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Thesis: Ichikawa, Minorities in Contemporary Hebrew and Japanese Literature

Ichikawa, Kimiko. Minorities, Minority Identity and Violence: The Comparison in Contemporary Hebrew and Japanese Minor Literature, Masters Thesis. Brandeis University, 2016.

 

URL: http://bir.brandeis.edu/handle/10192/32275

 

Abstract

This thesis examines how minority identities are depicted in contemporary autobiographical literature from the 1990’s to present. In this thesis, I focus my analysis on minority literatures from Israel and Japan. In spite of the extreme rarity of the literary comparison, I examine minorities of Israeli Arab and the second generation Japanese Koreans. I explore how these minorities with different histories are represented, with shared experience of oppression and violence, and analyze the phenomena or ramifications in minority identity. By analyzing famous novelists of minority literature— Israeli Arab author, Sayed Kashua and two Japanese Korean authors, Yi Yang-ji and Kazuki Kaneshiro—I concentrate on pointing out the influences and outcomes of psychological and political violence (Chapter I and II) to their minority identities. This comparison will enable a wider perspectives regarding minorities in various societies, and an analysis of issues of relating to minority as well as race identity in modern life. This unique literary comparison attempts to examine cultural and political similarities as well as differences in order to explore the phenomena of two countries with different cultures but that share certain similarities, particularly in the articulation of their minority literature. Although Israel and Japan differ very much in term of culture and history, I still find significant similarities in the minority literature. The minorities I examined in Hebrew and Japanese minor literature interact with violence in various ways each society. I focused my examination especially on psychological and political violence in addition to physical violence. My questions in researching this minority literature revolve around how these minorities relate to these kinds of violence. This thesis concentrates on presenting the ways that these the minority authors address their own political identities, and the ways that social violence and oppression influence their minority identities.

 

 

 

Thesis: Cohen, Israeli Judges in a Jewish State and the Decline of Refugee Protection

Cohen, Iftach. Israeli Judges in a Jewish State and the Decline of Refugee Protection, LL.M. Thesis. Florence: European University Institute, 2015.
 
URL: http://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/39068/2015_Cohen_LLM.pdf (PDF)
 
Abstract

In this L.L.M thesis I am following a number of eminent scholars who have attributed those ideological and political motivations to the mainly Jewish and Israeli actors who devote themselves to the furthering of the uniqueness thesis in their respective fields of knowledge. In my view, from the culmination of those corresponsive activities emerges a pattern that can and should be applied to the Israeli judges in their abnormal reluctance from interfering in administrative decisions by recognizing present day asylum seekers as refugees.

In the larger scope, there is a lot in common between Jewish and Jewish-Israeli historians, diplomats or museum directors, with their persistent effort to reject the calls of other victim-groups for recognition of their own tragedy as a genuine genocide, and the Israeli judges that in the same vain derogate from the constitutive theoretical principles of their field of work when it comes to the dealing with the Holocaust.

As much as the Jewish-Israeli genocide scholar may fear the decline in value, morally and politically, of the Holocaust, as a result of possible recognition of other tragedies as additional valid examples in line with the Holocaust, which all belong to the general category of the definition ‘genocide’, the Israeli judge must also believe that the Holocaust would lose its uniqueness if the legal definition of ‘refugee’ is applied to the situation of contemporary asylum seekers. Conceptually situating them in the same group of the Jewish -refugees who fled from Nazi-Germany, might then dissipate the “Israeli advantage” in “justifiably” keeping the whole moral capital to itself.

In the second chapter I shall present and elaborate about the Holocaust’s uniqueness thesis, and its promotion by its proponents in different fields, and especially within history studies.

What might make the definition ‘refugee’ intimately associated with the Holocaust in the Israeli judges’ mind is the Jewish context of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and the conventional wisdom about Israel’s historical commitment to the refugee protection regime it has established. For them, the Refugee Convention connotes so strongly to the Holocaust, that when they examine its applicability and implementation in a specific case, the memory of the Jewish-refugee who fled his Nazi perpetrators is being instantly evoked. In other words, the Jewish context of the Convention serves as a nexus between the Holocaust with its Jewish refugees and the contemporary forms of persecution and the refugees resulting from them. Rather than considering the international refugee law as their only valid point of reference, the judges are more attached – consciously or not – to the Holocaust framework and to what lies at its center, the Holocaust’s uniqueness. Compelled by the ideological imperative to distinguish the Holocaust from any other historical atrocity, and so to avoid such possible implication if comparing the legal situation of the Holocaust’s refugees to the contemporary asylum seekers, the judges seem to mistake the unique form of persecution witnessed by the Jewish-refugees for the actual yardstick with which to measure the appellant’s entitlement for the refugee status.

In the third chapter I examine the involvement of Israel and Jewish organizations in the drafting and acceptance of the Refugee Convention, as well as the sources for the conventional wisdom about Israel’s historical commitment to the Convention, and its fallacy.

In the last chapter of this thesis I conduct an analysis of the figurative language used by the judges in trying to establish – through the allusions occasionally made by them to the Holocaust at large and more commonly to the Jewish context of the Refugee Convention – that when thinking about the asylum seeker appellant standing before them, they also bear in mind a phantom of the Jewish refugee, whose suffering’s magnitude overshadows any possible fear of being prosecuted proclaimed by the actual appellant. Since present day asylum seekers do not withstand the unique standards of persecution witnessed by those poor phantoms of Jewish refugees, their asylum claims are inevitably being discarded and consequently they all pass for nothing but mere economical migrants, a fact that is exemplified in the inexistent refugee recognition rate both at first instance and at the Court level.

 

 

 

Thesis: Omary, Israeli Character Depictions in Hollywood Films

Omary, Hanan H. Israeli Character Depictions in Hollywood Films (1948-2008), BA thesis. The American University in Cairo, 2016.

 

URL: http://dar.aucegypt.edu/bitstream/handle/10526/4789/Thesis Draft-Israeli Characters in Hollywood Films-14-TOTAL.pdf (PDF)

 

Abstract

This research examines depictions of Israeli characters in Hollywood films over a span of 60 years starting with Israel’s early years of statehood until present day. The films selected for this research are Exodus (1960) for early statehood and Munich (2005) and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008) for present day depictions. People have always been fascinated by Hollywood films since the inception of filmmaking. Movie-going audiences have flocked to movie theaters to watch the latest productions and see their stars in action. Therefore, it is important to understand what these characters represent and the messages they communicate to the audience. This research applies discourse analysis as its methodology, and framing and film theory as its theoretical framework. The research shows that the three main Israeli characters in these three Hollywood films are depicted as being consistent with American society values and ideologies.

 

 

 

Thesis: Gilichinskaya, IDF Soldiers in Recent Israeli and Palestinian Cinema

Gilichinskaya, Yulia. All Sides of a Soldier: Representation of IDF Soldiers in Recent Israeli and Palestinian Cinema, MFA Thesis. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2016.

 

URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/10/01/10013504.html

 

Abstract

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is a powerful military structure that defines social and cultural discourse in addition to existing as a military body in Israel and occupied Palestinian territories. Cinematic representations of IDF soldiers in recent Israeli and Palestinian cinema are emblematic of the social and cultural processes accompanying the development of the conflict. Responding to the events following the Second Intifada, Israeli and Palestinian films began to represent IDF soldiers in new ways. Soldiers depicted as victims, as members of marginalized groups, or in the background of the narrative appear in recent Israeli films. Palestinian cinema after 2000 offers representations of the IDF as the military machine and on the periphery of the plot.

 

 

 

Thesis: Jadhav, GIS based application tool — Israel Palestine Conflict

Jadhav, Priyanka Sharad S. GIS based application tool — Israel Palestine Conflict, MS Thesis. San Diego: San Diego State University, 2015.
 
URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/16/06/1606015.html
 
Abstract

The objective of the thesis is to develop a GIS based application tool that gives insight into the ongoing controversial Palestine-Israel Conflict. The tool showcases the complete history of the conflict right from World War II through today. It also showcases the other conflicts in the Middle East, which involved Israel and Palestine.

Information about the rulers is provided and how the initial boundaries were chosen. The user can click on the important points on the Israel map. As the user clicks on the map points, Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) pages will be displayed which will have information about the key events during the conflict along with some more information about the ruler and their ruling period. Information about their contribution will also be described. The programming language used to develop this tool is JAVA. Different features to this tool are added using MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects), which is developed by ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute). The map is also developed using MOJO.

The tool will also include a few customized features for the user to understand the Palestine-Israel conflict in an easy way. Customized features like pictures, videos will be added to the tool to make the tool more interesting and informing. This tool will help people to know more about the ongoing highly controversial Palestine-Israel conflict.

 

 

 

Thesis: Cremer, The Netherlands Embassy and the Interest Representation for Israel in the Soviet Union

Cremer, Daniël Cornelis. The Netherlands Embassy and the Interest Representation for Israel in the Soviet Union, 1967-1990: Willing Administrator or Full Agent?, MA thesis, Utrecht University, 2015.

 

URL: http://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/319457/ScriptieDaanCremerMA.pdf (full PDF)

Excerpt
In sum, the image of the Dutch embassy in Moscow that erupts from the observations and statements from Buwalda and Baudet, one of a willing interest representative with little to no agency, is to be refuted. While the Dutch naturally followed most Israeli instructions to the letter, they were representing Israeli interests as agreed upon in 1967 after all, it would be unjust to view the Dutch embassy in Moscow as a willing administrator without any sense of agency. Instead, based on the presented evidence, one can certainly speak of Dutch policy and agency, be it in close accordance with Israeli policymakers.

 

 

Thesis: Schaap, The Commercialization Gap for Cleantech Innovation in Israel

Schaap, T.A. An Explorative Study on Factors outside the Influence of the Entrepreneur that can explain the Commercialization Gap for Cleantech Innovation in Israel, MA Thesis, Delft University of Technology, 2015.

 
URL: http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid:71046301-1f96-408f-961f-e6c2aa881e8d/ [PDF]

 

Abstract

Background
The research is executed as a master thesis for the MSc program Management of Technology at the TU Delft and is conducted in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the state of Israel in Tel Aviv. The researcher has spent six months in Israel to perform this research and was subsidized by Climate-KIC to execute this research.

 

Problem statement and research question
This research is an empirical exploration of the influence of external factors on the commercialization process for cleantech Technology Based New Ventures (TBNVs) in Israel after these ventures have received seed funding. External factors are defined as factors outside the influence of the entrepreneur.
Literature has described the progression of TBNVs in different stage-based models, although these mainly describe the organizational development. This thesis uses models of Kazanjian et al (1989) and Vohora et al (2004) to describe the growth process of cleantech TBNVs and zooms in on the processes which cleantech TBNVs have to execute after they passed the credibility threshold (Vohora et al, 2004). This milestone reflects in the research by only considering cleantech TBNVs which have received seed funding and where thus deemed credible enough by their investors.
Previous research has named Israel the most innovative country in cleantech, but showed that there is a lack of commercialization of this innovation. The purpose of this research is to explore explanations for this phenomenon and test whether the factors distilled from the literature study can be found in practice and explain the phenomenon. Ten factors were determined based upon a literature study and these were tested by conducting field interviews and studying research reports. The overall research question for this study is:
Which factors, outside the influence of cleantech TBNVs, have consequences for the progression of cleantech TBNVs to the sustainable returns phase after seed funding has been received?
 

Research Process

Three angles were chosen in the literature study to determine external factors – markets, resources and policy. These factors served in general as a good framework for the practical exploration of the influence of external factors on the commercialization process of cleantech technology based ventures in Israel. The studied factors are accessibility of international markets, the need for high-paced growth, the need for an international network, availability of financial and human resources, risk tolerance of available financial resources, competition for financial resources with other fields of technology, the formal institutional regime for new innovations, the formal institutional regime for new sustainable innovations and perceived stability of the governmental policy by investors.
Empirical research was done in the form of two rounds of data collection. The first data collection contained semi-structured interviews with ten respondents who were (in)directly involved with cleantech in Israel. These respondents were from four different areas – business development, government (policy), late stage finance and venture capitalists and were interviewed about the aforementioned factors. The results from these interviews prompted a second data collection in two specific topics that were thought to hold more explaining value about the observed commercialization gap. These two topics included the availability of financial resources and related factors, the policy for innovation in Israel in general and the policy surrounding cleantech innovation. The second data collection contained another four semi-structured interviews on these specific topics and the study of reports on the topics.

 

Findings and conclusions
The results of the empirical research showed that all the proposed factors were relevant and influenced cleantech TBNVs in Israel, although the influence of some factors is more explicit than that of others. Especially the availability of financial resources which can be used to invest in technology development of cleantech TBNVs were found to be lacking. This can be explained by the high financial costs of technology development for cleantech TBNVs. The investment in such a project bears a lot of risk, which only a few types of investors can cope with – namely specialized, early-stage Venture Capitalists, business angels and the government.
Moreover, many cleantech TBNVs develop technologies related to the field of infrastructure which is a tough market for a start-up. Finally, the shift in policy relevant for cleantech TBNVs can be expected to offset investors, which also contributes to the lower amount of available financial resources.

 

Implications
Scientifically, this study contributes evidence to the validity of the applied theories in a specific setting – namely development of cleantech TBNVs in Israel. The conceptual model used in this study would be useful to explore similar research problems in other countries although a zoom into specific topics remains necessary. In this research the specific topics included policy relevant for cleantech TBNVs and the needs for funding for cleantech TBNVs.
Practically, this research has implications for entrepreneurs and investors in this field and for governments both in Israel and Europe. Entrepreneurs and investors in this field should realize themselves that they are in a precarious position due to factors like the high costs of technology development and instable policy that heighten the already high amounts of uncertainty that is currently surrounding the process of cleantech TBNV development. Risk reduction strategies should be high on the priority list of these actors.
Governments should realize that investors make investments with a five to ten year horizon and regulatory stability is therefore an important factor to take into account if one aims to increase in the sector. Especially the case which described the instability of the solar sector in Israel is an example of an increase in investment insecurity by governmental decisions.
Moreover, the financial resources necessary for most of the cleantech start-ups are momentarily simply not available. The Venture Capital investment model is only suitable for those start-ups that can achieve high growth rates, which can be difficult for cleantech start-ups. Making different financial resources available tailored to the needs of cleantech TBNVs, for instance via debt financing instead of equity financing should be a priority for the governments both in Israel and Europe. Previous research of EIM showed challenges in Europe to be similar to the challenges that have been found in this research.

 

 

Thesis: Wilson, African Asylum Seekers in Israeli Political Discourse

Wilson, Ben R. African Asylum Seekers in Israeli Political Discourse and the Contestation over Zionist Ideology, MA Thesis, Temple University, 2015.

URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/15/97/1597134.html

 

Abstract

Since the time of their arrival beginning around 2005, there remain approximately 46,000 African asylum seekers in Israel. The following paper reviews the foundations and implications of Israel’s political discourse in reference to the presence of this community. I situate the treatment of the asylum seekers in their relationship to the Jewish State, Zionist ideology, international refugee law, and Israel’s human rights community. I argue: 1) that the discourse surrounding the asylum seekers reflects larger changes within the ethos of the Jewish State and models of Israeli personhood; 2) that notions of “security” and “threat” in relation to the asylum seekers take on new meanings shaped by Israel’s ongoing demographic concerns; and 3) that the political response to the African asylum seekers sheds light on irreconcilable goals of the Zionist nation-building project seeking to both maintain a Jewish majority and liberate world Jewry from life segregated and isolated in the Diaspora.

 

 

Thesis: Zeumer, Israeli Rejection of the Arab Peace Initiative

Zeumer, Mathias. Israeli Rejection of the Arab Peace Initiative: Political Climate and Public Perceptions, MA thesis, University of Oregon, 2014.

 

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/18737

 

Abstract
The Arab Peace Initiative (former Saudi Initiative) was officially proposed by Saudi Arabia and has been (re-)endorsed by all 22 member states of the Arab League since 2002. Israel has not officially responded to the API but rather has generally ignored and by default rejected it. This thesis examines the reasons for the Israeli rejection by analyzing the structure of the Israeli government in relation to the position of the prime minister, both normatively and descriptively, and examining public opinion as a potential enabler or constraint on policymaking. It also explores mechanisms such as threat perceptions and framing to highlight cognitive influences that negatively impacted serious consideration of the API. Qualitative interviews with expert Israelis and Arabs contribute to a deeper understanding of the Israeli perspective of the API’s shortcomings. The API is unlikely to be implemented under this current government unless Israeli public opinion significantly changes in its favor.