theatre’s ‘voicing hegemony’ practices endure despite a critical public debate that favors cultural pluralism. Ethnographies at two central repertory theatres elicit the meanings of the theatre’s ‘back-to-the past’ institutional habitus, as revealed in observations and in-depth interviews with actors, and disclose artistic dispositions that bolster veteran actors’ stature in the theatre and Israeli art generally. Analysis of the findings links professional capital with the twilight of an artist’s theatrical career. One conclusion connects the theatrical habitus with justification of Israel’s Zionist ideology. Theoretically, the article illuminates the historical component of the Bourdieuian concept of habitus. The duplication of this component in the back-to-the-past habitus inheres to mythification processes and makes the theatrical habitus relatively resilient to social changes.

 

 

New Article: Bar-Itzhak, Literary Representations of Haifa

Bar-Itzhak, Chen. “The Dissolution of Utopia: Literary Representations of the City of Haifa, between Herzl’s Altneuland and Later Israeli Works.” Partial Answers 14.2 (2016): 323-41.

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URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/621157

 

Abstract

This article traces literary depictions of the city of Haifa, starting from its utopian literary prototype in Theodor Herzl’s influential Altneuland (1902), and continuing with later Israeli writing, by Yehudit Hendel, Sami Michael, and Hillel Mittelpunkt. The article shows how the Israeli works discussed set literary Haifa as a stage for examining questions of identity, belonging, and the relations between individual and society, through an emphasis on the complex ties between language, ethnicity, and space. The literary city of these works is compared to the city of Herzl’s utopian vision. I argue that the evolution of literary Haifa is associated with shifts in Israeli collective self-perception: from the utopian mode of thought, in which difficulties and complexities remain invisible, through the gradual turning of the gaze towards the difficulties and fractures in the emergent new society (first within the Jewish society, but then also outside it — among the Arab minority); and finally, to an inability to accept the absence of utopia from the present, leading to escapism and a quest for the longed-for ideal in the pre-national past.

 

 

 

New Article: Manor-Binyamini, Mothers of Adolescent Children with Disabilities in the Druze Community in Israel

Manor-Binyamini, Iris. “Positive Aspects of Coping among Mothers of Adolescent Children with Developmental Disability in the Druze Community in Israel.” Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (early view; online first).

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13668250.2015.1129665

 

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to compare perceptions of coping as experienced by 240 mothers of adolescents with and without developmental disability in the Druze community in Israel. Method: The mothers completed the Sociodemographic Questionnaire, Grandparents Functional Support Assessment, Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales, and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Results: Both groups were found to be similar in their perception of family cohesion and emotional support. However, mothers of adolescents with a developmental disability reported higher rates of both adaptability to change and personal growth. Moreover, associations were found between family cohesion and adaptability to change and support, and between adaptability to change and social support and personal growth. Conclusion: Druze mothers of adolescents with developmental disability reveal important information regarding positive coping strategies.

 

 

 

New Article: Raz et al, Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders Incidence by Sub-Populations in Israel

Raz, Raanan, Marc G. Weisskopf, Michael Davidovitch, Ofir Pinto, and Hagai Levine. “Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders Incidence by Sub-Populations in Israel 1992–2009: A Total Population Study.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 45.4 (2015): 1062-1069.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2262-z

 

Abstract
We analyzed data from the Israeli National Insurance Institute (NII). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) incidence was calculated for all children born in Israel 1992–2009, and by population groups. Overall, 9,109 ASD cases among 2,431,649 children were identified. ASD cumulative incidence by age 8 years increased 10-fold during 2000–2011, from 0.49 % to 0.49 %, while other child disabilities in NII increased only 1.65-fold. There was a consistent increase in ASD incidence with advancing birth cohorts born 1992–2004, stabilizing among those born 2005–2009. ASD rates among Israeli Arabs were substantially lower, and increased about 10 years later than the general population. The findings suggest a role for ASD awareness, accessing of the government benefit, or the way the concept of ASD is perceived.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Freeman-Maloy, Reflections on Zionism and ‘Dominion’ Status within the British Empire

Freeman-Maloy, Dan. “The International Politics of Settler Self-Governance: Reflections on Zionism and ‘Dominion’ Status within the British Empire.” Settler Colonial Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2201473X.2016.1190177

 

Abstract

Before falling into disuse towards the middle of the twentieth century, the term ‘Dominion’ connoted the autonomous status of select polities on the British Empire’s geographic periphery (and Ireland). This concept factored into British discourse as the extension of liberal norms of self-government. Originally associated with the British-majority settler states of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Dominion status was in turn extended to the South African Union in 1910. Advocates for a similar form of ‘self-governance’ sought to see the example emulated elsewhere in Africa and, through the Zionist enterprise, in the Middle East. The reluctance of historians of the British Empire to examine the structural manifestations of racism in British policy has obscured the significance of the Dominion concept and its historical evolution. Settler self-governance within the British sphere is still often framed in terms of liberal conceptions of ‘responsible government’, as Lord Durham phrased it his Report on the Affairs of British North America. However, self-government on the Empire’s periphery was a patently exclusionist and racialised practice. Its exclusionist bounds were not so narrow as the Anglo-Saxonist racism that first marked its introduction. By the early twentieth century, French-speaking Canadians and Boers alike were sharing in the enterprise of British representative government. The bounds of exclusion were nonetheless unmistakable. Today, it is in respectable circles no longer acceptable to present settler rule on the African continent as a liberal enterprise. Yet the histories of the original Dominions and of the Zionist enterprise continue to be distorted by intellectuals leveraging an exclusionist politics of self-representation. The valorisation of Israel in particular through claimed rights to self-determination should prompt renewed engagement with this history. The invocation of the Dominions’ example by an earlier generation of pro-Zionist advocates speaks to a shared history that demands critical attention.

New Article: Harpaz and Heimann, Sixty Years of EU-Israeli Trade Relations

Harpaz, Guy, and Gadi Heimann. “Sixty Years of EU-Israeli Trade Relations: The Expectations-Delivery Gap.” Journal of World Trade 50.3 (2016): 447-74.

 

URL: http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/abstract.php?area=Journals&id=TRAD2016020

 

Abstract

This article identifies a common thread throughout the sixty years of European-Israeli relations, namely a gap that has prevailed between the lofty rhetoric of the EU regarding envisaged special trade relations and its much more modest willingness/ability to establish such relations. At various junctures of these relations (three of which are analysed in this article), turgid European promises were not fully realized. Consequently, a wide gap has been created between rhetoric and concrete actions and between the de jure and de facto economic and trade value of the legal regimes governing EU-Israel bilateral relations. The article reveals that gap and offers a typology and analysis of various factors which contributed to the creation and widening of the Expectations-Delivery Gap.

New Article: Heimann, The Negotiations for a Trade Agreement with Israel

Heimann, Gadi. “The EEC Commission and the Negotiations for a Trade Agreement with Israel, 1958–1964.” Journal of European Integration (early view, online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07036337.2016.1193175
 
Abstract

This article examines the role played by the European Commission in negotiations between the European Economic Community and Israel concerning a trade agreement. It demonstrates that the Commission’s attitude to such an agreement was far more positive than that of the six member states. The Commission’s leadership pushed the Israelis into pursuing an association agreement, and when this was revealed to be impossible, it took a leading role in concluding a more limited trade agreement. The Commission’s proposal formed the basis for the final agreement, which took shape in 1964. The article attempts to discern the motives behind the Commission’s behaviour; its central claim is that the Commission’s leadership viewed negotiations with Israel and the conclusion of an agreement as a means to achieve their ideological and institutional goals.

 

 

 

New Article: Almog, Israel, Romania and the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Accord

Almog, Orna. “Unlikely Relations: Israel, Romania and the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Accord.” Middle Eastern Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2016.1186015

 

Abstract

The history of Israel’s turbulent relations with the Eastern bloc nations during the Cold War has one exception, Romania. Unlike other Warsaw Pact members, Romania did not sever relations with Israel following the 1967 war. Central to these relations was Romanian Communist leader Nicolai Ceausescu, who managed to establish himself as an important figure among both Arabs and Israelis. This article will examine Romanian–Israeli relations during the 1970s and especially Ceausescu’s role in the Egyptian–Israeli peace negotiations. Recent Israeli and some Romanian documents released from the Israeli State Archive and the Begin Centre reveal much about Israel’s attitude towards Romania and Ceausescu’s involvement in the Middle East, and serve to shed light on a heretofore neglected aspect of Israeli foreign policy. Some of the main issues to be addressed are Ceausescu’s influence on Egyptian and Israeli decision makers, Israel’s prime motives in maintaining a close relationship with Romania, the importance of Romanian Jewry’s position to Israel’s policy vis-à-vis Romania and the extent to which these relations represented a back channel that facilitated some contact with the Kremlin. All these will be examined against the larger backdrop of the Cold War and the Arab–Israeli conflict.

New Article: Asseburg & Busse, The End of a Two-State Settlement?

Asseburg, Muriel, and Jan Busse. “The End of a Two-State Settlement? Alternatives and Priorities for Settling the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” SWP Comments 24 (2016).

 

URL: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-46893-9

 

Abstract

On the occasion of their joint government consultations in February 2016, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that this was not the time for making major progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, given the instability in the Middle East. However, merely adhering to a two-state settlement as a mantra without taking any concrete steps to implement it effectively reinforces the one-state reality under Israeli dominance. Ultimately, this will make settling the conflict impossible. Popular support for a two-state solution is waning on both sides. While at present alternative one-state or confederate models have even slimmer chances of being realized, Germany and the EU should nevertheless explore the creative and constructive aspects of these models, which would enable the two sides to maintain their national identities as well as realize their individual and collective rights. Their priority, however, should be to alter the cost-benefit calculation of the parties to the conflict, so as to generate the political will for bringing about a settlement at all.

 

 

 

New Article: Netz & Lefstein, Disagreements in Classroom Discourse: England, US, Israel

Netz, Hadar, and Adam Lefstein. “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Disagreements in Classroom Discourse: Comparative Case Studies from England, the United States, and Israel.” Intercultural Pragmatics 13.2 (2016): 211-55.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ip-2016-0009

 

Abstract

How do cultural and institutional factors interact in shaping preference structures? This paper presents a cross-cultural analysis of disagreements in three different classroom settings: (1) a year 6 (ages 11–12) mainstream class in England, (2) a fifth-grade class of gifted students in the United States, and (3) a fourth-grade mainstream class in Israel. The aim of the study is to investigate how disagreements are enacted in these settings, exploring the influence of cultural communicative norms on the one hand and pedagogical goals and norms on the other. The study highlights culture-specific discursive patterns that emerge as the teacher and students manage a delicate balance between often clashing cultural and educational motives.