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

New Book: Lavie, from HaBurganim to In Treatment (in Hebrew)

Lavie, Noa. From HaBurganim to . Tel Aviv: Resling, 2015 (in Hebrew).

 

Lavie

 

 

Against the flood of a global and local television genre considered “inferior” – “reality” TV – there are growing public, official, and scholarly voices who distinguish between purely commercial television and quality, or even artistic, television. The quality discourse, which originated in the United States, revolves mainly around serialized drama shows, which as a television genre is even a competitor to the cinema in its artistic innovation.

Israeli television is heavily influenced by this global quality discourse. Moreover, during the 1990s Israeli television was revolutionized with the privatization of the television market in Israel and the establishment of commercial TV channels and cable and satellite channels. This revolution enabled, in parallel with the institutionalization of the global quality discourse, the production of original Israeli TV drama series immeasurably higher than during the sole reign of the IBA. Accordingly, this book explores how the serialized television drama became a “quality” television genre which is treated as a work of art in every respect.

This book does not deny the possibility that there is such thing as “high art,” or television productions that bears artistic marks; but Noa Lavie’s sociological spotlight seeks to illumine the struggles and the social and organizational causes that defined, beginning in the 1990s and down to the first decade of the 2000s, drama series such as “The Bourgeois” or “In Treatment”, along with other series, as high-quality and artistic television. This is achieved through an analysis of interviews with prominent creators of television drama in Israel, analysis of TV reviews published in major newspapers, and an account of the institutional-organizational field and the technological, regulatory, and other changes it underwent in the early 1990s.

 

Dr. Noa Lavi is the head of the political communication division and a lecturer in the School of Government and Society at Tel Aviv-Yaffo Academic College.

 

 

 

New Article: Burstein, Israeli Mothers in Film

Burstein, Janet H. “Israeli Mothers in Film: ‘Re-visioning’ Culture, Engendering Autonomy.” Shofar 34.1 (2015): 57-80.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v034/34.1.burstein.html

 

Abstract

In many Israeli films, mothers play conventional supporting roles. But several critically important films made between the 1970s and the first decade of the new century become culturally reflexive as they feature mothers who become the interface between family and culture. In part, these films clarify the difference between satisfying cultural expectations, and living satisfactory personal lives. In part these films perform what Adrienne Rich called a “re-visioning” of cultural assumptions through their effects on mothers. The first section of this paper examines gendered cultural assumptions common to the state’s early decades. In the second section, seven films set in those decades mark maternal vulnerability to cultural imperatives apparently nourished by gendered assumptions. In the third section, four films by one filmmaker look back at a family’s past and move beyond it. Having “re-visioned” the cultural intersection in which one mother suffered and broke down, this filmmaker’s protagonists struggle through the first three films with the residue of the maternal ordeal; the repetitions and differences that figure in their memory of the personal past suggest the affective burden carried by recollective narrative. The protagonist of the fourth film in this series moves past personal remembering toward a more general understanding of mental distress that will engender her autonomy.

 

 

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).

 

 

New Article: Lavie & Dhoest, Quality Television in the Making

Lavie, Noa, and Alexander Dhoest. “‘Quality Television’ in the Making: The Cases of Flanders and Israel.” Poetics (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.poetic.2015.08.006

 

Abstract

This article discusses the properties of ‘quality television’ as constructed within the field of television production. It does so by analyzing the discourse of television creators and critics in two countries, Israel and Flanders, taking a theoretical approach based in part on Bourdieusian theory. Most academic work about ‘quality television’ concentrates on Anglo-American television drama series. In this paper we offer a different perspective by focusing on two small but prosperous television markets outside of the Anglo-American world. Our findings suggest that the quality discourse in both countries contains autonomous-artistic alongside heteronomous-capitalist ideological elements, apparently under the influence of the Anglo-American discourse of quality. Our findings also suggest that both ideological elements contribute to the cultural legitimation of the television drama series in both countries, though the capitalist discourse plays a more evident role among creators than among critics. Finally, we also discuss the differences between the Flemish and the Israeli discourses of ‘quality television.’

 

 

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: Bourdon and Ribke, The Politics of Television Audience Measurement

Bourdon, Jerome, and Nahuel Ribke. “Ratings, the State and Globalization: The Politics of Television Audience Measurement in Israel.” Media, Culture & Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0163443715594034

 

Abstract

This is a study of the introduction to Israel of a technology for measuring television audiences, the ‘People Meter’ (PM), focusing on its political aspects. It links the new practice to the history of the state, precisely to the emergence of the neo-liberal state, which brought about a new relation to numbers, using an increased quantity of statistics for the regulation of economic sectors. In Israel, the state, in both its old (government ministers, administrators, state-owned/public channels) and new (regulatory bodies) guises, has been deeply involved in audience measurement. Next, the study situates the history of audience measurement in a global context, examining the ways in which both public actors, and private actors associated with international marketing groups have domesticated a new mode of regulation for audience measurement – the Joint Industry Committee (JIC), and the new ‘state-of-the-art’ technology – the PM. Third, it considers the political role played by audience figures in the fight over the representation of the public and of specific minorities in the public sphere: the Arab minority in Israel, the Palestinians and the settlers in the occupied territories, the Jewish minorities from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and from Ethiopia.

New Book: Raviv, Falafel Nation

Raviv, Yael. Falafel Nation. Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel, Studies of Jews in Society. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

falafel-nation

 

When people discuss food in Israel, their debates ask politically charged questions: Who has the right to falafel? Whose hummus is better? But Yael Raviv’s Falafel Nation moves beyond the simply territorial to divulge the role food plays in the Jewish nation. She ponders the power struggles, moral dilemmas, and religious and ideological affiliations of the different ethnic groups that make up the “Jewish State” and how they relate to the gastronomy of the region. How do we interpret the recent upsurge in the Israeli culinary scene—the transition from ideological asceticism to the current deluge of fine restaurants, gourmet stores, and related publications and media?

Focusing on the period between the 1905 immigration wave and the Six-Day War in 1967, Raviv explores foodways from the field, factory, market, and kitchen to the table. She incorporates the role of women, ethnic groups, and different generations into the story of Zionism and offers new assertions from a secular-foodie perspective on the relationship between Jewish religion and Jewish nationalism. A study of the changes in food practices and in attitudes toward food and cooking, Falafel Nation explains how the change in the relationship between Israelis and their food mirrors the search for a definition of modern Jewish nationalism.

Yael Raviv is the director of the Umami food and art festival in New York City. She has a PhD in performance studies from New York University and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU. Her work has appeared in Women and Performance, Gastronomica, and elsewhere.

New Article: Kohn, Mehubarot: A Peep without a Show

Kohn, Ayelet. “Mehubarot: A Peep without a Show.” Jewish Film & New Media 3.2 (2015): 170-92.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jewish_film_new_media_an_international_journal/v003/3.2.kohn.html

 

Abstract
The Israeli television series Mehubarot (Connected, 2009) follows five Israeli women who use their performance before the camera—through both visual and spoken texts—as a means of biographical representation which blends public and private aspects of their daily lives. This article examines the use of spoken language as a central tool for signaling sincerity and closeness on the series’ visual stage, focusing on the unique setting of Israeli society and the exclusive genre of a televised diary in its written and spoken modes.

Unlike blogs or videos uploaded to the internet, which are contemporary precedents for this kind of intimate exposure in the public arena, the genre under discussion relies on established conventions of television and cinema to convey intimacy. Mehubarot is inspired by documentaries and films that use voiceover as an established device for informing the viewers of the characters’ thoughts. In its methods of presenting the “diaries,” the series also adopts patterns of confession and exposure commonly used in televised platforms that follow ongoing projects of identity construction, and frequently present them as journeys of self-discovery and personal development. Following a discussion of the series’ unique features, the article’s second part focuses on the journalist Dana Spector and the contradictory readings of her private-public identity, social and family identity, and “celebrity” identity in their transfer from the newspaper column to the television arena.

 

 

New Article: Steir-Livny, Holocaust Humor, Satire, and Parody on Israeli Television

Steir-Livny, Liat. “Holocaust Humor, Satire, and Parody on Israeli Television.” Jewish Film & New Media 3.2 (2015): 193-219.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jewish_film_new_media_an_international_journal/v003/3.2.steir-livny.html

 

Abstract
The politicization of the Holocaust has been reflected in Israeli culture from the late 1940s in cinema, literature, theater, and poetry; in the last several decades, it has also been depicted on Israeli television. Most of the representations of the Holocaust in the first decades of Israel’s existence were dramatic. But from the 1990s onward, Israelis also began to address the subject through satire. The case studies in this article focus on the satirical skits performed on episodes of The Chamber Quintet (Hahamishia Hakamerit; Matar Productions, Channel 2-Tela’ad, Channel 1, 1993–1997) and Wonderful Country (Eretz Nehederet; Keshet Productions, Channel 2-Keshet, 2003–2014). Diverging from arguments that these humorous skits addressing the Holocaust disrespect the Holocaust and its survivors, this article maintains that they instead articulate the powerful position the Holocaust holds as a constituting event in the consciousness and identity of younger generations in Israel.

 

 

New Article: Wuensch, Trauma, Guilt, and Ethics in BeTipul and In Treatment

Wuensch, Michaela. “Trauma, Guilt, and Ethics in BeTipul and In Treatment: The Universalist Approach and (Jewish) Particularism of Psychoanalysis in Transnational Television.” Jewish Film & New Media 3.2 (2015): 119-40.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jewish_film_new_media_an_international_journal/v003/3.2.wuensch.html

 

Abstract
This article compares the Israeli television show BeTipul with its American adaptation, In Treatment, with regard to the subtle Jewishness of the Israeli show and its universalist conversion into a non–Jewish-American context. It asks why the adaptation was stripped of its Jewishness, and it relates this fact both to the question of psychoanalysis as a “Jewish” science as well as to Paulinian universalism. Questions after the fluidity and evasiveness of Jewish identity in general and in popular culture in particular arise, as well as the question of how psychoanalysis can be transferred to television. Both series are also analyzed from a psychoanalytical perspective as comprising a cultural unconscious.

 

 

ToC: Jewish Film & Media 3.1 (2015); special issue: Israeli film & television

Jewish Film & Media, 3.1, Spring 2015

 

Israeli Film and Television
pp. 1-2
Yaron Peleg

Articles

Secularity and Its Discontents: Religiosity in Contemporary Israeli Culture
pp. 3-24
Yaron Peleg

“Lifting the Veil”: Judaic-Themed Israeli Cinema and Spiritual Aesthetics
pp. 25-47
Dan Chyutin

Jewish Revenge: Haredi Action in the Zionist Sphere
pp. 48-76
Yael Friedman, Yohai Hakak

Televised Agendas: How Global Funders Make Israeli TV More “Jewish”
pp. 77-103
Galeet Dardashti

POPU

Reviews

On Hasamba 3G: Newer Kinds of Jews
pp. 104-112
Tali Artman Partock

On Shtisel (or the Haredi as Bourgeois)
pp. 113-117
Yaron Peleg

 

New Article: Hino, Lessons from Israeli Consumers’ Adoption of Innovative TV Viewing

Hino, Hayiel. “TV Today, Mobile TV Tomorrow? Extrapolating Lessons from Israeli Consumers’ Adoption of Innovative TV Viewing Technology.” International Journal on Media Management (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14241277.2015.1030748

 

Abstract

The present study aims to analyze consumers’ adoption and use of mobile devices as a mobile TV platform that is replacing the traditional TV. Moreover, the study attempts to promote understanding of users’ behavior by employing a new research approach dealing with the acceptance of innovative technology. For this purpose, the study applies a Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology to assess users’ motivation to view TV content through mobile devices. A sample consists of 280 respondents was obtained from across the Israeli mobile devices user groups. The findings of the study suggest that individual’s intention to use mobile devices to view TV content is significantly influenced by perceived enjoyment, social factors, perceived convenience and viewing quality, viewing cost, and content variety. Implications for TV providers are identified together with consideration of the limitations of the study and avenues for further research.

New Article: Dorchin, Ethnography of Jewish and Arab Rap in Israel

Dorchin, Uri. “Flowing Beyond Sectarian Ethno-politics: Ethnography of Jewish and Arab Rap in Israel.” Ethnopolitics (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449057.2015.1041752

 

Abstract

This article addresses the meaning of political music by drawing on the relationships between Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel. However, this article aims to go beyond the concerns of resistance and hegemony that are central to the power-relations paradigm typical of studies of both Israeli society and rap. Instead, it emphasizes how cross references made by rappers transgress social and political oppositions. Based on data gathered from various venues and interviews with performers in the local scene, the author seeks to explain why political music, even in its most scathing guise, should never be taken for a mere ‘musical politics’.

New Article: Amihay, Color Photography and Self-Outing in Jewish Women’s Comics

Amihay, Ofra. “Red Diapers, Pink Stories. Color Photography and Self-Outing in Jewish Women’s Comics.” Image & Narrative 16.2 (2015): 42-64.

URL: http://www.imageandnarrative.be/index.php/imagenarrative/article/view/811

 

Abstract

In this essay, I analyze the function of color photography in autobiographical comics through a comparative analysis of confessional works of comics by two Jewish women artists, Jewish-American cartoonist Dianne Noomin’s 2003 comics spread “I Was a Red Diaper Baby” and Israeli cartoonist Ilana Zeffren’s Pink Story (written in Hebrew). While exploring the tensions evoked in these works between comics and photography and between black-and-white and color representations, I highlight an important difference in the nature of the images used in each work, evoking yet another tension: that between private and public. I demonstrate that these works by Noomin and Zeffren represent the array of private and public photographs available to any autobiographer, ranging from public images taken from posters, magazines, and video screenshots to intimate family snapshots. I argue that the choice between personal and public photographs in these works poetically determines the path of self-outing in each work, thus representing the two key options for such an act of self-outing, namely, using the personal sphere as a path to the public one or vice-versa. Finally, I address the role of Jewish identity in these two self-outing comics. I posit that while Jewish heritage is not a major factor in either work, the fact that in both cases the community of reference is a minority group within a Jewish community plays a significant role, introducing specific dilemmas into the already complicated identity struggle. By shedding light on the unique function of color photography in autobiographical comics about ethnographically charged self- outing experiences, the analysis of these specific works introduces to a wider audience two important yet insufficiently explored voices of women cartoonists.

 

New Article: Tsapovsky and Frosh, Television Audiences and Transnational Nostalgia: Mad Men in Israel

Tsapovsky, Flora and Paul Frosh, “Television Audiences and Transnational Nostalgia: Mad Men in Israel.” Media, Culture & Society 37.5 (2015): 784-99.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0163443715587872

 

Abstract

Nostalgia is a transnational condition. It not only describes temporal displacement from a vanished past but also spatial dislocation from a lost dwelling place: home. What happens, then, when the spatio-temporal dimensions of nostalgia are realigned by media globalization? Can the transnational consumption of media texts create memory-structures that allow viewers to feel ‘at home’ in a past that is not ‘theirs’? What might such a reconstitution of nostalgia tell us about practices of interpretation, recollection, and identification among media audiences? Addressing these questions, this article investigates the responses of Israeli television viewers to a purportedly nostalgic US drama series, Mad Men. In the process, it reemphasizes nostalgia’s spatial axis, while reframing nostalgia as a construct of viewer engagement rather than as a feature of media texts. Ultimately, it proposes that contemporary transnational nostalgia possesses a double structure: it is selective, acting as an emotional and cognitive resource consciously used by audiences to examine their present personal and socio-political realities; that very use, however, depends on a ‘banal cosmopolitanism’ in which the mediated pasts of distant societies are seamlessly experienced as a part of viewers’ proximate lifeworlds.

New Article: Barak-Brandes and Lachover, Mother–Daughter Discourse on Beauty and Body in an Israeli Campaign by Dove

Barak-Brandes, Sigal and Einat Lachover. “Branding Relations: Mother–Daughter Discourse on Beauty and Body in an Israeli Campaign by Dove.” Communication, Culture & Critique (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cccr.12111

 

Abstract

In March 2013, Unilever Israel, owner of the Dove brand, launched a new campaign calling for a dialogue between mothers and their adolescent daughters around the issue of self-esteem and body image. The Israeli campaign was part of the global “Campaign for Real Beauty” launched by Unilever in 2004. The Israeli campaign was run primarily on 2 Internet platforms that appeal to women, and was based mainly on the talk of “ordinary” mothers and daughters on online videos and blogs—ostensibly personal yet produced by advertisers. Based on discourse analysis and critical examination of the consumerist and postfeminist context in which the campaign was produced, this article explores how the mother–daughter relationship suggests a new sphere for processes of branding.