New Book: Normand, Demonization in International Politics

Normand, Linn. Demonization in International Politics: A Barrier to Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

 

9781137567499

 

This book investigates demonization in international politics, particularly in the Middle East. It argues that while demonization’s origins are religious, its continued presence is fundamentally political. Drawing upon examples from historical and modern conflicts, this work addresses two key questions: Why do leaders demonize enemies when waging war? And what are the lasting impacts on peacemaking? In providing answers to these inquiries, the author applies historical insight to twenty-first century conflict. Specific attention is given to Israel and Palestine as the author argues that war-time demonization in policy, media, and art is a psychological and relational barrier during peace talks.

 

Table of Contents

    • Introduction 1
    • Demonization in Historical Context 25
    • Demonization in War and Peace 57
    • The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: An Introduction 79
    • Documenting Demonization in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 101
    • Demonization Deadlock in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 137
    • Conclusion 183

LINN NORMAND obtained her BA in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK, and her PhD in International Relations from the University of Oxford, UK. She was a Herchel Smith Scholar at Harvard University, USA, and a Research Fellow at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, USA. She is currently affiliated with the University of California, Davis, USA.

 

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ToC: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (May 2016): Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
May 2016
Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?

wrmea052016

ON THE COVER: Haaretz columnist and keynote speaker Gideon Levy addresses the conference, “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?”

5 Introduction

6 Welcoming Remarks Dale Sprusansky

7 PANEL 1: Israel’s Influence on Congress and Government Agencies — Moderator Grant F. Smith

7 Ten Ways the Israel Lobby “Moves” America — Grant F. Smith

11 Did Israel Steal U.S. Weapons-Grade Uranium and Did It Have Help From U.S. Citizens? — Dr. Roger Mattson

15 How Congress Shapes Middle East Policy, and How the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Shapes Congress — Prof. Kirk J. Beattie

20 Questions & Answers

22 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: What I Would Tell a Visiting Congressional Delegation — Gideon Levy

27 Questions & Answers

30 PANEL 2: Israel’s Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy — Moderator Dale Sprusansky

30 A Diplomatic and Military Perspective — Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

35 American Neoconservatives: A History and Overview — Jim Lobe

39 Israel and Foreign Policy Issues in the Presidential Campaign — Justin Raimondo

42 Questions & Answers

44 PANEL 3: Responding to Israel’s Influence on Campus and in Court — Moderator Janet McMahon

44 The Birth of Palestine Solidarity Activism at George Mason University — Tareq Radi

49 Concerted Attempts to Silence Criticism of Israel in the U.S. — Maria LaHood

53 Why We’re Suing the U.S. Treasury Department — Susan Abulhawa

57 Holding Israel Accountable for the Gaza Flotilla Raid — Huwaida Arraf

62 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Voices Prohibited by Mainstream Media and Its Role Spreading Islamophobia — Rula Jebreal

66 PANEL 4: Israel’s Influence on Mainstream Media — Moderator Delinda Hanley

66 Mainstream Media Coverage of Israel and Palestine — Philip Weiss

70 “Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs” — Catherine Jordan

72 Questions & Answers

74 CLOSING REMARKS

75 CONCLUSION

78 ELECTION WATCH: Party Loyalty, Party Schmoyalty — Israel Comes First — Janet McMahon

79 Pro-Israel PAC Contributions to 2016 Congressional Candidates — Compiled by Hugh Galford

Thesis: Omary, Israeli Character Depictions in Hollywood Films

Omary, Hanan H. Israeli Character Depictions in Hollywood Films (1948-2008), BA thesis. The American University in Cairo, 2016.

 

URL: http://dar.aucegypt.edu/bitstream/handle/10526/4789/Thesis Draft-Israeli Characters in Hollywood Films-14-TOTAL.pdf (PDF)

 

Abstract

This research examines depictions of Israeli characters in Hollywood films over a span of 60 years starting with Israel’s early years of statehood until present day. The films selected for this research are Exodus (1960) for early statehood and Munich (2005) and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008) for present day depictions. People have always been fascinated by Hollywood films since the inception of filmmaking. Movie-going audiences have flocked to movie theaters to watch the latest productions and see their stars in action. Therefore, it is important to understand what these characters represent and the messages they communicate to the audience. This research applies discourse analysis as its methodology, and framing and film theory as its theoretical framework. The research shows that the three main Israeli characters in these three Hollywood films are depicted as being consistent with American society values and ideologies.

 

 

 

New Article: Rodley, Viral Propaganda in the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict

Rodley, Chris. “When Memes Go to War: Viral Propaganda in the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.15307/fcj.27.200.2016

 

Abstract

During the Gaza-Israel conflict of July-August 2014, a large volume of creative, multimodal digital content aimed at influencing public opinion was disseminated on social media by belligerents and their supporters. This paper highlights two related features of this ‘viral agitprop’: the use of a diverse range of novel, hypermediated forms to represent a limited set of messages, and thematisation of the act of mediation itself. I argue that these practices are a response to the challenges of communicating with multiple publics within data streams that are crowded, competitive and fast-moving. I suggest this content represents a distinctive new Internet genre which problematises accounts of the relationship between war and media by Friedrich Kittler and Jean Baudrillard.

 

 

 

New Article: Evans, YouTube and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Evans, Matt. “Information Dissemination in New Media: YouTube and the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” Media, War & Conflict (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635216643113

 
Abstract

This work examines the ways in which YouTube videos inform audiences about international news, issues, and events. As new media increasingly becomes the public’s primary news source, research has produced conflicting contentions of how, and to whom, information is conveyed. Some studies have found Twitter and Facebook to be important tools for social organization and facilitating political involvement. Others, however, assert that these media act as echo chambers, reinforcing preexisting views rather than providing new information or perceptions. This research analyzes videos pertaining to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to reveal how they provide information. The findings show that the methods – empirical and visceral – used to frame information in YouTube videos correspond to the narratives supported by the uploaders. Additionally, the results indicate YouTube videos are watched by a heterogeneous public and have the potential to transcend selective exposure and present viewers with new information and perspectives.

 

 

New Book: Feldman, A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land

Feldman, Jackie. A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land. How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

 
Feldman

 

For many Evangelical Christians, a trip to the Holy Land is an integral part of practicing their faith. Arriving in groups, most of these pilgrims are guided by Jewish Israeli tour guides. For more than three decades, Jackie Feldman—born into an Orthodox Jewish family in New York, now an Israeli citizen, scholar, and licensed guide—has been leading tours, interpreting Biblical landscapes, and fielding questions about religion and current politics. In this book, he draws on pilgrimage and tourism studies, his own experiences, and interviews with other guides, Palestinian drivers and travel agents, and Christian pastors to examine the complex interactions through which guides and tourists “co-produce” the Bible Land. He uncovers the implicit politics of travel brochures and religious souvenirs. Feldman asks what it means when Jewish-Israeli guides get caught up in their own performances or participate in Christian rituals, and reflects on how his interactions with Christian tourists have changed his understanding of himself and his views of religion.

 

Table of Contents

  • 1. How Guiding Christians Made Me Israeli
  • 2. Guided Holy Land Pilgrimage—Sharing the Road
  • 3. Opening Their Eyes: Performance of a Shared Protestant-Israeli Bible Land
  • 4. Christianizing the Conflict: Bethlehem and the Separation Wall
  • 5. The Goods of Pilgrimage: Tips, Souvenirs, and the Moralities of Exchange
  • 6. The Seductions of Guiding Christians
  • 7. Conclusions: Pilgrimage, Performance, and the Suspension of Disbelief

 

JACKIE FELDMAN a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is author of Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity. He has been a licensed tour guide in Jerusalem for over three decades.

 

 

 

New Article: Bourdon & Boudana, Controversial Cartoons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Bourdon, Jerome, and Sandrine Boudana. “Controversial Cartoons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Cries of Outrage and Dialogue of the Deaf.” The International Journal of Press/Politics (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1940161215626565
 
Abstract

This article analyzes the controversies triggered by sixteen cartoons about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, published in nine western countries between 2001 and 2014. For this, we use E.D. Hirsch’s distinction between the meaning of a text—which refers to the author’s intentions—and its significance—which emphasizes the contexts of production and reception. Critics focused mostly on significance, defenders on meaning. Using this distinction, we first examine the rhetoric of cartoons: stereotypes linked to antisemitism (accusations of deicide and blood libel), use of the Star of David as metonym of Israel, disputed historical analogies (between Israeli policy and Nazism or Apartheid). Second, we analyze four levels of contextual interpretations that have framed the debates: the cartoon as genre, the ethotic arguments about the cartoonist and/or newspaper’s track record, the cartoons’ historical and transnational intertextuality (especially with the Arab press), and the issue of audiences’ sensitivities. We analyze the complex exchanges of arguments that led mostly to a dialogue of the deaf, but also, in some cases, to partial agreement on the offensive character of the cartoons. We conclude that this methodology can be applied to other controversies around popular political texts, which offer similar characteristics.

 

 

 

New Article: Cox, Israeli Technicians and the Post-Colonial Racial Triangle in Papua New Guinea

Cox, John. “Israeli Technicians and the Post-Colonial Racial Triangle in Papua New Guinea.” Oceania (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ocea.5100

 

Abstract

Papua New Guinean imaginings of Israel as a potential development partner draw on Christian renderings of the Bible, but they also reflect an understanding of Israel as a modern, technologically advanced nation. As middle-class Papua New Guineans reflect on the failures of national development since gaining independence from Australia, they express ambivalence about the appropriateness of Western models of development for the Papua New Guinean context. However, the influx of Asian investment is also seen as lacking, or even threatening; therefore, Asian models of development also fail to offer an appealing hope for the future. In this paper, I argue that these racialised understandings of modernity represent a ‘post-colonial racial triangle’, a discursive field within which the moral implications of development are understood and debated. Within this triangle, Melanesians are thought to have ‘culture’ and (Christian) ‘morality’ but lack ‘development’. Australians or ‘whitemen’ are thought to have ‘development’ and ‘morality’ but to lack ‘culture’. ‘Asians’ are thought to have ‘development’ and ‘culture’ but to lack (Christian) morality. Taking this moral framing of race into account, Israel emerges as a possible aid donor with the credentials to reconcile these three positions as it is seen to be the possessor of ‘development’, ‘culture’, and ‘morality’.

 

 

New Article: Gavrilă, Understanding Jerusalem in Delisle’s Graphic Novel

Gavrilă, Ana-Maria. “Understanding Jerusalem and its Cross-Cultural Dilemmas in Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem: Chronicles From the Holy City.” Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica 7.1 (2015): 133-44.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ausp-2015-0042

 

Abstract

Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City (2011) is a nonfictional graphic novel which narrates the experiences during a year that the Canadian artist and his family spent living far from home, in the occasionally dangerous and perilous city of the ancient Middle East. Part humorous memoir filled with “the logistics of everyday life,” part an inquisitive and sharp-eyed travelogue, Jerusalem is interspersed with enthralling lessons on the history of the region, together with vignettes of brief strips of Delisle’s encounters with expatriates and locals, with Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities in and around the city, with Bedouins, Israeli and Palestinians. Since the comic strip is considered amongst the privileged genres able to disseminate stereotypes, Jerusalem tackles cultural as well as physical barriers, delimiting between domestic and foreign space, while revealing the historical context of the Israeli-Palestinian present conflict. Using this idea as a point of departure, I employ an imagological method of interpretation to address cross-cultural confusions in analysing the cartoonist’s travelogue as discourse of representation and ways of understanding cultural transmission, paying attention to the genre’s convention, where Delisle’s drawing style fits nicely the narrative techniques employed. Through an imagological perspective, I will also pay attention to the interaction between cultures and the dynamics between the images which characterise the Other (the nationalities represented or the spected) and those which characterise – not without a sense of irony – his own identity (self-portraits or auto-images). I shall take into account throughout my analysis that the source of this graphic memoir is inevitably a subjective one: even though Delisle professes an unbiased mind-set from the very beginning, the comic is at times coloured by his secular views. Delisle’s book is a dark, yet gentle comedy, and his wife’s job at the Doctors Without Borders paired with his personal experiences are paradoxically a gentle reminder that “There’ll always be borders.” In sum, the comic medium brings a sense of novelty to the imagological and hermeneutic conception of the interpretation of cultural and national stereotypes and/or otherness in artistic and literary works.

 

 

 

Thesis: Hemelberg, CNN and Al-Jazeera Coverage of the Israeli-Arabic Conflict

Hemelberg, Stephany. Between the Headlines of the Israeli-Arabic Conflict: The Coverage of CNN and Al Jazeera, BA Thesis. Bogotá: Del Rosario University, 2015.

 

URL: http://repository.urosario.edu.co/handle/10336/11629

 

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to analyze the coverage made by CNN and Al Jazeera (in Arabic) to operation Caste Lead and the Goldstone Report during 2008 and 2009. This investigation is based in the theory of Qualitative Analysis of Content, by Wildemuth and Zhang. The methodology follows up with the one proposed by the authors in the main theory, complementing it with the Gamson and Modigliani´s Framing theory. The methodology mention above display the different in the coverage development, determined by the geopolitical influences; being CNN more influenced by a Western pro-USA and pro Israeli speech, while Al Jazeera is more prone to support the Palestinian cause, this is the thesis of this article. During the development of the investigation, the thesis was demonstrated to be only partially accurate as CNN was not completely supportive to the Israeli arguments during the coverage, but Al Jazeera did have preferential speech for the Palestinian cause.

 

 

 

New Article: Yarchi, Imagefare’ as a State’s Strategy in Asymmetric Conflicts

Yarchi, Moran. “Does Using ‘Imagefare’ as a State’s Strategy in Asymmetric Conflicts Improve Its Foreign Media Coverage? The Case of Israel.” Media, War & Conflict (early view, online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635215620826

 

Extract

In their 2014 article in Terrorism and Political Violence, Ayalon, Popovich and Yarchi proposed a different strategy for states to better manage asymmetric conflict, presenting the notion of ‘imagefare’ – ‘the use, or misuse, of images as a guiding principle or a substitute for traditional military means to achieve political objectives’ (p. 12). The current study tests their theoretical framework, and examines whether the use of imagefare as part of a political actor’s conflict strategy improves its foreign image as presented by its ability to promote its preferred frames to the foreign press. The study compares the foreign media’s coverage of two recent rounds of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, in one of which (operation ‘Pillar of Defence’) image considerations played a significant role in the Israeli policy-making process. Findings suggest that whenever a country uses imagefare as part of its strategy, it increases its ability to promote its preferred messages to the foreign press and to improve the country’s image.

 

 

 

Report: Koren et al, Israel Literacy Measurement Project (2015)

Koren, Annette; Fishman, Shira; Krasner Aronson, Janet; Saxe, Janet. The Israel Literacy Measurement Project: 2015 Report. Brandeis University, October 2015.

 

URL: http://bir.brandeis.edu/handle/10192/31191 [PDF]

 

Abstract

The Israel Literacy Measurement Project is an attempt to create a valid and reliable measure of knowledge of Israel. Beginning with the question, “what does it mean to be literate about Israel?” the team worked to establish assessment standards. Drawing on definitions of literacy in other social science disciplines and in consultation with subject experts, the research team developed a test bank of validated Israel-related questions. The question bank can be used with college-aged young adults to assess the extent and content of their Israel-related knowledge.

Lecture: Becke, Israel Studies in the Arab World (SOAS, London, Nov 18, 2015)

SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies

EVENING LECTURE PROGRAMME

Lecture: “Israel Studies in the Arab World.”

BY
Dr. Johannes Becke (Heidelberg University)

November 18 2015 – 5.30pm
Brunei Gallery, Room B104, SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG.

In Western academia, Israel Studies could be differentiated into four main paradigms – Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, settler-colonial studies and postcolonial studies. This lecture discusses the research agenda of exploring an additional paradigm – Israel Studies as enemy studies and post-enemy studies; a literature with a long, yet under-researched tradition in the Arab World. In fact, the small academic field is split into two epistemic communities which rarely interact, often enough for legal reasons prohibiting any formal contact: While Israel Studies in Western academia is struggling with the accusation of ‘hasbara’ (propaganda) studies, in wide parts of Arab academia the discipline was established with the explicit research interest of ‘knowing your enemy’. The lecture provides an overview of the institutions and paradigmatic shifts that characterize Israel Studies in the Arab world – stretching from the Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut to the al-Ahram Center in Cairo and from the newly-established Center for Israel Studies in Amman back to the Land of Israel/Palestine, namely the Ramallah-based MADAR, the Palestinian Forum for Israel Studies.

Bio: Johannes Becke serves as assistant professor at the Ben Gurion Chair for Israel and Middle East Studies, Centre for Jewish Studies Heidelberg. After graduating from Freie Universität Berlin with a PhD in Political Science, he received a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford.

 

All Welcome

This event is free and there is no need to book

Convenor: Dr. Yonatan Sagiv (js108@soas.ac.uk)

New Article: Harlow, Referenda on Recent Scholarship in the Israel–Palestine Conflict

Harlow, Barbara. “‘Be it Resolved …’: Referenda on Recent Scholarship in the Israel–Palestine Conflict.” Cultural Critique 91 (2015): 190-205.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cultural_critique/v091/91.harlow.html

 

Extract

Be it resolved that the MLA urge the United States Department of State to contest Israel’s denials of entry to the West Bank by United States academics who have been invited to teach, confer, or do research at Palestinian universities.

—MLA Resolution 2014-1

 

Resolution 2014-1 of the Modern Language Association (MLA), calling for relief from Israel’s rigidly discriminatory restrictions on the “right to entry” for U.S. academics into Israel and its occupied Palestinian territories, following contentious debate in the weeks preceding, was passed by the organization’s Delegate Assembly at its annual meeting in January 2014. Six months later, in June, the resolution was ultimately not ratified in a referendum put, according to MLA procedure, to the full membership of the influential academic association representing faculty and students involved nationally and internationally in modern language studies. While differing significantly from the even more vociferously debated resolutions passed by related organizations in the previous year (2013) that called for a full academic boycott of Israeli institutions of higher education on the grounds of their complicity—both direct and indirect—in Israel’s “apartheid” policies of occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza and systemic discrimination against Israeli Arabs, the MLA resolution on the “right to entry” nonetheless engaged the same pressing questions of academic freedom and the legitimacy—and legality—of boycott as a political tactic in the popular struggle against colonialism, both neo- and settler, and on behalf of international human rights. Unlike the boycott resolutions of the Association for Asian American Studies, the American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the MLA resolution had focused most specifically on a right to movement—the right, that is, of academics to travel to destinations in Israeli-occupied Palestine for the purposes of teaching, conferring, and/or conducting research in collaboration with Palestinian and other international colleagues. Such purposes necessarily entailed, however, other rights—such as the civil and political rights to freedom of expression and of association as well as the economic and social right to education, all enshrined in international rights covenants—and their recognition, as well as an acknowledgement of their abridgement under Israeli law for Palestinians and their supporters.

 

 

New Article: Katz, Religion and Ethnicity in Israeli National Dolls

Katz, Maya Balakirsky. “Dressing Up: Religion and Ethnicity in Israeli National Dolls.” Religion & Gender 5.1 (2015): 71-90.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18352/rg.10108  [PDF]
 
Dolls
 
Abstract

This article considers Israel’s national image both at home and abroad through the framework of Israeli costume dolls, looking specifically at the way that gender played a role in Israel’s national image as it travelled from domestic production to international reception. Initially, predominantly female doll makers produced three main types of Israeli dolls, but over time the religious Eastern European male doll triumphed in the pantheon of national types. Produced for retail sale to non-Hebrew speaking tourists by immigrant woman, the Eastern European religious male doll came to represent Israel abroad while the market pushed representations of the Middle Eastern Jewish woman and the native sabra child to the side-lines. This article examines the shift from the multi-ethnic collection of dolls as representative of the nation’s idea of itself to the privileging of the male Eastern European doll as representative of the normative image of Israel abroad.

 

 

New Articles: Stähler, Israel in British Jewish Fiction

Stähler, Axel. “‘Almost too good to be true’: Israel in British Jewish Fiction, Pre-Lebanon.” In The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction (ed. David Brauner and Axel Stähler; Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015): 237-52.

 

Stähler, Axel. “The Writing on the Wall: Israel in British Jewish Fiction, Post-Lebanon.” In The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction (ed. David Brauner and Axel Stähler; Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015): 253-66.

Edinburgh companion