New Article: Freeman-Maloy, Reflections on Zionism and ‘Dominion’ Status within the British Empire

Freeman-Maloy, Dan. “The International Politics of Settler Self-Governance: Reflections on Zionism and ‘Dominion’ Status within the British Empire.” Settler Colonial Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2201473X.2016.1190177

 

Abstract

Before falling into disuse towards the middle of the twentieth century, the term ‘Dominion’ connoted the autonomous status of select polities on the British Empire’s geographic periphery (and Ireland). This concept factored into British discourse as the extension of liberal norms of self-government. Originally associated with the British-majority settler states of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Dominion status was in turn extended to the South African Union in 1910. Advocates for a similar form of ‘self-governance’ sought to see the example emulated elsewhere in Africa and, through the Zionist enterprise, in the Middle East. The reluctance of historians of the British Empire to examine the structural manifestations of racism in British policy has obscured the significance of the Dominion concept and its historical evolution. Settler self-governance within the British sphere is still often framed in terms of liberal conceptions of ‘responsible government’, as Lord Durham phrased it his Report on the Affairs of British North America. However, self-government on the Empire’s periphery was a patently exclusionist and racialised practice. Its exclusionist bounds were not so narrow as the Anglo-Saxonist racism that first marked its introduction. By the early twentieth century, French-speaking Canadians and Boers alike were sharing in the enterprise of British representative government. The bounds of exclusion were nonetheless unmistakable. Today, it is in respectable circles no longer acceptable to present settler rule on the African continent as a liberal enterprise. Yet the histories of the original Dominions and of the Zionist enterprise continue to be distorted by intellectuals leveraging an exclusionist politics of self-representation. The valorisation of Israel in particular through claimed rights to self-determination should prompt renewed engagement with this history. The invocation of the Dominions’ example by an earlier generation of pro-Zionist advocates speaks to a shared history that demands critical attention.

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

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

 

9780253019523_med

 

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

 

Table of Contents

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

 

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

New Article: Goren, The Jews of Jaffa at the Time of the Arab Revolt

Goren, Tamir. “The Jews of Jaffa at the Time of the Arab Revolt: The Emergence of The Demand for Annexation.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.2 (2016): 267-81.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1090113

 

Abstract

The outbreak of the 1936 riots immediately motivated the Jews of Jaffa to sever their ties with that city in favour of annexation to Tel Aviv. This demand became one of the thorniest and most sensitive problems on the local level, and engaged the British authorities right up to the end of the Mandate. It also became a concern of the highest order for the institutions of the yishuv, bound up with the Zionist struggle as a whole. This article focuses on the origin of the problem and its treatment from 1936 to 1939. The activity of the Jewish side is studied as being in conflict with that of the British and Arab side. From the outset, a solution hardly seemed likely. As long as the authorities preferred a policy of non-involvement, the issue remained a quarrel between the Jews and the Arabs. Although this period ended without any progress towards a settlement, it produced several notable gains for the Jewish side that formed a basis for continued action towards annexation in the years to come.

 

 

 

New Article: Weissman, An Historical Case Study in Jewish Women’s Education

Weissman, Debbie. “An Historical Case Study in Jewish Women’s Education: Chana Shpitzer and Maʿaleh.” Nashim 29 (2015): 21-38.
 
URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/nashim.29.21
 
Abstract

This article presents two pioneering religious Jewish schools that opened their doors to girls in Jerusalem in the first decade and a half after the end of World War I and the establishment of the British Mandate in Palestine. One of these schools, established by Chana Shpitzer, was exclusively for girls, while the other, Maʿaleh, was coeducational. Although both schools were Orthodox in outlook and identified with the growing Zionist movement, their approaches to Torah education for girls were quite different. I believe a comparison between these two schools offers some insights into the relative advantages and disadvantages of single-sex and mixed Jewish educational frameworks.

 

 

 

New Article: Goren, Tel Aviv and the Question of Separation from Jaffa 1921–1936

Goren, Tamir. “Tel Aviv and the Question of Separation from Jaffa, 1921–1936.” Middle Eastern Studies (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1125340
 
Abstract

The ordinance granting Tel Aviv the status of local council was given in 1921. Immediately thereafter, the municipal council acted to amend the terms of the ordinance so as to free Tel Aviv entirely from the supervision of Jaffa municipality. Tel Aviv aimed for the status of an independent municipality, but still wished to safeguard its interests in Jaffa. Detachment from Jaffa was for long a central issue for Tel Aviv municipality. The article analyses the Jewish side’s stance on Jaffa from 1921 until the outbreak of the disturbances in 1936, when Tel Aviv detached itself almost entirely from Jaffa. In the 1920s, the importance of Jaffa for the Jews was mainly economic, but in the 1930s, the addition of the demographic dimension reflected the growing status of the Jaffa Jewish community and was decisive in increasing the Jewish influence in Jaffa.

 

 

 

New Article: Etkin, The Creation of the Tel Aviv Zoological Garden Animal Collection

Etkin, Elia.”The Ingathering of (Non-Human) Exiles: The Creation of the Tel Aviv Zoological Garden Animal Collection, 1938–1948.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2016.1140904
 
Abstract

This article examines the formation of the animal collection at the Tel Aviv zoological garden. Using Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopia, the article analyzes the images and practices of animal importation. It shows that in spite of the importance of Zionist enthusiasm in driving the establishment of the Tel Aviv zoo, and the attribution of Zionist vocabulary to animals living in it, its significance cannot be reduced to Zionist ideology and practice. The zoo’s animal collection was the product of the specific historical, colonial-imperial circumstances formed under the British Mandate. The gathering of the animals reflects the indispensable British contribution to the development of cultural endeavors in Palestine, and the coexistence of British and Zionist aspirations.

 

 

 

New Book: Sasley and Waller, Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society

Sasley, Brent E., and Harold M. Waller. Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

 
9780199335060
 

This is the first textbook on Israel to utilize a historical-sociological approach, telling the story of Israeli politics rather than simply presenting a series of dry facts and figures. The book emphasizes six specific dimensions of the conduct of Israeli politics: the weight of historical processes, the struggle between different groups over how to define the country’s identity, changing understandings of Zionism, a changing political culture, the influence of the external threat environment, and the inclusive nature of the democratic process. These themes offer students a framework to use for understanding contemporary political events within the country. Politics in Israel also includes several chapters on topics not previously addressed in competing texts, including historical conditions that led to the emergence of Zionism in Israel, the politics of the Arab minority, and interest groups and political protest.

 

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: Israel in Historical and Comparative Perspective

Studying Israel
Israel in a Comparative Framework
Major Themes of the Book
A Note on Terminology
 
PART I: HISTORICAL PROCESSES
Chronology of Key Events
Chapter 2: Zionism and the Origins of Israel
Jewish History before Zionism
The Jewish Predicament in the 19th Century
The Founding of the Zionist Movement
Implications of Zionism
Herzl’s Path to Zionism
Organizing the Zionist Movement
Zionist Ideologies
The Palestine Mandate
Summary
 
Chapter 3: Yishuv Politics during the Mandate Period
Constructing a Jewish Society
Development of a Party System
Conflict between Arabs and Jews in Mandatory Palestine
Deteriorating Zionist-British Relations
The End of the Mandate
The Mandate Period in Perspective
Summary
 
Chapter 4: State Building After 1948
Mamlachtiut
The Political Arena
Defense
Education
Economy
Personal Status Issues
Other State-Building Efforts
Summary
 
PART II: ISRAELI SOCIETY
Chapter 5: Political Culture and Demography

The Pre-State Period
Foundational Values of the State
Changes since 1967
From Collectivism to Individualism
Political Culture in the Arab Community
Demography
Summary
 
Chapter 6: Religion and Politics
Religion and the Idea of a Jewish State
Setting the Parameters of the Religion-State Relationship
Growing Involvement in Politics
Issues in Religion-State Relations after 2000
Religious Parties and Coalition Politics
Summary
 
Chapter 7: The Politics of the Arab Minority
What’s in a Name?
Changing Politics of the Community
Jewish Attitudes toward the Arab Minority
Arab Leaders and the Arab Public
Voter turnout
Sayed Kashua as Barometer?
Summary
 
PART III: THE POLITICAL PROCESS
Chapter 8: The Electoral System

The Development of an Electoral System
Election Laws
Parties and Lists
Electoral Reforms
Summary
 
Chapter 9: Political Parties and the Party System
Party Clusters
Leftist Parties
Rightist Parties
Religious Parties
Arab Parties
Center or “Third” Parties
Ethnic or Special Issues Parties
Party Organization
Summary
 
Chapter 10: Voting Patterns
Four Main Issues
Demographic Factors
Voter Turnout
Electoral Trends
Summary
 
Chapter 11: Interest Groups and Political Protest
Changing Access in the Israeli Political System
Interest Groups
Political Protest
Summary
 
PART IV: INSTITUTIONS
Chapter 12: The Knesset

Structure of the Knesset
Legal Aspects
Knesset Members
Functions and Powers of the Knesset
Relationship to the Government
Summary
 
Chapter 13: The Government
The Government at the Center of the System
Powers of the Government
Forming a Government
Maintaining and Running a Government
Relations with the Knesset
The President of the State
Summary
 
Chapter 14: The Judiciary and the Development of Constitutional Law
The Judicial System
Structure of the Court System
The Religious Court System
The Attorney General
Basic Laws: A Constitution in the Making?
Interpreting the Constitution
Summary
 

PART V: POLITICS AND POLICYMAKING
Chapter 15: Political Economy

Ideas about Economic Development in the Yishuv
A State(ist) Economy
Likud and the Free Market
Structural Weaknesses
Summary
 
Chapter 16: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Three Levels of Threat Perception
Israel’s Threat Environment
Hawks and Doves in the Political System
The Defense Establishment
Public Opinion
Summary
 
PART VI: THE TRANSFORMATiON OF ISRAELI POLITICS
Chapter 17: The Changing Political Arena
A More Complex Society
An Economic Transformation
Transformation of the Security Situation
The Israeli-Palestinian Relationship
Dampening of Ideology
Political Culture and the Party System
The Passing of a Heroic Generation
A More Consequential Arab Sector
The Transformation of the Judiciary
Change versus Continuity
 
Chapter 18: Confronting the Meaning of a Jewish State
The Political Question: What is Jewish and Democratic?
The Social Question: Who Belongs?
The Academic Question: Whose Historiography?
Conclusion
 
Appendices
Glossary
Bibliography

 

BRENT E. SASLEY is Associate Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas at Arlington.
HAROLD M. WALLER is Professor of Political Science at McGill University.

New Article: Penslar, Rebels Without a Patron State: How Israel Financed the 1948 War

Penslar, Derek. “Rebels Without a Patron State: How Israel Financed the 1948 War.” In Purchasing Power. The Economics of Modern Jewish History (ed. Rebecca Kobrin and Adam Teller; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015): 171-91, 316-20.

 
15425

Extract

The Zionist project was as much a product of the era of post-1945 decolonization as it was of colonialism’s zenith in the early twentieth century. The British Empire nurtured the Jewish National Home, yet it was empire’s collapse that made possible the state of Israel’s birth. The nascent state of Israel generated a revolutionary torque akin to that which caused the overthrow of tyrannical regimes and expulsion of colonial masters throughout the world. Like other revolutionary projects of the last century, Zionism displayed hubris and cruelty, but also an unshakable faith in humanity’s capacity to re-engineer itself. Some historians of the 1948 war have described the Yishuv as a well-oiled machine that aligned its entire population into a dedicated fighting force. Not only are such explanations exaggerated, they also overlook the fact that other national liberation organizations such as the FLN or Viet Minh were highly successful at organizing the extraction of revenue and resources from the population and developing an effective fighting force. Compared with the Arab world, Israel in 1948 was indeed exceptional, and the war that secured sovereignty for Israel also brought catastrophe upon the Palestinians. When observed on a global level, however, Zionism’s resemblance to anticolonial and national liberation movements becomes apparent, not only in self-conception but also in method.

 
See: http://www.academia.edu/21075807/Rebels_Without_a_Patron_State_How_Israel_Financed_the_1948_War
 

 

New Article: Rein & Ofer, Jewish Volunteers from Palestine in the Spanish Civil War

Rein, Raanan, and Inbal Ofer. “Becoming Brigadistas: Jewish Volunteers from Palestine in the Spanish Civil War.” European History Quarterly 46.1 (2016): 92-112.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0265691415620956

 

Abstract

Nearly two hundred men and women left Mandatory Palestine between the years 1936–1938 in order to defend the Second Spanish Republic. Despite the expressions of solidarity with the Spanish Republic, most of the political parties in the Jewish Yishuv were against sending youth from Palestine to join the International Brigades. The goal of strengthening the Jewish presence in Palestine was given priority over and above international solidarity or the anti-Fascist struggle. Therefore, most of the volunteers were Jewish members of the Palestine Communist Party.

This article relies on autobiographical writings, individual testimonies and personal correspondence, analysed here for the first time. It is here that the private voices of the Jewish men and women who left Palestine in order to fight against the nationalist rebellion in Spain ring more clearly. The paper examines the history of these Jewish volunteers, their motivations, and the process that they went through from the time they left Palestine until they became active members of the International Brigades.

As Communists, most volunteers who left Palestine to fight in Spain tended to emphasize the international solidarity of the working class and similar universalistic motivations. The idea of affirming their Jewish identity was alien to them. Reading their letters and testimonies, however, it becomes clear that their ethnic identity as Jews was certainly a key factor in their decision to risk their lives in the Spanish fratricide.

 

 

 

New Article: Suwaed, Disputed Land and the Struggle for Ownership

Suwaed, Muhammad. “The Wadi al-Hawarith affair (Emek Hefer): Disputed Land and the Struggle for Ownership: 1929–33.” Middle Eastern Studies 52.1 (2016): 135-52.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1082471
 
Abstract

The Wadi al-Hawarith (Emek Hefer) affair was considered to be one of the prominent land disputes between Jews and Arabs in Palestine during the British mandate period. The region in which the dispute broke out was found south of Hadera in Emek Hefer.

The purchase of lands of Wadi al-Hawarith, by Jewish bodies, had already started at the end of the nineteenth century and continued for four decades, and during this there were disputes between the Jews and Arabs, which were accompanied by legal hearings.

The Jewish National Fund tried to reach an arrangement by means of compensation for the Bedouin tenants who dwelled on the lands of the valley, in exchange for their willingness to leave the territory. From time to time, the Bedouins agreed to this, but they went back on their agreement.

Despite the effort to reach compensation arrangements with the Bedouins, the Palestinian political leadership was interested in inflaming the opposition of the Bedouins to leaving the land. This is what caused a long string of trials, which continued for many years.

 

 

 

New Article: Kidron, Jews and Palestinian-Arabs in Mandatory Haifa

Kidron, Anat. “Separatism, Coexistence and the Landscape: Jews and Palestinian-Arabs in Mandatory Haifa.” Middle Eastern Studies 52.1 (2016): 79-101.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1081177
 
Abstract

Haifa was named a ‘mixed city’ by the British, who ruled Palestine from 1917 to 1948, in reference to the two national communities that inhabited the town. This definition was not neutral, and reflected the Brits aspirations to create national coexistence in Palestine among the diverse urban societies.

Reality was more complicated. The basic assumption of this paper follows the idea that the bi-national urban society of Mandatory Haifa developed into dual society, albeit with much overlapping in economic and civil matters, but takes it one step further: through highlighting changes in the urban landscape, I wish to argue dominance of the national European modern Hebrew society over the Palestinian-Arabs and the traditional and oriental Jewish societies and ideas alike. The changes in the urban landscape tell us the story of Zionism’s growing influence and dominance, and the way the urban landscape was used to embody Zionism’s modern European ethos. The neighbourhood’s segregation, therefore, represents not only the effort to separate but to create a modern national ‘sense of place’ that influenced the city development.

 

 

 

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: Cohen, Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1929

Cohen, Hillel. Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1929, Schusterman Series in Israel Studies. Translated by Haim Watzman. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University Press, 2015.

9781611688115

A new and provocative reassessment of the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In late summer 1929, a countrywide outbreak of Arab-Jewish-British violence transformed the political landscape of Palestine forever. In contrast with those who point to the wars of 1948 and 1967, historian Hillel Cohen marks these bloody events as year zero of the Arab-Israeli conflict that persists today.

The murderous violence inflicted on Jews caused a fractious—and now traumatized—community of Zionists, non-Zionists, Ashkenazim, and Mizrachim to coalesce around a unified national consciousness arrayed against an implacable Arab enemy. While the Jews unified, Arabs came to grasp the national essence of the conflict, realizing that Jews of all stripes viewed the land as belonging to the Jewish people.

 

Through memory and historiography, in a manner both associative and highly calculated, Cohen traces the horrific events of August 23 to September 1 in painstaking detail. He extends his geographic and chronological reach and uses a non-linear reconstruction of events to call for a thorough reconsideration of cause and effect. Sifting through Arab and Hebrew sources—many rarely, if ever, examined before—Cohen reflects on the attitudes and perceptions of Jews and Arabs who experienced the events and, most significantly, on the memories they bequeathed to later generations. The result is a multifaceted and revealing examination of a formative series of episodes that will intrigue historians, political scientists, and others interested in understanding the essence—and the very beginning—of what has been an intractable conflict.

 

HILLEL COHEN is a senior lecturer in the Department of Islam and Middle East Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

 

Table of Contents

 
Introduction
Chronological Overview of the Events
Casualties in the 1929 Riots

  • 1 Jaffa and Tel Aviv
    Sunday, August 25, 1929
  • 2 Jerusalem
    Friday, August 23, 1929
  • 3 Hebron
    Saturday, August 24, 1929
  • 4 Motza
    Saturday, August 24, 1929
  • 5 Safed
    Thursday, August 29, 1929
  • 6 After the Storm
    A Postmortem

Afterword
Acknowledgements
Bibliography
Index

 

 

 

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.4 (2015)

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
The journalist as a messiah: journalism, mass-circulation, and Theodor Herzl’s Zionist vision
Asaf Shamis
Pages: 483-499
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076188

The debate between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Mandatory Palestine (1920–48) over the re-interment of Zionist leaders
Doron Bar
Pages: 500-515
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076180

Development of information technology industries in Israel and Ireland, 2000–2010
Erez Cohen
Pages: 516-540
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076183

Israel’s nuclear amimut policy and its consequences
Ofer Israeli
Pages: 541-558
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076185

She got game?! Women, sport and society from an Israeli perspective
Yair Galily, Haim Kaufman & Ilan Tamir
Pages: 559-584
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076184

The origin of globalized anti-Zionism: A conjuncture of hatreds since the Cold War
Ernest Sternberg
Pages: 585-601
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2014.984419

The Diaspora and the homeland: political goals in the construction of Israeli narratives to the Diaspora
Shahar Burla
Pages: 602-619
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076181

India–Israel relations: the evolving partnership
Ashok Sharma & Dov Bing
Pages: 620-632
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076189

The design of the ‘new Hebrew’ between image and reality: a portrait of the student in Eretz Yisrael at the beginning of ‘Hebrew education’ (1882–1948)
Nirit Raichel
Pages: 633-647
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076187

The evolution of Arab psychological warfare: towards ‘nonviolence’ as a political strategy
Irwin J. Mansdorf
Pages: 648-667
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076186

Militancy and religiosity in the service of national aspiration: Fatah’s formative years
Ido Zelkovitz
Pages: 668-690
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1076191

Book Reviews
The historical David: the real life of an invented hero/David, king of Israel, and Caleb in biblical memory
David Rodman
Pages: 691-693
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1083700

Britain’s moment in Palestine: retrospect and perspectives, 1917–48/Palestine in the Second World War: strategic plans and political dilemmas
David Rodman
Pages: 693-696
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1083701

Israeli culture on the road to the Yom Kippur War
David Rodman
Pages: 696-698
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1083702

The one-state condition
Raphael Cohen-Almagor
Pages: 698-701
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1083699

Globalising hatred: the new Antisemitism
Rusi Jaspal
Pages: 701-704
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1083703

Psychological Warfare in the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Rusi Jaspal
Pages: 704-707
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1083704

Editorial Board
Editorial Board

Pages: ebi-ebi
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1109819

New Book: Rodgers, Headlines from the Holy Land

Rodgers, James. Headlines from the Holy Land: Reporting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

 

Rodgers

 

Tied by history, politics, and faith to all corners of the globe, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fascinates and infuriates people across the world. Based on new archive research and original interviews with leading correspondents and diplomats, Headlines from the Holy Land explains why this fiercely contested region exerts such a pull over reporters: those who bring the story to the world. Despite decades of diplomacy, a just and lasting end to the conflict remains as difficult as ever to achieve. Inspired by the author’s own experience as the BBC’s correspondent in Gaza from 2002-2004, and subsequent research, this book draws on the insight of those who have spent years observing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Starting from a historical perspective, it identifies the challenges the conflict presents for contemporary journalism and diplomacy, and suggests new ways of approaching them.

 

Table of Contents

    • Foreword by Rosemary Hollis
    • Acknowledgements
    • Introduction
    • 1 Reporting from the Ruins: The End of the British Mandate and the Creation of the State of Israel
    • 2 Six Days and Seventy-Three
    • 3 Any Journalist Worth Their Salt
    • 4 The Roadmap, Reporting, and Religion
    • 5 Going Back Two Thousand Years All the Time
    • 6 The Ambassador’s Eyes and Ears
    • 7 Social Media: A Real Battleground
    • 8 Holy Land
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index

     

     

New Book: Gartman, Return to Zion

Gartman, Eric. Return to Zion. The History of Modern Israel. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

 

returnZion

 

The history of modern Israel is a story of ambition, violence, and survival. Return to Zion traces how a scattered and stateless¬ people reconstituted themselves in their traditional homeland, only to face threats by those who, during the many years of the dispersion, had come to regard the land as their home. This is a story of the “ingathering of the exiles” from Europe to an outpost on the fringes of the Ottoman Empire, of courage and perseverance, and of reinvention and tragedy.

Eric Gartman focuses on two main themes of modern Israel: reconstitution and survival. Even as new settlers built their state they faced constant challenges from hostile neighbors and divided support from foreign governments, as well as being attacked by larger armies no fewer than three times during the first twenty-five years of Israel’s history. Focusing on a land torn by turmoil, Return to Zion is the story of Israel—the fight for independence through the Israeli Independence War in 1948, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the near-collapse of the Israeli Army during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Gartman examines the roles of the leading figures of modern Israel—Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzchak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon—alongside popular perceptions of events as they unfolded in the post–World War II decades. He presents declassified CIA, White House, and U.S. State Department documents that detail America’s involvement in the 1967 and 1973 wars, as well as proof that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. Return to Zion pulls together the myriad threads of this history from inside and out to create a seamless look into modern Israel’s truest self.

Eric Gartman is an intelligence analyst for the United States Department of Defense who has lived and studied in Israel and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East.

Reviews: Blarel, The Evolution of India’s Israel Policy

Blarel, Nicolas. The Evolution of India’s Israel Policy. Continuity, Change, and Compromise since 1922. New Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 2015.

 

 

Reviews

New Article: Goldstein, Olei Hagardom: Between Official and Popular Memory

Goldstein, Amir. “Olei Hagardom: Between Official and Popular Memory.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2015.1068974

 

Abstract
This article examines the interaction between official memory and popular memory through the case study of Olei Hagardom – Jewish underground fighters executed by the British in Mandatory Palestine. Studies of collective memory usually maintain that the ruling elite, with its control of state resources, dominates collective memory formation. However, the case of Olei Hargardom demonstrates the potentially limited power of institutional commemoration and exclusion in a democratic society. David Ben-Gurion and his government’s attempt to exclude these right-wing heroes from the national pantheon had limited impact. Menachem Begin’s persistent, partisan political efforts to include them were only partially successful. Ultimately, Olei Hargardom became entrenched in Israeli collective memory as a result of apolitical literary works, popular culture, and the establishment of a site of memory by spontaneous, grassroots efforts.

 

 

New Article: Locker-Biletzki, Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists

Locker-Biletzki, Amir. “Judaism and Communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2015.1068971

 

Abstract
This article explores the mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic aspects of the ways in which the festivals of Hanukkah and Passover were celebrated by the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and the State of Israel. It illustrates how elements of Zionist-socialist culture were adopted by Jewish Communists and integrated in their cultural activities. In a gradual process starting in the1920s and culminating in the mid-1960s, the Jewish Communists created a combination of Marxist ideology and Zionist-socialist cultural practices. However, when a group of young Sabra activists reinforced the Zionist-socialist elements, the balance was undermined, contributing to the rift within Israeli communism.

 

 

New Book: Patrick, America’s Forgotten Middle East Initiative

Patrick, Andrew. America’s Forgotten Middle East Initiative: The King-Crane Commission of 1919. London: Tauris, 2015.

king crane

 

Sent to the Middle East by Woodrow Wilson to ascertain the viability of self-determination in the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, the King-Crane Commission of 1919 was America’s first foray into the region. The commission’s controversial recommendations included the rejection of the idea of a Jewish state in Syria, US intervention in the Middle East and the end of French colonial aspirations. The Commission’s recommendations proved inflammatory, even though its counsel on the question of the Palestinian mandate was eventually disregarded by Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau in favour of their own national interests. In the ensuing years, the Commission’s dismissal of claims by Zionist representatives like David Ben-Gurion on their ‘right to Palestine’ proved particularly divisive, with some historians labeling it prophetic and accurate, and others arguing that Commission members were biased and ill-informed. Here, in the first book-length analysis of the King-Crane report in nearly 50 years, Andrew Patrick chronicles the history of early US involvement in the region, and challenges extant interpretations of the turbulent relationship between the United States and the Middle East.