Contributions to this section include Tomer Persiko, Zionism as an Extremist Nationalism - Neoliberalism and Racial Centralism; Daneil Rosenberg, “Cultural” Strategy of the New Israeli Right Wing; Ofri Ilany, The State of the Likud: On the Image of Political Culture in Contemporary Israel; and Avi Shilon, Renewable Israeli-Jewish Identity: On Religion, Likud, Revisionism, Messianism, and Naftali Bennett!
In addition to these contributions, the section includes an interview with journalist Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, author of Countries, Alliance, on why the Jews do not have a secular Jewish state of their own. The interview is conducted by At Tayyeb Ghanim.
This issue of Qadaya Israeliya features three articles. Entitled Israeli Archaeology and Displaced Palestinian Villages, the first article is written by archaeologists Gideon Solimani and Raz Kletter. Professor Menachem Klein writes on The Arab Jews in Palestine. Addressing results of the recent Israeli elections, The 2015 Knesset Elections: Structural Changes and Socio-Political Alignments is authored by Professor Muhannad Mustafa.
Conducted by Antoine Shulhut and Bilal Dhaher, Qadaya Israeliya 57 includes a special interview with Yoram Meital, Professor of History of the Middle East at Beersheba University. Meital asserts that Israel is heading towards more extremism. Adherence to calls for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State implies that the Israeli society has decided that the State of Israel is nothing more than a ghetto.
In the From Archive corner, Qadaya Israeliya 57 exhibits a copy of the 1971 conversation between former Israeli Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan and French philosopher Herbert Marcuse.
In Readings, Farid Ghannam makes a critical presentation on a new Israeli book Religion and State in Israel, authored by Danny Statman, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa and Gideon Sapir, Professor of Law at the Bar-Ilan University. Halima Abu Haniya presents a reading of Gil Eyal, The Disenchantment of the Orient: Expertise in Arab Affairs and the Israeli State, translated by the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) in 2009.
Tomer Persiko, Zionism as an extremist nationalism - neoliberalism and racial centrism
This article provides a structural description of causes of the transformation of Zionism from a major, comprehensive narrative with nationalistic-socialist features into a national mask, behind which racial centrism and embracement of Jewish tradition often loom. Persiko presents a detailed description of the status of Zionism today, essentially within the Zionist-religious current. Perisko claims that the classical Zionist narrative (of the Jewish national movement from Mapai towards reformists) has collapsed and fallen apart, and so has the Kookian Zionist-religious narrative (named after Rabbi Kook). On the other hand, Zionism as it is today is - an extremist, centric, racial, nationalistic vision that is grounded in a traditional Jewish folklore – is the alternative which constitutes a cheap and fragile alternative of the original concepts held by the secular right wing as well as the religious right wing.
Daneil Rosenberg, “Cultural” strategy of the new Israeli right wing
Rosenberg is of the view that the success scored by the Israeli right wing cannot be attributed to a single factor. It is hard to underestimate other elements, including the rise of radical, political and economic Islamic groups as well as the weakness and political confusion of the left wing. This article also sheds light on the developments, which have been scarcely discussed in the Israeli political culture. These include ideological transformations within the non-parliamentary, right-wing civil society in Israel.
Ofri Ilany, The state of the Likud: On the image of political culture in contemporary Israel
This investigation stresses that the current historical moment furnishes an opportunity to examine the nature of the Likud government and the political culture it is grounded in. Firstly, we need to inquire about what can be said about the Likud, so that our statement is different from ordinary and general critique in relation to the “Zionism”. In contrast with the Mapai’s Zionist ideology, Ilany seeks to illustrate characteristics of fundamental components of the ideology and view of history from the standpoint of the Likud.
Avi Shilon, The renewable Israeli-Jewish identity: On religion, Likud, Revisionism, Messianism, and Naftali Bennett!
Shilon reviews differences between the Likud of yesterday and the Likud of today. According to Shilon, the Likud leaders who succeeded Menachem Begin - namely Shamir, Sharon, Netanyahu and Olmert - did not have a real connection to religion. Their lifestyle is basically secular. A resulting vacuum has been exploited by the Jewish Home party and its current leader Naftali Bennett. The latter has managed to offer a new combination of religion, nationalism and neoliberalism in Israel.
Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, author of Countries, Alliance
Why do the Jews not have a secular Jewish state of their own? (by At Tayyeb Ghanayim)
Yeshua-Lyth is an Israeli journalist. She worked for years at the Maariv newspaper and travelled as a delegated journalist to several Western countries. After she retired, Yeshua-Lyth has taken over a plethora of political activities within existing frameworks. She has also created other frameworks with activists who carry on the same political concern with Israel’s current and future identity as well as with all that is related to the one- or two-state solution.
Gideon Solimani and Raz Kletter, Israeli archaeology and displaced Palestinian villages
In May 1964, a university student at the Archaeology Department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem submitted to his professor a research project proposal for examination of displaced Arab villages and currently populated Arab towns and villages. Lately, Solimani and Kletter found a copy of the proposal at the Archaeology Archive in Jerusalem. As this proposal (research) is a rare certificate (document), the authors deemed it significant to reproduce a full and literal presentation of this project. In this article, Solimani and Kletter assert that Israeli archaeology, equipped with expertise and research methods, has worked in opposite directions at the same time. On the one hand, Israeli archaeologists carried out excavations, documentation and publication of the distant past which dates thousands of year back but still close to one’s heart. On the other hand, these archaeologists have neglected and concealed another temporally close past, though distant from one’s heart.
Yoram Meital, Professor of Middle East Studies at Beersheba University, The Israeli society has decided that its state be a “ghetto”, nothing more! (by Antoine Shulhut and Bilal Dhaher)
Professor of History of the Middle East at Beersheba University Yoram Meital stresses that Israel is heading towards more extremism. Adherence to calls for recognition of Israel as a Jewish State implies that the Israeli society has decided that the State of Israel is nothing more than a ghetto. Meital believes that Benyamin Netanyahu’s position, which considers that a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a nation-state of the Jewish people is cornerstone of peace, unveils the ideological basis of the Prime Minister. Like the majority of Israelis, Netanyahu thinks that the general Arab opposition of this demand is sceptic of the mere existence of the State of Israel. It reflects a principal opposition to recognise Israel’s sovereignty. According to Netanyahu, the demand to recognise Israel as a Jewish state indicates three primary implications. Firstly, the legitimacy of demands to recognise the historical right of Palestinians to their homeland, or at least a major portion thereof, is revoked. Secondly, an introduction of the Israeli demand in political negotiations casts doubts on the Palestinians’ position on their sovereignty over part of Jerusalem, particularly the “Al-Haram Al-Sharif” - the Temple Mount. Thirdly, a harsh message is sent through Netanyahu’s demand to Palestinian citizens in Israel, expressing a denial, especially of their association with their historic homeland.
Muhannad Mustafa, The 2015 Knesset Elections: Structural Changes and Socio-Political Alignments
This examination analyses results of the recent Israeli elections and compares respective implications to previous elections. Mustafa pays special attention to the election mobility during the electoral campaign.
Mustafa concludes that results of the recent elections in Israel unveil a structural political scene within the Israeli partisan system. Called in political literature as the “dominant partisan apparatus”, this is a political system that envisages a camp of parties which are led by a central party. The latter is the only party which is capable of ruling over the country and forming the government.
Menachem Klein, The Arab Jews in Palestine
In reference of the daily life of ordinary citizens, Klein is of the view that the bred Arab-Jewish identity had existed in Palestine in the late 19th century and well before any of Pan-Arab or Jewish national movements were initiated. After they emerged, this identity competed with the Arab or Jewish national movements, keeping faith to relevant authentic members. The Arab-Jewish identity was part of Palestine’s modernised, rather than old, system. This identity was diffuse in mixed neighbourhoods, religious festivals, languages, schools, and coffee shops.
From the Archive
Zvi Tauber, The Philosopher and the General – A conversation between Moshe Dayan and Herbert Marcuse
A copy of the 1971 conversation between former Israeli Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan and French philosopher Herbert Marcuse (a three-page document printed on a typewriter). According to the prelude to the document, the conversation had been supposed to be attached to Moshe Dayan’s diary. However, the conversation did not feature an exchange of pleasantries, either at the beginning or at the end. It seems that the document only records the statements, which seemed to Dayan to be significant for his diary. Later, the conversation provided the basis for the autobiography of the Israeli Minister of Defence.
Farid Ghanim, Between liberalism, theocracy and national intolerance
In spite of the prevalent general impression that separation of religion of the state in Israel was subject to adequate and comprehensive research or has by now been an exhausted issue, the Religion and State in Israel draws attention to key and wide gaps in relevant Israeli philosophical and legal literature. Authored by Danny Statman, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa, and Gideon Sapir, Professor of Law at the Bar-Ilan University, this book attempts to bridge this gap, or at least aspires to open all channels relating to this theme. It stimulates scholars to collect insights, and consequently draw paths to examine all aspects of this issue systematically and in line with clear criteria. In light of a broad preoccupation with this topic, however, it might be said that the book is the first to aspire - with marked success - to introduce this subject both comprehensively and systematically.
Library: A synopsis of most recent Israeli publications