New Article: Tziarras, Israel-Cyprus-Greece: a ‘Comfortable’ Quasi-Alliance

Tziarras, Zenonas. “Israel-Cyprus-Greece: a ‘Comfortable’ Quasi-Alliance.” Mediterranean Politics (early view; online first).

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13629395.2015.1131450

 

Abstract

By adopting a neorealist approach to alliance formation this paper examines the trilateral partnership of Israel, Cyprus and Greece. It argues that since its inception in 2011 it has developed into a (‘comfortable’) quasi-alliance – a less formal and more flexible form of alliance than the traditional ones – driven by profit and threat-related individual and collective motivations. The primary motivations behind the formation of the quasi-alliance have been the common perceptions of Turkey as a security threat and energy-related interests. Moreover, it is suggested that the ‘comfortable’ and quasi nature of the alliance could allow the three states to manoeuvre politically so as not to exclude future and parallel relations with Turkey. This means that the transformation of the quasi-alliance into a more formal alliance is a rather unlikely scenario and that it could fade out should Turkish‒Israeli relations improve.

 

 

 

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New Book: Burla and Lawrence, eds. Australia and Israel

Burla, Shahar, and Dashiel Lawrence. Australia and Israel. A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

 

Shahar

 

Australia and the State of Israel have maintained a cordial if at times ambiguous relationship. The two countries are geographically isolated: strategic, economic and cultural interests lie increasingly with Asia for one, and with the US and the EU for the other. But for all that divides the two states, there is also much they share. Australia played an important role in the Jewish state’s establishment in 1948, and is home to the most Zionist centered Jewish diaspora globally. Jewishness for most Australian Jews has been shaped and defined by engagement with and support for Israel. At the heart of this engagement is a small but thriving Israeli community within the larger multicultural Australia.

Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship draws attention to the important historical and contemporary nexus between this diaspora and its imagined homeland. The collection also considers the ways in which these two states mobilise national myths and share environmental challenges. In recent time relations between the two states have been tested by the illegal use of Australian passports in 2010, the mysterious death of dual national Ben Zygier, and growing disquiet within the ranks of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens over Israel’s handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One prominent world-wide issue is the Palestinian BDS (Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions) movement, which has attracted sympathy and support that has brought about substantive differences of opinion regarding its legitimacy within the Jewish Australian community. These issues demonstrate the multifaceted and complex picture of two very different nations, that nevertheless share an abiding connection.

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Why the Book?
Shahar Burla and Dashiel Lawrence

Part One Australia and Israel – Diasporic Relationship

1 Rewriting the Rules of Engagement: New Australian Jewish
Connections with Israel
Dashiel Lawrence

2 The Personal, the Political and the Religious: Bnei Akiva
Australia and its Relationship with Israel
Ari Lander

3 Israeli Government and Diaspora Mobilisation: The Flotilla
to Gaza and the Australian Jewry as a Case Study
Shahar Burla

4 The Place of Hebrew and Israel Education in Australian
Jewish Schools
Suzanne Rutland and Zehavit Gross

5 The Ausraeli Approach: the Diasporic Identity of Israelis
in Australia
Ran Porat

Part Two Australia and Israel – Political and Cultural Relationship

6 Overcoming Water Scarcity and Inequity in Arid Lands:
Comparing Water Management in Australia and Israel
Dominic Skinner and Stephanie Galaitsi

7 Ben Zygier’s Story and Australia–Israel Relations
Ingrid Matthews

8 A Fight Worth Having: Rudd, Gillard, Israel and the
Australian Labor Party
Alex Benjamin Burston-Chorowicz

9 An Alliance of Forgetting: National Narratives of Legitimacy
on the Occasion of Israel–Australia’s Joint Stamp Issue
Commemorating the Battle of Beersheba
Micaela Sahhar

Part Three Australia, Israel and the Boycott Divestment and
Sanction Scheme

10 The Australian Greens and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
Philip Mendes

11 Academic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: Implications
for Australian–Israeli Relations
Ingrid Matthews and James Arvanitakis

Conclusion: First Cousinhood, Political Unease, and the Limits
of Comparison
Fania Oz-Salzberger

The Editors and Contributors
Index

 

Shahar Burla is a research Associate at the Sydney Jewish Museum. He is the author of Political Imagination in the Diaspora: The Construction of a Pro-Israeli Narrative (2013). He has received several awards, including a President’s Fellowship for outstanding PhD student, Bar-Ilan University and the Menahem Begin Foundation academic award.

Dashiel Lawrence is a doctoral candidate at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. His research interests include Jewish diaspora–Israel contemporary relations, and Jewish critics of Israel.

 

 

New Article: Marandola, Implications of the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008 on U.S.-Israeli Relations

Marandola, Marissa L. “More Money, More Problems: A Look at the Implications of the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-429, Sec. 201, 122 Stat. 4842 (2008) on U.S.-Israeli Relations.” Suffolk Transnational Law Review 38 (2015): 93-139.

 
URL: http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/sujtnlr38&div=8

 
Excerpt

This note examines whether the United States, despite being legally bound to comply with Israel’s military needs pursuant to U.S. Congressional legislation passed in 2008, should continue to grant considerable foreign military financing (FMF) amounts to Israel, even though these appropriations undermine the United States’ self-interests. Part II explores the precedential special relationship between the United States and Israel and financial extensions of that relationship. Part III discusses current global affairs, Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) in the Middle East region, and Israel’s recent request for future guaranteed U.S. FMF for purposes of maintaining Israeli QME. Israel is relying on U.S. legislation that formally recognizes U.S. commitment to maintaining Israel’s QME in order to support compliance with Israel’s request. Part IV argues that by passing the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-429, § 201, 122 Stat. 4842 (2008) (The Act), the United States made it more difficult for themselves to make sound, independent decisions regarding future FMF amounts to Israel. Part IV further evidences the burdens The Act’s obligatory nature places on the United States through changing political, economic, and international security and strategic climates, and makes recommendations to counteract The Act’s burdens. Finally, Part V concludes that the United States should continue appropriating military aid and FMF to Israel because it is an integral part of the countries’ relationship, but do so more prudently, so as to strike a balance between individual U.S. and Israeli needs.

 

 

New Book: Alpher, Periphery – Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies

Alpher, Yossi. Periphery. Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

 

1442231017

 

Since its establishment after World War II, the State of Israel has sought alliances with non-Arab and non-Muslim countries and minorities in the Middle East, as well as Arab states geographically distant from the Arab-Israel conflict. The text presents and explains this regional orientation and its continuing implications for war and peace. It examines Israel’s strategy of outflanking, both geographically and politically, the hostile Sunni Arab Middle East core that surrounded it in the early decades of its sovereign history, a strategy that became a pillar of the Israeli foreign and defense policy. This “periphery doctrine” was a grand strategy, meant to attain the major political-security goal of countering Arab hostility through relations with alternative regional powers and potential allies. It was quietly abandoned when the Sadat initiative and the emerging coexistence between Israel and Jordan reflected a readiness on the part of the Sunni Arab core to deal with Israel politically rather than militarily. For a brief interval following the 1991 Madrid conference and the 1993 Oslo accords, Israel seemed to be accepted by all its neighbors, prompting then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to muse that it could even consider joining the Arab League. Yet this periphery strategy had been internalized to some extent in Israel’s strategic thinking and it began to reappear after 2010, following a new era of Arab revolution. The rise of political Islam in Egypt, Turkey, Gaza, southern Lebanon and possibly Syria, coupled with the Islamic regime in Iran, has generated concern in Israel that it is again being surrounded by a ring of hostile states—in this case, Islamists rather than Arab nationalists.

The book analyzes Israel’s strategic thinking about the Middle East region, evaluating its success or failure in maintaining both Israel’s security and the viability of Israeli-American strategic cooperation. It looks at the importance of the periphery strategy for Israeli, moderate Arab, and American, and European efforts to advance the Arab-Israel peace process, and its potential role as the Arab Spring brings about greater Islamization of the Arab Middle East. Already, Israeli strategic planners are talking of “spheres of containment” and “crescents” wherein countries like Cyprus, Greece, Azerbaijan, and Ethiopia constitute a kind of new periphery.

By looking at Israel’s search for Middle East allies then and now, the book explores a key component of Israel’s strategic behavior. Written in an accessible manner for all students, it provides a better understanding of Israel’s role in the Middle East region and its Middle East identity.

Table of Contents

For Whom it May Concern
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction

  1. The Periphery Doctrine at Work
  1. Evolution of a Grand Strategy
  2. The Northern Triangle: Iran and Turkey
  3. Morocco
  4. The Southern Periphery
  5. The Levant Minorities
  6. The Kurds of Northern Iraq
  7. The Jewish Dimension
  8. The American Dimension
  9. End of the First Periphery, 1973-1983

  1. Ramifications
  1. Iran: periphery nostalgia and its costs
  2. Israeli skeptics
  3. Between peripheries: peace, isolation and Islam
  4. Is there a new periphery?
  5. Arab reaction

  1. Conclusion
  1. Can Israel find a regional identity?

Heads of Mossad
Persons interviewed
Maps:

  1. The original periphery concept
  2. The expanded southern periphery
  3. The ethnic periphery
  4. A new periphery?

Index
About the Author

Yossi Alpher was an officer in Israeli military intelligence, followed by twelve years of service in the Mossad. Until 1995, he was director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. In July 2000, he served as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Israel during the Camp David talks. From 2001 to 2012 he was coeditor of the bitterlemons.net family of internet publications.

New Article: Drucker, The Alliance Israélite Universelle and Moroccan Jews

Drucker, Peter. “‘Disengaging from the Muslim Spirit’: The Alliance Israélite Universelle and Moroccan Jews.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 11.1 (2015): 3-23.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_middle_east_womens_studies/v011/11.1.drucker.html

 

Abstract

The project of the French Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) in Morocco in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—to win social and political equality for Jews through European enlightenment—was intertwined with the French imperial project. Moroccan Jewish women were assigned, as mothers and wives, a special role in the AIU’s efforts: to help Jewish boys and men pursue commercial or professional careers in French-dominated society The AIU schools set out to win Moroccan Jews away from despised Muslim gender and sexual norms by Europeanizing Jews’ marriage patterns and family forms, combating prostitution, eliminating women’s traditional head coverings, and reining in what the AIU saw as men’s promiscuity and homosexual tendencies. Ultimately, the AIU helped further estrange Moroccan Jews from Muslims but failed to secure Moroccan Jews’ smooth integration into French secular culture. Moroccan Jews in Israel today, faced with persistent discrimination, largely cling to religiously based, conservative gender norms.

ToC: Israel Affairs 20,1 (2014)

Israel Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 1, 02 Jan 2014 is now available on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
Alternative energy in Israel: opportunities and risks
Gawdat Bahgat
Pages: 1-18
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863078

The success of the Zionist strategy vis-à-vis UNSCOP
Elad Ben-Dror
Pages: 19-39
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863079

Israel: ‘occupier’ or ‘occupied’? The psycho-political projection of Christian and post-Christian supersessionism
Kalman J. Kaplan & Paul Cantz
Pages: 40-61
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863082

Misuse of power in Israeli intelligence
Ephraim Kahana & Daphna Sharfman
Pages: 62-74
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863081

The birth of the core issues: the West Bank and East Jerusalem under Israeli administration, 1967–76 (Part 2)
Moshe Elad
Pages: 75-86
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863080

One step forward or two steps back? Unilateralism and Israel’s Gaza disengagement in the eyes of the world
Geoffrey Levin
Pages: 87-103
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863084

Between private property rights and national preferences: the Bank of Israel’s early years
Arie Krampf
Pages: 104-124
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863083

Bandwagoning for profit and Turkey: alliance formations and volatility in the Middle East
Spyridon N. Litsas
Pages: 125-139
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2013.863085

New Article: Raichel and Tadmor-Shimony, Jewish Philanthropy, Zionist Culture, and the Civilizing Mission of Hebrew Education

Raichel, Nirit and Tali Tadmor-Shimony. “Jewish Philanthropy, Zionist Culture, and the Civilizing Mission of Hebrew Education.” Modern Judaism 34.1 (2014): 60-85.

 

URL: http://mj.oxfordjournals.org/content/34/1/60.extract.html

 

Excerpt

Different concepts about the direction of Jewish society and culture in Eretz Israel converged around the issue of education in the moshavot of Ottoman Palestine. Parents in the moshavot had three educational alternatives to consider and choose from: the religious-traditional, modern French-language, and modern-Zionist options. The religious alternative was a continuation of the heder or Talmud-Torah. The other two options were an expression of the desire to create a modern Jew. The one aspired to mold a modern, observant Jew with a Western cultural orientation. The other sought to forge a modern, Jewish, Eretz-Yisraeli society conducted in Hebrew. The community philanthropy provided by Baron Rothschild and the JCA allowed the modern alternatives to set up schools that operated alongside other community institutions. The schools in Ottoman Palestine, like those in some of the countries of nineteenth-century Europe, were major, vitally important institutions in their communities. They gave the younger generation a basis for their professional futures and dealt with public–social–cultural issues that no other public system handled. A notable example of this was the problem of hygiene. The moshavah school, like its European counterparts, predated the development of social work.86 It served as a substitute for hospitals, which were not easily reached, and took care of the entire juvenile population, including and mainly those without means. This process, set in motion by the advent of compulsory education laws, gradually spread throughout Europe and America, and transformed the school into a major, accessible institution. The modern-French language schools and the modern Zionist schools were easily incorporated into the communal philanthropic model. Community life in the moshavot, as in European farming communities, made the school’s educational efforts—beyond those of teaching and expanding knowledge—easier.

[…]

From the historical perspective it may be argued that Zionist education triumphed over the ethnic solidarity of Jewish philanthropy. This success may be attributed, inter alia, to the Hebrew teachers’ ability to organize themselves and create an educational establishment that included uniform curriculum, teaching aids, and pedagogical standards. These teachers were able to take advantage of the educational philanthropy and emphasize the ideology they had in common with it while guiding the schools to develop a Hebrew culture and a modern, Jewish, Eretz-Yisraeli society.

ToC: Israel Studies 17,3 (2012)

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.17.issue-3