Bulletin: Israeli Palestinians and Arab Minorities in Israel

Books

Nadim N. Rouhana, Israel and its Palestinian Citizens

 

 

Articles

 

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New Article: Gor Ziv, Teaching Jewish Holidays in Early Childhood Education in Israel

Gor Ziv, Haggith. “Teaching Jewish Holidays in Early Childhood Education in Israel: Critical Feminist Pedagogy Perspective.” Taboo 15.1 (2016): 119-34.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/openview/40522e5877f96e9463985043f68d6e85/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=28753

 

Abstract

Teaching Jewish holidays in secular kindergartens in Israel is a major part of the early childhood education curriculum and often revolves around myths of heroism. The telling of these stories frequently evokes strong nationalist feelings of identification with fighting as they describe survival wars and conflicts in which the heroes are mostly male fighters and Jewish victory over the enemy is celebrated. Thus the teaching of the holidays hidden agenda strengthens ceremonial, patriarchal and national ideas. This paper proposes a number of educational alternatives in accordance with critical feminist pedagogy and Jewish values of social justice. The article focuses on three major holidays: Hanukah, Purim and Passover. It shows in each one of them the conventional reading of the holiday which is the traditional way it is being taught in secular kindergartens, the holiday through a critical feminist pedagogy lens and application in early childhood classrooms.

 

 

 

New Book: Natanel, Sustaining Conflict

Natanel, Katherine. Sustaining Conflict. Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016.

 

9780520285262

 

Sustaining Conflict develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, the book exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to “knowingly not know,” further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians. While focusing on Israel, this is a book that has lessons for how any authoritarian regime is sustained through apathy.

 

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Introduction
    • 1 The Everyday of Occupation
    • 2 Bordered Communities
    • 3 Normalcy, Ruptured and Repaired
    • 4 Embedded (In)action
    • 5 Protesting Politics
    • Conclusion
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index

 

KATHERINE NATANEL is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.

New Article: Natanel, Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine

Natanel, Katherine. “Border Collapse and Boundary Maintenance: Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine.” Gender, Place & Culture (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2015.1136807
 
Abstract

Drawing upon subaltern geopolitics and feminist geography, this article explores how militarisation shapes micro-geographies of violence and occupation in Israel–Palestine. While accounts of spectacular and large-scale political violence dominate popular imaginaries and academic analyses in/of the region, a shift to the micro-scale foregrounds the relationship between power, politics and space at the level of everyday life. In the context of Israel–Palestine, micro-geographies have revealed dynamic strategies for ‘getting by’ or ‘dealing with’ the occupation, as practiced by Palestinian populations in the face of spatialised violence. However, this article considers how Jewish Israelis actively shape the spatial micro-politics of power within and along the borders of the Israeli state. Based on 12 months of ethnographic research in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem during 2010–2011, an analysis of everyday narratives illustrates how relations of violence, occupation and domination rely upon gendered dynamics of border collapse and boundary maintenance. Here, the borders between home front and battlefield break down at the same time as communal boundaries are reproduced, generating conditions of ‘total militarism’ wherein military interests and agendas are both actively and passively diffused. Through gendering the militarised micro-geographies of violence among Jewish Israelis, this article reveals how individuals construct, navigate and regulate the everyday spaces of occupation, detailing more precisely how macro political power endures.

 

 

 

New Article: Harel-Shalev & Daphna-Tekoah, Analysing Israeli Female Combatants’ Experiences

Harel-Shalev, Ayelet, and Shir Daphna-Tekoah. “Gendering Conflict Analysis: Analysing Israeli Female Combatants’ Experiences.” In Female Combatants in Conflict and Peace. Challenging Gender in Violence and Post-Conflict Reintegration (ed. Seema Shekhawat; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 69-83.

 
9781137516558
 

Abstract

Catharine MacKinnon, in her oft-cited article, portrays an imaginary heavenly encounter between a female combat soldier and a feminist activist — … ‘a dialogue between women in the after-life: The feminist says to the [female] soldier, “we fought for your equality.” The soldier says to the feminist, “oh, no, we fought for your equality”…’ In their dialogue, both fight for acknowledgement of their relative contribution to promoting women in society. As Barak-Erez pointed out, “military service has traditionally been considered one of the most distinctive signs of full citizenship, and the exclusion of women from military service has been inseparable from their lower civic status”. Nevertheless, women’s struggle for equal participation in the military and for equality is often criticized. Scholars have indicated that this process has many negative side effects, including reinforcing militarism, encouraging the militarization of women’s lives and even legitimizing the use of force.

 

 

 

New Article: Amishai-Maisels, Ayana Friedman. Layers of Feminist Struggle

Amishai-Maisels, Ziva. “Ayana Friedman. Layers of Feminist Struggle.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 131-57.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1114822

 

Abstract

Ayana Friedman is an Israeli multi-media artist who deals with politics, the Holocaust and society’s treatment of the Other. This article concentrates on her feminist works and how Judaism and being the child of a Holocaust survivor affected her approach to this subject. Three main feminist interests are highlighted. First, the turn to “feminine” materials. Second, the struggle against the restrictions and abuse imposed on women and their specific Jewish examples. Friedman demands equality for women in Judaism, opposing customs that demean them and creating new ritual objects for them. Third, the conflicts women have between a career and motherhood, and the inter-generational problems they involve.

 

 

 

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: Goldsmith, Israel, Palestine, and Queer/Feminist Ecologies

Goldsmith, Mitch. “From the River to the Sea: Israel, Palestine, and Queer/Feminist Ecologies.” UnderCurrents 19 (2015): 17-26.

 

URL: http://currents.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/currents/article/view/40251 [PDF]

 

Abstract

This paper seeks to provide an ecofeminist and queer critique of Israeli aggression towards and occupation of Palestine in three parts. Firstly, providing a critical analysis of tropes surrounding the creation of the Israel including early policies relating to land and afforestation. Secondly, by revealing how these tropes about the founding of Israel expose racist understandings about the supposed nature of Palestinians and Arabs (as backwards, queered and so on) and Thirdly, how these projections in the two previous sections about Israeli ingenuity and the supposed natural inferiority of Palestinians and Arabs informs current ecological mal/development in Israel and Palestine.

 

 

New Article: Ghebrezghiabher & Motzafi-Haller, Eritrean Women Asylum Seekers in Israel

Ghebrezghiabher, Habtom M., and Pnina Motzafi-Haller. “Eritrean Women Asylum Seekers in Israel: From a Politics of Rescue to Feminist Accountability.” Journal of Refugee Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fev006

 

Abstract

Despite acclaimed gender equality during the struggle for liberation and post independence in their country, the entrenched system of gender-based inequality has forced many Eritrean women to flee their country. On their difficult flight and during their journey, Eritrean women were exposed to blackmail, sexual abuse and rape. Those who made it through the difficult journey sought asylum in Israel but have not been able to escape gender violation and discrimination in their host state. This article traces the experience of Eritrean woman asylum seekers in Israel from the moment of their escape from Eritrea, through their torturous journey and after their entry into a state that refuses to consider their right to refugee status. Data were obtained using in-depth interviews with women asylum seekers in Israel, records of radio interviews and Paltalk discussions in the Tigrigna language, and close reading of unpublished reports by human rights activists and of Hebrew-language Israeli newspapers. Analysis of these diverse bodies of data reveals that gender is largely ignored by the few scholars who attempted to document the Eritrean asylum seekers experience in Israel. Drawing on post-colonial feminist Canadian scholar Sherene Razack (1999), who urges us to develop ‘a more political understanding of why women flee’, we examine here the experience of Eritrean women asylum seekers in Israel within a critical feminist analytical framework that documents their agency within changing historical and political circumstances and forces. We use this larger historically specific framework to disengage from the trope of ‘pity and rescue’ and offer instead a critical examination of how Eritrean women act as agents from the moment they decide to flee their country and until they settle in Israel.

 

 

New Article: Lahav, Post-Secular Jewish Feminist Theology? The View from Israel

Lahav, Hagar. “Post-Secular Jewish Feminist Theology? The View from Israel.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.3 (2015): 355-72.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1039313

 

Abstract

About 25% of the Jewish population in Israel consists of “secular believers.” They self-identify as secular but also believe in God or some kind of higher/deeper power(s). Their identity conflicts with the conventional identification of secularism with atheism, as do post-secular theologies, whose theological ideas reject traditional religion while adopting concepts of faith. Western feminism proved especially conducive to the development of post-secular theology. This study addresses both Israeli Judaism and feminist theology from a post-secular perspective. It analyses two academic fields of discourse—feminist Jewish theology and feminism in Israel—to determine whether, how and why they are developing a Jewish post-secular feminist theology. The study reveals that such theologies are rare and suggests that discursive field structure limits their development.

 

 

New Article: Maor and Cwikel, Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image

Maor, Maya, and Julie Cwikel. “Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image.” Feminism & Psychology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.og/10.1177/0959353515592899

 

Abstract

Existing studies of the mother–daughter relationship have focused mainly on the transfer of negative body image messages or on risk of eating disorders, and have paid little attention to how this relationship might serve as a resource for building body-acceptance or resilience to disordered eating. On the basis of a secondary analysis of four qualitative samples, we examined how mothers and their now-adult daughters reflect on the ways in which the mothers tried to promote positive body image and resilience to body dissatisfaction in their daughters. Using a content analysis, we have identified five strategies: (a) filtering – being cautious and sensitive in communicating about body image issues, (b) transmitting awareness of the dangers of eating disorders, (c) positive reinforcement – providing affirmations in regard to daughters’ bodies; (d) discussion – providing tools for criticism of the dominant body-related social discourse; and (e) positivity – shifting the focus from food, body-size and weight loss to making healthy choices and taking pleasure in food. Identification of these strategies emphasizes the many potential avenues for growth and development inherent in mother–daughter relationships.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Hager, A Jewish Israeli Teacher Grapples with Arab Students’ Underachievement

Hager, Tamar. “Seeing and Hearing the Other: A Jewish Israeli Teacher Grapples with Arab Students’ Underachievement and the Exclusion of Their Voices.” Radical Teacher 101 (2015): 46–53.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/rt.2015.113

 

Abstract
This paper addresses my political and pedagogical resistance to the institutional discrimination of Palestinian Arab students in Israeli academia. Describing my instinctive negative reactions (frustration, helplessness, anger) towards what seems at first sight as their reluctance to study, I go on to criticize my own and other lecturers’ tendency to blame the victim by analyzing the structural, cultural, political and social obstacles encountered by Arab students in Israeli institutions of higher education. The paper mainly focuses on the story of my resistance to this prevailing social and political structure. Adopting feminist critical pedagogy in my course “Representing Disability in Literature and the Cinema”, I have created a space for my Arab students to overcome at least temporarily their repression by the Israeli academic system. The process of empowerment and the subsequent educational transformative and liberating exchange has enabled all participants to grant Arabs’ transparent and excluded knowledge a significant social, cultural and political place, thus creating new and more culturally sensitive knowledge. Confronting the empowering effects of this method, I conclude my paper by suggesting some explanations as to the rarity of critical feminist pedagogies in Israeli academia.

 

 

New Article: Halabi, Druze Women in Israel

Halabi, Rabah. “The Faith, the Honor of Women, the Land: The Druze Women in Israel.” Journal of Asian and African Studies 50.4 (2015): 427-44.

 

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

 

Abstract

This study investigates the status of the Druze women in Israel, focusing on the effects of the frequent interactions between the Druze and the more permissive Jewish-Western society. The main question posed is why Druze women accept the double standards of freedom, especially on sexual morality, that expect them to be chaste but allow sexual freedom to men. I argue that this is a patriarchal deal, in which women trade their sexual freedom in exchange for access to higher education, and to the prestigious status of moral guardians from western temptations. The paper is based on narrative analysis of in-depth interviews conducted with 50 Druze students, half of them male and half female, enrolled in Israeli universities.

New Article: Ram, Israeli Sociology: Social Thought amidst Struggles and Conflicts

Ram, Uri. “Israeli Sociology: Social Thought amidst Struggles and Conflicts.” Irish Journal of Sociology 23.1 (2015): 98-117.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/IJS.23.1.6

 

Abstract

The basic challenge of Israeli sociology always has been, and continues to be to present days, the designation of its object of study; i. e.’Israeli society’. The history of Israeli sociology and its conception of ‘Israeli society’ may be discerned into the five following modules: 1. Proto-sociology. In the pre-state era, sociological thought thrived within the context of the socialist Zionism. The two prominent’ proto-sociologists’ were Arthur Ruppin and Martin Buber, who professed German communal perspectives. 2. Modernization sociology. The formative phase of sociology as a discipline was from 1950 to 1977. It was led by Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt, who effected a transition from the German anti-modernist paradigm to an American modernization theory. 3. Critical sociology. The critical phase took place in the 1970s and 1980s. Critical sociology was manifested in elitism, pluralism, Marxism, feminism and colonization approaches. Simultaneously there emerged a robust branch of’ quantitative sociology’. 4. Post-modern sociology. The turn towards post-modernity started in the 1990s. The three noticeable post-modern perspectives are: post-structuralism, post-colonialism and post-Marxism. 5. Palestinian Arab sociology in Israel. Palestinian Arab sociology is emerging and coming to its own since the 1990s. It reflects integration as well as alienation.

New Article: Trajtenberg, When was Feminism? Israeli Women Art Critics

Trajtenberg, Graciela. “When was Feminism? Some Critical Reflections after Exploring an Unknown Group of Israeli Women Art Critics.” Women’s Studies 44.5 (2015): 635-56.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00497878.2015.1036159

 

 

 

ToC: Israel Studies 20.2 (2015); Special Section: Bodies In Question

Israel Studies 20.2 (2015) Table of Contents:

 

Special Section: Bodies In Question

Wars of the Wombs: Struggles Over Abortion Policies in Israel (pp. 1-26)

Rebecca Steinfeld

Halutzah or Beauty Queen? National Images of Women in Early Israeli Society (pp. 27-52)

Julie Grimmeisen

‘Re-orient-ation’: Sport and the Transformation of the Jewish Body and Identity (pp. 53-75)

Yotam Hotam

‘Uniting the Nation’s Various Limbs into a National Body’ the Jerusalem People’s House (pp. 76-109)

Esther Grabiner

 

Articles

The Test of Maritime Sovereignty: The Establishment of the Zim National Shipping Company and the Purchase of the Kedmah, 1945–1952 (pp. 110-134)

Kobi Cohen-Hattab

Budgeting for Ultra-Orthodox Education—The Failure of Ultra-Orthodox Politics, 1996–2006 (pp. 135-162)

Hadar Lipshits

The Mizrahi Sociolect in Israel: Origins and Development (pp. 163-182)

Yehudit Henshke

Review Essay: The Theoretical Normalization of Israel in International Relations(pp. 183-189)

[Reviews  of: The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers: When Hard-Liners Opt for Peace, by Yael S. Aronoff; Why Hawks Become Doves: Shimon Peres and Foreign Policy Change in Israel by Guy Ziv]

Brent E. Sasley

 

Notes on Contributors (pp. 190-191)

Guidelines for Contributors (pp. 192-194)

Lecture: Steinfeld, Struggles over Abortion Policies in Israel

War of the Wombs: Struggles over Abortion Policies in Israel

Dr Rebecca Steinfeld (Stanford)  

4pm on Thu 19 March in A113, Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the campus map, see directions).

 

ABSTRACT: This presentation examines the historical and contemporary struggles that have led to the gap between the restrictions on, and availability of, abortion in Israel. It attributes this gap to the compromise necessitated by conflicts amongst competing policymakers, motivated by opposing viewpoints and interests, over the objectives and substance of abortion policies. Opposition to abortion stems primarily from demographic anxiety relating to both the Holocaust and the Muslim Arab-Jewish fertility differential in Israel/Palestine. Support for access to abortion stems from countervailing concerns about the implications of unrestrained fertility for women’s health, family welfare and social stability, as well as ‘qualitative’ interests in reproducing healthy children. Some feminists have also resisted attempts to render women’s wombs national vessels. This presentation explores the evolution of these struggles over four distinct historical periods, and assesses their impact on women’s reproductive experiences and rights.

SPEAKER: Dr Rebecca Steinfeld is a political scientist researching the politics of reproduction and genital alteration. She completed her PhD in Politics at the University of Oxford, and is now writing her first book, Wars of the Wombs: Struggles over Reproduction in Israel (Stanford University Press, forthcoming). She is also a BBC and Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘New Generation Thinker’ and Haaretz ‘Jewish Thinker.’ She has broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 4 and 5, regularly writes in Haaretz, and has published in The Guardian, The Independent, The Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish Quarterly, and Tablet Magazine.

Further information about the CJS research seminar programme and other Jewish Studies events at the University.

New Article: Peled, Female Sexual Subjectivity in Victoria by Sami Michael

Peled, Shimrit. “Construction of Female Sexual Subjectivity in Victoria by Sami Michael in Comparison to other Hebrew and Israeli Writers.” Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature 27 (2014): 233ff (in Hebrew).

 

Abstract

Sexual violence towards women in the Jewish community in Baghdad is central in Sami Michael’s novel, Victoria. Can these violent erotic scenes be interpreted as destabilizing patriarchal mechanisms in Israeli culture? The article discusses this question taking into consideration the debates about pornography in feminist theory and exploring other representations of violence against women in Hebrew and Israeli Literature. Feminists’ views of pornography are divided. From a radical feminist point of view, the production of the subordinate feminine subject in pornography is effective and ultimate. Other feminists claim that pornography can theoretically subvert the mechanism of oppression and its efficacy in exploitation of the female subject because it is by nature repetitious.

Trying to evaluate the impact of the violent erotic scenes in Victoria, this article examines preceding representations of violence against women in Hebrew and Israeli Literature. Portrayal of physical and emotional pain after rape or female desire that does not end in disaster seldom appeared in Hebrew and Israeli literature before Victoria. Although the novel is compliant with the Zionist narrative, Michael fashions a rich and particular female existence in Victoria, centered on feminine sexual subjectivity. I suggest that Michael’s representations of violence against women, and female desire that is nevertheless left intact were accepted by Israeli readers because of the displacement identity in time, space and ethnicity to Jewish Baghdad.

This displacement, which leaves current Israeli culture untouched and therefore does not threaten the reader, allows sexual female consciousness, and sane female sexual subjectivity to enter. However, it is also possible that the feminine confession is forced, that it constructs a femininity, which, though experiencing pain, humiliation, suppuration and abuse, collaborates with the patriarchal mechanism in confessing pleasures that repeat and extend pornographic discourse, making possible the continuation of mechanisms of suppression.

 

 

פלד, שמרית. “הבניית סובייקטיביות מינית נשים ב’ויקטוריה’ לסמי מיכאל בראי פרוזה עברית וישראלית”. מחקרי ירושלים בספרות עברית כז (2014): 233 ואילך.

New Article: Jobani & Perez, Women of the Wall: A Normative Analysis of the Place of Religion in the Public Sphere

Jobani, Yuval and Nahshon Perez. “Women of the Wall: A Normative Analysis of the Place of Religion in the Public Sphere.” Oxford Journal of Law and Religion 3.3 (2014): 484-505.

 

URL: http://ojlr.oxfordjournals.org/content/3/3/484.abstract

 

Abstract

The place of religion in the public sphere is a controversial issue, and scholarly opinions differ, from insisting on a public sphere that reflects the religion of the majority, to those who insist on it being religion-free. Using the method of inquiry of contextual political theory, we examine the struggle of the Women of Wall (WoW) to pray collectively at the Western Wall. Their struggle began in 1988, and by 2013 includes many Courts decision, social struggles, public committees, and the involvement of many politicians and organizations, both in Israel and the USA. As this struggle takes place at the holiest place for observant Jews, it raises questions beyond its geographical location. The article describes three main normative approaches to state–religion relations (privatization, evenhandedness, and ‘dominant culture view’—DCV), examines them, and attempts to consider their application to the WoW case. Our conclusion points to the advantages of the privatization model, the permissibility of the evenhanded model and points to major shortcomings of the DCV.

ToC: Israel Studies 19.3 (2014)

Israel Studies 19.3 (2014): Table of Contents