ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

Articles

Book Reviews

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Conference: AJS Program Book now online (Boston, Dec 13-15, 2015)

The 47th Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies will take place in Boston, December 13-15, 2015.

The full program is now available on the AJS website: http://www.ajsnet.org/conference-menu.htm

You may also download the program here: PDF

 

 

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

Reviews: Meir-Glitzenstein, The “Magic Carpet” Exodus of Yemenite Jewry

Meir-Glitzenstein, Esther. The “Magic Carpet” Exodus of Yemenite Jewry. An Israeli Formative Myth. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2014.

 
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Reviews

See also interview: Lee, Vered. “The Frayed Truth of Operation Magic Carpet.” Haaretz, May 28, 2012 (on Hebrew version).

 

 

New Article: Brown | Lia van Leer: Founder of Jerusalem Film Festival and Israel’s Cinematheques

Brown, Hannah. “Lia van Leer: Founder of Jerusalem Film Festival and Israel’s Cinematheques.” Jewish Quarterly 62.2 (2015): 88-90.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0449010X.2015.1051735

 

Excerpt

Lia van Leer founded the cinematheques in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, art-house cinemas based on the model of the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris. Van Leer also created the Israel Film Archive, which houses more than 30,000 prints of movies from around the world, as well as more than 20,000 videos and DVDs—among them virtually all movies made in Israel.
In addition, she founded the Jerusalem Film Festival, in 1984, which presents hundreds of movies from around the world, as well as showcasing the newest Israeli films.

 

New Article: Segev, The World Jewish Congress, in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Segev, Zohar. “Remembering and Rebuilding: The World Jewish Congress, in the Shadow of the Holocaust.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 315-32.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2014.957917

 

Abstract

In this essay I expand on the role of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in the 1940s and 1950s. Its mode of operation during the two decades that followed World War II was markedly different from those that characterized other sections of American Jewry. What set the WJC apart from other Jewish organizations was that its leaders sought not merely to institutionalize the relationship between Israel and American Jewry, but involved themselves in the Jewish world as a whole and in Europe in particular, where they vigorously worked to rehabilitate the post-Holocaust Jewish diaspora and to assist those survivors who wished to do so to reintegrate themselves into Europe.

 

New Article: Jamal, Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories

Jamal, Manal A. “Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories and Beyond.” International Feminist Journal of Politics (online first; early view).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616742.2013.849966

 

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, the quest to spread democracy has become the rallying call of many Western donor agencies. Reflecting this new agenda, new program priorities prevailed that placed greater emphasis on civil society development, civic engagement and gender empowerment. Contrary to expectations, however, many of these programs have often adversely affected existing social movements. Most scholars attempting to explain these unintended outcomes have focused on the impact of NGO professionalization. Examining the Palestinian women’s movement, this article addresses the inadequacy of this explanation and focuses on the political dimension of this discussion by illustrating how Western donors’ lack of understanding of the Palestinian women’s movement and its “embeddedness” in the broader political context served to weaken and undermine this movement. The influx of Western donor assistance in the post-Madrid, post-Oslo era, along with the greater emphasis on Western promoted gender empowerment, undermined the cohesiveness of the women’s movement by exacerbating existing political polarization (that went beyond Islamist and secular divisions) and disempowering many grassroots activists. Effectively, many of these activists were transformed from active political participants involved in their organizations to the recipients of skills and services in need of awareness raising. Findings in this article also speak to current regional developments, especially in light of the current Arab uprisings and the promise of greater Western involvement to empower women in the region.

New Article: Wildeman and Tartir, Donor Aid in Occupied Palestine in the aftermath of the Arab Uprisings

Wildeman, Jeremy and Alaa Tartir. “Unwilling to Change, Determined to Fail: Donor Aid in Occupied Palestine in the aftermath of the Arab Uprisings.” Mediterranean Politics 19.3 (2014): 431-49.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13629395.2014.967014

 

Abstract

Since 1993 the international community has invested more than $24 billion in ‘peace and development’ in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). That aid was meant originally to support the Oslo Peace Process through economic development. However, neither peace nor development has been realized, and both seem increasingly unlikely. While examining donor operations, priorities and the ‘aid-for-peace’ agenda, this article investigates whether patterns in oPt donor aid have changed following the Arab uprisings of 2011. Building on 28 original interviews with Palestine aid actors, it was found that patterns remain unchanged and that donors remain transfixed on a long failed ‘Investment in Peace’ framework that was designed for economic development by the World Bank back in 1993. By comparing these research findings with the literature on aid to Palestine, this article argues that donors are not ready to alter a framework dominated by policy instrumentalists who emphasize pre-determined normative values over actual results, quietly trading financial inducements to Palestinians to forgo political rights within a ‘peace dividends’ model. Meanwhile, critics of the existing aid framework remain largely ignored and have little influence on aid policy, in spite of two decades of instrumentalist failure to produce peace or economic growth using the existing model.

New Article: Raichel and Tadmor-Shimony, Jewish Philanthropy, Zionist Culture, and the Civilizing Mission of Hebrew Education

Raichel, Nirit and Tali Tadmor-Shimony. “Jewish Philanthropy, Zionist Culture, and the Civilizing Mission of Hebrew Education.” Modern Judaism 34.1 (2014): 60-85.

 

URL: http://mj.oxfordjournals.org/content/34/1/60.extract.html

 

Excerpt

Different concepts about the direction of Jewish society and culture in Eretz Israel converged around the issue of education in the moshavot of Ottoman Palestine. Parents in the moshavot had three educational alternatives to consider and choose from: the religious-traditional, modern French-language, and modern-Zionist options. The religious alternative was a continuation of the heder or Talmud-Torah. The other two options were an expression of the desire to create a modern Jew. The one aspired to mold a modern, observant Jew with a Western cultural orientation. The other sought to forge a modern, Jewish, Eretz-Yisraeli society conducted in Hebrew. The community philanthropy provided by Baron Rothschild and the JCA allowed the modern alternatives to set up schools that operated alongside other community institutions. The schools in Ottoman Palestine, like those in some of the countries of nineteenth-century Europe, were major, vitally important institutions in their communities. They gave the younger generation a basis for their professional futures and dealt with public–social–cultural issues that no other public system handled. A notable example of this was the problem of hygiene. The moshavah school, like its European counterparts, predated the development of social work.86 It served as a substitute for hospitals, which were not easily reached, and took care of the entire juvenile population, including and mainly those without means. This process, set in motion by the advent of compulsory education laws, gradually spread throughout Europe and America, and transformed the school into a major, accessible institution. The modern-French language schools and the modern Zionist schools were easily incorporated into the communal philanthropic model. Community life in the moshavot, as in European farming communities, made the school’s educational efforts—beyond those of teaching and expanding knowledge—easier.

[…]

From the historical perspective it may be argued that Zionist education triumphed over the ethnic solidarity of Jewish philanthropy. This success may be attributed, inter alia, to the Hebrew teachers’ ability to organize themselves and create an educational establishment that included uniform curriculum, teaching aids, and pedagogical standards. These teachers were able to take advantage of the educational philanthropy and emphasize the ideology they had in common with it while guiding the schools to develop a Hebrew culture and a modern, Jewish, Eretz-Yisraeli society.

New Book: Sasson, The New American Zionism

Sasson, Theodore. The New American Zionism. New York: New York University Press, 2013.

 

9780814760864

Click here for Table of Contents.

Is American Jewish support for Israel waning?
As a mobilized diaspora, American Jews played a key role in the establishment and early survival of the modern state of Israel. They created a centralized framework to raise funds, and a powerful, consensusoriented political lobby to promote strong U.S. diplomatic, military, and economic support. But now, as federation fundraising declines and sharp differences over the Israeli-Palestinian peace process divide the community, many fear that American Jews are distancing themselves from Israel.
In The New American Zionism, Theodore Sasson argues that at the core, we are fundamentally misunderstanding the new relationship between American Jews and Israel. Sasson shows that we are in the midst of a shift from a “mobilization” approach, which first emerged with the new state and focused on supporting Israel through big, centralized organizations, to an “engagement” approach marked by direct and personal relations with the Jewish state as growing numbers of American Jews travel to Israel, consume Israeli news and culture, and connect with their Israeli peers via cyberspace and through formal exchange programs.
American Jews have not abandoned their support for Israel, Sasson contends, but they now focus their philanthropy and lobbying in line with their own political viewpoints for the region and they reach out directly to players in Israel, rather than going through centralized institutions. As a result, American Jews may find Israel more personally meaningful than ever before. Yet, at the same time, their ability to impact policy will diminish as they no longer speak with a unified voice.

Cite: Cohen, Lee Kaufer Frankel and American Jewish Philanthropy, 1899-1931

Cohen, Michael R. “‘A Scientific Humanitarian and a Humanitarian Scientist’: Lee Kaufer Frankel and American Jewish Philanthropy, 1899-1931.” American Jewish History 97.3 (2013): 207-233.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_jewish_history/v097/97.3.cohen.html

 

Excerpt

During the mission, Frankel spent approximately three weeks in Palestine, scientifically surveying the situation with an eye toward fostering the long-term sustainability of Jewish settlement there. Much of what he saw impressed him, as he recognized “the great work that Zionists have done”—particularly women in the area of health and welfare. Though he had previously been critical of women’s charitable work, he nevertheless applauded the “infant welfare stations and milk stations in the old and new city” established by Hadassah, the women’s Zionist organization of America. He also praised the organization’s “high caliber of work and the application of the most modern methods of preventative medicine.” He noted that in the case of Hadassah, “the health education work in the clinics followed by home instruction through trained nurses had all the marks of advanced and scientific procedure,” and observed that the organization “has undoubtedly done a distinct piece of pioneer work and its effect on the population, both Jew and Arab, has been most pronounced.” Frankel’s assessment of Hadassah’s work was thus much more positive than his assessments of most other Jewish women’s philanthropy he had encountered.

[…]

There is no question that Frankel’s guiding hand helped to shape the American Jewish philanthropy of his era, but what was his legacy? He played a critical role in guiding the interwar reconstruction of Eastern Europe and the development of Palestine—two of the most important philanthropic initiatives of his lifetime—and his impact on the life insurance industry was transformative. His emphasis on science and the professionalization of social work also left a lasting footprint, with Lowenstein suggesting that Frankel’s work “has resulted in the creation, throughout the country, of a large group of influential and valuable social, public health, and other communal workers, who owe much of their inspiration and success to his example, encouragement and support.” Frankel’s scientific approach to health care still remains influential in governmental decisions about social welfare programs as well, though the accompanying tension with emergency relief still lingers.

But Frankel’s desire to create systemic change by transitioning American Jewish philanthropy from its focus on immediate needs to a focus on the eradication of the root causes of social problems does not characterize the typical fundraising approach of Jewish federations today. Perhaps Frankel’s calls for proactive social change during the economic boom of the 1920s fell on deaf ears during the Great Depression, when scores of Jews needed the most basic of essentials. The destruction of European Jewry and the immediate needs of the State of Israel—particularly in 1948, 1967, and 1973—may also have necessitated emergency aid in ways in which Frankel could not have envisioned.Nevertheless, though he was unable to foster the larger systemic change he desired, his approach helped to define American Jewish philanthropy of his era.

Cite: Sasson, American Jews’ Changing Relationship to Israel

Sasson, Theodore. "Mass Mobilization to Direct Engagement: American Jews’ Changing Relationship to Israel." Israel Studies 15,2 (2010): 173-195.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/israel_studies/summary/v015/15.2.sasson.html

 

Abstract

The practices of American Jews relative to Israel seem increasingly to break with patterns established during the second half of the 20th century. Lobbying by American Jewish organizations on the political left and right increasingly competes with the consensus-oriented efforts of organizations such as AIPAC and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO). Direct giving to Israeli civil society organizations has replaced the federations’ annual campaigns as the primary vehicle for diaspora philanthropy. The number of American Jewish teens and young adults visiting Israel has surged, but most are going with private tour companies under the auspices of Birthright Israel rather than programs of the North American denominations. Aliyah is up, but managed by Nefesh b’Nefesh, a private not-for-profit organization, rather than the Jewish Agency for Israel. In short, how American Jews relate to Israel is very much in flux.

This study argues that the mass mobilization model that organized American Jewish practices relative to Israel since the founding of state has declined, and a new direct engagement model has emerged alongside it. Increasingly American Jews relate to Israel directly, by advocating their own political views, funding favored causes, visiting frequently or living there part time, consuming Israeli news and entertainment, and expressing a distinctively "realistic" rather than idealistic orientation toward the Jewish state. Their new homeland practices have given rise to (and been encouraged by) a new set of organizations that operate privately, beyond the orbit of the semi-public agencies of the established American Jewish polity.