This new issue contains the following articles:
Writing Jewish history
Pages: 257-269 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140346
How do states die: lessons for Israel
Steven R. David
Pages: 270-290 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140358Towards a biblical psychology for modern Israel: 10 guides for healthy living
Kalman J. Kaplan
Pages: 291-317 | DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2016.1140349
The past as a yardstick: Europeans, Muslim migrants and the onus of European-Jewish histories
The mental cleavage of Israeli politics
Framing policy paradigms: population dispersal and the Gaza withdrawal
National party strategies in local elections: a theory and some evidence from the Israeli case
‘I have two homelands’: constructing and managing Iranian Jewish and Persian Israeli identities
Avoiding longing: the case of ‘hidden children’ in the Holocaust
‘Are you being served?’ The Jewish Agency and the absorption of Ethiopian immigration |
The danger of Israel according to Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi
Leisure in the twenty-first century: the case of Israel
Limits to cooperation: why Israel does not want to become a member of the International Energy Agency
The attitude of the local press to marginal groups: between solidarity and alienation
The construction of Israeli ‘masculinity’ in the sports arena
Holocaust images and picturing catastrophe: the cultural politics of seeing
Mendelsohn, Barak. “Israel and Its Messianic Right: Path-Dependency and State Authority in International Conflict.” International Studies Quarterly (early view; online first).
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.
Magen, Clila. “Media Strategies and Manipulations of Intelligence Services. The Case of Israel.” International Journal of Press/Politics 20.2 (2015): 247-65.
Existing research on the relationship between Israeli intelligence services and the media is limited and fragmented. This work attempts to fill in the gaps by shedding light on four main strategies that have been commonly implemented by the Israeli intelligence community: ambiguity and concealment of media relations, the “if you would only know” strategy, exploiting patriotism and cooptation, and information manipulations and psychological warfare. These strategies were utilized frequently by Israel’s intelligence services, and thus have had an impact on the intelligence services’ accountability. However, significant changes in Israel’s society and media have created new challenges to the intelligence services in the public sphere. This study examines these changes and differentiates between the organizations within the intelligence community, domestic and foreign, which, facing differing challenges, tailor different methods for addressing the media as a result. This paper is based on several years of research and a large database of literature, media coverage, and in-depth interviews with key figures in Israel’s intelligence community (former Mossad and Israeli Security Authority directors), senior journalists, and politicians.
Hagay, Haim and Oren Meyers. “Everybody’s Team? The National Narrative in the Hebrew Press Covering Israeli National Soccer Team Matches.” Media, Culture, and Society 37.4 (2015): 530-46.
Sports media offer a unique discourse site because the nationalistic nature of reporting is often radicalized and in most cases ‘the national flag is waved with eternal enthusiasm’. Therefore, this study examined changes in the coverage of the Israeli national soccer team between 1949 and 2006 through an exploration of the identity of the journalistic narratives’ storytellers and protagonists. Our findings illuminate a complex picture: whereas during the Israel’s formative era sports reporters pursued a patriotic narrative that praised the players for their fighting spirit and contribution to national prestige, in recent decades the sports sections echo a new variety of local, professional, and gender voices that challenge the supposedly natural hegemony of national identity. These changes can be explained by factors rooted in the fields of journalism, sports, and the politics of identity.
Yosef, Raz and Boaz Hagin. Deeper than Oblivion. Trauma and Memory in Israeli Cinema. New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.
In this collection, leading scholars in both film studies and Israeli studies show that beyond representing familiar historical accounts or striving to offer a more complete and accurate depiction of the past, Israeli cinema has innovatively used trauma and memory to offer insights about Israeli society and to engage with cinematic experimentation and invention. Tracing a long line of films from the 1940s up to the 2000s, the contributors use close readings of these films not only to reconstruct the past, but also to actively engage with it. Addressing both high-profile and lesser known fiction and non-fiction Israeli films, Deeper than Oblivion underlines the unique aesthetic choices many of these films make in their attempt to confront the difficulties, perhaps even impossibility, of representing trauma. By looking at recent and classic examples of Israeli films that turn to memory and trauma, this book addresses the pressing issues and disputes in the field today.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Sweet on the Inside: Trauma, Memory, and Israeli Cinema Boaz Hagin and Raz Yosef
Chapter 2: Postscript to Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation Ella Shohat
Chapter 3: Gender, the Military, Memory, and the Photograph: Tamar Yarom’s To See If I’m Smiling and American Films about Abu Ghraib Diane Waldman
Chapter 4: The Event and the Picture: David Perlov’s My Stills and Memories of the Eichmann Trial Anat Zanger
Chapter 5: The Agonies of an Eternal Victim: Zionist Guilt in Avi Mograbi’s Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi Shmulik Duvdevani
Chapter 6: Traces of War: Memory, Trauma, and the Archive in Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort Raz Yosef
Chapter 7: Memory of a Death Foretold: Fathers and Sons in Assi Dayan’s “Trilogy” Yael Munk
Chapter 8: Queering Terror: Trauma, Race, and Nationalism in Palestinian and Israeli Gay Cinema during the Second Intifada Raya Morag
Chapter 9: “Our Traumas”: Terrorism, Tradition, and Mind Games in Frozen Days Boaz Hagin
Chapter 10: History of Violence: From the Trauma of Expulsion to the Holocaust in Israeli Cinema Nurith Gertz and Gal Hermoni
Chapter 11: Last Train to the Holocaust Judd Ne’eman and Nerit Grossman
Chapter 12: Passages, Wars, and Encounters with Death: The Desert as a Site of Memory in Israeli Film Yael Zerubavel
Chapter 13: “Walking through walls”: Documentary Film and Other Technologies of Navigation, Aspiration, and Memory Janet Walker
Notes on Contributors
Kaplan, Danny. “Jewish-Arab Relations in Israeli Freemasonry: Between Civil Society and Nationalism.” Middle East Journal 68.3 (2014): 385-401.
This article applies ethnographic methods and historical analysis to explore Jewish-Arab relations within Israeli Freemasonry. The article tracks local Masonic history as the fraternity developed from individual lodges under colonial-like obediences in late Ottoman and Mandate-era Palestine into a national-level organization, under the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel. In light of an official position of political noninvolvement, Jewish and Arab-Palestinian members conveyed shared values of universal fraternity, but variable interpretations of citizenship and nationalism.
Israel Affairs 20,2 (2014)
Special Issue: Politics and Poetry in Israel
Assaf Meydani & Nadir Tsur; pages 141-160
- Published online: 01 Apr 2014
Arye Naor; pages 161-181
- Published online: 22 May 2014
Ortsion Bartana; pages 182-194
- Published online: 29 May 2014
Samuel (Muli) Peleg; pages 195-213
- Published online: 07 May 2014
Yochai Oppenheimer; pages 214-225
- Published online: 04 Apr 2014
Leah Baratz & Roni Reingold; pages 226-239
- Published online: 16 Apr 2014
Yosef Tobi; pages 240-255
- Published online: 14 Apr 2014
Shimon Fogel; pages 256-270
- Published online: 04 Apr 2014
Yitzhak Katz; pages 271-279
- Published online: 26 Mar 2014
Zerubavel, Yael. “‘Numerical Commemoration’ and the Challenges of Collective Remembrance in Israel.” History & Memory 26.1 (2014): 5-38.
Numerical commemoration is a distinctive form of group remembrance in which the collective number of those who make up the group serves as the mnemonic key to the past. The article examines the modern Israeli practice that focuses on the numerical commemoration of patriotic sacrifice and examines its social and ideological underpinnings. The study analyzes the distinct patterns and variations of Israeli numerical commemorations and the unique challenges that this mnemonic tradition faces given its abstract, impersonal and ahistorical character. The discussion addresses the transformations that numerical commemoration has undergone in recent decades, the cultural strategies employed in its support, and the complex interplay between national and local memories in maintaining a mnemonic tradition.
The Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies at Concordia University
is pleased to announce its inaugural conference:
Israel at 65 Years: Dimensions of National Identity
Date: November 11 & 12, 2013
“Israel Studies in Israel, North America and Beyond”
by Professor Ilan Troen
Stoll Family Professor and Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies (Brandeis University)
Where: Gelber Conference Centre, 5151 Cote St Catherine , Montreal, Canada
Time: Monday November 11, 7:00 pm
Time: Monday November 12, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Where: H-767, Henry F. Hall Building, Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
9 .AM Cultural Diversity – Israeli Responses
11 PM Religion and the State
1:30 PM The Making and Re-making of a National Culture
3:45 PM Future Trajectories
For the complete program
Hammack, Phillip L. Narrative and the Politics of Identity. The Cultural Psychology of Israeli and Palestinian Youth. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Chappell, Larry W. “Review.” Journal of Political Science Education 8.2 (2012): 226-7.
Friedman, Adina. “Review.” Peace Review 25.2 (2013): 318-21.
Mann, Rafi. “Beyond the Military Sphere. The 63-Year-Old Debate over Israel’s Armed Forces ‘Civilianized’ Radio Station.” Media History 192. (2013): 169-181.
The article discusses the political and public debates in Israel over the appropriateness of a military radio station in a democratic state. The Israeli station was established in 1950 to assist the defense forces in absorbing and educating new Jewish immigrants, but later developed to become one of Israel’s major media outlets. Previously unstudied documents reveal that the initiative to launch the station was met with criticism from its early stages; concerns about letting the army run a radio station without public oversight have been raised repeatedly ever since. This research project illustrates the benefits of media historiography as an effective prism for studying wider aspects of societies in which various media organizations operate. It adds, as well, to the historiography of military radio stations around the world.
Schwarz, Ori. “Arab Sounds in a Contested Space: Life Quality, Cultural Hierarchies and National Silencing.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (published online before print publication).
Sounds and sonic norms and regimes characterize both spaces/territories and individual bodies. This article explores the meanings of and reactions to Arab sounds in Israel – political struggles over muezzins, stereotypical representations of Israeli Palestinians as loud, and so on – in order to offer general insights into the role of the sonic (both actual sounds and their discursive representations) in the new ‘cultural’ racism, in the everyday ethnicized experience of one’s body, and in shaping relations between ethnic and national groups.
Israel in Time and Space: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference in Israel Studies
Keynote speaker: Yael Zerubavel, Rutgers University
Israel, Cultural Memory, and the Transformations of a National Tradition
Sunday, May 12, 2013, 9:00-5:00 Belfer Hall 1214, Yeshiva University, Washington Heights Campus, New York City
The Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies invite graduate students and advanced undergraduate students to join us for a day of learning, community building and professional growth. This conference will explore Israel from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Graduate students from universities across America will present papers addressing Israel in rabbinic memory, Israel in artistic representation, and Israel from the perspective of modern diaspora thinkers. For more information about the conference please contact Israel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
L. Khoury, S. Da’Na, & I. Abu-Saad. “The Dynamics of Negation: Identity Formation among Palestinian Arab College Students inside the Green Line.” Social Identities (published first online).
How does granting certificates of ‘business clean of Arab workers’ to owners of shops, stores, and Jewish businesses who prove they are not employing Arab workers shape identity? Identity development involves making sense of, and coming to terms with, the social world one inhabits, recognizing choices and making decisions within contexts, and finding a sense of unity within one’s self while claiming a place in the world. Since there is no objective, ahistoric, universal trans-cultural identity, views of identity must be historically and culturally situated. This paper explores identity issues among members of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel. While there is a body of literature exploring this subject, we will offer a different perspective by contextualizing the political and economic contexts that form an essential foundation for understanding identity formation among this minority group. We argue that, as a genre of settler colonialism, ‘pure settlement colonies’ involve the conquering not only of land, but of labor as well, excluding the natives from the economy. Such an exclusion from the economy is significant for its cultural, social, and ideological consequences, and therefore is especially significant in identity formation discussed in the paper. We briefly review existing approaches to the study of identity among Palestinian Arabs in Israel, and illustrate our theoretical contextual framework. Finally, we present and discuss findings from a new study of identity among Palestinian Arab college students in Israel through the lens of this framework.
Segev, Zohar. “Universalism, Ethnic Identity and Divided Nationality: Abba Hillel Silver’s Role in American Zionism.” Journal of Jewish Studies 63.1 (2012): 105-126.
Among the most significant events in American Zionism between 1938 and 1948 was the rise of Abba Hillel Silver to the leadership of American Jewry in the late 1940s. A close reading shows that throughout his public career in general, and in relation to the establishment of Israel in particular, Silver sought, in theory and in practice, to enlarge the concept of Israeli sovereignty on one hand and to create a theoretical and practical basis for the continued ethnic-national existence of the Jews in the United States on the other. He tried to minimize as far as possible any injury to the status of Jews as American citizens because of their Zionist activity. Silver regarded Jewish national existence in the Diaspora in a most favourable light, maintaining that it could and must continue alongside Israel.
Gesser-Edelsburg, Anat. “The Collective Memory of a Civil War as Reflected in Edutainment and its Impact on Israeli Youth: A Critical Reading of Consensual Myths.” Memory 78.3 (2012): 254-280.
Following the political assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in 1998 Israel’s national theater Habimah produced the play “Civil War.” The play addressed the religious/hawkish-secular/dovish rift in Israel through a critical reading of events from Jewish history and raises the potential of civil war and political violence in Israel over Israeli-Palestinian peace. An empirical study of 107 Israeli students from the 11th grade who viewed the play presents the potential of “Civil War” to influence students and lead them to a critical reading of consensual myths of the Jewish historical/cultural texts and current events.
Schaffer, Gavin. “Unmasking the ‘Muscle Jew’: the Jewish Soldier in British War Service, 1899–1945.” Patterns of Prejudice 46.3-4 (2012): 375-396.
Constructions of Jews in twentieth-century Europe have been riddled throughout with inconsistencies and contradictions. However, some themes have been surprisingly persistent, none more so than constructions of Jews as weak, effeminate and cowardly. Schaffer looks at one significant set of responses to such characterizations, specifically at the rise of the ‘muscle Jew’ in Jewish and non-Jewish thinking. After the term was coined by Max Nordau at the turn of the twentieth century, the idea of the ‘muscle Jew’ came to represent a dominant current of Jewish identity reformulation. More recently, a series of scholars have come to understand the idea as a manifestation of Zionist ideology, a statement of a nationalist desire for Jewish reinvention in the face of endemic European antisemitism. By using the example of British Jewish service in the Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War, Schaffer argues rather that the idea of the ‘muscle Jew’ can be better understood as a reflection of Jewish desire for European integration, an attempt to present Jewish soldiers as equal to their non-Jewish equivalents. Moreover, he contends that the ‘muscle Jew’ needs to be understood as an idea rooted in the longue durée of Jewish history, one that represents only one strand of Jewish self-imagining.
Katz-Kimchi, Merav. “Screening Science, Producing the Nation: Popular Science Programs on Israeli Television (1968–88).” Media, Culture & Society 34.5 (2012): 519-536.
From 1968 on, the state of Israel deployed television as a tool in the service of its ongoing project of reproducing the nation and as a propaganda tool that targeted the population of the newly occupied territories and the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. With the collaboration of the scientific elite, the televising of original popular science programs, aired on the sole government-controlled channel at prime time, contributed immensely to these projects. Through these programs, the state disseminated a specific image of the nation’s scientific prowess for popular consumption in the euphoric aftermath of the Six Day War. This article examines the first 20 years of the state’s projects, during which the grip of Zionist collectivism was still strong, the monopoly of the government-controlled channel was not yet challenged, and the programs enjoyed astonishingly high ratings. My examination focuses on the ideology and motivations of the producers; the ways in which the communication elite and the scientific elite, enjoying a position of hegemony, collaborated by disseminating the nation’s accomplishments in both the Arabic and Hebrew programs; and the actual content of the programs at large and specifically that of four episodes of Tazpit, the popular science program of the 1980s.
Aburaya, Issam; Abu-Raiya, Hisham. “On the Connection between Islamic Sacred Texts and Muslims’ Political Conduct: The Israeli Dominant Elites’ Conception.” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5.2 (2012): 101-115.
This essay provides an empirically grounded and theoretically informed examination of Israeli elites’ discourse on Islam, in general, and its conceptualization of the relationship between Islamic sacred texts and the political conduct of Muslims, in particular. It argues that the Israeli elites’ discourse, for the most part, is not only unhistorical and lacking in a sociological basis, but, most importantly, emphasizes Islamic religious texts while reducing their Muslim readers into uniquely choiceless beings. This conceptualization, we contend, leads to unnecessary and unjustifiable theoretical inconsistencies concerning the broader topic of the relationship between human agency and religious texts. We conclude by suggesting that the above mentioned Israeli discourse teaches us less about what Islam and Muslims `really are’ than it does about the Israeli self-idealized image as members of a secular western society and the desires and anxieties this image expresses and represses.
Ben-Amos, Avner and Jérôme Bourdon. “Old Heroes in a New Medium: The Television Program Such a Life and the Formation of Israeli Collective Memory.” Jewish Social Studies 17.3 (2011): 156-81.
The subject of this article is the Israeli television program Such a Life, which was broadcast on the Israel Broadcasting Authority’s Channel One between 1972 and 2001. The program, based on a protagonist’s life and told through a surprise studio encounter with his or her family, friends, and colleagues, was the Israeli version of the earlier U.S. and British television programs This Is Your Life. But where the U.S. and the U.K. programs focused on sentiment and entertainment, the Israeli counterpart emphasized memory and education, in a conscious effort to contribute to the formation of the national memory. The first part of the article describes the history of Such a Life from its inception to its end, and the second part constitutes a structural analysis of the production process and the broadcast episodes, to explain how its image of the Israeli past was cobbled together. We describe the creation of Such a Life, analyze its main features, and explain how it became such a successful vehicle in promoting and diffusing the Zionist view of the “life-story” of Israel.