Bulletin: Water in Israel

Articles

Thesis

Advertisements

Bulletin: Public Health, Hospitals, and Professionals

Articles

New Article: Cohen, The On‐Going Civil Service Reform in Israel

Cohen, Nissim. “Forgoing New Public Management and Adopting Post‐New Public Management Principles: The On‐Going Civil Service Reform in Israel.” Public Administration and Development 36.1 (2016): 20-34.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pad.1751
 
Abstract

Since the 1980s, New Public Management (NPM) and post‐NPM reforms have dominated attempts to improve public administration. The literature suggests several reasons for the latter approach. However, these explanations seem to be less relevant to the ongoing civil service reforms in Israel. The Israeli experience is an example where NPM reforms did not occur, but post‐NPM reforms were adopted enthusiastically decades later. Our findings demonstrate how under the structural conditions of both non‐governability and bureaucratic centralization, post‐NPM reforms may provide an attractive layering strategy, offering the option of changing certain features of the system without requiring a drastic, comprehensive overhaul of it. Once Israeli decision makers decided that there was a real public demand for reform, and long‐term learning and diffusion processes convinced them that change was needed, the characteristics of the post‐NPM approach made it much easier politically for them to adopt.

 

 

 

New Article: Levin et al, Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services

Levin, Lia, Sharon Gewirtz, and Alan Cribb. “Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services: Social Workers’ Perspectives on Policy Making and Implementation.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw024

 

Abstract

Over the past decades, social policies in Israel have been characterised by a growing trend towards involving social service clients in decision-making processes. Drawing on interviews with seventy-seven social workers from various backgrounds employed in a range of organisations and positions, the current study sought to illuminate the contested nature of shared decision making (SDM), the practice and policy dilemmas it generates, and the readiness of the Israeli policy context to support its implementation. Findings from interviews are described as they relate to questions regarding participants’ definition of SDM, major dilemmas and challenges they identify in the process of using SDM, ways of coping with such issues and their perspectives on policies promoting SDM. Their discussion delineates some of the key lessons of the study, raises critical questions about potential contradictions between the call for SDM in social worker–client relationships and the ethos of policy maker–social worker relationships, and uses Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) to ask, in light of participants’ accounts, how suitable the policy platform of Israeli social work is for supporting an effective and reflexive approach to SDM.

 

 

 

New Article: Niv-Solomon, An Application of Prospect Theory to the Israeli War Decision in 2006

Niv-Solomon, Anat. “When Risky Decisions Are Not Surprising: An Application of Prospect Theory to the Israeli War Decision in 2006.” Cooperation and Conflict (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010836716640837

 

Abstract

On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah operatives crossed into Israel and attacked a military patrol, killing three soldiers and kidnapping two more. In retaliation to this incident Israel launched a military operation that resulted in 34 days of fighting between Hezbollah and Israel. The Israeli retaliation has been deemed to be severe and surprising. Furthermore, a public investigation commission established by the Israeli government implicated key decision-makers, and especially Prime Minister Olmert, as guilty of hasty and irresponsible decision-making. This article views this case through the lens of prospect theory, showing how the decision was made at the framing stage, and suggesting that this decision was not hasty but, rather, was consistent with the logic of loss-aversion.

 

 

 

New Article: Golan-Nadir & Cohen, The Role of Individual Agents in Promoting Peace Processes

Golan-Nadir, Niva, and Nissim Cohen. “The Role of Individual Agents in Promoting Peace Processes: Business People and Policy Entrepreneurship in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” Policy Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01442872.2016.1161181

 

Abstract

Are individual businesspeople who operate as policy entrepreneurs willing and able to influence peace processes in conflict areas? The literature on businesspeople as policy agents shifts when talking about peace processes, focusing on group level activities and ignoring the effect of individual agents. We argue that rather than regarding businesspeople as a traditional interest group, we should consider the approaches to promoting change that strongly motivated individuals adopt as policy entrepreneurs. Based on interviews with senior Israeli businesspeople and decision-makers, we demonstrate how strongly motivated Israeli businesspeople promote peace as policy entrepreneurs. We identify their motivations, goals, challenges, and the strategies they use. The findings indicate that although motivated by economic profits, businesspeople undertake activities that may prove very beneficial to both themselves and society as a whole.

 

 

 

New Article: Greene, Israel’s Two States Debate

Greene, Toby. “Israel’s Two States Debate.” International Affairs 91.5 (2015): 1009-1026.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2346.12395
 
Abstract

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of enormous interest to scholars and policy-makers, yet the internal Israeli policy debate on this issue is often overlooked or oversimplified. It is impossible to understand Israeli actions, the constraints on Israeli decision-makers and the trajectory of the conflict itself without a deeper understanding of this debate. This article presents a framework for categorizing the leading policy prescriptions currently advocated in Israel with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, drawing on public statements by politicians and leading think-tanks, and surveys of public opinion. The most discussed Israeli policy options are presented as follows: maintain the status quo; proactively move towards two states through either a negotiated agreement (Plan A) or unilateral separation (Plan B); or entrench Israeli presence in the West Bank through settlement expansion and annexation. Various public opinion surveys show the extent to which the Israeli public is divided on the issues, and an analysis of Israel’s 2013–14 coalition demonstrates how all these approaches were being promoted simultaneously within the same cabinet, contributing to policy incoherence. The article concludes by outlining how Palestinian and international actions are influencing the Israeli debate, and argues that a move away from the status quo will require decisive Israeli leadership. It also suggests that third party attempts to impose terms for resolving the conflict that do not respond to concerns held widely in Israel are likely to fuel the argument of the status quo camp in the Israeli debate.

 

 

 

New Article: Lipshits-Braziler et al, Strategies for Coping with Career Indecision

Lipshits-Braziler, Yuliya, Itamar Gati, and Moshe Tatar. “Strategies for Coping with Career Indecision: Concurrent and Predictive Validity.” Journal of Vocational Behavior (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2015.10.004

 
Abstract

Recently, Lipshits-Braziler, Gati, and Tatar (2015a) proposed a model of strategies for coping with career indecision (SCCI), comprising three main types of strategies: Productive Coping, Support-Seeking, and Nonproductive Coping. Using a two-wave longitudinal design (30-week time lag), the effects of these strategies on career decision status and career decision-making difficulties were tested among 251 students in a college preparatory program. The results showed that the use of Nonproductive coping strategies at the beginning of the program was associated with and predicted a higher degree of individuals’ career decision-making difficulties, and also distinguished between decided and undecided participants at both the beginning and the end of the program, thus partially supporting the concurrent and the predictive validity of the SCCI. Furthermore, a decrease in the use of Nonproductive strategies over time predicted a decrease in individuals’ career decision-making difficulties. In addition, a decrease in the use of Nonproductive coping strategies and an increase in the use of Productive ones predicted individuals’ advancement toward making a career decision. Theoretical and counseling implications are discussed.

 

 

New Article: Benzion et al, Factors Affecting Public Support for the Release of a Captive Soldier

Benzion, Uri, Assaf Gal, Shosh Shahrabani, and Eran Zaidise. “‘The Price of Freedom’ – Factors Affecting Public Support for the Release of a Captive Soldier: The Case of Gilad Shalit.” Economics Bulletin 35.4 (2015): 2184-96.

 

URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2015/Volume35/EB-15-V35-I4-P221.pdf (PDF)

 

Abstract

This study examines the public support determinants for the release of terrorists in exchange for a single captive soldier. A sample of 751 Israelis were presented a questionnaire, in which the exchange price was manipulated into two versions: one in which no specific prices were mentioned, and another which presented a context-specific prisoner exchange. The results show that respondents who answered the non-specific version displayed greater support than those presented with specific details. Additionally, we found that soldiers tended to support the exchange more than civilians, and women showed greater support as compared to men. Our findings provide considerable support for the effect of framing and provide further evidence that decision-makers as well as media experts can guide public opinion.

 

 

New Book: Golan | Lavi: The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet

Golan, John W. Lavi. The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.

Lavi

The Lavi fighter program, the largest weapons-development effort ever undertaken by the State of Israel, envisioned a new generation of high-performance aircraft. In a controversial strategy, Israel Aircraft Industries intended to develop and manufacture the fighters in Israel with American financial support. The sophisticated planes, developed in the mid-1980s, were unique in design and intended to make up the majority of the Israeli air force. Though considerable prestige and money were at stake, developmental costs increased and doubts arose as to whether the Lavi could indeed be the warplane it was meant to be. Eventually the program became a microcosm for the ambitions, fears, and internal divisions that shaped both the U.S.-Israeli relationship and Israeli society itself. But the fighter never made it to operational service, and until now, the full breadth and significance of the Lavi story have never been examined and presented.

Lavi: The United States, Israel, and a Controversial Fighter Jet traces the evolution of the Lavi fighter from its genesis in the 1970s to its scrapping in August 1987. John W. Golan examines the roles of Israeli military icons and political leaders such as Ezer Weizman, Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Rabin in the program and in relation to their counterparts in the United States. On the American side, Golan traces the evolution of government policy toward the program, detailing the complex picture of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus and of U.S.-Israeli relations in general—from President Reagan’s public endorsement of the program on the White House lawn to Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s unremitting attempts to cancel it in succeeding years.

 

JOHN W. GOLAN has served as a designer, structural analyst, and engineering manager in the U.S. aerospace industry for the last two decades, developing future-generation technology concepts. He has published articles with Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation History, and the Jerusalem Post Magazine.

 

New Article: Siani & Assaraf, Genetic Dilemmas Amongst Jewish Israeli Undergraduate Students

Siani, Merav, and Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf. “The Moral Reasoning of Genetic Dilemmas Amongst Jewish Israeli Undergraduate Students with Different Religious Affiliations and Scientific Backgrounds.” Journal of Genetic Counseling (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-015-9918-5
 
Abstract

The main objective of this study was to shed light on the moral reasoning of undergraduate Israeli students towards genetic dilemmas, and on how these are affected by their religious affiliation, by the field they study and by their gender. An open ended questionnaire was distributed among 449 undergraduate students in institutions of higher education in Israel, and their answers were analyzed according to the framework described by Sadler and Zeidler (Science Education, 88(1), 4–27, 2004). They were divided into two major categories: those whose reasoning was based on the consideration of moral consequences (MC), and those who supported their opinion by citing non-consequentialist moral principles (MP). Students’ elaborations to questions dealing with values towards genetic testing showed a correlation between the students’ religious affiliation and their reasoning, with religious students’ elaborations tending to be more principle based than those of secular ones. Overall, the students’ elaborations indicate that their main concern is the possibility that their personal genetic information will be exposed, and that their body’s personal rights will be violated. We conclude the paper by offering several practical recommendations based on our findings for genetic counseling that is specifically tailored to fit different patients according to their background.

 

 

 

New Article: Betzer-Tayar et al, Barriers to Women’s Access to Decision-Making Positions in Sport Organizations

Betzer-Tayar, Moran, Sima Zach, Yair Galily, and Ian Henry. “Barriers to Women’s Access to Decision-Making Positions in Sport Organizations: The Case of Establishing a Girls’ Volleyball Academy in Israel.” Journal of Gender Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09589236.2015.1111835

 

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to highlight the nature of the barriers facing women in terms of their participation in decision-making in Israeli sport, and to identify and evaluate some of the strategies and tactics adopted to overcome these barriers. This is done by making reference to a particular case study, the case of the process of establishing a major policy initiative in Israeli sport – the founding of the national Volleyball Academy for Young Talented Girls. The case is analyzed in order to identify how and why the goal of establishing the Academy was successful, and to consider what may be learned in terms of the implications for the tactics and strategies used that might be adopted by other women in similar circumstances.

 

 

 

New Article: Kerzman et al, Attitudes toward Expanding Nurses’ Authority

Kerzman, Hana, Dina Van Dijk, Limor Eizenberg, Rut Khaikin, Shoshi Phridman, Maya Siman-Tov, and Shoshi Goldberg. “Attitudes toward Expanding Nurses’ Authority.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/110.1186/s13584-015-0005-z

 

Abstract

Background
In recent years, an increasing number of care procedures previously under the physician’s authority have been placed in the hands of registered nurses. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes of nurses towards expanding nurses’ authority and the relationships between these attitudes and job satisfaction facets, professional characteristics, and demographics.

Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted between 2010 and 2011 in three major medical centers in Israel. Participants included 833 nurses working in 89 departments. Attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority were assessed by self-report questionnaire, as well as job satisfaction facets including perception of professional autonomy, nurse-physician working relations, workload and burnout, perceptions of quality of care, and nursing staff satisfaction at work.

Results
Nurses reported positive attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority and moderate attitudes for interpretation of diagnostic tests in selected situations. The results of multivariate regression analyses demonstrate that the nurses’ satisfaction from professional autonomy and work relations were the most influential factors in explaining their attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority. In addition, professionally young nurses tend to be more positive regarding changes in nurses’ authority.

Conclusion
In the Israeli reality of a nurse’s shortage, we are witnessing professional transitions toward expansion of the scope of nurses’ accountability and decision–making authority. The current research contributes to our understanding of attitudes toward the expansion of nurses’ authority among the nursing staffs. The findings indicate the necessity of redefining the scope of nursing practice within the current professional context.

 

 

Book Launch: Ranta, Political Decision Making and Non-Decisions: The Case of Israel and the Occupied Territories

SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies

EVENING LECTURE PRGORAMME

Book Launch: “Political Decision Making and Non-Decisions: The Case of Israel and the Occupied Territories.”

BY
Dr. Ronald Ranta (Kingston University)

November 11 November 2015 – 5.30pm
Brunei Gallery, Room B104, SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG.

What is Israel’s long term plan with regard to the Occupied Territories? Did Israel ever have a clear plan? Examining Israel’s historic relationship with and political decision-making process towards the Occupied Territories, it becomes evident that successive Israeli governments lacked a coherent long term policy. Instead, successive governments implemented a number of ad-hoc and at times conflicting approaches. This lack of a clear approach had a detrimental effect not only on Israeli politics and society, but also on the Middle East in general, and on the Palestinian people in particular. Crucially to understanding the current Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the lack of a coherent long term policy is still a central feature of Israeli politics today.

Bio: Ronald Ranta is a lecturer in politics and international relations at Kingston University London.

All Welcome

This event is free and there is no need to book

Convenor: Dr. Yonatan Sagiv (js108@soas.ac.uk)

Dissertation: Doron, The Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel

Doron, Guy. Is Empowerment of Disadvantaged Populations Achievable through Housing Policies? A Study of the Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2015.

 
URL: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.647167

 

Abstract
This research project investigates whether the empowerment of Israel’s population — and in particular those who suffer multiple disadvantages — is achievable through housing policies and whether successive Israeli administrations have helped or hindered this process. The research focuses on communities in publicly-subsidised areas during social housing programmes. The housing programmes analysed in this research were: The Demolish and Rebuild Programme, which represents a top-down process, implemented with little residents’ involvement. Neighbourhood Renewal, which was a programme that formally offered partnership, giving residents partial share in decision-making. Finally, Right to Buy represented a resident-led partnership, in which residents felt empowered to overcome their own disadvantaged conditions by taking a leading role in transforming housing policy. The database complementing this research was compiled, in part, from 91 in-depth interviews with residents, policy makers and officials representing these three programmes. It is a unique aspect of this research, as it draws on perspectives about participation from those who have not necessarily had an opportunity to express an opinion before, and communicates a variety of views regarding the projects and residents’ participation in them. This study focuses on how it actually affects people and can even create behavioural change among those who are normally considered dependent. Another exceptional and distinctive factor provided by this research is its analysis of empowerment in the social and political context of Israel. By analysing the Israeli case, this research will contribute both to international knowledge and academic scholarship, highlight the conditions of an individual state and generate an original and provocative narrative. The issue of participation and empowerment in a society so riven with political, social, religious and ethnic tensions is particularly important. Learning from the Israeli experience has the potential to promote understanding of empowerment under pressure. Empowerment related to social housing policy is distinctive in Israel because housing is synonymous with security. Housing is more than a cultural issue, since in Israel owning a property is a matter of security. Another key feature is the focal role of central government which determines almost every aspect in the shaping of social and housing policy. Also critical is the influence of national politics on local decision-making. In Israel the political agenda is based upon bilateralism and the demographic dispersal of population across the state’s formal and informal borders. Empowerment is a complex term. This research, however, explores examined and evidenced empowerment using just two main features: examination of residents’ participation; and evaluation of public policy towards resident participation. This research offers a unique view on empowerment within social housing policies that are subject to multiple pressures, and offers interpretations that could be usefully applied to issues of empowerment in other pressure scenarios.

 

 

 

New Article: Garyn-Tal & Shahrabani, Type of Army Service and Risky Behavior among Young People in Israel

Garyn-Tal, Sharon and Shosh Shahrabani. “Type of Army Service and Decision to Engage in Risky Behavior among Young People in Israel.” Judgment and Decision Making 10.4 (2015): 342-54.

 

URL: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~baron/journal/15/15320a/jdm15320a.pdf [pdf]

 

Abstract

Previous studies have examined the impact of military service on the decision to engage in risky behavior. Yet most of these studies focused on voluntary recruits, did not distinguish between legal and illegal risky activities and did not compare combat and non-combat soldiers during and after service according to gender. The current study is unique because of the nature of Israeli compulsory army service. It examines the relationship between type of army service and five legal and illegal risky behaviors for three groups: non-combat, combat without fighting experience, and combat with fighting experience. We also examine differences in the propensity for risky behavior between men, most of whom are assigned to combat units due to the army’s needs, and women, who serve in combat units on a voluntary basis only. A questionnaire survey was randomly distributed at train stations and central bus stations in Israel among 413 soldiers and ex-soldiers between the ages of 18-30. The predictor variables include type of service or battle experience, the Evaluation of Risks scale and sociodemographic characteristics. In general, we found that high percentages of young people engage in risky behavior, especially illegal behavior. The results indicate that fighting experience is significantly and positively correlated with the consumption of illegal substances for currently serving men soldiers (but not for women) and this effect is mitigated after discharge from the army. Importantly, the use of illegal substances is not a result of the individual’s preferences for engaging in various risky behaviors. Thus, our results suggest that the effect of the increased propensity toward risky behavior following the experience of fighting overrides the combat unit’s discipline for men when it comes to the consumption of illegal substances. In addition, our findings indicate that serving in a combat unit as opposed to a non-combat unit affects the tendency of women ex-combat soldiers to travel to risky destinations, though this is probably related to their original higher risk attitude, since women must volunteer for combat units.

New Article: Vertsberger and Gati, Career Decision-Making Difficulties Among Israeli Young Adults

Vertsberger, Dana and Itamar Gati. “Career Decision-Making Difficulties and Help-Seeking Among Israeli Young Adults.” Journal of Career Development (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894845315584162

 

Abstract

The present research focused on the various types of support young adults consider using when making career decisions and located factors that affect their intentions to seek help. Career decision-making difficulties (assessed by the Career Decision-making Difficulties Questionnaire), self-reported intentions to seek help, and career decision status were elicited from 300 young adults deliberating about their future career. The results show that participants’ intentions to seek help were positively correlated with their career decision-making difficulties and with their career decision status. The results also show discrepancies between the perceived effectiveness of the various types of support (e.g., family and friends, career counselors, and Internet) and the participants’ intentions to use them. Young adults are more inclined to seek help from types of support that are easily accessible to them (e.g., family and friends, and the Internet), and less from those that have been proven to be beneficial (e.g., career counselors, online questionnaires).

 

New Article: Hananel, Rethinking Israel’s National Land Policy

Hananel, Ravit. “The Land Narrative: Rethinking Israel’s National Land Policy.” Land Use Policy 45 (2015): 128-40.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.01.015

 

Abstract

The land narrative tells the unique story of Israel’s national land policy. Its historical and ideological roots are in the early 1900s, when the Zionist movement and the Jewish National Fund were founded, but it continues to influence spatial policy and land allocation in Israel today. The land narrative is based on the distinction between the urban sector and the rural-agricultural sector and on the clear preference—at least at the ideological level—for the rural-agricultural sector. However, despite the decision-makers’ clear preference for the members of the cooperative and communal rural sector, over time the urban residents’ have received more land rights de facto. This study provides an explanation of this dissonance by exploring the land narrative, examines its broad implications for Israeli society, and discusses its future implications.

New Article: Rosenblatt, Teacher Involvement in Decision Making in the Israeli School System

Rosenblatt, Zehava, Hilla Peretz, and Lya Kremer-Hayon. “Teacher Involvement in Decision Making in the Israeli School System.” In Do Teachers Wish to Be Agents of Change?: Will Principals Support Them? (ed. Allen Menlo and LeVerne Collet; New York: Springer, 2015): 151-68.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6209-959-3_8

 

Abstract

This chapter is organized in four sections. The first section describes the Israeli educational system and reviews recent literature on teacher participation and involvement in decision-making – particularly with respect to change and development projects. The second section describes the nature of the Israeli study: its purpose, data gathering methods, and analytic procedures.

New Article: Freilich; National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl

Freilich, Charles (Chuck) D. “Israel: National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl.” Comparative Strategy 34.2 (2015): 117-32.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01495933.2015.1017341

 

Abstract

The article is a first attempt to systematically assess the impact of leaks on Israeli decision-making. Five major cases were studied on three levels: whether leaks affected the process, policies adopted, and outcomes. Leaks had a strong impact in two cases, but not on the policies adopted, or outcomes, in any of the cases analyzed. As a tentative conclusion, most leaks are about Israel’s broad strategic thinking and the politics thereof, rather than hard information. The primary impact is on process, important in itself, not substance.