Thesis: Melamed, Israeli Homemade Video Memorials and the Politics of Loss

Melamed, Laliv. Sovereign Intimacy: Israeli Homemade Video Memorials and the Politics of Loss, PhD dissertation. New York: New York University, 2015.
 
URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/37/40/3740826.html
 
Abstract

Sovereign Intimacy takes as its subject of investigation video memorialization of dead Israeli soldiers done by their close family and friends. Mixing private loss, home-made video production, military conduct, state politics, and an institutionalized commemoration, it redraws the affinities between affective intimacy and forms of governing. It delineates the reshaping of sovereignty by filial relationships, video practicing and aesthetics, state and military administration of death and mass media. Sovereign Intimacy inquires into the political currencies of mourning and loss.

The videos respond to an event triggered by operations of state violence—figured by military power—with a personal lamenting of the breaking of intimate ties. These videos are made by the family and for the family, through amateur and semi-amateur modes of production. Although they were meant to be privately circulated, this phenomenon emerged in tandem to the videos being broadcast on television during the events of the National Memorial Day.

Home-made video memorials become a standard of Israeli memorialization during the 1990s. Largely the result of waning public support of the Israeli occupation of the south of Lebanon, and of a growing disavowal of state authority, the phenomenon represented a potential challenge to hegemonic narratives and aesthetic forms, through the appropriation of memory and means of production. However, it did not make way to a new political voice to emerge. Instead, these videos emotionalized violence and victimized its deliverers. Furthermore, the broadcasting of the videos on television—allegedly as a tribute to the families, a communal gesture of listening and a call for solidarity—participated in a national economy of death in which the lives of Lebanese, Palestinians and marginalized people within Israeli society had no value. Lastly, the phenomenon of memorial videos normalized the growing militarization of civil society and neutralized any call for political action.

 

 

 

New Article: Freilich; National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl

Freilich, Charles (Chuck) D. “Israel: National Security Decision-Making in a Leaky Political Fishbowl.” Comparative Strategy 34.2 (2015): 117-32.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01495933.2015.1017341

 

Abstract

The article is a first attempt to systematically assess the impact of leaks on Israeli decision-making. Five major cases were studied on three levels: whether leaks affected the process, policies adopted, and outcomes. Leaks had a strong impact in two cases, but not on the policies adopted, or outcomes, in any of the cases analyzed. As a tentative conclusion, most leaks are about Israel’s broad strategic thinking and the politics thereof, rather than hard information. The primary impact is on process, important in itself, not substance.

 

Reviews: Levy, Israel’s Death Hierarchy

Levy, Yagil. Israel’s Death Hierarchy. Casualty Aversion in a Militarized Democracy. New York: NYU Press, 2012.

 

Reviews

Cite: Petrelli, The Evolution of Israeli Counterinsurgency, 1987–2005

Petrelli, Niccolò. “Deterring Insurgents: Culture, Adaptation and the Evolution of Israeli Counterinsurgency, 1987–2005.” Journal of Strategic Studies 36.5 (2013): 666-691.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01402390.2012.755923

 

Abstract

This article studies the Israeli ‘way of war’ in counterinsurgency in the period 1987–2005 by analysing the characteristic features of Israel’s approach and its ability to adapt to the challenges posed by the Palestinian and Lebanese insurgencies. It first outlines the evolution of the Israeli counterinsurgency. It subsequently examines the Israeli approach through the lens of the country’s strategic culture, illuminating its features, rationales and goals, and concludes by examining to what extent Israel managed to adapt to the challenges of fighting insurgents.

Cite: Yosef, Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Cedar’s Beaufort

Yosef, Raz. "Traces of War: Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort." Cinema Journal 50,2 (2011): 61-83.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/cinema_journal/summary/v050/50.2.yosef.html

 

Abstract

One of the most striking phenomena in contemporary Israeli cinema is the number of films that explore repressed traumatic events from the First Lebanon War—events that have been denied entry into the shared national past. This essay analyzes Joseph Cedar’s film Beaufort (2007), arguing that the film exposes a traumatic rupture between history and memory. Yet at the same time, Beaufort nostalgically expresses an impossible yearning for lost archival collective national memory.

 

Keywords: Film / Cinema, Lebanon, Lebanon Security Zone, Joseph Cedar, Trauma, Violence, Memory, Archive, Collective Memory, Nostalgia, War Films, Suffering, Pain, Psychic Trauma, Motion Pictures, Israeli Culture, יוסי סידר, רז יוסף, בופור, לבנון