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.

 

 

 

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New Book: Natanel, Sustaining Conflict

Natanel, Katherine. Sustaining Conflict. Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016.

 

9780520285262

 

Sustaining Conflict develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, the book exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to “knowingly not know,” further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians. While focusing on Israel, this is a book that has lessons for how any authoritarian regime is sustained through apathy.

 

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Introduction
    • 1 The Everyday of Occupation
    • 2 Bordered Communities
    • 3 Normalcy, Ruptured and Repaired
    • 4 Embedded (In)action
    • 5 Protesting Politics
    • Conclusion
    • Notes
    • Bibliography
    • Index

 

KATHERINE NATANEL is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.

Conference Paper: Andits, Israeli Activists Narrate Conflict Zone Tourism

Andits, Petra. “‘Whose Conflict Is It Anyway?!’ – Israeli Activists Narrate Conflict Zone Tourism in Palestine.”3rd ISA Forum of Sociology, July 13, 2016).
 
URL: https://isaconf.confex.com/isaconf/forum2016/webprogram/Paper83101.html
 
Abstract

Several Palestinian villages are sites for weekly non-violent protests which are regularly visited by both Israeli activist and foreign tourists/activists. While these protests are intended to be non-violent, military actions, such as arrest, tear gas, rubber coated bullets and live ammunition are commonplace. Based on ethnographic research, this paper investigates the perception Israeli solidarity activists hold about foreign protesters. Some Israelis see them as justice tourists who could potentially play an important part in achieving justice and respect for human rights in Palestine. Others however, take a more cynical view and regard them as conflict-zone or dark tourists, who are fascinated with danger, and participate in the protests for indulging in a thrill. More specifically, I examine the emotional interactions between the Israeli and foreign activists and look at the ways in which specific emotions such as suspicion, anger or care towards the foreigners play out in an already tense and emotionally loaded space. Considering emotions and affects experienced and performed during the protests facilitates a more critical understanding of danger-zone and justice tourism and advocates the emotional turn in tourism studies. In addition, I also offer a so far missing academic critic about the seeming virtues and effectiveness of justice tourism by investigating the ways in which peace-building and tourism are interconnected. The major originality of this paper is attempt for a cross-fertilization between studies on conflict and peace, emotions, social movements and tourism.

 

 

 

New Article: Gawerc, Advocating Peace During the 2014 War in Gaza

Gawerc, Michelle I. “Advocating Peace During the 2014 War in Gaza.” Peace Review 28.1 (2016): 108-13.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10402659.2016.1130411
 
Extract

During the cycle of violence leading up to the third Israeli War in Gaza, some Israelis from Parents Circle/Families Forum (PCFF) – a peace organization consisting of Palestinians and Israelis who have lost a first-degree relative in the conflict – came together to discuss the events. While the Palestinian members could not join the meeting because of the closure of the West Bank, which the Israeli military imposed as a reaction to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, the Palestinian Co-General Manager of the organization was aware of this meeting of the Israeli members and approved.

In the period following the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, the Israeli military had closed off large sections of the Israeli-occupied west Bank, made four hundred and nineteen arrests, and raided twenty-two-hundred homes in the Hebron area. At least eight Palestinians were killed in this military operation – including the best friend of one of the Palestinian staff members.

During the meeting (which transpired before the dead bodies of the Israeli teens were found, and before the abduction and brutal murder of a Palestinian youth from East Jerusalem neighborhood by right-wing Israelis) one old-timer frantically noted that the situation was only going to get worse. While they discussed what they should do, one member suggested that they should sit in the middle of Tel Aviv every day in order to face, head-on, the hatred and anxiety manifesting itself on the streets until the current cycle of violence subsided. While they did not know how people would respond or for how long they would be sitting outside, they moved forward with the arrangements to set up what they call “The Peace Square.” Ironically, on the day that they received permission from the Tel Aviv municipality and the Israeli police, and secured a place to set up their Peace Square, the war began.

 

 

 

New Book: Ben Shitrit, Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right

Ben Shitrit, Lihi. Righteous Transgressions: Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015.

 

BenShitrit

How do women in conservative religious movements expand spaces for political activism in ways that go beyond their movements’ strict ideas about male and female roles? How and why does this activism happen in some movements but not in others? Righteous Transgressions examines these questions by comparatively studying four groups: the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Palestinian Hamas. Lihi Ben Shitrit demonstrates that women’s prioritization of a nationalist agenda over a proselytizing one shapes their activist involvement.

Ben Shitrit shows how women construct “frames of exception” that temporarily suspend, rather than challenge, some of the limiting aspects of their movements’ gender ideology. Viewing women as agents in such movements, she analyzes the ways in which activists use nationalism to astutely reframe gender role transgressions from inappropriate to righteous. The author engages the literature on women’s agency in Muslim and Jewish religious contexts, and sheds light on the centrality of women’s activism to the promotion of the spiritual, social, cultural, and political agendas of both the Israeli and Palestinian religious right.

Looking at the four most influential political movements of the Israeli and Palestinian religious right, Righteous Transgressions reveals how the bounds of gender expectations can be crossed for the political good.

 

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Note on Language xi
  • 1 Introduction: “Be an Other’s, Be an Other”: A Personal Perspective 1
  • 2 Contextualizing the Movements 32
  • 3 Complementarian Activism: Domestic and Social Work, Da‘wa, and Teshuva 80
  • 4 Women’s Protest: Exceptional Times and Exceptional Measures 128
  • 5 Women’s Formal Representation: Overlapping Frames 181
  • 6 Conclusion 225
  • Notes 241
  • References 259
  • Index 275

 

LIHI BEN SHITRIT is an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

 

 

 

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: Yazbak-Abu Ahmad et al, Intergroup Dialogue as a Just Dialogue

Yazbak-Abu Ahmad, Manal, Adrienne B. Dessel, Alice Mishkin, Noor Ali, and Hind Oma. “Intergroup Dialogue as a Just Dialogue: Challenging and Preventing Normalization in Campus Dialogues.” Digest of Middle East Studies 24.2 (2015): 236-59.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dome.12067

 
Abstract

The tensions from the Israeli occupation of Palestine reach around the globe and heated debates over the struggles of these two peoples are evident on U.S. college campuses. The power imbalance represented in the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis is replicated on college campuses. BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) is a response to this inequality, is a movement to end the occupation, and has raised the issue of normalization. Teaching about this conflict presents particular challenges for faculty who negotiate this highly contested issue in classrooms or campus communities, and intergroup dialogue is an important pedagogy that can be used. It is critical to address normalization in intergroup dialogue. We discuss examples and themes of normalization in intergroup dialogue, and present pedagogical and other strategies to prevent and address normalization in intergroup dialogue and in other similar intergroup contact approaches with Arab or Palestinian and Jewish or Israeli participants.

 

 

 

New Book: Voltolini, Lobbying in EU Foreign Policy-Making: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Voltolini, Benedetta. Lobbying in EU Foreign Policy-Making: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Routledge/UACES Contemporary European Studies. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016.

 

voltolini

 

This book examines lobbying in EU foreign policy-making and the activities of non-state actors (NSAs), focusing on EU foreign policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It sheds light on the interactions between the EU and NSAs as well as the ways in which NSAs attempt to shape EU foreign policies. By analysing issues that have not yet received systematic attention in the literature, this book offers new insights into lobbying in EU foreign policy, EU relations surrounding the conflict and the EU’s broader role in the peace process.

The book will be of key interest to scholars and students of political science, international relations, EU politics, EU foreign policy-making, Middle East studies and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: ‘Embedded’ lobbying in EU foreign policy
  • 1 Exploring lobbying in EU foreign policy-making
  • 2 The EU and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict: An overview of declarations, policies and actors
  • 3: Who’s who? Mapping non-state actors in EU policies towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • 4: Trade relations between the EU and Israel: Lobbying on the territorial scope of the EU–Israel Association Agreement
  • 5 The Goldstone Report: To endorse or not to endorse it?
  • 6 Framing the EU–Israel Agreement on pharmaceutical products: Cheaper medicines, territorial scope or policy coherence?
  • 7 Using the national level to lobby the EU
  • 8 Conclusions

 

Benedetta Voltolini is Lecturer in International Relations at the Department of Political Science, Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

 

 

New Article: Shindler, Disagreeing with Israel: A British and American History

Shindler, Colin. “Family Politics. Disagreeing with Israel: A British and American History.” Jewish Quarterly 62.2 (2015): 48-51.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0449010X.2015.1051707

 

Excerpt

The BDS mantra appeals to those who vehemently oppose the occupation. Yet what is the meaning of their doctrine of anti-normalisation? Some will see this as a necessary pressure to force Israel to the negotiating table and relinquish territory. Others understand anti-normalisation in terms of delegitimisation—rooting out a poisonous Zionist weed growing on Arab land. Netanyahu’s policies and the acquiescence of many British Jews therefore suit the latter. If a new Rabin were to arise, and sign a fair agreement with the Palestinians, this would produce such political fissures that the BDS movement would be consigned to an irrelevant limbo once more. Like many a Jewish leader in the UK, the advocates of BDS fear a different narrative that draws confused Jews away from their orbit.
The ripples of this situation will continue to be felt in the UK, the US, and the wider Diaspora for the foreseeable future. Jewish organisations will continue to be seen as merely appendages to the official view, despite the inner turmoil of many a Jewish leader. Public relations in Britain will be a welcome diversion from public reality in Israel. Howard Jacobson’s “ashamed Jews” and the US equivalent will continue to verbally flagellate themselves in public. The traditional approach of debate, discussion and dissension will not disappear. But it will take a period of calm, and a disappearance of provocative acts in the Middle East, to allow the peace camps in both Israel and Palestine to once more gain the upper hand from the reactionaries in progressive clothing. Only then will British Jews, American Jews, and all Diaspora Jews, have a genuine role to play in securing a just peace.

 

New Article: Garasic & Keinan, Boycotting Israeli Academia

Garasic, Mirko D., and Shay Keinan. “Boycotting Israeli Academia: Is Its Implementation Anti-Semitic?” International Journal of Discrimination and the Law (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1358229115571814

 

Abstract

In recent years, a campaign run by the BDS movement to boycott and silence Israeli academics has gained some support worldwide. Academics choosing to take part in the boycott are often accused to be moved by a new form of anti-Semitism – an allegation they fervently deny. A recent case in Australia saw Jake Lynch, a professor at the University of Sydney, taken to court and accused of breaching Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act for rejecting an application from an Israeli academic for a visiting professor position. In this paper, we want to analyse such situations from a philosophical and legal perspective. We will argue that apart from being anti-scientific and counterproductive, such boycotts are also unlawful and – indeed – anti-Semitic. Boycott supporters often replace a person’s nationality with a person’s “institutional affiliation” to avoid being accused of racism and discrimination. We argue that this terminological disguise does not succeed in hiding the fact that often such boycotts illegitimately discriminate against individual Jews.

New Article: Helman, Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession

Helman, Sara. “Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: the Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10767-015-9198-y

 

Abstract

This article analyzes the repertoires of contention and discourse of two Israeli anti-denial movements, Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch. Through confession and testimony, both social movement organizations (SMOs) demand that Israeli society acknowledge its “problematic present,” which includes human rights violations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in a situation of ongoing ethno-national conflict, and insist that it take responsibility for this reality and act against it. It is based on the interpretative analyses of both SMOs’ reports. Reports are analyzed as narratives in the context of Israel’s national identity and its main motives which are also constitutive of a culture of collective denial. The article compares the testimonial practices of Machsom Watch to testimonies of women in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the confessions of Breaking the Silence veterans to those displayed in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as well as confessions of veterans during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confession and testimony are usually analyzed as blazing the path to a new and inclusive national identity (as was the case in South Africa). In the case of Israel, however, their adoption and mobilization destabilize national identity and turn it into a field of contention.

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: Louise Bethlehem, Scratching the Surface

Bethlehem, Louise. “Scratching the Surface: The Home and the Haptic in Lauren Beukes’s Zoo city and Elsewhere.” Scrutiny2 20.1 (2015): 3-23.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/18125441.2015.1035745

 

Abstract

This paper deploys the haptic, and more broadly speaking, notions of multisensory reading and spectatorship to reconfigure perceptions of home. It explores configurations of home in the practice of the late French-Israeli visual artist, Absalon, to draw tropes of “complicity” and “contagion” into an intersection with discourses of moral hygiene arising from the modernist preoccupation with denuded surface in the history of architecture. It then goes on to read a postapartheid South African text, Lauren Beukes’s Zoo city (2010), through the lens of these concerns. Beukes’s text, it claims, can be made to precipitate the historicity of the white suburban home under apartheid. The novel offers alternative iterations of domesticity, however, as metonymies of contagion shift into metonymies of conviviality. The final section of the paper investigates the vulnerability of the home against the background of the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza and its assault on the built environment. It explores an art exhibition, Postcards for Gaza, staged by the dissident Israeli organization, Zochrot, in the context of a previous military assault on Gaza in 2008. Here the reworking of photographic surface is made to gesture towards the possibility of political reparation in an alternate modality of complicity that Mark Sanders parses as “human-foldedness” (Sanders 2002).

 

 

New Article: Dibiasi, Changing Trends in Palestinian Political Activism

Dibiasi, Caroline Mall. “Changing Trends in Palestinian Political Activism: The Second Intifada, the Wall Protests, and the Human Rights Turn.” Geopolitics (early view, online first)

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14650045.2015.1028028

 

Abstract

This paper asks where and why Palestinian protests take place and how particular manifestations of territorial dislocation affect the dynamics of Palestinian political activism. Political, social and territorial transformations over the Oslo period had resulted in the fragmentation of Palestinian resistance, a development that had become most evident during the second intifada through the absence of mass-based non-violent protest. Israel’s complex control over Palestinian territory and mobility has been a key factor in driving this fragmentation. In contrast to checkpoints, forbidden roads, and closures, the construction of the Separation Wall had a very different impact, and amid the continuation of a violent and fragmented uprising, it presented a focal point for cohesive organised non-violent local protest. This paper examines to what extent the construction of the Wall has engendered a different type of protest, conception of activism and new forms of cooperation, that break the trend of the second intifada.

Reviews: Shemer, Identity, Place, and Subversion in Contemporary Mizrahi Cinema

Shemer, Yaron. Identity, Place, and Subversion in Contemporary Mizrahi Cinema in Israel. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 2013.

 

Shemer

 

Reviews

 

 

 

ToC: Biography 37.2 (2014); special issue: Life in Occupied Palestine

Volume 37, Number 2, Spring 2014

Table of Contents

Life in Occupied Palestine

Guest Editors: Cynthia G. Franklin Morgan Cooper& Ibrahim G. Aoudé

Dedication

p. v

Editor’s Introduction

Life in Occupied Palestine: Three Cafés and a Special Issue

pp. vii-xlviii

Cynthia G. Franklin, Morgan Cooper, Ibrahim G. Aoudé

Articles

Section One: Borders, Journeys, Home

Exiled at Home: Writing Return and the Palestinian Home

pp. 377-397

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Sarah Ihmoud

After the Nakba in Nuba: A Palestinian Villager’s Diary, 1949

pp. 398-450

Alex Winder

Not Just a Picnic: Settler Colonialism, Mobility, and Identity among Palestinians in Israel

pp. 451-473

Magid Shihade

Locked Out

pp. 474-475

Lina Hesham AlSharif

Once Upon a Border: The Secret Lives of Resistance—the Case of the Palestinian Village of al-Marja, 1949–1967

pp. 476-504

Honaida Ghanim

Section Two: Invasions, Incarcerations, and Insurgent Imagination

Incidental Insurgents: An Interview with Ruanne Abou Rahme

pp. 507-515

Morgan Cooper

Towards a New Language of Liberation: An Interview with Raja Shehadeh

pp. 516-523

Cynthia G. Franklin

Gaza Writes Back: Narrating Palestine

pp. 524-537

Refaat R. Alareer

Write What You Know

pp. 538-539

Lina Hesham Alsharif

Dreaming of Never Land

pp. 540-555

Sonia Nimr

“Food is not our issue”: Reflections on Hunger Striking

pp. 556-559

Sa’ed Omar

Section Three: Reciprocal Solidarities and Other Revolutionary Relations

From the West Bank: Letters and Acts of Resistance

pp. 563-605

Yassmine Saleh Hamayel, Islah Jad

Life in Abu Dis Continues Quietly

pp. 606-663

Rima Najjar

Traveling as a Palestinian

pp. 664-679

Yousef M. Aljamal

Reciprocal Solidarity: Where the Black and Palestinian Queer Struggles Meet

pp. 680-705

Sa’ed Atshan, Darnell L. Moore

Section Four: Forging a Just Future

The “I” in BDS: Individual Creativity and Responsibility in the Context of Collective Praxis — an Interview With Omar Barghouti and Falastine Dwikat

pp. 709-719

Ibrahim G. Aoudé, Morgan Cooper, Cynthia G. Franklin

Contributors

pp. 720-723

New Article: Avigur-Eshel, Ideological Foundations of Neoliberalism’s Political Stability: An Israeli Case Study

Avigur-Eshel, Amit. “The Ideological Foundations of Neoliberalism’s Political Stability: An Israeli Case Study.” Journal of Political Ideologies 19.2 (2014): 164-86.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13569317.2014.909261

 

Abstract

The importance of ideological beliefs held by the masses for the political stability of neoliberalism has yet to receive adequate attention. This research aims to begin to fill this gap by arguing that the ability of the neoliberal order to endure politically is assisted by key segments of the population either accepting its ideological bases or being unable to contest them. Political and socio-political research on neoliberalism tends to examine how it has become the leading framework for economic policymaking. Less attention has been given to the post rise-to-power period and even then the ideological factor is virtually absent. Directed by a Gramscian approach, this research uses the Israeli ‘social protest’ of 2011 as a case study. It probes into the ideological perceptions of the middle class through a qualitative content analysis of text-items they published during the protest on two news websites and on one blogging website. Findings indicate that significant segments of the Israeli middle class expressed ideological acceptance of neoliberalism either by explicitly supporting it or by demanding marginal reforms. Another finding is that within the middle class there is a group that lacks any relevant ideological framework regarding economic issues.

CfP: Graduate conference at Cambridge, Patterns of Protest in Hebrew Culture

Call for Papers

Patterns of Protest in Hebrew Culture: Memory, Agents and Representation

2014 Cambridge Graduate Conference in Modern Hebrew

We would like to invite graduate students from within or without Hebrew Studies, as well as academics, artists and other interested parties to submit proposals for the Cambridge Hebrew Graduate Conference 2014, “Patterns of Protest in Hebrew Culture: Memory, Agents and Representation,” to be held on Tuesday 6 May 2014 at Cambridge. The conference aims to facilitate and promote discussion in the field of Modern Hebrew Studies, stimulating scholarship in the UK academy and bringing it into conversation with academics from around the world.

Recent waves of political protest in the Middle East have drawn critical focus to tensions regarding the future of societies and communities in the region and to the clash of worldviews and visions. Protest and the changes it brings are difficult phenomena to measure, and we tend to understand them mainly through examining political systems and the actions of leaders. In this conference we wish to promote a different debate by taking focus away from speeches in Parliament and statements to the media and aiming it toward the dynamics of culture.

2011’s wave of social protest in Israel caught many by surprise, as hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to demand social justice, a lower cost of living and a government response to the concerns of the middle class. Although the social justice movement challenged 21st century Israeli neo-liberalism, it often did so by employing the rhetoric of a diverse tradition of Hebrew texts, from Amir Gilboa’s poetry to the words of the Hebrew Bible.

The link between Hebrew texts and political and social protest is as ancient as the books of the prophets. Throughout history, Hebrew writers have articulated the prohibited and the revolutionary, in advance – and in advancement – of wider public acceptance. What part, then, has protest played in shaping Hebrew culture, throughout its history and in the present?

The purpose of this conference is to bring together young scholars from different disciplines to investigate the historical and cultural significance of Hebrew as a language of protest, and the forms of expression of protest and protest movements – topics surprisingly unexplored by academia. We welcome contributions that consider this theme from diverse theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines. We particularly welcome papers that examine the complimentarity and tensions between political dissent and Hebrew literary production – how is protest rendered intelligible in ways that serve to contain or depoliticize struggles? How has Hebrew, the language of tradition, served these modes of dissent as a means of reclaiming agency in the face of existing power structures? And how, in contemporary Israel, is Hebrew protested against as the language of power?

Participants will be invited to present their work as part of themed panels, followed by questions and discussion with Cambridge students, academics and fellow conference attendees.

Abstracts of 300-500 words are requested by 1 February 2014, with accepted papers to follow in full by March. Please submit abstracts, along with a brief academic C.V, to chgc2014@gmail.com. Any further queries may be sent to the same address.

Reviews: Frisch, Israel’s Security and Its Arab Citizens

Frisch, Hillel. Israel’s Security and Its Arab Citizens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

cover

Reviews

  • Leslau, Ohad. “Review.” Contemporary Security Policy 33.3 (2012): 597-598.
  • Waterbury, John. “Review.” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2013.
  • Lustick, Ian S. “Review.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 45.3 (2013): 633-7.

New Article: Monterescu and Shaindlinger, The Israeli ‘Arab Spring’ and the (Un)Making of the Rebel City

Monterescu, Daniel and Noa Shaindlinger. “Situational Radicalism: The Israeli ‘Arab Spring’ and the (Un)Making of the Rebel City.” Constellations 20.2 (2013): 229-53.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cons.12039/abstract

 

Excerpt

The display of unity in protest however was semiotically and politically
unstable, inviting moments of radical intervention (like the
Guillotine) only to disavow them as moments of transgression,
inappropriate for a “responsible” leadership. This fluctuating process,
which we term situational radicalism, was the outcome of an indecisive
play of boundaries, of presence and absence, inside and outside. The
double meaning of the concept of situational radicalism reflects the modus operandi
of the summer protests first as a performance of radicalism divorced
from a revolutionary constitution; and secondly, as a protest held
hostage by the ‘situation’ (ha-matzav) – a phenomenological
emic term Israelis use to collapse the temporality and spatiality of the
politics of permanent conflict onto the lived present.