New Article: Natanel, Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine

Natanel, Katherine. “Border Collapse and Boundary Maintenance: Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine.” Gender, Place & Culture 23.6 (2016): 897-911.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2015.1136807

 

Abstract

Drawing upon subaltern geopolitics and feminist geography, this article explores how militarisation shapes micro-geographies of violence and occupation in Israel–Palestine. While accounts of spectacular and large-scale political violence dominate popular imaginaries and academic analyses in/of the region, a shift to the micro-scale foregrounds the relationship between power, politics and space at the level of everyday life. In the context of Israel–Palestine, micro-geographies have revealed dynamic strategies for ‘getting by’ or ‘dealing with’ the occupation, as practiced by Palestinian populations in the face of spatialised violence. However, this article considers how Jewish Israelis actively shape the spatial micro-politics of power within and along the borders of the Israeli state. Based on 12 months of ethnographic research in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem during 2010–2011, an analysis of everyday narratives illustrates how relations of violence, occupation and domination rely upon gendered dynamics of border collapse and boundary maintenance. Here, the borders between home front and battlefield break down at the same time as communal boundaries are reproduced, generating conditions of ‘total militarism’ wherein military interests and agendas are both actively and passively diffused. Through gendering the militarised micro-geographies of violence among Jewish Israelis, this article reveals how individuals construct, navigate and regulate the everyday spaces of occupation, detailing more precisely how macro political power endures.

 

 

 

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New Article: Weiss, How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance

Weiss, Erica. “Incentivized Obedience: How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance.” American Anthropologist 118.1 (2016): 91-103.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aman.12501
 

Abstract

In this article, I offer an ethnographic examination of neoliberal techniques of control through absence by the Israeli military, the state institution most associated with discipline, indoctrination, and direct coercion. I highlight the ways that the apparent withdrawal of the state from practices of indoctrination and the punishment of conscientious objectors are accompanied by a shift in recruitment and training that emphasizes self-advancement and social mobility above national and ideological commitments. While in the past the Israeli state and military focused exclusively on shaping self-sacrificing citizens, today it invests a great deal of its effort in structuring the calculated choices of self-interested individuals toward favorable outcomes. I explore the uneven but strategic deployment of incentivized governance and consider some of the effects of these techniques for the meaning of engaged citizenship and the politics of state violence in a militarized society. Further, I demonstrate that the lightening of disciplinary sanctions in favor of individual freedom is an effective form of weakening dissent and that it confounds efforts to constitute organized resistance to militarism, leaving activists floundering to find effective ways to express their political concerns.

 

 

 

Syllabus: Greenberg, Sociology of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Greenberg, Lev. “Sociology of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” – Fall 2015 Syllabus.

URL: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/50b5/1f9d713efbc958e31d57775939bc70885e38.pdf (PDF)

sociology i-p conflict

New Article: Natanel, Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine

Natanel, Katherine. “Border Collapse and Boundary Maintenance: Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine.” Gender, Place & Culture (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2015.1136807
 
Abstract

Drawing upon subaltern geopolitics and feminist geography, this article explores how militarisation shapes micro-geographies of violence and occupation in Israel–Palestine. While accounts of spectacular and large-scale political violence dominate popular imaginaries and academic analyses in/of the region, a shift to the micro-scale foregrounds the relationship between power, politics and space at the level of everyday life. In the context of Israel–Palestine, micro-geographies have revealed dynamic strategies for ‘getting by’ or ‘dealing with’ the occupation, as practiced by Palestinian populations in the face of spatialised violence. However, this article considers how Jewish Israelis actively shape the spatial micro-politics of power within and along the borders of the Israeli state. Based on 12 months of ethnographic research in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem during 2010–2011, an analysis of everyday narratives illustrates how relations of violence, occupation and domination rely upon gendered dynamics of border collapse and boundary maintenance. Here, the borders between home front and battlefield break down at the same time as communal boundaries are reproduced, generating conditions of ‘total militarism’ wherein military interests and agendas are both actively and passively diffused. Through gendering the militarised micro-geographies of violence among Jewish Israelis, this article reveals how individuals construct, navigate and regulate the everyday spaces of occupation, detailing more precisely how macro political power endures.

 

 

 

New Article: Harel-Shalev & Daphna-Tekoah, Analysing Israeli Female Combatants’ Experiences

Harel-Shalev, Ayelet, and Shir Daphna-Tekoah. “Gendering Conflict Analysis: Analysing Israeli Female Combatants’ Experiences.” In Female Combatants in Conflict and Peace. Challenging Gender in Violence and Post-Conflict Reintegration (ed. Seema Shekhawat; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 69-83.

 
9781137516558
 

Abstract

Catharine MacKinnon, in her oft-cited article, portrays an imaginary heavenly encounter between a female combat soldier and a feminist activist — … ‘a dialogue between women in the after-life: The feminist says to the [female] soldier, “we fought for your equality.” The soldier says to the feminist, “oh, no, we fought for your equality”…’ In their dialogue, both fight for acknowledgement of their relative contribution to promoting women in society. As Barak-Erez pointed out, “military service has traditionally been considered one of the most distinctive signs of full citizenship, and the exclusion of women from military service has been inseparable from their lower civic status”. Nevertheless, women’s struggle for equal participation in the military and for equality is often criticized. Scholars have indicated that this process has many negative side effects, including reinforcing militarism, encouraging the militarization of women’s lives and even legitimizing the use of force.

 

 

 

New Article: Rosman-Stollman & Israeli, Transition of the Israeli Soldier’s Media Image from the Collective to an Individual

Rosman-Stollman, Elisheva, and Zipi Israeli. “‘Our Forces’ Become Alexei, Yuval and Liran: The Transition of the Israeli Soldier’s Media Image from the Collective to an Individual.” Res Militaris 5.2 (2015).

 
URL: http://resmilitaris.net/ressources/10223/04/res_militaris_article_rosman-stollman___israeli_our_forces_become_alexei__yuval_and_liran.pdf [PDF]
 
Extract

This article will look at the complex idea of identity and examine the transition from collective to individual representation through the media image of soldiers in Israel. Soldiers, and the Israel Defence Force (IDF) in general, enjoy a uniquely central position in Israeli society, as will be described at length below. Civil-military scholars in Israel agree that soldiers are a source of public pride and national ethos. Few images in Israel attract as much public attention as soldiers do. For this reason, examining the identity of soldiers is telling of social trends in Israeli society at large and can serve as a litmus test for more general changes in Israeli identity.

 

 

 

New Article: Cohen et al, The Changing Functions and Status of Chaplains in the IDF

Cohen, Stuart, Aaron Kampinsky, and Elisheva Rosman-Stollman. “Swimming against the Tide: The Changing Functions and Status of Chaplains in the Israel Defense Force.” Religion, State and Society (early view; online first).

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09637494.2015.1122881

 

Extract

This article describes and analyses the changes that have occurred in the services performed by chaplains in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) – the only military in the world that consists almost entirely of Jews. Essentially, we argue, the shift has been one of focus. For many years, IDF chaplains primarily (albeit never exclusively) concerned themselves with providing religious services to the minority of personnel who observed Orthodox Jewish rituals. ‘Outreach’ programmes, targeted at the secular Jewish majority, were secondary. Recently, however, the IDF rabbinate has undergone a process of ‘role expansion’, emphasising the provision of counselling and guidance to the entire Jewish complement, especially in combat units. In the second part of the article, we analyse the possible reasons for that development: demographic and cultural trends in Israeli society; the prominence of counter-insurgency missions in the IDF’s operational agenda; and the personalities of recent chief chaplains. Finally, we address the possible implications of this shift, asking whether the intra-organisational frictions that it generates, especially with the Education Corps, portends a battle for the soul of the IDF.

 

 

 

New Book: Lebel & Lewin, eds. The 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Reshaping of Israeli Civil–Military Relations

Lebel, Udi, and Eyal Lewin, eds. The 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Reshaping of Israeli Civil–Military Relations. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2015.

1498513719

The 1973 Yom Kippur War did not only have external implications on Israel, but also some dramatic internal implications, particularly with regards to the civil-military relations as well as the fields of psychology and political sociology. To this day, the consequences of this war are still prevalent in Israel, in terms of drafting security policies and the military doctrine.
After the war, new identities were formed in the Israeli civil society, which began to function as active agents in shaping security policy. These players are not a unique Israeli case, yet their actions in Israel serve as a case study that illuminates their significant impact in other countries as well. This is due to the fact that the “Israeli Laboratory” is a liberal democratic society living with an ongoing conflict; it has a mandatory army that is sensitive to fluctuations in public opinion, culture and the media; and issues of national security and military conduct are always a top public concern.
Consequently, this book examines the rise of five identities and agents that were formed after the 1973 War and highlights the effects they had on the formation of Israeli defense policy from then on. The book also clarifies the importance of exposure to these agents’ activities, referring to the psycho-political social factors that may actually dictate a state’s international policies. It therefore forms a study that connects sociology, political psychology, international relations, the field of culture studies and studies of strategy planning. Thus, the book is of interest to both the domestic-Israeli field of research and to the global scholarly discourse, particularly to academic disciplines engaged in civil-military relations (political sociology, political science).

 

UDI LEBEL is associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ariel University.

EYAL LEWIN is assistant professor at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science at Ariel University.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    Udi Lebel and Eyal Lewin
  • The Combatants’ Protest after the Yom Kippur War and the Transformation of the Protest Culture in Israel
    Eithan Orkibi
  • The Significance of the Yom Kippur War as a Turning Point in the Religious-Zionist Society
    Nissim Leon
  • From Domination to Competition: The Yom Kippur War (1973) and the Formation of a New Grief Community
    Udi Lebel
  • Not Just Intermediaries: The Mediatization of Security Affairs in Israel since 1973
    Rafi Mann
  • The 1973 War and the Formation of Israeli POW Policy: A Watershed Line?
    Alexander Bligh
  • The 1973 War as a Stimulator in the Reshaping of Israeli National Ethos
    Eyal Lewin
  • Index
  • About the Authors

 

New Article: Perez & Sasson-Levy, Avoiding Military Service in a Militaristic Society

Perez, Merav, and Orna Sasson-Levy. “Avoiding Military Service in a Militaristic Society: A Chronicle of Resistance to Hegemonic Masculinity.” Peace & Change 40.4 (2015): 462-88.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pech.12143

 

Abstract

This article examines the connection between masculine identity and avoidance of military service in a militaristic society. Based on retrospective interviews with Israeli middle-class men who initiated their release from military service on medical–psychological grounds, we argue that this choice embodies resistance to patterns identified with the local hegemonic masculinity and that this resistance gradually intensifies over the life course. The first signs of opposition emerge in early adolescence, when the perception of self diverges from the conventional masculine mold. The emotionally charged encounter with the military deepens this resistance, which is then reinforced by the decision not to serve, and ultimately leads to the construction of the present nonconformist identity. The development of a nonconformist self that is not subject to the dictates of the local hegemonic masculinity demonstrates how in a militaristic society, even a personal decision not to serve becomes an act rife with gendered meanings and political significance.

 

 

 

New Article: Rosman, Toward a Classification of Managing Religious Diversity in the Ranks

Rosman, Elisheva. ” Toward a Classification of Managing Religious Diversity in the Ranks. The Case of the Turkish and Israeli Armed Forces”. Armed Forces & Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0095327X15613580

 
Abstract

Military establishments view religious soldiers with mixed feelings and must contend with the specific dilemmas these soldiers present. This article suggests what might influence the managing of religious diversity in the ranks, using the idea of dimensions of isolation. The more removed a military is from society, the more likely it is to utilize internal mechanisms when dealing with religious soldiers. The less removed it is from society, the more likely it will be to turn to external mediating mechanisms in this regard. Using three dimensions of isolation (physical, temporal, and psychological), this article discusses the treatment of religious troops in the Israeli and Turkish cases. After exploring what can be learned from these cases regarding the accommodation of religious soldiers, the article concludes with some suggestions for future research.

 

 

 

New Book: Kotef, Movement and the Ordering of Freedom

Kotef, Hagar. Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.

 

978-0-8223-5843-5-frontcover

We live within political systems that increasingly seek to control movement, organized around both the desire and ability to determine who is permitted to enter what sorts of spaces, from gated communities to nation-states. In Movement and the Ordering of Freedom, Hagar Kotef examines the roles of mobility and immobility in the history of political thought and the structuring of political spaces. Ranging from the writings of Locke, Hobbes, and Mill to the sophisticated technologies of control that circumscribe the lives of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, this book shows how concepts of freedom, security, and violence take form and find justification via “regimes of movement.” Kotef traces contemporary structures of global (im)mobility and resistance to the schism in liberal political theory, which embodied the idea of “liberty” in movement while simultaneously regulating mobility according to a racial, classed, and gendered matrix of exclusions.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements

    • Introduction
    • 1. Between Imaginary Lines: Violence and Its Justifications at the Military Checkpoints in Occupied Palestine / Hagar Kotef and Merav Amir
    • 2. An Interlude: A Tale of Two Roads—On Freedom and Movement
    • 3. The Fence That “Ill Deserves the Name of Confinement”: Locomotion and the Liberal Body
    • 4. The Problem of “Excessive” Movement
    • 5. The “Substance and Meaning of All Things Political”: On Other Bodies
    • Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
Index

 

HAGAR KOTEF is based at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University.

 

 

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 34.2 (2015)

Journal of Israeli History, 34.2 (2015)

No Trinity: The tripartite relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization
Daniel Mahla
pages 117-140

Judaism and communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965
Amir Locker-Biletzki
pages 141-158

Olei Hagardom: Between official and popular memory
Amir Goldstein
pages 159-180

Practices of photography on kibbutz: The case of Eliezer Sklarz
Edna Barromi Perlman
pages 181-203

The Shishakli assault on the Syrian Druze and the Israeli response, January–February 1954
Randall S. Geller
pages 205-220

Book Reviews

Editorial Board

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.   

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 Article: Ben-Moshe, Disability and Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel

Ben-Moshe, Liat. “Movements at War? Disability and Anti-Occupation Activism in Israel.” In Occupying Disability. Critical Approaches to Community, Justice, and Decolonizing Disability (ed. Pamela Block et al.; Dordrecht and New York: Springer, 2016): 47-61.

 

9789401799836

 

Abstract

At the time of the first major disability protest in Israel in 1999 and then in 2000-2001, there were already many anti-occupation and peace organizations at play in Israel/Palestine. While participating in this budding disability movement, I began reflecting on my experiences of simultaneously being an Israeli anti-occupation activist and disabled activist publically fighting for the first time for disability rights. In the summer of 2006 I conducted research in Israel, trying to assess any changes that occurred since 2000 in the connections between the movements and within the disability movement itself. And then the war on Lebanon began. My intention in writing this chapter is to highlight the connections between disability activism and anti-war and anti-occupation activism, which seems to be at war with one another but in fact intersect in important ways. I hope this narrative and analysis will be useful for material resistance as well as a reflection on our current states of exclusion in activism and scholarship.

 

 

New Article: Tiargan-Orr & Eran-Jona, Israeli Public’s Perception of the IDF Stability and Change

Tiargan-Orr, Roni, and Meytal Eran-Jona. “The Israeli Public’s Perception of the IDF Stability and Change.” Armed Forces & Society (early view; online first)

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0095327X15592214

 

Abstract
This article attempts to shed light on Israel’s civil–military relations by employing the public’s trust in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a key parameter. The study is based on a series of public opinion polls conducted between 2001 and 2010, during periods of military confrontation as well as periods of relative quiet. The findings show that despite increased criticism toward the IDF and claims by researchers, the Jewish-Israeli public’s trust in the IDF generally remains very high and stable and strengthens significantly when the cannons start to roar. We also found a fixed pattern of change in public opinion during low-intensity conflicts. In a comparative perspective, the findings suggest that the “rally ’round the flag” effect is relevant in the Israeli case both in conventional war and in limited conflicts. Moreover, the findings indicate that the public’s trust in the army is not a uniform perception but a complex one that may have different and sometimes conflicting facets.

 

New Book: Kuntsman and Stein, Digital Militarism

Kuntsman, Adi, and Rebecca L. Stein. Digital Militarism. Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age, Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.

 

pid_23022

 

Israel’s occupation has been transformed in the social media age. Over the last decade, military rule in the Palestinian territories grew more bloody and entrenched. In the same period, Israelis became some of the world’s most active social media users. In Israel today, violent politics are interwoven with global networking practices, protocols, and aesthetics. Israeli soldiers carry smartphones into the field of military operations, sharing mobile uploads in real-time. Official Israeli military spokesmen announce wars on Twitter. And civilians encounter state violence first on their newsfeeds and mobile screens.

Across the globe, the ordinary tools of social networking have become indispensable instruments of warfare and violent conflict. This book traces the rise of Israeli digital militarism in this global context—both the reach of social media into Israeli military theaters and the occupation’s impact on everyday Israeli social media culture. Today, social media functions as a crucial theater in which the Israeli military occupation is supported and sustained.

 

Table of Contents

Preface

1 When Instagram Went to War: Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age
2 “Another War Zone”: The Development of Digital Militarism
3 Anatomy of a Facebook Scandal: Social Media as Alibi
4 Palestinians Who Never Die: The Politics of Digital Suspicion
5 Selfie Militarism: The Normalization of Digital Militarism

Afterword: #Revenge

Acknowledgements
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Adi Kuntsman is Lecturer in Information and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, and author of Figurations of Violence and Belonging: Queerness, Migranthood and Nationalism in Cyberspace and Beyond (2009).

Rebecca L. Stein is the Nicholas J. & Theresa M. Leonardy Associate Professor of Anthropology at Duke University, and author of Itineraries in Conflict: Israelis, Palestinians, and the Political Lives of Tourism (2008).

 

 

Reviews: Helman, Becoming Israeli

Helman, Anat. Becoming Israeli. National Ideals and Everyday Life in the 1950s, Schusterman Series in Israel Studies. Waltham, Mass.: Brandeis University Press, 2014.

9781611685572
Reviews

    • Burghardt, Linda F.”Review.” Jewish Book Council, n.d.
    • Bernstein, Deborah. “Review.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).
    • Hirsch, Dafna. “Review.” Israel Studies Review 30.2 (2015).

 

 

New Article: Kohn, Instagram as a Naturalized Propaganda Tool

Kohn, Ayelet. “Instagram as a Naturalized Propaganda Tool. The Israel Defense Forces Web Site and the Phenomenon of Shared Values.” Convergence (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354856515592505

 

Abstract

This article examines the methods through which the formal and emotional components, embedded in the photo sharing and social networking application Instagram, are utilized as a propaganda tool to cultivate solidarity with promoted agendas. The test case is Instagram photos posted on the official Web site of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The article juxtaposes two conceptual systems, the one shared by the members of Instagram and a system based on presuppositions regarding the ideologies, values, and emotional attitudes shared by Israeli Instagram users toward the IDF. This juxtaposition is made possible, thanks to the resemblance found between the aesthetic and emotional aspects of Instagram and the ideological and emotional aspects emphasized by IDF. Three main interrelated motifs demonstrate the article’s argument: soldiers as civilians/photographers in momentary disguise, army and nature, and admiration for appearances of weapons.

 

 

New Article: Koren et al, Disability during Military Service in Israel

Koren, Ela, Yoav S. Bergman, and Michael Katz. “Disability during Military Service in  Israel: Raising Awareness of Gender Differences.” Journal of Gender Studies 24.1 (2015): 117-28.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09589236.2013.820132

 

Abstract

Women in Israel are required by law to serve in the national army. While disabled women veterans constitute about 6% of the total disabled veteran population, their injuries during service are similar to those of men, and include injuries sustained during combat, in training, or in traffic accidents. To date, no attempt has been made to study this unique population. The current research employs the social model of disability and examines gender differences among Israeli Defense Forces veterans who became disabled during their military service, in the areas of mental and physical health, perceived stigma, and social support. Findings show that disabled women veterans report significantly lower social support, lower monthly salaries, and experience more discrimination than their male counterparts. No differences were found in other variables. This research is an important step toward raising the awareness of gender differences, and its findings stress the need for additional studies which will provide further information regarding this distinctive population.