By: Asa Maron and Michael Shalev (eds.)
(Oxford University Press, 2017, ISBN: 9780198793021, 256 pages)
This book explores the political and institutional dynamics of neoliberal restructuring in Israel. It puts forward a bold theoretical proposition: that the very creation of a neoliberal political economy may be largely a state project. Correspondingly, neoliberal restructuring and the institutionalization of permanent austerity are dependent on reconfigured power relations between state actors, manifested in a new institutional architecture of the state. This architecture, in turn, is the context in which efforts to change social and employment policies play themselves out.
The volume frames the coming of neoliberalism in Israel as a set of concrete and far-reaching changes in the power and modes of operation of the key players in the political economy – organized labor, big business, and the state. These changes undermined and neutralized veto players and enabled the ascendance of macroeconomic state agencies, which won greatly augmented authority and autonomy. The key agents of innovation were politicians and economists in state agencies, and their initiatives combined processes of both punctuated and incremental change. Within the overarching transformation of the state, the book explores case studies of specific social and labor market policies. These reveal a close elective affinity between programmatic neoliberal reforms and the proactive drive of the Ministry of Finance to enhance its control over public spending and policy design. The case studies also document instances in which neoliberal reforms were blocked, undermined, or overturned by opposition from inside or outside the state.
By: Deborah Golden, Lauren Erdreich, and Sveta Roberman
(Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2017, 225 page)
This book is an ethnographically-informed interview study of the ways in which middle-class mothers from three Israeli social-cultural groups – immigrants from the
former Soviet Union, Palestinian Israelis and Jewish native-born Israelis – share and differ in their understandings of a ‘proper’ education for their children and of their role in ensuring this. The book highlights the importance of education in contemporary society, and argues that mothers' modes of engagement in their children's education are formed at the junction of class, culture and social positioning. It examines how cultural models such as intensive mothering, parental anxiety, individualism, and ‘concerted cultivation’ play out in the lives of these mothers and their children, shaping different ways of participating in the middle class. The book will be of interest to anthropologists and sociologists studying mothering, education, parenting, gender, class and culture, to readers curious about daily life in Israel, and to professionals working with families in a multicultural context.
By: Meron Medzini
(Academic Studies Press, Brighton, MA, 2016, ISBN 978-1-61811-522-5, 220 pp.)
Under the Shadow of the Rising Sun analyses the attitude of the government and people of Japan towards persecuted Jews in various historical contexts, including Japan in modern world history; Japan in Asia; the history of Jewish communities in Asia as well as their relations with Jewish communities elsewhere and the Zionist Movement; and Japan's attitude towards Zionism and the State of Israel. Israel-Japan relations were partly affected by Japan's attitude towards the 40,000 Jews who came under its control in the Japanese occupied countries in South and East Asia. Unlike their brethren in Europe, virtually all of them survived, partly due to the granting of visas to Japan by a Japanese diplomat Sugihara Chiune who is the only Japanese Righteous Gentile recognized as such by Yad Vashem.
By: Daniel Lis, William F.S. Miles, Tudor Parfitt (eds.)
(Tsehai Publishers, 2016 ISBN 978-1-59-907146-6, 275 pp.)
In the Shadow of Moses: New Jewish Movements in Africa and the Diaspora presents original research by an international group of twelve scholars who have been conducting fieldwork on historic and emerging Jewish communities in Africa as well as on the interaction of Jews and Africans (and their descendants) in precolonial Africa and modern day Israel. These “New Jewish Movements” are part of the “New Religious Movements” that has intrigued sociologists and historians of religion for some time; now, the book argues, the phenomenon contains a global Jewish component as well. Case studies include Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Ghana, Jamaica, Madagascar, Nigeria, Uganda, and African immigrants in Israel. Illustrated by original drawings by graphic novel artist Jérémie Dres, the volume will appeal to scholars and general readers in African as well as Jewish studies.
By: Sachlav Stoler-Liss, Shifra Shvarts, Mordechai Shani
( Ben Gurion University Press 2016, SBN 978-965-536-190-2, 338 pp., Hebrew)
The book constitutes a breakthrough examination from a research perspective: Its examination of the ways the State of Israel grappled with health absorption challenges during mass immigration following establishment of the state brings together statistics that reveal the scope of health operations. Its quantitative examination of morbidity and its treatment disclose how emerging challenges were often addressed in ways and methods developed ad hoc according to the needs of the immigrants. The research examines to what an extent health absorption was successful, while also addressing the shifting weight of various agencies that partook in this endeavor; the difficulties those engaged in the health had to grapple with throughout the first decade (1948-1958); the degree to which various political agents in the young Israeli state were involved and their influence on health policy; and discusses the ‘unavoidable’ clash between immigrants and the medical establishment over various aspects of public health.
The book is based on archives in Israel and abroad, as well as input from newspapers of the period, books, personal diaries, and interviews with individuals who were part of health endeavors at the time - nurses, immigrants and other players who contributed to the study with their reminiscences and experiences.
By; Tal Dekel
(Wayne State University Press, 2016, ISBN: 9780814342503, 172 Pages)
Translated originally from Hebrew, Transnational Identities: Women, Art, and Migration in Contemporary Israel offers a critical discussion of women immigrants in Israel through an analysis of works by artists who immigrated to the country beginning in the 1990s. Though numerous aspects of the issue of women migrants have received intense academic scrutiny, no scholarly books to date have addressed the gender facets of the experiences of contemporary women immigrants in Israel. The book follows an up-to-date theoretical model, adopting critical tools from a wide range of fields and weaving them together through an in-depth qualitative study that includes the use of open interviews, critical theories, and analysis of artworks, offering a unique and compelling perspective from which to discuss this complex subject of citizenship and cultural belonging in an ethno-national state. It therefore stands to make a significant contribution to research into women's lives, citizenship studies, global migration, Jewish and national identity and women's art in contemporary Israel. The book is divided into sections, each of which aims a spotlight on women artists belonging to a distinct groups of immigrants—the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and the Philippines—and shows how their artwork reflects various conflicts regarding citizenship and identity-related processes, dynamics of inclusion-exclusion, and power relations that characterize their experiences. Transnational Identities integrates theories from various disciplines, including art history, citizenship studies and critical political theory, gender studies, cultural studies, and migration studies in an interdisciplinary manner that those teaching and studying in these fields will find relevant to their continued research.
By: Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Julius H. Schoeps, Yitzhak Sternberg, Olaf Glöckner (eds.)
De Gruyter Oldenbourg ,2016, SBN 978-3-11-035164, 2 volumes, 1,330 pages)
The Handbook of Israel: Major Debates serves as an academic compendium for people interested in major discussions and controversies over Israel. It provides innovative, updated and informative knowledge on a range of acute debates. Among other topics, the handbook discusses post-Zionism, militarism, democracy and religion, (in)equality, colonialism, today’s criticism of Israel, Israel-Diaspora relations,and peace programs. Outstanding scholars face each other with unadulterated, divergent analyses. These historical, political and sociological texts from Israel and elsewhere make up a major reference book within academia and outside academia. About seventy contributions grouped in thirteen thematic sections present controversial and provocative approaches reflecting, from different angles, on the present-day challenges of the State of Israel.
By: Gideon M. Kressel
(IUniverse, 2016, ISBN: 978-1491788288, 176 Pages)
On evaluating dreams as the most important source of information concerning the unconscious, we are to bear in mind the contemporary cultural conscience that effect both the capacity of dreams and their interpretation. Dreams reflect memorized occurrences that have an impact on people's psyche. Although human minds are shaped alike and dreams may occur, confronting them with a self-same manner, the analysis of dreaming materials and the sense given to dreams are culturally varied. It is the cultural accent tested at a Middle Eastern society that promotes the appearance of elderly men while conceals speaking on the presence of women (mothers or others) in dreams. Assimilation of the fundamental insight causing psychic life is founded on two poles, maternal and paternal. It is the accent of cultural life that differentiates estimation of the image of each parent when appearing in dreams; whether the first or the second is left largely "unobserved", the other obliges a perceiving attention. Primordial images of The Great Mother find an outward expression in the ritual, mythology and art of early man. Revealing in track of The Golden Bough of J. G. Frazer, present-day accounts of dreams evince its relevance in tackling with modern man's dreams. We call attention to selective concerns with Great Fathers appearing in dreams, a pattern born in mind following the ancient ‘matriarchal era', that causes an avoidance of talk of dreams engaging the visit of mothers in dreamers' minds.
BY: Aviad Rubin Yusuf Sarfati (eds.)
((Lexington Books, 2016, ISBN 978-1498525077, 264 Pages) )
This edited volume brings together chapters that offer theoretically pertinent comparisons between various dimensions of Israeli and Turkish politics. Each chapter covers a different aspect of state–society interactions in both countries from a comparative perspective, including the public role of religion, political culture, women rights movements, religious education, religious movements, marriage regulation, labor market inclusion, and ethnic minorities. Israel and Turkey share significant similarities, such as state formation under nationalist ideologies, familiarity with democratic governance since the 1940s, strong affiliation with the West, recent resurgence of religious parties, ongoing conflict with ethno-national minority groups that challenge the dominant national project, contemporary popular protests against the incumbent regime, and recent serious erosion of democratic rights. At the same time they differ on major variables, such as size, majority religion, geopolitical location, level of economic development, policy towards ethnic minorities, and institutional arrangements to managing the state–religion relations. The presence of these differences in face of common backgrounds facilitates analytically grounded comparisons in a host of dimensions. Therefore, employing a case-oriented comparative method, this book provides historically interpretative and causally analytic accounts on the politics of both societies. The contributions reveal the dynamic and complex—rather than one-dimensional and linear—nature of political processes in both settings. This empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated volume should contribute to a better understanding of these two important states, and, no less important, stimulate new directions for comparative research, especially on Middle East regimes, social movements, and democratization.
By: Shirley Avrami
(Ofir Publication, 2016, ISBN: 2016, 978-1-5396-5366-0, 180 pages)
Many researchers, writers and poets have described, defined and tried to explain the suicide phenomenon. Yet, even in the 21st century, it is still a mystery, shrouded in secret, stigma and shame. These characteristics are transmitted, after the suicide, to the surviving family members. What happens to them? What is the impact of the suicide of their relative, on them?
Through interviews with parents, children, spouses and siblings of people who have committed suicide, this book explores the long lasting and heavy burden the survivors themselves are being left with. Revealing herself as part of the survivors' community, it manages to capture their shared feelings of guilt and anger, fears and anxieties. The bottom line of the book is surprisingly optimistic, finding the power in sharing, talking about the unspoken and showing ways of growth out of the sadness and grief: finding a meaning in the meaningless.
By: Abigail Jacobson and Moshe Naor
(Brandeis University Press/University Press of New England, ISBN: 2016, 978-1-5126-0006-3, 288 pages)
Focusing on Oriental Jews and their relations with their Arab neighbors in Mandatory Palestine, this book analyzes the meaning of the hybrid Arab-Jewish identity that existed among Oriental Jews, and discusses their unique role as political, social, and cultural mediators between Jews and Arabs. Integrating Mandatory Palestine and its inhabitants into the contemporary Semitic-Levantine surroundings, Oriental Neighbors illuminates broad areas of cooperation and coexistence, which coincided with conflict and friction, between Oriental and Sephardi Jews and their Arab neighbors. The book brings the Oriental Jewish community to the fore, examines its role in the Zionist nation-building process, and studies its diverse and complex links with the Arab community in Palestine.
By: Noa Roei
(Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, ISBN 978-1474253154, 240 Pages)
Exploring the politics of the image in the context of Israeli militarized visual culture, Civic Aesthetics examines both the omnipresence of militarism in Israeli culture and society and the way in which this omnipresence is articulated, enhanced, and contested within local contemporary visual art. Looking at a range of contemporary artworks through the lens of “civilian militarism”, Roei employs the theory of various fields, including memory studies, gender studies, landscape theory, and aesthetics, to explore the potential of visual art to communicate military excesses to its viewers.
This study builds on the specific sociological concerns of the chosen cases to discuss the complexities of visuality, the visible and non-visible, arguing for art's capacity to expose the scopic regimes that construct their visibility. Images and artworks are often read either out of context, on purely aesthetic or art-historical ground, or as cultural artefacts whose aesthetics play a minor role in their significance. This book breaks with both traditions as it approaches all art, both high and popular art, as part of the surrounding visual culture in which it is created and presented. This approach allows a new theory of the image to come forth, where the relation between the political and the aesthetic is one of exchange, rather than exclusion.
By: Shai Feraro and James R. Lewis(Eds.)
(Palgrave Macmillan US, ISBN: 978-1-137-54741-5, 249 pages)
This volume is the first English-language anthology to engage with the fascinating phenomena of recent surges in New Age and alternative spiritualties in Israel. Contributors investigate how these New Age religions and other spiritualties—produced in Western countries within predominantly Protestant or secular cultures–transform and adapt themselves in Israel. The volume focuses on a variety of groups and movements, such as Theosophy and Anthroposophy, Neopaganism, Channeling, Women’s Yoga, the New Age festival scene, and even Pentecostal churches among African labor migrants living in Tel Aviv. Chapters also explore more Jewish-oriented practices such as Neo-Kabballah, Neo-Hassidism, and alternative marriage ceremonies, as well as the use of spiritual care providers in Israeli hospitals. In addition, contributors take a close look at the state’s reaction to the recent activities and growth of new religious movements.
By: Maoz Rosenthal
(Lexington Press, 2016, ISBN 978-1-4985-1341-8, 162 pages)
This book examines the governability crisis faced by Israeli governmental institutions. For a long period of time, observers of Israel’s government have reported the same phenomena: instability in most political positions not allowing for proper policy design, enhanced control of the bureaucracy over the policy making process, and complete uncertainty regarding the implementation of policies by the bureaucracy. However, while one expects that with such a toxic combination of all the wrong policy making components Israel would collapse, Israel has been able to achieve quite impressive landmarks in its overall performance. During the first decade of the 21st century, Israel became an OECD member and enjoyed high growth when the world was facing stagnation and economic collapse. Israel’s government, which regularly faces quandaries in a variety of policy fields, is able to initiate large scale policies when needed. Yet, this same government refrains from initiating large-scale reforms in institutional structures. Hence, for analysts of political institutions, the Israeli state of affairs is one of choice: while initiating changes to reform and overhaul the Israeli institutional system is possible it is also perilous. To cope with that duality Israeli political leadership on all sides has developed a variety of mechanisms that allow it to provide the policy output needed so as to maintain the status-quo. This book examines these mechanisms as they exist in different facets of government work and explains their output and persistence. Examples include coalitional making and breaking, the ways in which ruling coalitions maneuver in parliament, and policy design and implementation. The book also explores the problem that exists in Israel’s governability: the lack of a strategic high-order far sighted decision making. Finally, it offers a method of electoral reform that can address both of these systemic maladies.
By: Gur Alroey
(Wayne State University Press, 2016, ISBN-13: 978-0814342060 , 372 pages)
While the ideologies of Territorialism and Zionism originated at the same time, the Territorialists foresaw a dire fate for Eastern European Jews, arguing that they could not wait for the Zionist Organization to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. This pessimistic worldview led Territorialists to favor a solution for the Jewish state "here and now"-and not only in the Land of Israel. In Zionism without Zion: The Jewish Territorial Organization and Its Conflict with the Zionist Organization, author Gur Alroey examines this group's unique perspective, its struggle with the Zionist movement, its Zionist rivals' response, and its diplomatic efforts to obtain a territory for the Jewish people in the first decades of the twentieth century.
Alroey begins by examining the British government's Uganda Plan and the ensuing crisis it caused in the Zionist movement and Jewish society. He details the founding of the Jewish Territorial Organization (ITO) in 1903 and explains the varied reactions that the Territorialist ideology received from Zionists and settlers in Palestine. Alroey also details the diplomatic efforts of Territorialists during their desperate search for a suitable territory, which ultimately never bore fruit. Finally, he attempts to understand the reasons for the ITO's dissolution after the Balfour Declaration, explores the revival of Territorialism with the New Territorialists in the 1930s and 1940s, and describes the similarities and differences between the movement then and its earlier version.
Zionism without Zion sheds new light on the solutions Territorialism proposed to alleviate the hardship of Eastern European Jews at the start of the twentieth century and offers fresh insights into the challenges faced by Zionism in the same era. The thorough discussion of this under-studied ideology will be of considerable interested to scholars of Eastern European history, Jewish history, and Israel studies.
By: Esther Carmel-Hakim & Nancy Rosenfeld (eds.)
(Academic Studies Press, August 2016, ISBN: 9781618114952, ) 290 pp. Price: $79.00 USD)
From her immigration to Mandatory Palestine in 1933 until her death in 1950 American-born Dorothy Kahn Bar-Adon worked as a reporter for The Palestine Post (later The Jerusalem Post), while freelancing for periodicals in Palestine and abroad. Bar-Adon covered life in towns, kibbutzim and Arab communities of Mandatory Palestine during this period of World War, armed conflict between Arabs and Jews, immigration to Israel of Holocaust survivors. Close to 60 years after her death, this edited collection of Bar-Adon’s writing offers a vivid view both of daily life in the Jewish and Arab communities of pre-State Israel, and of the burning issues of the day.
By: Yaron Peleg
(University of Texas Press, 2016, ISBN: 1477309519, 200 pages)
As part of its effort to forge a new secular Jewish nation, the nascent Israeli state tried to limit Jewish religiosity. However, with the steady growth of the ultraorthodox community and the expansion of the settler community, Israeli society is becoming increasingly religious. Although the arrival of religious discourse in Israeli politics has long been noticed, its cultural development has rarely been addressed. Directed by God explores how the country’s popular media, principally film and television, reflect this transformation. In doing so, it examines the changing nature of Zionism and the place of Judaism within it.
By: Ofira Gruweis-Kovalsky (ed)
(Bar Ilan University Press 2016, ISBN 110-20232, 207 pages)
The aim of this collection of articles is to give a voice to new research on both subjects: firstly the JNF and its influence on the geographical and the cultural dimensions; secondly, the historical geography of the Lower Galilee from the end of the 19th century to the mid-20th century. This collection is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the JNF and its influence on the consolidation of Jewish nationalism in the land of Israel and in the Jewish Diaspora and also on settlement in the land of Israel in practice, with emphasis on the Lower Galilee; the second part deals with a different practical aspect of the Jewish national consolidation in the land of Israel – settlement in the Lower Galilee. Concern with land and Zionist settlement and examination of their cultural aspect is a central theme of this book.
By: Ofira Gruweis-Kovalsky
(The Ben-Gurion Research Institute Ben Gurion University of the Negev press, Bialik Institute 2015, ISBN 9789655100990, 300 pages)
The book "The Vindicated and the Persecuted"- put the spotlight on the symbolic capital (Pierre Bourdieu) of the Herut Movement; its myths symbols and narratives. The book examined the Herut rituals and symbols and its influence on the institutionalization of the movement, its leader and the Herut political culture, 1948 -1965. The first part of the book examined the Herut Movement rituals; the second part dealt with its symbols. The third part focused on the myth of Zeev Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky considered as the founding father of the Heruth Movement even though he pass away on 1940 and the Herut was founded on 1948. This part explored the changing attitude toward Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the influence of this changing on the Herut Movement.
By: Tamir Libel
(Routledge, 2016, £90, 228pp, ISBN-13: 978-0415732659)
Based on an analysis of military education institutions in the UK, Germany, Finland, Romania and the Baltic States, this book demonstrates that the convergence of European military cultures since the end of the Cold War is linked to changes in military education. The process of convergence originates, at least in part, from the full or partial adoption of a new concept by post-commissioning professional military education institutions: the National Defence University. Officers are now educated alongside civilians and public servants, wherein they enjoy a socialization experience that is markedly different from that of previous generations of European officers, and is increasingly similar across national borders. In addition, this book argues that with the control over the curricula and graduation criteria increasingly set by civilian higher education authorities, the European armed forces, while continuing to exist, and hold significant (although declining) capabilities, stand to lose their status as a profession in the traditional sense.
By: David Ohana
(Sussex Academic Press, 2016, 49.99$, 660pp, ISBN-13: 978-1845197957)
Until now, nihilism and totalitarianism were considered opposites: one an orderless state of affairs, the other a strict regimented order. On closer scrutiny, however, a surprising affinity can be found between these two concepts that dominated the history of the first half of the twentieth century. Starting with Nietzsche’s philosophy, this book traces the development of an intellectual school characterized by the paradoxical dual purpose of a wish to destroy, coupled with a strong desire to create imposing structures. This explosive combination of nihilist leanings together with a craving for totalitarianism was an ideal of philosophers, cultural critics, political theorists, engineers, architects and aesthetes long before it materialized in flesh and blood, not only in technology, but also in fascism, Nazism, bolshevism and radical European political movements.
By: David Ohana
(Mosad Bialik, 2016, 96 ILS, 424pp, ISBN 978-965-536-197-1)
Zarathustra in Jerusalem: Friedrich Nietzsche and Jewish Modernity is the third part of the trilogy The ways of Modernity. The Trilogy appeared in its full in 2016, and the first two parts of it were republished: The Nihilist Order: The Birth of Political Culture in Europe 1870-1930 and The Promethean Passion: The Intellectual Origins of the 20's Century from Rousseau to Foucault. The Nietzschean revolution which engulfed the intellectual, cultural and political life of Europe began in the year in which its initiator died, the year in which the twentieth century was born. That century was in many ways an echo-chamber of some of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical ideas which were elaborated, internalised, distorted and transfigured in a thousand ways. The reverberations of Nietzsche's “philosophical hammer” did not pass over the culture of the Hebrew revival and the new Jewish thinking. The fascinating and complex interrelationship between Nietzsche and Jewish modernity can be examined from three points of view: that of his attitude to historical Judaism as a religion and as a cultural phenomenon; that of the place of Judaism in his thought as a whole and with regard to his genealogy of Western culture; and that of the attraction to the philosopher, both during his lifetime and after his death, of Jewish thinkers and cultural critics from Georg Brandes to Walter Kauffman. They discovered him, translated his works and disseminated his reputation as one of the thinkers of modernity and at the same time a sharp critic of its objectives. 3 This study will deal with the third aspect - the relationship to Nietzsche of modern Jewish thought – and will focus on Jewish modernity through six Jewish thinkers influenced by Nietzsche: Hillel Zeitlin, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, Baruch Kurzweil and Israel Eldad.
By: Jacob L. Talmon, Ed. David Ohana
(Sussex Academic Press, 2015, 400pp, ISBN 10: 1845197410, 34.95$)
Jacob L.Talmon was chosen by an international committee of scholars as one of the twenty major historians of the twentieth century, declaring that “his historiography was a convincing apologia for human freedom.” He owes his fame primarily to his magnum opus, the trilogy that began with The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy, continued with Political Messianism and concluded with The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution. This edited collection by David Ohana, of Talmon’s essays comprises the following: Part I, “The Nature of Jewish history”, deals with the Jewish presence in history, the universal significance of Jewish history, and the impact of Jewish intellectuals. Part II, “From Anti-Semitism to the Holocaust”, concerns the anti-Semitic climate of opinion that led to the Holocaust. Part III depicts the regional and global situation of the State of Israel. In Part IV, “Intellectual and Political Debates”, Talmon confronts intellectuals and statesmen such as Arnold Toynbee and Menachem Begin. Part V, “Profiles in History”, depicts the intellectual portraits of the historian Lewis Namier and the physicist and champion of human rights Andrei Sakharov.
By: Azriel Bermant
(Cambridge University Press, 2016, ISBN: 978-1107151949, 274 pages)
Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East examines Thatcher’s policy on the Middle East, with a spotlight on her approach towards the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It questions claims that she sought to counter the Foreign Office Middle East policy, and maintains that the prime minister was actually in close agreement with the Whitehall bureaucracy on the Arab–Israeli conflict. In particular, the volume argues that Thatcher’s concerns over Soviet ambitions in the Middle East encouraged her to oppose the policies of Israel’s Likud governments, and to work actively for an urgent resolution of the conflict. Furthermore, while Thatcher was strongly pro-American, this was not translated into automatic support for Israel. Indeed, the Thatcher government was very much at odds with the Reagan administration over the Middle East, as a result of Washington’s neglect of the forces of moderation in the region.
By : Ouzi Elyada
(Tel-Aviv University, The Shalom Rosenfeld for Research of Jewish Media and Communication, 2015, ISBN : 978-965-92374-0-1, 278 Pages)
The Book trace the birth and evolution of popular Hebrew journalism in Palestine at the end of the Ottoman regime. This journalistic genre was introduced to the local reader in 1884 by Eliezer Ben- Yehuda as a part of his campaign for the revival of the Hebrew language. Ben-Yehuda considered the popular newspaper as an instrument for the distribution and the insemination of the Hebrew language as a vivid spoken language, but also as an instrument for the formation of a National, Secular, Modern-Eurocentric identity. Influenced by the French model of journalism, Ben-Yehuda newspaper was full of life and fire. It was d a sensational newspaper with stories covering horrible crimes, and natural catastrophes, International wars and world conquests adventures, gossips, but also violent campaigns against local opponents from the orthodox Jews of the old Yeshuv to the socialites of the second Aliya. The book follow the evolution of Ben-Yehuda’s newspaper Hazevi from weekly to daily (in 1908), its relations with other popular newspapers (Hacheuth created in 1909) which imitated him, and it’s influence on local public opinion and its contribution to the formation of new secular identity.
By: Margalit Shilo
(Brandeis University Press, 2016, ISBN 9781611689259, 232 pages)
Following the Balfour Declaration and the British conquest of Palestine (1917–1918), the small Jewish community that lived there wanted to establish an elected assembly as its representative body. The issue that hindered this aim was whether women would be part of it. A group of feminist Zionist women from all over the country created a political party that participated in the elections, even before women’s suffrage was enacted. This unique phenomenon in Mandatory Palestine resulted in the declaration of women’s equal rights in all aspects of life by the newly founded Assembly of Representatives.
Margalit Shilo examines the story of these activists to elaborate on a wide range of issues, including the Zionist roots of feminism and nationalism; the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector’s negation of women’s equality; how traditional Jewish concepts of women fashioned rabbinical attitudes on the question of women’s suffrage; and how the fight for women’s suffrage spread throughout the country. Using current gender theories, Shilo compares the Zionist suffrage struggle to contemporaneous struggles across the globe, and connects this nearly forgotten episode, absent from Israeli historiography, with the present situation of Israeli women.
This rich analysis of women’s right to vote within this specific setting will appeal to scholars and students of Israel studies, and to feminist and social historians interested in how contexts change the ways in which activism is perceived and occurs.
By: Hizky Shoham
(Jerusalem: the Israel Democracy Institution, 2014, ISBN 978-965-519-146-2, 246 pages)
Israeli culture is the product of multiple civilizational influences: Jewish, Sabra, Western, and Arab. The book employs the historical anthropology of three Jewish holidays as celebrated in Israel to track the assimilation of Jewish rituals, myths, and symbols by Israeli culture ,from the early days of Zionism until the present, and to demonstrate how the Israeli grassroots produced a new strand of Judaism. The book further argues that this popular culture may come to define Jewish identity in twenty-first-century Israel. It differs from earlier studies and essays on the Jewishness of Israeli culture in that it probes the political implications of the minutiae of daily life. Let’s Celebrate! suggests a multicontextual and nuanced approach to Israeli culture, one that stands in contrast to the dominant scholarly trend. The latter has all too often advanced the simplistic claim that Zionism rebelled against Jewish tradition, thereby overemphasizing the opposition between Israeli culture and Jewish culture (which is frequently misidentified with Orthodoxy). The author builds on the book’s descriptive core to look closely at the role of grassroots Israeli culture in the formation of civic culture and the civic domain in Israel. The book discusses the possible ramifications of viewing this culture as a major component of Jewish and Israeli identity. Could this perspective support a political alternative for the definition of Jewish identity, which is currently held to be exclusively determined by Jewish ancestry? More specifically, could Israeli grassroots culture constitute a new symbolic space shared by Jews and non-Jews (Arabs or labor migrants), as in other local-national cultures in the modern era? The book offers a fresh point of view, no doubt somewhat polemical, of the current debates about identity and citizenship in Israel.
By: Chaim Noy
(Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015, ISBN: 9780199398980, 304 pages)
Description Combining ethnographic, semiotic, and performative approaches, this book examines texts and accompanying acts of writing of national commemoration. The commemorative visitor book is viewed as a mobilized stage, a communication medium, where visitors' public performances are presented, and where acts of participation are authored and composed. The study contextualizes the visitor book within the material and ideological environment where it is positioned and where it functions. The semiotics of commemoration are mirrored in the visitor book, which functions as a participatory platform that becomes an extension of the commemorative spaces in the museum. The study addresses tourists' and visitors' texts, i.e. the commemorative entries in the book, which are succinct dialogical utterances. Through these public performances, individuals and groups of visitors align and affiliate with a larger imagined national community. Reading the entries allows a unique perspective on communication practices and processes, and vividly illustrates such concepts as genre, voice, addressivity, indexicality, and the very acts of writing and reading. The book's many entries tell stories of affirming, but also resisting the narrative tenets of Zionist national identity, and they illustrate the politics of gender and ethnicity in Israel society
By: Orit Rozin
(Brandeis University Press, University Press of New England 2016 ISBN: 978-1611689501, 224 pages)
The book focuses on the construction and negotiation of citizenship in Israel during the state’s first decade. Positioning itself both within and against much of the critical literature on the period, this work reveals the dire historical circumstances and the ideological and bureaucratic pressures, that limited the freedoms of Israeli citizens. At the same time it shows the capacity of the bureaucracy for flexibility and of the populace for protest against measures it found unjust and humiliating.
Rozin sets her work within a solid analytical framework, drawing on a variety of historical sources portraying the voices, thoughts, and feelings of Israelis, as well as theoretical literature on the nature of modern citizenship and the relation between citizenship and nationality. She takes on both negative and positive freedoms (freedom from and freedom to) in her analysis of three discrete yet overlapping issues: the right to
childhood (and freedom from coerced marriage at a tender age); the right to travel abroad (freedom of movement being a pillar of a liberal society); and the right to speak out—not only to protest without fear of reprisal, but to speak in the expectation of being heeded and recognized.
By: Maya Kahanoff
(Lexington Books, Co published by Van Leer Institute Press 2016, ISBN: 9781498504973, 280 pages)
Controlled and intentional intergroup encounters have been a feature of Arab-Jewish relations in Israel for more than four decades. They have a long and well-documented track record and an almost equally-long literature critical of their goals, intentions, and success. The book describes the multidimensional process of intergroup dialogue between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs, revealing the profound inner turmoil it creates beneath the surface and its powerful potential to transform mutually negating relations. Kahanoff takes us beyond the usual level of the intergroup encounter to examine the dynamics that take place between and within each group and then, most boldly, within the consciousness of individual participants. She argues for the unsettling and dangerous nature of dialogue as crafting a space where individuals encounter not only the image or narrative of the other but also the image or narrative of the self. The author argues that dialogue contains the potential to destabilize a person's sense of identity and that the seeming failure of overt dialogue may signal the beginning of a process of inner dialogue and transformation. By uncovering the reality of the wide spectrum of feelings associated with multiple identities in each Arab and Jewish dialoguer, Kahanoff manages to break away from the simplistic and classic dichotomies of victim/oppressor; weak/strong; bad/good; moral/immoral. This book offers powerful insights in the professional and personal development of a peacemaker who dares to question the emotions associated with the power dynamics of Arab-Jewish encounters. In addition, it offers useful analytical frameworks to make sense of the complexity of meeting and handling the ‘other’ inside each of us. The insights in this book will contribute to understanding the psychological dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and be useful in breaking impasses in other conflict situations.
By: Avi Shilon
(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2016, 284 Pages, ISBN-13: 9781442249462 )
This is the first in-depth account of the later years of David Ben-Gurion (1886–1973), Israel’s first Prime Minister and founding father. Ben-Gurion stepped down from office in 1963 and retired from political life in 1970, deeply disappointed about the path on which the state had embarked and the process that brought about the end of his political career. Robbed of the public aura that had wrapped him for decades, his revolutionary passion, which was not weakened in his 80s, pushed him to continue seeking social and moral change in Israel, a political solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict, and to conduct a personal and national soul-searching about the development of the State he himself had declared.
Based on his personal archives and new interviews with his intimate friends and family, the book reveals how the founding father explored the Israeli establishment he created and from which he later disengaged. It provides a thorough examination of the decisive moments in the annals of Zionism as revealed through the lens of Ben-Gurion’s worldview, which are still relevant to present-day Israel.
By: Umut Uzer
(University of Utah Press, Utah Series in Middle East Studies, 2016, 272 pages, ISBN: 978-1607814658)
Turkish nationalism erupted onto the world stage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as first Greeks, then Armenians and other minority groups within the Ottoman Empire began to assert national identity and seek independence. Umut Uzer examines the ideological evolution and transformation of Turkish nationalism from its early precursors to its contemporary protagonists. Through a textual analysis of nationalist writings, this volume considers how political developments influenced Turkish nationalism. It tackles the question of how an ideology that began as a revolutionary, progressive, forward-looking ideal eventually transformed into one that is conservative, patriarchal, and nostalgic to the Ottoman and Islamic past. Between Islamic and Turkish Identity is the first book in any language to comprehensively analyze Turkish nationalism with such scope and engagement with primary sources, dissecting the phenomenon in all its manifestations.
By: Dov Waxman
(Princeton University Press, 2016, ISBN: 9780691168999, 328 pages)
Trouble in the Tribe explores the increasingly contentious place of Israel in the American Jewish community. In a fundamental shift, growing numbers of American Jews have become less willing to unquestioningly support Israel and more willing to publicly criticize its government. More than ever before, American Jews are arguing about Israeli policies, and many, especially younger ones, are becoming uncomfortable with Israel's treatment of Palestinians. Dov Waxman argues that Israel is fast becoming a source of disunity for American Jewry, and that a new era of American Jewish conflict over Israel is replacing the old era of solidarity. Drawing on a wealth of in-depth interviews with American Jewish leaders and activists, Waxman shows why Israel has become such a divisive issue among American Jews. He delves into the American Jewish debate about Israel, examining the impact that the conflict over Israel is having on Jewish communities, national Jewish organizations, and on the pro-Israel lobby. Waxman sets this conflict in the context of broader cultural, political, institutional, and demographic changes happening in the American Jewish community. He offers a nuanced and balanced account of how this conflict over Israel has developed and what it means for the future of American Jewish politics. Israel used to bring American Jews together. Now it is driving them apart. Trouble in the Tribe explains why.
By: Esther Carmel Hakim
(Brandeis University Institutional Repository, 2016, HBI Translation Series http://bir.brandeis.edu/handle/10192/31730)
Chana Maisel: Agricultural Training for Women, tells of an unknown chapter in the history of the Zionist settlements in the Land of Israel: the story of the female pioneer- the professional agriculturalist, who bore the burden mixed farming, in collective settlements as well as family farms. Chana Maisel played a central role in establishing frameworks for women’s agricultural training in pre-State Israel. With her great vision, perseverance, and professional knowledge Maisel created a new horizon for women to contribute to the Zionist agricultural development of the Land of Israel. Maisel's projects had a remarkable influence on the history of the Yishuv, from the Women’s Training Farm at Kinneret (1911-1917) to the establishment of the Young Women’s Agricultural School at Nahalal (1923) Maisel’s biography includes her youth in Russia, her studies in Switzerland and France, as well as to her life in Segera (one of the earliest male training farms); participation in international Zionist Congresses; the establishment of a women-workers’ trade union; establishment of women's farms; establishment of home-economics courses and more.
By: Yossi Goldstein
(Bialik Institute, Jerusalem, 2016, ISBN 978-965-536-193-3, 360 pages)
This book, which traces the development of the first Jewish national movement from its establishment in the early 1880s until its dissolution by the Bolsheviks, is based on research conducted by its author, Prof. Yossi Goldstein, over the course of three decades. In it, Prof. Goldstein explores the secret of the movement’s emergence and its contribution to the development of Zionism. A particularly innovative aspect of the book stems from the fact that the previous research paid little attention to the organization’s existence as a concrete historical phenomenon after 1897. A number of other factors also highlight the need for a new historical account of Hibat Zion. One is the large number of studies on European and Jewish nationalism that have been published since the 1970s, which have yielded a unique historical perspective on the establishment of the Jewish national movement that was not addressed by previous historical accounts. Another is the more recent publication of multiple studies that have led to the discovery of important documents that offer new insight into a number of dramatic events in the history of Hibat Zion. And still another is the discovery of important documents in Israeli archives, particularly the Jewish National and University Library and the Central Zionist Archive, which are revealed in this book for the first time.
By:Itzhak Galnoor, Amir Paz-Fuchs, (eds.)
(Van Leer and Hakibbutz Hameuhad, 2015, 579 pages)
More than any other public reform, privatisation policy in Israel, in place since 1980s, has changed the face of the country’s society and economy. It is not to be viewed as a purely economic issue. Rather, privatisation is inherently linked to a world view as to the desired relationship between the state and its citizens.
This book is the result of collaborative, interdisciplinary project that began in 2007 in the Hazan Centre for Social Justice at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem. It covers political and economic theory, and includes in depth analysis of a wide range of areas of state responsibility. It documents and criticises the shift in boundaries between the public and the private, and the corresponding tools of regulation that the state has put in place, or that has failed to do so. The book’s chapters focus on sectors such as utilities, education, health, pension, the workforce, and more, in a coherent analytical framework, thus suggesting that the reforms in the particular sectors should not viewed as isolated, but rather are a product of a common agenda – the privatisation policy in Israel.
By: Ken Frieden
(Syracuse University Press, 2016, 978-0-8156-3457-7, 360 pages, $65)
For centuries before its "rebirth" as a spoken language, Hebrew writing was like a magical ship in a bottle that gradually changed design but never voyaged out into the world. Isolated, the ancient Hebrew ship was torpid because the language of the Bible was inadequate to represent modern life in Europe. Early modern speakers of Yiddish and German gave Hebrew the breath of life when they translated dialogues, descriptions, and thought processes from their vernaculars into Hebrew. By narrating tales of pilgrimage and adventure, Jews pulled the ship out of the bottle and sent modern Hebrew into the world.
In Travels in Translation, Frieden analyzes this emergence of modern Hebrew literature after 1780, a time when Jews were moving beyond their conventional Torah- and Zion-centered worldview. Enlightened authors diverged from pilgrimage narrative traditions and appropriated travel narratives to America, the Pacific, and the Arctic. The effort to translate sea travel stories from European languages—with their nautical terms, wide horizons, and exotic occurrences—made particular demands on Hebrew writers. They had to overcome their tendency to introduce biblical phrases at every turn in order to develop a new, vivid, descriptive language.
As Frieden explains through deft linguistic analysis, by 1818, a radically new travel literature in Hebrew had arisen. Authors such as Moses Mendelsohn-Frankfurt and Mendel Lefin published books that charted a new literary path through the world and in European history. Taking a fresh look at the origins of modern Jewish literature, Frieden launches a new approach to literary studies, one that lies at the intersection of translation studies and travel writing.
By: Bryan Roby
(Syracuse University Press, 2015, 978-0-8156-3411-9, 288 Pages, $39.95).
During the postwar period of 1948–56, over 400,000 Jews from the Middle East and Asia immigrated to the newly established state of Israel. By the end of the 1950s, Mizrahim, also known as Oriental Jewry, represented the ethnic majority of the Israeli Jewish population. Despite their large numbers, Mizrahim were considered outsiders because of their non-European origins. Viewed as foreigners who came from culturally backward and distant lands, they suffered decades of socioeconomic, political, and educational injustices. In this pioneering work, Roby traces the Mizrahi population’s struggle for equality and civil rights in Israel. Although the daily "bread and work" demonstrations are considered the first political expression of the Mizrahim, Roby demonstrates the myriad ways in which they agitated for change. Drawing upon a wealth of archival sources, many only recently declassified, Roby details the activities of the highly ideological and politicized young Israel. Police reports, court transcripts, and protester accounts document a diverse range of resistance tactics, including sit-ins, tent protests, and hunger strikes. Roby shows how the Mizrahi intellectuals and activists in the 1960s began to take note of the American civil rights movement, gaining inspiration from its development and drawing parallels between their experience and that of other marginalized ethnic groups. The Mizrahi Era of Rebellion shines a light on a largely forgotten part of Israeli social history, one that profoundly shaped the way Jews from African and Asian countries engaged with the newly founded state of Israel.
By: Mark Tessler
(Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-253-01643-0, 264 pages)
Some of the most pressing questions in the Middle East and North Africa today revolve around the proper place of Islamic institutions and authorities in governance and political affairs. Drawing on data from 42 surveys carried out in fifteen countries between 1998 and 2011, representing the opinions of more than 60,000 men and women, this study investigates the reasons that some individuals support a central role for Islam in government while others favor a separation of religion and politics. Utilizing his newly constructed Carnegie Middle East Governance and Islam Dataset, which has been placed in the public domain for use by other researchers, Mark Tessler formulates and tests hypotheses about determinants of the views held by ordinary citizens, offering insights into the individual-level and country-level factors that shape attitudes toward political Islam.
By: Motti Inbari
(Cambridge University Press, 2016, ISBN: 9781107088108, 279 Pages, £64.99)
In Jewish Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy Confronts Modernity, Zionism and Women's Equality Professor Motti Inbari undertakes a study of the culture and leadership of Jewish radical ultra-Orthodoxy in Hungary, Jerusalem and New York. He reviews the history, ideology and gender relations of prominent ultra-Orthodox leaders Amram Blau (1894–1974), founder of the anti-Zionist Jerusalemite Neturei Karta, and Yoel Teitelbaum (1887–1979), head of the Satmar Hasidic movement in New York. Focussing on the rabbis’ biographies the author analyzes their enclave building methods, their attitude to women and modesty, and their eschatological perspectives. The research is based on newly discovered archival materials, covering many unique and remarkable findings. The author concludes with a discussion of contemporary trends in Jewish religious radicalization. Inbari highlights the resilience of the current generations’ sense of community cohesion and their capacity to adapt and overcome challenges such as rehabilitation into potentially hostile secular societies.
By: Yarden Enav
(Peter Lang Academic Research, 2014, ISBN 978-3-631-65395-1, 216 pages, $54.95)
This book is the result of ethnographic research carried out in the Academic College of Judea & Samaria (The ACJS), located in the West Bank of Israel/Palestine. The book deals with Israeli citizenship and identity, and examines the ways in which it is being understood and imagined by ACJS students and teachers. The book also analyzes the Zionist organizational culture of the ACJS. This book is not an ethnographic study executed in the standard manner. The research strategy reflects a mix of qualitative methods such as observations and interviews. The book offers a new socio-political model of Israel/Palestine: Israel as a 'Zionist Democracy'.
By: Esther Meir-Glitzenstein
(Sussex Academic Press, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-84519-616-5, 256 Pages, $89.95)
This book reexamining the heroic myth that has developed around Operation Magic Carpet, during which the majority of Yemeni Jews—through the cooperation among the imam of Yemen, the British colonial rulers of Aden, the Israeli government, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee—were resettled in Israel in 1949 and 1950. Based on archival documents, the author reveals the enormous personal cost of the operation. The abandonment of immigrants to death in the desert during their trek to Aden, and the substantive loss of personal property in leaving their homes at short notice, calls into question the personal benefit of such a brutal upheaval and demands a re-assessment of the aims of the immigration operation and its prime movers. Of particular importance is a discussion of the interests of the various states and organizations that were involved in the exodus, which can be seen as the first stage in the evacuation of ancient Jewish communities throughout the Middle East and their transfer to Israel.
By: Asaf Siniver
(The Overlook Press, New York, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-1468309331, 464 pages, $26.49)
The definitive biography of Abba Eban, an Israeli diplomat often revered by every nation except the one he represented. The book draws from a wide range of primary sources to create a complex portrait of a man who left an indelible mark on the quest for peace in the Middle East. A skilled debater, a master of language, and a passionate defender of Israel, Abba Eban’s diplomatic presence was in many ways a contradiction unlike any the world has seen since. While he was celebrated internationally for his exceptional wit and his moderate, reasoned worldview, these same qualities painted him as elitist and foreign in his home country. The disparity in perception of Eban at home and abroad was such that both his critics and his friends agreed that he would have been a wonderful prime minister—in any country but Israel. In Abba Eban, Asaf Siniver paints a nuanced and complete portrait of one of the most complex figures in twentieth-century foreign affairs. We see Eban growing up and coming into his own as part of the Cambridge Union, and watch him steadily become known as “The Voice of Israel.” Siniver draws on a vast amount of interviews, writings, and other newly available material to show that, in his unceasing quest for stability and peace for Israel, Eban’s primary opposition often came from the homeland he was fighting for; no matter how many allies he gained abroad, the man never understood his own domestic politics well enough to be as effective in his pursuits as he hoped. The first examination of Eban in nearly forty years, Abba Eban is a fascinating look at a life that still offers a valuable perspective on Israel even today.
By: Brent E. Sasley and Harold M. Waller
(Oxford University Press, 2016, ISBN: 9780199335060, 368 Pages, $39.95)
Politics in Israel 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.
By: Avi Kober
(Leiden: Brill, 2015, ISBN 98-90-04-30653-0, hardback, 212 Pages, $120)
The book suggests a general framework for the analysis of formative factors in military thought and offers an account of the Israel Defense Forces’ state of intellectualism and modernity. This account is followed by an attempt to trace the factors that have shaped Israeli military thought. The explanations are a mixture of realist and non-realist factors which can be found at both the systemic and the state level of analysis. At the systemic level, realist evaluations focus on factors such as the dominance of the technological dimension and the pervasiveness of asymmetrical low intensity conflicts, whereas at the state level one can find realist explanations, cultural factors and societal influences. Moral and legal constraints also factor into both the systemic and state levels.
By: Yossi Ban Artzi
(Bar-Ilan UP, December 2015, ISBN: 978-965-226-470-1, 228 Pages)
This book exposes the [almost] unknown Jewish settlement efforts in Cyprus in modern times, conducted in parallel to the beginning of Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel and not without connection to it. The Book analyses the geo-strategic situation that made Cyprus as a real opportunity to use its proximity to Palestine as a temporary solution for Jewish immigration, while political conditions put obstacles on land purchase and immigration to the promised land. Moreover, not only the geographical situation played a catalyst role, the British rule in Cyprus from 1878 on, was regarded as a possible cooperator in general, and specially due to its policy to encourage immigration to Cyprus so to enhance the island's economy. The Jewish rural existence in Cyprus ceased throughout the 1940s, yet some relics remained on the landscape, to commemorate the story. The book revealed this affair in a comprehensive manner, using archive resources, literature and field work.
By: Uriel Abulof
(Haifa University Press and Yedioth Books, 2015, ISBN: 978-965-545-950-0, 443 Pages)
Living on the Edge probes Jewish existential uncertainty in the age of Zionism. It demonstrates that, despite its attempt to quell the perils of Jewish life, the Zionist movement has been immersed in existential uncertainty. It carefully examines the manifold “existential threats” as these were framed by Zionist elite and public alike, showing that while the people always saw before them the gaping abyss, its nature and depth constantly changes. Living on the Edge further detects the Zionist coping strategies, the “existential threads,” underscoring the role of morality. Zionists, living on the edge, have attempted to weave a security net, based not only on power, but also on moral justification—lending both meaning and cause to their identity and polity. Moral discourse, moreover, does not merely reflect changes within a nation, but may also hint at that nation’s prospects.
By: Elie Podeh
(University of Texas Press, November 2015, 426 Pages, ISBN: 9781477305607, £45.00 HB)
From Arab-Zionist negotiations at the end of World War I to the subsequent partition, the aftermath of the 1967 War and the Sadat Initiative, and numerous agreements throughout the 1980s and 1990s, concluding with the Annapolis Conference in 2007 and the Abu Mazen-Olmert talks in 2008, pioneering scholar Elie Podeh uses empirical criteria and diverse secondary sources to assess the protagonists’ roles at more than two dozen key junctures. A resource that brings together historiography, political science, and the practice of peace negotiation, Podeh’s insightful exploration also showcases opportunities that were not missed. Three agreements in particular (Israeli-Egyptian, 1979; Israeli-Lebanese, 1983; and Israeli-Jordanian, 1994) illuminate important variables for forging new paths to successful negotiation. By applying his framework to a broad range of power brokers and time periods, Podeh also sheds light on numerous incidents that contradict official narratives. This unique approach is poised to reshape the realm of conflict resolution.
By: Gabriel (Gabi) Sheffer
(Carmel Publishing House, December 2015, ISBN: 978-965-540-521-7, 750 Pages)
This is the first Hebrew biography of Moshe Sharett, a moderate politician and one of the founders of the State of Israel. He served as Foreign Minister from 1948-1956, and second Prime Minister from 1953-1955, as well as in other various political positions. He was at the center of events in the Yishuv and Israel for about four decades. The biography describes and analyses his functions and activities. Under his leadership, the "moderate camp" exerted great influence on the orientation and politics of the Yishuv and the young Israel.
By: Gregory S. Mahler
(Rowman and Littlefield, 2016, Third Edition, 978-1-4422-6535-6, 402 Pages)
This balanced and comprehensive text explores Israeli government and politics from both institutional and behavioral perspectives. After briefly discussing Israel’s history and the early development of the state, Gregory Mahler then examines the social, religious, economic, cultural, and military contexts within which Israeli politics takes place, taking special note of Israel’s geopolitical situation of sharing borders with, and being proximate to, several hostile Arab nations. The book explains the operation of political institutions and behavior in Israeli domestic politics, including the constitutional system and ideology, parliamentary government, the prime minister and the Knesset, political parties and interest groups, the electoral process and voting behavior, and the machinery of government. Mahler also considers Israel's foreign policy setting and apparatus, the existence of the Palestinians and the Palestinian conflict, the particularly sensitive questions of Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement movement, and the Middle East peace process overall. This clear and concise text provides an invaluable starting point for all readers needing a cogent introduction to Israel today.
By: Arie Krampf
(The Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2015; 291 pages; paperback; ISBN: 978-965-493-775-7
The book traces the economic history of the Israeli capitalism during its formative years, from the 1930s to the 1960s in order to identify its unique historical path as well as to explain its transformations. The book argues that the Israeli capitalism was shaped by two key factors: by state preferences as were formulated by the political elite and economic experts and the by economic ideas imported from the United States and were localized in the Zionist/Israeli economic policy discourse. The book provides a historical narrative that challenges both the social-democratic narrative, according to which the Israeli economic regime was shaped on the basis of socialist values, as well as the liberal narrative, according to which the interventionist policies of the government were the product of short-term rent-seeking behavior. Rather, the book argues that the government followed an economic rationale that shaped the state preferences. Specifically, the book shows how Keynesian-style economic ideas originated in the New Deal shaped the mass immigration policy in the 1940s, it explains why the government blocked the expansion of the Histadrut sector during the late 1950s and abandoned the full employment policy in the 1960s, and it examines why the Bank of Israel employed policies and regulations that supported the interests of the large commercial banks, an approach that led to a centralized banking system.
By: Uriel Abulof
(Cambridge University Press, 2015, ISBN-13: 978-1107097070, 384 pages)
Standing at the edge of life’s gaping abyss, we seek everlasting meaning, a sense of purpose and propriety, transcending the transient individual. We often find this solace in the morality of seemingly immortal collectives. Religions, civilizations, states, and nations are such “timeless beacons,” shedding their eternal light on the right path. What happens, however, when the nation itself appears mortal, when its members live with a constant sense of uncertainty about their collective’s existence? The Mortality and Morality of Nations presents this puzzle and pieces it together. It submits that mortality makes morality, and right makes might: the nation’s sense of a looming abyss informs its deliberate and deliberative quest for a high moral ground, which, if reached, can bolster its vitality. The book investigates nationalism’s promise of moral immortality, and its limitations, via the narratives of three “small nations”: French Canadians, Israeli Jews, and Afrikaners. All three have been insecure about the validity of their identity or the viability of their polity, or both. They have sought partial redress in existential self-legitimation: by the nation, of the nation, and for the nation’s very existence. If this endeavor fails, however, the nation may pursue different existential paths.
By: Batya Brutin
(The Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2015, SBN: 978-965-493-834-1, 349 Pages)
Research carried out during the past two decades indicates that the Holocaust has influenced visual art of the Holocaust period and thereafter. Artists that experienced the atrocity of the Holocaust responded to the trauma, described the horrors and expressed their pain. Holocaust-related art has not ended; the Holocaust is continuing to manifest itself in the art of the children of the survivors who are known as the "Second Generation." Members of the Second Generation imbibed a traumatic atmosphere of death and loss, which many of them have internalized. With the passing of time, it has become a central element of their identity and has aroused in them a desperate need to cope with its problems. This research focuses specifically on Second Generation Israeli artists, since the place occupied by the Holocaust in the collective Israeli experience and culture differs from that in other countries and consequently provokes reactions, which are unique to local Israeli artists. The research deals with topics common to a number of artists, and discusses their artistic responses while preserving the special nature of each one. On the one hand, the artists of the Second Generation are continuing along the route taken by artists of the Holocaust period with respect to subjects, images and style such as, descriptions of the dead, the corpses, the sacrifice of Isaac and the number on the arm. On the other hand, they are creating their own images and style, which respond to the subjects, questions and problems preoccupying their generation. Through the works of Second Generation artists, we are exposed to a wide variety of subjects and questions, which preoccupy them, and we see different and diverse ways of expressing what was happening in their Holocaust-affected inner world.
By: Brian Horowitz and Leonid Katsis (eds.)
(Wayne State University Press, 2015, ISBN: 0814341381, 176 Pages, $31.99)
Vladimir Jabotinsky is well remembered as a militant leader and father of the right-wing Revisionist Zionist movement, but he was also a Russian-Jewish intellectual, talented fiction writer, journalist, playwright, and translator of poetry into Russian and Hebrew. His autobiography, Sippur yamai, Story of My Life-written in Hebrew and published in Tel Aviv in 1936-gives a more nuanced picture of Jabotinsky than his popular image, but it was never published in English. In Vladimir Jabotinsky's Story of My Life, editors Brian Horowitz and Leonid Katsis present this much-needed translation for the first time, based on a rough draft of an English version that was discovered in Jabotinsky's archive at the Jabotinsky Institute in Tel Aviv. The editors introduce the full text of the autobiography by discussing Jabotinsky's life, legacy, and writings in depth. As Jabotinsky is gaining a reputation for the quality of his fictional and semi-fictional writing in the field of Israel studies, this autobiography will help reading groups and students of Zionism, Jewish history, and political studies to gain a more complete picture of this famous leader.
By: David Moscowitz
(Peter Lang [series in Critical Intercultural Communication Studies], 2015. 183 pages. Hardcover, ISBN-13: 978-1433126291)
From brutal Nazi killers to Hanukkah heroes in the ‘hood, tough Jews refute images of doomed Holocaust victims, wandering Jews of exile before them, and post-war ‘nice Jewish boys’ who followed. They foster belligerent responses to polemics of fear and self-hatred, and as such, materialize as a challenge for postmodern cultural identity. A Culture of Tough Jews reframes the tough Jew as an enduring act of rhetorical regeneration by reifying a related figure, the vital Jew. As corrective to the tough Jew, the vital Jew encourages robust cultural production and dialogue. The book highlights three important contributions. At its core it reifies a new figure, the vital Jew, to advance the ongoing critique of Jewish public culture. For audiences of rhetoric and cultural studies, the book offers critical and theoretical study of rhetorical regeneration, including original constructs of postmodern blackface and transformative performativity, as resource for contemporary rhetorical invention. It also constitutes a case study for the postmodern critique of identity by invoking concerns of (post)assimilation, gender and power, and the social construction of race, ethnicity, class, and power to advance conversations on fractious cultural exigencies. A Culture of Tough Jews is a spirited call for postmodern cultural vitality that responds to contemporary politics of identity and memory.
By: Itamar Radai
(Routledge, 2015, ISBN-10: 1138946532, 256 Pages, $145)
Palestinians in Jerusalem and Jaffa, 1948 examines Palestinian Arab society, institutions, and fighters in Jerusalem and Jaffa during the conflict. It is one of the first books in English that deals with the Palestinian Arabs at this crucial and tragic moment in their history, with extensive use of Arabic sources and an inquiry from the Palestinian vantage point. It examines the causes of the social collapse of the Palestinian Arab communities in Jerusalem and Jaffa during the 1948 inter-communal war, and the impact of this collapse on the military defeat. This book reveals that the most important internal factors to the Palestinian defeat were the social changes that took place in Arab society during the British Mandate, namely internal migration from rural areas to the cities, the shift from agriculture to wage labour, and the rise of the urban middle class. By looking beyond the well-established external factors, this study uncovers how modernity led to a breakdown within Palestinian Arab society, widening social fissures without producing effective institutions, and thus alienating social classes both from each other and from the leadership. With careful examination of a range of sources and informed analysis of Palestinian social history, Palestinians in Jerusalem and Jaffa, 1948 is a key resource for students and scholars interested in the modern Middle East, Palestinian Studies, the Arab-Israeli conflict and Israel Studies
By: Lucille Cairns
(Liverpool University Press, 2015, 310 pages. ISBN 978-1-78138-262-2. £75).
This book considers the differing emotional investments in Israel of, on the one hand, Jews physically domiciled in Israel and, on the other hand, diasporic Jews living outside Israel for whom the country nonetheless forms a central point of affect. The book’s purpose is to trace how these two types of investment are represented by francophone Jewish writers. The scope of the book is wide, addressing the following questions. How do francophone Jewish writers represent Israel in their literary works? What responses to the Israeli-Palestinian confl ict do they express both in these works and in non-literary discourse (interviews and journalistic articles)? What is the role in those responses of emotion, affect, cognition, and ethics? To answer these questions, the book examines 44 different autobiographies, memoirs and novels published between 1965 and 2012 by 27 different authors, both male and female, covering the full cultural spectrum of Jews: Ashkenazic, Sephardic, and Mizrahi. The approach of the book is interdisciplinary, combining literary analysis with insights from the domains of history, journalism, philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis, and sociology. Professor Bruno Chaouat, University of Minnesota, has commented of the book: ‘Francophone Jewish Writers Imagining Israel will be of utmost relevance to the fields of French and Jewish studies, as well as Middle Eastern and Israel studies.
By: Calvin Goldscheider
(Schusterman Series in Israel Studies, Brandeis University Press, 2015. 304 pages. Paperback, 978-1-61168-747-7, $35.00; Ebook, 978-1-61168-748-4, $34.99)
This volume illuminates changes in Israeli society over the past generation. Goldscheider identifies three key social changes that have led to the transformation of Israeli society in the twenty-first century: the massive immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union, the economic shift to a high-tech economy, and the growth of socioeconomic inequalities inside Israel. To deepen his analysis of these developments, Goldscheider focuses on ethnicity, religion, and gender, including the growth of ethnic pluralism in Israel, the strengthening of the Ultra-Orthodox community, the changing nature of religious Zionism and secularism, shifts in family patterns, and new issues and challenges between Palestinians and Arab Israelis given the stalemate in the peace process and the expansions of Jewish settlements. Combining demography and social structural analysis, the author draws on the most recent data available from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics and other sources to offer scholars and students an innovative guide to thinking about the Israel of the future. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of contemporary Israel, the Middle East, sociology, demography and economic development, as well as policy specialists in these fields. It will serve as a textbook for courses in Israeli history and in the modern Middle East. Russell Stone names Goldscheider "the established authority in combining the approaches of demography and sociology into a socio-cultural analysis of Israeli society. . . . None of the others in the field have achieved a book of this scope and magnitude in English.”
By: Orit Abuhav
(Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology, Wayne State University Press, 296 pages, ISBN: 9780814338735, $54.99)
In Israel, anthropologists have customarily worked in their “home”—in the company of the society that they are studying. by Orit Abuhav details the gradual development of the field, which arrived in Israel in the early twentieth century but did not have an official place in Israeli universities until the 1960s. Through archival research, observations and interviews conducted with active Israeli anthropologists, Abuhav creates a thorough picture of the discipline from its roots in the Mandate period to its current place in the Israeli academy.
Abuhav begins by examining anthropology’s disciplinary borders and practices, addressing its relationships to neighboring academic fields and ties to the national setting in which it is practiced. Against the background of changes in world anthropology, she traces the development of Israeli anthropology from its pioneering first practitioners—led by Raphael Patai, Erich Brauer, - to its academic breakthrough in the 1960s with the foreign-funded Bernstein Israel Research Project. She goes on to consider the role and characteristics of the field’s professional association, the Israeli Anthropological Association (IAA), and also presents life courses of 50 significant Israeli anthropologists.
While Israeli anthropology has historically been limited in the numbers of its practitioners, it has been expansive in the scope of its studies. Abuhav brings a first-hand perspective to the crises and the highs, lows, and upheavals of the discipline of Israeli anthropology, which will be of interest to anthropologists, historians of the discipline, and scholars of Israeli studies.
By: Oded Haklai and Neophytos Loizides (eds.).
(Stanford University Press, 2015. 256 pp. Cloth ISBN: 9780804795593, $90; paper ISBN: 9780804796507, $27.95)
Settlers are typically viewed as a major issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What is often overlooked is that they feature in many other protracted territorial disputes and ethnic conflicts around the world. Explaining the dynamics of the politics of settlers in contested territories in several contemporary cases, this book illuminates how settler-related conflicts emerge, evolve, and are significantly more difficult to resolve than other disputes. The theoretical insights generated by the comparative lens help identify the commonalities the Israeli case has with other cases as well as consequential differences
By: Rami Zeedan
(Modan in cooperation with Maarachot, 2015, 235 pages, Hardcover, ISBN: 0004800037310, 88 NIS).
Battalion of Arab is a unique book, introducing research-based history of the minorities unit in the IDF. The book presents the process of establishment of the unit before the declaration of the state of Israel, and military operations during the War of 1948 till the end of the Suez War.
The book includes a description of the relationship between the various minority groups that were part of the unit - Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouins and Circassians - along with the special folklore of the unit. A large part is dedicated to the recruitment policy of the minorities to the IDF and describes the process of applying the conscription law on the Druze youth, and gives a different point view than is shown in the Israeli historiography.
By Avi Bareli
(Academic Studies Press, 2014. 324 pages. Hardcover, ISBN: 9781936235278, $92)
Authority and Participation in a New Democracy focuses on the changes undergone by Mapai, Israel’s first ruling party, during Israel’s first years of independence, then analyzes the effects of these changes in relation to Israeli political culture. Bareli’s main claim is that it was only during this period that a hierarchically-organized group of leaders succeeded in imposing its dominance, fostering obedience within the party and creating oligarchic characteristics in Israel’s democracy. The influence of the kibbutz movement, the moshavim movement and of urban intelligentsia—who represented the opposite political view of participatory democracy—was reduced to a minimum. This process would have a profound impact on issues of equality, on the relations between veteran Israelis and immigrants from both European and Islamic countries, and on social and civic norms.
By Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 268 pages. Hardcover, ISBN: 1137378166. $93.70)
This book examines the leading role of the Quaker American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in the United Nations relief program for Palestine Arab refugees in 1948-1950 in the Gaza Strip. It situates the operation within the context of the AFSC's attempts to exercise new influence on the separate issues of pacifism and disarmament at a time marked by US efforts to construct a Cold War security regime in the Middle East and British efforts to retain influence and bases in Arab countries. Using archival data, oral histories, diplomatic documents, and biographical and autobiographical accounts, the authors provide a detailed look at internal decision-making in an early non-governmental organization where beliefs regarding the requirement to provide refugees with skills for self-reliance clashed with intractable political and cultural realities and the realization that only full repatriation or resettlement elsewhere would solve the problem (a lesson that UNRWA and the international community learned only decades later). Faced with impossible solutions, the Quakers withdrew. The story of AFSC involvement in Gaza shows that refugee relief is always political and that humanitarianism can prolong the problems it seeks to solve.
By Jonathan Marc Gribetz
(Princeton University Press, 2014. 312 pages. Hardcover, ISBN: 978-0691159508. $35)
As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists, aspiring peacemakers continue to search for the precise territorial dividing line that will satisfy both Israeli and Palestinian nationalist demands. The prevailing view assumes that this struggle is nothing more than a dispute over real estate. Defining Neighborsboldly challenges this view, shedding new light on how Zionists and Arabs understood each other in the earliest years of Zionist settlement in Palestine and suggesting that the current singular focus on boundaries misses key elements of the conflict.
Drawing on archival documents as well as newspapers and other print media from the final decades of Ottoman rule, Jonathan Gribetz argues that Zionists and Arabs in pre-World War I Palestine and the broader Middle East did not think of one another or interpret each other's actions primarily in terms of territory or nationalism. Rather, they tended to view their neighbors in religious terms--as Jews, Christians, or Muslims--or as members of "scientifically" defined races--Jewish, Arab, Semitic, or otherwise. Gribetz shows how these communities perceived one another, not as strangers vying for possession of a land that each regarded as exclusively their own, but rather as deeply familiar, if at times mythologized or distorted, others. Overturning conventional wisdom about the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gribetz demonstrates how the seemingly intractable nationalist contest in Israel and Palestine was, at its start, conceived of in very different terms.
By Guy Ziv
(SUNY Press, 2015. 194 pages. Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-4384-5395-8, $75)
Why do hawkish leaders change course to pursue dovish policies? In Why Hawks Become Doves, Guy Ziv argues that conventional international relations theory is inadequate for explaining these momentous foreign policy shifts, because it underestimates the importance of leaders and their personalities. Applying insights from cognitive psychology, Ziv argues that decision-makers’ cognitive structure—specifically, their levels of cognitive openness and complexity—is a critical causal variable in determining their propensity to revise their beliefs and pursue new policies. To illustrate his point, he examines Israeli statesman Shimon Peres. Beginning his political career as a tough-minded security hawk, Peres emerged as one of the Middle East’s foremost champions of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. Drawing on a vast range of sources, including interviews with Peres and dozens of other political elites, archival research, biographies, and memoirs, Ziv finds that Peres’s highly open and complex cognitive structure facilitated a quicker and more profound dovish shift on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than his less cognitively open and complex rivals.
Edited by Ron Shleifer
(Sussex Academic Press, 2015. 192 pages. ISBN: 9781845196721)
Based on a series of interviews with top players in the Israeli propaganda war, Advocating Propaganda - Viewpoints from Israel gathers the perspectives from a rabbi, a priest, a politician, public servants, a military officer, a student activist, and a social media consultant to discuss the incomprehensible situation of Israel's faltering public image. The book seeks to rectify Israel's international image through better understanding of historical and contemporary policy, and the political/religious/military philosophy behind the different approaches over the years, presenting media and psychological mechanisms of motivating a more resourceful approach to this increasingly necessary aspect of Israeli statehood. Rabbi Berl Wine addresses the Jewish diaspora tradition and the lack of religious understanding of the realities of running a sovereign modern state. Pastor Jorgen Buhler discusses the Christian Protestant pro-Israel perspective. Dr. Meron Medzini, the biographer of Golda Meir, sets out the state's early policy toward propaganda. Dr. Moshe Yegar, a former deputy director in the Israeli foreign ministry discusses the time when public relations was abolished in the ministry by today's president, Shimon Peres. Danny Seman, formerly a head of department in the newly founded Ministry of Information and Government Press Office, tells of his experiences of working for the government without government backup. Barak Raz of the IDF Spokesman Unit gives the military angle. Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, sets out Israeli foreign policy objectives. Yossi Sarid, former senior minister and media personality, provides analysis of hasbara (public diplomacy) in an international perspective. David Olesker, a leading authority on global campus activism, gives a historical survey of anti-Israel campus activities. Eva Rosenstein and David Abitbol discuss professional media and social media perspectives of propaganda advocacy.
By Ido Zelkovitz
(Routledge, 2015. 224 pages. Hardback: 978-1-13-880297-1, $145.00)
Exploring the Palestinian Student Movement from an historical and sociological perspective, this book demonstrates how Palestinian national identity has been built in the absence of national institutions, whilst emphasizing the role of higher education as an agent of social change, capable of crystallizing patterns of national identity.
Focussing on the political and social activities of Palestinian students in two arenas – the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian diaspora, Students & Resistance covers the period from 1952-2000. The book investigates the commonality of the goal of the respective movements in securing independence and the building of a sovereign Palestinian state, whilst simultaneously comparing their development, social tone and the differing challenges each movement faced.
Examining a plethora of sources including; Palestinian student magazines, PLO documents, Palestinian and Arabic news media, and archival records, to demonstrate how the Palestinian Student Movements became a major political player, this book is of interest to scholars and students of Palestinian History, Politics and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
by Michael C. Kotzin
(JUF Press, 2014. 450 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9907128-0-0 (hardcover) 978-0-9907128-1-7 (softcover). $24.95 (hardcover). $14.95 (softcover).)
With an Introduction by Steven B. Nasatir, a Preface by Yossi Klein Halevi, and an Introduction and Postscript by the author, this book is a collection of essays, opinion columns, lectures, and reviews written between 1988 and 2013. Divided into eight sections, each with its own introduction highlighting the theme of change, the book includes writings on a range of subjects. They include the status of Jewish communities in European countries; terrorism; anti-Semitism – with a major focus on the Israel links of the new anti-Semitism; the increasing need for defending Israel in the American community, the media, and on campus; Israel Studies and related matters; the relationships of Jews and others on the American scene; and the American Jewish communal agenda, with a focus on Israel/Diaspora relations. The final section consists of reflections on literature, film, and drama – with a number of items that have a strong focus on Israel. After receiving a Ph.D. in English Literature, Kotzin taught at Tel Aviv University for 11 years and then returned to the States to maintain a role as a Jewish communal professional. The pieces collected here, written during a time when he served as an executive at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, where he established and directs an Israel Studies project, reflect his background, experience, and perspectives on the subjects at hand. Covering a dramatic, volatile quarter century in the world at large, for the Jewish people, and regarding attitudes concerning Israel in America and Europe, these pieces illuminate the times in which they appeared while remaining relevant today – sometimes uncannily so.
By Oren Meyers, Motti Neiger, Eyal Zandberg
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Hardcover, 9781137325235 £55.00 / $95.00)
How can a society communicate a collective trauma? This book offers a cross-media exploration of Israeli media on Holocaust Remembrance Day, one of Israel's most sacred national rituals, over the past six decades. It investigates the way in which variables such as medium, structure of ownership, genre and targeted audiences shape the collective recollection of traumatic memories. Following their previous conceptual work on media memory, the authors argue that a combination of the aforementioned factors, anchored in the political arena as well as in the realm of media practices and conventions, lead Israeli media to operate on Holocaust Remembrance in a manner that 'acts out' the collective trauma. Thus, the underlying narrative that is performed by the media on Holocaust Remembrance Day frames the Holocaust as a current, ongoing Israeli event, rather than an event that took place in Europe and ended decades ago.
By Adia Mendelson-Maoz
(Purdue University Press, 2014.448 pages. Paperback, ISBN: 978-1557536808. $59.95)
By analyzing its position within the struggles for recognition and reception of different national and ethnic cultural groups, Multiculturalism in Israel offers a bold new picture of Israeli literature. Through a comparative discussion of the literatures of Palestinian citizens of Israel, of Mizrahim, of migrants from the former Soviet Union, and of Ethiopian-Israelis, Adia Mendelson-Maoz reveals an unexpected richness and diversity in the Israeli literary scene, a reality very different from the monocultural image that Zionism aspired to create.
By Sharon Weinblum
(Routledge 2015. Hardcover, 192 pages. ISBN 978-1138823808. 145$)
This book challenges the classical contention according to which security crises must lead to a balance between security and basic rights. Instead of taking this dichotomy for granted, the book investigates how the relation between security, rights and the notion of democracy is framed by lawmakers. It examines 40 debates held in the Knesset on security-oriented laws enacted before, during and after the second Palestinian intifada and demonstrates that two main narratives have constantly competed: one narrative anchored in basic rights and one defensive democracy narrative, which has become dominant and deeply affected the boundaries and meaning of the Israeli democratic regime. The book ultimately opens the possibility to rethink the conventional approach of the security-democracy dilemma and to reflect on processes in other states, such as the United Kingdom or the United States, during security crises. This book will be of much interest to students of critical security studies, Israeli politics, democracy studies, political theory or International Relations.
By Moshe Berent
(Israel Academic Press, New York 2015. 412 pages. ISBN: 978-1885881397. Paperback $19.99)
Is there an Israeli nation? How is it related to the historical “Jewish People”? How is it related to the Zionist movement? Under what conditions could non-Jews become equal members of this nation? These and other questions stand at the center of the Moshe Berent’s “A Nation Like All Nations: Towards the Establishment of an Israeli Republic”. The mission of the Zionist movement was to work toward the normalization of Jewish existence: to become “a nation like all nations.” Israel, contrary to that aspiration, is not a normal nation-state, since according to the formal national ethos it belongs to the “Jewish people” and there is no recognized Israeli nation. Dr. Berent asserts that the fusion of nationality and religion, together with the absence of a normal nation-state are the source of Israel’s basic problems and are responsible for Israel’s powerlessness to solve problems – i.e. the status of religion in public life; The relations between seculars and religious; the status of non-Jews, especially Arabs; the absence of a constitution; the inability to agree about borders, or to decide about peace and war. “A Nation Like All Nations: Towards the Establishment of an Israeli Republic” makes the case that a separation between nationality and religion, the recognition in the existence of an Israeli nation, and the establishment of Israel as a republic – as the State of the Israeli nation is a pre-condition for finding the solution of all of these problems.