New Article: Weiss, The Creation of the Gender-Segregated Beach in Tel Aviv

Weiss, Shayna. “A Beach of Their Own: The Creation of the Gender-Segregated Beach in Tel Aviv.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2016.1140882     [PDF]
 
Abstract

This article examines the struggle for gender-segregated sea bathing in Tel Aviv from the first calls for gender segregation in the 1920s until 1966, when the city of Tel Aviv established a beach for men and women to swim separately. The most effective demands for gender segregation were framed in a civic and not religious discourse. Rather than claiming that gender-segregated swimming was against Jewish values, the ultra-Orthodox party Agudat Yisrael effectively argued that a lack of separate swimming violated their rights as taxpayers who had the right to bathe in the sea just as any other Israeli citizen.

 

 

 

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New Article: Shtern, Urban Neoliberalism vs. Ethno-National Division in Jerusalem’s Shopping Malls

Shtern, Marik. “Urban Neoliberalism vs. Ethno-National Division: The Case of West Jerusalem’s Shopping Malls.” Cities 52 (2016): 132-9.

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2015.11.019

 

Abstract

Most research on ethnically and nationally contested cities posits that urban spatial segregation trends will remain decisive so long as the macro level national conflict persists, and assumes that the neoliberalization of urban space would only strengthen such trends. Over the last decade however, and despite the ever deepening national conflict, Jerusalem has seen the emergence of neoliberal spaces of consumption that serve as resilient spaces of intergroup encounter between Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian-Arab populations. In this article I will examine and compare two such neoliberal spaces in Jerusalem, and show how under certain conditions, privatized urban spaces can undermine processes of ethno-national segregation. I argue that interactions between members of the two rival groups are challenged and reshaped by neoliberal spaces and that the relocation of the ethno-national intergroup encounters to privatized spaces of consumption could represent a temporal shift to a class based encounters.

 

 

 

New Article: Shoshana, The Language of Everyday Racism and Microaggression in the Workplace

Shoshana, Avihu. “The Language of Everyday Racism and Microaggression in the Workplace: Palestinian Professionals in Israel.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2015.1081965

 

Abstract

Based on interviews with Palestinian professionals in Jewish organizations in Israel, this article discloses a distinctive practice of ‘everyday racism’ and microaggression – a language of everyday racism. This ‘language of everyday racism’ refers to Hebrew words and expressions that are routinely used by Jews in their mundane conversations and that include the word ‘Arab’ when describing a deficiency or defect, some sort of unsightliness, filth, or general negativity (as in the expression ‘You’re dressed like an Arab woman’). This article not only describes the language of everyday racism as a specific form of everyday racism and microaggression (national microaggression), it also illustrates how this language activates the Palestinian professionals in a reflexive manner. The discussion section describes how the internal dialectic between structure and agency is critical to understanding the language of everyday racism, which in turn acts as a mechanism of the inequality that underlies face-to-face interactions.

 

 

New Book: Bekerman, The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education

Bekerman, Zvi. The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education. Inclusive Palestinian-Arab and Jewish Schools in Israel. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

 
9780199336517
 

The Promise of Integrated and Multicultural Bilingual Education presents the results of a long-term ethnographic study of the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel that offer a new educational option to two groups of Israelis–Palestinians and Jews–who have been in conflict for the last one hundred years. Their goal is to create egalitarian bilingual multicultural environments to facilitate the growth of youth who can acknowledge and respect “others” while maintaining loyalty to their respective cultural traditions. In this book, Bekerman reveals the complex school practices implemented while negotiating identity and culture in contexts of enduring conflict. Data gathered from interviews with teachers, students, parents, and state officials are presented and analyzed to explore the potential and limitations of peace education given the cultural resources, ethnic-religious affiliations, political beliefs, and historical narratives of the various interactants. The book concludes with critique of Western positivist paradigmatic perspectives that currently guide peace education, maintaining that one of the primary weaknesses of current bilingual and multicultural approaches to peace education is their failure to account for the primacy of the political framework of the nation state and the psychologized educational perspectives that guide their educational work. Change, it is argued, will only occur after these perspectives are abandoned, which entails critically reviewing present understandings of the individual, of identity and culture, and of the learning process.

 
Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part 1
  • 1. Positioning the Author
  • 2. Theoretical Perspectives
  • 3. Methodology: From Theory to Implementation
  • 4. Schools in Their Contexts
  • Part 2
  • 5. The Parents
  • 6. Teachers at Their Work
  • 7. The Children
  • Part 3
  • 8. School Routines: Culture, Religion, and Politics in the Classroom
  • 9. Ceremonial Events
  • 10. Conflicting National Narratives
  • Part 4
  • 11. The Graduates
  • 12. Conclusions
  • Author Index
  • Subject Index

 

ZVI BEKERMAN teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education and The Melton Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His main interests are in the study of cultural, ethnic, and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. He is particularly interested in how concepts such as culture and identity intersect with issues of social justice, intercultural and peace education, and citizenship education.

 

 

 

New Article: Kidron, Jews and Palestinian-Arabs in Mandatory Haifa

Kidron, Anat. “Separatism, Coexistence and the Landscape: Jews and Palestinian-Arabs in Mandatory Haifa.” Middle Eastern Studies 52.1 (2016): 79-101.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1081177
 
Abstract

Haifa was named a ‘mixed city’ by the British, who ruled Palestine from 1917 to 1948, in reference to the two national communities that inhabited the town. This definition was not neutral, and reflected the Brits aspirations to create national coexistence in Palestine among the diverse urban societies.

Reality was more complicated. The basic assumption of this paper follows the idea that the bi-national urban society of Mandatory Haifa developed into dual society, albeit with much overlapping in economic and civil matters, but takes it one step further: through highlighting changes in the urban landscape, I wish to argue dominance of the national European modern Hebrew society over the Palestinian-Arabs and the traditional and oriental Jewish societies and ideas alike. The changes in the urban landscape tell us the story of Zionism’s growing influence and dominance, and the way the urban landscape was used to embody Zionism’s modern European ethos. The neighbourhood’s segregation, therefore, represents not only the effort to separate but to create a modern national ‘sense of place’ that influenced the city development.

 

 

 

ToC: American Quarterly 67.4 (2015): special issue on Palestine and American Studies

Forum

Introduction: Shifting Geographies of Knowledge and Power: Palestine and American Studies

pp. 993-1006

Rabab Abdulhadi, Dana M. Olwan

Solidarity with Palestine from Diné Bikéyah

pp. 1007-1015

Melanie K. Yazzie

Black–Palestinian Solidarity in the Ferguson–Gaza Era

pp. 1017-1026

Kristian Davis Bailey

Taking Risks, or The Question of Palestine Solidarity and Asian American Studies

pp. 1027-1037

Junaid Rana, Diane C. Fujino

Borders Are Obsolete: Relations beyond the “Borderlands” of Palestine and US–Mexico

pp. 1039-1046

Leslie Quintanilla, Jennifer Mogannam

Labor for Palestine: Challenging US Labor Zionism

pp. 1047-1055

Michael Letwin, Suzanne Adely, Jaime Veve

The Islamophobia Industry and the Demonization of Palestine: Implications for American Studies

pp. 1057-1066

Hatem Bazian

Zionism and Anti-Zionism: A Necessary Detour, Not a Final Destination

pp. 1067-1073

Keith P. Feldman

Throwing Stones in Glass Houses: The ASA and the Road to Academic Boycott

pp. 1075-1083

Bill V. Mullen

New Article: Harris, Opening Up Geographies of the Three-Dimensional City

Harris, Andrew. “Vertical Urbanisms. Opening Up Geographies of the Three-Dimensional City.” Progress in Human Geography 39.5 (2015): 601-20.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0309132514554323

 

Abstract

This paper develops a more diverse and multi-dimensional agenda for understanding and researching urban verticality. In particular, it argues for vertical geographies that encompass more than issues of security and segregation and are not necessarily framed by the three-dimensional politics of Israel/Palestine identified by some commentators. In opening up a wider world of vertical urbanisms, the paper outlines three key approaches: close attention to where urban verticality is theorised and the relationship between power and height, the importance of ethnographic detail to emphasise more everyday verticalities and disrupt top-down analytical perspectives, and geographical imaginations that carefully attend to the myriad spatial entanglements of the three-dimensional city.

 

 

New Article: Alon-Mozes, National Parks for a Multicultural Society

Alon-Mozes, Tal. “National Parks for a Multicultural Society: Planning Israel’s Past and Present National Parks.” In Landscape Culture – Culturing Landscapes: The Differentiated Construction of Landscapes (ed. Diedrich Burns et al; Wiesbaden: Springer, 2015): 173-83.

 
9783658042837
 

Extract

Both case studies demonstrate the power of the landscape as an agent fostering first national and later communal identity. Early planning of Gan HaShlosha and Zippori national parks emphasized the role of the biblical/Hellenistic pastoral landscape in reinforcing a common national identity among the Jewish settlers of Israel. Consequently, the Palestinians’ past was erased from Zippori grounds, as in other places in Israel, and their narrative was silenced.

Due to the failure of the melting pot policy and the emergence of Israel as a multicultural society, contemporary Israeli national parks are designed and managed in order to address the needs of various communities of visitors, and not solely the hegemonic ones. The new clientele includes veteran Jews and new immigrants, various Jewish ethnic groups, ultra-orthodox Jews, Christian pilgrims, and the Palestinians Currently, panning strives to increase the profitability of the parks by recruiting new communities, by enabling mass gatherings and communal cultural events, and by mitigating conflicts among participants. Various stakeholders promote parallel narratives within and surrounding the parks, advancing the parcelization of the area based on time or space zones. Within this relatively enabling system, even the Palestinian narrative of Zippori is marked on the land, in spite of objections based on nationalistic considerations.

 

 

New Article: Shokeid, Transforming Urban Landscapes and the Texture of Citizenship

Shokeid, Moshe. “Newcomers at the Israeli National Table: Transforming Urban Landscapes and the Texture of Citizenship.” City & Society 27.2 (2015): 208-30.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ciso.12061

 

Abstract

Advocating research of the “ethnographic present,” the article portrays the recent evolvement of two constituencies in Israeli urban society conceived as new socio-economic-cultural and spatial social “banks”: Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia residing in ethnically segregated urban neighborhoods; the gradual concentration in Tel Aviv’s downtown neighborhoods of authorized and undocumented labor migrants from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan. It reports on the growing protest by local Israeli residents, the government’s efforts to limit the presence of “uninvited strangers,” as well as the active response of the unwelcome aliens. I posit that the emergence of these new ethnic enclaves converges with other critical changes in Israeli institutional life. Major transformations in the texture and tenets of Israeli citizenry, its spatial construction and national identity are steadily progressing.

 

 

Thesis: Wilson, African Asylum Seekers in Israeli Political Discourse

Wilson, Ben R. African Asylum Seekers in Israeli Political Discourse and the Contestation over Zionist Ideology, MA Thesis, Temple University, 2015.

URL: http://gradworks.umi.com/15/97/1597134.html

 

Abstract

Since the time of their arrival beginning around 2005, there remain approximately 46,000 African asylum seekers in Israel. The following paper reviews the foundations and implications of Israel’s political discourse in reference to the presence of this community. I situate the treatment of the asylum seekers in their relationship to the Jewish State, Zionist ideology, international refugee law, and Israel’s human rights community. I argue: 1) that the discourse surrounding the asylum seekers reflects larger changes within the ethos of the Jewish State and models of Israeli personhood; 2) that notions of “security” and “threat” in relation to the asylum seekers take on new meanings shaped by Israel’s ongoing demographic concerns; and 3) that the political response to the African asylum seekers sheds light on irreconcilable goals of the Zionist nation-building project seeking to both maintain a Jewish majority and liberate world Jewry from life segregated and isolated in the Diaspora.

 

 

New Article: Monterescu & Schickler, Jews, Palestinians and the Alternative Cultural Scene in Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Monterescu, Daniel, and Miriam Schickler. “Creative Marginality. Jews, Palestinians and the Alternative Cultural Scene in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.” Ethnologie française 45.2 (2015): 293-308.

 

URL: http://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_ETHN_152_0293–creative-marginality-jews.htm    [click here for PDF]

 

Abstract

Traditionally viewed as the “back yard” of Israel’s urban landscape, ethnically mixed towns have been predominantly studied in light of the marginality paradigm, which neglects to recognize these spaces as social places, namely as life worlds in and of themselves. Drawing on archival and ethnographic fieldwork in Jaffa, we propose a relational anthropological approach to the problématique of marginality and pluralism in Jewish-Arab cities. These are seen not as unidimensional sites of hyper-segregation but rather as spaces of creative marginality, which paradoxically challenge the nationalist spatial hegemony (both Palestinian and Zionist). Examining the everyday enactment of alterity we show how marginality and exclusion become precisely the driving force behind one of Israel’s most creative back stages.

 

Published in English and French, with abstracts in English, French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, and Arabic.

 

Thesis: Katan, Improving Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel Through Workforce Integration

Katan, Dalia. Building a Shared Israeli Society: Improving Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel Through Workforce Integration, Senior Thesis. Princeton: Princeton University, 2015.

 

Advisor: Dancygier, Rafaela

 

URL: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp01sq87bw961

Abstract
Integration is one of Israel’s greatest challenges, as Israeli Arabs, comprising 20 percent of the Israeli population, are still a segregated minority. After an incredibly violent summer for both Israelis and Palestinians, it has become more important than ever to find a solution to this issue that involves building a shared Israeli society. I argue that because the workforce is the last place where segregated societies can come together, it presents a critical opportunity to integrate. Driven by intergroup contact theory, this thesis demonstrates that (1) the workplace environment is optimal for positive intergroup contact, (2) integration in the workplace produces more positive outgroup opinions and (3) positive outgroup opinions can could withstand pressure from ethnic conflict. This is supported by 47 interviews and surveys, and guided by preexisting frameworks on intergroup contact. With this research, I hope to contribute to the literature on intergroup contact, which has yet to explore workforce integration in Israel and link it to intergroup contact theory. The findings of this thesis will be beneficial for private and public sectors to consider in order to maximize the benefits of intergroup contact and work toward a shared society.

New Book: Monterescu, Jaffa Shared and Shattered

Monterescu, Daniel. Jaffa Shared and Shattered. Contrived Coexistence in Israel/Palestine. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015.

9780253016775

 

Binational cities play a pivotal role in situations of long-term conflict, and few places have been more marked by the tension between intimate proximity and visceral hostility than Jaffa, one of the “mixed towns” of Israel/Palestine. In this nuanced ethnographic and historical study, Daniel Monterescu argues that such places challenge our assumptions about cities and nationalism, calling into question the Israeli state’s policy of maintaining homogeneous, segregated, and ethnically stable spaces. Analyzing everyday interactions, life stories, and histories of violence, he reveals the politics of gentrification and the circumstantial coalitions that define the city. Drawing on key theorists in anthropology, sociology, urban studies, and political science, he outlines a new relational theory of sociality and spatiality.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Contrived Coexistence: Relational Histories of Urban Mix in Israel/PalestinePart I. Beyond Methodological Nationalism: Communal Formations and Ambivalent Belonging
    1. Spatial Relationality: Theorizing Space and Sociality in Jewish-Arab “Mixed Towns”
    2. The Bridled “Bride of Palestine”: Urban Orientalism and the Zionist Quest for Place
    3. The “Mother of the Stranger”: Palestinian Presence and the Ambivalence of SumudPart II. Sharing Place or Consuming Space: The Neoliberal City
    4. Inner Space and High Ceilings: Agents and Ideologies of Ethnogentrification
    5. To Buy or Not to Be: Trespassing the Gated CommunityPart III. Being and Belonging in the Binational City: A Phenomenology of the Urban
    6. Escaping the Mythscape: Tales of Intimacy and Violence
    7. Situational Radicalism and Creative Marginality: The “Arab Spring” and Jaffa’s Counterculture

    Conclusion: The City of the Forking Paths: Imagining the Futures of Binational Urbanism

    Notes
    References
    Index

Daniel Monterescu is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University. He is author (with Haim Hazan) of A Town at Sundown: Aging Nationalism in Jaffa and editor (with Dan Rabinowitz) of Mixed Towns, Trapped Communities: Historical Narratives, Spatial Dynamics, Gender Relations and Cultural Encounters in Palestinian-Israeli Towns.

New Article: Yonay et al, The Impact of Christian Neighbors on Muslim and Druze Women’s Participation in the Labor Force

Yonay, Yuval P., Mair Yaish, and Vered Kraus. “Religious Heterogeneity and Cultural Diffusion: The Impact of Christian Neighbors on Muslim and Druze Women’s Participation in the Labor Force in Israel.” Sociology 49.4 (2015): 660-78.

 

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

 

Abstract

This study exploits the unique demographic structure of the Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel and their geographical immobility in order to help resolve the riddle why women in the Middle East and North Africa are less likely to participate in the labor force than women elsewhere in the world. We show that, controlling for economic variables, Muslim and Druze Arab women are more likely to enter the labor force if they live in a locality where Christian Arabs live as well. A possible explanation of this finding is the impact of social interaction among people who have different cultural schemas. Female labor force participation is rising throughout the Middle East, including among Arab-Palestinians in Israel, but the tempo of this transformation depends on various local variables, and in this article we identify one such factor, namely, the ethno-religious composition of a community.

 

Cite: Balázs, The Conflict of Conscience and Law in a Jewish State

Balázs, Gábor. “The Conflict of Conscience and Law in a Jewish State.” Shofar 31.2 (2013):118-136.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v031/31.2.feldheim.html

Abstract

Founded in 1998, the Mehadrin bus lines adhere to strict separation of men and women: women must board the bus at the back and sit only at the back, and men at the front. In addition, women must adhere to strict modesty rules in their attire, that is, for example, wear long skirts, no pants, and sleeves. The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) became involved after being approached by five women reporting physical or verbal abuse when not conforming to the segregation or modesty rules on the buses. The fear of those active in defense of the rights of women was that segregation will extend further into public spaces. Indeed, the issue of gender segregation became a major issue about preserving the presence of women in public spaces in Israel. On the other hand, the segregation issue raises the question of whether secular Israelis have the right to force Western standards on the ultra-Orthodox. This article examines the background, and the legal, religious, and political arguments raised in reconciling the rights of women and rights of religious observance yet supporting the Israeli nation’s goal of advancing democracy.

Cite: Feldheim, Women’s Rights and Religious Rights: The Issue of Bus Segregation

Feldheim, Miriam. “Balancing Women’s Rights and Religious Rights: The Issue of Bus Segregation.” Shofar 31.2 (2013): 73-94.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v031/31.2.feldheim.html

Abstract

Founded in 1998, the Mehadrin bus lines adhere to strict separation of men and women: women must board the bus at the back and sit only at the back, and men at the front. In addition, women must adhere to strict modesty rules in their attire, that is, for example, wear long skirts, no pants, and sleeves. The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) became involved after being approached by five women reporting physical or verbal abuse when not conforming to the segregation or modesty rules on the buses. The fear of those active in defense of the rights of women was that segregation will extend further into public spaces. Indeed, the issue of gender segregation became a major issue about preserving the presence of women in public spaces in Israel. On the other hand, the segregation issue raises the question of whether secular Israelis have the right to force Western standards on the ultra-Orthodox. This article examines the background, and the legal, religious, and political arguments raised in reconciling the rights of women and rights of religious observance yet supporting the Israeli nation’s goal of advancing democracy.

Cite: Flanders, Road Movie: Notes from the Field

Flanders, Elle. “Road Movie: Notes from the Field.” Camera Obscura 27.2 (2012): 165-75.

URL: http://cameraobscura.dukejournals.org/content/27/2_80/165.abstract

Abstract

This piece follows the author’s journey of making a film about the segregated roads in Palestine, and the ways in which queer subjectivity and radical politics inform the work we produce regardless of subject matter. Offering a counter-narrative to the Israeli government’s dissimulation as a democratic and progressive nation in its advancement of queer-rights (commonly referred to as pinkwashing), “Notes from the Field” exposes the realities of occupation and its impact on the lives of Palestinians, including queers and their profound interventions. Through a critique of the impact of neoliberalism on current queer politics, the piece winds its way toward a suturing of queer identity and questions of nation.

Cite: Wolff and Breit, Eduction in Israel (link to full paper)

Education in Israel: The Challenges Ahead. Laurence Wolff  with Elizabeth Breit. The Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, University of Maryland – May 2012.

 

Full paper can be found on The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies website:

URL: http://www.israelstudies.umd.edu/pdf/Larry%20Wolff%20Research%20Paper%20-%20May%202012.pdf

 

Abstract

 

This paper is directed towards those living outside Israel who wish to understand the educational challenges that Israel faces.  It describes and seeks to explain reasons for the mediocre performance of Israel’s primary and secondary schools as well as the problems brought about by the division of schooling into four highly separate sub-systems.  It reviews recent initiatives by the government to improve education, from the point of view of international best practice.  The paper argues that Israel needs to do more to improve education, through articulating clear goals, ensuring more equitable distribution of resources,  recruiting teachers with high knowledge and competence, utilizing assessment results, building bridges between the separate systems, and building consensus among stakeholders.

Cite: Flint et al., Micro-Segregation in a Haredi Neighborhood in Jerusalem

Flint, Shlomit, Itzhak Benenson, and Nurit Alfasi. "Between Friends and Strangers: Micro-Segregation in a Haredi Neighborhood in Jerusalem." City & Community 11.2 (2012): 171-97.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-6040.2012.01397.x/abstract

 

Abstract

Sanhedria, an inner-city neighborhood in Jerusalem, is populated mostly by members of several sects belonging to the Haredi (Jewish ultra-Orthodox) community. The Sanhedria case offers an opportunity to examine noneconomic processes of segregation. The paper examines residential relations between sects as reflected in their residential choices and the observed residential distribution. Sanhedria residents are close in economic status and share similar preferences regarding their way of life, yet powerful mechanisms of residential preferences acting at the level of the apartment and building result in “micro-segregation” patterns. Taken together, these mechanisms provide insight into processes typical of dense inner-city neighborhoods with multi-family housing and shared by differing religious or ethnic groups.