ToC: Israel Affairs, 23.2 (2017)

Israel Affairs 23.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

Articles

Book Reviews

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ToC: Israel Studies 22.2 (2017)

Israel Studies 22.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

    Special Section: Religion And Ethnicity

Articles

New Article: Kijek, Hebraism, Polonization, and Tarbut Schools in the Last Decade of Interwar Poland

Kijek, Kamil. “Was It Possible to Avoid ‘Hebrew Assimilation’? Hebraism, Polonization, and Tarbut Schools in the Last Decade of Interwar Poland.” Jewish Social Studies 21.2 (2016): 105-41.

 

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/jewisocistud.21.2.04

 

Abstract

This article examines the problem of the chasm between Zionist ideology, Jewish cultural reality in interwar Poland, and the praxis of Zionist education of this period, manifested in the activities of the Tarbut school network. According to the Zionist idea of monocultural nationalism, the process of acculturation to which interwar Polish Jewry was subjected was conceived as assimilation, which threatened the possibility of the existence of Hebrew culture and Zionist activities in the diaspora. In this article I present reactions to acculturation (or assimilation) through the prism of the polemic of Polish- and Erets Yisrael–based ideologues and educators and through the dissonance between Tarbut educational ideology and praxis, as manifested in the Hebrew educational journal Ofakim, in other publications, and in school programs. I also analyze recollections of Tarbut pupils, their educational experiences, and accounts of how they were perceived in those schools.

 

 

 

New Article: Goldstein, The Beginnings of Ḥibbat Ẓion

Goldstein, Yossi. “The Beginnings of Ḥibbat Ẓion: A Different Perspective.” AJS Review 40.1 (2016): 33-55.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0364009416000039

 

Abstract

In the spring of 1881, Jewish communities within the Pale of Settlement in Russia and Romania witnessed the creation of the Jewish nationalist groups, regional associations, and other core organizations that would subsequently evolve into the movement that came to be known as Ḥovevei Ẓion (lovers of Zion), or Ḥibbat Ẓion.

Although antisemitism played an important role in stimulating the emergence of Ḥibbat Ẓion, the movement’s establishment must be understood as having been shaped by two concurrent processes. One was the conclusion of Jewish emancipation in central and western Europe, which brought central figures in the national movement, such as Leon Pinsker, to the decisive conclusion that the Jews could only be truly emancipated in an independent Jewish state. The second stemmed from the poor socioeconomic conditions faced by Jews of the time, particularly in eastern Europe. The demographic growth experienced by the Jews of eastern Europe, which reached a high point during the last few decades of the nineteenth century, required a dramatic socioeconomic solution that was nowhere to be found. Proponents of the Jewish nationalist movement argued that the establishment of a Jewish state would also help relieve the Jews’ social and economic plight.

 

 

 

New Book: Epstein, The Dream of Zion

Epstein, Lawrence J. The Dream of Zion. The Story of the First Zionist Congress. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

 
Dream of Zion
 

The Dream of Zion tells the story of the Jewish political effort to restore their ancient nation. At the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in August 1897 Theodor Herzl convened a remarkable meeting that founded what became the World Zionist Organization, defined the political goals of the movement, adopted a national anthem, created the legal and financial instruments that would lead to statehood, and ushered the reentry of the Jewish people into political history. It was there in Basel that Herzl, the man some praised and some mocked as the new Moses, became the leader. The book provides an overview of the history that led to the Congress, an introduction to key figures in Israeli history, a discussion of the climate at the time for Jews—including the pogroms in Russia—and a discussion of themes that remain relevant today, such as the Christian reaction to the Zionist idea.

 

Table of Contents

The Birth of Zionism
2.The Sad-Eyed Prophet: Theodor Herzl’s Mission
3.With Eyes Toward Zion: The Many Routes to Basel
4.Trembling Before History: The Three Days of the Congress
5.Zion’s Flame: Reactions Around the World
6.Echoes of the Dream: The Legacy of the First Zionist Congress
Chronology
References
Index

LAWRENCE J. EPSTEIN is professor emeritus at Suffolk County Community College, where he taught courses on Jewish thought and culture. He served as Adviser on the Middle East for two members of the United States Congress. He is the author of numerous books, including The Basic Beliefs of Judaism and Conversion to Judaism: A Guidebook.

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.

Newsletter: From the Azrieli Institute (+CFP on Balfour Declaration Centennial)

The Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies is a hub of opportunities on Israel Studies at Concordia University.

Below is information regarding:

 

  1. 1. Course offered this coming January
  2. 2. The Institute Library
  3. 3. Call for articles: 100 Years since the 1917 Balfour Declaration: A Retrospective
  4. 4. Other related event

 

 ——————————————————————————–

1. Course offered this coming January

beattyDr. Aidan Beatty, Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow, will be teaching Irish and Jewish Identities: National and International Dimensions at the School of Canadian Irish Studies.

 

 

2. The Institute Library

Did you know that the Institute has a mini-library of Israel related books and articles?

Should you wish to do some research in our offices, all you have to do is reply to this email and make an appointment.

We will be happy to help you with your research.

 

3. Call for articles: 100 Years since the 1917 Balfour Declaration: A Retrospective

The Israel Studies journal invites original articles specifically related to the Balfour Declaration’s architects, protagonists, antagonists, historical, and legal interpretations. Articles are peer-reviewed and should be no longer than 10,000 words including abstract, notes and illustrations. Proposals should be sent to istudies@bgu.ac.il no later than April 1, 2016. Information on Israel Studies & Guidelines for Contributors:

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/em/email_images/Jrnls/ISR_Guidelines.pdf

Israel Studies is published three times a year by Indiana University Press for the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Sede-Boker) and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)

 

4. Other related event

Israeli Movie Night in Montreal: Mussa

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 7:00 PM

Segal Centre Cinema Space, 5170 Chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine

Refugees from Darfur, Mussa and his parents have been living in Tel Aviv’s worst neighborhood for six years. At twelve years old, Mussa doesn’t speak. In a strange stroke of policy, he is bussed to an elite private school every day. Leaving behind addicts and prostitutes each morning, he silently navigates an upscale world, and forges a bond with a teacher who is also a refugee. When a series of unexpected crises hit, Mussa’s precarious place between two disparate worlds is heartbreakingly revealed.

Event is free. Register at https://www.nifcan.org/our-events/upcoming

 

Csaba Nikolenyi

Professor, Department of Political Science

Director, Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies

Concordia University

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8

Phone: 514 848 2424 extension 8722 or 2120

Visit us at: http://www.azrieli-institute.concordia.ca/

 

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 34.2 (2015)

Journal of Israeli History, 34.2 (2015)

No Trinity: The tripartite relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization
Daniel Mahla
pages 117-140

Judaism and communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965
Amir Locker-Biletzki
pages 141-158

Olei Hagardom: Between official and popular memory
Amir Goldstein
pages 159-180

Practices of photography on kibbutz: The case of Eliezer Sklarz
Edna Barromi Perlman
pages 181-203

The Shishakli assault on the Syrian Druze and the Israeli response, January–February 1954
Randall S. Geller
pages 205-220

Book Reviews

Editorial Board

New Book: Gartman, Return to Zion

Gartman, Eric. Return to Zion. The History of Modern Israel. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.

 

returnZion

 

The history of modern Israel is a story of ambition, violence, and survival. Return to Zion traces how a scattered and stateless¬ people reconstituted themselves in their traditional homeland, only to face threats by those who, during the many years of the dispersion, had come to regard the land as their home. This is a story of the “ingathering of the exiles” from Europe to an outpost on the fringes of the Ottoman Empire, of courage and perseverance, and of reinvention and tragedy.

Eric Gartman focuses on two main themes of modern Israel: reconstitution and survival. Even as new settlers built their state they faced constant challenges from hostile neighbors and divided support from foreign governments, as well as being attacked by larger armies no fewer than three times during the first twenty-five years of Israel’s history. Focusing on a land torn by turmoil, Return to Zion is the story of Israel—the fight for independence through the Israeli Independence War in 1948, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the near-collapse of the Israeli Army during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Gartman examines the roles of the leading figures of modern Israel—Theodor Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzchak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon—alongside popular perceptions of events as they unfolded in the post–World War II decades. He presents declassified CIA, White House, and U.S. State Department documents that detail America’s involvement in the 1967 and 1973 wars, as well as proof that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty was a case of mistaken identity. Return to Zion pulls together the myriad threads of this history from inside and out to create a seamless look into modern Israel’s truest self.

Eric Gartman is an intelligence analyst for the United States Department of Defense who has lived and studied in Israel and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East.

New Artice: Mahla, Tripartite Relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization

Mahla, Daniel. “No Trinity: The Tripartite Relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2015.1073468

 

Abstract
This article investigates the dynamics between the two major Orthodox political movements of the twentieth century – the religious Zionist movement Mizrahi and its non-Zionist opponent Agudat Yisrael – in the context of their tripartite relationship with the Zionist Organization. Due to its increased involvement in Palestinian affairs, the Agudah entered negotiations with the Zionists in the mid-1920s. These negotiations and the possibility of cooperation between Agudat Yisrael and the Zionist Organization threatened the position of the religious Zionists within the ZO. The resulting competition between the two Orthodox groups led to the refinement of party platforms and the crystallization of independent political camps.

 

 

New Article: Goldstein, Reflections on the Failure of The Lovers of Zion

Goldstein, Yossi. “Reflections on the Failure of The Lovers of Zion.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 229-45.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1009729

 

Abstract

In this article, we focus on the rift between the two sociocultural groups that constituted Hibbat Zion—the maskilim and the ultra-Orthodox—and on its overall activity. It seems clear that the Jews in Russia were not ready for a movement aimed at establishing a Jewish national entity in Palestine. After 1885, many of them felt that despite anti-Semitism, their living conditions were improving and only a few among them sought to emigrate to the USA. Only a small minority saw their destination as Eretz Israel, yet it was this relatively inconsequential minority that fuelled the activity of Hibbat Zion, even though only very few of them actually believed in the possibility of settling in Palestine. Hibbat Zion and the Odessa Committee both failed to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Yet, we must acknowledge that the very existence of these Jewish national movements and the evolution of patterns of activity and the leadership they engendered paved the way for the development of a national home for the Jews in Palestine. Their members and their leadership established structures that provided a foundation for those who succeeded them: Herzl’s Zionist Organization and the state of Israel.

 

New Article: Alroey, The Idea of a Jewish State in Western Africa, 1907-1913

Alroey, Gur. “Angolan Zion. The Jewish Territorial Organization and the idea of a Jewish state in Western Africa, 1907–1913.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 179-98.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1006009

 

Abstract

This article traces the attempts in 1907–1913 by the Jewish Territorial Organization to set up an autonomous Jewish entity in West Africa. The Territorialists laid down three criteria for the choice of a territory: (1) A tract of land that must be large enough in size to allow for the absorption of mass Jewish migration. (2) A fertile territory that could provide a livelihood for the Jews who went there. (3) A sparsely populated territory so that no ethnic tensions would be created between the Jews settling there and the local residents. One likely territory was Angola, which at the beginning of the twentieth century was under the protection of the Portuguese government. The plan failed. However, the importance of the “Angola Plan” was to highlight the position of the Territorialists towards Africa in general and Angola in particular.

 

Lecture: Penslar, Zionism as Theodor Herzl’s Life Project

BETWEEN HONOUR AND AUTHENTICITY:  ZIONISM AS THEODOR HERZL’S LIFE PROJECT

Derek Penslar
Samuel Zacks Professor of Jewish History, University of Toronto
Stanley Lewis Professor of Israel Studies, University of Oxford
Penslar
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Reception: 5 pm; Lecture: 5:30 pm
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley
Please RSVP HereCosponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, UC Berkeley

New Article: Reimer, A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech

Reimer, Michael J. “‘The Good Dr. Lippe” and Herzl in Basel, 1897: A Translation and Analysis of the Zionist Congress’s Opening Speech.” Journal of Israeli History (early view, online first).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13531042.2015.1005801

 

Abstract

Dr. Karpel Lippe of Jassy, who gave the opening speech at the first Zionist Congress, has been largely ignored in histories of Zionism. This article introduces an English translation of his speech. Lippe helped to legitimate “Congress-Zionism” by connecting it to earlier forms of Jewish activism. His address exposes tensions arising from the Basel meeting, including Ottoman suspicion, relations with the Orthodox, and conflicts over organizational priorities. Insisting upon his and his country’s priority in the movement’s history, Lippe’s oration suggests an alternative perspective on early Zionism and raises broader questions for the historiography of nationalism.

New Book: Rovner, In the Shadow of Zion

Rovner, Adam L. In the Shadow of Zion. Promised Lands before Israel. New York: New York University Press, 2014.

9781479817481_Full

URL: http://nyupress.org/books/9781479817481/

 

Table of Contents (click for PDF)

Preface

Introduction: They Say There Is a Land . . .

  1. Noah’s Ark on the Niagara: Grand Island, New York (1818–1848)
  2. Greetings from the Promised Land: Uasin Gishu, East Africa (1903–1905)
  3. Angolan Zion: Benguela Plateau (1907–1914)
  4. The Lost Jewish Continent: Madagascar (1933–1942)
  5. New Jerusalem, Down Under: Port Davey, Tasmania (1940–1945)
  6. Welcome to the Jungle: Suriname (1938–1948)

Epilogue: Go to Uganda

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

Index

About the Author

 

Abstract

From the late nineteenth century through the post-Holocaust era, the world was divided between countries that tried to expel their Jewish populations and those that refused to let them in. The plight of these traumatized refugees inspired numerous proposals for Jewish states. Jews and Christians, authors and adventurers, politicians and playwrights, and rabbis and revolutionaries all worked to carve out autonomous Jewish territories in remote and often hostile locations across the globe. The would-be founding fathers of these imaginary Zions dispatched scientific expeditions to far-flung regions and filed reports on the dream states they planned to create. But only Israel emerged from dream to reality. Israel’s successful foundation has long obscured the fact that eminent Jewish figures, including Zionism’s prophet, Theodor Herzl, seriously considered establishing enclaves beyond the Middle East.
In the Shadow of Zion brings to life the amazing true stories of six exotic visions of a Jewish national home outside of the biblical land of Israel. It is the only book to detail the connections between these schemes, which in turn explain the trajectory of modern Zionism. A gripping narrative drawn from archives the world over, In the Shadow of Zion recovers the mostly forgotten history of the Jewish territorialist movement, and the stories of the fascinating but now obscure figures who championed it.
Provocative, thoroughly researched, and written to appeal to a broad audience, In the Shadow of Zion offers a timely perspective on Jewish power and powerlessness.

 

 

Visit the author’s website: http://www.adamrovner.com/

New Book: Hart, Jews and Arabs in Jaffa and Tel-Aviv, 1881-1930 (in Hebrew)

Hart, Rachel. Distant Relatives. Jewish-Arab Relations in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, 1881-1930. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2014 (in Hebrew).

971301URL: http://www.resling.co.il/book.asp?series_id=3&book_id=755

הרט, רחל. קרובים-רחוקים. יחסי יהודים וערבים ביפו ובתל אביב, 1881- 1930. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

הספר קרובים-רחוקים עוסק ביישוב היהודי כנושא ראשי וביישוב הערבי כנושא משני מבחינת מערכת היחסים ביניהם. במרכזו של הספר סוגיות שלא נחקרו עד כה והוא נועד להאיר פרקים בקורות היהודים והערבים ביפו ובתל אביב, פרקים אשר נעלמו מאתנו או שידיעותינו לגביהם מקוטעות ומעורפלות. הספר מנתח את המרכיבים השונים של הדואליות ביחסים הכלכליים, החברתיים והתרבותיים בין שתי הקהילות, יחסי תלות הדדיים מצד אחד והתבדלות והתארגנות קהילתית מצד שני. מניתוח זה עולה הבעייתיות של יחסי שכנות בתוך עיר אחת (יפו) ובין שתי ערים (תל אביב ויפו) במסגרת מכלול היחסים בין שני עמים השרויים במצב של תחרות אשר מתגבשת עם הזמן לעימות לאומי כולל.

מעקב אחר ההתפתחות והדינמיקה של מערכות היחסים בין יהודים וערבים ביפו, ולאחר מכן בתל אביב ויפו, מאפשרת להבין את מערכת היחסים הסבוכה בין שתי הקהילות ושני העמים. הספר בוחן את הדו-קיום היהודי-ערבי ביפו; בהקשר הזה נידונה השאלה עד כמה הצליחו המהגרים היהודים להשתלב בחייהם של התושבים הערבים בעיר, ואם בכלל שאפו להשתלב באוכלוסייה זו או שמא כל מבוקשם היה להתבדל משכניהם הערבים, בין בשל המחויבות האידיאולוגית שהביאו עמם לארץ ובין בשל המציאות התחרותית, תנאי החיים והעוינות שהתפתחו ביפו ובארץ-ישראל כולה.

ההיסטוריה והגיאוגרפיה של יפו ושל תל אביב הן ללא ספק פריזמה אשר מבעדה אפשר לבחון את היחסים בין הפרויקט הציוני לבין האוכלוסייה הערבית והיהודית הילידית של ארץ-ישראל. הן יוצרות מיקרו-קוסמוס של הנושאים והתהליכים הגדולים יותר שהגדירו את היחסים התוך-קהילתיים והבין-קהילתיים בארץ-ישראל במאות ה- 19 וה- 20.

ד”ר רחל הרט – ילידת העיר תל אביב, נצר למשפחה יפואית ותיקה משנת 1817 – היא בעלת תואר שלישי מאוניברסיטת חיפה ופוסט-דוקטורט מאוניברסיטת פריז 8. עמיתת מחקר במרכז דיין (אוניברסיטת תל אביב) ובאוניברסיטת פריז 8.

This book is a revision of the author’s dissertation:

The dissertation is concerned with the Jewish community’s socioeconomic, cultural and political attitudes towards the Arab community in Jaffa and Tel Aviv between 1881 and 1930. It focuses on the Jewish community (Yishuv) as the main topic, with the Arab
community as a secondary topic. One of the reasons for this emphasis is the unfortunate destruction of the Jaffa Municipality archives by fire and the loss of additional archival materials during the Jewish occupation of Jaffa in April 1948. This focus is predominantly shared by the available literature on the history of the Jewish settlement in Palestine.

The period between 1881 and 1930 was a significant one in the history of the Jewish community in Jaffa, and in the relationship between it and the Arab community in Jaffa and Tel Aviv. The dissertation breaks this period into four sub-periods:

1881-1905: In the history of the Yishuv this is the First Immigration
Period (Aliyah Rishona), signifying the very beginning of Zionist settlement in Palestine under the Ottoman rule.

1906-1914: In the history of the Yishuv this is the Second Immigration Period (Aliyah Shniya) (1904-1914), beginning with the establishment of the Jewish neighborhood Ahuzat Bayit and ending with the outbreak of World War I that would spell the end of Ottoman rule in Palestine.

1915-1923: In the history of the Yishuv this is the Third Immigration Period (Aliyah Shlishit) of 1919-1923. This period covers the First World War (1914-1918) and ends after the Arab Riots of 1921. It marks the beginning of Tel-Aviv’s accelerated development on the one hand, and the process of its breakup with Jaffa on the other. Politically speaking, it marks the beginning of British rule in Palestine.

1924-1930: In the history of the Yishuv, this is the Fourth Immigration Period (Aliyah Revi’it). This period ends after Arab Riots of 1929, which led to the almost complete disconnection of Tel Aviv from Jaffa. Politically, it this is the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. Jews were living in Jaffa already at the first half of the 19th century. In
1888 and 1890, the two first formally Jewish neighborhoods were founded: Neve Zedeq and Neve Shalom, providing a new demographic dimension to the Jewish community in Jaffa. Many of these neighborhoods’ residents were Ottoman subjects, members of the old Jewish community in Palestine. They mingled with the local Arabs, spoke their language and adopted some of their customs, including clothing. With the advent of the First Immigration Period, Jewish merchants from Turkey and North Africa joined the growing community. Their social and commercial relations with their Arab neighbors were correct, and they even cooperated in their effort to protect their economic rights in their dealings with the Ottoman authorities. The Arabs in Palestine played an important role in the assimilation of the new Jewish immigrants – albeit unintentionally – by building houses and stores occupied by the latter. Given these facts, it would be perfectly justified to call this period the Golden Age of Jewish-Arab coexistence in Palestine, despite early signs of economic competition between the communities.

Signs of Arab opposition to the Zionist aspiration of creating a Jewish Homeland in Palestine based on historical and religious attachments could already be identified in the 1880’s. They claimed that Palestine was sacred Islamic territory, and that Muslims have exclusive rights thereto. Indeed, the struggle over Palestine grew more severe following
the Young Turk Revolution in 1908.

The Jewish immigrations to Palestine introduced new social groups and ideological attitudes seeking to change the status quo. The mostly European immigrants wanted to run their lives according to Western habits and ideas. Some of them were nationals of European powers, with special privileges protected by these countries’ representatives in
Palestine, and were thus relatively independent of the local Ottoman bureaucracy. Quite a few immigrants also had considerable assets or sourced of income abroad, and therefore did not really need to maintain frequent contacts with the local Arabs.

Nevertheless, the Second Immigration Period caused a housing shortage among the Jewish residents of Jaffa. The high rents and poor sanitary conditions also made life difficult for the new immigrants. In order to find a solution for this problem, an assembly of Jews was convened on July 5, 1906 in the Yeshurun Club, at the behest of Akiva Arye Weiss, whereupon it was decided to found the Homebuilders in Jaffa Association – later renamed Ahuzat Bayit (literally, “Home Estate”) – with the objective of building a modern Jewish residential quarter near Jaffa that would be independent of the Arab town. This
new neighborhood would later become the future Tel Aviv.

During the first immigration periods, Jews maintained daily contacts with Arabs. Arab workers were employed by Jews, and Jews shopped in Arab stores and lived as tenants in Arab homes. Sometimes it seemed that the two communities manage to coexist despite profound religious, political, cultural and socioeconomic differences. In time, these differences deepened the rift between the communities, substituting suspicion and hatred for peaceful coexistence. This process was not helped by the alienated attitude of the Ottoman regime towards the local population, and matters came to a head in the bloody riots in Jaffa in the Purim Holiday of 1908, following the Young Turk Revolution. These riots increased the local threat against the Jewish community in Jaffa. Another factor which deepened discord between the two communities was the campaign led by immigrants of the Second Period to “take over labor” (Kibbush Ha’avoda), although many Arabs could still find jobs in the Jewish communities. The gradual growth of the Jewish society in Palestine was thus viewed in increasingly negative terms by the Arabs, not least because of a third
factor – the new lifestyle imported by the immigrants, which many Arabs perceived as provocative, if not a cultural threat.

The new Jewish neighborhood of Tel Aviv was nothing like the old style of mixed residence the Arabs had become used to. They viewed Tel Aviv as a competitive district threatening Jaffa’s demographic, cultural, economic and national preeminence in Palestine. Together
with the continued growth of the Jewish community in Jaffa, the establishment of the new Jewish neighborhood exacerbated tensions and hostilities, which gained in force with the awakening of Arab nationalism in Palestine.

The Arab Riots of 1908, 1921, 1924 and 1929, which took place in Jaffa and the surrounding area, deepened the rift between Jewish Tel Aviv and Arab Jaffa. Naturally, peaceful, mutually beneficial contacts between the two communities were most intensive in the mixed neighborhoods along the ethnic divide. These were also the places were
inter-community strife reached crisis levels. However, the increased geographic separation meant that Tel Aviv residents had to contact local Arabs only for business purposes. Indeed, at first, the new neighborhood was completely dependent on Arab suppliers and merchants. However, following the Arab Riots and Economic Boycott, the Jews in Tel Aviv found other arrangements. During the Third and Fourth Immigration Periods, the Jewish population of Tel Aviv grew considerably, also due to Jews moving there from Jaffa. The Jewish community in Jaffa became ever smaller, turning the ancient town into a commercial center of gradually decreasing importance for the Jewish population.

The dissertation examines the relationships between the two communities in Jaffa, at a time when it was perhaps the most important center of cultural and political life of both the Arab and Jewish inhabitants of Palestine. It looks into the nature and dynamics of Jewish-Arab relations in Jaffa from the socioeconomic, cultural, political, and security perspectives. In doing so, it attempts to pinpoint the dualistic nature of neighborly relations between two increasingly hostile ethnic groups within a single city (Jaffa) and between two cities (Jaffa and Tel Aviv) within the framework of a relationship between two peoples competing for and later fighting over Palestine. It examines the duality in the socioeconomic and cultural relations between the two communities and the dynamics of its development.

The study focuses on the question of Jewish-Arab coexistence in Jaffa. It questions how well the Jewish immigrants managed to integrate in the lives of the Arab city dwellers, and also whether there was any wish to do so, whether due to their ideological commitment to an
increasingly isolationist Zionist movement or to a gradually developing reality of competition and hostility in Jaffa and in Palestine as a whole.

[from: http://bucerius.haifa.ac.il/hart.html]

New Book: Shamir, The Electrification of Palestine

Shamir, Ronen. Current Flow. The Electrification of Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.

 

cover for Current Flow

Whether buried underfoot or strung overhead, electrical lines are omnipresent. Not only are most societies dependent on electrical infrastructure, but this infrastructure actively shapes electrified society. From the wires, poles, and generators themselves to the entrepreneurs, engineers, politicians, and advisors who determine the process of electrification, our electrical grids can create power—and politics—just as they transmit it.

Current Flow examines the history of electrification of British-ruled Palestine in the 1920s, as it marked, affirmed, and produced social, political, and economic difference between Arabs and Jews. Considering the interplay of British colonial interests, the Jewish-Zionist leanings of a commissioned electric company, and Arab opposition within the case of the Jaffa Power House, Ronen Shamir reveals how electrification was central in assembling a material infrastructure of ethno-national separation in Palestine long before “political partition plans” had ever been envisioned. Ultimately, Current Flow sheds new light on the history of Jewish-Arab relations and offers broader sociological insights into what happens when people are transformed from users into elements of networks.

Ronen Shamir is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University and author of The Colonies of Law: Colonialism, Zionism and Law in Early Mandate Palestine (2000) and Managing Legal Uncertainty: Elite Lawyers in the New Deal (1996).

New Article: Raichel and Tadmor-Shimony, Jewish Philanthropy, Zionist Culture, and the Civilizing Mission of Hebrew Education

Raichel, Nirit and Tali Tadmor-Shimony. “Jewish Philanthropy, Zionist Culture, and the Civilizing Mission of Hebrew Education.” Modern Judaism 34.1 (2014): 60-85.

 

URL: http://mj.oxfordjournals.org/content/34/1/60.extract.html

 

Excerpt

Different concepts about the direction of Jewish society and culture in Eretz Israel converged around the issue of education in the moshavot of Ottoman Palestine. Parents in the moshavot had three educational alternatives to consider and choose from: the religious-traditional, modern French-language, and modern-Zionist options. The religious alternative was a continuation of the heder or Talmud-Torah. The other two options were an expression of the desire to create a modern Jew. The one aspired to mold a modern, observant Jew with a Western cultural orientation. The other sought to forge a modern, Jewish, Eretz-Yisraeli society conducted in Hebrew. The community philanthropy provided by Baron Rothschild and the JCA allowed the modern alternatives to set up schools that operated alongside other community institutions. The schools in Ottoman Palestine, like those in some of the countries of nineteenth-century Europe, were major, vitally important institutions in their communities. They gave the younger generation a basis for their professional futures and dealt with public–social–cultural issues that no other public system handled. A notable example of this was the problem of hygiene. The moshavah school, like its European counterparts, predated the development of social work.86 It served as a substitute for hospitals, which were not easily reached, and took care of the entire juvenile population, including and mainly those without means. This process, set in motion by the advent of compulsory education laws, gradually spread throughout Europe and America, and transformed the school into a major, accessible institution. The modern-French language schools and the modern Zionist schools were easily incorporated into the communal philanthropic model. Community life in the moshavot, as in European farming communities, made the school’s educational efforts—beyond those of teaching and expanding knowledge—easier.

[…]

From the historical perspective it may be argued that Zionist education triumphed over the ethnic solidarity of Jewish philanthropy. This success may be attributed, inter alia, to the Hebrew teachers’ ability to organize themselves and create an educational establishment that included uniform curriculum, teaching aids, and pedagogical standards. These teachers were able to take advantage of the educational philanthropy and emphasize the ideology they had in common with it while guiding the schools to develop a Hebrew culture and a modern, Jewish, Eretz-Yisraeli society.

Cite: Strömbom, Identity Shifts and Conflict Transformation – Probing the Israeli History Debates

Strömbom, Lisa. “Identity Shifts and Conflict Transformation – Probing the Israeli History Debates.” Mediterranean Politics (2013), online first edition.

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13629395.2012.745707

Abstract

This article investigates narratives of Israeli history and identity and ways in which they can be understood as linked to the transformation of intractable conflicts. By using the case of Israeli New History, this study elaborates on the interplay between master and counter-commemorative narratives of identity and history, and the potential impact of that interaction when it comes to the development of conflict. The Israeli case exhibits an elaboration on societal boundaries and understandings of identity, which makes it apt to illustrate processes in which new understandings of history tie into the development of conflicts.