New Book: Amir, Abortions as a Silenced Issue in Israel (Hebrew)

אמיר, דלילה. הפלות כסוגיה מושתקת בישראל. על פרספקטיבה פמיניסטית ובין-לאומית ועל דילמות ממסדיות ואישיות. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2015.

 
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The issue of abortion lies at the very heart of a public-political debate which disowns women of their own bodies. This book analyzes how the feminist struggle for the right of women to have an abortion was created under a power struggle and took form according to the cultural, social, and religious climate, at the local, global and historical levels. Through a comparison of policies of various authorities around the world and the influence of the feminist movement’s activity on abortion legislation, this book presents the situation in Israel and recounts the struggles that shape the discourse and ideology underlying the existing abortion law.

Based on primary sources of the process of formulating Israel’s abortion law, and using empirical data, the author demonstrates how the presence of “woman” is muted and often absent from the discourse and therefore is not a decisive factor in shaping legislation in Israel. As a response to this omission, the author presents the stories and experiences of women as a significant focus for the examination of the efficiency of the existing law in relation to women with an unwanted pregnancy.

Is Israeli society today there is a false consciousness that assumes the Israeli abortion law is permissive, stemming from a global trend towards gender equality; In fact, the opposite is true – the abortion debate is silenced from the centers of liberal feminist discourse in Israel. This made it possible for the existing law to regulate and control female reproduction for demographic and governmental needs, while gender politics is preserved and reproduced.

 

 

 

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ToC: Israel Studies 20.2 (2015); Special Section: Bodies In Question

Israel Studies 20.2 (2015) Table of Contents:

 

Special Section: Bodies In Question

Wars of the Wombs: Struggles Over Abortion Policies in Israel (pp. 1-26)

Rebecca Steinfeld

Halutzah or Beauty Queen? National Images of Women in Early Israeli Society (pp. 27-52)

Julie Grimmeisen

‘Re-orient-ation’: Sport and the Transformation of the Jewish Body and Identity (pp. 53-75)

Yotam Hotam

‘Uniting the Nation’s Various Limbs into a National Body’ the Jerusalem People’s House (pp. 76-109)

Esther Grabiner

 

Articles

The Test of Maritime Sovereignty: The Establishment of the Zim National Shipping Company and the Purchase of the Kedmah, 1945–1952 (pp. 110-134)

Kobi Cohen-Hattab

Budgeting for Ultra-Orthodox Education—The Failure of Ultra-Orthodox Politics, 1996–2006 (pp. 135-162)

Hadar Lipshits

The Mizrahi Sociolect in Israel: Origins and Development (pp. 163-182)

Yehudit Henshke

Review Essay: The Theoretical Normalization of Israel in International Relations(pp. 183-189)

[Reviews  of: The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers: When Hard-Liners Opt for Peace, by Yael S. Aronoff; Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel by Guy Ziv]

Brent E. Sasley

 

Notes on Contributors (pp. 190-191)

Guidelines for Contributors (pp. 192-194)

Lecture: Steinfeld, Struggles over Abortion Policies in Israel

War of the Wombs: Struggles over Abortion Policies in Israel

Dr Rebecca Steinfeld (Stanford)  

4pm on Thu 19 March in A113, Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the campus map, see directions).

 

ABSTRACT: This presentation examines the historical and contemporary struggles that have led to the gap between the restrictions on, and availability of, abortion in Israel. It attributes this gap to the compromise necessitated by conflicts amongst competing policymakers, motivated by opposing viewpoints and interests, over the objectives and substance of abortion policies. Opposition to abortion stems primarily from demographic anxiety relating to both the Holocaust and the Muslim Arab-Jewish fertility differential in Israel/Palestine. Support for access to abortion stems from countervailing concerns about the implications of unrestrained fertility for women’s health, family welfare and social stability, as well as ‘qualitative’ interests in reproducing healthy children. Some feminists have also resisted attempts to render women’s wombs national vessels. This presentation explores the evolution of these struggles over four distinct historical periods, and assesses their impact on women’s reproductive experiences and rights.

SPEAKER: Dr Rebecca Steinfeld is a political scientist researching the politics of reproduction and genital alteration. She completed her PhD in Politics at the University of Oxford, and is now writing her first book, Wars of the Wombs: Struggles over Reproduction in Israel (Stanford University Press, forthcoming). She is also a BBC and Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘New Generation Thinker’ and Haaretz ‘Jewish Thinker.’ She has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 4 and 5, regularly writes in Haaretz, and has published in The Guardian, The Independent, The Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish Quarterly, and Tablet Magazine.

Further information about the CJS research seminar programme and other Jewish Studies events at the University.