Bulletin: Israeli literature and Israel in Literature

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Thesis: Ichikawa, Minorities in Contemporary Hebrew and Japanese Literature

Ichikawa, Kimiko. Minorities, Minority Identity and Violence: The Comparison in Contemporary Hebrew and Japanese Minor Literature, Masters Thesis. Brandeis University, 2016.

 

URL: http://bir.brandeis.edu/handle/10192/32275

 

Abstract

This thesis examines how minority identities are depicted in contemporary autobiographical literature from the 1990’s to present. In this thesis, I focus my analysis on minority literatures from Israel and Japan. In spite of the extreme rarity of the literary comparison, I examine minorities of Israeli Arab and the second generation Japanese Koreans. I explore how these minorities with different histories are represented, with shared experience of oppression and violence, and analyze the phenomena or ramifications in minority identity. By analyzing famous novelists of minority literature— Israeli Arab author, Sayed Kashua and two Japanese Korean authors, Yi Yang-ji and Kazuki Kaneshiro—I concentrate on pointing out the influences and outcomes of psychological and political violence (Chapter I and II) to their minority identities. This comparison will enable a wider perspectives regarding minorities in various societies, and an analysis of issues of relating to minority as well as race identity in modern life. This unique literary comparison attempts to examine cultural and political similarities as well as differences in order to explore the phenomena of two countries with different cultures but that share certain similarities, particularly in the articulation of their minority literature. Although Israel and Japan differ very much in term of culture and history, I still find significant similarities in the minority literature. The minorities I examined in Hebrew and Japanese minor literature interact with violence in various ways each society. I focused my examination especially on psychological and political violence in addition to physical violence. My questions in researching this minority literature revolve around how these minorities relate to these kinds of violence. This thesis concentrates on presenting the ways that these the minority authors address their own political identities, and the ways that social violence and oppression influence their minority identities.

 

 

 

New Book: Sasley and Waller, Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society

Sasley, Brent E., and Harold M. Waller. Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

 
9780199335060
 

This is the first textbook on Israel to utilize a historical-sociological approach, telling the story of Israeli politics rather than simply presenting a series of dry facts and figures. The book emphasizes six specific dimensions of the conduct of Israeli politics: the weight of historical processes, the struggle between different groups over how to define the country’s identity, changing understandings of Zionism, a changing political culture, the influence of the external threat environment, and the inclusive nature of the democratic process. These themes offer students a framework to use for understanding contemporary political events within the country. Politics in Israel also includes several chapters on topics not previously addressed in competing texts, including historical conditions that led to the emergence of Zionism in Israel, the politics of the Arab minority, and interest groups and political protest.

 

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgments

INTRODUCTION
Chapter 1: Israel in Historical and Comparative Perspective

Studying Israel
Israel in a Comparative Framework
Major Themes of the Book
A Note on Terminology
 
PART I: HISTORICAL PROCESSES
Chronology of Key Events
Chapter 2: Zionism and the Origins of Israel
Jewish History before Zionism
The Jewish Predicament in the 19th Century
The Founding of the Zionist Movement
Implications of Zionism
Herzl’s Path to Zionism
Organizing the Zionist Movement
Zionist Ideologies
The Palestine Mandate
Summary
 
Chapter 3: Yishuv Politics during the Mandate Period
Constructing a Jewish Society
Development of a Party System
Conflict between Arabs and Jews in Mandatory Palestine
Deteriorating Zionist-British Relations
The End of the Mandate
The Mandate Period in Perspective
Summary
 
Chapter 4: State Building After 1948
Mamlachtiut
The Political Arena
Defense
Education
Economy
Personal Status Issues
Other State-Building Efforts
Summary
 
PART II: ISRAELI SOCIETY
Chapter 5: Political Culture and Demography

The Pre-State Period
Foundational Values of the State
Changes since 1967
From Collectivism to Individualism
Political Culture in the Arab Community
Demography
Summary
 
Chapter 6: Religion and Politics
Religion and the Idea of a Jewish State
Setting the Parameters of the Religion-State Relationship
Growing Involvement in Politics
Issues in Religion-State Relations after 2000
Religious Parties and Coalition Politics
Summary
 
Chapter 7: The Politics of the Arab Minority
What’s in a Name?
Changing Politics of the Community
Jewish Attitudes toward the Arab Minority
Arab Leaders and the Arab Public
Voter turnout
Sayed Kashua as Barometer?
Summary
 
PART III: THE POLITICAL PROCESS
Chapter 8: The Electoral System

The Development of an Electoral System
Election Laws
Parties and Lists
Electoral Reforms
Summary
 
Chapter 9: Political Parties and the Party System
Party Clusters
Leftist Parties
Rightist Parties
Religious Parties
Arab Parties
Center or “Third” Parties
Ethnic or Special Issues Parties
Party Organization
Summary
 
Chapter 10: Voting Patterns
Four Main Issues
Demographic Factors
Voter Turnout
Electoral Trends
Summary
 
Chapter 11: Interest Groups and Political Protest
Changing Access in the Israeli Political System
Interest Groups
Political Protest
Summary
 
PART IV: INSTITUTIONS
Chapter 12: The Knesset

Structure of the Knesset
Legal Aspects
Knesset Members
Functions and Powers of the Knesset
Relationship to the Government
Summary
 
Chapter 13: The Government
The Government at the Center of the System
Powers of the Government
Forming a Government
Maintaining and Running a Government
Relations with the Knesset
The President of the State
Summary
 
Chapter 14: The Judiciary and the Development of Constitutional Law
The Judicial System
Structure of the Court System
The Religious Court System
The Attorney General
Basic Laws: A Constitution in the Making?
Interpreting the Constitution
Summary
 

PART V: POLITICS AND POLICYMAKING
Chapter 15: Political Economy

Ideas about Economic Development in the Yishuv
A State(ist) Economy
Likud and the Free Market
Structural Weaknesses
Summary
 
Chapter 16: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Three Levels of Threat Perception
Israel’s Threat Environment
Hawks and Doves in the Political System
The Defense Establishment
Public Opinion
Summary
 
PART VI: THE TRANSFORMATiON OF ISRAELI POLITICS
Chapter 17: The Changing Political Arena
A More Complex Society
An Economic Transformation
Transformation of the Security Situation
The Israeli-Palestinian Relationship
Dampening of Ideology
Political Culture and the Party System
The Passing of a Heroic Generation
A More Consequential Arab Sector
The Transformation of the Judiciary
Change versus Continuity
 
Chapter 18: Confronting the Meaning of a Jewish State
The Political Question: What is Jewish and Democratic?
The Social Question: Who Belongs?
The Academic Question: Whose Historiography?
Conclusion
 
Appendices
Glossary
Bibliography

 

BRENT E. SASLEY is Associate Professor of Political Science at The University of Texas at Arlington.
HAROLD M. WALLER is Professor of Political Science at McGill University.

New Article: Ofengenden, Therapy and Satire in Contemporary Israeli Film and Literature

Ofengenden, Ari. “National Identity in Global Times: Therapy and Satire in Contemporary Israeli Film and Literature.” The Comparatist 39 (2015): 294-312.

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1103877

 

Extract

To conclude let us step back and look at the effects of all of these transformation narratives together. These and other novels and films engage in a sustained reusing of the past and successfully transform the way people articulate their identity. They do this with an empathic retelling of the national story like Oz, with the German or Arab Israeli other as in the film Walk on Water and Arab Labor, or with a crazed narrator like Kaniuk’s and Castel-Bloom’s. Therapeutic interventions end with a working through of displacement and immigration, a heightened awareness of the effects of the Holocaust, and a new appreciation of the creative potential of Jewish identity and culture. Self-critical satire breaks open a monolithic national identity, exposing its constructed nature and calls for creative transformations. We can now ask why these two narratives are so central to the way literature and film re-imagine national identity in contemporary times. I think that the answer lies most prominently in globalization. International flows of culture, goods, and people help strengthen civil society in its critique and parody of state violence and state agents. Somewhat paradoxically, globalization also leads to a demand for specifically national narratives in the international market. In a recent talk, Salman Rushdie pointed out that contemporary writers are increasingly asked to mediate the story of a nation for an international audience. Indeed that is what his own Midnight’s Children did for India, what J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace did for South Africa, Toni Morrison’s novels for the U.S., and Oz and Grossman for Israel. Thus we get narratives that are called to represent the nation on an international market but heal, critique, or poke fun at it at the same time. The system in which Hebrew literature finds itself has radically changed. Previously this system or field was constructed as a national field; now the field is constituted as semi-global. Some actors achieve international success while others remain domestic. Some mediate and explain the national story on the global stage while others parody the nation in order to change it.

Israeli national-cultural discourse is not a sole expression of some underlying economic forces that determine its content. However, its expression is a result of creative adaptation to economical and political pressures and opportunities that have become more and more global. Mainstream literature and culture has responded by articulating narratives that simultaneously reflect feelings of lack of political agency and an empathic apologetic self-representation for the global other. Minor literature in Israel saw an opportunity in the weakening of the state to articulate a critique in the form of parody that attempts to reconfigure national identity.

 

 

 

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: 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.’

 

 

Screening: Dancing Arabs at American University (April 30, 2015)

Screening of A BORROWED IDENTITY aka Dancing Arabs
Thursday, April 30 7:00 PM
Location: Washington DCJCC, 1529 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC
Tickets ($12.50) may be purchased at:  http://washingtondcjcc.org/center-for-arts/film/wjff-year-round-/film-pages/aborrowedidentity.html

DancingArabsPoster

Winner of the 2015 WJFF Audience Award for Best Feature! (Dir. Eran Riklis (104min, Israel/Germany/France, 2014) Hebrew and Arabic with English Subtitles.This bittersweet ‘80s coming-of-age drama from the director of The Syrian Bride and Lemon Treeadapts two autobiographical novels by popular Israeli-Arab writer Sayed Kashua. Eyad is a gifted Arab teenager who wins the chance to attend a prestigious Jewish boarding school.  Post-screening discussion with American University Global Scholar Daniel Munayer, an Israeli Christian Arab who grew up in Jerusalem, and Maram Masarwi, a post-doctoral fellow at the Free University of Berlin who was head of the Early Childhood Education Department at Al Qasemi College of Education in Israel.  Co-Sponsored by the Washington Jewish Film Festival, Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues and The Center for Israel Studies at American University.  

Lecture: Sayed Kashua at University of Michigan, Sep 30, 2014

Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

University of Michigan

Sayed Kashua will speak on

The Foreign Mother Tongue: Living and Writing as a Palestinian in Israel

September 30, 2014, 7pm

Alumni Center Founders Room

UM-Kashua-poster

 

New Article: Harris, Language and Identity in Sikseck and Kashua

Harris, Rachel S. “Hebraizing the Arab-Israeli: Language and Identity in Ayman Sikseck’s To Jaffa and Sayed Kashua’s Second Person Singular.” Journal of Jewish Identities 7.2 (2014): 35-58.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_jewish_identities/v007/7.2.harris.html

 

Excerpt

Hebrew unified Jews from disparate countries and ethnic backgrounds as part of Israel’s nation-building process; consequently, linguistic mastery of the Jewish language served as the sine qua non of social mobility. Arab citizens living within the new state were caught in this wide net; knowing Hebrew and becoming familiar with secular Jewish Israeli culture was a precondition for advancement and integration. In time, Arab writers, such as Emile Habiby, would write in Hebrew, which like Jewish writers in Israel who continued to write in their mother-tongue Arabic, confronts what Lital Levy has described as the conventional binaries of Israel: “Hebrew Arabic, Arab and Jew.” By disrupting these traditional dichotomies, writers “engage translation inside their texts as a creative alternative to barking, as a mode of resistance to the authority that has displaced them from their pasts and their homes.” This binary division has traditionally assumed that Arab means Palestinian, and is separate from Israeli, which implies Jewish; but two young writers, the prolific and widely known Sayed Kashua, and the first-time novelist Ayman Sikseck, offer a new hybrid identity in which the Arab-Israeli (non-Jewish Arab citizens of Israel) casts off the polar division the two options represent, and instead these writers present a third path. Rejecting the isolated position of the Arab within Israel, and arguing his increasing assimilation in the twenty-first century through mastery of language, integration within the education system, changing social values and economic status, as well as a radical reformulation of political values, the hybrid identity offers ways in which a generation of Arabs coming of age within Israel have staked out a cultural and intellectual space that confounds previous categorizations.

The history of Arab writers using Hebrew has been viewed within a framework of post-colonial criticism in which writing in Hebrew is deemed an act of protest. Arab-Israeli writers are considered to produce minor literature: literature by a minority in the language of a majority. This position assumes, as Hanan Hever has shown in his study of Anton Shammas’s novel Arabesques, that Arab-Israeli authors de-familiarize and de-territorialize Hebrew by separating it from its Jewish identity while simultaneously opening up space within Hebrew for the Arab-Israeli.Writers such as Shammas and Habiby satisfy the criteria of writing minor literature that Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari consider an act of dissent by the colonised protesting against established hierarchies of power. Arab-Israeli writers, moving between Hebrew and Arabic in poetry, prose, political writing, and journalism have established Hebrew as a space of “otherness,” creating a distance in representations of self. In an Israeli context, Hever has argued that Arab minor literature, in Hebrew, “invades and subverts the majority culture,” whereby Arab writers, as Lawrence Silberstein elucidates, “problematize and subvert the dominant Zionist/Israeli conception of Hebrew literature as Jewish literature and Israeli culture as Jewish culture.”

 

ToC: Israel Studies 19.1 (2014)

  1. Special Section—Arabs as Israeli Citizens
    1. Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon and the Arab Draft That Never Was (pp. 1-23)
      Randall S. Geller
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.1

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.1

    2. The Contemporary Historiographical Debate in Israel on Government Policies on Arabs in Israel During the Military Administration Period (1948–1966) (pp. 24-47)
      Arik Rudnitzky
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.24

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.24

    3. The Politization of History and the Negev Bedouin Land Claims: A Review Essay on Indigenous (In)justice (pp. 48-74)
      Seth J. Frantzman
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.48

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.48

    4. Increased Constructive Engagement Among Israeli Arabs: The Impact of Government Economic Initiatives (pp. 75-97)
      Robert Cherry
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.75

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.75

    5. Democracy, Clan Politics and Weak Governance: The Case of the Arab Municipalities in Israel (pp. 98-125)
      Yakub Halabi
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.98

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.98

    6. The Quest for Identity in Sayed Kashua’s Let It Be Morning (pp. 126-144)
      Michael Keren
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.126

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.126

  2. Articles
    1. From Peace in the South to War in the North: Menachem Begin as Prime Minister, 1977–1983 (pp. 145-165)
      Yechiam Weitz
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.145

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.145

    2. Societal Values: Impact on Israel Security—The Kibbutz Movement as a Mobilized Elite (pp. 166-188)
      Zeev Drory
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.166

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.166

    3. Postsecular Jewish Theology: Reading Gordon And Buber (pp. 189-213)
      Hagar Lahav
      DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.189

      Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.189

  3. Notes on Contributors (pp. 214-215)
    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.214

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.214

  4. Guidelines for Contributors (pp. 216-218)
    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.216

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.19.1.216

ToC: Israel Studies 18.1 (2013)

Israel Studies 18.1 (2013), Table of Contents:

 

  1.  

    The De-politicization of Israeli Political Cartoons (pp. 1-30)

    Maya Balakirsky Katz

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.1

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.1

  2.  

    From “Great History” to “Small History”: The Genesis of the Zionist Periodization (pp. 31-55)

    Hizky Shoham

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.31

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.31

  3.  

     American “Welfare Politics”: American Involvement in Jerusalem During World War I (pp. 56-76)

    Abigail Jacobson

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.56

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.56

  4.  

    All Quiet on the Eastern Front; Israel and the Issue of Reparations from East-Germany, 1951–1956 (pp. 77-100)

    Jacob Tovy

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.77

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.77

  5.  

    Palestinian Armed Struggle, Israel’s Peace Camp, and the Unique Case of Fatah-Jerusalem (pp. 101-123)

    Hillel Cohen

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.101

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.101

  6.  

    The Arab Minority in Israel; Challenges and Limits in Recent Disciplinary Approaches (pp. 124-145)

    Oded Haklai

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.124

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.124

  7.  

    Shaping Israeli-Arab Identity in Hebrew Words—The Case of Sayed Kashua (pp. 146-169)

    Batya Shimony

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.146

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.146

  8.  

     “The Hand of Esau in the Midst Here Too”—Uri Zvi Grinberg’s Poem “A Great Fear and the Moon” in Its Historical and Political Contexts (pp. 170-193)

    Tamar Wolf-Monzon

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.170

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.170

  9. Notes on Contributors (pp. 194-195)

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.194

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.194

  10. Guidelines for Contributors (pp. 196-198)

    DOI: 10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.196

    Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.18.1.196