Bulletin: Aliyah, Immigration, Refugees and Trafficking

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ToC: Israel Studies Review 31.2 (2016)

Israel Studies Review 31.2 (2016)

Table of Contents

Articles

Reviews

  • Uri Ram, The Return of Martin Buber: National and Social Thought in Israel from Buber to the Neo-Buberians [in Hebrew].
  • Christopher L. Schilling, Emotional State Theory: Friendship and Fear in Israeli Foreign Policy.
  • Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby, Popular Protest in Palestine: The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance.
  • Erella Grassiani, Soldiering under Occupation: Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
  • Assaf Meydani, The Anatomy of Human Rights in Israel: Constitutional Rhetoric and State Practice.
  • Yael Raviv, Falafel Nation: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel.

New Article: Seeman, Jewish Ethiopian Israelis

Seeman, Don. “Jewish Ethiopian Israelis.” The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism Chichester: Wiley, 2016.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781118663202.wberen321
 

Abstract

Ethiopian Jews are the descendants of an ethnic and religious community known as Beta Israel or Falasha. Historically concentrated in the highlands of northern Ethiopia (Gondar and Tigre) they were in some cases denied the right to hold land unless they converted to Christianity. In modern times, intense Christian missionary efforts paradoxically helped to bring Ethiopian Jews into closer contact with foreign Jewish communities. In the past half-century nearly the whole Ethiopian Jewish community has migrated to Israel, where they have faced significant challenges and opportunities. Questions about their status under Jewish law have led to political conflicts of various kinds. In addition, the most recent groups of immigrants includes many whose ancestors converted to Christianity but have sought to return to Judaism in the context of migrating to Israel. The community has integrated into Israeli life but has also simultaneously taken its place as part of the global Ethiopian cultural diaspora.

 

 

 

New Article: Babis, Integration and Isolation within the Latin American Association in Israel

Babis, Deby. “The Paradox of Integration and Isolation within Immigrant Organisations: The Case of a Latin American Association in Israel.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2016.1166939

 

Abstract

Most immigrant organisations aim to facilitate the integration of immigrants into the host society while seeking to preserve their cultural heritage. In order to explore the tension between these two apparently opposite processes within immigrant organisations, a case study was carried out on the Organization of Latin American Immigrants in Israel (OLEI). The research question focuses on how, and to what extent, OLEI contributes to the integration of Latin American immigrants into Israeli society and how, and to what extent, it contributes to their isolation. The findings indicate that while individual services promote the integration of Latin American immigrants into Israeli society, communal services both isolate and integrate them simultaneously. To address this paradox, I suggest an interpretation of this process as ‘integration through isolation’, since OLEI socially isolates immigrants, but at the same time integrates them into the host society by providing Israeli culture in Spanish.

 

 

 

New Article: Semyonov et al, Immigration and the Cost of Ethnic Subordination

Semyonov, Moshe, Rebeca Raijman, and Dina Maskileysonc. “Immigration and the Cost of Ethnic Subordination: The Case of Israeli Society.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1081968

 

Abstract

This study focuses on earnings disadvantages experienced by three ethnic groups of Jewish immigrants in Israel. Data were obtained from the 2011 Income Survey gathered by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. The findings reveal that when compared to Israeli-born, all ethnic groups are disadvantaged in earnings attainment in the first generation. The earnings disadvantages of immigrants as compared to Israeli-born decrease with the passage of time and become negligible in the second generation. To disentangle the impact on earnings penalty of ethnic origin from that of immigrant status, a procedure for decomposing mean differences between groups is introduced. The analysis reveals that earnings disadvantage among Ashkenazim and Soviet immigrants can be attributed to immigrant status but not to ethnicity. By contrast, earnings penalties among Sephardim immigrants can be attributed to both ethnicity and immigrant status. The implications of the long-lasting effect of ethnicity versus the short-term effect of immigrant status are discussed.

 

 

New Article: Lurie and Nakash, Mental Health and Acculturation Patterns Among Asylum Seekers in Israel

Lurie, Ido, and Ora Nakash. “Exposure to Trauma and Forced Migration: Mental Health and Acculturation Patterns Among Asylum Seekers in Israel.” In Trauma and Migration. Cultural Factors in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Traumatised Immigrants (ed. Meryam Schouler-Ocak; New York: Amsterdam; 2015), 139-56.

 
 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2F978-3-319-17335-1_10

 

Abstract
Immigration is a process of loss and change which entails significant sociopsychological stress and possible effects on the mental health of immigrants. Over the last few decades, the State of Israel has become a target for forced migration. Since 2006 specifically, asylum seekers from East Africa (mainly Eritrea and Sudan) have been arriving in Israel.

In the current chapter, we first outline the phenomenon of forced migration to Israel and the living conditions of migrants once they arrive in Israel. We then describe the relationship between forced migration and mental health, both in adults and adolescents, as well as the connection between acculturation and mental health. Following this, we describe studies conducted with forced migrants in Israel, mainly Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. We carried out three studies; within the population of service users at the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)-Israel’s Open Clinic, we documented the exposure of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to traumatic events during their journey to Israel. Our findings indicate that among a sample of adult African asylum seekers who arrived at the Open Clinic, a considerable percentage of men and women reported having witnessed violence and/or having been a victim of violence during migration to Israel.

Next, we examined the relationship between acculturation patterns and mental health symptoms among asylum seekers who arrived at the Open Clinic (N = 118). Assimilated asylum seekers reported higher (or more) depressive symptoms compared to integrated asylum seekers. Acculturation predicted depressive symptoms among adult asylum seekers beyond reports of experiences of traumatic events and the effect of history of detention.

Then, also describe the results of a study examining the role of acculturation, perceived discrimination and self-esteem in predicting mental health symptoms and risk behaviours among 1.5 and second-generation non-Jewish adolescents born to migrant families compared to native-born Jewish Israeli adolescents in Israel. Migrant adolescents across generations reported more severe mental health symptoms compared to native-born Jewish Israelis. However, only the 1.5 generation migrants reported higher engagement in risk behaviours compared to second-generation migrants and native-born Jewish Israelis. Similar to the adult sample, adolescents also showed that acculturation plays an important role in predicting the mental health status of migrant youths; adolescents showing integrated acculturative patterns reported fewer mental health symptoms than those with assimilated acculturation patterns.

The findings regarding the exposure of East African asylum seekers to traumatic events highlight the need to gather information regarding all phases of forced migration, from experiences in the home country through the journey to the host country. Our findings on acculturation draw attention to the paradox of assimilation and the mental health risks it poses for adult asylum seekers and adolescent immigrants wishing to integrate into the new culture at the expense of their original culture. Mental health professionals should be culturally aware of this vulnerability in therapeutic interventions with forced migrants. Policy makers may consider the benefits of the restrictive policies that have characterised many industrial countries in recent years.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Isleem, Druze Linguistic Landscape in Israel

Isleem, Martin. “Druze Linguistic Landscape in Israel: Indexicality of New Ethnolinguistic Identity Boundaries.” International Journal of Multilingualism 12.1 (2015): 13-30.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2013.868467

 

Abstract

The Druze community in Israel is a distinct religious community currently undergoing important ethnolinguistic shifts. The government’s implementation of an official policy has led to the deconstruction and reshaping of the Druze political and national identity to one that differs substantially from that of the Palestinian minority in Israel. In this study, I argue that the visibility, vitality and appreciation of Hebrew in the Druze linguistic landscape are indicative of new ethnolinguistic boundaries of the Druze identity in Israel. The fact that the Druze in Israel are dispersed throughout the Galilee and Mount Carmel area and experience varying levels of language contact as well as divergent economic relations with their Palestinian–Israeli and Jewish–Israeli neighbours, suggests that one cannot expect uniformity in the Druze linguistic markets or the processes of social, cultural and linguistic identification. This study will show that Hebrew has become a dominant component of the linguistic repertoire and social identity of the Druze in the Mount Carmel area since it has become the first choice of communication as the linguistic landscape indicates.

New Article: Stavans, Bi-Literacy Patterns in Ethiopian Immigrant Families

Stavans, Anat. “Enabling Bi-Literacy Patterns in Ethiopian Immigrant Families in Israel: A Socio-Educational Challenge.” International Journal of Multilingualism 12.2 (2015): 178-95.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2015.1009373

 

Abstract

This paper explores the role that languages and literacy practices play in Ethiopian immigrant families transposed to Israel as part of Israel’s family language policy, by examining parental perspectives on their respective L1 and L2 usages, in both parents’ and children’s lives, as well as by examining the home literacy provisions supporting children’s literacy development. The study profiles 67 Ethiopian immigrant families and describes the factors affecting home and school literacy patterns, assessing usage and attitude in L1 and L2 proficiency, as well as families’ literacy-driven discourse practices. The findings of this study indicate that Ethiopian parents engage in their children’s educational and social life until first grade, when they relinquish the maintenance of L1 in favour of a yet-incomplete L2. The Ethiopian case is instrumental to describe language and literacy affordances in a country that is officially trilingual, a neighbourhood that is at least quadrilingual, a home that is bilingual and a schooling system that is monolingual. Furthermore, the results of this study indicate that although both Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian parents have different extended discourses and perhaps even discursive preferences, the form and function of these discourses coincide with those needed or assumed for successful development of scholastic literacy. Against this background, a need emerges to espouse a mutual respect and interaction between the two literacy traditions to enhance both children’s and parents’ literacy development.

 

New Article: Burton, Israeli Marriage Law and Identity in the Jewish State

Burton, Elise K. “An Assimilating Majority?: Israeli Marriage Law and Identity in the Jewish State.” Journal of Jewish Identities 8.1 (2015): 73-94.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_jewish_identities/v008/8.1.burton.html

 

Excerpt

The concept of assimilation in Israel, and its discursive attachment to intermarriage, is haunted by its origins in a historical context pre-dating the Israeli state, in which many Jews could hardly imagine a society in which they represented the majority culture. Israeli Jews are still inundated with collective memories of being a persecuted minority, most prominently during the Holocaust. Eli Ben Dahan, the deputy minister of Religious Affairs, explained his reference to the Malka-Mansour wedding as part of the “silent Holocaust” by claiming that Israel is the only country in the world in which “ha-peruzah ha-yehudit” (the Jewish diaspora) is increasing rather than decreasing, because in Israel there are no mixed (read: civil) marriages. Echoing the assumptions of early Zionist intellectuals such as Ruppin and Zollschan, Ben Dahan prophesied, “if we allow mixed marriages [here], we would cause the Jewish people to become diminished in Israel as well.”

But the “diaspora” logic favoring the religious marriage system is clearly counterproductive for the preservation of the Jewish people if one considers op-ed headlines like “Israel Forced Morel to Convert to Islam.” Kamir, author of this op-ed, rebukes her fellow Israelis: “The conversion of Morel to Islam is a reminder to all that have not understood: the connection between religion and state in Israel… is the same thing that pushes Jews to renounce their Jewish identity.”  In terms of the Zionist ethno-religious nationalism that underpins the social infrastructure of the Israeli state, Malka and Mansour “are not two citizens permitted to enter a marriage agreement, but [like] a bird and a fish—two species that do not intermingle.” In order to marry, Malka was thus compelled to change her identity and join her husband’s religious community. The solution, Kamir suggests, is “a little more freedom and trust in humanity, and a little less existential Holocaust anxiety,” which would allow Israeli Jews of both sexes to make decisions according to their individual conscience.

Put more bluntly, the Israeli state’s embrace of halakha to adjudicate both an individual’s “authentic” Jewish status with regard to their eligible marriage partners is, in actuality, the force that “diminishes the Jewish people” within Israel. Despite the fearmongering and racialized discourses of assimilation and intermarriage that demonize attempts to introduce civil marriage in Israel, the absence of civil marriage primarily inhibits the integration of self-identified Jews who do not satisfy the Chief Rabbinate’s definition of Jewish identity. Ultimately, Israeli discourse against intermarriage is marshaled to defend and promote the interests of small constituencies of practicing Orthodox and right-wing ethnic nationalists, whose political influence is already completely out of proportion to their representation in the Israeli population. But its effects are more far-reaching and damaging than its immediate political implications because its claims offer such a narrow reading of what it means to be authentically Jewish. As a result, Israeli citizens are compelled to interpret their Jewish identity in terms of whether they are descendants of a “truly” Jewish matriline. Jewish women additionally carry the burden of sacrificing not only their own, but also their children’s, legal Jewish identity if they choose to marry a non-Jew, thus engaging in “assimilation,” regardless of their individual relationships to Judaism and Jewishness. Zionism’s call for a Jewish nation-state, which in turn requires discrete definitions of Jewishness to implement and enforce a national legal system, has therefore precluded the possibility and acceptance of more diverse conceptualizations of authentically Jewish marriages and lives.

ToC: Israel Studies 20,1 (2015)

 

 

  1. Special Section: Landscapes
    1. Tal Alon-Mozes and Matanya Maya
  2. Articles
    1. Gideon Katz
  3. Notes on Contributors (pp. 195-197)

New Article: Rebhun, Israeli Émigrés in the United States and Europe Compared

Rebhun, Uzi. “Immigrant Acculturation and Transnationalism: Israelis in the United States and Europe Compared.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 53.3 (2014): 613-35.

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jssr.12135/abstract

Abstract

This article examines relations between social integration into host societies, religio-ethnic acculturation into group belonging, and ties to home country among Israeli émigrés in the United States and Europe. I use data from a 2009–2010 Internet survey into which I incorporated country-contextual characteristics. The results of multivariate analyses show that a social integration combining duration of residence abroad and local citizenship enhances religio-ethnic identification. Another measure of integration, social networks, deters group behaviors. All measures of general integration inhibit attachment to the home country, whereas religio-ethnic acculturation is largely insignificant for transnationalism. The religiosity of the new country does not influence immigrants’ religio-ethnic patterns or homeland attachment. Insofar as group size is a significant determinant of particularistic behaviors, it weakens them. The more policy-based opportunities newcomers receive, the more they dissociate from group behaviors and homeland ties. Irrespective of individual and contextual factors, living in the United States encourages group affiliation more than living in Europe does. The results are discussed in reference to four working hypotheses—marginalization, integration, assimilation, and separation—and from a U.S.-European comparative perspective.

 

New Article: Abu Asbah et al, Gender Perceptions of Teachers in the Arab Education System in Israel

Abu Asbah, Khaled, Muhammed Abu Nasra and Khawla Abu-Baker. “Gender Perceptions of Male and Female Teachers in the Arab Education System in Israel.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 10.3 (2014): 109-24.

 

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/jmiddeastwomstud.10.3.109

 

Abstract

This study examines gender perceptions and attitudes of Arab male and female teachers in Israel. This quantitative study includes 302 Arab Muslim male and female teachers in the Arab education system. The results show that participants believe that there is no gender equality in Arab society in Israel, a conviction stronger among male teachers. Transition of Arab society from traditional to modern society has not eliminated that particular regime. Improved education of women and their professional promotion have not ensured gender equality. Changes in the status of Arab women and attitudes toward their participation in the labor force are due not to changes in the social structure of Arab society but to economic structural constraints at the national level.

 

New Article: Prashizky and Remennick, Gender and Cultural Citizenship among Non-Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel

Prashizky, Anna and Larissa Remennick. “Gender and Cultural Citizenship among Non-Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel.” Citizenship Studies 18.3-4 (2014): 365-383.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13621025.2014.905276

 

Abstract

About 330,000 of partial Jews and gentiles have moved to Israel after 1990 under the Law of Return. The article is based on interviews with middle-aged gentile spouses of Jewish immigrants, aiming to capture their perspective on integration and citizenship in the new homeland where they are ethnic minority. Slavic wives of Jewish men manifested greater malleability and adopted new lifestyles more readily than did Slavic husbands of Jewish women, particularly in relation to Israeli holidays and domestic customs. Most women considered formal conversion as a way to symbolically join the Jewish people, while no men pondered over this path to full Israeli citizenship. Women’s perceptions of the IDF and military service of their children were idealistic and patriotic, while men’s perceptions were more critical and pragmatic. We conclude that women have a higher stake at joining the mainstream due to their family commitments and matrilineal transmission of Jewishness to children. Men’s hegemony in the family and in the social hierarchy of citizenship attenuates their drive for cultural adaptation and enables rather critical stance toward Israeli society. Cultural politics of belonging, therefore, reflect the gendered norms of inclusion in the nation-state.

Cite: Shumsky, Leon Pinsker and ‘Autoemancipation!’

Shumsky, Dimitry. “Leon Pinsker and ‘Autoemancipation!’: A Reevaluation.” Jewish Social Studies 18.1 (2011): 33-62.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jewish_social_studies/v018/18.1.shumsky.html

 

Abstract

Using recently uncovered writings by Leon Pinsker, the proto-Zionist thinker, the current article challenges the generally accepted understanding of Pinsker’s intellectual development as moving “from assimilation to nationalism.” In particular, the article reevaluates the idea that in his pamphlet “Autoemancipation!” Pinsker proposed territorial nationalism as an ideological substitute for Jewish civic emancipation in the Diaspora, particularly in the Russian empire. Rather, Pinsker held that the establishment of a national Jewish territory would, by its very existence, pave the way for the enhanced emancipation of those Jews who continued to live outside the territorial homeland.

Cite: Gal, Brandeis’s Social-Liberal and Zionist Tradition

Gal, Allon. “Isaiah’s Flame: Brandeis’s Social-Liberal and Zionist Tradition.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 11.2 (2012): 207-220.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725886.2012.684862

 

Abstract

Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856–1941) evolved from a political liberal, committed to free competition, hard money and honest government, to become in his maturity a social liberal chiefly pursuing social justice and free speech. In the Supreme Court (1916–1939) he remained faithful to his liberal and progressive parameters. Since about 1905 he evolved from being a half-assimilated Jew to an identified Jew and a Zionist. His original concept of Zionism was as a mission to achieve higher social goals. However, from about the mid-1920s he intensified his Zionism as a vital goal in itself. His synthesis of Progressivism and Zionism gradually came to be the classic tradition of all major American Zionist and pro-Israel trends.