New Book: Levine, Center and Periphery in Israeli Literature (in Hebrew)

Levine, Daphna. The Third Space. Center and Periphery in Israeli Literature. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

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ניתוח ספרות בכלים מרחביים הוא אתר בלתי נדלה להבנת המורכבות החברתית העומדת בבסיס הייצוגים התרבותיים. מטרתו של ספר זה לשרטט את המרחב המופיע כרקע, להפוך אותו לרטורי ולחשוף באמצעותו רכיבים שהטקסטים הספרותיים מבקשים להדחיק. הדיון בכלים מתחום חקר המרחב הנו פורה במיוחד בהקשר של הספרות הישראלית, שכן ספרות זו נכתבת במסגרת השיח הציוני שמאבק מרחבי מתמיד מתחולל בו. אולם הדיון פורה לא רק כשהספרות שותפה לפרויקט של רכישת הבעלות על הטריטוריה, אלא גם כשהיא מתנערת כביכול מהטריטוריה ומתרכזת באינדיבידואל, במרכז או במערב, תוך כדי הדחקה והשתקה של המרחב ה”אחר”, או תוך כדי יצירת רב-תרבותיות ופוליפוניה אתנית מדומה. או-אז מתגלה המרחב המדומיין כתמונת ראי ליחסי כוח בין מרכז לפריפריה.

הייצוגים המרחביים הספרותיים מאפשרים לבחון כיצד מתעצבות תרבויות מוכפפות תוך כדי הפנמה של ערכי התרבות ההגמונית, תהליך המלווה ביצירת מרחב (פיזי ולשוני) היברידי שלישי שבו מובנת זהותם תוך כדי “זיהום הדדי”, על פי מונחיו של הומי באבא. יחסי הגומלין בין המרכז והפריפריה יופיעו בספר זה כאתר דינמי הנמתח מעבר לדיכוטומיות הבינאריות, תוך כדי ניתוח לא צפוי של שלוש יצירות ישראליות: “חמסין וציפורים משוגעות” מאת גבריאלה אביגור-רותם, “שום גמדים לא יבואו” מאת שרה שילה, ו”ככה אני מדברת עם הרוח” מאת סמי ברדוגו.

דפנה לוין היא אדריכלית; בוגרת המחלקה לארכיטקטורה באקדמיה “בצלאל” ומלמדת בה; בעלת תואר ראשון ושני בספרות כללית והשוואתית באוניברסיטה העברית.

 

 

 

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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: Amit & Bar-Lev, Transnational Identity among French Immigrants Employed in French-Speaking Companies in Israel

Amit, Karin, and Shirly Bar-Lev. “The Formation of Transnational Identity among French Immigrants Employed in French-Speaking Companies in Israel.” International Migration (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imig.12239
 
Abstract

This study focuses on the formation of a transnational identity among immigrants from France who are employed in French-speaking companies in Israel (mostly call-centres). The preliminary qualitative analysis shows that this unique employment pattern contributes to the formation of their transnational identity, which is a combination of their francophone, Jewish and Israeli identity. The findings obtained from a larger-scale online survey indicated that French immigrants employed in French-speaking companies are more ethnically, socially and culturally segregated, and less fluent in Hebrew than French immigrants who are not employed in such companies. However, no significant differences were found between these two groups in their Israeli identity and sense of belonging to Israeli society. In general, the French immigrants feel at home in Israel, are satisfied with their life in Israel and plan to remain there. The implications of these findings for policymakers are discussed.

 

 

 

Dissertation: Poppe, Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of Israeli Writers

Poppe, Judith. “I am writing into deserted times” – Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of the Israeli Writers Netti Boleslav and Jenny Aloni, PhD dissertation. Göttingen: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 2015 (in German).

 

URL: https://ediss.uni-goettingen.de/handle/11858/00-1735-0000-0028-86AD-7

 

Abstract

This study examines a subject that has been disregarded in literary history, namely Israeli literature written in the German language. Two authors, Jenny Aloni and Netti Boleslav, as well as their poetry, are used as paradigmatic case studies to show the relevance of this literature that crosses political and cultural borders. In the late thirties Boleslav and Aloni emigrated from Nazi-Germany and Prague to Palestine/Israel where they found a new home. They wrote poetry and prose in German until their death in the 1980s and 1990s. Their lives and works are reconstructed on the basis of documents such as diaries, letters and unpublished manuscripts that are contained in their literary estates and made public partly for the first time. From a methodological perspective, the hermeneutical analysis of the poems in their poetic value is here complemented by poststructuralist approaches of the Cultural Studies. Focusing on the construction of the “I” (the “I” in the poetry as well as the “I” of the empirical authors), this study pursues the traces of different times and places, where the literature has left its mark. The oeuvres of Aloni and Boleslav emerges at the intersections of two worlds, the German and the Israeli, and they wander between various regions and political units such as Bohemia, Nazi and post-Nazi Germany, the State of Israel and Czechoslovakia. Their poems draw from “Jewish” and “Israeli” literature, German pop culture, bucolic poetry and Zionist historiography. Until now the unique position of German Literature in Israel has been almost completely neglected. The present study fills this scholarly gap. The research combines concepts by Deleuze/Guattari and Kühne in order to coin the notion of “Kleine Zwischenliteratur”, which describes the main features of this literature. One of the main goals of the present examination is to grant this literature a more prominent place in the history of literary. Based on the results of the present thesis’ analysis it becomes apparent that notions of transdisciplinary and transnationality need to be mobilised in order to challenge the accepted categories of the discipline, enabling us to close the blind spot of the Israeli literature written in German.

 

 

 

New Article: First, Common Sense, Good Sense, and Commercial Television

First, Anat. “Common Sense, Good Sense, and Commercial Television.” International Journal of Communication 10 (2016): 530-48.

 

URL: http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/3551

 

Abstract

In an era when identity is a hybrid process, it is interesting to examine whether and how it is possible to glean the presence or absence of certain cultural groups from their representations in a given culture. To do so, I employ two key Gramscian concepts: common sense and good sense. Using three research reports (from 2003, 2005, and 2011) that employed content analysis techniques, this article assesses the visibility of various subgroups in Israeli TV programs and majority-minority power relations in a variety of genres on commercial channels in the prime-time slot. This article focuses on three aspects of identity: nationality, ethnicity, and gender.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

New Book: Shamir, The Native Foreigner; Representations of Hybridity in Modern Israeli Fiction

Shamir, Ayelet. The Native Foreigner. Representations of Hybridity in Modern Israeli Fiction. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

 
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The notion of hybridity is suppressed in the discussion over Israeli society, culture, and literature. This book deals with the concept of hybridity, its cultural genealogy, its essence and characteristics. It offers to use it as a prism for reading three works of modern Israeli prose, “Refuge” (1977) by Sami Michael; “Arabesques” (1986) by Anton Shammas and “The Liberated Bride “(2001) by A.B. Yehoshua.

These works represent the very essence of the cultural hybrid experience that exist between Jewish and Arabic, and express the social and linguistic dualism characteristic of this experience. Forces of attraction and repulsion interact between these two societies, and this dualism causes internal conflicts while allowing for mutual input. Alongside manifestations of anxiety, separatism, and rejection by the other minority, which is often perceived as a “native foreigner” within us, there is also an equally strong presence of wishes of mixture, attraction, and erotic intimacy, disruptive wishes which signify blurring and crossing of boundaries.

This book deals with various questions: who is the native foreigner? What is its voice? What is actually the hybrid “Third Israeli”? What might be the best literary expression of it?

 

AYELET SHAMIR is an author, and the chair of the Department of drama literature creative-expressive arts, at the Oranim Academic College.

 

 

 

New Article: Ranta, Re-Arabizing Israeli Food Culture

Ranta, Ronald. “Re-Arabizing Israeli Food Culture.” Food, Culture & Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15528014.2015.1088192

 

Abstract

This paper examines the role Arab-Palestinian food plays in the construction of Israeli national identity and food culture. In particular, it sets out to understand the recent willingness in Jewish-Israeli society to acknowledge Arab, and to a lesser extent Arab-Palestinian, culture and food. This new phenomenon has resulted in the re-Arabization of Israeli food culture. For the first time Arab and Arab-Palestinian food is acknowledged, written about and celebrated. This follows a historically longer process in which the construction of Israeli identity and food culture was based on adaptation and imitation, leading to appropriation and nationalization of Arab-Palestinian food culture.

 

 

 

New Article: Ross and Razon, Shifting Identity Markers in Palestine/Israel

Ross, Karen, and Na’amah Razon. “Interrogating Boundaries and Acknowledging Fluidity: Shifting Identity Markers in Palestine/Israel.” Journal of Borderlands Studies 30.2 (2015): 247-62.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08865655.2015.1046470

 

Abstract

In this article we problematize the taken-for-granted nature of the dichotomy between Palestinian and Israeli, or Arab and Jew by illustrating how these identity categories are referenced and navigated by Israelis and Palestinians (Arabs and Jews) in their daily life. Using examples from our observations and conversations with individuals in the region, we argue that while the categories of Jewish/Arab and Israel/Palestine serve as dichotomous organizing frameworks, the lived experiences of individuals reveal complexity, variability, and tensions in how these categories are navigated, negotiated, and inhabited. Rather than clear and natural categories, by attending to the specificity of how these categories are discussed and used in everyday life we highlight a middle ground questioning the firmness of this assumed dichotomy. We suggest that attending to the contingent and varied nature of this dichotomy can serve as a starting point to create more inclusive means to discuss identity in the region.

 

 

Dissertation: Hankins | Black Musics, African Lives, and the National Imagination in Modern Israel

Hankins, Sarah Elizabeth. Black Musics, African Lives, and the National Imagination in Modern Israel. PhD Dissertation, Harvard University, 2015.

 
URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/17467531

 
Abstract

“Black Musics, African Lives, and the National Imagination in Modern Israel,” explores the forms and functions of African and Afro-diasporic musics amidst heated public debate around ethnic identity and national membership. Focusing on musical-political activity among Ethiopian Israeli citizens, Sudanese and Eritrean refugees, and West African labor migrants in Tel Aviv, I examine how diverse types of musicking, from nightclub DJing and live performance to church services and protest concerts, voice African and Afro-descendent claims to civic status in a fractured urban environment. Grounded in ethnographic participant observation, the dissertation analyzes musical and political activity through the lens of “interpretive modes” that shape contemporary Israel’s national consciousness, and which influence African and Afro-descendant experiences within Israeli society. These include “Israeliyut,” or the valorization of so-called native Israeli cultural forms and histories; “Africani,” an emerging set of aesthetic and social values that integrates African and Afro-descendent subjectivities into existing frameworks of Israeli identity; and “glocali,” or the effort to reconcile local Israeli experience with aspects of globalization.

Tracing “blackness” as an ideological and aesthetic category through five decades of public discourse and popular culture, I examine the disruptions to this category precipitated by Israel’s 21st century encounter with African populations. I find that the dynamics of debate over African presence influence an array of mass-cultural processes, including post-Zionism, conceptions of ethnic “otherness,” and the splintering of Israel’s left into increasingly narrow interest groups. Contributing to the literature on continuity and change within urban-dwelling African diasporas, this dissertation is the first monograph exploring dramatic transformations of Israel’s highly consolidated national culture through in-depth ethnography with migrant groups.

 

 

New Article: Isleem, Druze Linguistic Landscape in Israel

Isleem, Martin. “Druze Linguistic Landscape in Israel: Indexicality of New Ethnolinguistic Identity Boundaries.” International Journal of Multilingualism 12.1 (2015): 13-30.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2013.868467

 

Abstract

The Druze community in Israel is a distinct religious community currently undergoing important ethnolinguistic shifts. The government’s implementation of an official policy has led to the deconstruction and reshaping of the Druze political and national identity to one that differs substantially from that of the Palestinian minority in Israel. In this study, I argue that the visibility, vitality and appreciation of Hebrew in the Druze linguistic landscape are indicative of new ethnolinguistic boundaries of the Druze identity in Israel. The fact that the Druze in Israel are dispersed throughout the Galilee and Mount Carmel area and experience varying levels of language contact as well as divergent economic relations with their Palestinian–Israeli and Jewish–Israeli neighbours, suggests that one cannot expect uniformity in the Druze linguistic markets or the processes of social, cultural and linguistic identification. This study will show that Hebrew has become a dominant component of the linguistic repertoire and social identity of the Druze in the Mount Carmel area since it has become the first choice of communication as the linguistic landscape indicates.

New Article: Bashir, On Citizenship Education: A Levantine Approach and Reimagining Israel/Palestine

Bashir, Bashir. “On Citizenship and Citizenship Education: A Levantine Approach and Reimagining Israel/Palestine.” (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13621025.2015.1007033

 

Abstract

This article argues in favor of a Levantine approach to citizenship and citizenship education. A Levantine approach calls for some sort of Mediterranean regionalism, which accommodates and promotes overlapping and shared sovereignties and jurisdiction, multiple loyalties, and regional integration. It transcends the paradigmatic statist model of citizenship by recasting the relationship between territoriality, national identity, sovereignty, and citizenship in complex, multilayered and disaggregated constellations. As the case of Israel/Palestine demonstrates, this new approach goes beyond multicultural accommodation and territorial partition. It proposes, among other things, extending the political and territorial boundaries of citizenship to take all the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River as one unit of analysis belonging to a larger region.

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: Sabar and Pagis, African Labor Migrants Returning from Israel

Sabar, Galia, and Michal Pagis. “Enhancing the Spirit of Entrepreneurship: African Labor Migrants Returning from Israel.” Migration Studies 3.2 (2015): 260-80.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/migration/mnu045

 

Abstract

Contemporary studies on return migration express a growing interest in the cultural and social dimensions of its economic development. In this article we aim to extend this interest by focusing on economic values returning migrants bring back with them to their countries of origin, captured in what we call the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’. The article is based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork with Sub-Saharan African labor migrants both in Israel and after their return to their country of origin. Utilizing a Weberian perspective on the connection between values and economic action, we illustrate that even though African migrants work in menial jobs in Israel and very few acquire professional training, they come to utilize Israel as an informal space for the enhancement of a ‘spirit of entrepreneurship’. This spirit contains three valuative transformations: a transformation concerning time (including a valuing of the future over the present); a transformation concerning individual action (replacing the primacy of community with a focus on individual flourishing)-Sahara; and a transformation in social relations (extending trust beyond friends and family to economic partners). These transformations are in line with economic values underlying a capitalist economic system. The expression of these value orientations acts as an important factor through which African countries have become increasingly interlinked and influenced by neoliberal culture. Yet, as the testimonies of African labor migrants reveal, local social structures reside side by side with this imported spirit of entrepreneurship. This hybridity may lead to increased opportunities, but also to feelings of estrangement and frustration.

New Article: Snir, Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?

Snir, Reuven. “Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity? Fragmented Consciousness, ‘Inessential Solidarity,’ and the ‘Coming Community’ (Part 2).” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 299-314.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2014.997486

 

Extract

This is the answer to the question posed in the title of the present article, there is now no necessity for Arab-Jewish identity, simply because there is no need in our contemporary fluid societies for the traditional notion of identity. The processes which the Arabized Jews and their offspring have undergone are not exclusive. Against the background of the fluidity of identities and globalization at the beginning of the twenty-first century, I believe that the traditional notion of identity has gradually been wearing off. This by no means implies that there are no significant differences between the elite—that is, the intellectuals whose subjectivities are the main subject of my research project and who are intensely affected by the global tendency towards inessential solidarities—and other segments of society whose members are more liable to adhere to the traditional notions of identity. First, unlike the irreconcilable gap, in my view, between the radical “Mizrahi” post-Zionist elite and the masses, the above tendency may be considered to be a vanguard in the sense that it is expected to precipitate a similar large-scale tendency in these masses, even if in this stage it is still far removed, politically, socially and mentally, from it. The recent revolutions in the Arab world have proved inspirational to many because they offer a new sense of collective identity built on the idea of citizenship and not on any essential solidarity such as clan, religion, race or ethnicity. Second, global phenomena such as mass migration and the Internet, which are no longer limited to the elites, have broadened those segments in society that are influenced by the universal inclination towards inessential solidarities. Singularity, not identity, is now the major war cry in our contemporary fluid societies.

 

New Article: Lemberger, Changing Aspects in Shimon Adaf’s Work

Lemberger, Dorit. “Contacts and Discontinuities: Changing Aspects in Shimon Adaf’s Work.” Hebrew Studies 55 (2014): 330-354.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/hebrew_studies/v055/55.lemberger01.html

 

Abstract

The writings of Shimon Adaf construct a hybrid, multicultural quasi-dialect that is unusual in Israeli literature in general and in the genre known as “Oriental Jewish literature” in particular. While Israeli Hebrew is hybrid by its very nature, there is a difference between hybridity deriving from instinctive use of the spoken language and that arising from an intentional, self-aware act designed to flout literary, and especially sociopolitical, conventions. In this article I shall demonstrate how Adaf’s use of imagery leads to unique, fresh literary and political positions. All Adaf’s protagonists are of Moroccan origin, from a small town on the periphery; they observe Israeli reality “from the outside.” They do not represent the “Oriental” voice that prevails in both fiction and scholarly writing by Jewish authors of non-European origin who delve into issues of discrimination, disenfranchisement, and other socioeconomic tensions. Adaf’s characters “cut loose” from acute current problems and via hybridity re-connect to bygone times. These characters raise universal, existential questions that do not stem from their belonging to a specific time and place, for example, those of relations obtaining between language and reality and of the possibility to change the latter by means of poetic language. Such problems are evoked by quotations from various literatures (Greek, English, German) and by the use of different strands of Hebrew: biblical, rabbinic, and Israeli. By employing metaphoric language, Adaf examines how the cultural norms in which language is steeped dictate modes of behavior and how we can influence the reformulation of these norms by the use of that very language.