New Article: Shechory-Bitton & Soen, The Refugee Problem as Perceived by Israeli Residents

Shechory-Bitton, Mally, and Dan Soen. “Community Cohesion, Sense of Threat, and Fear of Crime: The Refugee Problem as Perceived by Israeli Residents.” Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15377938.2016.1187237

 

Abstract

The study deals with the concentration of African refugees in southern Tel-Aviv neighborhoods. It analyzes the impact of this situation on Israeli residents’ perception of their neighborhood. Based on a sample of 214 people four analyses were conducted: (1) symbolic and real threat felt by the residents; (2) fear of crime, neighborhood disorder, perceived risk, and community cohesiveness; (3) objective exposure; (4) distress. Distress in the neighborhood was found to be a function of fear of crime, perceived risk, and community cohesiveness. Perceptions of symbolic threat play a much more important role than real feelings of threat or fear of socio-economic competition. Likewise, it was found that African refugees are perceived as a threat to the cultural and national homogeneity of Jewish Israeli residents.

 
 
 

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New Article: Adwan et al, Portrayal of the Other in Schoolbooks

Adwan, Sami, Daniel Bar-Tal, and Bruce E. Wexler. “Portrayal of the Other in Palestinian and Israeli Schoolbooks: A Comparative Study.” Political Psychology 37.2 (2016): 201-17.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pops.12227

 

Abstract

The present study examined how Israelis and Palestinians present their narratives related to their conflict in school textbooks used by the state educational system and the ultraorthodox community in Israel and by all Palestinian schools in Palestinian National Territories. The focus was on how each side portrays the Other and their own group. The content analysis was based on a developed conceptual framework and standardized and manualized rating criteria with quantitative and qualitative aspects. The results showed in general that (1) dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the Other are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books; (2) both Israeli and Palestinian books present unilateral national narratives that portray the Other as enemy, chronicle negative actions by the Other directed at the self-community, and portray the self-community in positive terms with actions aimed at self-protection and goals of peace; (3), there is lack of information about the religions, culture, economic and daily activities of the Other, or even of the existence of the Other on maps; (4) the negative bias in portrayal of the Other, the positive bias in portrayal of the self, and the absence of images and information about the Other are all statistically significantly more pronounced in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books than in Israeli state books.

 

 

 

New Article: Rozin, Infiltration and the Making of Israel’s Emotional Regime

Rozin, Orit. “Infiltration and the Making of Israel’s Emotional Regime in the State’s Early Years.” Middle Eastern Studies (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00263206.2015.1124416
 
Abstract

After the 1948 war, the cease-fire lines between Israel and its neighbours remained porous. Palestinian refugees crossed the borders. Some returned to cultivate their fields; others crossed the border as thieves. Some intended to murder Israelis and wreak terror. Most of the refugees who made their way into Israel were not violent, but their presence frightened Jewish civilians living in frontier regions. Policy-makers and cultural agents of the social elite mobilized to mould the threatened population into Israelis who could display fortitude. The article analyzes the emotional regime the Israeli state sought to inculcate and the desirable and undesirable outcomes of this policy.

 

 

 

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: Nasie et al, Young Children in Intractable Conflicts

Nasie, Meytal, Aurel Harrison Diamond, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “Young Children in Intractable Conflicts: The Israeli Case.” Personality and Social Psychology Review (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1088868315607800

 

Abstract

The article examines the political socialization of young Jewish-Israeli children who live under the Israeli–Palestinian intractable conflict. It proposes arguments and presents empirical evidence to suggest that the way in which political socialization of young children happens in this context contributes to the development of conflict-supporting narratives of ethos of conflict and collective memory by the youngest generation. As a result, the conflict solidifies adherence to these narratives in adulthood, thereby serving as a major obstacle to the processes of peace-making and peace-building. Specifically, as evidence for showing how the political socialization works in Israel, a series of studies conducted in Israeli kindergartens and elementary schools are presented. These studies recount the contents acquired by young children, as well as contents delivered by teachers, related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. This indicates the serious consequences of acquiring conflict-supporting narratives at an early age in societies involved in intractable conflict.

 

 

New Article: Hochman, Framing and Attitudes Toward Asylum Seekers in Israel

Hochman, Oshrat. “Infiltrators or Asylum Seekers? Framing and Attitudes Toward Asylum Seekers in Israel.” Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies 13.4 (2015): 358-78.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2014.982779

 

Extract

This study asks whether framing asylum seekers in Israel as “infiltrators” posing threats to the country amplifies exclusion toward them. The term “infiltrators” associates asylum seekers with the anti-infiltration law passed in the 1950s to fight terrorists and dissociates asylum seekers from their unique position as holders of special rights. The term “infiltrators” may thus influence the attitudes of the Israeli public regarding the treatment of asylum seekers. Findings demonstrate that respondents presented with the “infiltrators” frame were more likely to show exclusionary attitudes. Findings additionally show that the framing effect mediates the relation between perceived socioeconomic threat and exclusion.

 

 

 

New Article: Bodas et al, Perception of the Threat of War in Israel

Bodas, Moran, Maya Siman-Tov, Shulamith Kreitler, and Kobi Peleg. “Perception of the Threat of War in Israel – Implications for Future Preparedness Planning.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/110.1186/s13584-015-0026-7

 

Abstract

Background
It has been recently reported that the preparedness of the Israeli public to a war scenario is mediocre. These findings suggest a need to study the psychosocial mechanisms behind individual motivation to engage in preparedness behavior. One component of these mechanisms is the perception of threat. The purpose of this study is to portray the perception of the threat of war by the Israeli public and to deduce possible implications for resilience-promoting policies.

Methods
Portions of the data accumulated in a telephone-based random sampling of 503 households (representing the Israeli population) performed in October 2013 were utilized to examine the perception of the threat of war by Israelis. The questionnaire was used to examine the level of household preparedness, as well as attitudes toward perception of threat, preparedness responsibility, willingness to search for information, and sense of preparedness. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the correlations between different components of threat perception, and to evaluate the preparedness promoting features of specific perception factors.

Results
The data suggest that the perception of threat is influenced by different socio-demographic factors. In particular, age, religion and education seem to play an important role in the perception of threat. Compared to data collected almost a decade ago, the likelihood perception and threat intrusiveness rates were significantly reduced. The regression analysis suggests that perception of the severity of the impact on a family’s routine and willingness to search for information, two known preparedness promoting factors, can be predicted by various socio-demographic and threat perception components.

Conclusion
The data suggest that the Israeli public, post the Second Lebanon War (2006) and the Gaza conflicts of 2009 and 2012, perceives the probabilities of war and being affected by it as diminished. The Israeli public demonstrates what can be considered as the unique characteristics of a war-victimized population. Implications for a future resilience-promoting policy were discussed.

 

 

New Book: Kotef, Movement and the Ordering of Freedom

Kotef, Hagar. Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.

 

978-0-8223-5843-5-frontcover

We live within political systems that increasingly seek to control movement, organized around both the desire and ability to determine who is permitted to enter what sorts of spaces, from gated communities to nation-states. In Movement and the Ordering of Freedom, Hagar Kotef examines the roles of mobility and immobility in the history of political thought and the structuring of political spaces. Ranging from the writings of Locke, Hobbes, and Mill to the sophisticated technologies of control that circumscribe the lives of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, this book shows how concepts of freedom, security, and violence take form and find justification via “regimes of movement.” Kotef traces contemporary structures of global (im)mobility and resistance to the schism in liberal political theory, which embodied the idea of “liberty” in movement while simultaneously regulating mobility according to a racial, classed, and gendered matrix of exclusions.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements

    • Introduction
    • 1. Between Imaginary Lines: Violence and Its Justifications at the Military Checkpoints in Occupied Palestine / Hagar Kotef and Merav Amir
    • 2. An Interlude: A Tale of Two Roads—On Freedom and Movement
    • 3. The Fence That “Ill Deserves the Name of Confinement”: Locomotion and the Liberal Body
    • 4. The Problem of “Excessive” Movement
    • 5. The “Substance and Meaning of All Things Political”: On Other Bodies
    • Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
Index

 

HAGAR KOTEF is based at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University.

 

 

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: Canetti et al, Exposure to Violence and Support for Compromise

Canetti, Daphna, Julia Elad-Strenger, Iris Lavi, Dana Guy, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “Exposure to Violence, Ethos of Conflict, and Support for Compromise. Surveys in Israel, East Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza.” Journal of Conflict Resolution (early view; online first).

 
 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022002715569771

 

Abstract

Does ongoing exposure to political violence prompt subject groups to support or oppose compromise in situations of intractable conflict? If so, what is the mechanism underlying these processes? Political scholarship neither offers conclusive arguments nor sufficiently addresses individual-level forms of exposure to violence in the context of political conflict, particularly the factors mediating political outcomes. We address this by looking at the impact of exposure to political violence, psychological distress, perceived threat, and ethos of conflict on support for political compromise. A mediated model is hypothesized whereby exposure to political violence provokes support for the ethos of conflict and hinders support for compromise through perceived psychological distress and perceived national threat. We examined representative samples of two parties to the same conflict: Israelis (N = 781) and Palestinians from Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank (N = 1,196). The study’s main conclusion is that ethos of conflict serves as a mediating variable in the relationship between exposure to violence and attitudes toward peaceful settlement of the conflict.

 
 
 

New Article: Lavi et al., Protected by Ethos in a Protracted Conflict? A Comparative Study among Israelis and Palestinians

Lavi, Iris, Daphna Canetti, Keren Sharvit, Daniel Bar-Tal, and Stevan E. Hobfoll. “Protected by Ethos in a Protracted Conflict? A Comparative Study among Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 58.1 (2014): 68-92.

URL: http://jcr.sagepub.com/content/58/1/68.abstract

Abstract

Can endorsement of the ethos of conflict alter psychological effects of exposure to political violence? Israelis and Palestinians have been in a state of political and military turmoil for decades. We interviewed 781 Israelis and 1,196 Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Using structural equation modeling, we found that among those with a weak adherence to ethos of conflict, exposure predicted higher levels of hatred. For Israelis with a weak adherence to ethos of conflict, exposure predicted higher psychological distress and fear. For Palestinians with weaker adherence to ethos of conflict, stronger exposure predicted stronger threat perceptions. Israelis and Palestinians with a strong adherence to the ethos showed steady and high levels of negative emotions and threat, regardless of exposure. These results indicate that ethos of conflict is a double-edged sword that both protects and protracts the conflict. Although it serves as an engine fueling the conflict, it also plays a meaningful role as an empowering force for people suffering the psychological burden of an ongoing conflict.