CfP: Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, and the Dynamics of Delegitimization (IU, April 2016; deadline June 1, 2015)

Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism

 Indiana University

Announces

Anti-Zionism, Antisemitism, and the Dynamics of Delegitimization:

An International Scholars’ Conference

April 2-5, 2016

Call for Papers

This conference will aim to explore the thinking that informs contemporary anti-Zionism and to clarify the ties such thinking may have with antisemitism and broader ideological, political, and cultural currents of thought.

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, recently declared that “anti-Zionism is an invitation to antisemitism.” The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, concurs, stating that anti-Zionism is “the face of the new antisemitism. It targets the Jewish people by targeting Israel and attempts to make the old bigotry acceptable for a new generation.”

Are they right? What are the possible links between anti-Zionism and antisemitism? When does criticism of Israel cease to be a part of legitimate or acceptable discourse and become a form of antisemitism?  These have been much discussed questions, but recent events have given them a new urgency, and examining them today seems both timely and necessary.

Most arguments against Zionism formulated in the pre-state period would find few supporters today. The destruction of European Jewry during World War II and the establishment of Israel a few years later changed history in decisive ways and brought most Jews and others to recognize the need for and validity of a sovereign Jewish state. Nevertheless, in some circles attitudes towards the ongoing existence of such a state are no longer as affirmative as they had been, and publicly voiced calls for the end of Israel are becoming more prevalent. These anti-Zionist views are emerging at a time when antisemitism is on the upsurge in Europe and elsewhere.  How, if at all, are these phenomena related? What exactly do people mean when they say they are not against Jews or Judaism but “Zionism?” What does “Zionism” signify to its present-day opponents? What motivates them to fixate, sometimes fervently, on what they see as the singular “injustices” and even “evil” of Zionism and Israel? Of what irredeemable sin do they find Israel to be uniquely guilty?

The thinking that gives rise to these questions finds abundant expression today on college and university campuses as well as in some NGOs, political parties, trade and labor unions, religious institutions, human rights organizations, the United Nations, the global media (including social media), the arts and popular entertainment, etc. Those who align themselves with anti-Zionist agendas within these bodies frequently advance the goals of delegitimization. And the ultimate end point of delegitimization is the dissolution of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state and, for some, the nullification of the notion of the Jewish people as such. Why do such radical goals have appeal to otherwise thoughtful, professedly “peace-loving” people? What do they see in Israel that makes it, alone among all of the world’s countries, unacceptable as a state? No other nation, after all, is targeted for elimination. Why is Israel?

This conference will provide opportunity to explore and debate these and related questions in their historical, ideological, political, psychological, and cultural dimensions.

Papers are invited from younger scholars as well as more senior scholars. For oral presentation at the conference, papers will be restricted to 30 minutes. Thus, they should not exceed about 12 pages, double-spaced. For possible inclusion in a projected volume of edited conference proceedings, papers should be 20-25 pages, double-spaced.

Instructions for Submitting Paper Proposals: Please send detailed proposals to Alvin H. Rosenfeld (rosenfel@Indiana.edu), together with your curriculum vitae, by June 1, 2015. Proposals should be no longer than 2 typed pages, double-spaced. Decisions about acceptance will be sent to applicants by September 1, 2015.

Academic Advisory Board: Chaired by Alvin H. Rosenfeld, this committee will read and assess conference paper proposals. Members include: Doron Ben-Atar (Fordham University), Bruno Chaouat (University of Minnesota), Günther Jikeli (Indiana University), and Elhanan Yakira (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Conference Sponsors:  Indiana University’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, School for Global and International Studies, and Indiana University Press.

Expenses: Those presenting papers who require financial assistance can apply to the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, c/o Alvin H. Rosenfeld, for coverage of conference-related travel, food, and accommodations costs. We will do our best to help meet at least some of your needs.

New Article: Dunner and Myers, A Haredi Attack on Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik

Dunner, Pini and David N. Myers. “A Haredi Attack on Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik: A Battle over the Brisker Legacy from 1984.” Jewish Quarterly Review 105.1 (2015): 131-138.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jewish_quarterly_review/v105/105.1.dunner.html

 

Abstract

The Soloveitchik family is one of the most distinguished rabbinic families in modern Jewish history. Despite the fact that the Soloveitchik family includes diverse varieties of Orthodoxy among its members, tensions between the different branches rarely surface publicly. However, in 1984, on the occasion of a publication in honor of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik’s 80th birthday, this unwritten rule was broken. Unnamed followers of the hard-line Brisk faction in Jerusalem, founded by R. Yitzhak Zev (Velvel) Soloveitchik, fiercely denounced Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, and his supporters, in a venomous broadside that briefly circulated in Israel and then disappeared from sight. It is being published here for the first time, bringing to the light of day sharp divergences in perspective among Orthodox Jews of the same family.

New Article: Jander, German Leftist Terrorism and Israel

Jander, Martin. “German Leftist Terrorism and Israel: Ethno-Nationalist, Religious-Fundamentalist, or Social-Revolutionary?” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 38.6 (2015): 456-77.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2015.1006451

 

Abstract

The relationship of the three leftist terrorist organizations in the Federal Republic of Germany to Israel can be summarized, in somewhat abbreviated fashion, as follows: All three groups, the Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion; RAF), June 2 Movement (Bewegung 2. Juni), and Revolutionary Cells (Revolutionäre Zellen), and the milieu from which they emerged in West Berlin, Munich, Heidelberg, Hamburg, and Frankfurt, hated America, Americans, Israel, and Jews. They participated in the international terror war against Israel and did not shy away from attacks on Jews and Jewish facilities in the Federal Republic of Germany. The three organizations mentioned, for all their differences, are, to be reckoned among the organizations coming out of leftist traditions that, like the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands), after the end of the Shoah and the Second World War, and in the name of a supposed struggle against fascism, conducted antisemitic propaganda, supported the war of terror against Israel, and publicly justified and supported those groups and institutions working in the same direction.

New Article: Greenberg, R. Areleh Roth’s Pristine Faith

Greenberg, Gershon. “R. Areleh Roth’s Pristine Faith: Through Holocaust to Redemption.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.1 (2015): 72-88.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725886.2015.1007601

 

Abstract

Areleh Roth responded to the Holocaust by labouring to have Jews actualize pristine faith. As the slaughter in Europe mended the sinful universe prior to the advent of the Messiah, the living were enjoined to bring to bear the faith which was experienced by Abraham and which the people of Israel inherited over the ages. This meant struggling against the forces of Amalek who clouded the perception of God’s presence amid the tragedy. Under divine aegis, Amalek brought suffering to induce repentance, he tested the people in order to activate free will, and clouded the perception of God’s presence amid catastrophe. The struggle centred on annulling one’s personality entirely, enabling God to enter the heart so completely as to totally replace the ego. This was the experience of pristine faith, and with it one related to God, through Abraham, and gained the strength to endure the tragedy. Even more, one’s soul could join the ascent of those sparks which were dispersed upon the cosmic catastrophe (described by Isaac Luria) and thereby contribute to, and participate in, the rise of Israel to the spiritual redemption of the Sabbath before Adam’s sin. Roth’s response to the catastrophe was not of theological exposition (for example, why the pious suffered) but of practical means to survive and thrive on the level of spirit.

 

New Article: Shavit, Zionism as told by Rashid Rida

Shavit, Uriya. “Zionism as told by Rashid Rida.” Journal of Israeli History (early view, online first).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13531042.2015.1005807

 

Abstract

Muhammad Rashid Rida, the editor of al-Manar and one of the preeminent Muslim thinkers of the twentieth century, published between 1898 and 1935 dozens of reports, analyses, and Quran exegesis on Jews, Zionism, and the Palestine question. His scholarship greatly influenced the Muslim Brothers and still reverberates in the Arab political discourse today. Based on the first systematic reading and contextualization of al-Manar‘s pertinent texts, this article examines and explains the radical shifts in Rida’s views: from describing Zionism as a humanitarian enterprise of a virtuous nation to depicting it as a plan for ethnic cleansing; from expressing doubts about the ability of the Arabs to prevail against the Jews to proclaiming certainty that they would; and from condemning French anti-Semitism to embracing hateful theories about Jewish conspiracies and vices.

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: Salmon, Rabbi Joshua Joseph Preil—Protesting at the Gate

Salmon, Yosef. “Rabbi Joshua Joseph Preil—Protesting at the Gate.” Modern Judaism 35.1 (2015): 66-82.

 

URL: http://mj.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/1/66.extract

 

Excerpt

The use that the orthodox anti-Zionist camp made of Preil’s writings after his death proves that Rabbi Joshua Joseph Preil was not a lone voice in the desert. Rather, he laid the foundations of orthodox anti-Zionist thought. While he did not negate modernity, and he even praised organizations that broadened academic study, work, and agricultural pursuits, he dedicated himself to establishing a body that would “strengthen the Jewish religion.” In his opinion, patriotism devoid of religion would not endure against human egocentrism, and nationalism without a religious message would lead the Jewish people to establish a state similar to Serbia. Preil’s opinions had a big impact on the haredi world even after his death by virtue of the publication of his articles in Ha-Peles.

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.1 (2015)

Israel Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 1, January 2015

 

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
Ethnic Income Disparities in Israel
Pnina O. Plaut & Steven E. Plaut
Pages: 1-26
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984418

‘Mayhew’s outcasts’: anti-Zionism and the Arab lobby in Harold Wilson’s Labour Party
James R. Vaughan
Pages: 27-47
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984420

Israel Negev Bedouin during the 1948 War: Departure and Return
Havatzelet Yahel & Ruth Kark
Pages: 48-97
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984421

Good news: the Carmel Newsreels and their place in the emerging Israeli language media
Oren Soffer & Tamar Liebes
Pages: 98-111
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984422

From ‘Rambo’ to ‘sitting ducks’ and back again: the Israeli soldier in the media
Elisheva Rosman & Zipi Israeli
Pages: 112-130
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984423

Israel and the Arab Gulf states: from tacit cooperation to reconciliation?
Yoel Guzansky
Pages: 131-147
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984424

Building partnerships between Israeli and Palestinian youth: an integrative approach
Debbie Nathan, David Trimble & Shai Fuxman
Pages: 148-164
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984436

Book Reviews
Flexigidity: the secret of Jewish adaptability
David Rodman
Pages: 165-166
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937913

Russia and Israel in the changing Middle East
David Rodman
Pages: 166-167
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937914

Social mobilization in the Arab–Israeli war of 1948: on the Israeli home front
David Rodman
Pages: 167-169
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937915

These are my brothers: a dramatic story of heroism during the Yom Kippur War
David Rodman
Pages: 169-171
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937916

Jews and the military: a history
David Rodman
Pages: 171-173
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937917

The Jewish revolt: ad 66–74
David Rodman
Pages: 173-173
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937918

The city besieged: siege and its manifestations in the ancient Near East
David Rodman
Pages: 173-175
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937919

The forgotten kingdom: the archaeology and history of northern Israel
David Rodman
Pages: 175-176
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.937920

New Book: Ben-Rafael et al, eds. Reconsidering Israel-Diaspora Relations

Ben-Rafael, Eliezer, Judit Bokser Liwerant, and Yosef Gorny, eds. Reconsidering Israel-Diaspora Relations, Jewish Identities in a Changing World, 22. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012.

 

67146

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction
PART I. JEWISH PEOPLEHOOD: CHANGING PATTERNS OF ISRAEL-DIASPORA RELATIONS

1. Sergio Della Pergola: Jewish Peoplehood: Hard, Soft, and Interactive Markers
2. Jonathan D. Sarna: From World-Wide People to First-World People: The Consolidation (fn. concentration) of World Jewry
3. Shulamit Reinharz: The “Jewish Peoplehood” Concept: Complications and Suggestions
4. Yosef Gorny: Ethnicity and State Policy: The State of Israel in the Intellectual and Political Discourse of the US Jewish Press
5. Ephraim Yuchtman-Ya’ar and Steven M. Cohen: Close and Distant: The Relations between Israel and the Diaspora

PART II. RELIGIOSITY AND ETHNICITY

6. Yael Israel-Cohen: The Reform and Conservative Movements in Israel: Strategies of Peripheral Movements in a Monopolized Religious Market
7. Shlomo Fischer: Two Orthodox Cultures: “Centrist” Orthodoxy and Religious Zionism
8. Margalit Bejarano: Ethnicity and Transnationalism: Latino Jews in Miami
9. Nissim Leon: Strong Ethnicity: The Case of US-born Jews in Israel

PART III. GENDER AND GENERATION

10. Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz: Orthodox Jewish Women as a Bridge Between Israel and the Diaspora
11. Florinda Goldberg: Gender, Religion, and the Search for a Modern Jewish Identity in “La Rabina” by Silvia Plager
12. Erik H. Cohen: Global Jewish Youth Studies – Towards a Theory
13. Sylvia Barack Fishman: Generational and Cultural Constructions of Jewish Peoplehood

PART IV. ISRAELOPHOBIA, ANTI-ZIONISM AND “NEO”-ANTISEMITISM

14. Shmuel Trigano: Debasing Praise: Hatred of the Jews in a Global Age
15. Chantal Bordes-Benayoun: Integration and Antisemitism: The Case of French Jewry
16. Julius H. Schoeps: How Antisemitism, Obsessive Criticism of Israel, and Do-Gooders Complicate Jewish Life in Germany
17. Leonardo Senkman: Anti-Zionist Discourse of the Left in Latin America: An Assessment.
18. Uzi Rebhun, Chaim I. Waxman, Nadia Beider: American Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process: A Study of Diaspora in International Affairs

PART V. CONFIGURATIONS OF WORLD JEWRY AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL

19. Judit Bokser-Liwerant: Jewish Diaspora and Transnationalism: Awkward (Dance) Partners?
20. Lars Dencik: The Dialectics of Diaspora in Contemporary Modernity
21. Gabi Sheffer: Reflections on Israel and Jerusalem as the Centers of World Jewry
22. Eliezer Ben-Rafael: Israel-Diaspora Relations: “Transmission Driving-belts” of Transnationalism

Epilogue: One – After All….for the time being

 

New Article: Jaspal, Delegitimizing Jews and Israel in Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon Contest

Jaspal, Rusi. “Delegitimizing Jews and Israel in Iran’s International Holocaust Cartoon Contest.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 13.2 (2014): 167-89.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725886.2014.919804

 

 

Abstract

 

In 2006, the Iranian government-aligned newspaper Hamshahri sponsored The International Holocaust Cartoon Contest. The stated aim of the contest was to denounce “Western hypocrisy on freedom of speech,” and to challenge “Western hegemony” in relation to Holocaust knowledge. This government-backed initiative was a clear attempt to export the Iranian regime’s anti-Zionist agenda. Using qualitative thematic analysis and Social Representations Theory, this article provides an in-depth qualitative analysis of the cartoons submitted to the contest in order to identify emerging social representations of Jews and Israel. Three superordinate themes are outlined: (i) “Constructing the ‘Evil Jew’ and ‘Brutal Israel’ as a Universal Threat;” (ii) “Denying the Holocaust and Affirming Palestinian Suffering;” (iii) “Constructing International Subservience to ‘Nazi-Zionist’ Ideology.” Although the organizers of the International Holocaust Cartoon Contest claimed that their aims were anti-Zionist, this article elucidates the overtly anti-Semitic character of the contest and its cartoons. It is argued that the cartoons exhibit a distorted, one-sided version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and of Jewish history, and may therefore shape viewers’ beliefs concerning Jews and Israel in fundamentally negative ways, with negative outcomes for intergroup relations and social harmony.

New Article: Jaspal, Mass Communication of Anti-Zionism in the English-Language Iranian Press

Jaspal, Rusi. “Representing the ‘Zionist Regime’: Mass Communication of Anti-Zionism in the English-Language Iranian Press.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 41.3 (2014): 287-305.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13530194.2014.888261

 

Abstract

Anti-Zionism constitutes an important ideological building block of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article provides insight into the mass communication of anti-Zionism in the English-language Iranian press in order to examine how this ideology is ‘exported’ to an international readership. The article presents the results of an empirical study of two leading English-language Iranian newspapers, The Tehran Times and Press TV. The study uses critical discourse analysis and draws upon tenets of Social Representations Theory from social psychology. The following themes are discussed: (i) resisting social representations of Israeli statehood; (ii) constructing threat: the Zionist regime as a terrorist entity; and (iii) responding to threat: anti-Zionism as a religious duty for the Muslim Ummah. As a ‘mouthpiece’ of Iran, these outlets adopt and encourage a fervently anti-Zionist stance by refusing to recognise the statehood and civilian population of Israel and by constructing the ‘Zionist regime’ as a terrorist threat which should be mitigated collectively by the Islamic Ummah. Implications are discussed.

ToC: Melilah: Manchester Journal of Jewish Studies Volume 10 (2013)

Melilah: Manchester Journal of Jewish Studies Volume 10 (2013), Israel Studies theme www.melilahjournal.org/p/2013.html

Open Access, freely available online.

Editors: Daniel R. Langton and Renate Smithuis

Contents

1. Daniel Langton, Abraham Isaac Kook’s Account of ‘Creative Evolution’: A Response to Modernity for the Sake of Zion

The Chief Rabbi of Israel and religious Zionist Abraham I. Kook is well known for having written about evolution. His mystical interpretation of the theory is often presented as a synthetic or complementary model that effectively offered a defence of Judaism in the context of the religion-science debate. But this is not the only context in which one might consider his views on the topic. From a political perspective, one might note his interest in the influence of Darwinism in the thought of secular Jews. And if one gives due weight to his appreciation of secular Zionists’ work in building up the Land and combines this with his earlier, often overlooked writings on evolution in which the mystical dimension is missing, then it is possible to suggest that his engagement with evolutionary theory reflected as much a political concern to build bridges between religious and non-religious Zionists as it expressed a theological defence of traditional Judaism against the challenges of modern science.  

 

2. Simon Mayers, Zionism and Anti-Zionism in the Catholic Guild of Israel:

Bede Jarrett, Arthur Day and Hans Herzl

This article examines Zionism and Anti-Zionism in the discourse of key members of the Catholic Guild of Israel, an English Catholic movement for the conversion of the Jews. The central theme in the discourse of the Guild was Jewish ‘power’.It was argued that the Jews had great vitality, zeal and energy, which made them dangerous outside of the Church, but an asset if they could be brought into it. This idea was disseminated by Bede Jarrett and Arthur Day, the two most senior and prolific members of the Guild. Their notions of Jewish power influenced their views about Jews and Zionism. They both saw Jewish power and Zionism as a threat and opportunity, but Jarrett placed the emphasis on threat, whilst Day placed the emphasis on opportunity. One prominent member of the Guild who did not gravitate to their views was Hans Herzl, a convert to Catholicism and the son of the Zionist leader, Theodor Herzl. On the surface Hans adopted the anti-Zionism of Jarrett. Unlike Jarrett, however, Hans believed in Jewish nationalism, although he interpreted it as a spiritual rather than political movement. His ideal Jewish nation was a ‘Christian theocracy of Jewish faith’ with the Pope as sovereign and protector. 

 

3. Roman Vater, Down with Britain, away with Zionism: the ‘Canaanites’ and ‘Lohamey Herut Israel’ between two adversaries

The imposition of the British Mandate over Palestine in 1922 put the Zionist leadership between a rock and a hard place, between its declared allegiance to the idea of Jewish sovereignty and the necessity of cooperation with a foreign ruler. Eventually, both Labour and Revisionist Zionism accommodated themselves to the new situation and chose a strategic partnership with the British Empire. However, dissident opinions within the Revisionist movement were voiced by a group known as the Maximalist Revisionists from the early 1930s. This article analyzes the intellectual and political development of two Maximalist Revisionists – Yonatan Ratosh and Israel Eldad – tracing their gradual shift to anti-Zionist positions. Some questions raised include: when does opposition to Zionist politics transform into opposition to Zionist ideology, and what are the implications of such a transition for the Israeli political scene after 1948?

 

4. Dvir Abramovich, Breaking Taboos in Israeli Holocaust Literature

This article focuses on the phenomenon of second-generation Israeli Holocaust literature, also known as ‘bearing witness’ fiction, that appeared with great resonance on the Hebrew literary scene in the 1980s. It argues that this new band of writers overcame the dual moral obstacles of describing a reality that they did not directly experience and making art of a subject that defies human comprehension. The article focuses on one particularly important novel, Agadat Ha-agamim Ha-atzuvim (The Legend of the Sad Lakes) by Itamar Levy, which tested the limits of representation of the Holocaust and provoked intense debate about its graphic and violent scenes of Jews tortured by the Nazis as well as about its postmodern techniques in portraying the Holocaust experience. The article maintains that despite the fact that Agadat Ha-agamim Ha-atzuvimbroke taboos in Israeli Holocaust literature with its disturbing, and perhaps sensational sequences, that at heart Levy’s narrative presents a profound confrontation with the anguished past that affords young readers the necessary gateway to engage with the Holocaust on an individual, rather than a public level. The article makes the case that novels such as Agadat Ha-agamim Ha-atzuvimrepresent deeply veined journeys into the heart of the Nazi beast, by Israeli writers who are propelled by a wish to unshackle the Shoah from the fetters of the collective and reclaim it as a personal experience.

5. Tessa Satherley, ‘The Simple Jew’: The ‘Price Tag’ Phenomenon, Vigilantism, and Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh’s Political Kabbalah

This paper explores the Kabbalistic theosophy of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and allegations of links between his yeshiva and violent political activism and vigilantism. Ginsburgh is head of the yeshiva Od Yosef Chai (Joseph Still Lives) in Samaria/the northern West Bank. His students and colleagues have been accused by the authorities of violence and vandalism against Arabs in the context of ‘price tag’ actions and vigilante attacks, while publications by Ginsburgh and his yeshiva colleagues such as Barukh HaGever (Barukh the Man/Blessed is the Man) and Torat HaMelekh (The King’s Torah) have been accused of inciting racist violence. This paper sketches the yeshiva’s history in the public spotlight and describes the esoteric, Kabbalistic framework behind Ginsburgh’s politics, focusing on his political readings of Zoharic Kabbalah and teachings about the mystical value of spontaneous revenge attacks by ‘the simple Jew’, who acts upon his feelings of righteous indignation without prior reflection. The conclusion explores and attempts to delimit the explanatory power of such mystical teachings in light of the sociological characteristics of the Hilltop Youth most often implicated as price tag‘operatives’ and existing scholarly models of vigilantism. It also points to aspects of the mystical teachings with potential for special potency in this context.

Centre for Jewish Studies

University of Manchester

www.melilahjournal.org

New Article: Gechtman, Zionist Historiography and the Jewish Labour Movement

Gechtman, Roni. “Nationalising the Bund? Zionist Historiography and the Jewish Labour Movement.” East European Jewish Affairs 43.3 (2013): 249-264.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501674.2013.852802

 

Abstract

This article examines the academic historiography on the Jewish Workers’ Bund produced by Israeli and Zionist scholars. While the contribution of Israeli scholars to the historiography on the Bund has been significant in both quantity and quality, their works have had to grapple with the tension between the goals of Zionist historiography and the Bund’s political and ideological commitments, namely the party’s radical opposition to nationalism in general and to Zionism in particular. To various degrees, Israeli scholars sought to “nationalise” the Yiddish-speaking labour movement in Eastern Europe and incorporate it into a coherent narrative of the Jews’ past as an “organic” nation. As a result of their authors’ ideological and methodological preconceptions, and by portraying it as a nationalist movement, these works often misrepresent the Bund’s ideas, policies and activities.

Cite: Friesel, Equating Zionism with Racism: The 1965 Precedent

Friesel, Ofra. “Equating Zionism with Racism: The 1965 Precedent.” American Jewish History 97.3 (2013): 235-58.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_jewish_history/v097/97.3.friesel.html

 

Abstract

In 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted its notorious resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism. The origins of that resolution can be traced back to the previous decade. Ironically, an early initiative to denounce Zionism as racial discrimination in a UN formal text was presented during the negotiations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1965 (CERD). The context was none other than the debate regarding incorporating a denunciation of anti-Semitism into the Convention. The present article explores the particular meeting of interests behind the effort to incorporate a denunciation of anti-Semitism into CERD. It is designed to elaborate on how this attempt was used to promote what to all intents and purposes appeared to be the precise opposite: equating Zionism with racism—and how the seeds of resolution 3379 were sown.

 

Cite: Myers, Three Chapters in the ‘Military’ History of Satmar Hasidism

Myers, David N. “‘Commanded War’: Three Chapters in the ‘Military’ History of Satmar Hasidism.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 81.2 (2013): 311-56.

 

URL: http://jaar.oxfordjournals.org/content/81/2/311.short/

 

Abstract

Religion, it has been noted, speaks the language of violence as often as of peace. This article explores the pronounced role of military language and a martial outlook in one particularly intriguing and unlikely branch of Judaism, the Satmar Hasidic movement. Widely known for its posture of theological quietism, Satmar Hasidism, under the leadership of founding rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (1887–1979), has frequently engaged in combative struggle against its foes, especially Zionism. This article highlights this martial impulse by examining three episodes in which the Teitelbaum family and Satmar Hasidim were engaged in conflict, exemplified by the publication of a series of books under the title “Commanded War.” Ranging over a century, these episodes reveal the way in which the pervasive language of war emerged out of a sense of the grave perils posed by modernity. They also illustrate how the martial language of Satmar turns over time from a focus on external enemies to a focus on internal rivals.

Cite: Greyson, Pinkface

Greyson, John. “Pinkface.” Camera Obscura 27.2 (2012): 145-53.

URL: http://cameraobscura.dukejournals.org/content/27/2_80/145.abstract

Abstract

This article presents case studies of two recent Toronto actions protesting Israeli apartheid, as seen through queer eyes: the 2009 Toronto Declaration, a petition with thousands of signatures that condemned the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) collaboration with the Israeli consulate’s marketing campaign “Brand Israel” in the presentation of a city-to-city spotlight on Tel Aviv cinema (known as the Tel Aviv Spotlight); and the 2010 Pride Awards Give-Back, in which twenty-two recipients of various Pride Toronto awards from the past ten years gave back their awards in protest against the banning from the city’s Pride parade of the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.

Greyson recounts his experiences as an active participant in both actions: with the former, he pulled his short film Covered from TIFF in protest against the Tel Aviv Spotlight; while with the latter, he gave back his Arts and Culture award, which he had received the previous year. His account explores the tactics and strategies that made these actions effective. In particular, he deconstructs the arguments commonly used by the Zionist lobby on queers, revealing the contradictions and fabrications that are resorted to by those groups convinced that queers should side uncritically with Israel on all issues, simply because of Israel’s recent pro-gay stances on various issues.

The central portion of “Pinkface” presents Greyson’s response to the op-eds and full-page ads of noted Canadian producer Robert Lantos, who repeatedly accused the Toronto Declaration signators of being blacklisters, censors, and fascists (among other choice terms). By deconstructing Lantos’s accusations one by one, Greyson in turn reveals the specific tactics that distinguish this current boycott movement from past efforts, be they in South Africa, Chile, or India.

ToC: Israel Affairs 18,3 (2012)

The online platform   for Taylor & Francis Online content

Israel       Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 3, 01 Jul 2012 is now available on Taylor & Francis Online.
This new issue contains the following articles:

Original       Articles
The       war against the Jews
Efraim Karsh
Pages: 319-343
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689514

The       international assault against Israel
Michael Curtis
Pages: 344-362
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689515

Attacking       Israel with genocidal intentions
Nidra Poller
Pages: 363-371
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689517

From       Durban to the Goldstone Report: the centrality of human rights NGOs in       the political dimension of the Arab–Israeli conflict
Gerald M. Steinberg
Pages: 372-388
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689518

De-legitimization       currents in Europe
Manfred Gerstenfeld
Pages: 389-402
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689519

A       bias thicker than faith: Christians who punt for their persecutors
Steve Apfel
Pages: 403-411
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689520

The       BDS message of anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and incitement to       discrimination
Joel S. Fishman
Pages: 412-425
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689521

Jews       at sea: reflections on Israel’s Jewish detractors and defamers
Alvin H. Rosenfeld
Pages: 426-437
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689522

Jewish       defamation of Israel: roots and branches
Kenneth Levin
Pages: 438-454
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689523

De-legitimization       of Israel in Palestinian Authority schoolbooks
Arnon Groiss
Pages: 455-484
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689524

Fighting       on the front lines: anti-Semitism at the University of California and       efforts to combat it
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Pages: 485-501
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689525

New Publication: Litvak and Webman, From Empathy to Denial

Meir Litvak and Esther Webman. From Empathy to Denial. Arab Responses to the Holocaust. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

from empathy

 

Keywords: Israeli-Arab Conflict, Propoganda, Holocaust: Denial, Zionism: and World Powers, Zionism: Relation to Arabs, Nakbah, Holocaust: Eichmann Trial, Equation of Zionism to Nazism