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Diasporas as Audiences of Securitization

Jewish American Diaspora and BDS

Ronnie Olesker

Abstract

This study conceptually develops and analytically examines the role and function of diasporas as audiences in the securitization process by examining the American Jewish Diaspora in Israel's securitization of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). It argues that Israel's use of antisemitism as a metanarrative for the securitization of the BDS movement incorporates diasporic Jews as internal audiences in the securitization process. Audiences, however, are not monolithic. While homeland Jews, including both elites and the public, tend to support Israel's securitization process, American Jews are split; the elite support the process but public opinion is far less sympathetic to Israeli constructions of BDS as a threat. The disparity between audiences’ reactions weakens the support for Israel's counter-BDS policies and undermines its securitization process.

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Editors’ Note

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelsohn-Maoz

The current issue features a special section dedicated to the study of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. One would be hard-pressed to identify issues that currently stir more passionate contestation and stronger emotions in academic circles than the BDS campaign in the groves of academe. Views on this issue vary considerably and have been keenly articulated in multiple and diverse outlets. Some view BDS as a legitimate, nonviolent campaign in support of the Palestinians; some find it threatening to academic freedom; and some identify the singling out of Israel as an expression of antisemitism.

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Explaining Non-Diasporic Mobilizations for Distant Causes

A Comparative Study of the Palestinian and Kurdish Struggles

David Zarnett

Abstract

While the Palestinian struggle has received widespread support from non-Palestinian activists across North America and Europe, the Kurdish struggle in Turkey, which is similar to the Palestinian cause in important ways, has not received such extensive support from non-Kurdish activists. Existing explanations do not fully account for this difference. I argue that this variation in non-diasporic support is in part a product of the impact that differences between the Palestinian and Kurdish diasporas in the West have had on how each group has sought to mobilize grassroots support for their cause. The small size and internal divisions of the Palestinian diaspora incentivized Palestinian activists to focus on recruiting non-Palestinians, creating the conditions for their mobilization. The larger size and greater degree of organization of the Kurdish diaspora incentivized Kurdish activists to focus primarily on mobilizing their ethnic kin and less on recruiting non-Kurds, resulting in relatively little non-Kurdish support.

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A Game of Whac-A-Mole

The BDS Movement and Its Fluidity across International Political Opportunity Structures

Naama Lutz

Abstract

This article focuses on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement's utilization of ‘fluidity,’ conceptualized as the ability to adapt campaign tactics to multiple arenas and political opportunity structures simultaneously. Framing BDS as both a social movement and a transnational advocacy network, it demonstrates the movement's fluidity in the context of three campaigns: the campaign at the 65th FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) congress in 2015, which illustrates an ‘outsider’ strategy aimed at intergovernmental institutions; the 2014 Olive Declaration of municipalities endorsing BDS, which illustrates how local ‘insider’ campaigns can combine to create a translocal campaign; and the ‘Ferguson-Gaza moment’ in 2014, which illustrates how movements can engage at the level of civil society and embed themselves in the broader global justice movement.

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The Palestinians, Israel, and BDS

Strategies and Struggles in Wars of Position

Ian S. Lustick and Nathaniel Shils

Abstract

Israel and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) have been in conflict within one another for nearly two decades. In this article we compare trajectories of Palestinian-led BDS mobilization and Israeli-led counter-mobilization by deploying two theoretical perspectives, a rationalist, strategic learning model and a political competition model. We find that the difference in balance of power on each side between state and civil society led to strategic convergence by Israel in its counter-BDS efforts but not (yet at any rate) on the Palestinian side. We locate BDS as an example of a transnational boycott movement and identify patterns in its conflict with Israel observed in association with other such movements. Our analysis leads to an explanation of why both sides see the battles between them taking place in the United States and Europe as particularly crucial.

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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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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.

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Editors’ Note

Oded Haklai and Adia Mendelson-Maoz

We are honored to introduce our inaugural issue as editors of the Israel Studies Review. For just over a decade, the journal was in the most competent hands of Yoram Peri and Paul Scham and their team at the University of Maryland. Under their leadership, the journal changed its name, transitioned to three issues per year, and enhanced its status as a leading scholarly journal in the area of Israel Studies, providing a scholarly platform to a diverse array of perspectives from multiple disciplines. Yoram and Paul themselves built on the foundations laid by Ilan Peleg, who transformed the journal from a newsletter to a full-fledged, peer-reviewed academic periodical. We are fully cognizant of the very big shoes we have to fill!

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Editors' Note

Yoram Peri and Paul L. Scham

In the spring of 2011, the two of us took over the editorship of the newly renamed, and somewhat reshaped, official journal of the Association for Israel Studies. The former Israel Studies Forum thus became Israel Studies Review. The current issue is the last that we will be editing, after 25 issues comprising over 200 articles written by almost as many different authors, some of whom were chosen by more than a dozen guest editors who produced our special issues. About two hundred colleagues wrote book reviews and review essays, and many more have served as peer reviewers of articles submitted to us for publication.

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Israel as a Case Study in Processes of Nation-Building

Avi Bareli and Tal Elmaliach

The process of nation- and state-building in Israel could be viewed as unique because of its pace and intensive character. This is evident in much that is related to immigration, forging cultural coherence, the establishment of institutions, and the like. However, the extreme characteristics of its development also make Israel a valuable case study for a theoretical or comparative discussion because those conditions allow for a clear view of various social, cultural, and political aspects of nation-building. Therefore, using Israel as a case study can corroborate, refute, or challenge assumptions, patterns of analysis, or conceptions and terminologies in theories and models used in the humanities or the social sciences for understanding processes of nation-building.