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Area and Ethnic Studies > Middle Eastern Studies

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Critical Essays on Israeli Society, Religion, and Government Cover

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Critical Essays on Israeli Society, Religion, and Government

Books on Israel, Volume IV

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.

Cross on the Star of David Cover

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Cross on the Star of David

The Christian World in Israel's Foreign Policy, 1948-1967

Uri Bialer

The official establishment of the State of Israel in May 1948 constituted the realization of the Zionist vision, but military victory left in its wake internal and external survival issues that would threaten this historic achievement for decades to come. The refusal of the international community to recognize the political, geographic, and demographic results of the War of Independence presented Israel with a permanent regional security threat, while isolating and alienating it in the international arena. One of the most formidable problems Israeli foreign policy faced was the stance of the Christian world toward the new state. Attitudes ranged from hostility and categorical non-recognition by the Catholic Church, through Protestant ambivalence, to Evangelical support. Cross on the Star of David presents the first scholarly analysis, based on newly declassified documents, of Israeli policymaking on this issue. Uri Bialer focuses on the impact that modes of thinking rooted in the historical tradition of Jewish-Christian interactions had on Israeli policymakers and concludes that they were not innocent of the perceptions and biases that influenced the Christian world's behavior toward Israel. The result is a fine-grained, original interpretation of an important dimension of Israeli foreign policy from the founding of the State to the 1967 War.

Defending the Holy Land Cover

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Defending the Holy Land

A Critical Analysis of Israel's Security and Foreign Policy

Zeev Maoz

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.

Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey Cover

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Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey

By Ergun Özbudun, Ömer F. Genckaya

Explores and illustrates how domestic and international factors shape the direction of democratization process with special reference to constitution making process in Turkey. Describes how all five Turkish constitutions were, by and large, the products of indigenous effort, although borrowing could be felt in certain limited areas. Argues that the constitutional reforms in the post-1983 period were the outco me of broad inter-party negotiations and agree ments as a response to the society’s demands for a more democratic and liberal political system. Finally, the constitutional revisions adopted since 1995 were strongly conditioned by Turkey’s hope of accession to the European Union. With these reforms, Turkey was successful in meeting the political criteria and started accession negotiations with the EU.

Despair and Deliverance Cover

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Despair and Deliverance

Private Salvation in Contemporary Israel

The author examines the varieties of religious and secular salvation that have recently appeared in Israel as evidence for Israelis’ willingness to embrace private salvation in the face of immense cultural upheavals. Drawing on interviews, field observations, clinical data, and media reports collected over ten years, he surveys four roads to private salvation: the return to Judaism, new religions (sects or cults), psychotherapy movements such as est, and occultism. These dramatic forms of conversion are unique to Israeli society within the last decade, and Beit-Hallahmi provides a social history and social psychology of this transformation.

Dialogue, Conflict Resolution, and Change Cover

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Dialogue, Conflict Resolution, and Change

Arab-Jewish Encounters in Israel

Explores Arab-Jewish encounters and relations in Israel from both conflict resolution and educational perspectives. This is the first study to introduce the subject of Arab-Jewish relations and encounters in Israel from both conflict resolution and educational perspectives. Through a critical examination of Arab and Jewish encounter programs in Israel, the book reviews conflict resolution and intergroup theories and processes which are utilized in dealing with ethnic conflicts and offers a detailed presentation of intervention models applied by various encounter programs to promote dialogue, education for peace, and democracy between Arabs and Jews in Israel. The author investigates how encounter designs and processes can become part of a control system used by the dominant governmental majority’s institutes to maintain the status quo and reinforce political taboos. Also discussed are the different conflict perceptions held by Arabs and Jews, the relationship between those perceptions, and both sides’ expectations of the encounters. Abu-Nimer explores the impact of the political context (Intifada, Gulf War, and peace process) on the intervention design and process of those encounter groups, and contains a list of recommendations and guidelines to consider when designing and conducting encounters between ethnic groups. He reveals and explains why the Arab and Jewish encounter participants and leaders have different criteria of their encounter’s success and failure. The study is also applicable to dialogue and coexistence programs and conflict resolution initiatives in other ethnically divided societies, such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Sri Lanka, where the minority and majority have struggled to find peaceful ways to coexist.

Displaced at Home Cover

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Displaced at Home

Ethnicity and Gender among Palestinians in Israel

Groundbreaking essays by Palestinian women scholars on the lives of Palestinians within the state of Israel. Most media coverage and research on the experience of Palestinians focuses on those living in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, while the sizable minority of Palestinians living within Israel rarely garners significant academic or media attention. Offering a rich and multidimensional portrait of the lived realities of Palestinians within the state of Israel, Palestinians in Israel Revisited gathers a group of Palestinian women scholars who present unflinching critiques of the complexities and challenges inherent in the lives of this understudied but important minority within Israel. The essays here engage topics ranging from internal refugees and historical memory to women’s sexuality and the resistant possibilities of hip hop culture among young Palestinians. Unique in the collection is sustained attention to gender concerns, which have tended to be subordinated to questions of nationalism, statehood, and citizenship. The first collection of its kind in English, Palestinians in Israel Revisited presents on-the-ground examples of the changing political, social and economic conditions of Palestinians in Israel, and examines how global, national, and local concerns intersect and shape their daily lives.

The Divergence of Judaism and Islam Cover

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The Divergence of Judaism and Islam

Interdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil

Edited by Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev

A companion volume to The Convergence of Judaism and Islam, this collection of essays explores the Jewish-Muslim relationship from the nineteenth century to the present. While that earlier work focused on the shared cultures and often peaceful relations between the two religions in the medieval and early modern periods, this book reveals how the paths of Jews and Muslims began to diverge two centuries ago.

The essays in this volume examine how each group reacted quite differently to colonial rule, how the Palestine Question and the Arab-Israeli crisis have soured relations, and how the rise of nationalism has contributed to the growing tensions. With contributors from a wide variety of scholarly disciplines, this book offers a broad but in-depth analysis of the Jewish-Muslim relationship in recent times.

A Documentary History of Modern Iraq Cover

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A Documentary History of Modern Iraq

Stacy E. Holden

Previously published histories and primary source collections on the Iraqi experience tend to be topically focused or dedicated to presenting a top-down approach. By contrast, Stacy Holden's A Documentary History of Modern Iraq gives voice to ordinary Iraqis, clarifying the experience of the Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Jews, and women over the past century.

Through varied documents ranging from short stories to treaties, political speeches to memoirs, and newspaper articles to book excerpts, the work synthesizes previously marginalized perspectives of minorities and women with the voices of the political elite to provide an integrated picture of political change from the Ottoman Empire in 1903 to the end of the second Bush administration in 2008. Covering a broad range of topics, this bottom-up approach allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the lives of everyday Iraqis as they navigate regime shifts from the British to the Hashemite monarchy, the political upheaval of the Persian Gulf wars, and beyond. Brief introductions to each excerpt provide context and suggest questions for classroom discussion.

This collection offers raw history, untainted and unfiltered by modern political framework and thought, representing a refreshing new approach to the study of Iraq.

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Dreaming of Baghdad

Haifa Zangana, Foreword by Hamid Dabashi, Afterword by Ferial J. Ghazoul

Haifa Zangana was a member of a left-wing group of Iraqis who organized in the 1970s to oppose the Baath Party and its charismatic leader, Saddam Hussein. Zangana was captured, imprisoned, and tortured in Abu Ghraib. In this memoir that describes her arrest, imprisonment and eventual forced exile, she describes life in an Iraq she can never return to, an Iraq that now no longer exists.

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