ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

Articles

Book Reviews

Advertisements

New Book: Shilon, Ben Gurion – His Later Years in the Political Wilderness

Shilon, Avi. Ben-Gurion. His Later Years in the Political Wilderness. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield , 2016.

9781442249462

This is the first in-depth account of the later years of David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), Israel’s first Prime Minister and founding father. One of the first to sign Israel’s declaration of independence and a leading figure in Zionism, Ben-Gurion stepped down from office in 1963 and retired from political life in 1970, deeply disappointed about the path on which the state had embarked and the process that brought about the end of his political career. He moved to a kibbutz in the Negev desert, where he lived until his death. Robbed of the public aura that had wrapped him for decades, his revolutionary passion, which was not weakened in his 80s, pushed him to continue seeking social and moral change in Israel, a political solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, and to conduct a personal and national soul-searching about the development of the State he himself had declared.

Based on his personal archives and new interviews with his intimate friends and family, the book reveals how the founding father explored the Israeli establishment he created and from which he later disengaged. It provides a thorough examination of the decisive moments in the annals of Zionism as revealed through the lens of Ben-Gurion’s worldview, which are still relevant to present-day Israel.

Table of Contents

Part I
Chapter 1: Last Dance
Chapter 2: By all Means
Chapter 3: Grief of Victory
Chapter 4: My Way

Part II
Chapter 5: Back to the Shed
Chapter 6: A man of one Trade
Chapter 7: Vision, Leadership, Path
Chapter 8: Memorandum
Chapter 9: Eternal salvation
Chapter 10: Confessions
Chapter 11: Farewell

AVI SHILON is a historian and journalist, whose articles have been published in all of Israel’s major newspapers: Ma’ariv, Globes, Israel Hayom. He currently writes a weekly column in Ha’aretz.

New Article: Caplan, Why Was Moshe Sharett Sacked?

Caplan, Neil. “Why Was Moshe Sharett Sacked? Examining the Premature End of a Political Career, 1956.” Middle East Journal 70.2 (2016): 275-97.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/70.2.15

 

Abstract

Drawing mainly on the diary of Israeli politician Moshe Sharett, this article examines the circumstances surrounding his forced resignation as foreign minister in 1956. It was Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion who insisted on Sharett’s removal but refused to reveal his reasons publicly. This examination of why Sharett was sacked also offers wider insight into conflicts between activism and restraint within Israel’s political and military elite in the lead-up to the Sinai War.

 

 

 

Thesis: France, Netanyahu’s Polarizing Leadership

France, Alexander A. Toward an Understanding of Polarizing Leadership: An Operational Code Analysis of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, BA honors Thesis. Ohio University, 2016.

 

URL: https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=ouhonors1461283894&disposition=inline (PDF)

 

Abstract

This analysis of Benjamin Netanyahu compiles a vast amount of information about his operational code. The overarching conclusion drawn was that,as a general theme, he is indeed hawkish and shows realist characteristics. However, there is a large amount of nuance in his decision making and world view described and revealed in qualitative analysis. Case studies showed that Netanyahu’s discourse about both Iran and Palestine has changed somewhat over time, but that his general tendencies and feelings seem to have not. Also, and perhaps most intriguingly, it was discovered that Netanyahu’s professed operational code disguises much of his nature. In his speaking, and to a lesser extent in his social media, Netanyahu manages to portray himself and his strategies as pursuant to peace. In 162reality, they may bring order and quiet, but are not likely to create sustainable peace. This characteristic is particularly interesting, as it may relate to the appeal of polarizing leadership in general. Perhaps it resonates with a constituency to hold up high ideals, but deny their possibility, thus leading followers to accept a more rational—maybe better read as “conflictual”— approach. It is possible that Netanyahu really does wish to have peace, but feels that only order and quiet are attainable. This would fit his realist tendencies as well as some of the conflicts within his own operational code. Knowing this for sure may be outside of the realm of what can be achieved by observing a politician from a distance, however, functionally speaking, this study can confirm that power is the main language that Netanyahu seems to understand.

 

 

 

New Article: Dvir-Gvirsman et al, Ideological Selective Exposure Online, data from the 2013 Israeli Elections

Dvir-Gvirsman, Shira, Yariv Tsfati, and Ericka Menchen-Trevino. “The Extent and Nature of Ideological Selective Exposure Online: Combining Survey Responses with Actual Web Log Data from the 2013 Israeli Elections.” New Media and Society 18.5 (2016): 857-77.

 

URL: https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=5427008

 

Abstract

Do users tend to consume only like-minded political information online? We point to two problems with the existing knowledge about this debate. First, the measurement of media preferences by the typical means of surveys is less reliable than behavioral data. Second, most studies have analyzed only the extent of online exposure to like-minded content, not the users’ complete web-browsing repertoire. This study used both survey data and real-life browsing behavior (661,483 URLs from 15,976 websites visited by 402 participants) for the period 7 weeks prior to the 2013 Israeli national elections. The results indicate that (1) self-report measurements of ideological exposure are inflated, (2) exposure to online ideological content accounted for only 3% of total online browsing, (3) the participants’ media repertoires are very diverse with no evidence of echo chambers, and (4) in accordance with the selective exposure hypothesis, individuals on both sides are more exposed to like-minded content. The results are discussed in light of the selective exposure literature.

 

 

 

New Book: Natanel, Sustaining Conflict

Natanel, Katherine. Sustaining Conflict. Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016.

 

9780520285262

 

Sustaining Conflict develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, the book exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to “knowingly not know,” further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians. While focusing on Israel, this is a book that has lessons for how any authoritarian regime is sustained through apathy.

 

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Introduction
    • 1 The Everyday of Occupation
    • 2 Bordered Communities
    • 3 Normalcy, Ruptured and Repaired
    • 4 Embedded (In)action
    • 5 Protesting Politics
    • Conclusion
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index

 

KATHERINE NATANEL is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.

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: Harpaz & Jacobsen, EU Funding of Israeli Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations

Harpaz, Guy, and Elisha Jacobsen. “The Israeli Collective Memory and the Masada Syndrome: A Political Instrument to Counter the EU Funding of Israeli Non-Governmental Human Rights Organizations.” Mediterranean Politics (early view; online first).

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13629395.2016.1151136

 

Abstract
The EU’s practice of funding Israeli non-governmental human rights organizations (hereinafter ‘HRNGOs’) has in recent years encountered a counter-strategy, pursued by certain Israeli NGOs and members of the Israeli government, media and academia. This counter-strategy has succeeded in discrediting the HRNGOs and the EU and rendering their mutual collaboration less effective. The purpose of this article is to contextualize the counter-strategy within the sphere of Israel’s collective memory. The article analyses the manner in which certain politicians and various members of the Israeli society (agents of memory), who themselves are the product of the evolving Israeli collective memory and identity (structure), attempt to draw on Israel’s collective memory/structure in order to advance their particular political agenda.

 

 

Review article: Donno, Recenti studi sull’ebraismo, Israele e Medio Oriente

Donno, Antonio. “Recenti studi sull’ebraismo, Israele e Medio Oriente.” Eunomia 4.2 (2015): 627-32.
 
URL: http://siba-ese.unisalento.it/index.php/eunomia/article/view/15754 [PDF]
 
Abstract

This article reviews recent publications such as Artur Patek’s Jews
on Route to Palestine
, Hillel Cohen’s 1929, Eric Gartman’s Return to Zion, Ofer Shiff’s The Downfall of Abba Hillel Silver, Jesse Ferris’ Nasser’s Gamble, Daniel Zoughbie’s Indecision Points, and more.

 

 

 

New Article: Gawerc, Advocating Peace During the 2014 War in Gaza

Gawerc, Michelle I. “Advocating Peace During the 2014 War in Gaza.” Peace Review 28.1 (2016): 108-13.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10402659.2016.1130411
 
Extract

During the cycle of violence leading up to the third Israeli War in Gaza, some Israelis from Parents Circle/Families Forum (PCFF) – a peace organization consisting of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost a first-degree relative in the conflict – came together to discuss the events. While the Palestinian members could not join the meeting because of the closure of the West Bank, which the Israeli military imposed as a reaction to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, the Palestinian Co-General Manager of the organization was aware of this meeting of the Israeli members and approved.

In the period following the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, the Israeli military had closed off large sections of the Israeli-occupied west Bank, made four hundred and nineteen arrests, and raided twenty-two-hundred homes in the Hebron area. At least eight Palestinians were killed in this military operation – including the best friend of one of the Palestinian staff members.

During the meeting (which transpired before the dead bodies of the Israeli teens were found, and before the abduction and brutal murder of a Palestinian youth from East Jerusalem neighborhood by right-wing Israelis) one old-timer frantically noted that the situation was only going to get worse. While they discussed what they should do, one member suggested that they should sit in the middle of Tel Aviv every day in order to face, head-on, the hatred and anxiety manifesting itself on the streets until the current cycle of violence subsided. While they did not know how people would respond or for how long they would be sitting outside, they moved forward with the arrangements to set up what they call “The Peace Square.” Ironically, on the day that they received permission from the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli police, and secured a place to set up their Peace Square, the war began.

 

 

 

Lecture: Braverman, Israel at a Major Crossroads (Berkeley, Feb 25, 2016)

Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies

Thursday, February 25
PUBLIC LECTURE
ISRAEL AT A MAJOR CROSSROADS: Challenges and Opportunities
Avishay Braverman
Former President, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Knesset Member (2006-2015); Former Senior Economist, World Bank
5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Location to be announced

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.

New Article: Mendelsohn, Israel and Its Messianic Right

Mendelsohn, Barak. “Israel and Its Messianic Right: Path-Dependency and State Authority in International Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqv015

 

Abstract

Why do states responsible for unleashing violent nonstate actors fail to halt them despite rising costs and, at best, marginal utility? I argue that a historical-institutionalist approach helps scholars understand these dynamics. I present five path-dependent mechanisms—change in the balance of power, spiraling perception of threat, ideological shift among the public, state penetration, and weakening of the principle of state primacy—that diminish the prospects of policy reversals. I then demonstrate the usefulness of path-dependency analysis in the case of Israel’s entanglement with the Jewish messianic Right. Applying the theoretical framework sheds light on the process that brought Israel prohibitive costs—undercutting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, undermining the state’s international standing, and weakening the state’s authority and democratic nature—and made policy reversal, in line with the state’s national interest and its responsibilities as a member of the international society, highly unlikely.

 

 

 

New Article: Peffley et al, The Impact of Persistent Terrorism on Political Tolerance

Peffley, Mark, Marc L. Hutchison, and Michal Shamir. “The Impact of Persistent Terrorism on Political Tolerance: Israel, 1980 to 2011.” American Political Science Review 109.4 (2015): 817-32.

ְְ 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0003055415000441

 

Abstract

How do persistent terrorist attacks influence political tolerance, a willingness to extend basic liberties to one’s enemies? Studies in the U.S. and elsewhere have produced a number of valuable insights into how citizens respond to singular, massive attacks like 9/11. But they are less useful for evaluating how chronic and persistent terrorist attacks erode support for democratic values over the long haul. Our study focuses on political tolerance levels in Israel across a turbulent 30-year period, from 1980 to 2011, which allows us to distinguish the short-term impact of hundreds of terrorist attacks from the long-term influence of democratic longevity on political tolerance. We find that the corrosive influence of terrorism on political tolerance is much more powerful among Israelis who identify with the Right, who have also become much more sensitive to terrorism over time. We discuss the implications of our findings for other democracies under threat from terrorism.

 

 

 

Conference paper: Moskovich, Ramon’s Leadership in the new Israeli Labor Union

Moskovich, Yaffa. “Ramon’s Leadership in the new Israeli Labor Union: The Histadrut.” European Conference on Management, Leadership & Governance (November 2015).

 
URL: http://search.proquest.com/openview/d52d59af091005feb53467157ab3e094/1
 
Abstract

In Israel, the old Histadrut, or organization of trade unions, was founded as a welfare agency, it employed about one third of the labor force, and it was the dominant health-service provider, primarily funded by insurance premiums. As a socialist entity, the Histadrut was linked politically and economically to the Labor Party, which helped fund it while in power. The old Histadrut was managed on a political basis, and suffered from organizational decline, including huge debts and economic bankruptcy in most of its institutions and assets. In 1994, a new leader, Haim Ramon, was elected to run the organization. Acting against union members, Ramon transformed the Histadrut into a confederation of autonomous labor unions, selling off Histadrut enterprises and assets to private investors, and severing all political ties. This paper demonstrates the unusual union leadership style of Ramon, who downsized, weakened, and destroyed the Israeli union, while most union leaders act to empower their organization.

 

 

 

Workshop: Erez on Greek Popular Music; Rosenhek on Israel’s Political Economy (NYU, Dec 4, 2015)

12/4/15 – Taub Center Graduate Workshop

 

10am – 2pm

The Taub Center organizes regular workshops for graduate students and faculty in the field of Israel Studies at NYU and other universities in the tri-state area. The regional workshops are an opportunity for students and faculty to present and discuss their respective areas of research.  The workshops also serve as an important forum for networking and strengthening the field of Israel Studies.

First Floor, 14A Washington Mews

Coffee is served from 10 – 10:30am, and a kosher lunch served at noon.

 

RSVP here.

 

10:30am
Oded Erez
UCLA

Becoming Mediterranean: Greek Popular Music and the Politics of Ethnicity in Israel

Oded Erez is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Musicology and the Program in Experimental Critical Theory at UCLA. His current research focuses on the politics of ethnicity, diaspora, and vernacular cosmopolitanism in popular music and film. He has presented his work in wide range of disciplinary contexts, including at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the American Comparative Literature Association, and the  Association for Israel Studies. He currently teaches at the Hebrew University’s School of Arts. His paper “The Practice of Quoting Everyday Life: Quotation as Political Praxis in the songs of HaBiluim” will be published in the upcoming issue of Theory and Criticism (Teoria U’vikoret).

 

12:30pm
Ze’ev Rosenhek
The Open University of Israel

The Dynamics of Israel’s Political Economy: Change and Continuity in State-Economy Relations

Zeev Rosenhek is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication at the Open University of Israel. His main research interests lie in the fields of political and economic sociology, with a particular focus on processes of institutional change and continuity in state-economy relations. He has conducted research on the political economy of the welfare state, labor migration, and the politics of institutionalization of the neo-liberal regime in Israel. He is the co-author of The Israeli Central Bank: Political Economy, Global Logics and Local Actors (Routledge, 2011) with Daniel Maman, and has published numerous articles in books and journals. He is currently conducting research on the emergence and dynamics of the institutional field of financial literacy in Israel and its interfaces with transnational knowledge and policy networks.

 

New Article: Peters and Pinfold, Consolidating Right-Wing Hegemony: The Israeli Election 2015

Peters, Joel, and Rob Pinfold. “Consolidating Right-Wing Hegemony: The Israeli Election 2015.” Mediterranean Politics (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13629395.2015.1084146

 

Abstract

Following the premature collapse of an eclectic right-wing and centre-left government, Israelis went to the polls on the 17 March, 2015. Despite what appeared to be a clear-cut right-wing victory, the thirty-fourth government of Israel was constituted 14 May, 2015, over two months after incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apparent electoral triumph. This profile examines the contours of Israel’s recent election campaign and formation of a new government, assessing the triumphs and pitfalls of Israel’s major political parties during the election period. Similarly, this profile delineates the major political issues and dominant personalities featuring throughout the campaign. Subsequently, this profile traces the often-frantic coalition negotiations that led to formation of the thirty-fourth Israeli administration. Finally, the domestic and foreign policy implications of an increased hegemony of right-wing parties in the current government are outlined. Conversely, the narrow majority of the new government suggests ideological homogeneity may come with a price of increased political instability for Prime Minister Netanyahu.

 

 

Conference Paper: Bar-Ilan et al, Israeli Parties and Party Leaders on Facebook during the 2013 Election Campaign

Bar-Ilan, Judit, Jenny Bronstein, and Noa Aharony. “Israeli Parties and Party Leaders on Facebook during the 2013 Election Campaign.” iConference 2015 Proceedings, 12 pp.

 

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/73671

 

Abstract

During the 2013 elections in Israel one of the major methods of interaction of the political parties and their leaders with potential voters was through their Facebook pages. These pages were followed for 50 days preceding the elections. For each page, 30% of the posts on the page were analyzed in terms of their rhetoric and subject. The largest number of the analyzed posts was intended for bonding with the audience, and unsurprisingly politics was the most frequent topic. The findings show that personal posts received the largest number of likes pointing to the personal nature of the elections. Findings were compared with results of analysis of the Facebook pages of the US Presidential candidates. Similarities were found, even though in Israel there is a party system and elections are not personal.

New Article: Ehrlich, Israel’s Hegemonic Right

Ehrlich, Avishai. “Israel’s Hegemonic Right.” Socialist Register 52 (2016).

 

URL: http://socialistregister.com/index.php/srv/article/view/25600

 

Abstract

All the political parties in Israel, apart from Arab and ultra-Orthodox, define themselves as Zionist. The right in Israel identifies itself strongly as Jewish either in a religious or ethno-nationalistic sense or, more amorphously, in terms of the ‘politics of belonging’. In today’s political parlance in Israel, ‘Judaism’ is not a religion but a political ideology, best termed ‘political Judaism’, which claims the powers of religion: veracity, certitude, absoluteness and the polarity of good versus evil. To be a Jew according to the right means firstly not to be an Arab. To be on the left is tantamount to being an Arab because people on the left support Arabs. The right aspires to Jewish supremacy in Israel and says so explicitly. To be a Jew is not only to fulfill the religious qualification of being born to a Jewish mother; Jewish belonging is now expressed in primordial, essentialist, mystical terms. The politics of identity, of political Judaism, adds a McCarthyist rancour and an exclusionary dimension of banishment from the community to political divisions. To belong now requires unqualified loyalty.

 

 

Conference: Reinventing Israel. Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century (American U, Washington, Oct 28-29, 2015)

reinventing

For full program [PDF], click here.

Please Join The Center for Israel Studies and Jewish Studies Program next week for our Reinventing Israel conference!
FREE WITH 
RSVP (by session).


Featured presentations include
:
“From BG to Bibi: The End of an Era in Israel-Diaspora Relations?” by David Ellenson
 
Wednesday, October 28, 7:30 PM
 
Keynote address to kick off “Reinventing Israel: Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century” conference.  Ellenson is director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University and Chancellor Emeritus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Location: SIS Building Abramson Family Founders Room.  (Free parking in SIS Building garage)   

“Reinventing Israel: Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century” conference featuring international scholars and AU faculty
 
Thursday, October 29, all-day 

Sessions featuring History and Memory, Economy and Hi-Tech, Politics and Law, Religion and Ethnicity.  

Location: Butler Board Room (Floor 6 of Butler Pavilion).
Pre-paid parking by kiosk (on level P-1 by elevator – note parking space number) in Katzen Arts Center or SIS Building Garage (free after 5:00 PM).   

Imagining Israel in 2035 – Different Visions
 
Thursday, October 29 7:30 PM  
 
With Fania Oz-Salzberger (University of Haifa) Mohammed Wattad (Zefat College, UC Irvine) James Loeffler (University of Virginia) Moderator: Michael Brenner (AU). 

Location: Butler Board Room.  Free parking after 5:00 PM in all university parking garages.