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Critical Essays on Israeli Society, Religion, and Government

Books on Israel, Volume IV

Walter P. Zenner, Kevin Avruch

Publication Year: 1997

Original review essays that provide critical commentary on recently published books and films on Israeli society, culture, politics, and religion. This book is part of a series of review volumes sponsored by the Association for Israel Studies that provides a framework for discussion of research and scholarship on all aspects of Israeli society. It brings together original review essays commenting on issues in Israeli society, culture, politics, religion, literature, and film. The authors’ evaluations of recently published books go beyond critical commentary on the works themselves to include the state of scholarship and social conditions. Among the issues addressed are the conflict over water resources, the human dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, local governance, and the court system. The book provides reviews and commentary, not only on scholarly works but also on memoirs of military leaders at the time of the Yom Kippur war, Sephardi novels on the shock of immigration and on Israeli orthodox Judaism, and politically oriented cinema and literature of the 1980s and 1990s.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Front Matter

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-6

This is the fourth volume to be published under the aegis of the Association for Israel Studies which brings together scholars from a variety of disciplines and perspectives in reviewing recent work on modern Israel. The previous volumes in this series, all published by the State University of New York Press, are: ...

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Part I: The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Both scholars and practitioners of the art-and-science of conflict resolution have come to realize that conflicts often come in two parts. One part involves a disagreement by the parties over so-called "hard" resources or things that are typically scarce or not easily divisible, and subject to zero-sum calculations and materialist or realist theorizing. ...

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1. Water in the Arab-Israeli Struggle: Conflict or Cooperation?

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pp. 9-29

Although the struggle over water resources has been a feature of the Arab-Israeli conflict since its beginning, the phenomenon has only recently received serious academic attention. Whether the potential for conflict has actually increased or not, water scarcity has come to be perceived as a ...

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2. Dialogue and National Consensus in the Pre-Madrid Period: Dilemmas of Israeli and Palestinian Peace Activists

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pp. 30-50

These three books focus on the dilemma that Israeli and Palestinian activists have faced in their efforts to create and maintain a dialogue for peace between their communities. Most of the authors' interviews were conducted between 1988 and 1991, shortly after the Palestinian Intifada erupted and before the beginning of the current peace process. ...

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Part II: Society and Government

For a long time, the academic study of Israeli government and politics focused exclusively on the national levels of Knesset, cabinet, and parties. Academics could argue that this was, after all, where the action was-certainly not on the local levels of city, neighborhood, or ward. Increasingly this self-imposed limitation to the study of politics has become indefensible, ...

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3. Neighborhood Renewal through the Establishment and through Protest

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pp. 53-73

The Israeli political system has been led since its inception by a powerful central government burdened with national tasks in defense, economy, and immigrant absorption. Hence, Israeli social scientists, preoccupied with the salient characteristics of their own political system, ...

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4. Israeli Courts and Cultural Adaptation

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pp. 74-92

In the summer of 1994, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that two members of the Knesset, who had broken with the party they had been elected to represent, could not become cabinet ministers or deputies. This was an interpretation of a Basic Law: Knesset provision. (The subject matter of Basic-Laws is a sort of constitution in parts, ...

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5. Modern Jerusalem: Politics, Planning, People

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pp. 93-112

Jerusalem is undoubtedly one of the most written about cities in the world. Between the 1840s and the early twentieth century, some five thousand books were written about the modern city. or how it has supposedly "degenerated" from its biblical glory. ...

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Part III: Religion

Continuing the theme of decentralization or a return to local-level issues, the three essays in this section all deal with aspects of Judaism as revealed in the works and lives of a single scholar (Zvi Zoharl. a single community (Walter Zenner's Aram Sob a-Aleppo-transplanted to Israel). ...

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6. Sephardic Religious Thought in Israel: Aspects of the Theology of Rabbi Haim David HaLevi

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pp. 115-136

In recent years. the electoral successes of Israel's SHAS party have drawn attention to the resilience of Sephardic ethnic religiosity - or religious ethnicity? - in Israel. This resilience is all the more remarkable. in that it has emerged despite what many writers have seen as a determined establishment policy. ...

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7. Remembering the Sages of Aram Saba (Aleppo)

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pp. 137-151

Among the biases have which marked the social scientiflc study of Israeli ethnicity and religion have been ...

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8. Localizing Israeli Judaism

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pp. 152-168

Referring to the study of Muslim society, Ernest Gellner wrote. ...

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Part IV: Literature and Culture

In some ways, this final section of Books on Israel, volume 4, contains, as a group, the most "critical" of all the critical essays. Are we to be surprised that it is in some of the arts - literature, memoir, and cinema - that critical attitudes are expressed, as in the films described by Gertz) - or brought forth, as in Lahav's rather cutting reading of the generals' memoirs? ...

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9. Israeli Military Leadership During the Yom Kippur War: Reflections on the Art of Reflection

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pp. 171-186

Shortly after the Six-Day War, Elie Wiesel interviewed Colonel Mordechai Gur, commander of the paratroopers who liberated the Western Wall in old Jerusalem. The following exchange took place between the Jewish intellectual and the Israeli commander: 1 ...

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10. Sifrut HaMa'abarah (Transit Camp Literature): Literature of Transition

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pp. 187-207

The crises which Eli Amir describes were shared U by many upon their arrival to Israel during the period of mass immigration in 1948 to 1951. From their own experiences-and those of their friends. relatives and neighbors - comes the subgenre of immigrant literature - Sifrut Hama 'abarah (transit camp literature) - a sub genre concerned with the moment of conjunction ...

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11. Historical Memory: Israeli Cinema and Literature in the 19801s and 1990s

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pp. 208-226

During the 1970s and 1980s, the political Right gained the upper hand in Israel. As the Right ascended, so did the views that the country's isolation in the world was permanent, and that Israeli society must rely on armed force and resign itself to a permanent state of war. Although Leftist circles opposed these conceptions, ...

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. 227-229


E-ISBN-13: 9780791495452
E-ISBN-10: 0791495450
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791432532
Print-ISBN-10: 079143253X

Page Count: 229
Publication Year: 1997

Series Title: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Series Editor Byline: Russell Stone