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.

 

 

 

Dissertation: Harel, “The eternal nation does not fear a long road”: An Ethnography of Jewish Settlers in Israel/Palestine

Harel, Assaf. “The eternal nation does not fear a long road”: An Ethnography of Jewish Settlers in Israel/Palestine, PhD thesis, Rutgers University, 2015.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3VD71FW

 

Abstract

This is an ethnography of Jewish settlers in Israel/Palestine. Studies of religiously motivated settlers in the occupied territories indicate the intricate ties between settlement practices and a Jewish theology about the advent of redemption. This messianic theology binds future redemption with the maintenance of a physical union between Jews and the “Land of Israel.” However, among settlers themselves, the dominance of this messianic theology has been undermined by postmodernity and most notably by a series of Israeli territorial withdrawals that have contradicted the promise of redemption. These days, the religiously motivated settler population is divided among theological and ideological lines that pertain, among others issues, to the meaning of redemption and its relation to the state of Israel. This dissertation begins with an investigation of the impact of the 2005 Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip upon settlers and proceeds to compare three groups of religiously motivated settlers in the West Bank: an elite Religious Zionist settlement, settlers who engage in peacemaking activities with Palestinians, and settlers who act violently against Palestinians. Through a comparison of these different groups, this dissertation demonstrates that while messianism remains a central force in the realities of Jewish settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it exists these days in more diversified forms than before. In addition, this ethnography illustrates how religion both underlies and undermines differences between Israelis and Palestinians and argues that local communities and religious leaders should be included in peace processes. Finally, by examining how messianic conceptions of time among different groups of Jewish settlers connect to their settlement practices, this study reveals the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be as much about time as it is about space. Accordingly, this dissertation has broader implications for understanding the contemporary role of religion and time within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the political struggles of the Middle East.

 

 

New Article, Amrami, Therapy Versus Messianism in Preparing for the Evacuation of Israeli Settlements

Amrami, Galia Plotkin. “‘Denial or Faith?’ Therapy Versus Messianism in Preparing for the Evacuation of Israeli Settlements.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 46.4 (2015): 414-30.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aeq.12119
 
Abstract

This article offers an ethnographic account of the professional activities of mental health practitioners, employed by the state’s religious education system. I analyze various models implemented by practitioners for the purposes of preparing pupils for the state-mandated evacuation of Jewish settlers from Gaza and the West Bank. By focusing on the interaction between psychological and religious-national cultural frameworks I show how practitioners imbue familiar professional concepts with new meanings and create hybrid models of intervention.

 

 

 

New Article: Linfield, Is a Left Zionism Possible?

Linfield, Susie. “Is a Left Zionism Possible?”. Dissent 62.4 (2015): 98-101.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/dissent/v062/62.4.linfield.html/

 
Abstract

The very posing of this question is profoundly dispiriting. It shows how bad (that is, not left-wing) the political situation of contemporary Israel is; how radically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has deteriorated; and how historically ignorant and blindly anti-Israeli today’s American left is. The short answer is: yes, of course. Zionism has been Leninist, socialdemocratic, liberal, secular, pacifist, anti-imperialist, proletarian, even, until this became impossible, binational. It has also been militaristic, authoritarian, bourgeois, racist, religious, messianic, imperialist, and neofascist.

 

 

 

New Book: Selengut, Our Promised Land: Faith and Militant Zionism in Israeli Settlements

Selengut, Charles. Our Promised Land: Faith and Militant Zionism in Israeli Settlements Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

 
selengut

 

Our Promised Land takes readers inside radical Israeli settlements to explore how they were formed, what the people in them believe, and their role in the Middle East today. Charles Selengut analyzes the emergence of the radical Israeli Messianic Zionist movement, which advocates Jewish settlement and sovereignty over the whole of biblical Israel as a religious obligation and as the means of world transformation. The movement has established scores of controversial settlements throughout the contested West Bank, bringing more than 300,000 Jews to the area. Messianic Zionism is a fundamentalist movement but wields considerable political power.

Our Promised Land, which draws on years of research and interviews in these settlements, offers an intimate and nuanced look at Messianic Zionism, life in the settlements, connections with the worldwide Christian community, and the impact on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Selengut offers an in-depth exploration of a topic that is often mentioned in the headlines but little understood.

 

 

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. The Rise of the Settlements
2. From Zionism to Messianic Nationalism
3. Faith, Culture, and Community Life
4. Inside The Settlements: Portraits, Conversations, and Experiences
5. Judaism, Religious Nationalism, and the Middle East Conflict
A Note on Research Methods
Notes
Glossary
Key Figures
About the Author
Charles Selengut is professor of sociology at Morris College and a former professor of religion at Drew University. He is the author of several books, including Sacred Fury: Understanding Religious Violence.

 

 

New Article: Inbari, Messianic Religious Zionism and the Reintroduction of Sacrifice

Inbari, Motti. “Messianic Religious Zionism and the Reintroduction of Sacrifice: The Case of the Temple Institute.” In Rethinking the Messianic Idea in Judaism (ed. Michael L. Morgan and Steven Weitzman; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014): 256-73.

 

9780253014740_med

URL: https://www.academia.edu/16376952/Messianic_Religious_Zionism_and_the_Reintroduction_of_Sacrifice_The_Case_of_the_Temple_Institute

 

Extract

The obscuring of the question of the Temple Mount by early Zionist messianists, both Religious and secular, invited challenges to the Zionist establishment. Scholem wanted the Zionist messianic myth to develop without a yearning for a Third Temple as part of the end of days. Yet Scholem’s conscious denial of the historical desire could not quash the desire. The growing trend of Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount and the vigorous activities of the Temple Institute, discussed above, suggest that the vision of the Third Temple has emerged as a widely accepted component of contemporary Israeli Jewish messianism.

 

 

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)

 

ToC: Israel Studies 19.2 (2014)

[ToC from Project Muse; content also available at JStor: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.issue-2]

Israel Studies

Volume 19, Number 2, Summer 2014

Table of Contents

Special Issue: Zionism in the 21st Century

Editors: Ilan Troen and Donna Robinson Divine

 

Introduction: (Special issue, Israel Studies, 19.2)

pp. v-xi

Ilan Troen, Donna Robinson Divine

Articles: Zionist Theory

Cultural Zionism Today

pp. 1-14

Allan Arkush

Bi-Nationalist Visions for the Construction and Dissolution of the State of Israel

pp. 15-34

Rachel Fish

Culture: Literature and Music

Nostalgic Soundscapes: The Future of Israel’s Sonic Past

pp. 35-50

Edwin Seroussi

Cultural Orientations and Dilemmas

Remember? Forget? What to Remember? What to Forget?

pp. 51-69

Tuvia Friling

The Kibbutz in Immigration Narratives of Bourgeois Iraqi and Polish Jews Who Immigrated to Israel in the 1950s

pp. 70-93

Aziza Khazzoom

Politics and Law

Zionism and the Politics of Authenticity

pp. 94-110

Donna Robinson Divine

Law in Light of Zionism: A Comparative View

pp. 111-132

Suzanne Last Stone

Economics and Land

Some Perspectives on the Israeli Economy: Stocktaking and Looking Ahead

pp. 133-161

Jacob Metzer

Competing Concepts of Land in Eretz Israel

pp. 162-186

Ilan Troen, Shay Rabineau

Israel’s Relationship with Its Neighbors and the Palestinian Arab Citizens

The Arab Minority in Israel: Reconsidering the “1948 Paradigm”

pp. 187-217

Elie Rekhess

Israel’s Place in a Changing Regional Order (1948–2013)

pp. 218-238

Asher Susser

Religion and Society

Messianism and Politics: The Ideological Transformation of Religious Zionism

pp. 239-263

Eliezer Don-Yehiya

The Ambivalent Haredi Jew

pp. 264-293

Yoel Finkelman

Contributors

pp. 294-296