Report: Ram et al, Forecasting the Israeli 2015 Elections Using a Smartphone Application

Ram, Yoav, Ofer Moshaioff, Idan Cohen, and Omri Dor. “Forecasting the Israeli 2015 Elections Using a Smartphone Application.” arXiv:1503.04784

 

URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1503.04784 [PDF]

 

Abstract
We developed a smartphone application, Ha’Midgam, to poll and forecast the results of the 2015 Israeli elections. The application was downloaded by over 7,500 people. We present the method used to control bias in our sample and our forecasts. We discuss limitations of our approach and suggest possible solutions to control bias in similar applications.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Blonder and Rap, Exploring Israeli High School Chemistry Teachers’ Use of Facebook

Blonder, Ron, and Shelley Rap. “I like Facebook: Exploring Israeli High School Chemistry Teachers’ TPACK and Self-Efficacy Beliefs.” Education and Information Technologies (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10639-015-9384-6

 

Abstract
The goal of this research was to examine how Israeli chemistry teachers at high school level use Facebook groups to facilitate learning. Two perspectives were used: Teachers’ TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) and the self-efficacy beliefs of chemistry teachers for using CLFG (chemistry learning Facebook groups). Three different case studies were chosen and qualitative and quantitative research tools were used to learn about the teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and knowledge. More specifically, a validated questionnaire for measuring teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs for using Facebook and for integrating Facebook into teaching was developed. We show that the initial beliefs (not based on a real acquaintance of Facebook) were replaced by more realistic efficacy-beliefs after the teachers started to work with the CLFG and that the technological support provided to each teacher, together with their mastery experience, supported the development of strong self-efficacy beliefs regarding the use of CLFG. Teachers’ TPACK was investigated by analyzing their interviews and the interactions in their CLFG. We found that the notion regarding what constitutes learning in the CLFG had not changed during the experiment but rather, the teachers knew better how they can facilitate this leaning. In addition they better integrated links to videos and visualizations that supported understanding abstract chemistry concepts. Interestingly, the intervention that was conducted did not influence teachers’ perceptions of learning; however, it was found to serve as an additional tool for supporting their self-efficacy beliefs by providing vicarious experience for the teachers. We therefore recommend performing a longer intervention in the future.

 
 
 

New Article: Samuel-Azran et al, Aristotelian Rhetoric and Facebook Success in Israel’s 2013 Election Campaign

Samuel-Azran, Tal, Moran Yarchi, and Gadi Wolfsfeld. “Aristotelian Rhetoric and Facebook Success in Israel’s 2013 Election Campaign.” Online Information Review 39. (2015): 149-62.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/OIR-11-2014-0279

 

Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the mapping of the social media discourse involving politicians and their followers during election campaigns, the authors examined Israeli politicians’ Aristotelian rhetoric on Facebook and its reception during the 2013 elections campaign.

Design/methodology/approach
– The authors examined the Aristotelian rhetorical strategies used by Israeli politicians on their Facebook walls during the 2013 elections, and their popularity with social media users. 

Findings

– Ethos was the most prevalent rhetorical strategy used. On the reception front, pathos-based appeals attracted the most likes. Finally, the results point to some discrepancy between politicians’ campaign messages and the rhetoric that actually gains social media users’ attention.

Research limitations/implications

– The findings indicate that Israel’s multi-party political system encourages emphasis on candidates’ credibility (ethos) in contrast to the prevalence of emotion (pathos) in typical election campaigns in two-party systems like the USA. One possible explanation is the competitive nature of elections in a multi-party system where candidates need to emphasise their character and distinct leadership abilities.

Practical implications
– Politicians and campaign managers are advised to attend to the potential discrepancy between politicians’ output and social media users’ preferences, and to the effectiveness of logos-based appeals. 

Originality/value 

– The study highlights the possible effect of the party system on politicians’ online rhetoric in social media election campaigns.

New Article: Golan & Campbell, Strategic Management of Religious Websites

Golan, Oren, and Heidi M. Campbell. “Strategic Management of Religious Websites: The Case of Israel’s Orthodox Communities.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 20.4 (2015): 467-86.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcc4.12118

 

Abstract

This study investigates how webmasters of sites affiliated with bounded communities manage tensions created by the open social affordances of the internet. We examine how webmasters strategically manage their respective websites to accommodate their assumed target audiences. Through in-depth interviews with Orthodox webmasters in Israel, we uncover how they cultivate 3 unique strategies — control, layering, and guiding — to contain information flows. We thereby elucidate how web strategies reflect the relationships between community, religion and CMC.

New Book: Lev-On, ed. Online Communities

לב-און, אזי, עורך. קהילות מקוונות. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2015.

LevOnOnlineCommunities

The rapid penetration and intensive use of the Internet in general and online social media in particular allowed for the flourishing of a new type of communities – online communities that share some common traits with traditional geographic communities, but differ from them in other respects.

An online community is a dynamic association of individuals based on a common characteristic or a shared interest as the basis of a social relationship, and whose members engage in sustained interaction through the Internet. The voluntary affiliation of community members, the size of the community, the professionalization of its members and the self-regulation mechanisms that it engenders, helps the development of large-scale networks in which members choose to share information and engage in common interest over a substantial time period. In this way, online communities can be a magnet for large numbers of savvy individuals, and at the same time open a new world of opportunities for them.

Online Communities is a collection of articles written by Israeli scholars who are engaged in online communities of various kinds: parents with special needs children, adolescent girls, social workers, online forums dealing with health issues on the one hand and pro-anorexia communities on the other, and more. The chapters of the book address issues such as the structure and function of these communities, uses and gratifications derived from community membership, as well as methodological issues raised by the study of online communities.

The editor, Dr. Azi Lev-On, studies the social and political uses and influences of the Internet, especially social media arenas such as forums of Ultra- Orthodox women and of political activists, Facebook pages of municipalities and Knesset members, knowledge communities and online venues for public involvement.

 

New Article: Zeitzoff et al, Social Media and the Iranian–Israeli Confrontation

Zeitzoff, Thomas, John Kelly, and Gilad Lotan. “Using Social Media to Measure Foreign Policy Dynamics. An Empirical Analysis of the Iranian–Israeli Confrontation (2012–13).” Journal of Peace Research 52.3 (2015): 368-83.

 

URL: http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/52/3/368.abstract

 

Abstract

Does social media reflect meaningful political competition over foreign policy? If so, what relationships can it reveal, and what are the limitations of its usage as data for scholars? These questions are of interest to both scholars and policymakers alike, as social media, and the data derived from it, play an increasingly important role in politics. The current study uses social media data to examine how foreign policy discussions about Israel–Iran are structured across different languages (English, Farsi, and Arabic) – a particularly contentious foreign policy issue. We use follower relationships on Twitter to build a map of the different networks of foreign policy discussions around Iran and Israel, along with data from the Iranian and Arabic blogosphere. Using social network analysis, we show that some foreign policy networks (English and Farsi Twitter networks) accurately reflect policy positions and salient cleavages (online behavior maps onto offline behavior). Others (Hebrew Twitter network) do not. We also show that there are significant differences in salience across languages (Farsi and Arabic). Our analysis accomplishes two things. First, we show how scholars can use social media data and network analysis to make meaningful inferences about foreign policy issues. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we also outline pitfalls and incorrect inferences that may result if scholars are not careful in their application.

ToC: Israel Affairs 21.2 (2015) – special issue: Israel at the Polls 2013

 

Israel Affairs, Volume 21, Issue 2, April 2015 is now available online on Taylor & Francis Online.

Special Issue: Israel at the Polls 2013: Continuity and Change in Israeli Political Culture

This new issue contains the following articles:

Articles
The Run-Up to Israel’s 2013 Elections: A Political History
Manfred Gerstenfeld
Pages: 177-194
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008240

The Peculiar Victory of The National Camp in the 2013 Israeli Election
Arie Perliger & Eran Zaidise
Pages: 195-208
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008243

‘Something new begins’ – religious Zionism in the 2013 elections: from decline to political recovery
Anat Roth
Pages: 209-229
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008238

An uneasy stability: the Haredi parties’ emergency campaign for the 2013 elections
Nissim Leon
Pages: 230-244
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008241

The political transformation of the Israeli ‘Russian’ street in the 2013 elections
Vladimir (Ze’ev) Khanin
Pages: 245-261
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008244

The Transmigration of Media Personalities and Celebrities to Politics: The Case of Yair Lapid
Rafi Mann
Pages: 262-276
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008239

‘New politics’, new media – new political language? A rhetorical perspective on candidates’ self-presentation in electronic campaigns in the 2013 Israeli elections
Eithan Orkibi
Pages: 277-292
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008242

The 2013 Israeli elections and historic recurrences
Eyal Lewin
Pages: 293-308
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2015.1008245

New Article: Schejter & Tirosh, Media Reform and Social Justice in Israel

Schejter, Amit and Noam Tirosh. “‘What Is Wrong Cannot Be Made Right’? Why Has Media Reform Been Sidelined in the Debate Over ‘Social Justice’ in Israel?” Critical Studies in Media Communication 32.1 (2015): 16-32.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15295036.2014.998514

 

Abstract

When hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets in the summer of 2011, protesting the high cost of living and demanding “social justice,” the ills of the media system including its concentration, the growing digital divide, and the implosion of public broadcasting were not made part of the social movement’s agenda. This study employs a justice-based theory for media, analyzing three types of “products” of the social movement: the unionization of media workers, the establishment of alternative media, and the reports recommending regulatory/institutional reform. We attempt to understand why media reform, an essential element without which social justice cannot be fully achieved, has been sidelined in the debate over the ways to achieve “social justice” in Israel.

Conference program: MESA, Washington, DC (22-25 Nov, 2014)

Israel Studies events at the annual conference of MESA, Washington, DC, November 22-25. For full program click here (PDF).

 

AIS–Association for Israel Studies Reception

Saturday, 11/22

Reception, 8:30-10:30pm, McKinley (M)

 

(3681) Settler-Colonialism and the Study of Zionism: Erasure, Transfer and Assimilation

Sunday, November 23, 11am-1pm

Organized by Arnon Degani

Sponsored by Palestinian American Research Center (PARC)

Chair: Gabriel Piterberg, UCLA

 

Discussant: Lorenzo Veracini, Swinburne Inst for Social Research

Susan Slyomovics, UCLA–“The Object of Memory” and Settler Colonialism Studies 16 Years Later

Honaida Ghanim, Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies–Judaization and De-Indigenization: Settler-Colonialism in East Jerusalem

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, Mada Al-Carmel–The Zionist Left and Settler-Colonialism in Marj Ibn ‘Amer: Land, Population and Property

Arnon Degani, UCLA–Non-Statist and Bi-Nationalist Zionism as Settler-Colonial Agendas

 

(3756) Rule of Experts?: Revolutions, Doctrines, and Interventions in the Middle East

Sunday, November 23, 2m-4pm

Organized by Osamah Khalil

 

Seth Anziska, Columbia University–Israel, the United States and the 1982 War in Lebanon

 

(3925) World War One and Its Aftermath

Sunday, November 23, 2m-4pm

Chair: Weston F Cook, Jr, UNC Pembroke

 

Roberto Mazza, Western Illinois U–Cemal Pasha, Zionism and the Alleged Expulsion of the Jews from Jaffa in April 1917

 

(3792) Israel Studies in the Arab World

Sunday, November 23, 4:30m-6:30pm

Organized by Johannes Becke

Discussant: Elie Podeh, Hebrew U of Jersusalem

 

Hassan A. Barari, U Jordan–Israelism: Arab Scholarship on Israel, a Critical Assessment

Mostafa Hussein, Brandeis U–Israel Studies in the Arab World Between Two Dictums: ‘Whosoever Learns People’s Language Avoids Their Plot’ and ‘Know Your Enemy’

Johannes Becke, U Oxford–Hebrew in Beirut: Studying Israel in the Last Arab Frontline State

Hebatalla Taha, U Oxford–The Politics of ‘Normalisation’: The Israeli Academic Centre in Cairo

Amr Yossef, American U Cairo–Egyptian Israelists: The View from Israel

 

(3886) Social Media, the Digital Archive, and Scholarly Futures

Sunday, November 23, 4:30m-6:30pm

Organized by Ted Swedenburg

Chair/Discussant: Elliott Colla, Georgetown U

 

Rebecca L. Stein, Duke U–The Perpetrator’s Archive: Israel’s Occupation on YouTube

 

 

(4006) Special Session

Abandoned Yet Central: Gaza and the Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Sunday, November 23, 4:30m-6:30pm

Organized by Sara Roy

Chair: Sara Roy, Harvard University

 

Chris Gunness, UNRWA, Office of the Commissioner General, Jerusalem

Paul Aaron, Political Analyst and Consultant, Gaza Community Mental Health Program

Bill Corcoran, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)

Ilana Feldman, George Washington University

Brian Barber, University of Tennessee

Susan Akram, Boston University School of Law

 

This session will present an overview of the past summer’s violent clashes between Israeli and Hamas forces and the ensuing destruction in Gaza. Representatives from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) will provide an “on-the-ground” analysis of the destruction and human toll of the 50-day war. Scholars will further place the recent violence in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and examine the prerequisites for a sustainable resolution of the conflict.

 

 

 

(3737) Religious Inclusivity and Civilizational Identity: Expanding Iranian Identities Along Religious, Ethnic, and Gender Lines

Monday, November 24, 8:30am-10:30am

Organized by Lior Sternfeld

Chair/Discussant: Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, U Toronto

 

Lior Sternfeld, U Texas Austin–Iran is My Homeland, Jerusalem is My Qiblah: Iranian Jews Between Zionist and Iranian Identities

 

(3643) Israel, the United States and a Changing Middle East

Monday, November 24, 11am-1pm

Organized by Robert O. Freedman

Sponsored by Association for Israel Studies

Chair/Discussant: Robert O. Freedman, Johns Hopkins U

 

Eyal Zisser, Tel Aviv U–Israel and the Arab World – Who’s First – Syria, Egypt or Lebanon?

Ilan Peleg, Lafayette Col–Israel, Netanyahu & the Palestinians: Is the Third Term the Charm?!

Rami Ginat, Bar Ilan U–The Israeli-Egyptian-American Strategic Triangle: A Reassessment in Light of the Arab Uprising

Joshua Teitelbaum, Bar-Ilan U–Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council: New Opportunities for Cooperation?

Uzi Rabi, Tel Aviv U–Iran and Israel: Post 2013 Elections

 

 

(3697) Bridging the Rupture of 1948: The “Decolonization” and Erasure of Mandate Palestine

Monday, November 24, 2:30pm-4:30pm

Organized by Jeffrey D. Reger and Leena Dallasheh

Sponsored by Palestinian American Research Center (PARC)

Chair: Zachary Lockman, New York U

Discussant: Shira Robinson, George Washington U

 

Jeffrey D. Reger, Georgetown U–Uprooting Palestine: Olive Groves, Mass Dispossession, and Peasant Resistance, 1945-1955

Hilary Falb Kalisman, UC Berkeley–Learning Exile: Palestinian Students and Educators Abroad, 1940-1958

Leena Dallasheh, Rice U–Defying the Rupture, Affirming Presence: Palestinians in Nazareth Surviving 1948

Rephael Stern, Princeton U–Israel’s Postcolonial Predicament and Its Contradicting Jurisdictional Claims in 1948

 

 

(3917) Perilous Peacemaking: Israeli-Palestinian Relations Since Oslo

Monday, November 24, 5pm-7pm

Chair: Timothy Schorn, U South Dakota

 

Elie Podeh, Hebrew U Jerusalem–Missed Opportunities in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Case of the Arab Peace Initiative (2002-2014)

Maia Carter Hallward, Kennesaw State U–Choosing to Negotiate Under Sub-Optimal Conditions: The 2013 Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

Gabriele Mombelli, U Florence–The Palestinian National Authority Security Sector: An Operational Overview

Karam Dana, U Washington–Twenty Years after Oslo: What Do Palestinians Think?

Andrew Barwig, Department of State–“New Blood” in Israel’s Knesset: Elite Circulation and Parliamentary Resilience

 

 

 

(3867) Urbanism and the Politics of the Mandate Period, Local versus Imperial Interests

Tuesday, November 25, 11am-1pm

Organized by Harrison Guthorn

Chair: Elizabeth F. Thompson, U Virginia

 

Noah Hysler Rubin, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design–Planning Palestine: British and Zionist Plans for Tiberius and Nathanya

 

(3893) Public Opinion in the Middle East

Tuesday, November 25, 11am-1pm

Organized by Yael Zeira

 

Devorah Manekin, Arizona State U–Carrots and Sticks: Policy Instruments and Public Opinion in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

 

(3919) Palestinian Resistance: Spaces and Standpoints

Tuesday, November 25, 11am-1pm

Chair: Timothy Schorn, U South Dakota

 

Timothy Seidel, American U–Narrating Nonviolence: Postcolonial Interrogations of Resistance in Palestine

Maya Rosenfeld, Hebrew U Jerusalem–The Movement of Palestinian Political Prisoners and the Struggle Against the Israeli Occupation: A Historical Perspective

Sharri Plonski, SOAS U London–Transcending Bounded Space: The Struggle for Land and Space by the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Julie Norman, McGill U–Prisoners Dilemma?: Prison-Based Resistance and the Diffusion of Activism in Palestine

Maryam Griffin, UC Santa Barbara–Movement as/and Non-Movement in Palestine

 

(3949) Transnational Cultural Production

Tuesday, November 25, 1:30pm-3:30pm

Chair: Zeynep Seviner, U Washington

 

Isra Ali, Rutgers, State U of New Jersey–Adaptation: Cultural Alliances and Television Production in Israel and the United States

Robert Lang, U Hartford–Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir: Whose Trauma?

New Article: Heemsbergen & Lindgren, Air Strikes and Social Media Feeds in the 2012 Israel–Hamas Conflict

Heemsbergen, Luke Justin and Simon Lindgren. “The Power of Precision Air Strikes and Social Media Feeds in the 2012 Israel–Hamas Conflict: ‘Targeting Transparency’.” Australian Journal of International Affairs 68.5 (2014): 569-91.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10357718.2014.922526

 

 

Abstract

This article analyses the evolving uses of social media during wartime through the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Spokesperson Facebook and Twitter accounts. The conflict between Israel and Hamas-affiliated groups in November 2012 has generated interesting data about social media use by a sovereign power in wartime and the resultant networked discourse. Facebook data is examined for effective patterns of dissemination through both content analysis and discourse analysis. Twitter data is explored through connected concept analysis to map the construction of meaning in social media texts shared by the IDF. The systematic examination of this social media data allows the authors’ analysis to comment on the evolving modes, methods and expectations for state public diplomacy, propaganda and transparency during wartime.

New Article: Sucharov and Sasley, Blogging Identities on Israel/Palestine

Sucharov, Mira and Brent E. Sasley. “Blogging Identities on Israel/Palestine: Public Intellectuals and Their Audiences.” PS: Political Science & Politics 47.1 (2014): 177-81.

 

URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9135928

 

Abstract

Drawing on our research and blogging on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we make three claims about the role of scholar-bloggers in the social media age. First, as scholar-bloggers with some degree of ethno-national attachments related to our area of expertise, we contend that we are well positioned to issue the kinds of critiques that may resonate more deeply due to the very subjectivity that some perceive as a liability. Second, through the melding of scholarly arguments with popular writing forms, scholar-bloggers are uniquely poised to be at the forefront of public engagement and political literacy both with social media publics and with students. Third, the subjectivity hazard is an intrinsic part of any type of research and writing, whether that writing is aimed at a scholarly audience or any other, and should not be used as an argument against academic involvement in social media. Ultimately, subjectivities of both consumers and producers can evolve through these highly interactive media, a dynamic that deserves further examination.

Cite: Stein, StateTube: Anthropological Reflections on Social Media and the Israeli State

Stein, Rebecca L. “StateTube: Anthropological Reflections on Social Media and the Israeli State.” Anthropological Quarterly 85.3 (2012): 893-916.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/anthropological_quarterly/v085/85.3.stein.html

Abstract

While the state’s blueprints for the social media future are currently being imagined by officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the political effects of this project are far from certain. What will digital statecraft mean for Israel’s relations with neighboring Arab states? How might it impact the everyday functioning of the Israeli military occupation and the everyday lives of Palestinians living under its thumb? For even as events in Egypt and Tunisia concretized state investment in social media as an information platform, and also as a tool for counter-insurgency, these revolutions raised other political specters as well. “We cannot but be impressed,” IDF spokesman Avi Benayahu noted recently in relation to current events in the Arab World, “at how Western technology harms regimes…one cell phone camera can harm a regime more than any intelligence operation can” (Fyler 2011). The fact that social media are concurrently employed by anti-occupation activists, Jewish and Palestinian, on both sides of the Green Line separating Israel proper from its occupied territories, is something that state officials interviewed for this article did not wish to address-and herein lie the risks. When viewed with the Arab Spring in mind, these countervailing digital trends raise the possibility of a very different digital future in Israel-far from that imagined in the IDF’s new media offices.