The contributors to the first theme address the war on Gaza and its political and international implications. The papers cover Israel, the world and the war on Gaza, academic institutions’ involvement in the war, and Israeli perspectives on the war.
The second theme is covered by four articles written by activists, academics and advocates. The articles offer a detailed exanimation of women’s rights in Israel, of the prevention of sexual harassment law, of women and feminist’s organizations in the 48 areas, and a joint vision of Palestinian and Mizrahi Jewish women.
An exclusive interview is featured in this volume with Gideon Levy, a prominent Israeli journalist who states that the two-state solution is no longer applicable as an answer to the struggles between Israel and Palestine.
The current volume also presents two exclusive translations, the first of which is of Hannah Arendt’s article titled “To Save the Jewish Homeland”. This article examines the 1947 UN Partition plan of Palestine, and preceded by an introduction that highlights the importance of understanding the discussions that took place among different Jews from different cultural streams in Europe on the “Jewish Cause” and its contradictions and historical transformations. The second article is by the Israeli researcher Shimoel Even. The article reviews the military secretary position in Israel and analyses its characteristics. He also provides recommendations in order to reform the position.
Finally, a library as well as a review to a research tilted “The Israeli Academic Institution”, publish by MADAR in 2014, are presented in this volume.
Atef Abu Seif, Israel, the world, and the offensive on Gaza
This treatise explores positions of various countries towards the Israeli offensive on Gaza. To help understand the essence, nature and causes of these positions, Abu Seif particularly focuses on the major powers concerned with the region. The article identifies deeper transformations beyond these apparent positions. In his opinion, Abu Seif argues that these are a proof positive of the status of Israel’s international relations as well as the positions of countries towards the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Muhannad Mustafa, The Israeli academic institution and the war on Gaza: Redrawing the boundaries of academic freedom
In particular relation to the freedom of expression and academic freedom, this article analyses behaviour of the Israeli academic institution during the war on Gaza. Mustafa argues that this institution has neither shown a different or critical discourse, nor has it allowed criticism during the war. On the contrary, pro-war views have been given a maximum space. Meantime, all other views were persecuted or constrained. Fortunately for the academic institution, the war was waged during university summer vacation. Mustafa thinks that this alleviated disputes, which would have emerged on campus. It also relieved universities of the burden of many behaviours, which university managements were thought to implement against critics or protestors, including (especially Arab) lecturers and students, had the war been launched during the academic year.
Wadee’ Awawdeh, Operation Protective Edge from an Israeli perspective
This report overviews reactions in Israel to the war of all levels. It attempts to come up with answers, however preliminary, to relevant questions as well as to explore key reactions to the war. Is the war a constituent event? Has the war initiated a new thinking in the political, military or strategic doctrine towards the conflict and future relationship with Gaza or with the National Authority and Palestinian people? Will the war - which the Israelis believe it has failed - to a political process? Politically, what options Israel has after the war? Will Israel seek a settlement of the conflict or uphold a strategy of conflict management?
Special Focus II
Women’s Movements and Feminism in Israel
Gila Stopler, Women’s rights... Law and justice in the State of Israel
Stopler asserts that the Israeli judicial apparatus, which reflects reconciliations and balances between various and contradictory theories and concepts that articulate themselves clearly in women’s rights, is not grounded in a logical, homogeneous concept and vision of justice. Justice is based on a selective set of topical settlements between social justice theories. These are usually inclined to weaken the weak women and strengthen the strong men. Each concept of justice - the collective, religious and national concept, liberal concept, and socialist concept - has a certain degree of patriarchal traits. Social reconciliations become patriarchal too if they contribute to consolidating men’s control, exploitation and persecution of women.
Abeer Baker, Prohibition of sexual abuse under the Israeli law and relevant consequences
This article sheds light on sexual abuse in Israel. Especially over the last decade, sexual abuse has transformed into a theme that preoccupied the public discourse. Baker highlights that, like all other societies, sexual abuse always takes place, but it has been excluded from, and silenced in, the public discourse. Such silencing only fractured in mid 1950s. The first feminist wave emerged in the context of liberal struggle for women’s right to vote at the beginning of the 20th century. The second feminist wave was concerned with sexual abuse. Women called for a prohibition of dealing with incidents in closed rooms (the office, house, military base) as a private issue that falls beyond community intervention. In these places, harm combines relations of control and power. It, therefore, requires an intervention that seeks to ensure societal justice and curb abuse of power.
Yifat Biton, Palestinian women and Jewish Sephardic women - A common feminist vision and hope for equality
Continued dominance of Ashkenazi women within the feminist movement in Israel is a reflection of power relations in the society as a whole. Sharing a “common geographical and cultural space”, the Jewish Sephardic group and Palestinian group live on the periphery and suffer from ethnic and national discrimination. Against his backdrop, Biton presumes a confluence of interests, which allows a joint feminist struggle that transcends the familiar pattern of activity. Instances of Jewish-Palestinian cooperation have been grounded in the precept of “saving” the Palestinian party by the strong party in the equation - the Jewish. Accordingly, instead of a separate struggle and with a view to making further achievements to enhance their status, Biton proposes frameworks of “Sephardic-Palestinian legal and judicial partnership through conformed interests of female partners in the struggle.”
Himmat Zu’bi, Women’s organisations and feminism in the 1948 territory
This examination traces emergence and evolution of women’s organisations and feminism in the 1948 territory. Presenting a historical overview of their emergence before the Nakba, Zu’bi overviews development of women’s organisations and feminism after Israel was established. The article reviews milestones in the course of women’s organisations and feminism, but highlights the influence of political, social and economic contexts on their intellectual development, and consequently forms of organisation and working mechanisms. Zu’bi also goes through achievements women’s organisations and feminists have made and the significant role they play within the Palestinian community. The article is concluded with some challenges that limit this sector’s capability of influence.
Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, The two-state solution is inapplicable and we have missed the train! (by Bilal Dhaher)
Israeli journalist Gideon Levy asserts, inter alia, that his radical thoughts only took shape after he started to visit the occupied territory during the first Intifada. Occupation is not present in Israel, and there are those who make sure that it is not present here. Palestinians are among the most tolerant peoples in history. Levy voices his doubts of whether there is a left wing in Israel. He emphasises that he would not panic if tens or hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees return to the State of Israel. Israel has already accommodated one million Russians, half of whom were not Jews. Nothing happened.
From the Archive
Hannah Arendt, To save the Jewish homeland (Preface by Honaida Ghanim)
A translation into Arabic of an important contribution by the renowned German Jewish scholar and theorist Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) on the 1947 UN Resolution on the Partition of Palestinian. Arendt’s intellectual contributions have a particular focus on understanding the mechanisms of authority, evolution and mechanisms of totalitarian regimes, revolution and violence. These are known to the Arab readership as Arendt’s works are translated into Arabic. However, Arendt’s writings on the Jewish question, Zionist movement and sharp critique of the efforts exerted to establish a national Jewish state in Palestine have not been translated into Arabic. These are pivotal to understand the debate between Jewish cultural currents in Europe over how to deal with the so-called “Jewish question” and track respective contradictions and historical transformations.
Shmuel Yeivin, The military secretary of the Prime Minister in the centre of security decisions in Israel
The military secretary of the Israeli Prime Minister is an officer with the rank of a general. He provides a connecting link between the Prime Minister, Israeli army, and other security agencies. In reality, the military secretary’s scope of work is much wider. This function is one of the most influential in the security decision-making process. As it is the case with the commanders of security agencies and Head of the National Security Council, the military secretary does not bear an official security responsibility in national security. Unlike these, however, the military secretary does not run a professional board. In addition to some overlapping areas, distribution of powers between the military security and Head of the National Security Council is unclear. In this article, Yeivin reviews and analyses the characteristics of functions delivered by the military secretary of the Prime Minister. He also explores disputes over the military secretary’s scope of work and high-level status. Yeivin concludes with recommendations tailored to regulate this position.
Amin Darawsheh, The structure and working mechanism of Israeli academic institutions
A preview of Muhannad Mustafa The Israeli Academic Institution (The Israeli Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR), 2014). Mustafa provides an overview of the evolution of Israeli universities and academia. The process started with the debate over the establishment of a Jewish institution for higher education in Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century and ended with the recognition of a university in the settlement of Ariel in 2013. The author presents three conceptual and theoretical frameworks to analyse evolution of Israeli universities, academia and higher education policies: (1) politics, (2) knowledge, and (3) economy or economic policies. These systems have played a central role in the development of higher education and academia as well as respective policies in Israel.
Library: A synopsis of most recent Israeli publications