New Article: Bourdon, Historical Analogies in the Coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Bourdon, Jerome. “Outrageous, Inescapable? Debating Historical Analogies in the Coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” Discourse & Communication (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750481315576835

 

Abstract

This article explores the debate that has surrounded the use of analogies in coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, analyzing in depth two ‘analogy affairs’ on the basis of a LexisNexis corpus: the 2002 Auschwitz-Saramago affair (64 items) and the 2006–2007 Apartheid-Carter affair (154 items). Using the classic Aristotelian tripartition of logos, ethos, and pathos, the article unfolds the argumentative structure of the controversies. Carter and Saramago used the combination of their own personal status and the controversial nature of their analogies to trigger a debate. Commentators focused very much on the ethos (arguments around the authority and the character of the authors) and the pathos, and tended to ignore the logos (the factual relevance of the analogy). Opponents, who made up the majority of commentators, considered analogies as a way of passing judgment on and mobilizing against one of the actors in the conflict (Israel in our cases). This analysis suggests that despite the call for a more cautious use of (or even a prohibition of) the analogies discussed, participants in the debate on the Israeli–Palestinian conflicts are bound to resort to them – even if only to condemn them.

New Article: Agbariya, Arab Civil Society and Education in Israel

Agbariya, Ayman K. “Arab Civil Society and Education in Israel: The Arab Pedagogical Council as a Contentious Performance to Achieve National Recognition.” Race, Ethnicity, and Education 18.5 (2015): 675-95.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2012.759930

 

Abstract

Focusing on recent developments in the field of education, this article grapples with the educational activism of Arab civil society in Israel. Specifically, it presents a case study of a recent initiative to establish an independent Arab Pedagogical Council (APC). I argue that this initiative, although controversial and challenging to the very definition of Israel as both a Jewish nation-state and a democracy, should be considered to be an act of citizenship, rather than a sign of radicalization and separatism. The initiative to establish the APC is a political and ethical act, through which Arab civil society organizations and activists in Israel constitute themselves as independent political actors, citizens, and claimants of rights, entitlements, and responsibilities for the quality of life and future of the Palestinians in Israel.

New Article: Aharony, The Reception of Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night in Israel

Aharony, Michal. “Nihilism and Antisemitism: The Reception of Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night in Israel.” Rethinking History 19.1 (2015): 111-32.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13642529.2014.913936

 

Abstract

Louis-Ferdinand Céline is considered one of the most pro-Nazi, antisemitic writers in Europe. In 1994, an intense controversy arose in Israel after the decision to translate into Hebrew and publish his novel, Journey to the End of the Night. The heated debate soon went beyond the question of the book’s publication. This essay analyzes Céline’s reception in Israel, and more specifically, the controversy that erupted over the translation of Journey. It argues that while this debate was relatively minor in the context of the heated polemics on the Holocaust, it nevertheless has significant implications on both contemporary public discourse on the Holocaust and the limits of political criticism in Israel. Israeli intellectual discourse is framed, to a large extent, I contend, within the borders of Auschwitz, a metaphor for the borders of consciousness of many Jewish-Israelis, from both the left and the right. To this day, the trauma of the Holocaust is still present in Israeli society in a way that determines what is legitimate to read, discuss, and disagree with. Furthermore, by examining the different voices in this controversy, I demonstrate how the Israeli ‘Céline affair’ in the mid-1990s moves us away from the overstated positions of the major debates, and sheds new light on the specter of the Holocaust in Israel in seemingly non-political discussions of culture, art, and leisure. The political underpinnings of the Céline controversy, I conclude, are not clear or clear cut, and are not defined by the traditional political camps in Israel. The implication is that public Holocaust debates represent an autonomous field, subordinated to no political party dictates, and yet are still political. The public debate that followed the translation of Journey serves as a watershed. It shows us how at the end of every political–cultural divide in Israeli society, we arrive at ‘Auschwitz’ as a metaphor for the existential threat.

New Book: Steir-Livny, Let the Memorial Hill Remember: Holocaust Representation in Israeli Popular Culture (Hebrew)

שטייר-לבני, ליאת. הר הזכרון יזכור במקומי. הזיכרון החדש של השואה בתרבות הפופולרית בישראל. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

 

URL: http://www.resling.co.il/book.asp?book_id=793

 

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Table of Contents

פתח דבר

מבוא: זיכרון ותודעת השואה בישראל – מושגים, היסטוריוגרפיה וכיווני חשיבה

1. עכשיו כבר מותר לצחוק? ייצוגים של הומור, סטירה ופרודיה בנושא השואה

2. הפוליטיזציה של השואה בתרבות הישראלית

3. אתניזציה של השואה

אחרית דבר

 

Abstract

Liat Steir-Livny’s book analyzes the representations of the Holocaust in Israeli popular culture from the 1980s onwards. Through a survey of film, television, journalism, literature, poetry, Facebook, blogs, and fringe theater it covers new and controversial representations that are nevertheless an integral part of contemporary Holocaust remembrance and commemoration. Steir-Livni argues that the second and third generation who carry the burden of national memory seek to keep away the trauma not because they disregard it, or because they are distant from it, but rather, because they are deeply immersed in and seek to find some peace. They do this, consciously and unconsciously, by using tools rhetorical and visual tools that leave behind the horrors of historical events, and convert them to create a series of foreign representations of horror of the traumatic events and exchange them for a series of representations that alienate and obscure the traumatic events in order to distance them. At the same time, however, these new representations indicate the extent to which the Holocaust is an integral part of their culture and of the identity of their creators.