Cite: Bresheeth, The Arab Spring: A View from Israel

Bresheeth, Haim. “The Arab Spring: A View from Israel.” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5.1 (2012): 42-57.





The Arab Spring is one of the most complex and surprising political developments of the new century, especially after a decade of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab western propaganda. While is too early to properly evaluate the process and its various national apparitions, it is important to see it in a historical context. This article places the Arab Spring firmly within the history of pan Arabism, and the threat it posed to the west and Israel in its earlier, Nasserist phase. The work of Amin, Marfleet and others, is used to frame the current developments, and present the limited view offered from an Israeli perspective, where any democratisation of the Arab world is seen as a threat. This is so despite the obvious influence the Arab Spring had on protest in Israel in Summer 1011, a protest which has now seemingly spent itself; it is fascinating to note that the only protest movement in the Middle East not involving violent clashes with the regime it criticised, is also the one which has not achieved any of its aims.

Cite: Gamson, Arab Spring, Israeli Summer, and Cognitive Liberation

Gamson, William A. “Arab Spring, Israeli Summer, and the Process of Cognitive Liberation.” Swiss Political Science Review 17.4 (2011): 463-468.





To understand the spread of the Arab spring among different Arab countries and to the movement for social justice in Israel in the following summer, the concept of collective action frames is much more useful than the flawed concept of cognitive liberation. Unlike the latter which conflates analytically distinct processes and ignores the crucial process of negotiating a collective identity, the concept of collective action frames distinguishes the components and problematizes the connection among them. The injustice component is crucial for integrating all three into a coherent collective action frame.

Cite: Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Mediated Negotiations

Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Keren. “Mediated Negotiations: A Case Study of a Transcultural Exchange between Lebanon and Israel.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 8.2 (2011): 165-185.





This article examines the strategies and practices by which the Israeli news media negotiated and (re)appropriated a Lebanese documentary that was produced in cooperation with a French company and was purchased and broadcast by an Israeli commercial channel. Using this transnational textual event, the article explores the dynamics, opportunities and pitfalls associated with transcultural exchanges that take place in a conflictual, translocal context, and the ways in which such exchanges are shaped by an interplay of material-institutional and discursive-symbolic dimensions. The article also provides a multi-layered framework for analyzing the broadcasting and journalistic practices surrounding such textual events, and establishes the relationship between appropriation and witnessing strategies. I show how the Israeli media—driven by commercial interests and applying complex forms of witnessing and appropriation—worked to sustain national myths and suppress the potentially disruptive aspects of the documentary, while at the same time exposing the weaknesses of these myths, as well as the limits of the State’s power. Emerging from this case study is a complex picture of the multifaceted roles played by national news media in a transnational economy, and of the ways in which commercial media interests serve as both hegemonic and disruptive forces within the context of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Cite: Spagnolo, Politics of Mediterranean Music between Israel and Italy

Spagnolo, Francesco. "Crossing the Sea of Song: Politics of Mediterranean Music between Israel and Italy."  Min-Ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online 7,2 (2008-2009). 12 pp.




Keywords: Israeli music, culture, popular culture, Zionism, Acculturation, Cultural Construction, Law, Politics, Comparative, Italy, Italian

Cite: Brinner, Emergence of New Israeli/Palestinian Musical Competences & Connections

Brinner, Benjamin. "Beyond Ethnic Tinge or Ethnic Fringe: The Emergence of New Israeli/Palestinian Musical Competences & Connections ."  Min-Ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online 7,2 (2008-2009). 21 pp.




Keywords: Israeli music, culture, popular culture, ברינר, מוסיקה, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, shared culture

New Publication: Haggai Ram, Iranophobia


Ram, Haggai.  Iranophobia. The Logic of an Israeli Obsession.

Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2009.


cover for Iranophobia

Keywords: Iran, Israeli-Arab conflict, politics, חגי רם, Haggai Ram, Israel, Nuclear Weapons, Strategy, Iran, Israeli-Arab Conflict, Holocaust, Israel: Foreign Policy, Israel and its neighbours, Israel: Europe relations, Israel: US relations, Israel: World Jewry relations, Iran: Jewry, Iran: Nuclear Weapons


CFP: Israel in the Middle East

Click here for poster.

Call for Papers for a Workshop:

“I’m in the East and my Heart is in the West: Israel in the Middle East”
University of Calgary (Canada), 3-5 October, 2010

Since independence, Israel lives in two worlds: while geographically it is in the Middle East, from almost any other aspect it identifies itself with the west. Jewish immigration from East and Central Europe decided the western social, cultural and political characteristic of the pre-state Yishuv, which remained dominant also in the first years of the nascent state. However, throughout the years, more and more voices challenged Israel’s affiliation with the west, calling to find ways to integrate it into the Middle East. The hegemonic European features of Israel gave way to other voices and tunes. Some even challenge the very idea of Israel as a Jewish state, ostensibly the greater achievement of the Zionist movement- the national movement which was part of the 19th century European national resurrection.

The Israel Studies Program at the University of Calgary is organizing an international workshop that will be dedicated to the study of Israel and its place in the Middle East. Our intention is to bring together scholars from various disciplines to explore the various facets of the topic. The discussions, that will last two days, will evolve around questions and issues such as:

  • What does it mean for Israel to be a Western State?
  • What do the calls for the assimilation of Israel in the Middle East mean?
  • How do the ethnic divides (Jews- Arabs, Ashkenazim- Sephardim) influence the very nature of Israel and its assimilation either with the East or the West?
  • What is in the Mediterranean option for Israel?
  • What is the impact of the turn from a mono- to multi-cultural society on Israel’s orientation?
  • Can Israel be a Western and a Middle Eastern state at the same time?

We invite proposals for papers discussing those and other related issues from historians, literary scholars, political scientists, sociologists, cultural studies scholars as well as from scholars in related disciplines. Please send abstracts of your proposed paper (400-500 words) and short curriculum vitae (one page) to Dr. David Tal, Kahanoff Chair in Israel Studies, at:

The deadline for submission of abstracts is March 1, 2010.

We will provide funding for travel and accommodation to invited speakers.

Our intention is to publish an edited book based on the conference papers. Those accepted are expected to send their papers by July 30, 2010. After the conference, the participants are expected to send their papers in the form of an academic article by December 1, 2010. The articles will be sent to referees.

Expected publication: Summer 2011.