Peled-Laskov, Ronit, and Efrat Shoham. “A Three-Dimensional Perspective on Wrongful Convictions in Israel: Organizational-Forensic, Psychosocial and Practical.” International Journal of Criminology and Sociology 4 (2015): 154-65.
It is difficult to find an injustice committed against the citizen by the state that is greater than the conviction of an innocent person. At this stage, it may be tentatively stated that the phenomenon is not insignificant. This theoretical article describes the various aspects of the criminal justice system associated with the undesirable outcome of wrongful convictions. The paper reviews a series of organizational and forensic aspects that could bring about a bias in investigation of the legal truth. Furthermore, a number of psychosocial aspects relating to wrongful convictions, followed by practical aspects are described and discussed. It appears that on the practical level the phenomenon cries out for changes in the law enforcement system (e.g. implementation of the US Innocence Project or the biometric databank) and the need for empirical investigation. It appears that there is still a long way to go before a full understanding can be obtained of wrongful convictions and their prevention. One way or another, the authors are of the opinion that greater academic and public importance should be assigned to the question of wrongful convictions and perhaps turn the issue of truth and falsehood in criminal law into a theoretical and research field in its own right.
The Israeli television series Mehubarot (Connected, 2009) follows five Israeli women who use their performance before the camera—through both visual and spoken texts—as a means of biographical representation which blends public and private aspects of their daily lives. This article examines the use of spoken language as a central tool for signaling sincerity and closeness on the series’ visual stage, focusing on the unique setting of Israeli society and the exclusive genre of a televised diary in its written and spoken modes.
Unlike blogs or videos uploaded to the internet, which are contemporary precedents for this kind of intimate exposure in the public arena, the genre under discussion relies on established conventions of television and cinema to convey intimacy. Mehubarot is inspired by documentaries and films that use voiceover as an established device for informing the viewers of the characters’ thoughts. In its methods of presenting the “diaries,” the series also adopts patterns of confession and exposure commonly used in televised platforms that follow ongoing projects of identity construction, and frequently present them as journeys of self-discovery and personal development. Following a discussion of the series’ unique features, the article’s second part focuses on the journalist Dana Spector and the contradictory readings of her private-public identity, social and family identity, and “celebrity” identity in their transfer from the newspaper column to the television arena.
Helman, Sara. “Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: the Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society (early view; online first).
This article analyzes the repertoires of contention and discourse of two Israeli anti-denial movements, Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch. Through confession and testimony, both social movement organizations (SMOs) demand that Israeli society acknowledge its “problematic present,” which includes human rights violations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in a situation of ongoing ethno-national conflict, and insist that it take responsibility for this reality and act against it. It is based on the interpretative analyses of both SMOs’ reports. Reports are analyzed as narratives in the context of Israel’s national identity and its main motives which are also constitutive of a culture of collective denial. The article compares the testimonial practices of Machsom Watch to testimonies of women in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the confessions of Breaking the Silence veterans to those displayed in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as well as confessions of veterans during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confession and testimony are usually analyzed as blazing the path to a new and inclusive national identity (as was the case in South Africa). In the case of Israel, however, their adoption and mobilization destabilize national identity and turn it into a field of contention.