New Article: Simons, Ta’ayush’s Grassroots Activism

Simons, Jon. “Fields and Facebook: Ta’ayush’s Grassroots Activism and Archiving the Peace that Will Have Come in Israel/Palestine.” Media and Communication 4.1 (2016): 27-38.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v4i1.390
 
Abstract

Israeli peace activism has increasingly taken place on new media, as in the case of the grassroots anti-Occupation group, Ta’ayush. What is the significance of Ta’ayush’s work on the ground and online for peace? This article considers the former in the light of social movement scholarship on peacebuilding, and the latter in light of new media scholarship on social movements. Each of those approaches suggest that Ta’ayush has very limited success in achieving its strategic goals or generating outrage about the Occupation in the virtual/public sphere. Yet, Ta’ayush’s apparent “failure” according to standard criteria of success misses the significance of Ta’ayush’s work. Its combination of grassroots activism and online documentation of its work in confronting the Occupation in partnership with Palestinians has assembled an impressive archive. Through the lens of Walter Benjamin’s philosophy of history, Ta’ayush can be seen to enact a “future perfect” peace that will have come.

 

 

 

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Report: National Library of Israel, 2015 activities

Click here for Hebrew version:

2015_he

  • David Grossman entrusts personal archive to National Library
  • Prof. Jonathan Sarna, Scholar-in-Residence
  • Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: The Battle of the Book
  • Piyut and Prayer Series (watch on YouTube)
  • Documentary Film Festival
  • Professional Training Courses for European Librarians and Archivists
  • Summer Program for Children from East Jerusalem
  • Launch of Young Curators Program Pilot
  • Digitization of 670 pages from 56 Israeli journals (see database here)
  • Archives of Jewish journalism online (click here for the archives)
  • Collection of Israeli archives (see AZ website)
  • Historic maps of Jerusalem on Wikipedia (see here)

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 34.2 (2015)

Journal of Israeli History, 34.2 (2015)

No Trinity: The tripartite relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization
Daniel Mahla
pages 117-140

Judaism and communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965
Amir Locker-Biletzki
pages 141-158

Olei Hagardom: Between official and popular memory
Amir Goldstein
pages 159-180

Practices of photography on kibbutz: The case of Eliezer Sklarz
Edna Barromi Perlman
pages 181-203

The Shishakli assault on the Syrian Druze and the Israeli response, January–February 1954
Randall S. Geller
pages 205-220

Book Reviews

Editorial Board

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: Perlman, Practices of Photography on Kibbutz

Perlman, Edna Barromi. “Practices of Photography on Kibbutz: The Case of Eliezer Sklarz.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2015.1068976

 

Abstract
This article explores how socialist egalitarian ideology affected forms of documentation on the kibbutz in Israel, by examining its practices of photography. The study analyzes the work of one photographer, Eliezer Sklarz, and his role and function in the community, focusing on the visual content and style of his work. The article also describes the role of the kibbutz archive in promoting his work and in constructing kibbutz identity through its photographic archive, as a mechanism for creating Zionist kibbutz historiography. The study addresses the conflicted approach of kibbutz society towards photography: promoting documentation through the function of the archive on the one hand, while maintaining a dismissive role towards photography as a highbrow, middle-class practice, on the other.

 

 

New Article: Nets-Zehngut et al, Self-Censorship in Conflicts: Israel and the 1948 Palestinian Exodus

Nets-Zehngut, Rafi, Ruthie Pliskin, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “Self-Censorship in Conflicts: Israel and the 1948 Palestinian Exodus.” Peace and Conflict 21.3 (2015): 479-99.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pac0000094

 

Abstract
The typical collective memories of societies involved in intractable conflicts play a major role in the eruption and continuation of the conflicts, whereas the positive transformation of these memories to being less self-serving promotes peacemaking. A major factor that inhibits such transformation is self-censorship. Self-censorship, practiced by members of a society’s formal institutions, inhibits the dissemination of alternative, more accurate narratives of the conflict that may change dominating biased conflict-supporting memories. Despite the importance of formal self-censorship in maintaining collective memories of conflicts, little empirical and theoretical research has examined this phenomenon. The present study addresses this omission. It examines the self-censorship practiced from 1949 to 2004 in 3 formal Israeli institutions (the National Information Center, the IDF/army, and the Ministry of Education) regarding the main historical event of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus. This is done by analyzing all of these institutions’ publications produced throughout the 56-year research period and interviewing their key position holders. The results show that the institution gatekeepers practiced self-censorship for 5 reasons: garnering international support, mobilizing citizens, the impact of Zionist ideology, institutional norms, and fear of sanctions. The empirical findings are used to elicit theoretical insights, such as a definition for formal self-censorship, the difference between self-censorship practiced by gatekeepers (from formal and informal institutions) and that practiced by ordinary individuals, the 5 reasons for such self-censorship (distinguishing between 2 categories—intrinsic and extrinsic reasons), and the reasons that led the gatekeepers to admit that they had self-censored.

 

 

New Article: Sela, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Israel’s National Photography Archives

Sela, Rona. “Rethinking National Archives in Colonial Countries and Zones of Conflict: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and Israel’s National Photography Archives as a Case Study.” In Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Competing Narratives in the Middle East (ed. Anthony Downey; London: Tauris, 2015), 79-91.

9781784534110

 

Excerpt

My research over the years has dealt with the question of tyranny that characterizes the activities of Israel’s national institutional photography archives. I discussed the power relations that shaped them and the significant role they played in determining the perception and writing of history. Derrida points to violence as one of the main features inherent in the archive, embodying governmental information/power relations. These aggressive relationships are intensified in a country where two peoples—occupiers and occupied—live in a national conflict and are present, for example, in the way institutional archives control both the national treasures of the vanquished and the knowledge of their history and culture. Pointing out the overt and covert mechanisms in these national institutional archives by stripping away and exposing their inherent national bias, lays the foundation for building an alternative, layered database, different from the one-sided worldview that characterizes them. This enables the original purpose of the archives to be undermined and, in the words of McEvan, put through a process of democratization. However, while in South Africa civil organizations and government are aware of the importance of establishing post-colonial (post-apartheid) archives, in Israel the situation is different. Although in recent years additional studies have started to breach this national cover, exposing excluded areas of knowledge and research, in Israel they still exist on the margins and there is ample room to read archives in a way that penetrates their façade of physical violence.

It is also necessary to deconstruct the archive’s structure, and to propose alternative mechanisms of reading, interpretation and criticism in addition to those discussed in this essay.

The voice of the subjugated is not entirely absent from national, insti-tutional archives in Israel, but exists in an emasculated and misleading form. In this essay, I wanted to raise the possibility of hearing these voices that are seemingly missing from the archives. Freeing the national archives from their chains, and the construction of an independent memory and history—by challenging the national database and providing a platform for Palestinian voices and the return of their looted and seized materials—are the first steps in establishing alternative national archives in Israel. However, stripping away their outer-wrapping does not replace the importance of hearing the voices of the oppressed, learning their history and restoring their ownership and rights.

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?

New Book: Ginsburg, Ye may be to us instead of eyes. Israel Human Rights Organizations in the Occupied Territories through the Camera Lens (Hebrew)

גינזבורג, רותי. והייתם לנו לעיניים. ארגוני זכויות אדם ישראלים בשטחים הכבושים מבעד לעין המצלמה. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

 

URL: http://www.resling.co.il/book.asp?series_id=3&book_id=789

book_789_big

Abstract

What do human rights activists see? What do their organizations show in their reports? How do the choices of visual images report on the conflict? What kind of gaze does human rights discourse produce? How does the universal discourse meet with local discourse in visual documentation? How does the citizenry of activist framework their field of view, and how does the universal discourse do this? In Ruthie Ginsburg’s book, Ye may be to us instead of eyes, the visual plane is not merely a representation added to the verbal one, it is instrumental in designing the questions.

The book offers a theoretical space and historic mapping of Israeli human rights organizations. A discussion of the discourse of local human rights organizations active in the occupied is through interdisciplinary study that combines analysis of photographs, interviews with key individuals in these organizations and a close reading of their reports is offered here for the first time. The different chapters offer a comparative examination of three major human rights organizations operating in Israel: B’Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, and Machsom Watch. By studying the archives created in each of these organizations, the material and emotional conditions that shape the reports, along with spatial and political relations produced in their activity can be examined. The Analysis of the activists’ gaze strives to understand the practice of these organizations, located amidst a polarized system between occupier and occupied, perpetrator and victim.

This book joins pioneering studies conducted worldwide that examine visual, aesthetic, and sensory elements that shape civil negotiations and visual aspect which it designs.

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 33.1 (2014)

Articles

Towards a de-Occidentalist perspective on Israel: The case of the occupation

Johannes Becke
pages 1-23

DOI:10.1080/13531042.2014.886831
A Zionist torn between two worlds: Aharon Eisenberg’s correspondence after the Young Turk Revolution

Yuval Ben-Bassat
pages 25-39

DOI:10.1080/13531042.2014.886824
Oral testimonies, archival sources, and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War: A close look at the occupation of a Galilean village

Kobi Peled
pages 41-61

DOI:10.1080/13531042.2014.886833

Meir Har-Zion’s act of reprisal: Reality and memory

Efrat Seckbach
pages 63-84

DOI:10.1080/13531042.2014.886834
The failure to formulate a national science policy: Israel’s Scientific Council, 1948–1959

Ari Barell
pages 85-107

DOI:10.1080/13531042.2014.886835
Book Reviews

Place, Memory and Myth in Contemporary Israeli Cinema

Yaron Peleg
pages 109-111

DOI:10.1080/13531042.2014.886836

Zionist Arabesques: Modern Landscapes, Non-Modern Texts

Arieh Saposnik
pages 111-113

DOI:10.1080/13531042.2014.886845

 

Cite: Yosef, Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Cedar’s Beaufort

Yosef, Raz. "Traces of War: Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort." Cinema Journal 50,2 (2011): 61-83.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cinema_journal/summary/v050/50.2.yosef.html

 

Abstract

One of the most striking phenomena in contemporary Israeli cinema is the number of films that explore repressed traumatic events from the First Lebanon War—events that have been denied entry into the shared national past. This essay analyzes Joseph Cedar’s film Beaufort (2007), arguing that the film exposes a traumatic rupture between history and memory. Yet at the same time, Beaufort nostalgically expresses an impossible yearning for lost archival collective national memory.

 

Keywords: Film / Cinema, Lebanon, Lebanon Security Zone, Joseph Cedar, Trauma, Violence, Memory, Archive, Collective Memory, Nostalgia, War Films, Suffering, Pain, Psychic Trauma, Motion Pictures, Israeli Culture, יוסי סידר, רז יוסף, בופור, לבנון