This issue contains several articles and research studies that examine the subject of the millet system from several angles. Researcher Gal Amir offers us a historical overview of the millet system beginning with its Ottoman roots and through its transformations during the British Mandate in Palestine, and down to the period of the state of Israel. The researcher explain the logic behind the establishment of the millet system and its basic structures.
Professor Michael Karayanni presents us with an extensive article about the Adoption of Children Law in Israel, which prohibits parents from adopting a child from a different religious sect. While the article posits that this law is, in essence, an expression of the Jewish fear of integrating with other religious sects, it further describes how this fear was transmitted to the entire Israeli society where the law also prohibits a Christian family from adopting a Muslim child.
Moussa Abou Ramadan’s article is a historical-legal study that illustrates the role of law in the formulation of identities and in drawing their boundaries by taking the case of the Druze experience in Israel. In particular, he analyzes the formation process of what is referred to as the “Druze Particularity” throughout the state-building period.
Researcher Areen Hawwari demonstrates in her article the links between national questions and Feminist questions and their intersecting agendas when discussing matters in Personal Status Laws. She highlights the various considerations that affect the formulation of the Palestinian women’s movement within Israel and the many challenges it faces in its practices and choices.
In his article, Alif Sabbagh presents us with a case study that sheds light on the conflicting relationship between the Orthodox Church and the Greek Patriarchate, the Orthodox Arab-Christian community, and the State of Israel. The study reveals the nature of the alliances that the Greek Patriarchate establishment forms with the state of Israel in confrontation with the Arab-Christian community.
This issue also contains several studies and articles addressing important topics that mirror critical developments taking place in the Israeli society. Readers will also find that these articles offer tools that serve to assist in analyzing basic trends and the course of change in this society.
Majd Kayyal explores in “Nashat Melhem and the Mosaics of the American Dream” how the Israeli media coverage of Nashaat Melhem’s shooting attack could be seen as a reflection of two competing tracks in Israeli policy. While these tracks may appear as contradictory, they are in fact harmonious in their essence.
Moreover, Kayyal considers that the media coverage of the attack constituted a continuation of the last Parliamentary Elections period were politics was divided over Netanyahu’s ideology and performance. Thus, by identifying these tracks and their underlying impact, Netanyahu’s remarks and political steps fall within a systematic context that transcend being mere “electoral opportunism,” and fit into his desired changes in the Israeli government regime.
In “Israel’s Gas: Billions for the Oligarchy and the Pretexts are “Political and Security”,” Journalist Barhoum Jraisi outlines the controversy taking place in Israel regarding the terms of the natural gas development deals which Israel controls in the Mediterranean sea. At the center of this controversy is the tens of billions of dollars that monopolizing companies will be making in profit while the public
Treasury’s share will be significantly less. The article monitors the development of this case in recent years and explains their long-term political and economic impact on the Israeli society and on relations with regional countries.
This issue is publishing the third part of Yousef Shayeb’s study “The “New Directors” in Israel: Revealing the Unseen,” which centers around the unique and rich cinematic experience of Israeli director critic Amos Gitai, who could be considered amongst the most prominent “New Directors” in Israel. What distinguishes these directors is their attempt at deconstructing the Zionist tale through their films, a tale that has been creeping into the Israeli society in recent years. The third part of Shayeb’s study analyzes some of Gitai’s best films such as Ana Arabia, Thulathiyat Al-Wadi, and Thulathiyat Al-Taharror and others in order to highlight the director’s change in vision for the future of Israeli society. While his earlier films depicted an optimistic view of the future characterized by the possibility of co-existence and respect for diversity, his latest films reveal that he has given up on this vision.
The issue is also presenting an exclusive interview carried out by Anton Shulhut and Belal Daher with Yagil Levy, an Israeli lecturer and writer on the relationship between the Israeli army, politics, and society. The interview addresses emerging trends in Israeli society such as the ‘theocratization’ of the Israeli military in recent years through the increasing presence of national-religious Israeli Jews in the ranks of the military, and which in turn resulted in Rabbis’ active interference in military decisions; the militarization of Israeli life and thought; and the role of the Israel security establishment—most notably the Shabak, Mossad, and police—in political life. When asked about the possibilities of change in this current political situation, Levy asserts that “change will occur when occupation becomes costly, and it will become costly when Palestinians change their modes of action, or when the world takes a different stance on Israel. But this is not something I wish upon because the price will be too costly. We are witnessing what could be seen as some indicators of hope; and not necessarily from the BDS movement alone, but from greater
European pressures and from Americans placing conditions on their support to Israel.”
As always, each issue contains fixed sections: Selections from the Zionist Archive, Book Reviews, and a Library. In the Zionist Archive, the reader will find an exclusive translation of an essay by David Ben Gurion in 1915 on the future of the Zionist project. Two books were reviewed for this issue: Talia Sasson’s “At the Edge of the Abyss” by Ali Haydar, and “Barak. Wars of My Life,” a biography of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud, by Maher Daoud. Finally, the library includes ten new Israeli publications covering a range of political, economic, and social topics in Israel.