Women’s participation in the First Intifada allowed for increased gender equality in Palestine. However, the weakness of the Palestinian Authority, established by the Oslo Accords, created space for non-state actors (dominated by the Islamist political organization Hamas) to emerge and gain popularity. Likewise, during the post-Oslo period conservative positions on gender resurged. This paper re-examines the structural factors that facilitated increased gender inequality and argues that the nature of the occupation itself serves as the greatest force for gender inequality in Palestine. To develop and test our theory, we draw on original, large-n survey data and in-depth interviews.
Over the past 15 years, the Global War on Terrorism has necessitated an examination of the military’s practices and the way that they meet the complexities of new and different types of war and tactics. Vital to this examination are policies related to the inclusion and deployment of women in combat. Burba stated war is not a setting for social testing, but the American Military must embrace the social subtleties of gender differences in an effort to meet the Armed Services requirement for an ever-changing asymmetrical battlefield. This study compares and contrasts the American current policy divergent to three other countries’ policies that have successfully integrated women into combat: Norway, Canada, and Israel. Through this examination, an opportunity to recognize gaps in training and procedural information that are most important to the successful implementation in the United States is revealed. The scientific data, although supporting the fact that physiological differences exist between men and women, were not supported in the argument that all women should be excluded from combat units. In all case studies, it was found that women who volunteered for combat assignments performed equally as well as their male counterparts without degradation of operational readiness or a lower unity of cohesion. However, I was not surprised that the leaders of the three counties observed that the successful integration of women into combat units is not about changing a culture. It is simply a leadership issue.
As with religious women’s quest to create inclusive faith communities, which in Plaskow’s assessment means allowing “the words of women to rise out of the white spaces between the letters in the Torah as we remember and transmit the past through the experience of our own lives,” women’s peace work takes place in unmapped white spaces. Their religious experience, exemplified by a Muslim woman’s story of a holy mother standing watch, invites us to reconsider our understanding of community and the meaning of peace and security – a reconsideration that is enriched when Palestinian women’s activism is analyzed with reference to Jewish feminist theology.
As demonstrated in this essay, the two fall into natural dialogue, articulating perspectives that are absent from secular conversations on women’s peacemaking. The questions raised by their life experiences as women of faith – on the nature of female participation in justice struggles, on the politics of space, on the relationship with the land, on interpersonal encounter – demand a change in language and a more holistic analysis of the issues at stake.
Navot, Suzie. The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis. Oxford: Hart, 2014.
This book presents the main features of the Israeli constitutional system and a topical discussion of Israel’s basic laws. It focuses on constitutional history and the peculiar decision to frame a constitution ‘by stages’. Following its British heritage and the lack of a formal constitution, Israel’s democracy grew for more than four decades on the principle of parliamentary supremacy. Introducing a constitutional model and the concept of judicial review of laws, the ‘constitutional revolution’ of the 1990s started a new era in Israel’s constitutional history. The book’s main themes include: constitutional principles; the legislature and the electoral system; the executive; the protection of fundamental rights and the crucial role of the Supreme Court in Israel’s constitutional discourse. It further presents Israel’s unique aspects as a Jewish and democratic state, and its ongoing search for the right balance between human rights and national security. Finally, the book offers a critical discussion of the development of Israel’s constitution and local projects aimed at enacting a single and comprehensive text.
[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]
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.
Meydani, Assaf. The Anatomy of Human Rights in Israel. Constitutional Rhetoric and State Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Why is there such a large gap between the declarations that countries make about human rights and their imperfect implementation of them? Why do states that have enacted laws and signed treaties about human rights choose to not enforce these laws in daily life? Why have activists failed to achieve the goals of ensuring human rights domestically and internationally? This book examines the issue of human rights in the Israeli domestic arena by analyzing the politics and strategies of defending human rights. To do so, it integrates the tools of social choice theory with a unique institutionalist perspective that looks at both formal and informal, and local and international factors. The book offers an analysis explaining the processes through which Israel is struggling to promote human rights within a specific institutional environment, thus determining the future of Israeli democracy and its attitude toward human rights.
Table of Contents
2. Institutional theory and social choice studies: understanding the anatomy of human rights
3. Human rights between constitutional rhetoric and state practice
4. Structural and cultural variables favoring a short-term orientation
5. The right to be free from the threat of torture in light of structural and cultural complexity
6. The right to equality: gender segregation on ultra-orthodox buses following the Israeli High Court of Justice ruling on the ‘segregation lines’ in 2011
7. The right to enjoy a decent lifestyle: the case of the Laron law – national insurance law (amendment no. 109, 2008) encouraging the disabled to work
8. The human rights commission in Israel that never was
9. Property rights – the issue of designing policy about the separation fence – the High Court of Justice case: Beit Sureiq Village v. the State of Israel, 2004
10. The right to human dignity and liberty: the organ transplant law, 5768 (2008)
11. Policy evaluation: analyzing the reality for human rights.
In light of the finding that a liberal gender role ideology increases the sense of intimacy among husbands as well as among wives—and because men typically tend to maintain a more traditional gender role ideology than women do—marital counselors should encourage the adoption of a liberal gender role ideology not only as a goal in itself but also as a means of enhancing marital intimacy among husbands and wives.
Moreover, in the process of intervention, counselors should adopt an approach that emphasizes that if women are nurturing and compassionate they can also assert power and feel empowered in the marital relationship. Most important, the counseling approach should be based on the perception of the new woman, which combines both feminine and masculine characteristics as expressed in the term “agency in community.” Apparently, the challenge that counselors face today is to help women find the appropriate balance in the application of this concept in their daily lives.
Abu Asbah, Khaled, Muhammed Abu Nasra and Khawla Abu-Baker. “Gender Perceptions of Male and Female Teachers in the Arab Education System in Israel.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 10.3 (2014): 109-24.
This study examines gender perceptions and attitudes of Arab male and female teachers in Israel. This quantitative study includes 302 Arab Muslim male and female teachers in the Arab education system. The results show that participants believe that there is no gender equality in Arab society in Israel, a conviction stronger among male teachers. Transition of Arab society from traditional to modern society has not eliminated that particular regime. Improved education of women and their professional promotion have not ensured gender equality. Changes in the status of Arab women and attitudes toward their participation in the labor force are due not to changes in the social structure of Arab society but to economic structural constraints at the national level.
The ordination of women as rabbis is a relatively new phenomenon in Jewish communities worldwide, but especially in the State of Israel. Israel’s non-Orthodox movements began to ordain women as rabbis only twenty years after the first woman rabbi was ordained in the United States. Today, women rabbis continue to confront deeply rooted cultural concepts and stereotypes while seeking to reshape the place of women in Judaism. In this article, I shall analyze and interpret Israeli women rabbis’ shared experiences as extracted from their life stories, using folklore research tools. Analyzing these stories using the narrative-package model revealed their commonalities with Vladimir Propp’s fairy-tale narrative structure. The content of these narratives by pioneer Israeli women rabbis emphasizes the deconstruction of gender roles in Judaism and in Israeli society, even as new structures are being established, enabling women to take religious leadership functions upon themselves. The narrators are aware of the numerous challenges they face, but most of them are deeply motivated to continue exerting their influence in different areas of Israeli society.
The article explores the localization process of Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) in Israel after the Second Intifada. An analysis of four forms of interpretation developed in 2000–2010 by local and international actors: protest, political dialog, legal reforms, and transformative actions, reveals a selective localization pattern that goes far beyond conflict-related women’s rights. This variation was linked to the nature of interactions between civil society organizations and governmental agencies and could be explained by two national-level factors: (i) despite the escalation of political violence the State of Israel continued to develop national machineries promoting gender equality for women citizens, a process that minimized state dependency on international mechanisms; (ii) by using the universal language of SCR 1325 to construct, redefine, and reinforce domestic identities and interests, governmental agencies and women’s groups were in fact seeking new forms of political legitimacy. I argue that the normative language of SCR 1325 proved to be especially beneficial on the civil society level, enabling women’s organizations to survive the generally unfavorable domestic opportunity structure during the Second Intifada. However, traditional state-centered policies and perceptions of women’s political participation remain a determining factor in explaining their effectiveness and success.