New Book: Kreiger, The Dead Sea and the Jordan River

Kreiger, Barbara. The Dead Sea and the Jordan River. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

 

9780253019523_med

 

For centuries travelers have been drawn to the stunning and mysterious Dead Sea and Jordan River, a region which is unlike any other on earth in its religious and historical significance. In this exceptionally engaging and readable book, Barbara Kreiger chronicles the natural and human history of these storied bodies of water, drawing on accounts by travelers, pilgrims, and explorers from ancient times to the present. She conveys the blend of spiritual, touristic, and scientific motivations that have driven exploration and describes the modern exploitation of the lake and the surrounding area through mineral extraction and agriculture. Today, both lake and river are in crisis, and stewardship of these water resources is bound up with political conflicts in the region. The Dead Sea and the Jordan River combines history, literature, travelogue, and natural history in a way that makes it hard to put down.

 

Table of Contents

    • Part I. This Strange Water
      1. Some Early History, Travellers, Myths
    • Part II. Nineteenth-Century Exploration
      2. Three Sailors, and a River
      3. Along the Briny Strand
    • Part III. Origins and Evolution
      4. The Life of a Lake
    • Part IV. Further Exploration
      5. Gentleman from Siberia
      6. A Lake Divided
    • Part V. The Twenty-First Century
      7. The River and Lake in Distress
      8. Reclamation, and a Vision of the Future
    • Afterword

 

BARBARA KREIGER is Creative Writing Concentration Chair and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. Her other publications include Divine Expectations: An American Woman in Nineteenth-Century Palestine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications.

Advertisements

New Article: Pozzi & Alborali, Animal Welfare Regulations for Swine Keeping in Israel

Pozzi, P.S., and G. L. Alborali. “Animal Welfare Regulations for Swine Keeping in Israel: A Comparison with the EU Directive 120 of 2008 ‘Laying Down Minimum Standards for the Protection of Pigs’.” Israel Journal of Veterinary Medicine 71.1 (2016): 10-14.

 

URL: http://www.ijvm.org.il/sites/default/files/pozzi_0.pdf (PDF)

 

Abstract

In February 2015, Israel approved the new Animal Welfare Law – Animal Protection – “Regulations for Swine Keeping for Agricultural Purposes”, which was implemented since May 2015. In comparison with European Union (EU) Legislation on swine protection (Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008), Israeli Regulations are ameliorative in terms of reduction of days in insemination stalls for gilts and sows; reduction of days in restraint during lactation; available floor area to each animal; pain management and relief in the course of castration, tail docking and corner-teeth clipping.

 

 

 

New Article: Wolfson, Animal Protection under Israeli Law

Wolfson, Yossi. “Animal Protection Under Israeli Law.” In Animal Law and Welfare. International Perspectives (ed. Deborah Cao and Steven White; Cham: Springer, 2016): 157-79.

 
animal law and welfare
 

URL: dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-26818-7_8

 

Abstract

Israeli law, in some aspects, is rather progressive as to the protection of non-human animals. While “animal abuse” is interpreted as causing animals “unnecessary suffering”, the content given to this phrase defeats some characteristics attributed by Gary Francione to “legal welfarism”. In some instances the interests of nonhuman animals override substantive human interests, anchored in institutionalized forms of exploitation. An example is the ban on force-feeding of geese and ducks. Animal protection organizations were granted a broad mandate by the Israeli legislature and courts to represent the interests of animals in civil, administrative and criminal procedures. This solves the problem of standing which undermines animal protection in other jurisdictions. While Israeli law protects the interests of animals for the sake of the animals and gives them some weight, social power relations are still based on the cruel exploitation of nonhumans by humans. This chapter describes the principles of animal protection in Israeli law, discusses aspects that may inspire animal protection in other countries, and goes into some detail regarding the specific provisions of Israeli laws that are difficult to access without the knowledge of Hebrew.

 

 

CFP: Jewish horticultural schools in Germany and their impact on Palestine / Israel

Call for Papers: Jewish horticultural and agricultural schools / training centers in Germany and their impact on horticulture, agriculture and landscape architecture in Palestine / Israel 

Place: Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem

Date: September 26, 2016

Deadline: April 30, 2016

In the course of the late 19th and early 20th century, more than 30 Jewish horticultural and agricultural training centers and schools (Hachshara) were established in Germany to train Jews from Germany and other European countries, particularly Eastern Europe. While these institutions aimed to prepare their graduates to emigrate from Germany, they also reflected the lure of the students toward the local land and landscape, a topic which was relative neglected in the emerging research field of ‘everyday history’(Alltagsgeschichte) of Jewish life in Germany. Upon arriving in Palestine, graduates of these centers were involved in establishing new settlements, led agricultural and horticultural activities, pioneered agricultural education, and practiced landscape architecture. Nevertheless, in contrast to the rich documentation of the role of the “Yekkes” in the country’s development, there is surprisingly little research on this group’s contribution to the emergence of the local landscape.

Our research explores the scopes, goals, and contribution of these German educational institutions. It documents the history of the schools and training centers, their curricula, and the actual work and life of their students. In parallel we investigate the impact of these graduates, after their arrival in Palestine, on the local landscape. We explore their landscape perceptions, their settlement projects (mainly in the Kibbutzim but not exclusively), and their contributions to the fields of agriculture, horticulture, and landscape architecture.
On September 26, 2016 we will hold a workshop in Jerusalem, organized together with the Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem, in order to bring together German and Israeli researchers to discuss these issues and exchange knowledge and ideas. We invite scholars of all disciplines, including but not limited to architecture, horticulture, agriculture, the humanities, and the social sciences, to send proposals for papers addressing the research topics and related issues.

Interested scholars are invited to send an abstract of 300 words and a short bio of 100 words to Sharon Gordon sharon.n.gordon@gmail.com.

We encourage scholars to send full papers or work in progress prior to the workshop, though such exchange will not be obligatory.

Due date is 30/4/2016.

New Book: McKee, Dwelling in Conflict

McKee, Emily Dwelling in Conflict. Negev Landscapes and the Boundaries of Belonging. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.

 
Dwelling in Conflict

Land disputes in Israel are most commonly described as stand-offs between distinct groups of Arabs and Jews. In Israel’s southern region, the Negev, Jewish and Bedouin Arab citizens and governmental bodies contest access to land for farming, homes, and industry and struggle over the status of unrecognized Bedouin villages. “Natural,” immutable divisions, both in space and between people, are too frequently assumed within these struggles.

 

Dwelling in Conflict offers the first study of land conflict and environment based on extensive fieldwork within both Arab and Jewish settings. It explores planned towns for Jews and for Bedouin Arabs, unrecognized villages, and single-family farmsteads, as well as Knesset hearings, media coverage, and activist projects. Emily McKee sensitively portrays the impact that dividing lines—both physical and social—have on residents. She investigates the political charge of people’s everyday interactions with their environments and the ways in which basic understandings of people and “their” landscapes drive political developments. While recognizing deep divisions, McKee also takes seriously the social projects that residents engage in to soften and challenge socio-environmental boundaries. Ultimately, Dwelling in Conflict highlights opportunities for boundary crossings, revealing both contemporary segregation and the possible mutability of these dividing lines in the future.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Narrating Present Pasts
  • 2. Seeking Recognition
  • Bridge: Distant Neighbors
  • 3. Coping with Lost Land
  • 4. Reforming Community
  • 5. Challenging Boundaries
  • Conclusion

 

EMILY McKEE is Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department and the Institute for the Study of Environment, Sustainability, and Energy at Northern Illinois University.

 

 

 

New Article: Tubi and Feitelson, Bedouin Herders and Jewish Farmers in the Negev, 1957–1963

Tubi, Amit, and Eran Feitelson. “Drought and Cooperation in a Conflict Prone Area: Bedouin Herders and Jewish Farmers in Israel’s Northern Negev, 1957–1963.” Political Geography 51 (2016): 30-42.

ְְ

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.11.009

 

Abstract

Climate change is increasingly considered a security problem by academics and politicians alike. Although research is challenging such neo-Malthusian views, it focuses on conflict, or lack thereof, paying limited attention, if any, to cooperation. This study examines the effect of a severe drought on a spectrum of both conflict and cooperation in a highly incendiary setting, between Muslim Bedouin herders and Jewish agricultural settlements in Israel’s semi-arid northern Negev region. This region, lying between the Mediterranean zone and the Negev Desert, has historically been a battle ground between farmers and pastoralists.

Using archival data, both conflictive and cooperative interactions between the two groups during the 1957–63 drought, the worst in the 20th century, were examined. The results indicate that although the entire range of responses occurred, violence was limited and occurred only when some of the Bedouins migrated to the more northern Mediterranean zone. In the semi-arid northern Negev the Bedouins and two settlements engaged in substantive cooperation and assistance. Grazing on damaged crops in return for payment was also practiced during the drought.

A number of factors that affected both conflict and cooperation are identified. The severity of conflicts increased when farmers and herders lacked previous familiarity, while the need to reduce the drought’s impacts and settlements’ left-wing political affiliation formed main incentives for cooperation. Measures taken by state institutions to directly reduce frictions and to provide relief assistance were central to the overall limited level of conflict, but also reinforced the power disparities between the groups.

 

 

 

New Article: Tesdell, Territoriality and the Technics of Drylands Science in Palestine and North America

Tesdell, Omar Imseeh. “Territoriality and the Technics of Drylands Science in Palestine and North America.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.3 (2015): 570-573.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020743815000586

 
Abstract
At the turn of the 20th century, agricultural experts in several countries assembled a new agro-scientific field: dryland farming. Their agricultural research practices concomitantly fashioned a new agro-ecological zone—the drylands—as the site of agronomic intervention. As part of this effort, American scientists worked in concert with colleagues in the emerging Zionist movement to investigate agricultural practices and crops in Palestine and neighboring regions, where nonirrigated or rainfed agriculture had long been practiced. In my larger manuscript project, I consider how the reorganization of rainfed farming as dryfarming is central to the history of both the Middle East and North America, where it was closely related to modern forms of power, sovereignty, and territoriality. I suggest that American interest in dryfarming science emerged out of a practical need to propel and sustain colonization of the Great Plains, but later became a joint effort of researchers from several emerging settler enterprises, including Australia, Canada, and the Zionist movement. In contrast to a naturally ocurring bioregion, I argue that the drylands spatiality was engineered through, rather than outside, the territorialization of modern power.

 

 

New Article: Hananel, Rethinking Israel’s National Land Policy

Hananel, Ravit. “The Land Narrative: Rethinking Israel’s National Land Policy.” Land Use Policy 45 (2015): 128-40.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.01.015

 

Abstract

The land narrative tells the unique story of Israel’s national land policy. Its historical and ideological roots are in the early 1900s, when the Zionist movement and the Jewish National Fund were founded, but it continues to influence spatial policy and land allocation in Israel today. The land narrative is based on the distinction between the urban sector and the rural-agricultural sector and on the clear preference—at least at the ideological level—for the rural-agricultural sector. However, despite the decision-makers’ clear preference for the members of the cooperative and communal rural sector, over time the urban residents’ have received more land rights de facto. This study provides an explanation of this dissonance by exploring the land narrative, examines its broad implications for Israeli society, and discusses its future implications.

New Article: Reynolds, Palestinian Agriculture and the Israeli Separation Barrier

Reynolds, Kyra. “Palestinian Agriculture and the Israeli Separation Barrier: The Mismatch of Biopolitics and Chronopolitics with the Environment and Human Survival.” International Journal of Environmental Studies 72.2 (2015): 237-55.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207233.2014.991546

Abstract

Academic scholarship on Israel’s Separation Barrier has focused upon its legality and political impacts. United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations have been left to document its other actual/potential infringements. The natural environment has been secondary to higher profile issues, such as the intentions behind the structure and its implications for any future peace agreement. Yet, since environmental impediments can have serious long-term implications for natural resources and human subsistence, it is necessary to examine the barrier’s impacts after a decade of existence. This paper focuses upon the main human-environment system of agriculture. A multi-method approach reveals that the impacts constitute much more than the ‘population here, natural resources there’ thesis that has dominated narratives about the barrier’s environmental impediments. In fact, the barrier appears to be having dramatic and perhaps unexpected socio-ecological consequences.

New Article: Foster, The 1915 Locust Attack in Syria and Palestine

Foster, Zachary J. “The 1915 Locust Attack in Syria and Palestine and its Role in the Famine During the First World War.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.3 (2015): 370-94.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00263206.2014.976624

 

Abstract

The famine that befell Syria during the First World War was among the most tragic events in the region’s modern history. The article argues that the 1915 locust attack, which is often neglected altogether or given terse treatment as one among a laundry list of causes of the famine, was a critical factor which drove many across the region, especially in Lebanon and Palestine, to starvation beginning in late 1915. Given that the scale of the attack was far worse than anything Syria had witnessed in many decades, if not centuries; and that a huge percentage of the region’s major foodstuffs and sources of livelihood, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, fodder and a small but not insignificant amount of cereals, were devoured by the locusts, it is suggested that many of the 100,00–200,000 people that died from starvation or starvation-related diseases in the year immediately following the attack – that is, from November 1915 to November 1916 – can be attributed to the locust invasion.

New Book: Shamir, The Electrification of Palestine

Shamir, Ronen. Current Flow. The Electrification of Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.

 

cover for Current Flow

Whether buried underfoot or strung overhead, electrical lines are omnipresent. Not only are most societies dependent on electrical infrastructure, but this infrastructure actively shapes electrified society. From the wires, poles, and generators themselves to the entrepreneurs, engineers, politicians, and advisors who determine the process of electrification, our electrical grids can create power—and politics—just as they transmit it.

Current Flow examines the history of electrification of British-ruled Palestine in the 1920s, as it marked, affirmed, and produced social, political, and economic difference between Arabs and Jews. Considering the interplay of British colonial interests, the Jewish-Zionist leanings of a commissioned electric company, and Arab opposition within the case of the Jaffa Power House, Ronen Shamir reveals how electrification was central in assembling a material infrastructure of ethno-national separation in Palestine long before “political partition plans” had ever been envisioned. Ultimately, Current Flow sheds new light on the history of Jewish-Arab relations and offers broader sociological insights into what happens when people are transformed from users into elements of networks.

Ronen Shamir is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University and author of The Colonies of Law: Colonialism, Zionism and Law in Early Mandate Palestine (2000) and Managing Legal Uncertainty: Elite Lawyers in the New Deal (1996).

Reviews: Kanaaneh and Nusair, eds. Displaced at Home

Kanaaneh, Rhoda Ann and Isis Nusair, eds. Displaced at Home. Ethnicity and Gender among Palestinians in Israel. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2010.

cover

Reviews

  • Sa’ar, Amalia. “Review.” Review of Middle East Studies 45.1 (2011): 113-115.
  • Bachal, Lauren, et al. “Review.” Contemporary Sociology 40.5 (2011): 639-40.
  • Gluck, Sherna Berger. “New Directions in Palestinian Oral History.” Oral History Review 39.1 (2012): 100-111.
  • Vivier, Elmé. “Review.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 13.3 (2012): 203-207.
  • Arar, Khalid. “Review.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 40.2 (2013): 227-30.

.

Cite: Tadmor-Shimony, Cultivating the Soil as an Educational Message

Tadmor-Shimony, Talia. "Cultivating the Soil as an Educational Message in Israeli Schools During the 1950s and 1960s." Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 10.1 (2011): 23-42.

URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a936080543

 

Abstract

One of the founding principles of the Zionist ethos is cultivation of the soil. This article examines the ways in which this ethos was “translated” into educational values in Israeli State (secular) primary schools during the 1950s and 1960s. The translation took place at three levels. First, agriculture was presented as a paragon and the rural way of life as idyllic in the written curriculum. Reading textbooks included collections of stories about farmers who had fulfilled the myth of “making the wilderness bloom”; history textbooks emphasized the importance of Hebrew agriculture in the Zionist narrative. The second level was the physical cultivation of the soil in agriculture lessons: children learned how to grow radishes and onions, maintain an irrigation grid, and put together a sprinkler. The third level was the creation of an agricultural timeframe by teaching in accordance with the timeline of agrarian seasons. Schools celebrated “agrarianized” versions of Jewish festivals in order to emphasize the renewal of the Jewish people’s connection with its land through agricultural work.