Reviews: Spiegel, Embodying Hebrew Culture

Spiegel, Nina S. Embodying Hebrew Culture. Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2013.





  • Heidecker, Liora Bing. “Review.” Nashim 26 (2014): 163-165.
  • Elron, Sari. “Review.” Middle East Journal 68.1 (2014): 165-166.
  • Zer-Zion, Shelly. “Review.” Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): 241-244.
  • Manor, Dalia. “Review.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 159-61.

New Book: Peters and Newman, eds. The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Peters, Joel and David Newman, eds. The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. London and New York: Routledge, 2013.





The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most prominent issues in world politics today. Few other issues have dominated the world’s headlines and have attracted such attention from policy makers, the academic community, political analysts, and the world’s media.

The Routledge Handbook on the Israeli- Palestinian Conflict offers a comprehensive and accessible overview of the most contentious and protracted political issue in the Middle East. Bringing together a range of top experts from Israel, Palestine, Europe and North America the Handbook tackles a range of topics including:

  • The historical background to the conflict
  • peace efforts
  • domestic politics
  • critical issues such as displacement, Jerusalem and settler movements
  • the role of outside players such as the Arab states, the US and the EU

This Handbook provides the reader with an understanding of the complexity of the issues that need to be addressed in order to resolve the conflict, and a detailed examination of the varied interests of the actors involved. In-depth analysis of the conflict is supplemented by a chronology of the conflict, key documents and a range of maps.

The contributors are all leading authorities in their field and have published extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict/peace process. Many have played a leading role in various Track II initiatives accompanying the peace process.


Table of Contents

Part 1: Competing Nationalisms

1. The Origins of Zionism Colin Schindler

2. The Palestinian National Movement: from self-rule to statehood Ahmad Samih Khalidi

Part 2:Narratives and Key Moments

3. Competing Israeli and Palestinan Narratives Paul Scham

4. The 1948 War: The Battle over History Kirsten E. Schulze

5. The First and Second Palestinian Intifadas Rami Nasrallah

6. The Camp David Summit: a Tale of Two Narratives Joel Peters


Part 3: Seeking Peace

7.The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process: 1967-1993 Laura Zittrain Eisenberg

8. Peace Plans: 1993-2012 Galia Golan

Part 4: Issues

9.Palestinian Refugees Rex Brynen

10. Jerusalem Michael Dumper

11. Territory and Borders David Newman

12. Water Julie Trottier

13. Terrorism Magnus Norell

14. Religion Yehezkel Landau

15. Economics Arie Arnon

16. Unilaterlaism and Separation Gerald M. Steinberg

17. Gaza Joel Peters

Part 5: Domestic Actors

18.The Palestine Liberation Organization Nigel Parsons

19. The Palestinian Authority Nigel Parsons

20. Hamas Khaled Hroub

21. Palestinian Civil Society Michael Schulz

22. Gush Emunim and the Israeli Settler Movement David Newman

23. The Israeli Peace Movements Naomi Chazan

Part 6: International Engagement

24. Palestinian Citizens of Israel Amal Jamal

25. The United States: 1948- 1993 Steven L. Spiegel

26. The United States: 1993-2010 Steven L. Spiegel

27. Russia Robert O. Freedman

28. Europe Rosemary Hollis

29. The Arab World P. R. Kumaraswamy

30. The Jewish Diaspora and the Pro-Israel Lobby Dov Waxman

Chronology Steve Lutes

Reviews: Gvion, Beyond Hummus and Falafel

Gvion, Liora. Beyond Hummus and Falafel. Social and Political Aspects of Palestinian Food in Israel. Translated by David Wesley and Elana Wesley. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.



  • Spicer-Jacobson, Ellen Sue. “Review.” Menupause, March 10, 2013.
  • [N/A]. “Review.” Contemporary Sociology 42.3 (2013): 449.
  • Diner, Hasia R. “Review.” Ethnic and Racial Studies [online preview, 2013]

Cite: Warshel, Palestinian Children’s Cultural Practices around the Television Set

Warshel, Yael. “It’s All about Tom And Jerry, Amr Khaled and Iqra, Not Hamas’s Mickey Mouse: Palestinian Children’s Cultural Practices around the Television Set .” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5.2 (2012): 211-245.



Interest in the effect of martyrdom television programming on Palestinian children’s culture culminated in 2007, after Hamas’s Al-Aqsa television station tried to promote its political platform with the aid of a Mickey Mouse look-alike character in The Pioneers of Tomorrow. Critics of this television program assumed that martyrdom programs must have a major impact on Palestinian children. Although this assertion may seem reasonable, it is not supported by my research exploring how Palestinian children use television amidst a cultural context pervaded by ongoing conflict. My analysis reveals, among other important findings, that Palestinian children do not watch martyrdom programs. Thus, somewhat unexpectedly and contrary to concerns voiced about Palestinian martyrdom programming, Palestinian children have not been tuning in. Above all else, Palestinian children negotiate the available options by choosing to tune into global, rather than local Palestinian television content. The television program they consume the most is Tom And Jerry. Their parents, on the other hand, prefer that they watch religious programming, including that which airs on Iqra, and that which is hosted by modernist Muslim televangelist Amr Khaled. Nevertheless, family practices around the television set indicate, ultimately, that these children, not their parents, decide what to consume. My findings are based on survey analysis of Palestinian children’s television consumption decisions, surveys of their parents’ opinions about these decisions, my viewing of related television programs, and ethnographic analysis of related family practices around the television set. I conducted my analysis during a period of two and a half years with over 400 Palestinians in the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Cite: Rokem, The Violin Player, the Soccer Game and the Wall-Graffiti

Rokem, Freddie. "The Violin Player, the Soccer Game and the Wall-Graffiti. Rhetorical Strategies in the Border-Regions between Israel and Palestine." Arcadia. International Journal for Literary Studies 45.2 (2011): 326-38.





This contribution examines an incident at a roadblock which took place in November 2004, documented in a short video and was also reproduced as a still in Israeli media. This image immediately became broadly discussed and contested. It shows a young Palestinian man playing a violin at a check point while a group of Israeli soldiers are standing and guarding the place. This image was drawn into larger clusters of signification where the rhetorical strategies employed become both quite complex and ambiguous. The image became contextualized within discourses of conflict, creating what Walter Benjamin in his Passagenwerk termed “constellations.” – Besides presenting this notion and its hermeneutic potentials my article examines the historical associations of the image, arguing that the associations with the Holocaust are actually a way to minimize the pain and suffering of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation rather than highlighting them in a broader universal context. – Another aspect of this image is connected to the technologies of creating and disseminating images of conflict/occupation and how they affect the ethical discussions surrounding this incident. I will argue that historical constellations tend to obscure rather than sharpen the ethical dimensions of images like the Palestinian violin player at the check point. – A number of graffiti paintings on the separation wall, in particular by the British graffiti artist Bansky, as well as a cellphone advertisement featuring the separation wall will be examined in order to contextualize the discourses of conflict and occupation.

Cite: Abbasi, Nazareth in the War for Palestine

Abbasi, Mustafa. "Nazareth in the War for Palestine: The Arab City that Survived the 1948 Nakba." Holy Land Studies 9.2 (2010): 185-207.




Nazareth is the largest Palestinian Arab city inside Israel and one of the holiest Christian cities on earth. In the New Testament the town is described as the childhood home of Jesus and as such is a centre of Christian shrines and pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events. Although according to the 1947 UN Partition plan the city was part of the Palestinian Arab state, it was conquered in 1948 by the Israeli army and annexed to the Israeli state. On 16 July, three days after the mass expulsion of the Palestinian cities of Lydda and Ramle by the Israeli army, Nazareth surrendered to Jewish forces and its inhabitants were allowed to remain in situ. In 1948 the Zionist attitude towards the Palestinian Christian communities in Galilee was generally less aggressive than the attitude towards the local Palestinian Muslims. This article addresses the question: how and why did Nazareth survive the 1948 Nakba and mass expulsion of Palestinians from the Galilee? While exploring this Christian dimension, the article focuses on the key roles played by the Muslim Mayor Yusuf al-Fahum, Israeli Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ben-Gurion and army commanders involved in deciding the fate of the city.

Cite: Dabashi, Paradise Delayed

Dabashi, Hamid. "Paradise Delayed: With Hany Abu-Assad in Palestine." Third Text 24,1 (2010): 11-23.


Abstract: This article takes us on a journey through occupied Palestine to the ancient city of Nablus, where Palestinian film-maker Hany Abu-Assad was location scouting for the shooting of his globally celebrated Paradise Now (2005). The travelogue is a meditation on the interplay between film and fact, fiction and reality, the joy of creative defiance and the mendacity of colonial domination. The ethnographic practices of visual anthropology and academic film studies are taken critically to task for undermining the art and creative energies of a people in their transcendence of a siege condition.




Keywords: Hany Abu-Assad; Paradise Now; Palestine; Hammouda; Jerusalem; Nablus; claustrophobia; military checkpoint; national cinema; national trauma; Nakba; Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestine: Culture, Film / Cinema, Israel: in media, Occupation, Millitary

Cite: Brinner, Emergence of New Israeli/Palestinian Musical Competences & Connections

Brinner, Benjamin. "Beyond Ethnic Tinge or Ethnic Fringe: The Emergence of New Israeli/Palestinian Musical Competences & Connections ."  Min-Ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online 7,2 (2008-2009). 21 pp.




Keywords: Israeli music, culture, popular culture, ברינר, מוסיקה, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, shared culture

Cite: Hip Hop and the Reclaiming of Masculinity in Jerusalem’s Shu’afat Refugee Camp

Greenberg, Ela. "’The King of the Streets’: Hip Hop and the Reclaiming of Masculinity in Jerusalem’s Shu’afat Refugee Camp." Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 2,2 (2009): 231-250.

Abstract and (restricted) online access here.

Full Table of contents for this MEJCC  issue can be found here:

Keywords: Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jerusalem: Palestinians, Gender,  Music, Palestine: Culture, refugees, occupation.

ToC: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

The Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication has a new issue out.

Here is the Table of Contents (copied from here):


Towards a Palestinian Cultural Studies
pp. 181-185(5)
Author: Tawil-Souri, Helga


Gendering the Palestinian Political Cartoon
pp. 187-213(27)
Author: Yaqub, Nadia

The Poetry of Hamas
pp. 214-230(17)
Author: Alshaer, Atef

Creative Activism: Youth Media in Palestine
pp. 251-274(24)
Author: Norman, Julie M.

Digital Nomads: Between Homepages and Homelands
pp. 293-314(22)
Author: Al-Zobaidi, Sobhi


Palestinian Cinema: Landscape, Trauma, and Memory
pp. 315-321(7)
Author: Ginsberg, Terri

Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration
pp. 322-325(4)
Author: Breen, Marcus


I will post some of these that are more specifically pertaining to Israel, as separate posts.