The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the ways in which major themes in early feminist art in the United States were simultaneously explored in Israel. This will be demonstrated by a showcase of three local artists: Yoheved Weinfeld, Miriam Sharon and Pamela Levy. While such artists were few and their work was considered negligible, they nonetheless produced a vast and complex body of feminist art in Israel during the 1970s. The reasons for the degrading attitude of the Israeli mainstream art world toward artists inspired by feminism will be addressed and explained in light of the unique cultural climate in Israel and its position toward feminism in general and toward the second wave feminist movement in particular.
U.S. military policy “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell“ (DADT) restricted integration of gays in the U.S. military based on the premise that knowledge of gay peers would decrease interpersonal bonds among unit members. Despite the heated debate over DADT, this social cohesion thesis, reflecting the tensions of homosocial desire, has not been tested empirically. The Israeli military provides an operative case-study for this thesis, given its nonexclusionary policy and intensive combat experience. Measures of perceived social cohesion and knowledge of gay peers were obtained from a sample of 417 combat and noncombat male soldiers using an inventory of interpersonal emotions towards unit members. A MANOVA of social cohesion by knowledge of gay peers and combat/noncombat unit yielded the hypothesized increase in cohesion in combat versus noncombat units. Yet contrary to the DADT premise, knowledge of gay peers did not yield decreased social cohesion. Comparisons with the U.S. military are presented, suggesting in both cases a loose coupling between stated policies and soldiers’ experience on the ground. Implications of these findings for the reassessment of DADT and its repeal are discussed.
Huesmann, L. Rowell, Eric F. Dubow, Paul Boxer, Violet Souweidane, and Jeremy Ginges. “Foreign Wars and Domestic Prejudice: How Media Exposure to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Predicts Ethnic Stereotyping by Jewish and Arab American Adolescents.” Journal of Research on Adolescence (early view, first published online: 17 March, 2012).
This study was based on the theory that adolescents view scenes of violent ethnic conflicts in the mass media through the lens of their own ethnicity, and that the resulting social-cognitive reactions influence their negative stereotypes about similar ethnic groups in their own country. We interviewed 89 Jewish and 180 Arab American high school students about their exposure to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, their social cognitive reactions to it, and their stereotypes toward ethnic groups. Beyond the effects of ethnic identity, the degree to which adolescents identified with Israelis and Palestinians in the media was a key variable linking exposure to media depictions of the conflict and the implicit ethnic stereotypes they displayed about Jewish Americans and Arab Americans.
Weinshall-Margel, Keren. “Attitudinal and Neo-Institutional Models of Supreme Court Decision Making: An Empirical and Comparative Perspective from Israel.” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 8.3 (2011): 556-586.
This study examines decision making in Israel’s Supreme Court regarding freedom of religion, while implementing models of decision making that were researched in other high courts, mainly the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. Two theoretical models were studied: the attitudinal model, according to which justices decide disputes consistent with their ideological positions; and the neo-institutional approach, according to which the roles and norms of the court as an institution affect the justices’ decisions. Conclusions indicate that justices’ attitudes in Israel have a very strong influence on their votes on the merits. Religiously observant justices were significantly more likely to support freedom of religion claims than nonobservant justices. At the same time, the neo-institutional claim that the law does matter is also supported by the findings. The results of the study, as compared to former studies conducted in other countries, can help better understand the influence of institutional arrangements on decision making in high courts.