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New Article: Shay-Margalit & Rubin, Effect of the Israeli ‘Green Schools’ Reform on Pupils

Shay-Margalit, Brit, and Ofir D. Rubin. “Effect of the Israeli ‘Green Schools’ Reform on Pupils’ Environmental Attitudes and Behavior.” Society & Natural Resources (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2016.1171939

 
Abstract

The objective of this study was to explore the mechanism through which a reform in environmental education (EE) programs affects pupils’ relation to the environment. We surveyed 589 pupils aged 9–12 years in three types of Israeli elementary school: regular schools, schools that implement an EE program (designated “green schools”), and schools that implement a more intensive EE program (designated “persistent green schools”). Analyzing the results obtained from our questionnaire, we found that both EE programs had a positive effect on environmental attitudes. Importantly, however, only persistent green schools showed a direct positive effect on environmental behavior. In addition, we assessed the influences of various demographic and other factors on pupils’ relation to the environment. Of note, we found that students who spent their leisure time watching TV or engaging with other electronic media expressed less concern about the environment.

 

 

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.

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: Tal & Peled, Environmental Education Programs in 10 Israeli Elementary Schools

Tal, Tali, and Einat Peled. “The Philosophies, Contents and Pedagogies of Environmental Education Programs in 10 Israeli Elementary Schools.” Environmental Education Research (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2016.1153047
 
Abstract

In this study, our aim was to understand how environmental education has been implemented in Israeli elementary schools. We selected ten schools that had implemented Education for Sustainability programs and analyzed their mission statements and curriculum documents. We observed each school’s activities and interviewed teachers. Our analysis shows ambiguity with respect to the rationales and the theoretical foundations of the programs. It also shows much didactic teaching of content, a strong focus on behavioral outcomes, especially with respect to reducing resource consumption and to increasing the levels of recycling, as well as some degree of working with the community. The unclear status of environmental education in Israel, in terms of its structure within the education system, prevents it from having sufficient resources for teacher education and curriculum development. It is suggested that this lack of clarity is the main cause of the ambiguity and for the use of the traditional pedagogies we found in our analysis.

 

 

 

New Book: McKee, Dwelling in Conflict

McKee, Emily Dwelling in Conflict. Negev Landscapes and the Boundaries of Belonging. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.

 
Dwelling in Conflict

Land disputes in Israel are most commonly described as stand-offs between distinct groups of Arabs and Jews. In Israel’s southern region, the Negev, Jewish and Bedouin Arab citizens and governmental bodies contest access to land for farming, homes, and industry and struggle over the status of unrecognized Bedouin villages. “Natural,” immutable divisions, both in space and between people, are too frequently assumed within these struggles.

 

Dwelling in Conflict offers the first study of land conflict and environment based on extensive fieldwork within both Arab and Jewish settings. It explores planned towns for Jews and for Bedouin Arabs, unrecognized villages, and single-family farmsteads, as well as Knesset hearings, media coverage, and activist projects. Emily McKee sensitively portrays the impact that dividing lines—both physical and social—have on residents. She investigates the political charge of people’s everyday interactions with their environments and the ways in which basic understandings of people and “their” landscapes drive political developments. While recognizing deep divisions, McKee also takes seriously the social projects that residents engage in to soften and challenge socio-environmental boundaries. Ultimately, Dwelling in Conflict highlights opportunities for boundary crossings, revealing both contemporary segregation and the possible mutability of these dividing lines in the future.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Narrating Present Pasts
  • 2. Seeking Recognition
  • Bridge: Distant Neighbors
  • 3. Coping with Lost Land
  • 4. Reforming Community
  • 5. Challenging Boundaries
  • Conclusion

 

EMILY McKEE is Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department and the Institute for the Study of Environment, Sustainability, and Energy at Northern Illinois University.

 

 

 

New Article: Tal, The Sustainability of Israel’s Irrigation Practices in the Drylands

Tal, Alon. “Rethinking the Sustainability of Israel’s Irrigation Practices in the Drylands.” Water Research 90 (2016): 387-94.

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2015.12.016

 

Abstract

Broad utilization of drip irrigation technologies in Israel has contributed to the 1600 percent increase in the value of produce grown by local farmers over the past sixty-five years. The recycling of 86% of Israeli sewage now provides 50% of the country’s irrigation water and is the second, idiosyncratic component in Israel’s strategy to overcome water scarcity and maintain agriculture in a dryland region. The sustainability of these two practices is evaluated in light of decades of experience and ongoing research by the local scientific community. The review confirms the dramatic advantages of drip irrigation over time, relative to flood, furrow and sprinkler irrigation and its significance as a central component in agricultural production, especially under arid conditions. In contrast, empirical findings increasingly report damage to soil and to crops from salinization caused by irrigation with effluents. To be environmentally and agriculturally sustainable over time, wastewater reuse programs must ensure extremely high quality treated effluents and ultimately seek the desalinization of recycled sewage.

 

 

 

New Article: Michaels and Tal, Why Israel Abandoned Its Climate Policy

Michaels, Lucy, and Alon Tal. “Convergence and Conflict with the ‘National Interest’: Why Israel Abandoned Its Climate Policy.” Energy Policy 87 (2015): 480-485.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2015.09.040
Abstract

This article describes how Israel abandoned its climate policy through the prism of the country’s evolving energy profile, most importantly the 2009 discovery of huge natural gas reserves in Israel’s Mediterranean exclusive zone. The article outlines five phases of Israeli political engagement with climate change from 1992 until 2013 when the National GHG Emissions Reduction Plan was defunded. Israel was motivated to develop its climate policy by international norms: OECD membership and the 2009 UN Summit in Copenhagen. Although the eventual Plan may not have significantly reduced Israel’s emissions, it contained immediate cost-effective, energy efficiency measures. Despite rhetorical support for renewable energy, in practice, most Israeli leaders consistently perceive ensuring supply of fossil fuels as the best means to achieve energy security. The gas finds thus effectively ended a potentially significant switch towards renewable energy production. The development of commercially competitive Israeli renewable energy technology may change this prevailing economic calculus alongside renewed international and domestic leadership and a resolution of the region’s conflicts. Although Israel’s political circumstances are idiosyncratic, the dynamics shaping its climate policy reflect wider trends such as competing economic priorities and failure to consider long term energy security.

 

 

New Article: Grosglik, Cultural Meanings of Organic Food Consumption in Israel

Grosglik, Rafi. “Citizen-Consumer Revisited: The Cultural Meanings of Organic Food Consumption in Israel.” Journal of Consumer Culture (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469540515623609

 

Abstract

Organic food consumption is associated with “citizen-consumer” practice, which is an act of promoting different aspects of social and ecological responsibility and the integration of ethical considerations in daily practices such as eating. This article analyzes aspects of organic food consumption in Israel and the symbolic meanings given to it by its consumers. The study shows how practices attributed to ethical eating culture are used in identity construction, social status manifestation, and as a means to demonstrate openness to global cultural trends. Organic food consumption is carried out as part of a symbolic use of ethical values and its adaptation to the local Israeli cultural context. In addition, organic food consumption patterns are revealed as fitting the cultural logic of globalization, which spread in the last decades in Israel. Analysis of the socio-cultural aspects related to organic food consumption points to the polysemy embodied in the term citizen-consumer and shows how the actual implementation of this term in Israel is based on the assimilation of cosmopolitan meanings.

 

 

 

New Article: Davis & Garb, Partnering with the Informal E-Waste Industry

Davis, John-Michael, and Yaakov Garb. “A Model for Partnering with the Informal E-Waste Industry: Rationale, Principles and a Case Study.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling 105A (2015): 73-83.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.08.001
 
Abstract

Various forms of informal activity have long played an under-recognized yet substantial role in solid waste management, especially in developing countries. In particular, informal activity is prominent in the electronic waste (e-waste) sector, whose volume and impacts have grown rapidly over recent decades. While the worrying aspects of informal e-waste recycling have been widely discussed, less attention has been given to its positive potential and to its relation to formal e-waste actors and policies. These topics have direct implication for pathways for transitioning from informality, and, in particular, ways in which informal recyclers can build on their strengths while beginning to operate in cleaner ways that retain livelihoods while reducing ill effects.

In this paper, we draw upon extensive field work as well as secondary literatures to offer a taxonomy of management stances towards informal e-waste practices. These range from hostility through disconnection to interaction and, finally, synergy. Our recommendation is for the latter since the informal sector has important strengths and merits, as well as its harmful aspects, while formal approaches that ignore or attempt to squelch the informal sector do not yield constructive outcomes. Specifically, we suggest an incremental ratcheting synergistic model that draws on the respective strengths of both sectors to forge a genuine partnership between them. We describe six key elements of this model, and illustrate it through application to the Israeli–Palestinian context we have studied in depth. In particular, we show how the treatment of copper cables, now one of this industry’s largest and most harmful segments, can be improved through an incremental series of synergetic solutions that preserve or even improve livelihoods of informal recyclers while greatly reducing their health and environmental impacts.

 

 

 

New Article: Alkaher & Tal, Making Pedagogical Decisions to Address Challenges of Joint Jewish–Bedouin Environmental Projects

Alkaher, Iris, & Tali Tal. “Making Pedagogical Decisions to Address Challenges of Joint Jewish–Bedouin Environmental Projects in Israel”. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10382046.2015.1106115

Abstract

This interpretive study identifies challenges of working with Bedouin and Jewish Israeli youth in two multicultural projects: education for sustainability and place-conscious education. It also describes the ways the adult project leaders addressed these challenges and their views on the effectiveness of their decisions. Participants comprised 16 Bedouin and Jewish educators. Data collection included interviews and observations of project meetings and staff meetings. Project leaders reported challenges related to (1) intergroup differences in environmental viewpoints, knowledge, and learning styles, (2) embedding issues of environmental justice in the multicultural discourse, and (3) Bedouin–Jewish interactions. To address these challenges, the leaders separated groups for some learning activities, directed discourses, adopted bilingual teaching strategies, and emphasized unique socio-cultural characteristics. Their level of satisfaction with most of their decisions is high. They avoided discussing the broader socio-political Arab–Jewish conflict. The findings highlight dilemmas that multicultural environmental projects pose and suggest the need to adopt critical pedagogy of place to address such dilemmas and challenges. The findings also emphasize the need to better prepare educators for environmental education in multicultural settings.

 

 

 

New Article: Cohen and Ram, Tourism is not only the vector of biological invasion but also the victim

Cohen, Oded, and Yael Ram. “Tourism is not only the vector of biological invasion but also the victim: Evidence from Israel.” Tourism Recreation Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2015.1086130

 

Excerpt

Using the case of Israel, We shall attempt to show that tourism is the victim of biological invasion rather than its vector. The choice of Israel is purposive because it is situated on the crossroads of three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and has been the epicenter of human mobility for thousands of years, and thus it became the habitat of many alien species. The worst cases of biological invasion in Israel concerning species that were introduced via land/ocean use changes were intentionally introduced for ecological purposes (e.g. dune stabilization) or accidentally introduced via infested shipments.

 

 

 

New Book: Koensler, Israeli-Palestinian Activism

Koensler, Alexander. Israeli-Palestinian Activism. Shifting Paradigms. Farnham, UK, and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2015.

 

Koensler

When do words and actions empower? When do they betray? Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this volume tracks the repercussions of advocacy activism against house demolitions in ‘unrecognised’ Arab-Bedouin villages in Israel’s southern ‘internal frontier’. It highlights the repercussions of activism for victims, fund-raisers and activists. The ethnographic episodes show how humanitarian aid intervention and indigenous identity politics can turn into a double-edged sword. Ironically, institutional lobbying for coexistence and its interpretative categories can sometimes perpetuate different forms of subjugation. The volume also shows how, beyond the institutional lobbying, novel figures of activism emerge: informal networks create non-sectarian, cross-cutting countercultures and rethink human-environment relationships. These experimental political subjects redefine the categories of the conflict and elude the logic of zero-sum games; they point towards a shifting paradigm in current ethnopolitics.

 

Koensler outlines an ethnographic approach for the study of social movements that follows multiple relations around mobilisations rather than studying activism in itself. This perspective thus becomes relevant for scholars and activists engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and those interested in global rights discourses.

 

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgements
Note on Transliteration
Introduction

  • PART I: THE SOCIAL LIFE OF CLAIMS
  • 1. Ethnography and social movement studies
  • 2. The life of Israeli-Palestinian claims
  • PART II: CONTRADICTIONS
  • 3.The ‘ghost village’
  • 4. Illusions
  • 5. Frictions and connections
  • PART III: INNOVATIONS
  • 6. Politics of polyphony?
  • 7. Global ecosophies
  • Conclusion

Appendix: Conceptual Tour
Bibliography
Index

 

ALEXANDER KOENSLER is Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

 

Thesis: Schaap, The Commercialization Gap for Cleantech Innovation in Israel

Schaap, T.A. An Explorative Study on Factors outside the Influence of the Entrepreneur that can explain the Commercialization Gap for Cleantech Innovation in Israel, MA Thesis, Delft University of Technology, 2015.

 
URL: http://repository.tudelft.nl/view/ir/uuid:71046301-1f96-408f-961f-e6c2aa881e8d/ [PDF]

 

Abstract

Background
The research is executed as a master thesis for the MSc program Management of Technology at the TU Delft and is conducted in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the state of Israel in Tel Aviv. The researcher has spent six months in Israel to perform this research and was subsidized by Climate-KIC to execute this research.

 

Problem statement and research question
This research is an empirical exploration of the influence of external factors on the commercialization process for cleantech Technology Based New Ventures (TBNVs) in Israel after these ventures have received seed funding. External factors are defined as factors outside the influence of the entrepreneur.
Literature has described the progression of TBNVs in different stage-based models, although these mainly describe the organizational development. This thesis uses models of Kazanjian et al (1989) and Vohora et al (2004) to describe the growth process of cleantech TBNVs and zooms in on the processes which cleantech TBNVs have to execute after they passed the credibility threshold (Vohora et al, 2004). This milestone reflects in the research by only considering cleantech TBNVs which have received seed funding and where thus deemed credible enough by their investors.
Previous research has named Israel the most innovative country in cleantech, but showed that there is a lack of commercialization of this innovation. The purpose of this research is to explore explanations for this phenomenon and test whether the factors distilled from the literature study can be found in practice and explain the phenomenon. Ten factors were determined based upon a literature study and these were tested by conducting field interviews and studying research reports. The overall research question for this study is:
Which factors, outside the influence of cleantech TBNVs, have consequences for the progression of cleantech TBNVs to the sustainable returns phase after seed funding has been received?
 

Research Process

Three angles were chosen in the literature study to determine external factors – markets, resources and policy. These factors served in general as a good framework for the practical exploration of the influence of external factors on the commercialization process of cleantech technology based ventures in Israel. The studied factors are accessibility of international markets, the need for high-paced growth, the need for an international network, availability of financial and human resources, risk tolerance of available financial resources, competition for financial resources with other fields of technology, the formal institutional regime for new innovations, the formal institutional regime for new sustainable innovations and perceived stability of the governmental policy by investors.
Empirical research was done in the form of two rounds of data collection. The first data collection contained semi-structured interviews with ten respondents who were (in)directly involved with cleantech in Israel. These respondents were from four different areas – business development, government (policy), late stage finance and venture capitalists and were interviewed about the aforementioned factors. The results from these interviews prompted a second data collection in two specific topics that were thought to hold more explaining value about the observed commercialization gap. These two topics included the availability of financial resources and related factors, the policy for innovation in Israel in general and the policy surrounding cleantech innovation. The second data collection contained another four semi-structured interviews on these specific topics and the study of reports on the topics.

 

Findings and conclusions
The results of the empirical research showed that all the proposed factors were relevant and influenced cleantech TBNVs in Israel, although the influence of some factors is more explicit than that of others. Especially the availability of financial resources which can be used to invest in technology development of cleantech TBNVs were found to be lacking. This can be explained by the high financial costs of technology development for cleantech TBNVs. The investment in such a project bears a lot of risk, which only a few types of investors can cope with – namely specialized, early-stage Venture Capitalists, business angels and the government.
Moreover, many cleantech TBNVs develop technologies related to the field of infrastructure which is a tough market for a start-up. Finally, the shift in policy relevant for cleantech TBNVs can be expected to offset investors, which also contributes to the lower amount of available financial resources.

 

Implications
Scientifically, this study contributes evidence to the validity of the applied theories in a specific setting – namely development of cleantech TBNVs in Israel. The conceptual model used in this study would be useful to explore similar research problems in other countries although a zoom into specific topics remains necessary. In this research the specific topics included policy relevant for cleantech TBNVs and the needs for funding for cleantech TBNVs.
Practically, this research has implications for entrepreneurs and investors in this field and for governments both in Israel and Europe. Entrepreneurs and investors in this field should realize themselves that they are in a precarious position due to factors like the high costs of technology development and instable policy that heighten the already high amounts of uncertainty that is currently surrounding the process of cleantech TBNV development. Risk reduction strategies should be high on the priority list of these actors.
Governments should realize that investors make investments with a five to ten year horizon and regulatory stability is therefore an important factor to take into account if one aims to increase in the sector. Especially the case which described the instability of the solar sector in Israel is an example of an increase in investment insecurity by governmental decisions.
Moreover, the financial resources necessary for most of the cleantech start-ups are momentarily simply not available. The Venture Capital investment model is only suitable for those start-ups that can achieve high growth rates, which can be difficult for cleantech start-ups. Making different financial resources available tailored to the needs of cleantech TBNVs, for instance via debt financing instead of equity financing should be a priority for the governments both in Israel and Europe. Previous research of EIM showed challenges in Europe to be similar to the challenges that have been found in this research.

 

 

New Book: Burla and Lawrence, eds. Australia and Israel

Burla, Shahar, and Dashiel Lawrence. Australia and Israel. A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

 

Shahar

 

Australia and the State of Israel have maintained a cordial if at times ambiguous relationship. The two countries are geographically isolated: strategic, economic and cultural interests lie increasingly with Asia for one, and with the US and the EU for the other. But for all that divides the two states, there is also much they share. Australia played an important role in the Jewish state’s establishment in 1948, and is home to the most Zionist centered Jewish diaspora globally. Jewishness for most Australian Jews has been shaped and defined by engagement with and support for Israel. At the heart of this engagement is a small but thriving Israeli community within the larger multicultural Australia.

Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship draws attention to the important historical and contemporary nexus between this diaspora and its imagined homeland. The collection also considers the ways in which these two states mobilise national myths and share environmental challenges. In recent time relations between the two states have been tested by the illegal use of Australian passports in 2010, the mysterious death of dual national Ben Zygier, and growing disquiet within the ranks of the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens over Israel’s handling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One prominent world-wide issue is the Palestinian BDS (Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions) movement, which has attracted sympathy and support that has brought about substantive differences of opinion regarding its legitimacy within the Jewish Australian community. These issues demonstrate the multifaceted and complex picture of two very different nations, that nevertheless share an abiding connection.

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Why the Book?
Shahar Burla and Dashiel Lawrence

Part One Australia and Israel – Diasporic Relationship

1 Rewriting the Rules of Engagement: New Australian Jewish
Connections with Israel
Dashiel Lawrence

2 The Personal, the Political and the Religious: Bnei Akiva
Australia and its Relationship with Israel
Ari Lander

3 Israeli Government and Diaspora Mobilisation: The Flotilla
to Gaza and the Australian Jewry as a Case Study
Shahar Burla

4 The Place of Hebrew and Israel Education in Australian
Jewish Schools
Suzanne Rutland and Zehavit Gross

5 The Ausraeli Approach: the Diasporic Identity of Israelis
in Australia
Ran Porat

Part Two Australia and Israel – Political and Cultural Relationship

6 Overcoming Water Scarcity and Inequity in Arid Lands:
Comparing Water Management in Australia and Israel
Dominic Skinner and Stephanie Galaitsi

7 Ben Zygier’s Story and Australia–Israel Relations
Ingrid Matthews

8 A Fight Worth Having: Rudd, Gillard, Israel and the
Australian Labor Party
Alex Benjamin Burston-Chorowicz

9 An Alliance of Forgetting: National Narratives of Legitimacy
on the Occasion of Israel–Australia’s Joint Stamp Issue
Commemorating the Battle of Beersheba
Micaela Sahhar

Part Three Australia, Israel and the Boycott Divestment and
Sanction Scheme

10 The Australian Greens and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
Philip Mendes

11 Academic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: Implications
for Australian–Israeli Relations
Ingrid Matthews and James Arvanitakis

Conclusion: First Cousinhood, Political Unease, and the Limits
of Comparison
Fania Oz-Salzberger

The Editors and Contributors
Index

 

Shahar Burla is a research Associate at the Sydney Jewish Museum. He is the author of Political Imagination in the Diaspora: The Construction of a Pro-Israeli Narrative (2013). He has received several awards, including a President’s Fellowship for outstanding PhD student, Bar-Ilan University and the Menahem Begin Foundation academic award.

Dashiel Lawrence is a doctoral candidate at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. His research interests include Jewish diaspora–Israel contemporary relations, and Jewish critics of Israel.

 

 

New Article: Tesdell, Territoriality and the Technics of Drylands Science in Palestine and North America

Tesdell, Omar Imseeh. “Territoriality and the Technics of Drylands Science in Palestine and North America.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.3 (2015): 570-573.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020743815000586

 
Abstract
At the turn of the 20th century, agricultural experts in several countries assembled a new agro-scientific field: dryland farming. Their agricultural research practices concomitantly fashioned a new agro-ecological zone—the drylands—as the site of agronomic intervention. As part of this effort, American scientists worked in concert with colleagues in the emerging Zionist movement to investigate agricultural practices and crops in Palestine and neighboring regions, where nonirrigated or rainfed agriculture had long been practiced. In my larger manuscript project, I consider how the reorganization of rainfed farming as dryfarming is central to the history of both the Middle East and North America, where it was closely related to modern forms of power, sovereignty, and territoriality. I suggest that American interest in dryfarming science emerged out of a practical need to propel and sustain colonization of the Great Plains, but later became a joint effort of researchers from several emerging settler enterprises, including Australia, Canada, and the Zionist movement. In contrast to a naturally ocurring bioregion, I argue that the drylands spatiality was engineered through, rather than outside, the territorialization of modern power.

 

 

New Article: Shani and Ram, Inclusion in Israel and Ecological Perspectives

Shani, Michal and Drorit Ram. “Perceptions of School Administration Team Members Concerning Inclusion in Israel: Are They in Congruence with the Ecological Sustainable Perspective?” British Journal of Special Education (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8578.12103

 

Abstract

Based on an ecological perspective, inclusive education should involve two essential components: a shared ideology of providing a culturally responsive educational system where the needs of every child are met and a school policy geared towards the implementation of inclusion practices, with collaborations among staff members who create sustainable relationships. The study’s aim was to gain a better understanding of School Administration Team Members’ (SATMs’) perceptions of inclusive education in general elementary schools. It was found that although SATMs expressed pro-inclusion ideological statements, they have not yet manifested an ecological view of inclusion de facto that is holistic in nature. By and large, respondents expressed reactive rather than proactive perceptions. It appears that collaborations have not yet been initiated where inclusion is discussed, and a shared ideology is constructed. The research suggests that the perceptions of SATMs reflect perspectives of problem solving, survival, and partial collaborative networks that do not fully embrace ecological sustainable perspectives.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Weil & Levin, Prioritizing for Conservation in a Densely Populated Country

Weil, Gilad and Noam Levin. “Can Siting Algorithms Assist in Prioritizing for Conservation in a Densely Populated and Land Use Allocated Country? – Israel as a Case Study.” Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution 61.1 (2015): 50-60.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15659801.2015.1035858

 

Abstract

Over the years, Israel’s centralized national planning framework and the intense competition on the limited available land played a crucial factor in designing the spatial distribution of the protected areas in Israel. When examining the spatial properties of the protected areas, it was found that they do not adequately represent the variety of the ecosystems in Israel. According to the systematic conservation planning approach, we aimed to examine how optimization algorithms (e.g., MARXAN) would inform us on high priority areas for conservation. We created proxies for anthropogenic disturbance, and for the susceptibility of designating new protected areas subject to existing national and regional land use master plans. Our conservation targets were defined on the basis of the spatial distribution of 461 endangered vertebrate and plant species (red species), as well as by defining and mapping 21 main ecosystems. The results highlight the limited options of significantly improving the representativeness provided by the existing protected areas, due to the diminishing availability of open areas, which may be available to be designated as protected areas. However, the results also emphasize the conservation potential of agricultural land, as well as the need for preserving small and fragmented rare habitats.

 
 
 

New Article: Ward and Becker, Economic Cost of Water Deliveries for Peace and the Environment in Israel

Ward, Frank A., and Nir Becker. “Economic Cost of Water Deliveries for Peace and the Environment in Israel: An Integrated Water Resources Management Approach.” Water Resources Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014WR016783

 

Abstract

This paper presents a framework for discovering an economically viable water sharing plan among neighboring communities for promoting peace and environmental protection. Its application is to the Middle East in which Israel may be facing water supply obligations to address environmental requirements and for a possible a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors. The framework consists of integrating external factors, constraints, policy instruments, and targets. Our findings from a constrained optimization analysis of Israel’s national water system show that the costs of increased deliveries are dependent on two major issues: (1) achieving integrated water resources management (IWRM) in which efficient combinations of expansion from several supply sources and reductions in demands occur over time, and (2) the cost of desalination technologies. We identify a $US 1.46 billion price tag, in present value terms, from using integrated management of demand reduction and supply expansion under current desalination costs. Adjustment costs will decline both with anticipated reductions in desalination costs and with an efficient implementation of IWRM. These adjustments can contribute to moderating regional tensions and protecting key ecological assets while addressing water scarcity in a volatile corner of the world.

New Article: Reynolds, Palestinian Agriculture and the Israeli Separation Barrier

Reynolds, Kyra. “Palestinian Agriculture and the Israeli Separation Barrier: The Mismatch of Biopolitics and Chronopolitics with the Environment and Human Survival.” International Journal of Environmental Studies 72.2 (2015): 237-55.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207233.2014.991546

Abstract

Academic scholarship on Israel’s Separation Barrier has focused upon its legality and political impacts. United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations have been left to document its other actual/potential infringements. The natural environment has been secondary to higher profile issues, such as the intentions behind the structure and its implications for any future peace agreement. Yet, since environmental impediments can have serious long-term implications for natural resources and human subsistence, it is necessary to examine the barrier’s impacts after a decade of existence. This paper focuses upon the main human-environment system of agriculture. A multi-method approach reveals that the impacts constitute much more than the ‘population here, natural resources there’ thesis that has dominated narratives about the barrier’s environmental impediments. In fact, the barrier appears to be having dramatic and perhaps unexpected socio-ecological consequences.