New Article: Bagno-Moldavski, The Effect of Religiosity on Political Attitudes in Israel

Bagno-Moldavski, Olena. “The Effect of Religiosity on Political Attitudes in Israel.” Politics and Religion 8.3 (2015): 514-43.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755048315000516

 

Abstract

This article studies the influence of religion on political attitudes in Israel by testing two propositions: “religion-friendly” democratization and “greedy” socialization. The former implies that accommodation of religious demands stimulates democratization, the latter argues that domineering religious socialization does not motivate democratic attitudes. Analysis of data from representative surveys conducted in 2006–2013, supports “greedy” socialization over the “religion friendly” hypothesis. I show that in most instances, socialization in religion-friendly environments does not moderate the political attitudes of religiously conservative groups. The results suggest that unbounded accommodation of religious needs in non-religious institutions may strengthen undemocratic political attitudes.

 

 

Thesis: Zeumer, Israeli Rejection of the Arab Peace Initiative

Zeumer, Mathias. Israeli Rejection of the Arab Peace Initiative: Political Climate and Public Perceptions, MA thesis, University of Oregon, 2014.

 

URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/18737

 

Abstract
The Arab Peace Initiative (former Saudi Initiative) was officially proposed by Saudi Arabia and has been (re-)endorsed by all 22 member states of the Arab League since 2002. Israel has not officially responded to the API but rather has generally ignored and by default rejected it. This thesis examines the reasons for the Israeli rejection by analyzing the structure of the Israeli government in relation to the position of the prime minister, both normatively and descriptively, and examining public opinion as a potential enabler or constraint on policymaking. It also explores mechanisms such as threat perceptions and framing to highlight cognitive influences that negatively impacted serious consideration of the API. Qualitative interviews with expert Israelis and Arabs contribute to a deeper understanding of the Israeli perspective of the API’s shortcomings. The API is unlikely to be implemented under this current government unless Israeli public opinion significantly changes in its favor.

 

 

New Article: Rabkin, From Left to Right – Israel’s Repositioning in the World

Rabkin, Yakov M. “From Left to Right – Israel’s Repositioning in the World.” IDE Middle East Review 2 (2015): 80-102.

 
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2344/1448 [PDF]

 

Excerpt
In the course of a few decades, the image of Israel has undergone a radical transformation. From one of an underdog, a successful socialist experiment and an incarnation of left-wing collectivist utopias it has turned into an assertive militarized state with an advanced economy open for foreign investment and a society deeply polarized between Arabs and non-Arabs, and between rich and poor. It is not surprising that the Zionist state of Israel appeals to rightists around the world.

Israel embodies not only a successful, albeit small-scale, attempt to re-colonize the world but also the belief that, as Margaret Thatcher used to say, “there is no alternative”. The campaign to discredit socialist alternatives, from the mildly socialdemocratic Sweden to the more regulated Soviet Union, makes good use of the little country in Western Asia. The state of Israel, in spite of its socialist origins, has come to symbolize the many features of globalized capitalism and of habitual reliance on force. While certainly not the most right-wing regime in existence, Israel has nonetheless become a beacon for right-wing movements around the world thanks to a gamut of ideological, political, economic and military values contained in political Zionism. This is why the right and the extreme right have come to constitute the backbone of Israel’s international support.

 

 

Report: Ram et al, Forecasting the Israeli 2015 Elections Using a Smartphone Application

Ram, Yoav, Ofer Moshaioff, Idan Cohen, and Omri Dor. “Forecasting the Israeli 2015 Elections Using a Smartphone Application.” arXiv:1503.04784

 

URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.04784 [PDF]

 

Abstract
We developed a smartphone application, Ha’Midgam, to poll and forecast the results of the 2015 Israeli elections. The application was downloaded by over 7,500 people. We present the method used to control bias in our sample and our forecasts. We discuss limitations of our approach and suggest possible solutions to control bias in similar applications.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Al-Haj, Ethnicity and Political Mobilization of Russian Immigrants

Al-Haj, Majid. “Ethnicity and Political Mobilization in a Deeply Divided Society: The Case of Russian Immigrants in Israel.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 28.2 (2015): 83-100.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10767-013-9171-6

 

Abstract

This paper deals with political mobilization among immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, who arrived in Israel in the 1990s. The data are based on two nationwide surveys, conducted 10 and 20 years after the arrival of the first wave of these immigrants. My analysis shows that immigrants’ voting behavior is dynamic, and is determined mainly by their perceived interest in and attitudes toward domestic matters rather than regional issues connected with the Israel–Palestine conflict. Immigrants have adopted a complex strategy of political mobilization over time, which has shifted from the formation of “ethnic” parties in the first decade into “hybrid-ethnic” parties in the second decade. This strategy allows flexibility in terms of support, recruitment, and coalition building; prevents ethnic exclusion, maximizes the gains of Russian immigrants; and minimizes the price of their ethnic mobilization in a deeply divided society.

New Article: Cohen, Israel’s Political Culture and the Public Policy Process

Cohen, Nissim. “Solving Problems Informally: The Influence of Israel’s Political Culture on the Public Policy Process.” In Public Administration and Policy in the Middle East (ed. Alexander R. Dawoody; New York: Springer, 2015), 231-45.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-1553-8_13

 

Abstract

This chapter describes and explains the informal influence of Israeli political culture on the public policy process. I will demonstrate how informal elements are rooted in Israeli society and are an integral part of its public policy and administration. Specifically, the chapter explains the impact of a particular type of political culture, called “alternative politics” in the Israeli literature, on public policy and institutional settings. Alternative politics is based on a “do-it-yourself” approach adopted by citizens to address their dissatisfaction with governmental services. When such a mode of political culture is diffused to all sectors and levels of society, all players, including bureaucrats and politicians, are guided by short-term considerations and apply unilateral strategies that bypass formal rules either through illegal activity or by marginalizing formal rules. Hence, the notion of alternative politics is not confined only to the Israeli experience, as elements of this issue emerge as part of the dialogue about political culture in Arab countries, as well as in other societies around the world.

New Article: Samuel-Azran et al, Aristotelian Rhetoric and Facebook Success in Israel’s 2013 Election Campaign

Samuel-Azran, Tal, Moran Yarchi, and Gadi Wolfsfeld. “Aristotelian Rhetoric and Facebook Success in Israel’s 2013 Election Campaign.” Online Information Review 39. (2015): 149-62.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/OIR-11-2014-0279

 

Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the mapping of the social media discourse involving politicians and their followers during election campaigns, the authors examined Israeli politicians’ Aristotelian rhetoric on Facebook and its reception during the 2013 elections campaign.

Design/methodology/approach
– The authors examined the Aristotelian rhetorical strategies used by Israeli politicians on their Facebook walls during the 2013 elections, and their popularity with social media users. 

Findings

– Ethos was the most prevalent rhetorical strategy used. On the reception front, pathos-based appeals attracted the most likes. Finally, the results point to some discrepancy between politicians’ campaign messages and the rhetoric that actually gains social media users’ attention.

Research limitations/implications

– The findings indicate that Israel’s multi-party political system encourages emphasis on candidates’ credibility (ethos) in contrast to the prevalence of emotion (pathos) in typical election campaigns in two-party systems like the USA. One possible explanation is the competitive nature of elections in a multi-party system where candidates need to emphasise their character and distinct leadership abilities.

Practical implications
– Politicians and campaign managers are advised to attend to the potential discrepancy between politicians’ output and social media users’ preferences, and to the effectiveness of logos-based appeals. 

Originality/value 

– The study highlights the possible effect of the party system on politicians’ online rhetoric in social media election campaigns.

Reviews: Pedahzur, The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right

Pedahzur, Ami. The Triumph of Israel’s Radical Right. Oxford and New York : Oxford University Press, 2012.

 

9780199744701

Reviews

New Article: Haklai and Norwich, Exclusion of Minority Ethnonational Parties in Israel and Canada

Haklai, Oded, and Liora Norwich. “Bound by Tradition: The Exclusion of Minority Ethnonational Parties from Coalition Governments—A Comparison of Israel and Canada.” Ethnopolitics (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2015.1052612

 

Abstract

Attempts to build a coalition government whose survival depends on support from ethnic minority parties have resulted in both Canada and Israel in widespread public disapproval and political turmoil. In turn, such arrangements have been deemed untenable even though otherwise powerful political elites had an interest in minority party inclusion. The comparable outcomes in these two cases are intriguing because the two parliamentary democracies differ in general characteristics that much of the scholarship claims should produce different outcomes, including the electoral system, conceptions of national identity, and regional environment. Using the most different systems method, with a similar value on the study variable but with dissimilar background conditions, we argue that inherited political traditions in both countries engendered widespread perceptions that minority party inclusion diverged from the ‘appropriate way of doing politics’ and was thus unacceptable.

New Article: Riambau, Bandwagon or Strategic Voting in Israel?

Riambau, Guillem. “Bandwagon or Strategic Voting in Israel? Note on Bargsted and Kedar 2009.” Electoral Studies 37 (2015): 63-72.

 
 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2014.10.007

 

Abstract

The goal of this note is to re-interpret and further analyze the results of Bargsted and Kedar (2009). BK use pre-electoral survey data for the 2006 Israeli legislative elections, and argue that a non-negligible set of individuals cast their vote in order to affect government formation and policy outcomes. Strategic considerations affect the likelihood of voting for Kadima, Labour or Likud, but not smaller parties. I contend that (i) what they are capturing is indistinguishable from a bandwagon effect, and (ii) their findings rely on the particular specification of the proxy for ‘expected coalition’ they use. I carry out the same exercise as BK using an extra set of controls for expected number of seats and an alternative specification of the proxy for expected coalition. My results show two interesting patterns. First, expected seats seem to be more important in voters’ strategies than coalition considerations. Second, there seems to be a compensatory strategic behavior among voters, as opposed to BK: increased likelihood of a rightist (leftist) coalition induces voters to vote less for rightist (leftist) parties. Finally, this note shows that model performance is significantly increased when using each of these two new variables, independently or together. These findings support the inclusion of such variables in all models which empirically assess strategic coalition voting behavior.

 
 

New Article: Howson, Lessons from Shas about Israel

Howson, Luke. “Lessons from Shas about Israel.” Middle East Journal 69.3 (2015): 397-412.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/69.3.14
https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/the_middle_east_journal/v069/69.3.howson.html

 

Abstract

This article focuses on the Israeli ethno-religious party Shas and its role in the Israeli social and political structure. It is argued that while Shas functions successfully in Israel’s Western-style political system, it does so as a more typical “Middle Eastern” party. Thus understanding the context within which Shas operates and its relation to political and societal divisions offers an insight into Israeli society and its political system.

New Book: Navot, The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis

Navot, Suzie. The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis. Oxford: Hart, 2014.

 

9781841138350

 

This book presents the main features of the Israeli constitutional system and a topical discussion of Israel’s basic laws. It focuses on constitutional history and the peculiar decision to frame a constitution ‘by stages’. Following its British heritage and the lack of a formal constitution, Israel’s democracy grew for more than four decades on the principle of parliamentary supremacy. Introducing a constitutional model and the concept of judicial review of laws, the ‘constitutional revolution’ of the 1990s started a new era in Israel’s constitutional history. The book’s main themes include: constitutional principles; the legislature and the electoral system; the executive; the protection of fundamental rights and the crucial role of the Supreme Court in Israel’s constitutional discourse. It further presents Israel’s unique aspects as a Jewish and democratic state, and its ongoing search for the right balance between human rights and national security. Finally, the book offers a critical discussion of the development of Israel’s constitution and local projects aimed at enacting a single and comprehensive text.

Click here for a full Table of Contents (PDF).

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.3 (2015)

Israel Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 3, July 2015 is now available online is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special Issue: Judea and Samaria Jewish Settlers and Settlements – Cultural Sociology of Unsettled Space: A Look From Within

This new issue contains the following articles:

Introduction
Introduction: Judea and Samaria Jewish settlers and settlements – cultural sociology of unsettled space
Miriam Billig & Udi Lebel
Pages: 309-312

Section 1: History and Philosophy of Jewish Settlement
Settlement in Samaria: the ethical dimension
Tamar Meisels
Pages: 313-330

The Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (1967–2008): historical overview
Miriam Billig
Pages: 331-347

Section 2: Place Identities – Reality and Representation
Self-segregation of the vanguard: Judea and Samaria in the religious-Zionist society
Nissim Leon
Pages: 348-360

Settling the Military: the pre-military academies revolution and the creation of a new security epistemic community – The Militarization of Judea and Samaria
Udi Lebel
Pages: 361-390

Hilltop youth: political-anthropological research in the hills of Judea and Samaria
Shimi Friedman
Pages: 391-407

Judea and Samaria in Israeli documentary cinema: displacement, oriental space and the cultural construction of colonized landscapes
Eithan Orkibi
Pages: 408-421

Section 3: Dynamics of Regional Policy Making
Regional framing: Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip in the eyes of the security elite
Asaf Lebovitz
Pages: 422-442

Against all odds – the paradoxical victory of the West Bank settlers: interest groups and policy enforcement
Ami Pedahzur & Holly McCarthy
Pages: 443-461

‘A simple historical truth’: Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip in Menachem Begin’s ideology
Arye Naor
Pages: 462-481

New Article: Keren, Political Escapism in Grossman’s To the End of the Land

Keren, Michael. “Political Escapism in Contemporary Israel: Lessons from David Grossman’s To the End of the Land .” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 246-60.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2014.992184

 

Abstract

This article discusses escapist tendencies identified in contemporary Israel and, based on David Grossman’s 2010 novel To the End of the Land (published in Hebrew in 2008), raises the question of whether these tendencies may be associated with the construction of a new narrative for Israeli society.

 

ToC: Israel Studies Review 30.1 (2015)

 

 

Israel Studies Review, Volume 30, Issue 1, Table of Contents:

Editors’ Note

Editors’ Note
pp. v-vii(3)

Articles

Mapai’s Bolshevist Image: A Critical Analysis
pp. 1-19(19)
Bareli, Avi

 
Men and Boys: Representations of Israeli Combat Soldiers in the Media
pp. 66-85(20)
Israeli, Zipi; Rosman-Stollman, Elisheva
 

Review Essay

Book Reviews

Book Reviews
pp. 144-163(20)

 

Panel: Sachs and Guttman on Post Election Israel (American U, March 23, 2015)

The Votes are In!  “Post-Election Israel” Panel Discussion with Natan Sachs, Brookings Institution and The Forward’s Nathan Guttman

Monday, March 23, 7:30 PM

Join us for an in-depth panel discussion on the implications of the Israeli Election with Nathan Sachs, Fellow for Middle East Policy at the Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution, and Nathan Guttman, Washington Bureau Chief for The Jewish Daily: Forward. Moderated by Michael Brenner, Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies. Sponsored by the Center for Israel Studies.  Location: School of International Service Abramson Family Founders Room.

School of International Service Bldg. Abramson Family  Founders Room on terrace level (free parking in garage beneath building).  Reception.  
Free with RSVP:  http://www.american.edu/cas/israelstudies/rsvp/rsvp2.cfm

votes are in

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.2 (2015) – special issue: Israel at the Polls 2013

 

Israel Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 2, April 2015 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special Issue: Israel at the Polls 2013: Continuity and Change in Israeli Political Culture

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
The Run-Up to Israel’s 2013 Elections: A Political History
Manfred Gerstenfeld
Pages: 177-194
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008240

The Peculiar Victory of The National Camp in the 2013 Israeli Election
Arie Perliger & Eran Zaidise
Pages: 195-208
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008243

‘Something new begins’ – religious Zionism in the 2013 elections: from decline to political recovery
Anat Roth
Pages: 209-229
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008238

An uneasy stability: the Haredi parties’ emergency campaign for the 2013 elections
Nissim Leon
Pages: 230-244
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008241

The political transformation of the Israeli ‘Russian’ street in the 2013 elections
Vladimir (Ze’ev) Khanin
Pages: 245-261
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008244

The Transmigration of Media Personalities and Celebrities to Politics: The Case of Yair Lapid
Rafi Mann
Pages: 262-276
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008239

‘New politics’, new media – new political language? A rhetorical perspective on candidates’ self-presentation in electronic campaigns in the 2013 Israeli elections
Eithan Orkibi
Pages: 277-292
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008242

The 2013 Israeli elections and historic recurrences
Eyal Lewin
Pages: 293-308
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008245

Lecture: Halevi, What I Learned about Israel’s Left-Right Divide

“Like Dreamers: What I Learned about Israel’s Left-Right Divide”
Yossi Klein Halevi
Journalist and Author
Winner of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award
Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute
Contributing editor, The New Republic

Chairman of Open House

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reception: 5 pm (in Boalt 295); Lecture: 5:30 pm (in Boalt 105)

New Article: Laron, The Domestic Sources of Israel’s Decision to Launch the 1956 Sinai Campaign

Laron, Guy. “The Domestic Sources of Israel’s Decision to Launch the 1956 Sinai Campaign.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 42.2 (2015): 200-18.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/vbr9GxKcWiptjjhC9ynH/

 

Abstract

This article examines Israel’s decision to launch the 1956 campaign against Egypt. While the current literature tends to argue that, in 1956, the campaign was a response by Israel to security threats, it is suggested here that, if so, these threats certainly did not predetermine any specific response. Israel could, for example, have responded by adopting a defensive posture. In reality, domestic factors were just as influential as external ones. The most important of these was the severe economic crisis caused by mass immigration to Israel during 1948–1951. This crisis in turn led to the creation in 1953–1956 of a war coalition whose three components—David Ben-Gurion (Prime Minister and Minister of Defence), MAPAI’s party bosses and the army—had different interests but shared the idea of a war against Israel’s Arab neighbours as a way in which each could advance its preferred aims.

Reviews: Sarfati, Mobilizing Religion in Middle East Politics

Sarfati, Yusuf. Mobilizing Religion in Middle East Politics. A Comparative Study of Israel and Turkey, Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.

 

9780415540162

 

Reviews:

  • Allon, Michal L. “Review.” Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online 2.6 (2014).
  • Ramazan Kılınç. “Review.” Turkish Review, November 1, 2014.
  • Rubin, Aviad. “Review.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 47.1 (2015): 212-213.