New Book: McKee, Dwelling in Conflict

McKee, Emily Dwelling in Conflict. Negev Landscapes and the Boundaries of Belonging. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.

 
Dwelling in Conflict

Land disputes in Israel are most commonly described as stand-offs between distinct groups of Arabs and Jews. In Israel’s southern region, the Negev, Jewish and Bedouin Arab citizens and governmental bodies contest access to land for farming, homes, and industry and struggle over the status of unrecognized Bedouin villages. “Natural,” immutable divisions, both in space and between people, are too frequently assumed within these struggles.

 

Dwelling in Conflict offers the first study of land conflict and environment based on extensive fieldwork within both Arab and Jewish settings. It explores planned towns for Jews and for Bedouin Arabs, unrecognized villages, and single-family farmsteads, as well as Knesset hearings, media coverage, and activist projects. Emily McKee sensitively portrays the impact that dividing lines—both physical and social—have on residents. She investigates the political charge of people’s everyday interactions with their environments and the ways in which basic understandings of people and “their” landscapes drive political developments. While recognizing deep divisions, McKee also takes seriously the social projects that residents engage in to soften and challenge socio-environmental boundaries. Ultimately, Dwelling in Conflict highlights opportunities for boundary crossings, revealing both contemporary segregation and the possible mutability of these dividing lines in the future.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Narrating Present Pasts
  • 2. Seeking Recognition
  • Bridge: Distant Neighbors
  • 3. Coping with Lost Land
  • 4. Reforming Community
  • 5. Challenging Boundaries
  • Conclusion

 

EMILY McKEE is Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department and the Institute for the Study of Environment, Sustainability, and Energy at Northern Illinois University.

 

 

 

New Article: Weiss, The Creation of the Gender-Segregated Beach in Tel Aviv

Weiss, Shayna. “A Beach of Their Own: The Creation of the Gender-Segregated Beach in Tel Aviv.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2016.1140882     [PDF]
 
Abstract

This article examines the struggle for gender-segregated sea bathing in Tel Aviv from the first calls for gender segregation in the 1920s until 1966, when the city of Tel Aviv established a beach for men and women to swim separately. The most effective demands for gender segregation were framed in a civic and not religious discourse. Rather than claiming that gender-segregated swimming was against Jewish values, the ultra-Orthodox party Agudat Yisrael effectively argued that a lack of separate swimming violated their rights as taxpayers who had the right to bathe in the sea just as any other Israeli citizen.

 

 

 

New Article: Levin, Meanings of House Materiality for Moroccan Migrants in Israel

Levin, Iris. “Meanings of House Materiality for Moroccan Migrants in Israel.” In Ethno-Architecture and the Politics of Migration (ed. Mirjana Lozanovska; Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016): 115-30.

 
9781138828711
 

Extract

The chapter has discussed two case studies which were chosen because they are very from one another: one migrant house has a Moroccan room which is the epitome of Moroccan design, while the other has barely anything to indicate the ethnic identity of its owner. Yet, the migrants who live in these houses have created, each in their own way through the use of material cultures, the means to tell the story of Moroccan migration to Israel and gain the long-desired recognition of Moroccan culture in Israeli society. Through the understanding of these material cultures in the migrant house, it is possible to understand the ethno-architecture of the migrant experience at the scale of the house. The analysis of house materiality of these two Moroccan migrant homes in Israel has shown that, for them, there is a collective aesthetic and sense of belonging that situates them in a role of representing their culture and explaining it to others.

 

 

 

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: McKee, Coping with Cultural Recognition and Its Denial in Southern Israel

McKee, Emily. “Demolitions and Amendments: Coping with Cultural Recognition and Its Denial in Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/np.2015.190107

 

Abstract

This article examines how social preferences, in the form of cultural politics, become concretised in land laws. In Israel, Bedouin Arabs in unrecognised villages and Jewish farmers of individual farmsteads each faced governmental eviction orders and responded by seeking recognition of their land-use practices as legal. However, whereas Jewish farmers successfully mobilised place-based identities to gain legalisation, Bedouin Arabs’ dwelling practices were not recognised as the legitimate basis for land claims, and their attempts to assert place-based identities have been denied. Instead, Bedouin Arabs faced pressures of ‘de-cultural accommodation’ and continued evictions. Ethnographic comparison of these two cases of ‘illegal’ settlement demonstrates how cultural identities – as former nomads or pioneer farmers – matter for land claims.

 
 
 
 

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 Book: Sasley and Waller, Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society

Sasley, Brent E., and Harold M. Waller. Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

 
9780199335060
 

This is the first textbook on Israel to utilize a historical-sociological approach, telling the story of Israeli politics rather than simply presenting a series of dry facts and figures. The book emphasizes six specific dimensions of the conduct of Israeli politics: the weight of historical processes, the struggle between different groups over how to define the country’s identity, changing understandings of Zionism, a changing political culture, the influence of the external threat environment, and the inclusive nature of the democratic process. These themes offer students a framework to use for understanding contemporary political events within the country. Politics in Israel also includes several chapters on topics not previously addressed in competing texts, including historical conditions that led to the emergence of Zionism in Israel, the politics of the Arab minority, and interest groups and political protest.

 

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: Israel in Historical and Comparative Perspective

Studying Israel
Israel in a Comparative Framework
Major Themes of the Book
A Note on Terminology
 
PART I: HISTORICAL PROCESSES
Chronology of Key Events
Chapter 2: Zionism and the Origins of Israel
Jewish History before Zionism
The Jewish Predicament in the 19th Century
The Founding of the Zionist Movement
Implications of Zionism
Herzl’s Path to Zionism
Organizing the Zionist Movement
Zionist Ideologies
The Palestine Mandate
Summary
 
Chapter 3: Yishuv Politics during the Mandate Period
Constructing a Jewish Society
Development of a Party System
Conflict between Arabs and Jews in Mandatory Palestine
Deteriorating Zionist-British Relations
The End of the Mandate
The Mandate Period in Perspective
Summary
 
Chapter 4: State Building After 1948
Mamlachtiut
The Political Arena
Defense
Education
Economy
Personal Status Issues
Other State-Building Efforts
Summary
 
PART II: ISRAELI SOCIETY
Chapter 5: Political Culture and Demography

The Pre-State Period
Foundational Values of the State
Changes since 1967
From Collectivism to Individualism
Political Culture in the Arab Community
Demography
Summary
 
Chapter 6: Religion and Politics
Religion and the Idea of a Jewish State
Setting the Parameters of the Religion-State Relationship
Growing Involvement in Politics
Issues in Religion-State Relations after 2000
Religious Parties and Coalition Politics
Summary
 
Chapter 7: The Politics of the Arab Minority
What’s in a Name?
Changing Politics of the Community
Jewish Attitudes toward the Arab Minority
Arab Leaders and the Arab Public
Voter turnout
Sayed Kashua as Barometer?
Summary
 
PART III: THE POLITICAL PROCESS
Chapter 8: The Electoral System

The Development of an Electoral System
Election Laws
Parties and Lists
Electoral Reforms
Summary
 
Chapter 9: Political Parties and the Party System
Party Clusters
Leftist Parties
Rightist Parties
Religious Parties
Arab Parties
Center or “Third” Parties
Ethnic or Special Issues Parties
Party Organization
Summary
 
Chapter 10: Voting Patterns
Four Main Issues
Demographic Factors
Voter Turnout
Electoral Trends
Summary
 
Chapter 11: Interest Groups and Political Protest
Changing Access in the Israeli Political System
Interest Groups
Political Protest
Summary
 
PART IV: INSTITUTIONS
Chapter 12: The Knesset

Structure of the Knesset
Legal Aspects
Knesset Members
Functions and Powers of the Knesset
Relationship to the Government
Summary
 
Chapter 13: The Government
The Government at the Center of the System
Powers of the Government
Forming a Government
Maintaining and Running a Government
Relations with the Knesset
The President of the State
Summary
 
Chapter 14: The Judiciary and the Development of Constitutional Law
The Judicial System
Structure of the Court System
The Religious Court System
The Attorney General
Basic Laws: A Constitution in the Making?
Interpreting the Constitution
Summary
 

PART V: POLITICS AND POLICYMAKING
Chapter 15: Political Economy

Ideas about Economic Development in the Yishuv
A State(ist) Economy
Likud and the Free Market
Structural Weaknesses
Summary
 
Chapter 16: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Three Levels of Threat Perception
Israel’s Threat Environment
Hawks and Doves in the Political System
The Defense Establishment
Public Opinion
Summary
 
PART VI: THE TRANSFORMATiON OF ISRAELI POLITICS
Chapter 17: The Changing Political Arena
A More Complex Society
An Economic Transformation
Transformation of the Security Situation
The Israeli-Palestinian Relationship
Dampening of Ideology
Political Culture and the Party System
The Passing of a Heroic Generation
A More Consequential Arab Sector
The Transformation of the Judiciary
Change versus Continuity
 
Chapter 18: Confronting the Meaning of a Jewish State
The Political Question: What is Jewish and Democratic?
The Social Question: Who Belongs?
The Academic Question: Whose Historiography?
Conclusion
 
Appendices
Glossary
Bibliography

 

BRENT E. SASLEY is Associate Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas at Arlington.
HAROLD M. WALLER is Professor of Political Science at McGill University.

Lecture: Goldscheider, Ethnic and Religious Diversity in Israel (Berkeley, Feb 4, 2016)

Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

 

Thursday, February 4
PUBLIC LECTURE
ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY IN ISRAEL: Changes, Inequality and the Quality of Life
Calvin Goldscheider
Ungerleider Professor Emeritus of Judaic Studies & Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Brown University
5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley

New Article: Razon, Jews, Bedouins, and the Making of the Secular Israeli

Razon, Na’amah. “Entangled Bodies: Jews, Bedouins, and the Making of the Secular Israeli.” Medical Anthropology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2016.1138950

 

Abstract

Taking Israel’s National Health Insurance Law as a point of entry, in this article I probe how notions of equality and citizenship, secularism and religion become entangled in the experience of Negev/Naqab Bedouin, who are Palestinian citizens of Israel. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research, I show how Jewish citizens have come to represent the secular and modern citizens in the region, while Bedouins, although mandated and claimed by policy and providers to be the ‘same’ and ‘equal’, are always already imagined and characterized as other. Universal healthcare and the daily manner in which biomedicine is practiced in southern Israel provides an avenue for examining the Jewish valences medicine carries in southern Israel, Israel’s boundaries of inclusion, and the connection between biomedicine and secularism.

 

 

 

New Article: Hassanein, Crime, Politics and Police in the Palestinian’s Society in Israel

Hassanein, Sohail Hossain. “Crime, Politics and Police in the Palestinian’s Society in Israel.” Social Identities (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2015.1106312

 

Abstract

This paper offers an analysis of crime in the Palestinian society in Israel from the perspective of political relationships. It illustrates that the state of Israel is trying to define and identify crime through ideologies and narrow interests. This process is part of a mechanism of control, which intends to criminalize the daily life of the Palestinians. Discriminatory behavior against Arabs by police is more apparent and the records on crime are sometimes inaccessible, with a mania for secrecy, and view the whole Arab community as a security danger. The Israeli social control policy politicizes this community, with excess control in some areas and a lack of control in others. The paper concludes that no detailed arguments are needed in order to see the ineffectiveness of the Israeli control policy as long as the basic root of the political struggle is not answered.

 

 

 

New Article: Guetzkow & Fast, Symbolic Boundaries and Social Exclusion: A Comparison of Arab Palestinian Citizens and Ethiopian Jews

Guetzkow, Josh, and Idit Fast. “How Symbolic Boundaries Shape the Experience of Social Exclusion. A Case Comparison of Arab Palestinian Citizens and Ethiopian Jews in Israel.” American Behavioral Scientist (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002764215607581

 

Abstract

Symbolic boundaries, understood as the conceptual distinctions used to demarcate in-groups and out-groups, are fundamental to social inequality. While we know a great deal about how groups and individuals construct and contest symbolic boundaries along lines of class, race, ethnicity, religion, and nationality, less attention is given to (a) national belonging as a component of symbolic boundaries distinct from citizenship and (b) comparing how distinct symbolic boundaries shape individuals perceptions of, and reactions to, instances of stigmatization and discrimination. To examine these issues we compared two marginalized groups in Israel, Arab Palestinian citizens and Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. Analyzing 90 in-depth interviews, we find that exclusion based on boundaries of nationality engenders different ways of interpretating and responding to stigmatizing and discriminatory behavior, compared with exclusion based on racial and ethnic boundaries. While Ethiopians see everyday stigmatizing encounters as part of their temporary position as a recently immigrated group from a developing country, and react accordingly with attempts to prove their worth as individuals and ultimately assimilate, Palestinians view the line between them and the Jewish majority as relatively impermeable and attempts to fully integrate as mostly useless, viewing solidarity and education as a means to improve their group’s standing.

 

 

New Article: Shoshana, The Language of Everyday Racism and Microaggression in the Workplace

Shoshana, Avihu. “The Language of Everyday Racism and Microaggression in the Workplace: Palestinian Professionals in Israel.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1081965

 

Abstract

Based on interviews with Palestinian professionals in Jewish organizations in Israel, this article discloses a distinctive practice of ‘everyday racism’ and microaggression – a language of everyday racism. This ‘language of everyday racism’ refers to Hebrew words and expressions that are routinely used by Jews in their mundane conversations and that include the word ‘Arab’ when describing a deficiency or defect, some sort of unsightliness, filth, or general negativity (as in the expression ‘You’re dressed like an Arab woman’). This article not only describes the language of everyday racism as a specific form of everyday racism and microaggression (national microaggression), it also illustrates how this language activates the Palestinian professionals in a reflexive manner. The discussion section describes how the internal dialectic between structure and agency is critical to understanding the language of everyday racism, which in turn acts as a mechanism of the inequality that underlies face-to-face interactions.

 

 

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).

 
book_873_big
 

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.

 

 

 

Encyclopedia Article: Peled, Ethnic Democracy

Peled, Yoav. “Ethnic Democracy.” The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism Chichester: Wiley, 2016.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781118663202.wberen381

Extract

Ethnic democracy is an analytic model meant to describe a form of state that combines majoritarian electoral procedures and respect for the rule of law and individual citizenship rights with the institutionalized dominance of a majority ethnic group over a society. Ethnic democracy consists of two incompatible constitutional principles: liberal democracy, which mandates equal protection of all citizens, and ethnonationalism, which privileges the core ethnic group. Critics of the model have pointed out that the tension between these two contradictory principles causes inherent instability in this form of state. This tension could be overcome, however, and ethnic democracy could be stabilized, if a third constitutional principle, mediating between liberal democracy and ethnic nationalism, were to exist in the political culture.

 

 

 

New Article: Muhammad & Ali, The Islamic Movement and Moslem Religious Education in Israel

Suwaed, Muhammad, and Nohad Ali. “Education, Identity, and Ideology: The Islamic Movement and Moslem Religious Education in Israel.” Social Identities (early view; online first).

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2015.1128811

 

Abstract

The Islamic Movement, which is called in Arabic Al-harakaat al-islamiyya or Al-haraka al-islamiyya, has, since its foundation in the 1970s, placed emphasis on education, especially the dissemination of the Islamic message. After the movement scored significant successes in local authority elections, its influence increased on the ideological guidelines according to which some of the Arab education system is partially or fully shaped. The article discusses the split in the movement within the State of Israel, and the differences between the southern and northern faction. It also compares Islamic education and Arab education within Israel and abroad in Europe, in countries which have large immigrant Moslem populations.

The education system that the Islamic Movement tries to develop symbolizes the complexity of the relations between it and the state authorities. They are aware that the authorities will not help in differentiation and separation and will not cease from the constant supervision of the movement’s educational institutions. Therefore, their choice of a synthesis between formal and informal education or of a partition between pedagogic state education and moral study classes, is a rational, calculated choice, taking into consideration the reality of a cultural – ethnic – national minority.

 

 

 

ToC: Contemporary Jewry 35.3 (2015)

Contemporary Jewry

Volume 35, Issue 3, October 2015

ISSN: 0147-1694 (Print) 1876-5165 (Online)

New Article: Erdreich, Palestinian Israeli Women Negotiate Family and Career after the University

Erdreich, Lauren. “The Paths of ‘Return’: Palestinian Israeli Women Negotiate Family and Career after the University.” International Journal of Educational Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2015.11.003

 

Abstract

Based on ethnographic research among Palestinian Israeli university women, this article explores how women reposition themselves in society after university. Continuing the research tradition on educated women’s balance of marriage and career, I consider how this balance is shaped by the political and cultural context. I show how these minority women pave paths of return that both utilize and challenge the ethnic separation between Jewish and Palestinian enclaves in Israel. On a theoretical level, the research shows how women’s uses of higher education simultaneously can be shaped by and work to change macro-structures of society.

 

 

 

CFP: “Promised Lands: Israel-Diaspora Relations and Beyond” Workshop for Young Scholars (Munich, May 23-25, 2016)

The young scholars’ workshop focuses on the relationship between the State of Israel and Jewish communities worldwide. This relationship is often conceptualized in ideologically charged terms. “Diaspora,” the term most frequently used for Jewish communities outside of Israel, describes these relations in terms of “center” and “periphery” and is filled with negative connotations going back to religious traditions of spiritual diminishment and exile. But beyond messianic utopias, the actual state plays a great variety of different roles among Jews and their communities. Since its creation in 1948, Israel has shaped and formed the perceptions and self-perceptions of Jews around the world. What is more, these communities influence and shape Israeli culture, society and politics. Migration in both directions is a key element of these relations as migrants serve as agents of transcultural exchange and considerably help shaping mutual perceptions. These complex and multilayered relations and their representations are at the center of the workshop.

The workshop offers young scholars from Europe in the field of Israel Studies a forum to discuss their work with their peers and senior scholars alike. Scholars on the doctoral and post-doctoral level (within three years after completing their Ph.D.) can expand their networks and help to foster a vivid academic community of Israel Studies in Europe.

The workshop is supported by the Israel Institute and will take place at the Center for Advanced Studies / LMU Munich, Mai 23-25, 2016 under the direction of Michael Brenner (LMU Munich), Daniel Mahla (LMU Munich) and Johannes Becke (Center for Jewish Studies Heidelberg). Featured speakers include Derek Penslar (Oxford/Toronto) and Michael Berkowitz (UCL London).

To apply please send in an abstract of up to 300 words about the proposed paper and a CV until January 18, 2016 to: daniel.mahla@lrz.uni-muenchen.de.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

– Political, economic and social relations between the State of Israel and Jewish communities worldwide

– Israeli emigration and its representation

– The concept of Jewish Diaspora and its changes after 1948

– The meanings and significance of the concept of a “dispersed people” for Jews and Israel

– The roles of exile and home in Jewish weltanschauung

– The influence of the state on Jewish-Gentile relations outside of Israel

– The impact of the establishment of a Jewish state on world Jewry

– The relationship between global and local in Jewish history

-Comparative perspectives on diaspora nationalism and Homeland-Diaspora relations

– Israeli Arab/Palestinian conceptions of “Diaspora”

– Palestinian emigration and its representation

– Non-Jewish diaspora communities in Israel (e.g. Armenians)

– Jewish and non-Jewish migration into Israel

New Article: Alkaher & Tal, Making Pedagogical Decisions to Address Challenges of Joint Jewish–Bedouin Environmental Projects

Alkaher, Iris, & Tali Tal. “Making Pedagogical Decisions to Address Challenges of Joint Jewish–Bedouin Environmental Projects in Israel”. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10382046.2015.1106115

Abstract

This interpretive study identifies challenges of working with Bedouin and Jewish Israeli youth in two multicultural projects: education for sustainability and place-conscious education. It also describes the ways the adult project leaders addressed these challenges and their views on the effectiveness of their decisions. Participants comprised 16 Bedouin and Jewish educators. Data collection included interviews and observations of project meetings and staff meetings. Project leaders reported challenges related to (1) intergroup differences in environmental viewpoints, knowledge, and learning styles, (2) embedding issues of environmental justice in the multicultural discourse, and (3) Bedouin–Jewish interactions. To address these challenges, the leaders separated groups for some learning activities, directed discourses, adopted bilingual teaching strategies, and emphasized unique socio-cultural characteristics. Their level of satisfaction with most of their decisions is high. They avoided discussing the broader socio-political Arab–Jewish conflict. The findings highlight dilemmas that multicultural environmental projects pose and suggest the need to adopt critical pedagogy of place to address such dilemmas and challenges. The findings also emphasize the need to better prepare educators for environmental education in multicultural settings.

 

 

 

New Article: Yitzhak-Sade et al, Ethnicity and Immunization Coverage among Schools in Israel

Yitshak-Sade, Maayan, Nadav Davidovitch, Lena Novack, and Itamar Grotto. “Ethnicity and Immunization Coverage among Schools in Israel.” Ethnicity & Health (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13557858.2015.1068281

 

Abstract
Objective. Recent years have seen a global trend of declining immunization rates of recommended vaccines that is more pronounced among school-age children. Ethnic disparities in child immunization rates have been reported in several countries. We investigated an effect of ethnicity on the vaccination rates of immunizations routinely administered within schools in Israel. Design. Data were collected from the Ministry of Health database regarding immunization coverage for all registered Israeli schools (3736) in the years 2009–2011. Negative binomial regression was used to assess the association between school ethnicity and immunization coverage while controlling for school characteristics. Results. The lowest immunization coverage was found in Bedouin schools (median values of 75.1%, 81.5% and 0% for the first, second and eighth grades, respectively) in 2011. During this year, vaccination coverage in the first and second grades in Jewish schools was 1.51 and 1.35 times higher, respectively, compared to Bedouin schools. In the years 2009 and 2010, no significant increase in risk for lower vaccination rate was observed in Bedouin schools, and children in Arab and Druze schools were more likely to have been vaccinated. Conclusion. The lower vaccination refusal rate found in Bedouin schools supports the hypothesis that difficulties related to accessibility constitute the main problem rather than noncompliance with the recommended vaccination protocol for school-age children, featuring higher socio-economic status groups. Our study emphasizes the importance of identifying, beyond the national-level data, subpopulation groups at risk for non-vaccination. This knowledge is essential to administrative-level policy-makers for the allocation of resources and the planning of intervention programs.