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Bringing Politics Back In

Embedded Neoliberalism in Israel during Rabin's Second Government

Arie Krampf, Uri Ansenberg, and Barak Zur

Abstract

This article makes an empirical and historical contribution regarding the role of the Labor Party government between 1992 and 1996—Yitzhak Rabin's government—in shaping the Israeli path to neoliberalism. The article argues that Rabin's government developed a new neoliberal political-economic logic that differed from the political-economic logic of the Emergency Stabilization Plan as well as from the political-economic logic of Sharon's government in the post-Intifada era. It argues that Rabin's government's political-economic logic conforms to the notion of ‘embedded neoliberalism’ (Bohle and Greskovits 2012). The article also argues that political parties had greater impact on the Israeli neoliberal path than is conventionally claimed. The historical analysis is based on qualitative and quantitative research in six policy areas: supply-side, demand-side, welfare and redistribution, development, depoliticization and democratization.

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“The Chain of Hebrew Soldiers”

Reconsidering “Religionization” within an IDF Bible Seminar

Nehemia Stern, Uzi Ben-Shalom, Udi Lebel, and Batia Ben-Hador

Abstract

This article presents an ethnographic analysis of the educational and religious tensions that emerged during a five-day biblical seminar run by the Israel Defense Forces’ Identity and Jewish Consciousness Unit. We argue that despite the official focus on professionalization as a pedagogical parameter, the seminar participants themselves reacted to biblical narratives in ways that indicate a distinct kind of personal and individualized discourse. By focusing on this disjuncture, we highlight the very real limitations larger (governmental or civilian) institutional entities face as they attempt to shape religious attitudes within the Israeli public arena. Examining how seminar participants interpret biblical narratives can enable scholars to portray a more nuanced account of how religion and “religionization” function within the Israel Defense Forces.

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Editors’ Note

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelson-Maoz

We are pleased to introduce the second issue of 2022. Several of the articles in this issue are marked by their policy relevance. The article by Arie Krampf, Uri Ansenberg, and Barak Zur examines the role played by the Labor Party government between 1992 and 1996 to guide Israel onto a neoliberal economic path. The authors coin the term “embedded neoliberalism” to explain the interaction between pro-market and anti-market influences, yielding a peculiar type of neoliberal order in Israel. Examining social work education of Palestinian female students in Israel, the article by Haneen Elias and Ronit Reuven Even-Zahav identifies the significance of context-informed education that integrates the intersectional position of Palestinian students. Finally, Erez Cohen's article identifies incompatibilities between existing public policy pertaining to post-retirement employment and the real-life needs of elderly people, suggesting a need for reform.

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Empathy and Personal Distress toward Outgroup Members, Attachment, and Traumatic National Narrative

A Comprehensive Model of Israeli Students

Sarit Alkalay, Anat Itzhak-Fishman, and Ohad Marcus

Abstract

This study investigates empathy toward Israeli Arabs among Jewish students in Israel. Our model shows that elevated levels of attachment-related anxiety are associated with greater personal distress elicited by Arab suffering. Perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic had a negative effect on empathy toward Arabs, while attachment-related anxiety and perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic were positively linked and empathy and personal distress toward Arabs were positively linked. Political views mediated the link between perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic and empathy toward Arabs. We propose that diminishing the traumatic intensity of the Jewish national narrative may serve to increase intergroup empathy.

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The Importance of Public Policy for Regulating Post-Retirement Employment in Israel

Erez Cohen

Abstract

The accelerated and consistent rise in life expectancy and the growing needs of elderly people who are required to support themselves for more years are leading to a conspicuous increase in the number of older workers who choose to remain in the labor market after reaching the official retirement age. The study indicates the distinct incompatibility between this policy and the needs of post-retirement age employees and proposes a list of changes aimed at adapting the policy to the current reality. The study stresses the significance of efficient public policy operating to regulate post-retirement employment for Israeli society in general and for older employees in particular. The research conclusions can contribute to shaping global public policy concerning the employment of older people.

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Leaving the Margins

Promoting a Context-Informed Perspective in Social Work Education among Palestinian Female Students in Israeli Academia

Haneen Elias and Ronit Reuven Even-Zahav

Abstract

This article presents a qualitative study of nineteen Palestinian female students in Israel. In doing so, it promotes a context-informed approach in social work education, which takes into account power relations, issues of gender, and socio-political and socio-cultural backgrounds. The students participated in a context-informed course held at Ruppin Academic Center in Israel. The findings focus on two contexts in the students’ lives: (1) their socio-cultural background, which includes their family and cultural space; and (2) the socio-political context, which includes majority-minority relations. A discussion on the intersection of these two spheres follows. Whereas students felt the socio-political realm was blind to their identity as Palestinian female students, they felt that the course was like their ‘home’ in terms of language and identity.

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Looking at Zionism from New and Challenging Perspectives

Avi Shilon

David Ohana, Jacqueline Kahanoff: The Levantine [In Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Carmel Publishing House, 2022), 350 pp. Hardback, $25.00.

Shaul Magid, Meir Kahane: The Public Life and Political Thought on an American Jewish Radical (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2021), 296 pp. Hardback, $35.00.

Johannes Becke, The Land beyond the Border: State Formation and Territorial Expansion in Syria, Morocco, and Israel (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2021), 286 pp. Paperback, $31.95.

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To Be a Teacher, a Wife and Mother, and a Zionist Culture Creator in the Pre-State Era

Tali Tadmor-Shimony and Nirit Raichel

Abstract

Following earlier studies on progressive education, nation-building, and women teachers’ history, this article examines the lives of four women during the period of the Yishuv who cultivated professional identities while also raising families. All four strove to educate students according to their own pedagogical visions despite a lack of appropriate educational means. The four women teachers faced the challenge and created educational tools based on artistic tendencies, such as dancing, composing poems, and writing prose and poetry. By doing so, they formed a basis for a new Hebrew heritage. Their artistic activities served as a source of innovative pedagogy and received public approval for their contributions to the nation-building enterprise. Professional status empowered them to create a model for career-minded women whose society presented them with a choice between motherhood and professional fulfillment.

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Book Reviews

Dov Waxman, Eitan Bar-Yosef, Adi Sherzer, Abraham Silberstein, and Csaba Nikolenyi

Nir Kedar, David Ben-Gurion and the Foundation of Israeli Democracy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2021), 253 pp. Paperback, $35.00.

Naphtaly Shem-Tov, Israeli Theatre: Mizrahi Jews and Self-Representation (London: Routledge, 2021), 202 pp. Hardback, $128.00.

Mira Sucharov, Borders and Belonging: A Memoir (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), 183 pp. Paperback, $44.99.

Lori Allen, A History of False Hope: Investigative Commissions in Palestine (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2020), 432 pp. Paperback, $30.00.

Yael S. Aronoff, Ilan Peleg, and Saliba Sarsar, eds. Continuity and Change in Political Culture: Israel and Beyond. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2020), 257 pp. Hardcover, $105.00.

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Editors’ Note

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelson-Maoz

We are appreciative of the supportive feedback we received on our inaugural issue as editors. The positive response to the roundtable on COVID-19 has been heartening, bolstering our commitment to bring forth scholarly forums and debates from multiple disciplines on the most pertinent issues facing Israeli society. We would like to encourage further involvement of our readers. Please send us ideas regarding themes for forums, roundtables, and special issues. Moreover, a short commentary section, in the form of “letters to the editors,” will be introduced in an upcoming issue. This new section will allow academic comments on articles that have been published and thus facilitate scholarly debate on current research.