With a light touch and many wonderful illustrations, historian Anat Helman investigates "life on the ground" in Israel during the first years of statehood. She looks at how citizens--natives of the land, longtime immigrants, and newcomers--coped with the state's efforts to turn an incredibly diverse group of people into a homogenous whole. She investigates the efforts to make Hebrew the lingua franca of Israel, the uses of humor, and the effects of a constant military presence, along with such familiar aspects of daily life as communal dining on the kibbutz, the nightmare of trying to board a bus, and moviegoing as a form of escapism. In the process Helman shows how ordinary people adapted to the standards and rules of the political and cultural elites and negotiated the chaos of early statehood.
Annie Edith (Hannah Judith) Landau (1873–1945), born in London to immigrant parents and educated as a teacher, moved to Jerusalem in 1899 to teach English at the Anglo-Jewish Association’s Evelina de Rothschild School for Girls. A year later she became its principal, a post she held for forty-five years. As a member of Jerusalem’s educated elite, Landau had considerable influence on the city’s cultural and social life, often hosting parties that included British Mandatory officials, Jewish dignitaries, Arab leaders, and important visitors. Her school, which provided girls of different backgrounds with both a Jewish and a secular education, was immensely popular and often had to reject candidates, for lack of space. A biography of both an extraordinary woman and a thriving institution, this book offers a lens through which to view the struggles of the nascent Zionist movement, World War I, poverty and unemployment in the Yishuv, and the relations between the religious and secular sectors and between Arabs and Jews, as well as Landau’s own dual loyalties to the British and to the evolving Jewish community.
The emigration of Jewish teenagers to Palestine to escape Hitler’s Germany
As Hitler and his followers consolidated power in Germany, a number of efforts were set in motion, both within and without German cities, to facilitate the departure of Jews. Among them was the organization, Youth Aliyah--aliyah is the term for the Zionist goal of a homecoming for Jews in historic Israel. Although the youths saved by Youth Aliyah were but a small percentage of the Jewish population, the program is widely celebrated by those who seek examples of Jewish agency and of attempts to resist the coming horror.
To this day, Youth Aliyah is considered by Israelis as a major contributor to the foundation of a Jewish presence leading to the modern state of Israel. Brian Amkraut details the story of the organization from its origins through its alliances and antagonisms with other Jewish organizations, and the challenges that vexed its efforts from every side, perhaps the greatest being sheer human naiveté ("surely things will get better").
This book brings new attention to Simon Rawidowicz (1897–1957), the wide-ranging Jewish thinker and scholar who taught at Brandeis University in the 1950s. At the heart of Myers’ book is a chapter that Rawidowicz wrote as a coda to his Hebrew tome Babylon and Jerusalem (1957) but never published. In it, Rawidowicz shifted his decades-long preoccupation with the “Jewish Question” to what he called the “Arab Question.” Asserting that the “Arab Question” had become a most urgent political and moral matter for Jews after 1948, Rawidowicz called for an end to discrimination against Arabs resident in Israel—and more provocatively, for the repatriation of Arab refugees from 1948. Myers’ book is divided into two main sections. Part I introduces the life and intellectual development of Rawidowicz. It traces the evolution of his thinking about the “Jewish Question,” namely, the status of Jews as a national minority in the Diaspora. Part II concentrates on the shift occasioned by the creation of the State of Israel, when Jews assumed political sovereignty and entered into a new relationship with the native Arab population. Myers analyzes the structure, content, and context of Rawidowicz’s unpublished chapter on the “Arab Question,” paying particular attention to Rawidowicz’s calls for an end to discrimination against Arabs in Israel, on the one hand, and for the repatriation of those refugees who left Palestine in 1948, on the other. The volume also includes a full English translation of “Between Jew and Arab,” a timeline of significant events, and an appendix of official legal documents from Israel and the international community pertaining to the conflict.
The environmental history of Israel is as intriguing and complex as the nation itself. Situated on a mere 8,630 square miles, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf, varying from desert to forest, Israel’s natural environment presents innumerable challenges to its growing population. The country’s conflicted past and present, diverse religions, and multitude of cultural influences powerfully affect the way Israelis imagine, question, and shape their environment. Zionism, from the late nineteenth onward, has tempered nearly every aspect of human existence. Scarcities of usable land and water coupled with border conflicts and regional hostilities have steeled Israeli’s survival instincts. As this volume demonstrates, these powerful dialectics continue to undergird environmental policy and practice in Israel today.
Between Ruin and Restoration assembles leading experts in policy, history, and activism to address Israel’s continuing environmental transformation from the biblical era to the present and beyond, with a particular focus on the past one hundred and fifty years. The chapters also reflect passionate public debates over meeting the needs of Israel’s population and preserving its natural resources.
The chapters detail the occupations of the Ottoman Empire and British colonialists in eighteenth and nineteenth century Palestine, as well as Fellaheen and pastoralist Bedouin tribes, and how they shaped much of the terrain that greeted early Zionist settlers. Following the rise of the Zionist movement, the rapid influx of immigrants and ensuing population growth put new demands on water supplies, pollution controls, sanitation, animal populations, rangelands and biodiversity, forestry, marine policy, and desertification. Additional chapters view environmental politics nationally and internationally, the environmental impact of Israel’s military, and considerations for present and future sustainability.
Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel, is a surprising example of ethnic harmony in a region dominated by conflict. A recent trend toward integration of its historical Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim quarters however, has disrupted the harmony. In Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth, Chad F. Emmett provides penetrating analysis of the complex relationship between the structure of Nazareth’s quarters and the relations between its ethnic communities.
Emmett describes both the positive and negative effects of Nazareth’s residential patterns. He shows that the addition of new and ethnically mixed quarters has promoted mixed schools, joint holiday celebrations, a common political culture, and social networks that cross ethnic boundaries. But he also finds that tensions exist among Christian groups and between Muslims and Christians in regard to intersectarian marriages, religious conversion, attempts to establish a joint Christian cemetery, and the emergence of a local Islamic party.
Extensive interviews with leaders of religious groups, political parties, and residents reveal the way in which members of each ethnic community perceive one another. A survey of 300 families gives a wealth of details about the make-up of Nazareth’s population, including residential histories, religion, level of religious conviction, friendship and shopping patterns, and much more. Fourteen maps trace changes in the distribution of religious groups and political affiliation in Nazareth from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.
Beyond the Basilica will interest cultural geographers, historians, demographers, political scientists, and anyone who would like to learn more about an ethnically divided community in the residents cooperate more than they fight.
Digging into newly declassified archives, Dan Porat unearths the story of Jews prosecuted by the State of Israel for Nazi collaboration. Over time courts and the public came to see Jewish ghetto administrators or kapos as tragic figures. Rigorous yet humane, Porat invites us to rethink ideas about victimhood, justice, and collective memory.
The Arab-Israeli conflict has been one of the most defining features of recent world history, flaring up into open war fare yet again in Gaza at the end of 2008 and provoking large-scale demonstrations in the streets of cities across the world. The decision in 1919 by the Paris Peace Conference to award the Mandate for Palestine to Great Britain—which had announced its commitment to the creation of a national home for the Jewish people in the Balfour Declaration two years previously—sowed the seeds of this seemingly intractable problem, yet when the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) spoke before the Conference on 27 February 1919, he would have appeared as only one of the many representatives of minor nationalities putting their case to the peacemakers, and, what is more, one whose people had no territory of their own. How a Jewish chemistry professor from an obscure part of Eastern Europe could find himself at the heart of international diplomacy, and later become the first president of the State of Israel, is one of the most fascinating stories of the Paris Peace Conference and its aftermath. Ninety years after the Conference, what Weizmann said and did there is an essential part of our understanding of how this small, but critical, part of the world evolved out of the deliberations.
City on a Hilltop
Sara Yael Hirschhorn Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress DS125.H56 2017 | Dewey Decimal 305.892405695309
Since Israel’s 1967 war, more than 60,000 Jewish-Americans have settled in the occupied territories, transforming politics and sometimes committing shocking acts of terrorism. Yet little is known about why they chose to live at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Sara Yael Hirschhorn unsettles stereotypes about these liberal idealists.
Colonizers continuously transform spaces of violence into spaces of home. Israeli Jews settle in the West Bank and in depopulated Palestinian houses in Haifa or Jaffa. White missionaries build their lives in Africa. The descendants of European settlers in the Americas and Australia dwell and thrive on expropriated indigenous lands. In The Colonizing Self Hagar Kotef traces the cultural, political, and spatial apparatuses that enable people and nations to settle on the ruins of other people's homes. Kotef demonstrates how the mass and structural modes of violence that are necessary for the establishment and sustainment of the colony dwell within settler-colonial homemaking, and through it shape collective and individual identities. She thus powerfully shows how the possibility to live amid the destruction one generates is not merely the possibility to turn one's gaze away from violence but also the possibility to develop an attachment to violence itself. Kotef thereby offers a theoretical framework for understanding how settler-colonial violence becomes inseparable from one's sense of self.
Duke University Press is pleased to begin publishing Common Knowledge with its re- inaugural issue, volume 8, number 1
Described by the New York Times as one of two American journals in which public intellectuals and other scholars prefer to publish, the highly acclaimed Common Knowledge has returned to publication after a two-year hiatus. In an effort to place itself in the ferment of intellectual life and broaden its geographical range, the journal has moved to the Middle East, to Israel. Born in an attempt to moderate and get past the "culture wars" of the 90s, Common Knowledge has moved, literally, to a war zone, and accordingly its editorial interests have broadened to include culture wars of a less metaphorical kind. Its mission is both incredibly ambitious and shockingly simple: to open up lines of communication between the academy and the community of thoughtful people outside its walls. Common Knowledge was created to form a new intellectual model, one based on conversation or cooperation rather than on metaphors adopted from sports and war, of "sides" that one must "take." The journal will collect work from a variety of fields and specialties, including philosophy, religion, psychology, literary criticism, cultural studies, art history, political science, and social, cultural, and intellectual history. Scholars such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Clifford Geertz, Julia Kristeva, Karma Nabulsi, and J. G. A. Pocock will cross paths with political figures like Prince Hassan of Jordan and President Arpad Goncz of Hungary, novelists like Susan Sontag, poets like Yves Bonnefoy, composers like Alexander Goehr, and journalists like Adam Michnik. The pages of Common Knowledge are sure to challenge the ways we think about theory and its relevance to humanity. The first volume will feature the beginning of a Seriatim Symposium, “Disagreement, Enmity, and Dispute,” which will include discussions of the title concepts from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The Symposium asks why, in an intellectual context in which “true” and “real” are words that can be used only in condescending scare quotes, there is so much absolute conflict. If truth and reality are constructions, then why aren’t we constructing consensual orders (metaphysical and social) that are conducive to peace, calm, and cooperation?
Contributors for forthcoming issues include: Manfred Frank, Jacques Le Goff, Vicki Hearne, Sissela Bok, Edward Cardinal Cassidy, Linda Hutcheon, G. Thomas Tanselle, Arlette Farge, Marcel Detienne, Caryl Emerson, Stanley Katz, and Peter Laslett.
The Crucible of Islam
G. W. Bowersock Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress BP50.B69 2017 | Dewey Decimal 297.09021
Little is known about sixth-century Arabia. Yet from this distant time and place emerged a faith and an empire that stretched from Iberia to India. G. W. Bowersock illuminates this obscure yet most dynamic period in Islam, exploring why arid Arabia proved to be fertile ground for Muhammad’s message and why it spread so quickly to the wider world.
For decades, we’ve been shocked by images of violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But for all their power, those images leave us at a loss: from our vantage at home, it’s hard for us to imagine the struggles of those living in the midst of the fighting. Now, American-born Israeli David Shulman takes us right into the heart of the conflict with Dark Hope, an eye-opening chronicle of his work as a member of the peace group Ta‘ayush, which takes its name from the Arabic for “living together.”
Though Shulman never denies the complexity of the issues fueling the conflict—nor the culpability of people on both sides—he forcefully clarifies the injustices perpetrated by Israel by showing us the human dimension of the occupation. Here we meet Palestinians whose houses have been blown up by the Israeli army, shepherds whose sheep have been poisoned by settlers, farmers stripped of their land by Israel’s dividing wall. We watch as whip-swinging police on horseback attack crowds of nonviolent demonstrators, as Israeli settlers shoot innocent Palestinians harvesting olives, and as families and communities become utterly destroyed by the unrelenting violence of the occupation.
Opposing such injustices, Shulman and his companions—Israeli and Palestinian both—doggedly work through checkpoints to bring aid, rebuild houses, and physically block the progress of the dividing wall. As they face off against police, soldiers, and hostile Israeli settlers, anger mixes with compassion, moments of kinship alternate with confrontation, and, throughout, Shulman wrestles with his duty to fight the cruelty enabled by “that dependable and devastating human failure to feel.”
With Dark Hope, Shulman has written a book of deep moral searching, an attempt to discover how his beloved Israel went wrong—and how, through acts of compassionate disobedience, it might still be brought back.
Defending the Holy Land is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Israel's national security and foreign policy, from the inception of the State of Israel to the present. Author Zeev Maoz's unique double perspective, as both an expert on the Israeli security establishment and esteemed scholar of Mideast politics, enables him to describe in harrowing detail the tragic recklessness and self-made traps that pervade the history of Israeli security operations and foreign policy.
Most of the wars in which Israel was involved, Maoz shows, were entirely avoidable, the result of deliberate Israeli aggression, flawed decision-making, and misguided conflict management strategies. None, with the possible exception of the 1948 War of Independence, were what Israelis call "wars of necessity." They were all wars of choice-or, worse, folly.
Demonstrating that Israel's national security policy rested on the shaky pairing of a trigger-happy approach to the use of force with a hesitant and reactive peace diplomacy, Defending the Holy Land recounts in minute-by-minute detail how the ascendancy of Israel's security establishment over its foreign policy apparatus led to unnecessary wars and missed opportunites for peace.
A scathing and brilliant revisionist history, Defending the Holy Land calls for sweeping reform of Israel's foreign policy and national security establishments. This book will fundamentally transform the way readers think about Israel's troubled history.
Zeev Maoz is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis. He is the former head of the Graduate School of Government and Policy and of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, as well as the former academic director of the M.A. Program at the Israeli Defense Forces' National Defense College.
Cover photograph: Israel, Jerusalem, Western Wall and The Dome of The Rock. Courtesy of Corbis.
Barbara Kreiger’s intriguing narrative presents the account of Clorinda Minor, a charismatic American Christian woman whose belief in the Second Coming prompted her to leave a comfortable life in Philadelphia in 1851 and take up agriculture in Palestine.
After her disappointment in a failed prophecy that the End of Days would take place in October 1844, Mrs. Minor determined that the Holy Land was not yet adequately prepared for such an event and decided that it would be her mission to teach the poverty-stricken Jews of Palestine to work the soil. In this very American story, Mrs. Minor, like so many other pioneers of her day, looked to the land as her future.
Even as her mission was distinctly religious, her daily efforts were in the social realm. And although her work brought Jews and Arabs together, and her small farm was a unique settlement where Christians, Muslims, and Jews labored alongside one another, the events detailed in Divine Expectations had dramatic and tragic diplomatic and international repercussions.
With the deft touch of a novelist, Barbara Kreiger weaves the little-known story of Clorinda Minor into the larger context of the region and its history, presenting it in its charming eccentricity and its gripping reality.
The Genealogical Science analyzes the scientific work and social implications of the flourishing field of genetic history. A biological discipline that relies on genetic data in order to reconstruct the geographic origins of contemporary populations—their histories of migration and genealogical connections to other present-day groups—this historical science is garnering ever more credibility and social reach, in large part due to a growing industry in ancestry testing.
In this book, Nadia Abu El-Haj examines genetic history’s working assumptions about culture and nature, identity and biology, and the individual and the collective. Through the example of the study of Jewish origins, she explores novel cultural and political practices that are emerging as genetic history’s claims and “facts” circulate in the public domain and illustrates how this historical science is intrinsically entangled with cultural imaginations and political commitments. Chronicling late-nineteenth- to mid-twentieth-century understandings of race, nature, and culture, she identifies continuities and shifts in scientific claims, institutional contexts, and political worlds in order to show how the meanings of biological difference have changed over time. In so doing she gives an account of how and why it is that genetic history is so socially felicitous today and elucidates the range of understandings of the self, individual and collective, this scientific field is making possible. More specifically, through her focus on the history of projects of Jewish self-fashioning that have taken place on the terrain of the biological sciences, The Genealogical Science analyzes genetic history as the latest iteration of a cultural and political practice now over a century old.
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.
Haifa: City of Steps
Nili Scharf Gold Brandeis University Press, 2017 Library of Congress NA1478.H35G65 2018 | Dewey Decimal 720.956946
Nili Gold, who was born in Haifa to German-speaking parents in 1948, the first year of Israeli statehood, here offers a remarkable homage to her native city during its heyday as an international port and cultural center. Spanning the 1920s and ’30s, when Jews and Arabs lived together amicably and buildings were erected that reflected European, modernist, Jewish, and Arab architectural influences, through 1948, when most Arabs left, and into the ’50s and ’60s burgeoning of the young state of Israel, Gold anchors her personal and family history in five landmark clusters. All in the neighborhood of Hadar HaCarmel, these landmarks define Haifa as a whole. In exquisite detail, Gold describes Memorial Park and its environs, including the border between the largest Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in Haifa; the intersection of Herzl and Balfour Streets, whose highlight is the European/Middle Eastern Technion edifice; Talpiot Market, recalling Haifa as a lively commercial hub; Alliance High School and the Great Synagogue, the former dedicated to instilling a love of intellectual pursuits, while the synagogue was an arm of the dominant Israeli religious establishment; the Ge’ula Elementary School and neighboring buildings that played a historical role, among them, the Struck House, with its Arab-inspired architecture—all against the dramatic backdrop of the mountain, sea, and bay, and their reverberations in memory and literature. Illustrated with more than thirty-five photographs and six maps, Gold’s astute observations of the changing landscape of her childhood and youth highlight literary works that portray deeply held feelings for Haifa, by such canonical Israeli writers as A. B. Yehoshua, Sami Michael, and Dahlia Ravikovitch.
A novel inquiry into the sociopolitical dimensions of public medicine, Healing the Land and the Nation traces the relationships between disease, hygiene, politics, geography, and nationalism in British Mandatory Palestine between the world wars. Taking up the case of malaria control in Jewish-held lands, Sandra Sufian illustrates how efforts to thwart the disease were intimately tied to the project of Zionist nation-building, especially the movement’s efforts to repurpose and improve its lands. The project of eradicating malaria also took on a metaphorical dimension—erasing anti-Semitic stereotypes of the “parasitic” Diaspora Jew and creating strong, healthy Jews in Palestine. Sufian shows that, in reclaiming the land and the health of its people in Palestine, Zionists expressed key ideological and political elements of their nation-building project.
Taking its title from a Jewish public health mantra, Healing the Land and the Nation situates antimalarial medicine and politics within larger colonial histories. By analyzing the science alongside the politics of Jewish settlement, Sufian addresses contested questions of social organization and the effects of land reclamation upon the indigenous Palestinian population in a decidedly innovative way. The book will be of great interest to scholars of the Middle East, Jewish studies, and environmental history, as well as to those studying colonialism, nationalism, and public health and medicine.
Orit Rozin’s inspired scholarship 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 sociological literature on the period, this work reveals the dire historical circumstances, 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. This book will appeal to scholars and students of Israeli history, law, politics, and culture, and to scholars of nation building more generally.
In Identity, Place, and Subversion in Contemporary Mizrahi Cinema in Israel , Yaron Shemer presents the most comprehensive and systematic study to date of Mizrahi (Oriental-Jewish or Arab-Jewish) films produced in Israel in the last several decades. Through an analysis of dozens of films the book illustrates how narratives, characters, and space have been employed to give expression to Mizrahi ethnic identity and to situate the Mizrahi within the broader context of the Israeli societal fabric. The struggle over identity and the effort to redraw ethnic boundaries have taken place against the backdrop of a long-standing Zionist view of the Mizrahi as an inferior other whose “Levantine” culture posed a threat to the Western-oriented Zionist enterprise.
In its examination of the nature and dynamics of Mizrahi cinema (defined by subject-matter), the book engages the sensitive topic of Mizrahi ethnicity head-on, confronting the conventional notion of Israeli society as a melting pot and the widespread dismissal of ethnic divisions in the country. Shemer explores the continuous marginalization of the Mizrahi in contemporary Israeli cinema and the challenge some Mizrahi films offer to the subjugation of this ethnic group. He also studies the role cultural policies and institutional power in Israel have played in shaping Mizrahi cinema and the creation of a Mizrahi niche in cinema. In a broader sense, this pioneering work is a probing exploration of Israeli culture and society through the prism of film and cinematic expression. It sheds light on the play of ethnicity, class, gender, and religion in contemporary Israel, and on the heated debates surrounding Zionist ideology and identity politics. By charting a new territory of academic inquiry grounded in an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, the study contributes to the formation of “Mizrahi Cinema” as a recognized and vibrant scholarly field.
Despite the tragic reality of the continuing Israeli-Arab conflict and deep-rooted beliefs that the chasm between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs is unbridgeable, this book affirms the bonds between the two communities. Rachel Feldhay Brenner demonstrates that the literatures of both ethnic groups defy the ideologies that have obstructed dialogue between the two peoples.
Brenner argues that literary critics have ignored the variety and the dissent in the novels of both Arab and Jewish writers in Israel, giving them interpretations that embrace the politics of exclusion and conform with Zionist ideology. Brenner offers insightful new readings that compare fiction by Jewish writers Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, David Grossman, and others with fiction written in Hebrew by such Arab-Israeli writers as Atallah Mansour, Emile Habiby, and Anton Shammas. This parallel analysis highlights the moral and psychological dilemmas faced by both the Jewish victors and the Arab vanquished, and Brenner suggests that the hope for release from the historical trauma lies—on both sides—in reaching an understanding with and of the adversary.
Drawing upon the theories of Walter Benjamin, Jacques Lacan, Sigmund Freud, Emanuel Levinas, and others, Inextricably Bonded is an innovative and illuminating examination of literary dissent from dominant ideology.
Israel: A History
Anita Shapira Brandeis University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DS149.S4971584 2012 | Dewey Decimal 956.94
Written by one of Israel’s most notable scholars, this volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late nineteenth century to the present day. Organized chronologically, the volume explores the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs, and Turks, and the earliest pioneer settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule. Weaving together political, social, and cultural developments in Palestine under the British mandate, Shapira creates a tapestry through which to understand the challenges of Israeli nation building, including mass immigration, shifting cultural norms, the politics of war and world diplomacy, and the creation of democratic institutions and a civil society. References to contemporary diaries, memoirs, and literature bring a human dimension to this narrative history of Israel from its declaration of independence in 1948 through successive decades of waging war, negotiating peace, and building a modern state with a vibrant society and culture. Based on archival sources and the most up-to-date scholarly research, this authoritative history is a must-read for anyone with a passionate interest in Israel. Israel: A History will be the gold standard in the field for years to come.
The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis.
Veracini challenges two important myths: firstly, that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is unique and defies comparative approaches; and secondly that the struggle is mainly based in nationality and religion and therefore different to typical colonial conflicts. On the contrary, Veracini shows how Israeli society is organised along apartheid lines -- and that apartheid was not unique to South Africa, but a common feature of colonisation. He examines wars of decolonization, and conflicts where whole native populations were all but eradicated -- as in Australia. Comparing and contrasting these with the more recent history of Israel and Palestine, he offers a critical perspective on colonialism as well as important new insights into patterns of imperialism today.
Israel Has Moved
Diana Pinto Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress DS102.95.P56 2013 | Dewey Decimal 956.94054
Born in Europe’s shadow, haunted by the Holocaust, and inspired by the Enlightenment, Israel has changed. Where is this diverse and self-absorbed country heading today? How do its citizens see themselves, globally and historically? Israel Has Moved is a profound and sometimes unsettling account of a country that is no longer where we might think.
This timely anthology, completely revised and updated from the original edition in 1984, provides convenient access to the most significant documents of the Zionist movement since 1882 and of Israel’s domestic and foreign policy issues between 1948 and 2006. Comprised largely of primary sources from Israeli, Arab, and American records, documents encompass not only political and diplomatic history but economic, cultural, legal and social aspects of the region as well. The second edition also addresses areas not covered by the 1984 volume: a new chapter on the pre-state period, additional documents that reflect the Palestinian perspective, and the voices of women. Divided into seven chronological sections, documents are introduced by an overview of the entire era. They are annotated and preceded by explanatory headnotes.
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.
In this chronicle of political awakening and queer solidarity, the activist and novelist Sarah Schulman describes her dawning consciousness of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Invited to Israel to give the keynote address at an LGBT studies conference at Tel Aviv University, Schulman declines, joining other artists and academics honoring the Palestinian call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Anti-occupation activists in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Palestine come together to help organize an alternative solidarity visit for the American activist. Schulman takes us to an anarchist, vegan café in Tel Aviv, where she meets anti-occupation queer Israelis, and through border checkpoints into the West Bank, where queer Palestinian activists welcome her into their spaces for conversations that will change the course of her life. She describes the dusty roads through the West Bank, where Palestinians are cut off from water and subjected to endless restrictions while Israeli settler neighborhoods have full freedoms and resources.
As Schulman learns more, she questions the contradiction between Israel's investment in presenting itself as gay friendly—financially sponsoring gay film festivals and parades—and its denial of the rights of Palestinians. At the same time, she talks with straight Palestinian activists about their position in relation to homosexuality and gay rights in Palestine and internationally. Back in the United States, Schulman draws on her extensive activist experience to organize a speaking tour for some of the Palestinian queer leaders whom she had met and trusted. Dubbed "Al-Tour," it takes the activists to LGBT community centers, conferences, and universities throughout the United States. Its success solidifies her commitment to working to end Israel's occupation of Palestine, and it kindles her larger hope that a new "queer international" will emerge and join other movements demanding human rights across the globe.
Israel's Dead Soul
Authored by Steven Salaita Temple University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS134.S25 2011 | Dewey Decimal 320.54095694
In his courageous book, Israel's Dead Soul, Steven Salaita explores the failures of Zionism as a political and ethical discourse. He argues that endowing nation-states with souls is a dangerous phenomenon because it privileges institutions and corporations rather than human beings.
Asserting that Zionism has been normalized--rendered "benign" as an ideology of "multicultural conviviality"—Salaita critiques the idea that Zionism, as an exceptional ideology, leads to a lack of critical awareness of the effects of the Israeli occupation in Palestinian territory and to an unquestioning acceptance of Israel as an ethnocentric state.
Salaita's analysis targets the Anti-Defamation League, films such as Munich and Waltz with Bashir, intellectuals including Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson, gay rights activists, and other public figures who mourn the decline of Israel's "soul." His pointed account shows how liberal notions of Zionism are harmful to various movements for justice.
In Itineraries in Conflict, Rebecca L. Stein argues that through tourist practices—acts of cultural consumption, routes and imaginary voyages to neighboring Arab countries, culinary desires—Israeli citizens are negotiating Israel’s changing place in the contemporary Middle East. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research conducted throughout the last decade, Stein analyzes the divergent meanings that Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have attached to tourist cultures, and she considers their resonance with histories of travel in Israel, its Occupied Territories, and pre-1948 Palestine. Stein argues that tourism’s cultural performances, spaces, souvenirs, and maps have provided Israelis in varying social locations with a set of malleable tools to contend with the political changes of the last decade: the rise and fall of a Middle East Peace Process (the Oslo Process), globalization and neoliberal reform, and a second Palestinian uprising in 2000.
Combining vivid ethnographic detail, postcolonial theory, and readings of Israeli and Palestinian popular texts, Stein considers a broad range of Israeli leisure cultures of the Oslo period with a focus on the Jewish desires for Arab things, landscapes, and people that regional diplomacy catalyzed. Moving beyond conventional accounts, she situates tourism within a broader field of “discrepant mobility,” foregrounding the relationship between histories of mobility and immobility, leisure and exile, consumption and militarism. She contends that the study of Israeli tourism must open into broader interrogations of the Israeli occupation, the history of Palestinian dispossession, and Israel’s future in the Arab Middle East. Itineraries in Conflict is both a cultural history of the Oslo process and a call to fellow scholars to rethink the contours of the Arab-Israeli conflict by considering the politics of popular culture in everyday Israeli and Palestinian lives.
Perhaps the most contested patch of earth in the world, Jerusalem’s Old City experiences consistent violent unrest between Israeli and Palestinian residents, with seemingly no end in sight. Today, Jerusalem’s endless cycle of riots and arrests appears intractable—even unavoidable—and it looks unlikely that harmony will ever be achieved in the city. But with Jerusalem 1900, historian Vincent Lemire shows us that it wasn’t always that way, undoing the familiar notion of Jerusalem as a lost cause and revealing a unique moment in history when a more peaceful future seemed possible.
In this masterly history, Lemire uses newly opened archives to explore how Jerusalem’s elite residents of differing faiths cooperated through an intercommunity municipal council they created in the mid-1860s to administer the affairs of all inhabitants and improve their shared city. These residents embraced a spirit of modern urbanism and cultivated a civic identity that transcended religion and reflected the relatively secular and cosmopolitan way of life of Jerusalem at the time. These few years would turn out to be a tipping point in the city’s history—a pivotal moment when the horizon of possibility was still open, before the council broke up in 1934, under British rule, into separate Jewish and Arab factions. Uncovering this often overlooked diplomatic period, Lemire reveals that the struggle over Jerusalem was not historically inevitable—and therefore is not necessarily intractable. Jerusalem 1900 sheds light on how the Holy City once functioned peacefully and illustrates how it might one day do so again.
This fascinating interdisciplinary collection of essays brings gender issues to the foreground in order to redress a profound imbalance in the historiography of the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, and in the early years of the State of Israel. Although male discourse still dominates this field, some initial studies have begun to create an authentic and multifaceted Hebrew-Israeli voice by examining the activities and contributions of women. This research has led to a number of basic questions: What was the reality of life for women in Jewish society in Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine (Eretz Israel), and in the early years of the State? What was the contribution of women to the renewal of Israeli society and culture? What is the place of gender perceptions in the study of the new local identity? The original articles in this anthology forge an innovative response to one or more of these questions, and reflecting the state of research in the field.
Investigate a relatively neglected but momentous period in Judean history
Nadav Sharon closely examines a critical period in Judean history, which saw the end of the Hasmonean dynasty and the beginning of Roman domination of Judea leading up to the kingship of Herod (67-37 BCE). In this period renowned Roman figures such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Gaius Cassius (a conspirator against Caesar), and Mark Anthony, led the Roman Republic on the eve of its transformation into an Empire, each having his own dealings with—and holding sway over—Judea at different times. This volume explores the impact of the Roman conquest on the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, enhances the understanding of later Judean-Roman relations and the roots of the Great Revolt, and examines how this early period of Roman domination had on impact on later developments in Judean society and religion.
Part one dedicating to reconstructing Judean history from the death of Alexander to the reign of King Herod
Part two examining the effects of Roman domination on Judean society
Kafka and Cultural Zionism is an illumination of the individual Jewish identity of this major modernist German author. Through a thorough examination of Kafka's life, his influences, and his writings, Iris Bruce makes a case for Kafka's interest in Zionism and demonstrates the presence of Jewish themes and motifs in Kafka's literary works. In recognizing this essential part of Kafka's individual voice, Bruce hopes to provide a new perspective on Kafka and his writings that allows the reader to find the humor, playfulness, rebelliousness, and challenge that can be overlooked if the reader expects to find a Kafka who is disengaged from his ethnic and cultural identity, as well as the politics of his age.
This innovative study examines the responses of early-twentieth-century pioneers to “the Land” of Palestine. Early Zionist historiography portrayed these young settlers as heroic; later, more critical studies by the “new” historians and sociologists focused on their failures and shortcomings. Neumann argues for something else that historians have yet to identify—desire. Desire for the Land and a visceral identification with it begin to explain the pioneer experience and its impact on Israeli history and collective memory, as well as on Israelis’ abiding connection to the Land of Israel. His close readings of archival documents, memoirs, diaries, poetry, and prose of the period develop new understandings—many of them utterly surprising—of the Zionist enterprise. For Neumann, the Zionist revolution was an existential revolution: for the pioneers, to be in the Land of Israel was to be!
Arabs and Jews have disputed the ancient lands of Palestine since the late nineteenth century, when Jews began emigrating there, buying land, and establishing farms, settlements, and businesses. In this book, Kamen examines the structure of Arab Palestine between the two world wars. He contrasts British and Israeli analyses against real world social and economic conditions of rural Arab society.
Benny Morris, Editor University of Michigan Press, 2007 Library of Congress DS126.985.M67 2007 | Dewey Decimal 956.042
Benny Morris is the founding father of the New Historians, a group of Israeli scholars who have challenged long-established perceptions about the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their research rigorously documented crimes and atrocities committed by the Israeli armed forces, including rape, torture, and ethnic cleansing. With Making Israel, Morris brings together the first collection of translated articles on the New History by leading Zionist and revisionist Israeli historians, providing Americans with a firsthand view of this important debate and enabling a better understanding of how the New Historians have influenced Israelis' awareness of their own past.
"The study of Israeli history, society, politics, and economics over the past two decades has been marked by a fierce and sometimes highly personal debate between 'traditionalists'---scholars who generally interpreted Israeli history and society within the Zionist ethos---and 'revisionists'---scholars who challenged conventional Zionist narratives of Israeli history and society. Making Israel brings together traditionalists and revisionists who openly and directly lay out their key insights about Israel's origins. It also introduces multidisciplinary perspectives on Israel by historians and sociologists, each bringing into the debate its own jargon, its own epistemology and methodology, and its own array of substantive issues. This is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the different interpretations of Israeli society and perhaps the central debate among students of modern Israel."
---Zeev Maoz, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis, and Distinguished Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya
"Israel's 'new historians' have done a great service to their country, and to all who care about the Arab-Israeli conflict. By challenging myths, reexamining evidence, and asking truly important questions about the past they help to confront the present with honesty and realism. This book provides a sampling of the best of what these courageous voices have to offer."
---William B. Quandt, University of Virginia
Benny Morris is Professor of Middle East history at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel, and is the author of Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999.
“I was probably less than five years old when my father fired a shot at my head.” From this first line, Dan Vittorio Segre’s memoir moves from one startling turning point to the next. The child of aristocratic parents, Segre fled Fascist Italy and Mussolini’s anti-Semitic laws only to be thrust into the pioneering culture of Palestine, completely unprepared for the dangers of life in Israel during World War II. Beautifully narrated, Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew is an ironic, philosophical meditation on the historical reverberations of the twentieth century.
“Taut and illuminating . . . memorable . . . written with the humility of he who confesses himself and with the honesty of he who bore witness.”—Primo Levi
“The writing of memoirs is a difficult art that Dan Segre fully possesses. Under his pen, history and psychology merge in one captivating narrative which illuminates the turmoils, fears and triumphs of his generation.”—Elie Wiesel
“Beautifully written. . . . [A] labyrinthine, spell-binding autobiography, full of passionate tenderness.”—New York Review of Books
“An unusually attractive book—attractive in its irony, its energy and its moral insight. Mr. Segre had some rich material to work with, and he has done it justice.”—New York Times
“This wonderful monograph treats a subject that resonates with anyone who studies the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and particularly Palestinian nationalism: that how Palestinian history is remembered and constructed is as meaningful to our understanding of the current struggle as arriving as some sort of ‘complete empirical understanding’ of its history. Swedenburg . . . studies how a major anti-colonial insurrection, the 1936–38 strike and revolt in Palestine [against the British], is remembered in Palestinian nationalist historiography, western and Israeli ‘official’ historical discourse, and Palestinian popular memory. Using primarily oral history interviews, supplemented by archival material and national monuments, he presents multiple, complex, contradictory, and alternative interpretations of historical events. . . . The book is thematically divided into explorations of Palestinian nationalist symbols, stereotypes, and myths; Israeli national monuments that simultaneously act as historical ‘injunctions against forgetting’ Jewish history and efforts to ‘marginalize, vilify, and obliterate’ the Arab history of Palestine; Palestine subaltern memories as resistance to official narratives, including unpopular and controversial recollections of collaboration and assassination; and finally, how the recodification and revival of memories of the revolt informed the Palestinian intifada that erupted in 1987.” —MESA Bulletin
The result of years of critical analysis of Israeli media law, this book argues that the laws governing Israeli electronic media are structured to limit the boundaries of public discourse. Amit M. Schejter posits the theory of a "mute democracy," one in which the media are designed to provide a platform for some voices to be heard over others. While Israel's institutions may be democratic, and while the effect of these policies may be limited, this book contends that free speech in Israel is institutionally muted to ensure the continued domination of the Jewish majority and its preferred interpretation of what Israel means as a Jewish-democratic state. Analyzing a wide range of legal documents recorded in Israel from 1961 to 2007, Muting Israeli Democracy demonstrates in scrupulous detail how law and policy are used to promote the hegemonic national culture through the constraints and obligations set on electronic media.
In recent years, as peace between Israelis and Palestinians has remained cruelly elusive, scholars and activists have increasingly turned to South African history and politics to make sense of the situation. In the early 1990s, both South Africa and Israel began negotiating with their colonized populations. South Africans saw results: the state was democratized and black South Africans gained formal legal equality. Palestinians, on the other hand, won neither freedom nor equality, and today Israel remains a settler-colonial state. Despite these different outcomes, the transitions of the last twenty years have produced surprisingly similar socioeconomic changes in both regions: growing inequality, racialized poverty, and advanced strategies for securing the powerful and policing the racialized poor. Neoliberal Apartheid explores this paradox through an analysis of (de)colonization and neoliberal racial capitalism.
After a decade of research in the Johannesburg and Jerusalem regions, Andy Clarno presents here a detailed ethnographic study of the precariousness of the poor in Alexandra township, the dynamics of colonization and enclosure in Bethlehem, the growth of fortress suburbs and private security in Johannesburg, and the regime of security coordination between the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The first comparative study of the changes in these two areas since the early 1990s, the book addresses the limitations of liberation in South Africa, highlights the impact of neoliberal restructuring in Palestine, and argues that a new form of neoliberal apartheid has emerged in both contexts.
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.
In 1880 the Jewish community in Palestine encompassed some 20,000 Orthodox Jews; within sixty-five years it was transformed into a secular proto-state with well-developed political, military, and economic institutions, a vigorous Hebrew-language culture, and some 600,000 inhabitants. The Origins of Israel, 1882–1948: A Documentary History chronicles the making of modern Israel before statehood, providing in English the texts of original sources (many translated from Hebrew and other languages) accompanied by extensive introductions and commentaries from the volume editors.
This sourcebook assembles a diverse array of 62 documents, many of them unabridged, to convey the ferment, dissent, energy, and anxiety that permeated the Zionist project from its inception to the creation of the modern nation of Israel. Focusing primarily on social, economic, and cultural history rather than Zionist thought and diplomacy, the texts are organized in themed chapters. They present the views of Zionists from many political and religious camps, factory workers, farm women, militants, intellectuals promoting the Hebrew language and arts—as well as views of ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists. The volume includes important unabridged documents from the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict that are often cited but are rarely read in full. The editors, Eran Kaplan and Derek J. Penslar, provide both primary texts and informative notes and commentary, giving readers the opportunity to encounter voices from history and make judgments for themselves about matters of world-historical significance.
Best Special Interest Books, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
How did a Jewish state come to resonate profoundly with Americans in the twentieth century? Since WWII, Israel’s identity has been entangled with America’s belief in its own exceptionalism. Turning a critical eye on the two nations’ turbulent history together, Amy Kaplan unearths the roots of controversies that may well divide them in the future.
The dispute over Palestine between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis is one of the most volatile and intractable conflicts in the world today. Palestine and Israel examines the history of this battle from the perspective of international law, and it argues that a long-term solution to the conflict must protect legitimate interests to remain viable—an element the author believes has so far been seriously neglected. This extensively documented work details the complex politics and agonizing struggles that have characterized the clash between Jews and Arabs, examining in depth the competing claims to Palestine and the extent to which legitimate interests remain to be fulfilled. Beginning with the early Zionist settlement in Palestine that rose from the effort by Jews to escape long-standing discrimination in Europe, Qigley investigates the origins of the dispute, including the British occupation of Palestine, the British Mandate, and the involvement of the United Nations. He examines the 1948 War, the establishment of Israel, and explores the legal and political status of Jews there. After a detailed analysis of the 1967 War and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he concludes with recommendations for resolving the conflict, including discussions of the responsibility of other states for the persisting injustice, the role of other states in settling the dispute, and steps to a possible solution.
British General Sir Allan Cunningham was appointed in 1945 as high commissioner of Palestine, and served in this capacity until the end of the British mandate on May 15, 1948. The three years of Cunningham’s tenure were tremendously complex politically: players included the British government in London, the British army, the British administration in Jerusalem, and diverse military forces within the Zionist establishment, both Jew and Arab. Golani revisits this period from the perspective of the high commissioner, examining understudied official documents as well as Cunningham’s letters, notes, and cables. He emphasizes especially the challenges of navigating Jewish and Arab terrorists, on the one hand, and the multiple layers of British institutional bureaucracies, on the other, and does an excellent job of establishing Sir Allan’s daily trials within the broad frame of the collapse of the British Empire following World War II.
In 2008, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad invited international investors to the first ever Palestine Investment Conference, which was designed to jumpstart the process of integrating Palestine into the global economy. Or as Fayyad described the conference: Palestine is “throwing a party, and the whole world is invited.” In this book, Kareem Rabie examines how the conference and Fayyad's rhetoric represented a wider shift in economic and political practice in ways that oriented state-scale Palestinian politics toward neoliberal globalization rather than a diplomatic two-state solution. Rabie demonstrates that private firms, international aid organizations, and the Palestinian government in the West Bank focused on large-scale private housing development in an effort toward state-scale economic stability and market building. This approach reflected the belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. Yet, as Rabie contends, these investment-based policies have maintained the status quo of occupation and Palestine's subordinate and suspended political economic relationship with Israel.
Few doubt the pro-Israel bias of the Western media. It takes the form of overtly supporting Israel's government policies, or of maintaining neutrality or silence on issues of Israeli violence, occupation, and settlement expansion. Scholar and activist Karma R. Chávez collects eleven interviews that allow dissenting voices a forum to provide rarely heard perspectives on the Palestinian struggle for justice, land, and self-determination.This volume in the Common Threads series is a supplement to the Journal of Civil and Human Rights. The conversations within took place on a radio program Chávez hosted from 2013-16. There, journalists, activists, academic figures, authors, and Palestinian citizens of Israel shared a wide range of thoughts and experiences. Participants covered topics that include: everyday life for Palestinians in the West Bank and in Israel; the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that arose in response to Israel's ongoing actions; the Steven Salaita controversy at the University of Illinois; the pro-Palestine social movement on college campuses; Israel's pinkwashing of human rights abuses; the aftermath of the 2014 attack on Gaza; and Chávez's 2015 visit to the West Bank.
Is there a link between the colonization of Palestinian lands and the enclosing of Palestinian minds? The Palestinian Idea argues that it is precisely through film and media that hope can occasionally emerge amidst hopelessness, emancipation amidst oppression, freedom amidst apartheid. Greg Burris employs the work of Edward W. Said, Jacques Rancière, and Cedric J. Robinson in order to locate Palestinian utopia in the heart of the Zionist present.
He analyzes the films of prominent directors Annemarie Jacir (Salt of This Sea, When I Saw You) and Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) to investigate the emergence and formation of Palestinian identity. Looking at Mais Darwazah’s documentary My Love Awaits Me By the Sea, Burris considers the counterhistories that make up the Palestinian experience—stories and memories that have otherwise been obscured or denied. He also examines Palestinian (in)visibility in the global media landscape, and how issues of Black-Palestinian transnational solidarity are illustrated through social media, staged news spectacles, and hip hop music.
Partitioning Palestine is the first history of the ideological and political forces that led to the idea of partition—that is, a division of territory and sovereignty—in British mandate Palestine in the first half of the twentieth century. Inverting the spate of narratives that focus on how the idea contributed to, or hindered, the development of future Israeli and Palestinian states, Penny Sinanoglou asks instead what drove and constrained British policymaking around partition, and why partition was simultaneously so appealing to British policymakers yet ultimately proved so difficult for them to enact. Taking a broad view not only of local and regional factors, but also of Palestine’s place in the British empire and its status as a League of Nations mandate, Sinanoglou deftly recasts the story of partition in Palestine as a struggle to maintain imperial control. After all, British partition plans imagined space both for a Zionist state indebted to Britain and for continued British control over key geostrategic assets, depending in large part on the forced movement of Arab populations. With her detailed look at the development of the idea of partition from its origins in the 1920s, Sinanoglou makes a bold contribution to our understanding of the complex interplay between internationalism and imperialism at the end of the British empire and reveals the legacies of British partitionist thinking in the broader history of decolonization in the modern Middle East.
The work of the renowned Israeli poet, translator, peace activist, and 1998 Israel Prize laureate Dahlia Ravikovitch (1936–2005) portrays the emotional structure of a traumatized and victimized female character. Ilana Szobel’s book, the first full-length study of Ravikovitch in English, offers a theoretical discussion of the poetics of trauma and the politics of victimhood, as well as a rethinking of the notions of activity and passivity, strength and weakness. Analyzing the deep structure embodied in Ravikovitch’s work, Szobel unearths the interconnectedness of Ravikovitch’s private-poetic subjectivity and Israeli national identity, and shows how her unique poetics can help readers overcome cultural biases and sympathetically engage otherness.
On the open landscape of Israel and the West Bank, where pine and cypress forests grow alongside olive groves, tree planting has become symbolic of conflicting claims to the land. Palestinians cultivate olive groves as a vital agricultural resource, while the Israeli government has made restoration of mixed-growth forests a national priority. Although both sides plant for a variety of purposes, both have used tree planting to assert their presence on—and claim to—disputed land.
Shaul Ephraim Cohen has conducted an unprecedented study of planting in the region and the control of land it signifies. In The Politics of Planting, he provides historical background and examines both the politics behind Israel's afforestation policy its consequences. Focusing on the open land surrounding Jerusalem and four Palestinian villages outside the city, this study offers a new perspective on the conflict over land use in a region where planting has become a political tool.
For the valuable data it presents—collected from field work, previously unpublished documents, and interviews—and the insight it provides into this political struggle, this will be an important book for anyone studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In The Power of Dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, scholar and activist Nava Sonnenschein shares a collection of twenty-five powerful interviews she conducted with Palestinian and Jewish Israeli alumni of peacebuilding courses, a decade after their graduation. Participants with diverse personal and professional backgrounds completed a series of conflict transformation workshops using the model developed by the School for Peace at the world’s only intentional Jewish-Palestinian community, Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam (“Oasis of Peace” in Hebrew and Arabic). Critically, the interviews vividly demonstrate that peacebuilding does not end with the courses. Most of the graduates choose to work professionally in roles that contribute to peace-building. Sonnenschein shows the transformational potential of encounter between members of groups in conflict, sharing how ordinary Israelis and Palestinians coming together in an open and honest environment undergo life-changing experiences that provide concrete hope for a sustainable path to a peaceful shared existence as equals in Israel and Palestine.
Projecting the Nation: History and Ideology on the Israeli Screen is a wide-ranging history of over seven decades of Israeli cinema. The only book in English to offer this type of historical scope was Ella Shohat’s Israeli Cinema: East West and the Politics of Representation from 1989. Since 1989, however, Israeli cinema and Israeli society have undergone some crucial transformations and, moreover, Shohat’s book offered a single framework through which to judge Israeli cinema: a critique of orientalism. Projecting the Nation contends that Israeli cinema offers much richer historical and ideological perspectives that expose the complexity of the Israeli project. By analyzing Israeli films which address such issues as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi divide, the kibbutz and urban life, the rise of religion in Israeli public life and more, the book explores the way cinema has represented and also shaped our understanding of the history of modern Israel as it evolved from a collectivist society to a society where individualism and adherence to local identities is the dominant ideology.
Wishing to ingratiate himself with Rome, Herod the Great built theaters, amphitheaters, and hippodromes to bring pagan entertainments of all sorts to Palestine. Zeev Weiss explores how the indigenous Jewish and Christian populations responded, as both spectators and performers, to these cultural imports, which left a lasting imprint on the region.
The Pure Element of Time
Haim Be’er Brandeis University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PJ5054.B374H3913 2003 | Dewey Decimal 892.436
Published in 1998 as Havalim, The Pure Element of Time is a rich and evocative autobiographical novel about a writer’s development. With his keen eye and opulent writing style, Haim Be’er turns the story of his childhood and maturity into a complex and gripping work of art. Constructed as a triptych, The Pure Element of Time begins with the author’s boyhood. Raised in an orthodox family in an old Jerusalem neighborhood in the early 1950s, Be'er was profoundly influenced by his overly pious grandmother, who was, nonetheless, a natural storyteller whose richly evocative parables and tales inspired his lifelong love for language. The middle section depicts his parents’ marriage, a tragic misalliance between a smart, independent Jerusalem-born woman and a withdrawn and defeated refugee from the Russian pogroms. The emergence of the writer’s individual literary voice—informed by, yet ultimately transcending, the influences of tradition and history—forms the emotional and psychological core of Be’er’s work.
Because new nations need new pasts, they create new ways of commemorating and recasting select historic events. In Recovered Roots, Yael Zerubavel illuminates this dynamic process by examining the construction of Israeli national tradition.
In the years leading to the birth of Israel, Zerubavel shows, Zionist settlers in Palestine consciously sought to rewrite Jewish history by reshaping Jewish memory. Zerubavel focuses on the nationalist reinterpretation of the defense of Masada against the Romans in 73 C.E. and the Bar Kokhba revolt of 133-135; and on the transformation of the 1920 defense of a new Jewish settlement in Tel Hai into a national myth. Zerubavel demonstrates how, in each case, Israeli memory transforms events that ended in death and defeat into heroic myths and symbols of national revival.
Drawing on a broad range of official and popular sources and original interviews, Zerubavel shows that the construction of a new national tradition is not necessarily the product of government policy but a creative collaboration between politicans, writers, and educators. Her discussion of the politics of commemoration demonstrates how rival groups can turn the past into an arena of conflict as they posit competing interpretations of history and opposing moral claims on the use of the past. Zerubavel analyzes the emergence of counter-memories within the reality of Israel's frequent wars, the ensuing debates about the future of the occupied territories, and the embattled relations with Palestinians.
A fascinating examination of the interplay between history and memory, this book will appeal to historians, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and folklorists, as well as to scholars of cultural studies, literature, and communication.
We think of the kibbutz as a place for communal living and working. Members work, reside, and eat together, and share income “from each according to ability, to each according to need.” But in the late 1980s the kibbutzim decided that they needed to change. Reforms—moderate at first—were put in place. Members could work outside of the organization, but wages went to the collective. Apartments could be expanded, but housing remained kibbutz-owned. In 1995, change accelerated. Kibbutzim began to pay salaries based on the market value of a member’s work. As a result of such changes, the “renewed” kibbutz emerged. By 2010, 75 percent of Israel’s 248 nonreligious kibbutzim fit into this new category.
The Renewal of the Kibbutz explores the waves of reforms since 1990. Looking through the lens of organizational theories that predict how open or closed a group will be to change, the authors find that less successful kibbutzim were most receptive to reform, and reforms then spread through imitation from the economically weaker kibbutzim to the strong.
In this book, Israeli anthropologist André Levy returns to his birthplace in Casablanca to provide a deeply nuanced and compelling study of the relationships between Moroccan Jews and Muslims there. Ranging over a century of history—from the Jewish Enlightenment and the impending colonialism of the late nineteenth century to today’s modern Arab state—Levy paints a rich portrait of two communities pressed together, of the tremendous mobility that has characterized the past century, and of the paradoxes that complicate the cultural identities of the present.
Levy visits a host of sites and historical figures to assemble a compelling history of social change, while seamlessly interweaving his study with personal accounts of his returns to his homeland. Central to this story is the massive migration of Jews out of Morocco. Levy traces the institutional and social changes such migrations cause for those who choose to stay, introducing the concept of “contraction” to depict the way Jews deal with the ramifications of their demographic dwindling. Turning his attention outward from Morocco, he goes on to explore the greater complexities of the Jewish diaspora and the essential paradox at the heart of his adventure—leaving Israel to return home.
In this sharply argued volume, Orit Rozin reveals the flaws in the conventional account of Israeli society in the 1950s, which portrayed the Israeli public as committed to a collectivist ideology. In fact, major sectors of Israeli society espoused individualism and rejected the state-imposed collectivist ideology. Rozin draws on archival, legal, and media sources to analyze the attitudes of black-market profiteers, politicians and judges, middle-class homemakers, and immigrants living in transit camps and rural settlements. Part of a refreshing trend in recent Israeli historiography to study the voices, emotions, and ideas of ordinary people, Rozin’s book provides an important corrective to much extant scholarly literature on Israel’s early years.
As the site of several miracles in the Jewish and Christian traditions, the Jordan is one of the world’s holiest rivers. It is also the major political and symbolic border contested by Israelis and Palestinians. Combining biblical and folkloric studies with historical geography, Rachel Havrelock explores how the complex religious and mythological representations of the river have shaped the current conflict in the Middle East.
Havrelock contends that the intractability of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict stems from the nationalist myths of the Hebrew Bible, where the Jordan is defined as a border of the Promised Land. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim the Jordan as a necessary boundary of an indivisible homeland. Examining the Hebrew Bible alongside ancient and modern maps of the Jordan, Havrelock chronicles the evolution of Israel’s borders based on nationalist myths while uncovering additional myths that envision Israel as a bi-national state. These other myths, she proposes, provide roadmaps for future political configurations of the nation. Ambitious and masterful in its scope, River Jordan brings a fresh, provocative perspective to the ongoing struggle in this violence-riddled region.
For years, renowned activist and scholar Ilana Hammerman has given the world remarkable translations of Kafka. With A Small Door Set in Concrete, she turns to the actual surreal existence that is life in the West Bank after decades of occupation.
After losing her husband and her sister, Hammerman set out to travel to the end of the world. She began her trip with the hope that it would reveal the right path to take in life. But she soon realized that finding answers was less important than experiencing the freedom to move from place to place without restriction. Hammerman returned to the West Bank with a renewed joie de vivre and a resolution: she would become a regular visitor to the men, women, and children who were on the other side of the wall, unable to move or act freely. She would listen to their dreams and fight to bring some justice into their lives.
A Small Door Set in Concrete is a moving picture of lives filled with destruction and frustration but also infusions of joy. Whether joining Palestinian laborers lining up behind checkpoints hours before the crack of dawn in the hope of crossing into Israel for a day’s work, accompanying a family to military court for their loved one’s hearing, or smuggling Palestinian children across borders for a day at the beach, Hammerman fearlessly ventures into territories where few Israelis dare set foot and challenges her readers not to avert their eyes in the face of injustice.
Hammerman neither preaches nor politicks. Instead, she engages in a much more personal, everyday kind of activism. Hammerman is adept at revealing the absurdities of a land where people are stripped of their humanity. And she is equally skilled at illuminating the humanity of those caught in this political web. To those who have become simply statistics or targets to those in Israel and around the world, she gives names, faces, dreams, desires.
This is not a book that allows us to sit passively. It is a slap in the face, a necessary splash of cold water that will reawaken the humanity inside all of us.
In Spacing Debt Christopher Harker demonstrates that financial debt is as much a spatial phenomenon as it is a temporal and social one. Harker traces the emergence of debt in Ramallah after 2008 as part of the financialization of the Palestinian economy under Israeli settler colonialism. Debt contributes to processes through which Palestinians are kept economically unstable and subordinate. Harker draws extensively on residents' accounts of living with the explosion of personal debt to highlight the entanglement of consumer credit with other obligatory relations among family, friends, and institutions. He offers a new geographical theorization of debt, showing how debt affects urban space, including the movement of bodies through the city, localized economies, and the political violence associated with occupation. Bringing cultural and urban imaginaries into conversation with monetized debt, Harker shows how debt itself becomes a slow violence embedded into the everyday lives of citizens. However, debt is also a means through which Palestinians practice endurance, creatively adapting to life under occupation.
This readable, insightful, and thought-provoking collection of essays, presents an original and innovative ideology that stirringly affirms the unity of the Jewish people. Rawidowicz's rich themes include the relationship between the State of Israel and the Diaspora; Jewish "difference" and its repercussions; Jewish learning; and Jewish continuity in the post-Holocaust world. In his foreword to the paper edition, Michael A. Meyer writes, "Forty years after his death, [Rawidowicz's] sober analyses, his realism with regard to both the State of Israel and the Diaspora, and his striving to find unities among dichotomies that divide the Jewish people -- all of these make his images and ideas still worthy of our reflection."
For centuries, poets have turned to translation for creative inspiration. Through and in translation, poets have introduced new poetic styles, languages, and forms into their own writing, sometimes changing the course of literary history in the process. Strange Cocktail is the first comprehensive study of this phenomenon in modern Hebrew literature of the late nineteenth century to the present day. Its chapters on Esther Raab, Leah Goldberg, Avot Yeshurun, and Harold Schimmel offer close readings that examine the distinct poetics of translation that emerge from reciprocal practices of writing and translating. Working in a minor literary vernacular, the translation strategies that these poets employed allowed them to create and participate in transnational and multilingual poetic networks. Strange Cocktail thereby advances a comparative and multilingual reframing of modern Hebrew literature that considers how canons change and are undone when translation occupies a central position—how lines of influence and affiliation are redrawn and literary historiographies are revised when the work of translation occupies the same status as an original text, when translating and writing go hand in hand.
RAND researchers supported a high-level Israeli government team tasked with improving long-term socioeconomic strategy for the state. This report highlights selected inputs made to the government team to summarize the essential mechanics and roles for bringing a strategic perspective to policy consideration. To show how one can use a strategic perspective in an analysis of policy choices, the report uses the example of an aging population.
A new interpretation of the roots of Israeli culture
In Tangled Roots: The Emergence of Israeli Culture, Israel Bartal traces the history of modern Hebrew culture prior to the emergence of political Zionism. Bartal examines how traditional and modernist ideals and Western and non-European Jewish cultures merged in an unprecedented encounter between an ancient land (Israel) and a multigenerational people (the Jews). Premodern Jewish traditionalists, Palestinian locals, foreign imperial forces, and Jewish intellectuals, writers, journalists, and party functionaries each affected the Israeli culture that emerged. As this new Hebrew culture was taking shape, the memory of the recent European past played a highly influential role in shaping the image of the New Hebrew, that mythological hero who was meant to supplant the East European exilic Jew.
A critical revision of most contemporary politicized histories of Jewish nationalism
An examination of the history of modern Hebrew culture prior to political Zionism
The Temple of Jerusalem
Simon Goldhill Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress DS109.3.G65 2005 | Dewey Decimal 296.491
It was destroyed nearly 2000 years ago, and yet the Temple of Jerusalem--cultural memory, symbol, and site--remains one of the most powerful, and most contested, buildings in the world. This glorious structure, imagined and re-imagined, reconsidered and reinterpreted again and again over two millennia, emerges in all its historical, cultural, and religious significance in Simon Goldhill's account.
To Come to the Land makes available in English a vast body of research,
previously available only in Hebrew, on the early history of the land now
known as Israel.
Abraham David here focuses on the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled
the Iberian Peninsula during the 16th century, tracing the beginnings of
Sephardic influence in the land of Israel.
After the Ottoman Turks conquered Syria, Palestine, and Egypt in 1516,
the Ottoman regime, unlike their Mamluk predecessors, encouraged economic
development and settlement throughout the region. This openness to immigration
offered a solution to the crisis Iberian Jews were undergoing as a result
of their expulsion from Spain and the forced conversions in Portugal. Within
a few years of the Ottoman conquest, Jews of Spanish extraction, many of
them clustered in urban areas, dominated the Jewish communities of Eretz-Israel.
In this carefully researched study, David examines the lasting impression
made by these enterprising Jewish settlers on the commercial, social, and
intellectual life of the area under early Ottoman rule. Of particular interest
is his examination of the cities of Jerusalem and Safed and David's succinct
biographies of leading Jewish personalities throughout the region.
This first English translation of a ground-breaking Hebrew work provides
a comprehensive overview of a significant chapter in the history of Israel
and explores some of the factors that brought to it the best minds of the
age. Essential for scholars of late Medieval Jewish history, To Come to
the Land will also be an important resource for scholars of intellectual
history, as it provides background crucial to an understanding of the intellectual
flourishing of the period.
Under Quarantine is the riveting story of Shaar Ha’aliya, a central immigrant processing camp opened shortly after Israel became an independent state. This historic gateway for Jewish migration was surrounded by a controversial barbed wire fence. The camp administrators defended this imposing barrier as a necessary quarantine measure - even as detained immigrants regularly defied it by crawling out of the camp and returning at will. Focusing on the conflicts and complications surrounding the medical quarantine, this book brings the history of this place and the remarkable experiences of the immigrants who went through it to life. Evocative and bold, Under Quarantine shows that we cannot fully understand Israel until we understand Shaar Ha’aliya. The gate of arrival for nearly half a million immigrants - a space of homecoming, conflict, exclusion and welcoming - here was the country’s crucible.
The state of Israel is often spoken of as a haven for the Jewish people, a place rooted in the story of a nation dispersed, wandering the earth in search of their homeland. Born in adversity but purportedly nurtured by liberal ideals, Israel has never known peace, experiencing instead a state of constant war that has divided its population along the stark and seemingly unbreachable lines of dissent around the relationship between unrestricted citizenship and Jewish identity.
By focusing on the perceptions and histories of Israel’s most marginalized stakeholders—Palestinian Israelis, Arab Jews, and non-Israeli Jews—Atalia Omer cuts to the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict, demonstrating how these voices provide urgently needed resources for conflict analysis and peacebuilding. Navigating a complex set of arguments about ethnicity, boundaries, and peace, and offering a different approach to the renegotiation and reimagination of national identity and citizenship, Omer pushes the conversation beyond the bounds of the single narrative and toward a new and dynamic concept of justice—one that offers the prospect of building a lasting peace.
During the last twenty years, Palestinian women have practiced creative and often informal everyday forms of political activism. Sophie Richter-Devroe reflects on their struggles to bring about social and political change. Richter-Devroe's ethnographic approach draws from fascinating in-depth interviews and participant observation in Palestine. The result: a forceful critique of mainstream conflict resolution methods and the failed woman-to-woman peacebuilding projects so lauded around the world. The liberal faith in dialogue as core of 'the political', and the assumption that women's 'nurturing' nature makes them superior peacemakers, collapse in the face of past and ongoing Israeli state violences. Instead, women confront Israeli settler colonialism directly and indirectly in their popular and everyday acts of resistance. Richter-Devroe's analysis zooms in on the intricate dynamics of daily life in Palestine, tracing the emergent politics that women articulate and practice there. In shedding light on contemporary gendered 'politics from below' in the region, the book invites a rethinking of the workings, shapes, and boundaries of the political.
In late summer 1929, a countrywide outbreak of Arab-Jewish-British violence transformed the political landscape of Palestine forever. In contrast with those who point to the wars of 1948 and 1967, historian Hillel Cohen marks these bloody events as year zero of the Arab-Israeli conflict that persists today. The murderous violence inflicted on Jews caused a fractious—and now traumatized—community of Zionists, non-Zionists, Ashkenazim, and Mizrachim to coalesce around a unified national consciousness arrayed against an implacable Arab enemy. While the Jews unified, Arabs came to grasp the national essence of the conflict, realizing that Jews of all stripes viewed the land as belonging to the Jewish people. Through memory and historiography, in a manner both associative and highly calculated, Cohen traces the horrific events of August 23 to September 1 in painstaking detail. He extends his geographic and chronological reach and uses a non-linear reconstruction of events to call for a thorough reconsideration of cause and effect. Sifting through Arab and Hebrew sources—many rarely, if ever, examined before—Cohen reflects on the attitudes and perceptions of Jews and Arabs who experienced the events and, most significantly, on the memories they bequeathed to later generations. The result is a multifaceted and revealing examination of a formative series of episodes that will intrigue historians, political scientists, and others interested in understanding the essence—and the very beginning—of what has been an intractable conflict.
Practical Zionism in the Mandate era (1920–1948) is usually associated with agricultural settlements (kibbutzim), organized socialist workers, and the creation of a formal high culture. This book fills a gap in historical research by presenting a different type of practical Zionism in Jewish Palestine—urban, middle-class, and created by popular and informal daily practices. While research on Tel Aviv has so far been confined to “positivist” historical description or focused nostalgically on local myths, Helman’s book reconstructs and analyzes the city’s formative decades on various levels, juxtaposing historical reality with cultural images and ideological doctrines. Topics include the city’s physical portrait, major public events, consumer culture, patterns of leisure and entertainment, and urban subcultures.
The Zionist Ideology
Gideon Shimoni Brandeis University Press, 1997 Library of Congress DS149.S497354 1995 | Dewey Decimal 320.54095694
Winner of the Arnold Wiznitzer Prize, Hebrew University. This superb and highly nuanced study traces the development and ramifications of the ideology of Zionism from its roots in Europe to its full flowering in the establishment of the State of Israel. Gideon Shimoni begins by outlining the social origins of Zionism, including its debt to European nationalism and its subsequent emergence in the 1880s, precipitated by the pogroms in the Russian Empire. He then describes the various streams of Zionist thought, and concludes by examining both Zionism's connection with a secular Jewish identity and the nature of the Jewish claim to Eretz Israel. Throughout this comprehensive survey, Shimoni illuminates Zionism's common thread: the underlying axiom "that the Jews are a single, distinctive, entity possessing national, not just religious, attributes."
Many contemporary Israelis suffer from a strange condition. Despite the obvious successes of the Zionist enterprise and the State of Israel, tension persists, with a collective sense that something is wrong and should be better. This cognitive dissonance arises from the disjunction between “place” (defined as what Israel is really like) and “Place” (defined as the imaginary community comprised of history, myth, and dream). Through the lens of five major works in Hebrew by writers Abraham Mapu (1853), Theodor Herzl (1902), Yosef Luidor (1912), Moshe Shamir (1948), and Amos Oz (1963), Schwartz unearths the core of this paradox as it evolves over one hundred years, from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1960s.