Schipper, Sebastian. “Towards a ‘Post-Neoliberal’ Mode of Housing Regulation? The Israeli Social Protest of Summer 2011.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (early view; online first).
In the summer of 2011, after decades of virtually uncontested neoliberalization, Israel was swept by unprecedented protests against the rising cost of living, social inequality and, most particularly, escalating housing prices. Within two weeks, a small protest camp established on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv had grown into a mass movement involving hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Given an ambivalent sense of the significance of urban movements in bringing about social change, the aim of this article is to analyze whether the Israeli social protest was able to push forward a post-neoliberal mode of housing regulation. Building on a framework developed by Brenner, Peck and Theodore to grasp transformations in the landscape of regulatory restructuring, this article argues that the movement has indeed achieved a far-reaching hegemonic shift in public discourse and also become an important driver in promoting regulatory experiments. Despite its achievements, however, the movement was unable to challenge the Israeli ‘rule regime’ of neoliberalization, on account of two structural constraints that were shielded by the most powerful state apparatuses: the commodity character of housing; and a neoliberalized land regime, where state-owned land is treated as a profit machine for public finance.
Zisser, Eyal. “Israel and the Arab Spring: An Involved Observer from the Sidelines.” In Comparative Political and Economic Perspectives on the MENA Region (ed. M. Mustafa Erdoğdu and Bryan Christiansen; Hershey, PA: IGI GLobal, 2016): 59-74.
In the middle of the winter of 2010 the “Spring of the Arab Nations,” suddenly erupted without any warning all over the Middle East. However, the momentum of the uprisings was impeded rather quickly, and the hopes held out for the “Spring of the Arab Nations” turned into frustration and disappointment. While many Israelis were focusing their attention in surprise, and some, without a doubt, with concern as well, on what was happening in the region around them, suddenly, in Israel itself, at the height of the steamy summer of 2011, an “Israeli Spring” broke out. The Protesters were young Israelis belonging to the Israeli middle class. Their demands revolved around the slogan, “Let us live in our land.” However, similar to what happened in the Arab world, the Israeli protest subsided little by little. The hassles of daily life and security and foreign affairs concerns once more became the focus of the public’s attention. And so the protesters’ hopes were disappointed, and Israel’s political, economic, and social order remained unshaken.
This article analyzes the role of the media during the 2011 social protests in Israel, in order to examine why the “Social Justice” protest proved more effective than any other social protest organized previously in Israel. Scholars have shown that media framing has a powerful effect on citizen perception and policy debates. The social protests focused on the political-social-economic policy based on a neo-liberal ideology. They signified the beginnings of resistance to the system and became the focus of public and media identification via reports published by leading Israeli newspapers: Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel Hayom. Using content analysis, the author explore how the media plays an important role to shape the public perception of how to think and act about the protest. Due to the results, we evident the expand media capacity and influence, and that these effects are mediated in presenting positive and supportive coverage, including connotations and metaphors expressed by means of familiar slogans and events in the collective memory of Israeli society. Additionally, the expression “social justice” that became the protest’s slogan, offered a broad common basis with which each citizen could identify, including journalists.
Schejter, Amit and Noam Tirosh. “‘What Is Wrong Cannot Be Made Right’? Why Has Media Reform Been Sidelined in the Debate Over ‘Social Justice’ in Israel?” Critical Studies in Media Communication 32.1 (2015): 16-32.
When hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets in the summer of 2011, protesting the high cost of living and demanding “social justice,” the ills of the media system including its concentration, the growing digital divide, and the implosion of public broadcasting were not made part of the social movement’s agenda. This study employs a justice-based theory for media, analyzing three types of “products” of the social movement: the unionization of media workers, the establishment of alternative media, and the reports recommending regulatory/institutional reform. We attempt to understand why media reform, an essential element without which social justice cannot be fully achieved, has been sidelined in the debate over the ways to achieve “social justice” in Israel.
The importance of ideological beliefs held by the masses for the political stability of neoliberalism has yet to receive adequate attention. This research aims to begin to fill this gap by arguing that the ability of the neoliberal order to endure politically is assisted by key segments of the population either accepting its ideological bases or being unable to contest them. Political and socio-political research on neoliberalism tends to examine how it has become the leading framework for economic policymaking. Less attention has been given to the post rise-to-power period and even then the ideological factor is virtually absent. Directed by a Gramscian approach, this research uses the Israeli ‘social protest’ of 2011 as a case study. It probes into the ideological perceptions of the middle class through a qualitative content analysis of text-items they published during the protest on two news websites and on one blogging website. Findings indicate that significant segments of the Israeli middle class expressed ideological acceptance of neoliberalism either by explicitly supporting it or by demanding marginal reforms. Another finding is that within the middle class there is a group that lacks any relevant ideological framework regarding economic issues.