New Article: Ben-Moshe, Disability and Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel

Ben-Moshe, Liat. “Movements at War? Disability and Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel.” In Occupying Disability. Critical Approaches to Community, Justice, and Decolonizing Disability (ed. Pamela Block et al.; Dordrecht and New York: Springer, 2016): 47-61.

 

9789401799836

 

Abstract

At the time of the first major disability protest in Israel in 1999 and then in 2000-2001, there were already many anti-occupation and peace organizations at play in Israel/Palestine. While participating in this budding disability movement, I began reflecting on my experiences of simultaneously being an Israeli anti-occupation activist and disabled activist publically fighting for the first time for disability rights. In the summer of 2006 I conducted research in Israel, trying to assess any changes that occurred since 2000 in the connections between the movements and within the disability movement itself. And then the war on Lebanon began. My intention in writing this chapter is to highlight the connections between disability activism and anti-war and anti-occupation activism, which seems to be at war with one another but in fact intersect in important ways. I hope this narrative and analysis will be useful for material resistance as well as a reflection on our current states of exclusion in activism and scholarship.

 

 

New Article: Høigilt, Popular Resistance and Double Repression in the West Bank

Høigilt, Jacob. “Nonviolent Mobilization between a Rock and a Hard Place. Popular Resistance and Double Repression in the West Bank.” Journal of Peace Research 52.5 (2015): 636-48.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022343315572497

 

Abstract

Recent research on contentious politics in the Middle East emphasizes the importance of repression and its effect on social movements, often manifested in demobilization and so-called ‘nonmovements’. This case study of West Bank Palestinian activism seeks to go beyond such outcomes. The current, youthful nonviolent Palestinian grassroots activism in the West Bank is persistent, despite repeated violent repression. Focusing on the interplay between context, practices, and networks, this article shows how an increasingly vocal and visible popular resistance movement has asserted itself despite facing double repression – from the occupying Israeli state and the Palestinian National Authority. In a highly repressive context characterized by widespread demobilization, especially among young people, the impetus for mobilization is not perceived opportunity, but rather existential threats. The analysis focuses on how long-term repression from the external occupier and the internal elite contributes to forming specific kinds of contentious practices and networks among young Palestinian grassroots activists. By deploying new and creative contentious tactics they partly succeed in challenging the Israeli occupation without risking sanctions from the internal Palestinian elite. They are also able to criticize this elite implicitly, bringing popular pressure to bear on it. However, while the strategic use of nonviolence has provided these activist environments with a degree of resilience in the face of repression, they are unable to mobilize on a wide scale as long as the Palestinian political elite does not support them.

 

 

New Article: Harpaz, The EU Funding of Israeli Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations

Harpaz, Guy. “The EU Funding of Israeli Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations: When EU External Governance Meets a Domestic Counter-Strategy.” European Foreign Affairs Review 20.2 (2015): 207–25.

 
URL: http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/abstract.php?area=Journals&id=EERR2015016

 

Abstract
This article analyses the European Union’s (EU’s) practice of funding of Israeli Human Rights NGOs. It argues that the pursuance of such a model of governance is a natural choice for the EU, yet such pursuance has encountered in Israel a bottom-to-top counter-strategy of delegitimization conducted against the EU, the NGOs and their collaboration. This counter-strategy was found to discredit the NGOs and the EU and render their mutual collaboration less effective.

 

 

New Book: Kuntsman and Stein, Digital Militarism

Kuntsman, Adi, and Rebecca L. Stein. Digital Militarism. Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age, Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.

 

pid_23022

 

Israel’s occupation has been transformed in the social media age. Over the last decade, military rule in the Palestinian territories grew more bloody and entrenched. In the same period, Israelis became some of the world’s most active social media users. In Israel today, violent politics are interwoven with global networking practices, protocols, and aesthetics. Israeli soldiers carry smartphones into the field of military operations, sharing mobile uploads in real-time. Official Israeli military spokesmen announce wars on Twitter. And civilians encounter state violence first on their newsfeeds and mobile screens.

Across the globe, the ordinary tools of social networking have become indispensable instruments of warfare and violent conflict. This book traces the rise of Israeli digital militarism in this global context—both the reach of social media into Israeli military theaters and the occupation’s impact on everyday Israeli social media culture. Today, social media functions as a crucial theater in which the Israeli military occupation is supported and sustained.

 

Table of Contents

Preface

1 When Instagram Went to War: Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age
2 “Another War Zone”: The Development of Digital Militarism
3 Anatomy of a Facebook Scandal: Social Media as Alibi
4 Palestinians Who Never Die: The Politics of Digital Suspicion
5 Selfie Militarism: The Normalization of Digital Militarism

Afterword: #Revenge

Acknowledgements
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Adi Kuntsman is Lecturer in Information and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, and author of Figurations of Violence and Belonging: Queerness, Migranthood and Nationalism in Cyberspace and Beyond (2009).

Rebecca L. Stein is the Nicholas J. & Theresa M. Leonardy Associate Professor of Anthropology at Duke University, and author of Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism (2008).

 

 

New Article: Helman, Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession

Helman, Sara. “Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: the Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10767-015-9198-y

 

Abstract

This article analyzes the repertoires of contention and discourse of two Israeli anti-denial movements, Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch. Through confession and testimony, both social movement organizations (SMOs) demand that Israeli society acknowledge its “problematic present,” which includes human rights violations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in a situation of ongoing ethno-national conflict, and insist that it take responsibility for this reality and act against it. It is based on the interpretative analyses of both SMOs’ reports. Reports are analyzed as narratives in the context of Israel’s national identity and its main motives which are also constitutive of a culture of collective denial. The article compares the testimonial practices of Machsom Watch to testimonies of women in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the confessions of Breaking the Silence veterans to those displayed in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as well as confessions of veterans during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confession and testimony are usually analyzed as blazing the path to a new and inclusive national identity (as was the case in South Africa). In the case of Israel, however, their adoption and mobilization destabilize national identity and turn it into a field of contention.

New Article: Livio, Constructions of Space in the Discourse of Israeli Military Refuseniks

Livio, Oren. “The Path of Least Resistance: Constructions of Space in the Discourse of Israeli Military Refuseniks.” Discourse, Context and Media (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2015.02.002

 

Abstract

In this article I examine the ways in which Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories use spatial representations and metaphors in discourse explaining their decision to refuse. Using Lefebvre’s (1995) framework regarding spaces of representation as sites of political struggle, I analyze how selective refuseniks construct the Territories as a space of pollution, irrationality, disorder and death, expressing fear that these qualities might contaminate Israeli space, and thus implicitly promoting a separatist logic of exclusion. Refuseniks employ metaphors of movement to portray the transition from ‘here’ to ‘there’ as a shift into an alternate universe, and attempt to appropriate hegemonic discursive conceptualizations associated with three culturally loaded spaces: the prison, the Jewish settlements, and Nazi Germany. The ambivalent dialectics of dominant and resistant ideologies in refuseniks’ discourse and their cultural implications are discussed.

 

New Article: Griffin, Segregation and Grassroots Politics on the Bus

Griffin, Maryam S. “Freedom Rides in Palestine: Racial Segregation and Grassroots Politics on the Bus.” Race & Class 56.4 (2015): 73-84.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306396814567410

 

Abstract

This article offers an examination of the role of buses in Palestinian protest actions directed at an international audience. These demonstrations occur as part of a post-Oslo strategic shift in which Palestinian resistance has de-prioritised leader-centred negotiations in favour of grassroots mobilisation that directly appeals to international civil society. Given this strategy, the bus is a useful vehicle, both literally and symbolically, for transmitting the message of Palestinian demands for freedom. First, the bus powerfully evokes the triumphs of an earlier generation of activists fighting racial segregation. Second, as a recognisable form of public transportation and mobility, the use of the bus allows Palestinian activists to focus international solidarity on one of the central hardships of occupied life: the denial of the right to freedom of movement, which entrenches the ongoing separation of Palestinians across Palestine.

New Article: Gutman, Counter-Memory as Oppositional Knowledge-Production in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Gutman, Yifat. “Looking Backward to the Future. Counter-Memory as Oppositional Knowledge-Production in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” Current Sociology (early view, online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011392115584644

 

Abstract

This article examines a strategy of peace activism that gained visibility in the last decades: memory activism. Memory activists manifest a temporal shift in transnational politics: first the past, then the future. Affiliated with the globally-circulating paradigm of historical justice, memory activist groups assume that a new understanding of the past could lead to a new perception of present problems and project alternative solutions for the future. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and discourse analysis among memory activists of the 1948 war in Israel since 2001, the article examines the activist production of counter-memory during active conflict. Using Coy et al.’s typology of oppositional knowledge-production, the article shows how the largest group of memory activism in Israel produced ‘new’ information on the war, critically assessed the dominant historical narrative, offered an alternative shared narrative, and began to envision practical solutions for Palestinian refugees. However, the analysis raises additional concerns that reach beyond the scope of the typology, primarily regarding the unequal power relations that exist not only between the dominant and activist production of oppositional knowledge, but also among activists.

New Article: Agbariya, Arab Civil Society and Education in Israel

Agbariya, Ayman K. “Arab Civil Society and Education in Israel: The Arab Pedagogical Council as a Contentious Performance to Achieve National Recognition.” Race, Ethnicity, and Education 18.5 (2015): 675-95.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2012.759930

 

Abstract

Focusing on recent developments in the field of education, this article grapples with the educational activism of Arab civil society in Israel. Specifically, it presents a case study of a recent initiative to establish an independent Arab Pedagogical Council (APC). I argue that this initiative, although controversial and challenging to the very definition of Israel as both a Jewish nation-state and a democracy, should be considered to be an act of citizenship, rather than a sign of radicalization and separatism. The initiative to establish the APC is a political and ethical act, through which Arab civil society organizations and activists in Israel constitute themselves as independent political actors, citizens, and claimants of rights, entitlements, and responsibilities for the quality of life and future of the Palestinians in Israel.

New Article: Dibiasi, Changing Trends in Palestinian Political Activism

Dibiasi, Caroline Mall. “Changing Trends in Palestinian Political Activism: The Second Intifada, the Wall Protests, and the Human Rights Turn.” Geopolitics (early view, online first)

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2015.1028028

 

Abstract

This paper asks where and why Palestinian protests take place and how particular manifestations of territorial dislocation affect the dynamics of Palestinian political activism. Political, social and territorial transformations over the Oslo period had resulted in the fragmentation of Palestinian resistance, a development that had become most evident during the second intifada through the absence of mass-based non-violent protest. Israel’s complex control over Palestinian territory and mobility has been a key factor in driving this fragmentation. In contrast to checkpoints, forbidden roads, and closures, the construction of the Separation Wall had a very different impact, and amid the continuation of a violent and fragmented uprising, it presented a focal point for cohesive organised non-violent local protest. This paper examines to what extent the construction of the Wall has engendered a different type of protest, conception of activism and new forms of cooperation, that break the trend of the second intifada.

New Article: Reimer, A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech

Reimer, Michael J. “‘The Good Dr. Lippe” and Herzl in Basel, 1897: A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech.” Journal of Israeli History (early view, online first).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13531042.2015.1005801

 

Abstract

Dr. Karpel Lippe of Jassy, who gave the opening speech at the first Zionist Congress, has been largely ignored in histories of Zionism. This article introduces an English translation of his speech. Lippe helped to legitimate “Congress-Zionism” by connecting it to earlier forms of Jewish activism. His address exposes tensions arising from the Basel meeting, including Ottoman suspicion, relations with the Orthodox, and conflicts over organizational priorities. Insisting upon his and his country’s priority in the movement’s history, Lippe’s oration suggests an alternative perspective on early Zionism and raises broader questions for the historiography of nationalism.

New Article: Jamal, Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories

Jamal, Manal A. “Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories and Beyond.” International Feminist Journal of Politics (online first; early view).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616742.2013.849966

 

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, the quest to spread democracy has become the rallying call of many Western donor agencies. Reflecting this new agenda, new program priorities prevailed that placed greater emphasis on civil society development, civic engagement and gender empowerment. Contrary to expectations, however, many of these programs have often adversely affected existing social movements. Most scholars attempting to explain these unintended outcomes have focused on the impact of NGO professionalization. Examining the Palestinian women’s movement, this article addresses the inadequacy of this explanation and focuses on the political dimension of this discussion by illustrating how Western donors’ lack of understanding of the Palestinian women’s movement and its “embeddedness” in the broader political context served to weaken and undermine this movement. The influx of Western donor assistance in the post-Madrid, post-Oslo era, along with the greater emphasis on Western promoted gender empowerment, undermined the cohesiveness of the women’s movement by exacerbating existing political polarization (that went beyond Islamist and secular divisions) and disempowering many grassroots activists. Effectively, many of these activists were transformed from active political participants involved in their organizations to the recipients of skills and services in need of awareness raising. Findings in this article also speak to current regional developments, especially in light of the current Arab uprisings and the promise of greater Western involvement to empower women in the region.

New Book: Halperin, Babel in Zion

Halperin, Liora R. Babel in Zion. Jews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.

 

9780300197488

 

The promotion and vernacularization of Hebrew, traditionally a language of Jewish liturgy and study, was a central accomplishment of the Zionist movement in Palestine in the years following World War I. Viewing twentieth-century history through the lens of language, author Liora Halperin questions the accepted scholarly narrative of a Zionist move away from multilingualism, demonstrating how Jews in Palestine remained connected linguistically by both preference and necessity to a world outside the boundaries of the pro-Hebrew community even as it promoted Hebrew and achieved that language’s dominance. The story of language encounters in Jewish Palestine is a fascinating tale of shifting power relationships, both locally and globally. Halperin’s absorbing study explores how a young national community was compelled to modify the dictates of Hebrew exclusivity as it negotiated its relationships with its Jewish population, Palestinian Arabs, the British, and others outside the margins of the national project and ultimately came to terms with the limitations of its hegemony in an interconnected world.

Table of Contents

Note on transliteration and translation

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Babel in Zion

Languages of Leisure in the Home, the Coffeehouse, and the Cinema

Peddlers, Traders, and the Languages of Commerce

Clerks, Translators, and the Languages of Bureaucracy

Zion in Babel: The Yishuv in Its Arabic-Speaking Context

Hebrew Education between East and West: Foreign-Language Instruction in Zionist Schools

Conclusion: The Persistence of Babel

Notes

Bibliography

Index

 

New Article: Filc et al, Beyond ‘New Humanitarianism’

Filc, Dani, Nadav Davidovitch and Nora Gottlieb. “Beyond ‘New Humanitarianism’: Physicians for Human Rights–Israel’s Mobile Clinic and Open Clinic on the Interface of Social Justice, Human Rights and Medical Relief.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 7.1 (2015): 88-108.

 

URL: http://jhrp.oxfordjournals.org/content/7/1/88.abstract

 

Abstract

The present article examines two projects of Physicians for Human Rights–Israel (PHR–IL)—a clinic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and a clinic for undocumented migrant workers and asylum seekers—in order to examine the tensions between medical humanitarian aid, human rights advocacy and egalitarian political activism. Through the examination of PHR–IL the article argues that it is possible to create a hierarchical synergism between those three modes.

Reviews: Allen, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights

Allen, Lori. The Rise and Fall of Human Rights. Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine, Stanford Studies in Human Rights. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.

 

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Reviews:

  • Wright, Fiona. “Review.” Journal of Legal Anthropology 1.3 (2013): 396-398.
  • Seidel, Timothy. “ReviewH-Net Reviews, February 2014.
  • Barbosa, Gustavo. “Review.” Critique of Anthropology 34.3 (2014): 372-374.
  • Hurwitz, Deena R. “Review.” Middle East Journal 68.1 (2014): 173-175.
  • Kelly, Tobias. “Review.” Allegra – A Virtual Lab of Legal Anthropology, August 11, 2014.
  • Smith, Charles D. “Review.” American Historical Review 119.4 (2014): 1399-1400.
  • Baruch, Pnina Sharvit. “Review.” Middle Eastern Studies 50.4 (2014): 679-682.
  • Hajjar, Lisa. “Review.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.1 (2015): 175-176.

New Book: Nasasra et al, The Naqab Bedouin and Colonialism

Nasasra, Mansour, Sophie Richter-Devroe, Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, and Richard Ratcliffe, eds. The Naqab Bedouin and Colonialism. New Perspectives. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2014.

 

9780415638456

 

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415638456/

 

Abstract

The Naqab Bedouin and Colonialism brings together new scholarship to challenge perceived paradigms, often dominated by orientalist, modernist or developmentalist assumptions on the Naqab Bedouin.

The past decade has witnessed a change in both the wider knowledge production on, and political profile of, the Naqab Bedouin. This book addresses this change by firstly, endeavouring to overcome the historic isolation of Naqab Bedouin studies from the rest of Palestine studies by situating, studying and analyzing their predicaments firmly within the contemporary context of Israeli settler-colonial policies. Secondly, it strives to de-colonise research and advocacy on the Naqab Bedouin, by, for example, reclaiming ‘indigenous’ knowledge and terminology.

Offering not only a nuanced description and analysis of Naqab Bedouin agency and activism, but also trying to draw broader conclusion as to the functioning of settler-colonial power structures as well as to the politics of research in such a context, this book is essential reading for students and researchers with an interest in Postcolonial Studies, Development Studies, Israel/Palestine Studies and the contemporary Middle East more broadly.

Table of Contents

Part I: Changing Paradigms

1 Introduction: Rethinking the Paradigms – Richard Ratcliffe, Mansour Nasra, Sarab Abu Rabia Qweider, Sophie Richter-Devroe

2 Bedouin Tribes in the Middle East and the Naqab: Changing Dynamics and the New State – Mansour Nsasra

3 The Forgotten Victims of the Palestine Ethnic Cleansing – Ilan Pappe

4 Past and Present in the Discourse of Negev Bedouin Geography and Space: A Critical Review – Yuval Karplus & Avinoam Meir

5 Land, Identity, and History: New Discourse on the Nakba of Bedouin Arabs in the Naqab – Safa Abu Rabia

Part II: Naqab Bedouin Activism and Agency

6 The Politics of Non-cooperation and Lobbying: the Naqab Bedouin and Israeli Military Rule (1948-1967) – Mansour Nsara

7 Bedouin Women’s Organizations in the Naqab: Social Activism for Women’s Empowerment?– Elisabeth Marteu

8 Colonialism, Cause Advocacy, and the Naqab Case– Ahmad Amara

Part III: Politics of Research on/for/with Naqab Bedouin

9 Shifting Discourses: Unlocking Representations of Educated Bedouin Women’s Identities– Sarab Abu Rabia-Queder

New Book: Daniele, Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Daniele, Giulia. Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The Road Not Yet Taken. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.

 

9780415722452

 

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415722452/

 

Abstract

Women, Reconciliation and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict explores the most prominent instances of women’s political activism in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel, focussing primarily on the last decade. By taking account of the heterogeneous narrative identities existing in such a context, the author questions the effectiveness of the contributions of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish women activists towards a feasible renewal of the ‘peace process’, founded on mutual recognition and reconciliation.

Based on feminist literature and field research, this book re-problematises the controversial liaison between ethno-national narratives, feminist backgrounds and women’s activism in Palestine/Israel. In detail, the most relevant salience of this study is the provision of an additional contribution to the recent debate on the process of making Palestinian and Israeli women activists more visible, and the importance of this process as one of the most meaningful ways to open up areas of enquiry around major prospects for the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tackling topical issues relating to alternative resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this book will be a valuable resource for both academics and activists with an interest in Middle East Politics, Gender Studies, and Conflict Resolution.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ilan Pappé

Introduction

 

Part I: Ethno-Nationalism and Women’s Activism From a Critical Viewpoint

1 Challenges to the intertwined narratives of Palestinian and Israeli Jewish Women

2 Palestinian Women and Deep-Rooted National Narrative Identity

3 Different perspectives of Narrative Identities Among Israeli Women Activists

 

Part II

4 Parallelism and Inextricability of Women’s Narratives in Palestine/Israel

5 Deconstructing Ethno-national Narrative Identities: Women’s Activism Within the Paralysis of Military Occupation

6 Women Activists Towards Political Criticism and Joint Actions

 

Conclusion

New Article: Zion-Waldoks, Agency, Feminism, and Religion among Orthodox Agunah Activists

Zion-Waldoks, Tanya. “Politics of Devoted Resistance. Agency, Feminism, and Religion among Orthodox Agunah Activists in Israel.” Gender & Society 29.1 (2015): 73-97.

 

URL: http://gas.sagepub.com/content/29/1/73

 

Abstract

 This study explores how religious women become legitimate actors in the public sphere and analyzes their agency—its meanings, capacities, and transformative aims. It presents a novel case study of Israeli Modern-Orthodox Agunah activists who engage in highly politicized collective feminist resistance as religious actors working for religious ends. Embedded in and activated by Orthodoxy, they advocate women’s rights to divorce, voicing a moral critique of tradition and its agents precisely because they are devoutly devoted to them. Such political agency is innovatively conceptualized as “devoted resistance”: critique within relationship, enabled by cultural schema, and comprising both interpretive skills and “relational-autonomy” capacities. This study contends that understanding agency within religious grammars reveals its underlying logics, highlighting how structures shape the meanings and realization of women’s varied “agentive capacities.” It challenges current dichotomies like feminism/religion, resistance/submission, and autonomy/dependence. Overall, the author argues for a nuanced, culturally specific, capacity-based, relational approach to analyzing religious women’s agency.

Conference program: MESA, Washington, DC (22-25 Nov, 2014)

Israel Studies events at the annual conference of MESA, Washington, DC, November 22-25. For full program click here (PDF).

 

AIS–Association for Israel Studies Reception

Saturday, 11/22

Reception, 8:30-10:30pm, McKinley (M)

 

(3681) Settler-Colonialism and the Study of Zionism: Erasure, Transfer and Assimilation

Sunday, November 23, 11am-1pm

Organized by Arnon Degani

Sponsored by Palestinian American Research Center (PARC)

Chair: Gabriel Piterberg, UCLA

 

Discussant: Lorenzo Veracini, Swinburne Inst for Social Research

Susan Slyomovics, UCLA–“The Object of Memory” and Settler Colonialism Studies 16 Years Later

Honaida Ghanim, Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies–Judaization and De-Indigenization: Settler-Colonialism in East Jerusalem

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Mada Al-Carmel–The Zionist Left and Settler-Colonialism in Marj Ibn ‘Amer: Land, Population and Property

Arnon Degani, UCLA–Non-Statist and Bi-Nationalist Zionism as Settler-Colonial Agendas

 

(3756) Rule of Experts?: Revolutions, Doctrines, and Interventions in the Middle East

Sunday, November 23, 2m-4pm

Organized by Osamah Khalil

 

Seth Anziska, Columbia University–Israel, the United States and the 1982 War in Lebanon

 

(3925) World War One and Its Aftermath

Sunday, November 23, 2m-4pm

Chair: Weston F Cook, Jr, UNC Pembroke

 

Roberto Mazza, Western Illinois U–Cemal Pasha, Zionism and the Alleged Expulsion of the Jews from Jaffa in April 1917

 

(3792) Israel Studies in the Arab World

Sunday, November 23, 4:30m-6:30pm

Organized by Johannes Becke

Discussant: Elie Podeh, Hebrew U of Jersusalem

 

Hassan A. Barari, U Jordan–Israelism: Arab Scholarship on Israel, a Critical Assessment

Mostafa Hussein, Brandeis U–Israel Studies in the Arab World Between Two Dictums: ‘Whosoever Learns People’s Language Avoids Their Plot’ and ‘Know Your Enemy’

Johannes Becke, U Oxford–Hebrew in Beirut: Studying Israel in the Last Arab Frontline State

Hebatalla Taha, U Oxford–The Politics of ‘Normalisation’: The Israeli Academic Centre in Cairo

Amr Yossef, American U Cairo–Egyptian Israelists: The View from Israel

 

(3886) Social Media, the Digital Archive, and Scholarly Futures

Sunday, November 23, 4:30m-6:30pm

Organized by Ted Swedenburg

Chair/Discussant: Elliott Colla, Georgetown U

 

Rebecca L. Stein, Duke U–The Perpetrator’s Archive: Israel’s Occupation on YouTube

 

 

(4006) Special Session

Abandoned Yet Central: Gaza and the Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Sunday, November 23, 4:30m-6:30pm

Organized by Sara Roy

Chair: Sara Roy, Harvard University

 

Chris Gunness, UNRWA, Office of the Commissioner General, Jerusalem

Paul Aaron, Political Analyst and Consultant, Gaza Community Mental Health Program

Bill Corcoran, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)

Ilana Feldman, George Washington University

Brian Barber, University of Tennessee

Susan Akram, Boston University School of Law

 

This session will present an overview of the past summer’s violent clashes between Israeli and Hamas forces and the ensuing destruction in Gaza. Representatives from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) will provide an “on-the-ground” analysis of the destruction and human toll of the 50-day war. Scholars will further place the recent violence in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and examine the prerequisites for a sustainable resolution of the conflict.

 

 

 

(3737) Religious Inclusivity and Civilizational Identity: Expanding Iranian Identities Along Religious, Ethnic, and Gender Lines

Monday, November 24, 8:30am-10:30am

Organized by Lior Sternfeld

Chair/Discussant: Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, U Toronto

 

Lior Sternfeld, U Texas Austin–Iran is My Homeland, Jerusalem is My Qiblah: Iranian Jews Between Zionist and Iranian Identities

 

(3643) Israel, the United States and a Changing Middle East

Monday, November 24, 11am-1pm

Organized by Robert O. Freedman

Sponsored by Association for Israel Studies

Chair/Discussant: Robert O. Freedman, Johns Hopkins U

 

Eyal Zisser, Tel Aviv U–Israel and the Arab World – Who’s First – Syria, Egypt or Lebanon?

Ilan Peleg, Lafayette Col–Israel, Netanyahu & the Palestinians: Is the Third Term the Charm?!

Rami Ginat, Bar Ilan U–The Israeli-Egyptian-American Strategic Triangle: A Reassessment in Light of the Arab Uprising

Joshua Teitelbaum, Bar-Ilan U–Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council: New Opportunities for Cooperation?

Uzi Rabi, Tel Aviv U–Iran and Israel: Post 2013 Elections

 

 

(3697) Bridging the Rupture of 1948: The “Decolonization” and Erasure of Mandate Palestine

Monday, November 24, 2:30pm-4:30pm

Organized by Jeffrey D. Reger and Leena Dallasheh

Sponsored by Palestinian American Research Center (PARC)

Chair: Zachary Lockman, New York U

Discussant: Shira Robinson, George Washington U

 

Jeffrey D. Reger, Georgetown U–Uprooting Palestine: Olive Groves, Mass Dispossession, and Peasant Resistance, 1945-1955

Hilary Falb Kalisman, UC Berkeley–Learning Exile: Palestinian Students and Educators Abroad, 1940-1958

Leena Dallasheh, Rice U–Defying the Rupture, Affirming Presence: Palestinians in Nazareth Surviving 1948

Rephael Stern, Princeton U–Israel’s Postcolonial Predicament and Its Contradicting Jurisdictional Claims in 1948

 

 

(3917) Perilous Peacemaking: Israeli-Palestinian Relations Since Oslo

Monday, November 24, 5pm-7pm

Chair: Timothy Schorn, U South Dakota

 

Elie Podeh, Hebrew U Jerusalem–Missed Opportunities in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Case of the Arab Peace Initiative (2002-2014)

Maia Carter Hallward, Kennesaw State U–Choosing to Negotiate Under Sub-Optimal Conditions: The 2013 Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

Gabriele Mombelli, U Florence–The Palestinian National Authority Security Sector: An Operational Overview

Karam Dana, U Washington–Twenty Years after Oslo: What Do Palestinians Think?

Andrew Barwig, Department of State–“New Blood” in Israel’s Knesset: Elite Circulation and Parliamentary Resilience

 

 

 

(3867) Urbanism and the Politics of the Mandate Period, Local versus Imperial Interests

Tuesday, November 25, 11am-1pm

Organized by Harrison Guthorn

Chair: Elizabeth F. Thompson, U Virginia

 

Noah Hysler Rubin, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design–Planning Palestine: British and Zionist Plans for Tiberius and Nathanya

 

(3893) Public Opinion in the Middle East

Tuesday, November 25, 11am-1pm

Organized by Yael Zeira

 

Devorah Manekin, Arizona State U–Carrots and Sticks: Policy Instruments and Public Opinion in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

 

(3919) Palestinian Resistance: Spaces and Standpoints

Tuesday, November 25, 11am-1pm

Chair: Timothy Schorn, U South Dakota

 

Timothy Seidel, American U–Narrating Nonviolence: Postcolonial Interrogations of Resistance in Palestine

Maya Rosenfeld, Hebrew U Jerusalem–The Movement of Palestinian Political Prisoners and the Struggle Against the Israeli Occupation: A Historical Perspective

Sharri Plonski, SOAS U London–Transcending Bounded Space: The Struggle for Land and Space by the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Julie Norman, McGill U–Prisoners Dilemma?: Prison-Based Resistance and the Diffusion of Activism in Palestine

Maryam Griffin, UC Santa Barbara–Movement as/and Non-Movement in Palestine

 

(3949) Transnational Cultural Production

Tuesday, November 25, 1:30pm-3:30pm

Chair: Zeynep Seviner, U Washington

 

Isra Ali, Rutgers, State U of New Jersey–Adaptation: Cultural Alliances and Television Production in Israel and the United States

Robert Lang, U Hartford–Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir: Whose Trauma?

ToC: Israel Studies Review 29.2 (2014): New Age Culture in Israel

Guest Editors’ Introduction: New Age Culture in Israel
pp. 1-16
Authors: Werczberger, Rachel; Huss, Boaz

Articles

This article focuses on the concept of identity by juxtaposing New Age philosophy and nationalism in the Israeli context. Based on my qualitative research, I deconstruct the Israeli New Age discourse on ethno-national identity and expose two approaches within this discourse. The more common one is the belief held by most Israelis, according to which ethno-national identity is a fundamental component of one’s self. A second and much less prevalent view resembles New Age ideology outside Israel and conceives of ethno-national identities as a false social concept that separate people rather than unite them. My findings highlight the limits of New Age ideology as an alternative to the hegemonic culture in Israel. The difficulty that Israeli New Agers find in divorcing hegemonic conceptualizations demonstrates the centrality and power of ethno-national identity in Israel.
In this article I examine eschatological beliefs and practices among channels in Israel and abroad, and show that they demonstrate an avoidance of traditional, group-oriented political action, and an embrace of alternative, spiritual action performed individually. This is linked to Israel’s shift to a neo-liberal economy and culture in the last few decades, where self-accountability has become the norm. Channeling teaches an extreme version of self-divinity, claiming that a person creates all aspects of his or her life and objecting to outside authority and regulation. It believes in a coming of a New Age of light and that the means to achieve it are personal quests for individual empowerment, which are anticipated to affect the whole world via the “virtual aggregate group,” an energetic reservoir that replaces the traditional group. Channels are engaged in alternative political action, attempting to change the world by virtually pooling spiritual resources.
This article charts the recent development of Modern Paganism in Israel (1999–2012) and analyzes the discourse maintained by Israeli modern-day Pagans when discussing questions of organization and of religious-political rights. As such it deals with the complexities of identifying oneself as a (Jewish-born) Pagan in Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people. I argue that although Israeli Pagans may employ a community-building discourse, they constantly fear the perceived negative consequences of public exposure. They see the bond between (Jewish) religion and the state in Israel as a main factor in the intolerance and even persecution that they expect from the government and from Haredim (“ultra-Orthodox” Jews). The result of this discourse during the first ten years or so of the presence of Modern Paganism in Israel can be seen through the metaphor of a dance, in which participants advance two steps, only to retreat one.
The notion of consciousness change as a political concept has re-emerged as a central issue in recent Israeli political discourse in diverse and seemingly remote groups. The following is a study of some of the contexts and implications of according primacy to consciousness change in political thought, through the tensions between the highly individualistic character of this discourse and its collective language and aims. I focus on one study case, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, a key figure in both extreme settler groups and current New Age Hasidic revival. Analyzing his political writings, I explore his notion of consciousness as the true place of politics. Finally, I return to the question of the context in which Rabbi Ginsburgh’s binding of the political to consciousness should be read, and propose liberal individualism, and the direct line it draws between the individual’s consciousness and that of the state, as an alternative hermeneutical perspective.
The quest for personal and inner spiritual transformation and development is prevalent among spiritual seekers today and constitutes a major characteristic of contemporary spirituality and the New Age phenomenon. Religious leaders of the Bratslav community endeavor to satisfy this need by presenting adjusted versions of hitbodedut meditation, a practice that emphasizes solitary and personal connection with the divine. As is shown by two typical examples, popular Bratslav teachers today take full advantage of the opportunity to infuse the hitbodedut with elements not found in Rabbi Nachman’s teachings and to dispense with some elements that were. The article addresses the socio-political rationale at the root of these teachers’ novel interpretation of Bratslav hitbodedut and the ways they attempt to deal with the complications that arise out of their work.
This article describes the new “field” of Sufi ideas and practices in Israeli Jewish society and analyzes the mutual relations between new Western Sufi influences and traditional Sufi orders of the Middle East. It focuses on the role of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in this evolving field. While the current rise of interest in spirituality is often described as emphasizing an apolitical approach, the evolving Sufi field in Israel is an example of a field that cannot detach itself from the overarching conflict. Moreover, efforts are made by some of the actors in this field to present Sufism as representing a different Islam and, hence, as a potential bridge between the rival parties. These approaches, as this article shows, have their own complexities and influences on the emerging Sufi field in Israel.
Review Essay

Book Reviews

Book Reviews
pp. 153-170

Daniel Bar-Tal and Izhak Schnell, eds., The Impacts of Lasting Occupation: Lessons from Israeli Society

Review by Ned Lazarus

Alan Craig, International Legitimacy and the Politics of Security: The Strategic Deployment of Lawyers in the Israeli Military

Review by Ariel L. Bendor

Joel S. Migdal, Shifting Sands: The United States in the Middle East

Review by Aharon Klieman

Miriam Fendius Elman, Oded Haklai, and Hendrik Spruyt, eds., Democracy and Conflict Resolution: The Dilemmas of Israel’s Peacemaking

Review by Jay Rothman

Eyal Levin, Ethos Clash in Israeli Society

Review by Gabriel Ben-Dor

Danielle Gurevitch, Elana Gomel, and Rani Graff, eds., With Both Feet on the Clouds: Fantasy in Israeli Literature

Review by Ari Ofengenden