Bulletin: Aliyah, Immigration, Refugees and Trafficking

Articles

Reviews

Report

Theses

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New Article: Enosh et al, Attitudes Toward Domestic Violence Among FSU Immigrants

Enosh, Guy, Elazar Leshem, and Eli Buchbinder. “Attitudes Toward Domestic Violence and Corporal Punishment Among Former Soviet Union Immigrants in Israel.” Violence Against Women (early view; online first).

 

URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077801215623382

 

Abstract

The study regards attitudes of Russian immigrants in Israel toward wife abuse and corporal punishment. The sample consisted of 1,028 participants, based on a multistage cluster sampling. The study used a questionnaire related to immigration, acculturation, and attitudinal issues. The findings indicate a dual-causal model, in which corporal punishment attitudes contribute to wife abuse attitudes and vice versa. However, the effect of attitudes supporting corporal punishment was stronger than the effect of wife abuse attitudes, indicating that the attitudinal system as a precursor of violent behavior is already merging the two types of violence.

 

 

 

New Article: Isralowitz et al, Quality of Life among Former Soviet Union and Israeli Origin Methadone Users

Isralowitz, Richard, Alexander Reznik, and Itay Pruginin. “Quality of Life among Former Soviet Union and Israeli Origin Methadone Users.” Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse (early view; online first)
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15332640.2015.1046009
 
Abstract

A common treatment intervention for heroin addiction is methadone maintenance. In recent years a wider perspective has been adapted to understand and evaluate addiction through quality of life. This article examines quality of life conditions of 170 male former Soviet Union and Israeli origin drug users in methadone maintenance and provides an understanding of conditions linked to the World Health Organization Quality of Life project’s best available techniques reference document. Having a partner or spouse and less chronic illness are positive factors affecting quality of life regardless of country of origin. Israeli born drug users reported better quality of life based on their psychological health and environment domain responses; no difference was found for the physical health and social relationship domains of the Israeli and former Soviet Union origin males. Because heroin addiction is a chronic and relapsing illness, one of the goals of methadone maintenance is to address patients’ health status from a broad perspective. Based on clinical observations, the treatment of special populations may be enhanced if their particular needs are considered and met. Quality of life factors are relevant for assessing high risk groups, including those from different ethnic origins, in poor physical and psychological health, their treatment and personal adjustment, and their service personnel training needs.

 

 

New Article: Dekel, Immigrant Women Artists from the FSU in Contemporary Israel

Dekel, Tal. “In Search of Transnational Jewish Art: Immigrant Women Artists from The Former Soviet Union in Contemporary Israel.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 109-30.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1120432

 

Abstract

The article explores the subject of contemporary Jewish identity through the case of young immigrant women artists from the former Soviet Union in Israel, with particular emphasis on an analysis of the gendered aspects of their religious identity. Drawing on an interdisciplinary method, the research is based on in-depth interviews with artists, artwork analysis, and various theories from the social sciences and humanities. The article’s main argument is that an analysis of the artistic practices of this and similar understudied social groups, particularly those practices undertaken in moments of conflict or times of deep social change, produces a more subtle understanding of the shifting modes of Jewish identity in the age of globalization and transnationalism, whose phenomenon of mass migration has led to the construction of new multi-hyphenated, hybrid identities.

 

 

 

ToC: Israel Affairs 22.1 (2016)

Israel Affairs, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2016 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles Sixty-two years of national insurance in Israel
Abraham Doron
Pages: 1-19 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111632

Rethinking reverence for Stalinism in the kibbutz movement
Reuven Shapira
Pages: 20-44 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111640

Making war, thinking history: David Ben-Gurion, analogical reasoning and the Suez Crisis
Ilai Z. Saltzman
Pages: 45-68 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111638

 
Military power and foreign policy inaction: Israel, 1967‒1973
Moshe Gat
Pages: 69-95 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111636
Arab army vs. a Jewish kibbutz: the battle for Mishmar Ha’emek, April 1948
Amiram Ezov
Pages: 96-125 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111633
Lip-service to service: the Knesset debates over civic national service in Israel, 1977–2007
Etta Bick
Pages: 126-149 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111630
State‒diaspora relations and bureaucratic politics: the Lavon and Pollard affairs
Yitzhak Mualem
Pages: 150-171 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111637
Developing Jaffa’s port, 1920‒1936
Tamir Goren
Pages: 172-188 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111634
University, community, identity: Ben-Gurion University and the city of Beersheba – a political cultural analysis
Yitzhak Dahan
Pages: 189-210 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111631
The Palestinian/Arab Strategy to Take Over Campuses in the West – Preliminary Findings
Ron Schleifer
Pages: 211-235 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111639
Identity of immigrants – between majority perceptions and self-definition
Sibylle Heilbrunn, Anastasia Gorodzeisky & Anya Glikman
Pages: 236-247 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1111635
Book Reviews
Jabotinsky: a life
David Rodman
Pages: 248-249 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.112095

Ethos clash in Israeli society
David Rodman
Pages: 250-251 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120967

Nazis, Islamists and the making of the modern Middle East
David Rodman
Pages: 252-254 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120968
The new American Zionism
David Rodman
Pages: 255-257 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120969
Rise and decline of civilizations: lessons for the Jewish people
David Rodman
Pages: 258-259 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1120970

New Article: Bernstein, Russian Food Stores and Their Meaning in Germany and Israel

Bernstein, Julia. “Russian Food Stores and Their Meaning for Jewish Migrants in Germany and Israel. Honor and ‘Nostalgia’.” In Being Jewish in 21st-Century Germany (ed. Olaf Glöckner and Haim Fireberg; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2015): 81-102.

 

9783110350159

Abstract

This article deals with the process of integration into a new society through preservation of food habits from the former ‘home-land.’ The text is based on a comparative study that was conducted in Germany and Israel. Sticking to food habit, concludes Bernstein “in the migration process obviously contribute to ‘living memories,’ yet they do much more: They also ‘make a place’ for a virtual home that preserves social status and stabilizes the self-esteem of customers. Food consumption in the migration process seems to promote contouring collective ‘we’-identities.”

 

 

Reviews: Ben-Porat, Between State and Synagogue

Ben-Porat, Guy. Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

 

BenPoratSecularization

Reviews

    • Lassen, Amos. “The Times They Are A-Changing.” Reviews by Amos Lassen, April 7, 2013.
    • Tabory, Ephraim. “Review.” Middle East Journal 67.4 (2013): 646-7.
    • Omer, Atalia. “Review.” American Journal of Sociology 119.5 (2014): 1518-1520.
    • Sorek, Tamir. “Review.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 46.2 (2015): 421-2.
    • Weiss, Shayna. “Review.” Journal of Church and State 57.3 (2015): 565-7.
    • Hollander, Philip. “Judaism in Israel.” VCU Menorah Review 82 (Winter/Spring 2015).

 

 

 

New Book: Shoham, Prison Tattoos. A Study of Russian Inmates

Shoham, Efrat. Prison Tattoos. A Study of Russian Inmates in Israel. New York: Springer, 2015.

 
 
9783319158709

 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction 1
  2. The Inmates Community   5
  3. Tattoos 41
  4. Anthropological Study 59
  5. Typology of Tattoos Among Russian Inmates in Israeli Prisons   63
  6. Tattoos and Gender  83
  7. Criminals’ Tattoos Versus Normative Tattoos 87
  8. Rehabilitation Programs for Russian Inmates in the Israeli Prisons 91
  9. Summary 95

Bibliography 101

Index 107

 
 
 
 
Prof. Efrat Shoham is a senior criminologist in Ashkelon Academic College, Israel. She is the Chairperson of the Israeli Society of Criminology, and the research committee of the Israeli Prisoners Rehabilitation Authority.

New Article: Shamir, Persistence of Legal Culture: The Case of Immigrants from FSU

Shamir, Julia. “While in Rome, Do as Romans Do? Persistence of Legal Culture: The Case of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to Israel.” In Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, vol 66 (ed. Austin Sarat; Bingley: Emerald, 2015), 115-77.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S1059-433720150000066005

 

Abstract

While the concept of legal culture has been receiving a growing attention from scholars, this research often overemphasizes the similarity of the opinions held by different segments of population. Furthermore, the relationship of migration and the change of legal-cultural attitudes has not received particular attention. Drawing on 70 in-depth interviews with the immigrants of the early 1990s from the former Soviet Union to Israel and the secular Israeli Jews, this chapter provides a comprehensive account of the various aspects of legal culture of these groups. The second important finding is the persistence of the legal-cultural attitudes and perceptions over time.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Al-Haj, Ethnicity and Political Mobilization of Russian Immigrants

Al-Haj, Majid. “Ethnicity and Political Mobilization in a Deeply Divided Society: The Case of Russian Immigrants in Israel.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 28.2 (2015): 83-100.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10767-013-9171-6

 

Abstract

This paper deals with political mobilization among immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, who arrived in Israel in the 1990s. The data are based on two nationwide surveys, conducted 10 and 20 years after the arrival of the first wave of these immigrants. My analysis shows that immigrants’ voting behavior is dynamic, and is determined mainly by their perceived interest in and attitudes toward domestic matters rather than regional issues connected with the Israel–Palestine conflict. Immigrants have adopted a complex strategy of political mobilization over time, which has shifted from the formation of “ethnic” parties in the first decade into “hybrid-ethnic” parties in the second decade. This strategy allows flexibility in terms of support, recruitment, and coalition building; prevents ethnic exclusion, maximizes the gains of Russian immigrants; and minimizes the price of their ethnic mobilization in a deeply divided society.

New Article: Prashizky & Remennick, Young Russian-Speaking Adults in Tel-Aviv

Prashizky, Anna, and Larissa Remennick. “Cultural Capital in Migration: Fishka Association of Young Russian-Speaking Adults in Tel-Aviv, Israel.” Journal of Intercultural Studies 36.1 (2015): 17-34.

 
 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07256868.2014.990364

 

Abstract

Migration scholars are increasingly interested in the integration experiences and identity dilemmas of the 1.5 immigrant generation. This article examines the activities of Fishka, an association of young Russian Israelis living in Tel-Aviv and vicinity, who immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union as older children or adolescents. Our empirical analysis draws upon the concepts of social and cultural capital in immigration and explores how the hybrid forms of cultural production emerge at the intersection between various tiers of Russian culture and Israeli realities that surround them. The article explores the acts of cultural translation of various activities and genres from Russian to Hebrew and vice versa. By introducing these hybrid forms of cultural capital to their native peers, the 1.5-ers take pride in their heritage, elevate the prestige of Russian culture in Israel and ultimately reinforce their feelings of belonging to the new country. Our findings highlight ethnic hierarchies (imported from the country of origin or created in Israel) that shape the practices of distinction and boundary building among young Russian Israelis.

 
 
 

New Article: Walsh et al, Discrimination and Delinquency Among Immigrant Adolescents

Walsh, Sophie D., Haya Fogel-Grinvald, and Sabrina Shneider. “Discrimination and Ethnic Identity as Predictors of Substance Use and Delinquency Among Immigrant Adolescents From the FSU and Ethiopia in Israel.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022022115588951

 

Abstract

The current study explores perceived discrimination and ethnic identity as predictors of delinquency and substance use among adolescent immigrants in Israel. Theoretically, the study draws from strain theory, immigration-related theories of ethnic identity formation in adolescence, bi-dimensional theories of acculturation, and the rejection-identification model. The study involved 250 adolescents, 140 from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and 110 from Ethiopia, aged 15 to 18 years (M = 16.7 years). Adolescents were assessed on substance use (cigarettes, marijuana, binge drinking, drunkenness), delinquent behavior, parental relationships (support, limit setting), perceived discrimination, host identity (Jewish Israeli), and ethnic identity (Russian/Ethiopian). Results from structural equation modeling showed that delinquency was predicted directly by greater discrimination, a weaker ethnic (Russian/Ethiopian) identity, and greater substance (alcohol and cigarette) use. Higher levels of parental limit setting and lower levels of parental support predicted higher levels of substance use, but only predicted delinquency indirectly through their impact on substance use. Findings support the hypotheses that perceived discrimination and a weaker ethnic identity predict involvement in delinquency and partially support a hypothesis that higher levels of a positive host identity are related to lower levels of substance use and delinquency among immigrant adolescents. A perceived lack of equal opportunities may lead to stress, anger, and frustration toward society leading to delinquent behavior, whereas difficulties in consolidating a positive cultural identity may lead the young adolescent to fill a void through substance use.

 

New Article: Bodankin & Semyonov, High-Skilled Immigrants in Israel

Bodankin, Moran, and Moshe Semyonov. “Geo-Cultural Origin and Economic Incorporation of High-Skilled Immigrants in Israel.” Population, Space and Place (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp.1934

 

Abstract

The present study focuses on differential modes of economic incorporation and economic success of highly skilled immigrants in Israel. Data were obtained from the 2009–2011 Labor Force and Income Surveys. The analysis pertains to recent immigrants aged 25–64 years who attained academic education prior to migration. Three major geo-cultural groups of immigrants are compared with Israeli-born. The groups are as follows: Europe and the Americas, the Former Soviet Union, and Asia and Africa. The multivariate analysis (conducted separately for men and women) reveals significant differences across geo-cultural groups in labour-market performance (i.e. economic participation) and in economic outcomes (i.e. attainment of professional occupation, occupational status, and earnings). An ethnic hierarchy is observed with Israeli-born at the top, followed by immigrants from Europe and the Americas; the groups of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and from Asia or Africa are placed at the bottom of the hierarchy. Although all high-skilled immigrants are disadvantaged when compared with Israeli-born, all tend to improve their labour-market status with the passage of time in the country. However, only immigrants from Europe and the Americas are able to reach economic assimilation with high-skilled Israeli-born. Asian–African immigrants and immigrants from the Former Soviet Union are less successful in converting skills into economic success; they remain economically disadvantaged even after 20 years of residence. The impact of geo-cultural origin on differential ability of immigrants to transmit credentials from one country to another is discussed.

 
 
 

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.2 (2015) – special issue: Israel at the Polls 2013

 

Israel Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 2, April 2015 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special Issue: Israel at the Polls 2013: Continuity and Change in Israeli Political Culture

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
The Run-Up to Israel’s 2013 Elections: A Political History
Manfred Gerstenfeld
Pages: 177-194
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008240

The Peculiar Victory of The National Camp in the 2013 Israeli Election
Arie Perliger & Eran Zaidise
Pages: 195-208
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008243

‘Something new begins’ – religious Zionism in the 2013 elections: from decline to political recovery
Anat Roth
Pages: 209-229
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008238

An uneasy stability: the Haredi parties’ emergency campaign for the 2013 elections
Nissim Leon
Pages: 230-244
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008241

The political transformation of the Israeli ‘Russian’ street in the 2013 elections
Vladimir (Ze’ev) Khanin
Pages: 245-261
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008244

The Transmigration of Media Personalities and Celebrities to Politics: The Case of Yair Lapid
Rafi Mann
Pages: 262-276
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008239

‘New politics’, new media – new political language? A rhetorical perspective on candidates’ self-presentation in electronic campaigns in the 2013 Israeli elections
Eithan Orkibi
Pages: 277-292
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008242

The 2013 Israeli elections and historic recurrences
Eyal Lewin
Pages: 293-308
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008245

New Article: Yakhnich, Immigrant Parents in the Educational System

Yakhnich, Liat. “Immigrant Parents in the Educational System. The Case of Former Soviet Union Immigrants in Israel.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 46.3 (2015): 387-405.

 

URL: http://jcc.sagepub.com/content/46/3/387

 

Abstract

This qualitative study focuses on immigrant parents’ perceptions of their children’s academic adaptation, their attitudes toward the host country’s educational system, and their motivation for school involvement. The participants are parents of adolescent children aged 11 to 17 years, who immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union (FSU). Open in-depth interviews were used to obtain data regarding the participants’ views and insights. The interviews showed that the immigrant parents perceive education as an essential factor in their children’s successful adaptation to the host country. They report significant disparities between educational methods in the FSU and in Israel. They perceive Israeli schools and teachers as being more “friendly” and sensitive to children and granting them equal opportunities for success, yet they are highly frustrated by the teaching level and by discipline issues. Concerned about their children’s academic adaptation, parents try to influence their learning process from the home. Yet, they have difficulty becoming involved in the school and communicating with the teachers. The primary factor that promotes their school involvement is the teacher’s personal characteristics, such as availability, patience, and flexibility. The findings have significant implications for educators who wish to advance immigrant students’ adjustment by means of meaningful cooperation with their parents.

New Book: Mendelson-Maoz, Multiculturalism in Israel

Mendelson-Maoz, Adia. Multiculturalism in Israel: Literary Perspectives, Shofar Supplements in Jewish Studies. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2015.

 

MulticulturalismIsrael

 

URL: http://www.thepress.purdue.edu/titles/format/9781557536808

 

Abstract

By analyzing its position within the struggles for recognition and reception of different national and ethnic cultural groups, this book offers a bold new picture of Israeli literature. Through comparative discussion of the literatures of Palestinian citizens of Israel, of Mizrahim, of migrants from the former Soviet Union, and of Ethiopian-Israelis, the author demonstrates an unexpected richness and diversity in the Israeli literary scene, a reality very different from the monocultural image that Zionism aspired to create.

Drawing on a wide body of social and literary theory, Mendelson-Maoz compares and contrasts the literatures of the four communities she profiles. In her discussion of the literature of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, she presents the question of language and translation, and she provides three case studies of particular authors and their reception. Her study of Mizrahi literature adopts a chronological approach, starting in the 1950s and proceeding toward contemporary Mizrahi writing, while discussing questions of authenticity and self-determination. The discussion of Israeli literature written by immigrants from the former Soviet Union focuses both on authors who write Israeli literature in Russian and of Russian immigrants writing in Hebrew. The final section of the book provides a valuable new discussion of the work of Ethiopian-Israeli writers, a group whose contributions have seldom been previously acknowledged.

The picture that emerges from this groundbreaking book replaces the traditional, homogeneous historical narrative of Israeli literature with a diversity of voices, a multiplicity of origins, and a wide range of different perspectives. In doing so, it will provoke researchers in a wide range of cultural fields to look at the rich traditions that underlie it in new and fresh ways.

New Article: Raijman et al, Language Proficiency among Post-1990 Immigrants in Israel

Raijman, Rebeca, Moshe Semyonov, and Rona Geffen. “Language Proficiency among Post-1990 Immigrants in Israel.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (online view prior to print publication).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369183X.2014.982523

 

Abstract

This paper focuses on the process of linguistic assimilation among post-1990 immigrants arriving in Israel under the Law of Return. We analyse levels of Hebrew proficiency among four immigrant groups (Ethiopia, Former Soviet Union [FSU], Middle Eastern and North African countries [MENA]) and countries in Europe and America [EUAM]) and by language of origin (Amharic, Russian, Spanish, English and French). The analysis is based on a data-set collected by the Central Bureau of Statistics: the post-1990 Immigrant Survey. Controlling for all relevant factors, the data reveal substantial differences across origin groups: immigrants of MENA and EUAM countries have higher probabilities of reporting the highest level of command of the language than their FSU and Ethiopian counterparts. Speakers of Spanish and French attain higher levels of Hebrew proficiency than speakers of Russian, English and Amharic. Apparently, the very existence of a large and residentially concentrated ethnic or linguistic community (as is the case for Ethiopian and FSU immigrants) becomes a potential disincentive for improving their Hebrew skills. The fact that English is a lingua franca understood and prized in Israel explains the slow process of English speakers’ language acquisition. The findings are discussed in light of existing theories of linguistic assimilation.

New Article: Shechory-Bitton and Ben-David, Intergenerational Differences in Parenting Styles of Mother–Daughter Dyads among Immigrants and Native-Born Israelis

Shechory-Bitton, Mally and Sarah Ben-David. “Intergenerational Differences in Parenting Styles of Mother–Daughter Dyads among Immigrants and Native-Born Israelis.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 45.9 (2014): 1453-70.

 

URL: http://jcc.sagepub.com/content/45/9/1453

 

Abstract

The study examined and compared intergenerational differences in parenting styles, attitudes toward child-rearing, and corporal punishment (CP) in three groups of mother–daughter dyads in Israel: immigrants from Ethiopia and from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and native-born Israelis. Results show that ethnicity, mothers’ parenting styles, and mothers’ attitudes toward CP significantly explain 21% to 26% of the variance in daughters’ parenting styles. However, the results also indicate the differential effect on parenting style of exposure to a culture other than the culture of origin. This is also reflected in the fact that the younger generation, especially among immigrants from Ethiopia, is more affected by the encounter with the host society than is the older generation.

 

New Article: Prashizky and Remennick, Gender and Cultural Citizenship among Non-Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel

Prashizky, Anna and Larissa Remennick. “Gender and Cultural Citizenship among Non-Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel.” Citizenship Studies 18.3-4 (2014): 365-383.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13621025.2014.905276

 

Abstract

About 330,000 of partial Jews and gentiles have moved to Israel after 1990 under the Law of Return. The article is based on interviews with middle-aged gentile spouses of Jewish immigrants, aiming to capture their perspective on integration and citizenship in the new homeland where they are ethnic minority. Slavic wives of Jewish men manifested greater malleability and adopted new lifestyles more readily than did Slavic husbands of Jewish women, particularly in relation to Israeli holidays and domestic customs. Most women considered formal conversion as a way to symbolically join the Jewish people, while no men pondered over this path to full Israeli citizenship. Women’s perceptions of the IDF and military service of their children were idealistic and patriotic, while men’s perceptions were more critical and pragmatic. We conclude that women have a higher stake at joining the mainstream due to their family commitments and matrilineal transmission of Jewishness to children. Men’s hegemony in the family and in the social hierarchy of citizenship attenuates their drive for cultural adaptation and enables rather critical stance toward Israeli society. Cultural politics of belonging, therefore, reflect the gendered norms of inclusion in the nation-state.

New Article: Ribke, Female Fashion Models’ Transition into Israeli Politics

Ribke, Nahuel. “Modeling Politics? Female Fashion Models’ Transition into Israeli Politics.” European Journal of Culturla Studies 17.2 (2014): 170-186.

 

URL: http://ecs.sagepub.com/content/17/2/170

 

Abstract

This article analyses the recent phenomenon of the passage of former models/television hosts into Israeli politics. The transition of these former models into politics can be seen as part of a wider phenomenon of Israeli media celebrities’ transition to professional politics. Despite the wide media coverage and the heated public debates around the fashion models’ candidacy, until now there has been no serious analysis of this phenomenon. Distancing itself from the popular derogatory approaches toward the participation of celebrities in politics, this study proposes to examine their entry into the political sphere seriously, incorporating a cultural and historical perspective along with an analysis of the dynamics of ethnic and gender relations in Israeli politics.