New Article: Ellis, Discursive Dilemmas for Israeli Religious Settlers

Ellis, Donald. “Three Discursive Dilemmas for Israeli Religious Settlers.” Discourse Studies 16.4 (2014): 473-87.





Israeli religious settlers live in contested territory that they claim is promised to them by God. The settlers are at the center of the Israeli–Palestinian dispute and are the recipients of international condemnation for their illegal behavior. Because the territories are neither sovereign nor legally recognized by Israel, their definition is open to construction. Religious settlers make arguments to satisfy three discursive dilemmas that must be solved in order to normalize their lives. They must 1) construct their own authenticity, 2) marginalize the native others, and 3) establish cultural authority. These dilemmas are explicated in this essay.

ToC: Israel Studies 19.2 (2014)

[ToC from Project Muse; content also available at JStor:]

Israel Studies

Volume 19, Number 2, Summer 2014

Table of Contents

Special Issue: Zionism in the 21st Century

Editors: Ilan Troen and Donna Robinson Divine


Introduction: (Special issue, Israel Studies, 19.2)

pp. v-xi

Ilan Troen, Donna Robinson Divine

Articles: Zionist Theory

Cultural Zionism Today

pp. 1-14

Allan Arkush

Bi-Nationalist Visions for the Construction and Dissolution of the State of Israel

pp. 15-34

Rachel Fish

Culture: Literature and Music

Nostalgic Soundscapes: The Future of Israel’s Sonic Past

pp. 35-50

Edwin Seroussi

Cultural Orientations and Dilemmas

Remember? Forget? What to Remember? What to Forget?

pp. 51-69

Tuvia Friling

The Kibbutz in Immigration Narratives of Bourgeois Iraqi and Polish Jews Who Immigrated to Israel in the 1950s

pp. 70-93

Aziza Khazzoom

Politics and Law

Zionism and the Politics of Authenticity

pp. 94-110

Donna Robinson Divine

Law in Light of Zionism: A Comparative View

pp. 111-132

Suzanne Last Stone

Economics and Land

Some Perspectives on the Israeli Economy: Stocktaking and Looking Ahead

pp. 133-161

Jacob Metzer

Competing Concepts of Land in Eretz Israel

pp. 162-186

Ilan Troen, Shay Rabineau

Israel’s Relationship with Its Neighbors and the Palestinian Arab Citizens

The Arab Minority in Israel: Reconsidering the “1948 Paradigm”

pp. 187-217

Elie Rekhess

Israel’s Place in a Changing Regional Order (1948–2013)

pp. 218-238

Asher Susser

Religion and Society

Messianism and Politics: The Ideological Transformation of Religious Zionism

pp. 239-263

Eliezer Don-Yehiya

The Ambivalent Haredi Jew

pp. 264-293

Yoel Finkelman


pp. 294-296

Cite: Fuchs, The Yeshiva as a Political Institution

Fuchs, Ilan. “The Yeshiva as a Political Institution.” Modern Judaism 33.3 (2013): 357-80.



After 1973 Gush Emunim (the Block of the Faithful) emerged, causing a major change in the Israeli political map by shifting the religious national party to the right. While scholars disagree about its original messianic element, Rabbi Kook’s teachings became a leading force both in the religious Zionist camp and in the settlement movement. In religious Zionism there was growing currency for a narrative using Rabbi Kook’s terminology to interpret the political process: the victory in the Six-Day War was a milestone in the redemption process and an opportunity to attain a leadership position in Israeli society.

This paved a way for a new agenda for the Religious Zionist community.Students of the Kook circle were to strive for positions of leadership in all areas of life such as army service, building settlements (mainly in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip), and in the traditional political arenas of the legislative and executive branches of the Israeli government. Rabbi Kook’s brand of Religious Zionism offered an alternative to the old secular Zionist hegemony. A new narrative was crafted calling for a reshuffling of power and a reawakening of the dormant forces in the religious community that had long been peripheral to the Zionist enterprise. The place that carved this ideological agenda and articulated it to the young generation was the Zionist yeshiva.

Cite: Ariel, Israel in Contemporary Evangelical Christian Millennial Thought

Ariel, Yaakov. “Israel in Contemporary Evangelical Christian Millennial Thought.” Numen 59.5-6 (2012): 465-85.





Israel and the Jewish people play a central role in the millennial thought of evangelical Christians. Drawing on older Christian messianic elements, as well as introducing new concepts, evangelicals have looked upon the Jews as historical Israel and at Palestine as ground zero of End-Times millennial events. Beginning in the nineteenth century, evangelicals have become actively involved in attempts to build a Jewish commonwealth in Palestine. They have looked upon the building of a Jewish state as a “sign of the time,“ an indication that the current era is ending and the messianic events are about to occur. Especially in the aftermath of the 1967 war, evangelicals have become ardent supporters of Israel, turning in effect into a pro-Israel lobby in Washington and, at times, in other capitals too. Although evangelical Christians are engaged in extensive missionary work among Jews, an unprecedented cooperation has developed between groups of evangelicals and Orthodox-nationalist Jews. Among the mutual projects is the attempt to build the Temple in Jerusalem in preparation for the events preceding the arrival of the Messiah to earth.

ToC: Israel Studies 17,3 (2012)


Cite: Shlaim, Rabbi John Rayner, Ethical Zionism and Israel

Shlaim, Avi. “Rabbi John Rayner, Ethical Zionism and Israel.” European Judaism 45.1 (2012): 28-35.





Rabbi John Rayner was an eminent proponent of ethical Zionism. His views about Israel are related in this article to his views about Judaism and Jewish ethics. The three pillars of Judaism are: truth, justice and peace. Rabbi Rayner personified these values to a remarkable degree. The common thread that runs through his countless sermons and articles was the emphasis on the gentler and more outward-looking values of Judaism. It is by cultivating and exemplifying these values, he believed, that Jews could best help humanity find signposts to justice and peace, not only in the Middle East but everywhere. Ethical Zionism, as understood by Rabbi Rayner, is based on Jewish values. The State of Israel is the main political progeny of the Zionist movement. It follows that the State of Israel ought to reflect Jewish values in its external relations. In the event of a clash between Israeli behaviour and Jewish ethics, Rabbi Rayner invariably came down on the side of Jewish ethics. He consistently placed principle above pragmatism and morality above expediency. He was an honest and courageous man who always spoke truth to power.

Cite: Schwartzmann, The Book of Esther— A Case Study of Ideological Interpretation

Schwartzmann, Julia. “The Book of Esther— A Case Study of Ideological Interpretation.” Shofar 29.4 (2011): 124-147.



Each generation of commentators has imprinted the Book of Esther with its own values and world views. The present article deals with the commentary of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of the leading figures of religious Zionism, on Esther as a case study of the religious Zionist interpretation of this book. Committed both to Zionist ideology and to the Biblical canon, Aviner is determined to find a way to reject the exilic ambiance of the Book of Esther without tarnishing its two principal protagonists. He invests this story of courtly intrigue with modern insights and validates its religious and moral value for his vibrant, well informed readers. In Aviner’s interpretation the story of Esther and Mordecai is no longer that of two successful Diaspora Jews who find themselves involuntarily caught up in the antisemitic plot of a lone evildoer; rather, it becomes the story of the daring struggle of two indefatigable warriors standing shoulder to shoulder in total combat against the forces of evil.

Exhibition: Orthodox in Israel (photography)

7 PM

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hillel at UCLA

Michael Cohen   


Orthodox in Israel

An Exhibit Opening

A secular kibbutznik, Mr. Cohen has embarked on a photographic journey to explore the way of life of Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel. The images, printed on canvas, depict the holiday celebrations, weddings, prayer and play of a world which usually remains hidden from those who are not part of it.

Sponsored by the

Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA Hillel
Cosponsored by the
UCLA Center for Jewish Studies

To RSVP, visit:

For questions, call: (310) 208-3081 ext. 108

ToC: Israel Studies 16,3 (2011)

ISRAEL STUDIES 16.3 (2011)





Table of Contents

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Special Section: Media and Culture

"Palestine’s Best": The Jewish Agency’s Press Relations, 1946-1947

Giora Goodman

pp. 1-27

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Subject Headings:

"Resistance Through Rituals"—Urban Subcultures of Israeli Youth from the Late 1950s to the 1980s

Oded Heilbronner

pp. 28-50

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The National-Religious Community and the Media: A Love-Hate Relationship

Ines Gabél

pp. 51-72

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"Drowning in the Marsh": Israeli Orthodox Theatrical Representations of the Singles Scene

Reina Rutlinger-Reiner

pp. 73-96

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Special Section: Education

Immigrant and Veteran Teachers of the 1948 Generation: As Socialization Agents of the New State

Tali Tadmor-Shimony

pp. 97-122

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Productivization, Economics and the Transformation of Israeli Education, 1948-1965

Avner Molcho

pp. 123-148

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Operation Magic Carpet: Constructing the Myth of the Magical Immigration of Yemenite Jews to Israel

Esther Meir-Glitzenstein

pp. 149-173

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The Intervention of the Israeli High Court of Justice in Government Decisions: An Empirical, Quantitative Perspective

Assaf Meydani

pp. 174-190

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pp. 191-192

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Cite: Shanes, Ahron Marcus: Portrait of a Zionist Hasid

Shanes, Joshua. “Ahron Marcus: Portrait of a Zionist Hasid.” Jewish Social Studies 16.3 (2010): 116-160.





Ahron Marcus (1843-1916), a committed Hasid and an active player in the early Zionist movement until his withdrawal in late 1900, developed a form of Jewish identity and politics that combined his Hasidic piety with deep adoration for Theodor Herzl and political Zionism, precisely at the moment that Orthodoxy was closing its ranks against the Zionist movement. This article gathers a wide range of sources on Marcus, particularly his Zionist-supported newspaper and nearly two dozen surviving letters between Marcus and Herzl, to establish the history and development of this Zionist and to consider its implications for the history of Zionism and political Orthodoxy. I argue that Marcus’s attempt to link political Zionism with Hasidic Orthodoxy both theologically and politically—by uniting the Zionist Organization with major Hasidic leaders while remaining within traditional society—was an intriguing exploration of Jewish identity beyond the existing typologies of eastern European Jewry.

New Publication: Oron, Israeli Identities

Oron, Yair. Israeli Identities. Jews and Arabs Facing the Mirror and Each Other. Fetish. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2010 [in Hebrew].



זהויות ישראליות
יהודים וערבים מול המראה והאחר

מאת: יאיר אורון


הספר זהויות ישראליות הוא מחקר אמפירי ראשון מסוגו והיקפו אשר עוסק בשאלת הזהויות הישראליות – אחת הבעיות המרכזיות והאקטואליות של החברה הישראלית בימינו. המחקר מקיף ארבעה דגמים של תת-זהויות יהודיות-ישראליות: הלא-דתית (החילונית); המסורתית; הדתית-לאומית והדתית-חרדית. לצדן ולעומתן מוצגת במחקר הזהות הערבית (הפלסטינית) הישראלית, אשר גם היא אינה מקשה אחת. 
הספר מנתח שני מחקרי זהות שנערכו בשנים 1990 ו-2008, בקרב סטודנטים יהודים-ישראלים וערבים (פלסטינים)-ישראלים. נידונים בו המרכיבים הבאים: "העם ואני", "השואה ואני", "הנכבה ואני", "האני והאחר" (עמדות הדדיות של יהודים כלפי ערבים ולהפך), "המדינה ואני", "הדת ואני". בעוד שהשואה מהווה נדבך מרכזי בזהות היהודית-ישראלית, הנכבה מהווה גורם מרכזי בזהות הערבית (הפלסטינית) הישראלית. לכל הישראלים, הן היהודים והן הערבים, משותפת הזהות הקורבנית, אך, כמובן, זהויות הקורבן הן שונות, לעתים גם קוטביות. 
באמצעות מחקר זה מתריע המחבר על כך שכישלון בחינוך לדמוקרטיה, לפלורליזם ולדו-קיום עלול להחריף ולהסלים את מערכת היחסים השברירית בלאו הכי בין הקבוצות השונות בחברה הישראלית. עלינו לעסוק באינטנסיביות בחינוך משמעותי נגד גזענות, להודות שהיא מצויה בקרבנו ולהכיר בכך שאנו-עצמנו איננו רק מושא לגזענות, אלא גם נשאיה של גזענות. 

פרופ’ יאיר אורון הוא חוקר ומרצה באוניברסיטה הפתוחה ובמכללת סמינר הקיבוצים. עוסק בחקר הג’נוסייד ובהוראתו, ביחסה של מדינת ישראל לג’נוסייד של עמים אחרים, וביהדות בת-זמננו. פרסם מאמרים וספרים רבים בנושאים אלה בארץ ובעולם. עומד בראש פרויקט להוראת תופעת הג’נוסייד, במסגרתו ראתה אור סדרת ספרי הקורס "ג’נוסייד" באוניברסיטה הפתוחה.

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 29,1 (2010)

The Journal of Israeli History has its first issue out for 2010. Below is the full Table of Contents, with links to abstracts and (limited) online access. As always, I will try (nut do not commit) to post the articles as separate entries, too.


A century of childhood, parenting, and family life in the kibbutz
Amia Lieblich
Pages 1 – 24
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The formation of secondary education in Israel, 1948–1964
Avner Molcho
Pages 25 – 45
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The 1948 war veterans and postwar reconstruction in Israel
Moshe Naor
Pages 47 – 59
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The transformation of Israel’s religious-Zionist middle class
Nissim Leon
Pages 61 – 78
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Was the Balfour Declaration at risk in 1923? Zionism and British imperialism
Michael J. Cohen
Pages 79 – 98
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Hotel design in British Mandate Palestine: Modernism and the Zionist vision
Daniella Ohad Smith
Pages 99 – 123
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Book Reviews

1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War
Motti Golani
Pages 125 – 129
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The Others within Us: Constructing Jewish-Israeli Identity
Noam Pianko
Pages 129 – 132
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Beyond Sacred and Secular: Politics of Religion in Israel and Turkey
Efrat E. Aviv
Pages 132 – 134
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