Bulletin: Identity and Nationalism

ToC:

Shofar 34.4 (2016): Special issue on Exile, Center, and Diaspora in Modern Jewish Culture

Articles:

Hochman, Oshrat, and Sibylle Heilbrunn. “‘I am not a German Jew. I am a Jew with a German passport’: German-Jewish identification among Jewish Germans and Jewish German Israelis.” Identities (online first).

Reviews:

Kheir, Zaha. “Review of: Fran Markowitz, Stephen Sharot, Moshe Shokeid (eds.), Toward an Anthropology of Nation Building and Unbuilding in Israel (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2015).” Nations and Nationalism 22.4 (2016): 850-852.

Theses:

Gelotte, Sara. National Identities among Israelis and Palestinians: Discourse Analysis of NGOs, MA Thesis. University of Gothenburg, 2016. (PDF)

Events:

Sammy Smooha, “Is Israel Really Western? Does it Have Viable Alternative Options?” October 26, 2016, 5:30pm, Brunei Gallery Room, SOAS, London.

Abstract: Israel is known as a Western state, culture and society. Applying various standards of Western civilisation, Smooha scrutinises and problematizes this international and self-image, questioning whether Israel is indeed Western. He discusses the barriers in Israel’s drive to the West and the alternative options it has (Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, global).

 

New Article: Netz & Lefstein, Disagreements in Classroom Discourse: England, US, Israel

Netz, Hadar, and Adam Lefstein. “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Disagreements in Classroom Discourse: Comparative Case Studies from England, the United States, and Israel.” Intercultural Pragmatics 13.2 (2016): 211-55.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ip-2016-0009

 

Abstract

How do cultural and institutional factors interact in shaping preference structures? This paper presents a cross-cultural analysis of disagreements in three different classroom settings: (1) a year 6 (ages 11–12) mainstream class in England, (2) a fifth-grade class of gifted students in the United States, and (3) a fourth-grade mainstream class in Israel. The aim of the study is to investigate how disagreements are enacted in these settings, exploring the influence of cultural communicative norms on the one hand and pedagogical goals and norms on the other. The study highlights culture-specific discursive patterns that emerge as the teacher and students manage a delicate balance between often clashing cultural and educational motives.

 

 

 

New Article: Moscovitz, Israeli Parliamentary Discussions over Asylum

Moscovitz, Hannah. “The Mainstreaming of Radical Right Exclusionary Ideology: Israeli Parliamentary Discussions over Asylum.” Journal of Political Ideologies (early view, online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13569317.2016.1150138
 
Abstract

This study analyses the mainstreaming of radical right ideology in Israel. Focusing on the political discourse used to describe the current asylum issue in the country, the article claims that features of radical right ideology are not limited to the discourse of radical right parties, but increasingly pervade the mainstream. Through discourse analysis of parliamentary discussions over asylum, the study highlights the discursive strategies and linguistic properties used in the expression of radical right ideology. The findings reveal the distinct manner in which both party families express radical right ideology; while the radical right discourse is explicit, overall, the mainstream discourse is implicit, with traces of explicitness observed. The Israeli case reveals significant insights into the scope of radical right ideology and the manner in which, through language and discourse, its features make their way through the political spectrum.

 

 

 

ToC: Israel Affairs 22.2 (2016)

Israel Affairs, Volume 22, Issue 2, April 2016 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
Writing Jewish history
David Vital
Pages: 257-269 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140346
How do states die: lessons for Israel
Steven R. David
Pages: 270-290 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140358Towards a biblical psychology for modern Israel: 10 guides for healthy living
Kalman J. Kaplan
Pages: 291-317 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140349

The past as a yardstick: Europeans, Muslim migrants and the onus of European-Jewish histories
Amikam Nachmani
Pages: 318-354 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140355

The mental cleavage of Israeli politics
Eyal Lewin
Pages: 355-378 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140352

Framing policy paradigms: population dispersal and the Gaza withdrawal
Matt Evans
Pages: 379-400 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140353

National party strategies in local elections: a theory and some evidence from the Israeli case
David Nachmias, Maoz Rosenthal & Hani Zubida
Pages: 401-422 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140356

‘I have two homelands’: constructing and managing Iranian Jewish and Persian Israeli identities
Rusi Jaspal
Pages: 423-443 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140348

Avoiding longing: the case of ‘hidden children’ in the Holocaust
Galiya Rabinovitch & Efrat Kass
Pages: 444-458 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140350

‘Are you being served?’ The Jewish Agency and the absorption of Ethiopian immigration |
Adi Binhas
Pages: 459-478 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140345

The danger of Israel according to Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi
Shaul Bartal
Pages: 479-491 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140343

Leisure in the twenty-first century: the case of Israel
Nitza Davidovitch & Dan Soen
Pages: 492-511 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140347

Limits to cooperation: why Israel does not want to become a member of the International Energy Agency
Elai Rettig
Pages: 512-527 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140357

The attitude of the local press to marginal groups: between solidarity and alienation
Smadar Ben-Asher & Ella Ben-Atar
Pages: 528-548 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140344

The construction of Israeli ‘masculinity’ in the sports arena
Moshe Levy, Einat Hollander & Smadar Noy-Canyon
Pages: 549-567 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140351
Book Reviews
From empathy to denial: Arab responses to the Holocaust
Alice A. Butler-Smith
Pages: 568-570 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140354

Holocaust images and picturing catastrophe: the cultural politics of seeing
Alice A. Butler-Smith
Pages: 570-572 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140342s

New Article: Cohen, Iterative Emplotment Scenarios: Being ‘The Only Ethiopian’

Cohen, Leor. “Iterative Emplotment Scenarios: Being ‘The Only Ethiopian’.” Discourse Studies 18.2 (2016): 123-43.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461445615623903

 

Abstract

The realism-social constructionism debate has been consequential over the last several decades. Silverstein’s vocabulary of micro-/macro-contexts aids in understanding why the tension can be a useful epistemological heuristic for discourse analysts. Narratives were collected in focus groups of Ethiopian-Israeli college students. Five narratives were selected for ethnic mentions and found to have a particular ‘iterative’ ‘emplotment scenario’ (IES) – recurrent storylines and settings – across tellers and telling events. ‘the only Ethiopian’ is an IES of being sent away to a majority-White elementary/secondary school, socially isolated and denigrated. How are we to understand it when a particular plotline and setting recur in our corpora? I argue that although each story and storytelling is unique, they all borrow from a larger-than-single-telling, already existent trope, that is, a budding master narrative. Taken together, a unique view of a particular socio-cultural process – in this case, something of what it means to be an Ethiopian Israeli – emerges.

 

 

 

New Book: Kahanoff, Jews and Arabs in Israel Encountering Their Identities

Kahanoff, Maya. Jews and Arabs in Israel Encountering Their Identities. Transformations in Dialogue. Lanham and London: Lexington Books and Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute, 2016.

 

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Jews and Arabs in Israel Encountering their Identities reveals the powerful potential of inter-group dialogues to transform identities and mutually negating relations. Using meetings with Israeli Jewish and Palestinian Arabian students who attend the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as case studies, Kahanoff examines the hidden psychological dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and illustrates how each participant’s sense of identity shifted in response to encounters with conflicting perspectives. Kahanoff contends that an awareness of the limitations of dialogue, without the renunciation of its value, is the most realistic basis upon which to build a sustainable agreement. This book is recommended for scholars of psychology, sociology, religious studies, political science, and communication studies.

 

Table of Contents

  • Part I. Center Stage Conversations
  • Chapter One: Split Discourse: Jews and Arabs Converse
  • Part II. Behind the Scenes
  • Chapter Two: Internal Jewish-Israeli Dialogues
  • Chapter Three: Internal Palestinian-Arab Dialogues
  • Part III. Inner/Hidden Dialogues
  • Chapter Four: Jewish Israeli Dilemmas
  • Chapter Five: Palestinian Arab Dilemmas

  • Chapter Six: Theoretical Aftertalks: Dialogical Transformations

 

MAYA KAHANOFF is lecturer at the Swiss Center Graduate Program for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution and associate research fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

New Article: Benski and Katz, Women’s Peace Activism and the Holocaust

Benski, Tova, and Ruth Katz. “Women’s Peace Activism and the Holocaust: Reversing the Hegemonic Holocaust Discourse in Israel.” In The Holocaust as Active Memory: The Past in the Present (ed. Marie Louise Seeberg, Irene Levine, and Claudia Lenz; Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2013, reprinted 2016): 93-112.

 
Holocaust active memory

 

Extract

The present chapter focuses on Holocaust discourse among activists of the Coalition of Women for Peace, and is an unexpected outcome of a longitudinal study of women’s peace movements in Israel since the late 1980s. The chapter is divided into four parts: First, we present theoretical perspectives of collective memory and trauma. We then turn to the construction of cultural memory of the Holocaust in Israel. The third section examines the socio-political space of the Coalition of Women for Peace, offering a rich description of its constituent groups, their value orientations, and activities. The fourth part, which forms the core of the chapter, centers on the CWP and the Holocaust, and presents the somewhat ambivalent analogies made by the women activists between the Holocaust and the current phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while identifying the various themes that dominate the specific Holocaust discourse that has evolved among these women.

 

 

 

New Article: Shoham, Victim Rhetoric among Sex Offenders: A Case Study of the Former Israeli President

Shoham, Efrat. “Victim Rhetoric among Sex Offenders: A Case Study of the Former Israeli President.” Journal of Politics and Law 8.1 (2015): 26-34.

 

URL: http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jpl/article/view/45340/

 

Abstract

In 2009, the Israeli eight former president Katzav was accused of two counts of rape against an employee working under his authority during his time as Minister of Tourism. The story of the conviction of the eighth Israeli president of sex offences turned into a high-priority media story, which stayed at the top of the Israeli media agenda for a relatively long period. This qualitative paper, is aiming to identify and analyze the various rhetorical techniques utilized by Katsav, to replace the new criminal identity attributed to him with a victimized self-identity. The victimized rhetoric which is based on justifications and accounts such as: “Reverse character assassination”, “Attack the attackers” or “Contradiction technique”, had served the former president as a means to reduce his responsibility, to deny it and to build an alternative narrative that presents the alleged perpetrator as a persecuted victim. Never the less, the conviction and jailing of a president for sex crimes has greatly increased the awareness of sex offences in the workplace committed by people of power and authority.

New Article: Gavriely-Nuri, The Outbreak of Peace in Israeli Children’s Periodicals, 1977–79

Gavriely-Nuri, Dalia. “The Outbreak of Peace in Israeli Children’s Periodicals, 1977–1979.” Journal of Multicultural Discourses (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17447143.2016.1153643

 
Abstract

This study focuses on two exceptional moments in the Egyptian–Israeli history of conflict: the visit of President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem in November 1977 and the signing of the Israeli–Egyptian peace treaty in March 1979. Combining peace studies, cultural studies and discourse analysis, the article analyzes the response of Israeli most popular children’s periodicals to these dramatic peace events in real time, during the months in which they occurred. The article’s contribution to peace research lies in its ability to shed light on how intergenerational discourse conveys peace legacy, a relatively neglected arena in peace research. In doing so, it likewise focuses on the discursive ‘failures’ embedded in the Israeli peace discourse.

 

 

 

Resources: New Website for the Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH)

The site of The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH) has changed its location. The new address is http://cosih.com (Hebrew main page) or click here for English: http://cosih.com/english/index.html

Plans for The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH) started to take shape in 1998. CoSIH aimed at compiling a large database of recordings of spoken Israeli Hebrew in order to facilitate research in a range of disciplines. A corpus is a preliminary desideratum for larger projects that cannot otherwise be accomplished. The research potential of such a corpus is extremely large, including, inter alia, applications in the following areas: general and theoretical linguistics, Hebrew language and linguistics, applied linguistics, language engineering, education, and cultural and sociological studies.

CoSIH was designed with the intention to include a representative sample of both demographically and contextually defined varieties. The model according to which CoSIH would be compiled was to consist of a thousand sets of recordings (“cells”) with 5000 words each, i.e., a corpus of five million words. We have taken a culture-dependent approach for the compilation of CoSIH. CoSIH aspires to bridge between the infinite number of varieties used by the Israeli Hebrew speech community and their representation in the corpus, by characterizing their diversity in both demographic and contextual terms. CoSIH seems to be a first and singular attempt to establish a representative corpus using the axes of both demographic and contextual variables, based on statistical and analytic criteria.

The selection of informants for the recordings of CoSIH would be made by a random sample of the Israeli population, in order to reflect the social structure of the Israeli Hebrew speech community. The segmentation of the corpus for analytic purposes would be done using well-defined criteria, notwithstanding the fact that all sociolinguistic data of the recorded informants will be made available for CoSIH’s endusers. The working hypothesis of CoSIH is based on demographic criteria that seem to be most significant for the representation of the linguistic diversity in Israel: (1) place of birth, familial land of origin, ethnic group or religion; (2) age; (3) education; and (4) sex.1

For the analysis of the contextual variables for each discourse, CoSIH’s working hypothesis is based on five variables. There are three primary variables: interpersonal relationships, discourse structure and discourse topic; and two secondary variables: number of participants and medium (i.e. face-to-face conversation and telephone conversation).

A comprehensive study of the demographic and circumstantial variables in Hebrew discourse in Israel remains a desideratum. Therefore, in order to design a proper model for CoSIH, the setting of the corpus would be done in phases, during which a research program would be taken in order to verifty the wortking hypothesis suggested above.

This model was first published online, in both Hebrew and English. The English version eventually found its place in Hary & Izre’el 2003. A more sophisticated model has been published in English in Izre’el, Hary & Rahav 2001.

CoSIH was initiated, designed and operated by a team of Israeli and international scholars:

Core team: Shlomo Izre’el, Tel-Aviv University (director); Benjamin Hary, Emory University (principal investigator); John Du Bois, University of California at Santa arbara (corpus analyst); Mira Ariel, Tel-Aviv University (discourse analysis and pragmatics); Giora Rahav, Tel-Aviv University (statistics and sociology). Esther Borochovsky-Bar Aba, Tel Aviv University (syntax) joined the team at a later stage.

Advisory board: Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Tel Aviv University (sociolinguistics – sociological aspects); Yaakov Bentolila, Ben Gurion University (sociolinguistics – linguistic aspects); Otto Jastrow, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (transcription, phonology, dialectology); Shmuel Bolozky, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (phonology, morphology); Geoffrey Khan, Cambridge University (syntax); Elana Shohamy, Tel Aviv University (language education).

The Present State of CoSIH

As of 2012, this ambitious project still awaits its realization. The limited financial support that was at our disposal enabled us to compile two sets of recordings, the first of which was made during the initial preparatory phase, while the second was done as a pilot study. The initial preparatory phase produced 11 recordings spanning at least 6 hours each, with some being much longer. Although we initially designed a pilot of 20 sets of 3-hour recordings, we have eventually ended up with 42 sets, each including between 8 to 16 hours of uninterrupted recording of everyday speech. Taken together, we now possess 6 to 18 hour recordings by 53 volunteers, which we believe to be a reasonable source of data for the study of Spoken Hebrew. The recordings, which were all made between August 2000 and October 2002, are all real life conversations of CoSIH’s informants. As such, they naturally include both the speech of the volunteers who recorded them and their interlocutors.

 

New Article: Shoshana, Reflexivity, Conformity, and Israeli Big Brother

Shoshana, Avihu. “Reflexivity, Conformity, and Israeli Big Brother.” Television & New Media 17.3 (2016): 243-53.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1527476415602779

 

Abstract

This article examines how regular viewers of the reality program Big Brother interpret the program in Israel. The findings of the study reveal that viewers emphasize the formal characteristics of the program stimulate them in a way that other reality programs do not. The interviewees report the program influences them in three ways: excessive preoccupation about personal reflexivity (talking with the televisual other), an experience of inundation, and the development of a new desire: “the desire to be discovered.” These three influences connect personal reflexivity to, inter alia, actions aligned with social control and the ideal-cultural self, which are at the foundation of psychological and neoliberal discourses.

 

 

New Article: Shoshana, The Language of Everyday Racism and Microaggression in the Workplace

Shoshana, Avihu. “The Language of Everyday Racism and Microaggression in the Workplace: Palestinian Professionals in Israel.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1081965

 

Abstract

Based on interviews with Palestinian professionals in Jewish organizations in Israel, this article discloses a distinctive practice of ‘everyday racism’ and microaggression – a language of everyday racism. This ‘language of everyday racism’ refers to Hebrew words and expressions that are routinely used by Jews in their mundane conversations and that include the word ‘Arab’ when describing a deficiency or defect, some sort of unsightliness, filth, or general negativity (as in the expression ‘You’re dressed like an Arab woman’). This article not only describes the language of everyday racism as a specific form of everyday racism and microaggression (national microaggression), it also illustrates how this language activates the Palestinian professionals in a reflexive manner. The discussion section describes how the internal dialectic between structure and agency is critical to understanding the language of everyday racism, which in turn acts as a mechanism of the inequality that underlies face-to-face interactions.

 

 

New Book: Galin, Fatherhood in Transition (Hebrew)

גלין, אראלה. אבהות במעבר. סיפורה של האבהות במעבר הגירושים מנקודת מבט פסיכו-חברתית. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2015.

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This book explores the fatherly experience during the transition of divorce, alongside a study of the phenomenological experience related to the construction of fatherhood in Israeli context. It examines the perspective of fathers, while bringing the stories and interpretation of forty non-custodial fathers. This book offers a glimpse into their emotional world and gives voice to their experience of fatherhood. They describe the loss of the obvious paternal space and their renewed grappling with their paternal identity, the role, their visibility in the family and Israeli society. The fathers range as subjects from traditionalism and innovation in their paternal conduct, as they continue to seek their identity and location.

This psychological research, which deals with fathers and their fatherhood in a major junction of Israeli discourse about parenting and parental relationships during divorce transition, allows academic and social discussion to acknowledge the experiences and attitudes of fathers in relation to themselves and their families. The inclusion of paternal perspectives in regards to themselves enhances the body of knowledge, raises questions about what is taken for granted and outlines new insights with respect to fathers, mothers, children and the family as a whole during the divorce process.

This book presents new theoretical conceptualizations about fatherhood in the divorce transition as a contextual experience, one which is complex and multidimensional. Fatherhood develops in an emotional space characterized by a dialectic of absence-presence, attachment-separation, and withdrawing-approaching. It is formed by four separate development routes leading to the construction of separate identities, describing four key narratives of paternity: present fatherhood, struggling fatherhood, erratic fatherhood and excluded fatherhood.

Table of Contents
1. חקר חוויית האבהות במעבר הגירושין

2. ‘להיות ברקע’

3. ההוויה האבהית: ‘להיות אב לא-משמורן’

4. הבניית האבהות הלא-משמורנית, תהליכי ההבניה: תנועה במרחב רגשי דיאלקטי

5. אבהות לא-משמורנית

6. אבהות לא-משמורנית: פרספקטיבה פסיכו-חברתית

7. הבניית האבהות הלא-משמורנית בישראל: גורמים תרבותיים וחברתיים.

New Book: Amir, Abortions as a Silenced Issue in Israel (Hebrew)

אמיר, דלילה. הפלות כסוגיה מושתקת בישראל. על פרספקטיבה פמיניסטית ובין-לאומית ועל דילמות ממסדיות ואישיות. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2015.

 
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The issue of abortion lies at the very heart of a public-political debate which disowns women of their own bodies. This book analyzes how the feminist struggle for the right of women to have an abortion was created under a power struggle and took form according to the cultural, social, and religious climate, at the local, global and historical levels. Through a comparison of policies of various authorities around the world and the influence of the feminist movement’s activity on abortion legislation, this book presents the situation in Israel and recounts the struggles that shape the discourse and ideology underlying the existing abortion law.

Based on primary sources of the process of formulating Israel’s abortion law, and using empirical data, the author demonstrates how the presence of “woman” is muted and often absent from the discourse and therefore is not a decisive factor in shaping legislation in Israel. As a response to this omission, the author presents the stories and experiences of women as a significant focus for the examination of the efficiency of the existing law in relation to women with an unwanted pregnancy.

Is Israeli society today there is a false consciousness that assumes the Israeli abortion law is permissive, stemming from a global trend towards gender equality; In fact, the opposite is true – the abortion debate is silenced from the centers of liberal feminist discourse in Israel. This made it possible for the existing law to regulate and control female reproduction for demographic and governmental needs, while gender politics is preserved and reproduced.

 

 

 

New Article: McMahon, Temporality, Peace Initiatives and Palestinian-Israeli Politics

McMahon, Sean F. “Temporality, Peace Initiatives and Palestinian-Israeli Politics.” Middle East Critique (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19436149.2015.1107997

 

Abstract

In this paper I use a Foucault-inspired framework to study the function and performance of temporality in the discourse of Palestinian-Israeli politics. I argue that Palestinians are constituted as being without time. They are not with time; not with a past, or a future. Phrased differently, temporality is performed in the discourse of Palestinian-Israeli politics such that Palestinians are denied a position in time, they are only ever of a time, and they are not for time. They have been made to be without time by a long line of peace initiatives, including but not limited to the Oslo agreements (1993-2000) and the Quartet Statement of 2011. The initiatives are ahistorical, their omnipresence makes the Palestinian condition temporary – of a time, and their privileging of Israeli ‘security’ denies Palestinians futurity. By isolating Palestinians from time and controlling their activities with time these performances are complicit in Israel’s regime of dispossession in Palestine.

 

 

 

New Article: Gonen et al, The Discourse Marker axshav (‘now’) in Spontaneous Spoken Hebrew

Gonen, Einat, Zohar Livnat, and Noam Amir. “The Discourse Marker axshav (‘now’) in Spontaneous Spoken Hebrew: Discursive and Prosodic Features.” Journal of Pragmatics 89 (2015): 69-84.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.09.005
 
Abstract

This study describes the discursive characteristics of the discourse marker axshav (‘now’) in spoken Hebrew and explores its prosodic features using instrumental methods. This is the first attempt to use acoustical analysis to examine the prosodic aspects of discourse markers in Hebrew.

The corpus includes more than 5 h of everyday Israeli Hebrew conversations, in which 106 occurrences of the word axshav were found. More than one-third of these occurrences were identified as DMs, while the others are temporal adverbials.

The main discursive functions of the DMs identified were segmentation; accentuation of the importance of certain pieces of information, sometimes by means of comparisons and contrasts; and holding the floor.
The acoustical analysis of the performances of axshav in both functions showed that most DMs have characteristic intonation contour, including a sharp decrease in the frequency inside the second syllable. An examination of the average duration of the performance of axshav as a DM as compared to its performance as a temporal adverbial found a significant statistical difference, showing that the duration of the performance of axshav as a DM was shorter, both for the performance of the first syllable as well as the overall duration of the word. These findings seem to strengthen the hypothesis that prosodic data play a role in deciphering the function of axshav as a DM.

 

 

 

New Article: Hakak, Undesirable Relationships’ between Jewish Women and Arab Men

Hakak, Yohai. “Undesirable Relationships’ between Jewish Women and Arab Men: Representation and Discourse in Contemporary Israel.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1103877

 

Abstract

Demography has been broadly considered as a key aspect of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. On the Jewish side, State intervention to encourage Jewish immigration and Jewish births is well known. Much less known are the efforts to discourage inter-faith relations. These ‘problematic relationships’ between Arab men and Jewish women from low socio-economic backgrounds have become a high priority item in public discussions over the last decade. In this article I will explore the main discursive practices used in this heated debate by those opposing these relationships. ‘Moral panic’ as a theoretical framework will help me analyse the ways in which Jewish women and Arab men who engage in such relations are presented. As I will show, attempts to criminalize and vilify Arab men meet with strong opposition. Presenting Jewish women as weak and passive victims seems as a more successful strategy, especially when done by professionals from the psych-professions.

 

 

 

New Article: Omer, Hitmazrehut or Becoming of the East

Omer, Atalia. “Hitmazrehut or Becoming of the East: Re-Orienting Israeli Social Mapping.” Critical Sociology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0896920515604475

 

Abstract

Through developing of the concept of hitmazrehut, the article highlights avenues for decolonializing and de-orientalizing sociopolitical theory and practice in Israel/Palestine. Hitmazrehut (literally ‘becoming of the East’) is understood as the transformation of relations between space, identity, and narrative through an intersectionality framework of social movement activism and intellectual counter-discourse. Exposing the intersections among sites of marginality as well as cultivating localized interpretations of identity (delinked from the orientalist positing of Israel in the ‘West’) would contribute to the possibility of the formation of transformative coalition building across national boundaries. Hitmazrehut is both an outcome and a necessary process for enabling geopolitical reframing. The article begins with the ahistorical and orientalist biases of sociological inquiry into the region. It continues with an analysis of efforts to localize and re-orient Jewish identity as well as the Mizrahi discursive critique of epistemological violence guiding sociological scholarship, double consciousness and patterns of ethnic passing.

 

 

Lecture: Haider, Israeli Imprisonment of Pakistani Fighters in the PLO, 1971-85

Sabah Haider’s PhD research project investigates alternative histories of the Israeli-Arab conflict, during the 1970s and 80s. Specifically she will explore the use of Pakistani foreign fighters by the PLO to engage in armed conflict with Israel, and will seek to understand the ideological, political and cultural contexts of the participation of Pakistanis in this conflict. She will highlight and ask how and why complex and transnational histories are excluded from dominant Israeli and Palestinian narratives of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Haider

New Article: Yemini and Gordon, Media Representations of National and International Standardized Testing

Yemini, Miri, and Noa Gordon. “Media Representations of National and International Standardized Testing in the Israeli Education System.” Discourse (early view; online first).

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2015.1105786

Abstract

This study applies discourse analysis to Israeli media coverage of national and international standardized examinations within Israel’s public education system. Through systematic analysis of the topic in the two main Israeli financial publications between the years 2000 and 2013, we explore the nature and narrative of the media and compare the coverage of national and international standardized testing. We find that most of the media attention was devoted to international examinations, while national examinations were covered in a more limited yet critical way, perceived as unnecessary and even dubious. International examinations, in contrast, were described as axiomatic components of the education system. Articles on both national and international standardized testing criticize the education system, blaming teachers, the Ministry of Education, budget constraints, and marginalized populations for Israeli students’ inadequate results. We frame our analysis by alignment of the articles along global–local and also neoliberal–humanistic axes. We structure our assessment within the global–local nexus and discuss the broader implications of the role of the testing in framing the local educational public discourse.