New Book: Kreiger, The Dead Sea and the Jordan River

Kreiger, Barbara. The Dead Sea and the Jordan River. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

 

9780253019523_med

 

For centuries travelers have been drawn to the stunning and mysterious Dead Sea and Jordan River, a region which is unlike any other on earth in its religious and historical significance. In this exceptionally engaging and readable book, Barbara Kreiger chronicles the natural and human history of these storied bodies of water, drawing on accounts by travelers, pilgrims, and explorers from ancient times to the present. She conveys the blend of spiritual, touristic, and scientific motivations that have driven exploration and describes the modern exploitation of the lake and the surrounding area through mineral extraction and agriculture. Today, both lake and river are in crisis, and stewardship of these water resources is bound up with political conflicts in the region. The Dead Sea and the Jordan River combines history, literature, travelogue, and natural history in a way that makes it hard to put down.

 

Table of Contents

    • Part I. This Strange Water
      1. Some Early History, Travellers, Myths
    • Part II. Nineteenth-Century Exploration
      2. Three Sailors, and a River
      3. Along the Briny Strand
    • Part III. Origins and Evolution
      4. The Life of a Lake
    • Part IV. Further Exploration
      5. Gentleman from Siberia
      6. A Lake Divided
    • Part V. The Twenty-First Century
      7. The River and Lake in Distress
      8. Reclamation, and a Vision of the Future
    • Afterword

 

BARBARA KREIGER is Creative Writing Concentration Chair and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Dartmouth College. Her other publications include Divine Expectations: An American Woman in Nineteenth-Century Palestine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications.

Thesis: Jadhav, GIS based application tool — Israel Palestine Conflict

Jadhav, Priyanka Sharad S. GIS based application tool — Israel Palestine Conflict, MS Thesis. San Diego: San Diego State University, 2015.
 
URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/16/06/1606015.html
 
Abstract

The objective of the thesis is to develop a GIS based application tool that gives insight into the ongoing controversial Palestine-Israel Conflict. The tool showcases the complete history of the conflict right from World War II through today. It also showcases the other conflicts in the Middle East, which involved Israel and Palestine.

Information about the rulers is provided and how the initial boundaries were chosen. The user can click on the important points on the Israel map. As the user clicks on the map points, Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) pages will be displayed which will have information about the key events during the conflict along with some more information about the ruler and their ruling period. Information about their contribution will also be described. The programming language used to develop this tool is JAVA. Different features to this tool are added using MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects), which is developed by ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute). The map is also developed using MOJO.

The tool will also include a few customized features for the user to understand the Palestine-Israel conflict in an easy way. Customized features like pictures, videos will be added to the tool to make the tool more interesting and informing. This tool will help people to know more about the ongoing highly controversial Palestine-Israel conflict.

 

 

 

New Article: Biger, International Boundaries and the Change of Landscape

Biger, Gideon. “International Boundaries and the Change of Landscape: The Israel-Egypt Boundary as a Case Study.” Studia z Geografii Politycznej i Historycznej 4 (2015): 55-64.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18778/2300-0562.04.03
 
Abstract

International boundaries, their history, location, disputes concerning their exact delimitation, their strategically importance, and other facts led many scholars to deal with that important subject. International lawyers, geographers, historians, political scientists, researchers of international relations, cartographers, military people, all are concerned with the location of a boundary, its legal status, its history, its defensible ability and so on. However, the influence of the international boundaries upon the landscape where they run has not received the attention to its merits. This article will present some areas of this kind, where a political boundary brought changes to the landscape on both sides of it. The boundary between Israel and Egypt will be the case study, although some other areas will be presented.

 

 

 

New Article: Omer & Zafrir-Reuven, The Development of Street Patterns in Israeli Cities

Omer, Itzhak, and Orna Zafrir-Reuven. “The Development of Street Patterns in Israeli Cities.” Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 7.2 (2015): 113-27.

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URL: http://www.jurareview.ro/2015_7_2/a1_72.pdf [PDF]

 

Abstract

Street patterns of Israeli cities were investigated by comparing three time periods of urban development: (I) the late 19th century until the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948; (II) 1948 until the 1980s; and (III) the late 1980s until the present. These time periods are related respectively to the pre-modern, modern and late-modern urban planning approach. Representative urban street networks were examined in selected cities by means of morphological analysis of typical street pattern properties: curvature, fragmentation, connectivity, continuity and differentiation. The study results reveal significant differences between the street patterns of the three examined periods in the development of cities in Israel. The results show clearly the gradual trends in the intensification of curvature, fragmentation, complexity and hierarchical organization of street networks as well as the weakening of the network’s internal and external connectivity. The implications of these changes on connectivity and spatial integration are discussed with respect to planning approaches.

 

 

 

New Article: Razin & Charney, Metropolitan Dynamics in Israel

Razin, Eran, and Igal Charney. “Metropolitan Dynamics in Israel: An Emerging ‘Metropolitan Island State’?” Urban Geography 36.8 (2015): 1131-48.

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2015.1096117

 

Abstract

This study analyzes metropolitan dynamics in a small country with an “island state” context of closed boundaries, using commuting data and mobile phone tracking data. We examine whether the Israeli context encourages the formation of a monocentric “metropolitan state,” characterized by increasing links between localities throughout the country and its principal metropolitan node (Tel Aviv)—rather than with secondary metropolitan areas—and by fuzzy, overlapping metropolitan boundaries. Commuting data from the 1995 and 2008 censuses show that metropolitan expansion processes in Israel are gradual. Mobile phone tracking data for 2013 reveal similar patterns, confirming the urban structure’s stability and the reliability of tracking data as a means of assessing metropolitan processes. The “island state” context supports growing monocentricity, but, when it comes to commuting and travel for other purposes, Israel is not yet a metropolitan state; metropolitan boundaries are not as fuzzy and rapidly changing as expected.

 

 

 

New Article: Razin, District Plans in Israel: Post-Mortem?

Razin, Eran. “District Plans in Israel: Post-Mortem?” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0263774X15610060

 

Abstract

In this paper, I qualitatively examine the rise and possible fall of statutory district plans as a major tool of regional planning in Israel. Rigid statutory regional plans are a top-down means, and the Israeli case demonstrates that their days are not necessarily over in an era of ‘soft spaces’ and complex governance networks. The swing of the pendulum in attitudes toward these plans is not associated with centralization–decentralization trends. Rather, it reflects power relations between two centralized coalitions of stakeholders. The one led by elected politicians favors proactive-developmental goals, aiming at state-led open-ended or non-statutory planning. The other coalition, led by central state bureaucrats, favors strict regulation. NGOs, assumed to form the core of soft horizontal governance networks, paradoxically support top-down ‘hard’ modes of regional planning, in the name of environmental sustainability that is not necessarily best served by bottom-up soft approaches.

 

 

Thesis: Lippert, Detection of a Submarine Aquifer Offshore of Israel using LOTEM (in German)

Lippert, Klaus. Detektion eines submarinen Aquifers vor der Küste Israels mittels mariner Long Offset Transient-elektromagnetischer Messung, PhD Thesis, Universität zu Köln, 2015.

 
URL: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/6351/ [PDF]

 

Abstract

The importance of offshore submarine fresh groundwater bodies as well as of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) became commonly recognized in the recent years for groundwater management. The existence of submarine fresh groundwater bodies extending offshore to distances between a few meters to several tens of kilometers was reported all over the world and SGD was detected and studied also in the eastern Mediterranean, offshore Israel. The Mediterranean coastal aquifer of Israel is one of the main groundwater resources of the country. It has been exploited heavily and, as a result, the quality of water is gradually deteriorating. It is well known that the aquifer is grouped into four subaquifers, which were managed separately. The upper two sub-aquifers are known to be subjected to lateral seawater intrusion and to pollution from above whereas the lower ones are assumed to be, in places, blocked to the sea. For a long time, geoelectric and, particularly, geoelectromagnetic methods were leading geophysical techniques in solving various hydrogeological problems related to the characterization of groundwater salinity. This is due to a very close relationship, which exists between the salinity and electrical resistivity measured by the methods. In order to explore fresh groundwater below the sea the Long Offset Electromagnetic (LOTEM) method, which uses grounded lines (electric dipoles) as both transmitter and receiver antennae, is applied in the marine environment. The presented work is part of a Joint German-Israeli project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Israeli Ministry of Science, Technology and Space (MOST). The LOTEM measuring system from the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne is applied for the first time in the marine environment. Although marine Time Domain electromagnetic methods with a horizontal transmitter dipol are used by the oil-industry or other university working groups for similar targets, it was never reported, besides by the Israeli project partner Geophysical Institute of Israel, to be applied to such shallow waterdepths up to a maximum of 50 m. The main goal of this thesis is to detect the submarine aquifer and to examine its lateral dimension.

 

 
 

New Article: Masalha, Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State

Masalha, Nur. “Settler-Colonialism, Memoricide and Indigenous Toponymic Memory: The Appropriation of Palestinian Place Names by the Israeli State.” Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies 14.1 (2015): 3-57.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/hlps.2015.0103

 

Abstract
Cartography, place-naming and state-sponsored explorations were central to the modern European conquest of the earth, empire building and settler-colonisation projects. Scholars often assume that place names provide clues to the historical and cultural heritage of places and regions. This article uses social memory theory to analyse the cultural politics of place-naming in Israel. Drawing on Maurice Halbwachs’ study of the construction of social memory by the Latin Crusaders and Christian medieval pilgrims, the article shows Zionists’ toponymic strategies in Palestine, their superimposition of Biblical and Talmudic toponyms was designed to erase the indigenous Palestinian and Arabo-Islamic heritage of the land. In the pre-Nakba period Zionist toponymic schemes utilised nineteenth century Western explorations of Biblical ‘names’ and ‘places’ and appropriated Palestinian toponyms. Following the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948, the Israeli state, now in control of 78 percent of the land, accelerated its toponymic project and pursued methods whose main features were memoricide and erasure. Continuing into the post-1967 occupation, these colonial methods threaten the destruction of the diverse historical cultural heritage of the land.

 

 

 

New Article: Tesdell, Territoriality and the Technics of Drylands Science in Palestine and North America

Tesdell, Omar Imseeh. “Territoriality and the Technics of Drylands Science in Palestine and North America.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.3 (2015): 570-573.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0020743815000586

 
Abstract
At the turn of the 20th century, agricultural experts in several countries assembled a new agro-scientific field: dryland farming. Their agricultural research practices concomitantly fashioned a new agro-ecological zone—the drylands—as the site of agronomic intervention. As part of this effort, American scientists worked in concert with colleagues in the emerging Zionist movement to investigate agricultural practices and crops in Palestine and neighboring regions, where nonirrigated or rainfed agriculture had long been practiced. In my larger manuscript project, I consider how the reorganization of rainfed farming as dryfarming is central to the history of both the Middle East and North America, where it was closely related to modern forms of power, sovereignty, and territoriality. I suggest that American interest in dryfarming science emerged out of a practical need to propel and sustain colonization of the Great Plains, but later became a joint effort of researchers from several emerging settler enterprises, including Australia, Canada, and the Zionist movement. In contrast to a naturally ocurring bioregion, I argue that the drylands spatiality was engineered through, rather than outside, the territorialization of modern power.

 

 

New Article: Balslev et al, Climatic and Thermal Comfort Analysis of the Tel-Aviv Geddes Plan

Balslev, Yaron Jørgen, Oded Potchter, and Andreas Matzarakis. “Climatic and Thermal Comfort Analysis of the Tel-Aviv Geddes Plan: A Historical Perspective.” Building and Environment 93.2 (2015): 302-18.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.07.005

 

Abstract

This paper examines how the first urban plan of Tel-Aviv (the Geddes Plan of 1925) [18] affected outdoor human thermal comfort in two periods: at the time of its implementation (1920–1930s) and in the present day (2010s). Additionally, this paper questions which of the two – shade or wind velocity – has greater influence on outdoor thermal sensation in the urban areas along the Israeli Mediterranean seashore. In order to examine the thermal sensation at street level during the 1920s and 1930s, a series of summer and winter climatological measurements were taken in the years 2010–2013 and compared to historical climatic data from the 1920s–1930s. The historical city structure was then reconstructed virtually and the climatological measurements for 2010–2013 were fed into the RayMan model to produce thermal comfort information (PET, Physiologically Equivalent Temperature). A main finding of the study is that in summer the duration of “hot” and “very hot” heat stress was double in eastwest oriented streets compared to north–south ones. Furthermore, in the winter, higher H/W ratios can increase cold thermal sensation in streets with the same orientation by up to 10 °C PET, due to shading. Finally, the results show that solar radiation has a greater effect on thermal sensation than wind velocity both in summer and winter seasons. Consequently, the Geddes Plan created improved thermal sensation in the main streets of Tel-Aviv, which are north–south oriented, and provided for greatly improved micro-climate conditions, in spite of the critique that Tel-Aviv “turned its back to the sea”.

New Article: Aronoff & Aronoff, Spatial Narratives of Border Crossings between Israel, Jordan and Egypt

Aronoff, Eric and Yael Aronoff. “Bordering on Peace: Spatial Narratives of Border Crossings between Israel, Jordan and Egypt.” In The Design of Frontier Spaces. Control and Ambiguity (ed. Carolyn Loeb and Andreas Luescher; Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015), 129-55.

frontiers

Excerpt

These questions about border narratives are the focus of this essay. Examining the border crossings between Israel and the two neighboring states with which it has open borders, Jordan and Egypt, we analyze the narratives created in these spaces through

the arrangement of space, iconography, and signage, as well as the legal elements that also regulate the flow of persons across the borders. These sites, in effect, constitute the first encounter of travelers with the new state about to be entered; as such, these spatial, visual and legal elements combine to create a “story” being told to that traveler (even if that traveler is a member of that community who is returning). That story may be intentional, the result of a conscious effort or policy on the part of the state, or unintentional as the ad hoc reflection of attitudes and ideas expressing themselves through the choices made “on the ground” by border personnel. That story is both about who “they” – the imagined community whose territory the traveler is about to enter – are and what they represent; it also simultaneously is about who “you,” the traveler, might be – why you might be there, the relationship imagined between “they” and “you.” Like a text, these spaces construct both their ideal “author” and their ideal “reader.”

In this way, like many of the chapters in this volume, our approach extends but also differs from much of the scholarship that makes up the recent resurgence of border studies. As many scholars have pointed out, rising attention across multiple disciplines to issues of globalism and transnationalism, as well as cultural studies approaches to concepts heretofore in the domain of social science, have resulted in increased interest in borders (Newman, 2011). Until relatively recently, borders have been approached within the fields of international relations or geography as static, empirical entities, largely in the context of examining relations between states (Sack, 1986; Taylor, 1994; Shapiro and Alker, 1996). More recent theories emanating from anthropology and cultural studies have emphasized the social construction of boundaries as processes for defining personal, group and national identities, through processes of inclusion and exclusion, defining the “self” and the “Other.” These approaches have broadened the concept of “borders” to include not only the actual borderline between states, but many other kinds of borders. In this conception, borders are everywhere, and the “border narratives” that constitute them are made up of multiple discourses and texts: newspapers, political speeches, posters, poems, plays, novels, everyday speech that give meaning to the border as the “construction of institutionalized forms of ‘we’ and the ‘other’ which are produced and perpetually reproduced in education texts, narratives and discourses” (Newman and Paasi, 1998, p. 196).

New Article: Safran, Haifa al-Jadida

Safran, Yair. “Haifa al-Jadida: The Surrounding Walls and the City Quarters.” Middle Eastern Studies 51.3 (2015): 452-61.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00263206.2014.976623

 

Abstract

`Haifa al-Jadida` (New Haifa) was erected in 1761 by order of the Bedouin ruler Daher el-Omar, governor of the Galilee. As part of the process of building the city, a wall was constructed to encircle it, with a tower overlooking it from above. After its establishment the ‘New Haifa’ became the urban core for the emergence of modern Haifa while the new city was gradually solidified and its characteristic outlines were moulded. From the end of the Ottoman period in 1918 until 1948, the urban expanse remained practically unchanged. In 1948 ‘New Haifa’ was almost destroyed except for the few ruins that were left. In spite of the centrality of the new city in the history of Haifa, very little is known about this area. This article reconstructs the image of ‘New Haifa’ by portraying the location of the city walls and the urban expanse. For the purpose of reconstruction, an 1841 sketch of the city is superimposed on an aerial photographmap of the area taken in 2008, and a map of the old city dated to 1937.

ToC: Israel Studies 20,1 (2015)

 

 

  1. Special Section: Landscapes
    1. Tal Alon-Mozes and Matanya Maya
  2. Articles
    1. Gideon Katz
  3. Notes on Contributors (pp. 195-197)

Reviews: Tzfadia and Yacobi, Rethinking Israeli Space

Tzfadia, Erez and Haim Yacobi. Rethinking Israeli Space. Periphery and Identity. Routledge Advances in Middle East and Islamic Studies. London and New York: Routledge, 2011.

Reviews

  • Mazza, Roberto. “Review.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 44.2 (2012): 374-376.

New Publication: Bonine et al., eds. Is There a Middle East?

Bonine, Michael E., Abbas Amanat, and Michael Ezekiel Gasper, eds. Is There a Middle East? The Evolution of a Geopolitical Concept. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.

 

cover for Is There a Middle East?

 

344 pp.
6 illustrations, 30 maps, 1 figure.

ISBN: 9780804775267
Cloth $80

ISBN: 9780804775274
Paper $24.95

 

 

URL: http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=17148

 

Abstract

Is the idea of the "Middle East" simply a geopolitical construct conceived by the West to serve particular strategic and economic interests—or can we identify geographical, historical, cultural, and political patterns to indicate some sort of internal coherence to this label? While the term has achieved common usage, no one studying the region has yet addressed whether this conceptualization has real meaning—and then articulated what and where the Middle East is, or is not.

This volume fills the void, offering a diverse set of voices—from political and cultural historians, to social scientists, geographers, and political economists—to debate the possible manifestations and meanings of the Middle East. At a time when geopolitical forces, social currents, and environmental concerns have brought attention to the region, this volume examines the very definition and geographic and cultural boundaries of the Middle East in an unprecedented way.

Cite: Miles, Border Pedagogy in Israel

Miles, William F.S. “Border Pedagogy in Israel.” Middle East Journal 65.2 (2011): 253-277.

 

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mei/mei/2011/00000065/00000002/art00005

 

Abstract

Sense of geographical place is an essential element in students’ understanding of their own place in the world. For a country such as Israel, with numerous neighbors with which it has had contentious relations, the idea of place and especially the conception of “borders” takes on an even greater importance. This article examines in detail the teaching of borders in the Israeli secondary school curriculum by examining the maps and language used to describe the country’s physical (and mental) borders.

Cite: Yacobi, Netivot and the Grave of Baba Sali

Yacobi, Haim. “From State-Imposed Urban Planning to Israeli Diasporic Place. The Case of Netivot and the Grave of Baba Sali,” in Jewish Topographies. Visions of Space, Traditions of Place (Brauch, Julia, Anna Lipphardt, and Alexandra Nocke, eds.; Aldershot, UK / Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2008) 63 ff.

New Publication: Hare and Kressel, Desert Experience in Israel

 

Hare, A. Paul and Gideon M. Kressel, eds. The Desert Experience in Israel: Communities, Arts, Science, and Education in the Negev. Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, 2009.

 

Cover Image

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 The Desert Experience A. Paul Hare Gideon M. Kressel 1

Part I Communities in the Desert 7

2 A Call for Desert Communities and Science David Ben-Gurion 9

3 The First Days at Kibbutz Revivim Yonat Alexander Sened 13

4 The Pioneer at Kibbutz Sde Boqer John Krivine 19

Part II What is a Desert? 25

5 Midbar, Shmama, and Garbage Can Michael Feige 27

6 The Conquest of the Desert and the Settlement Ethos Yael Zerubavel 33

7 The Perception of the Four Winds Gideon M. Kressel 45

Part III Inspiration 53

8 Religion and the Desert Yigal Granot 55

9 The Arts 59

Photographs Arie Bar Lev 59

Angels in the Desert 64

A visit with Binah Kahana Gretel Rieber

Translated from the German Wolfgang Motzafi-Haller

Theater Ofra Faiman 67

Literature Chaim Noll 71

Sculpture Ezra Orion 76

Sculpture Dalia Meiri 77

Poetry Elaine Solowey 81

Poetry Arie Issar 84

Bedouin Poetry Alexander Borg 86

10 Linguistic and Ethnographic Observations on the Color Categories of the Negev Bedouin Alexander Borg 91

Part IV Research 117

11 Founding of the Institute for Desert Research Amos Richmond 119

12 Desert Research 139

Solar Power Plants David Faiman 139

Solar Surgery Daniel Feuermann 143

Fossil Water Arie S. Issar 147

Microalgae Zvi Cohen 151

Runoff Agriculture Pedro Berliner 155

Fish Samuel Appelbaum 157

Desert Architecture David Pearlmutter 160

Apology for Architecture, or The Planner’s Craft Isaac Meir 163

Part V Education and Scholarship 171

13 Environmental High School Sol Brand 173

14 Field School Eran Doron 177

15 Ben-Gurion Research and Heritage Institutes Allon Gal 181

References 189

Name Index 203

Subject Index 207

About the Contributors 209