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Avi Shilon

Ehud Olmert, In Person [in Hebrew] (Tel Aviv: Yedioth Ahronoth Books, 2018), 896 pp. Hardback, $42.00.

Avi Gil, The Peres Formula: Diary of a Confidant [in Hebrew] (Modi’in: Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, 2018), 368 pp. Hardback, $28.00.

Ehud Barak, My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2018), 496 pp. Hardback, $29.99.

Anshel Pfeffer, Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu (London: Hurst, 2018), 432 pp. Hardback, $36.95. Kindle, $19.99.

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Marcos Mendoza, Sierra Ramirez, Antonia Sohns, Alex Souchen, Marcus Hamilton and Erika Techera

Barandiarán, Javiera. 2018. Science and Environment in Chile: The Politics of Expert Advice in a Neoliberal Democracy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 284 pp. ISBN: 978-0-262-53563-2.

Hoover, Elizabeth. 2017. The River Is in Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 360 pp. ISBN: 978-1-51790-303-9.

McKenzie, Matthew. 2018. Breaking the Banks: Representations and Realities in New England Fisheries, 1866–1966. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 224 pp. ISBN: 978-1-625-34391-8.

Sarathy, Brinda, Vivien Hamilton, and Janet Farrell, eds. 2018. Inevitably Toxic: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. 317 pp. ISBN: 978-0-822-94531-4.

Scott, James C. 2018. Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 336 pp. ISBN: 978-0-300-24021-4.

Westbrook, Vivienne, Shaun Collin, Dean Crawford and Mark Nicholls. 2018. Sharks in the Arts: From Feared to Revered. London: Routledge. 188 pp. ISBN: 978-1-138-92966-1.

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Kobi Michael, Rob Geist Pinfold, Nadav Shelef, Hayim Katsman, Paul L. Scham, Russell Stone, Haim Saadoun, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Tamar Hermann, Hanna Herzog, Sam Lehman-Wilzig and Ruvi Ziegler

Stuart A. Cohen and Aharon Klieman, eds., Routledge Handbook on Israeli Security (New York: Routledge, 2018), 350 pp. Hardback, $220.00.

Wendy Pearlman and Boaz Atzili, Triadic Coercion: Israel’s Targeting of States That Host Nonstate Actors (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), 367 pp. Hardback, $65.00.

Dmitry Shumsky, Beyond the Nation-State: The Zionist Political Imagination from Pinsker to Ben-Gurion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018), 320 pp. Hardback, $40.00.

Moshe Hellinger, Isaac Hershkowitz, and Bernard Susser, Religious Zionism and the Settlement Project: Ideology, Politics, and Civil Disobedience (New York: SUNY Press, 2018), 348 pp. Hardback, $95.00.

Avi Sagi and Dov Schwartz, Religious Zionism and the Six-Day War: From Realism to Messianism (New York: Routledge, 2018), 134 pp. Hardback, $140.00.

Yoav Peled and Horit Herman Peled, The Religionization of Israeli Society (New York: Routledge, 2018), 250 pp. Hardback, $150.00.

Joel Peters and Rob Geist Pinfold, eds., Understanding Israel: Political, Societal and Security Challenges (New York: Routledge, 2018), 292 pp. Hardback, $145.00. Paperback, $51.95. Kindle, $25.98.

Orit Bashkin, Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2017), 320 pp. Hardback, $85.00.

Shapiro Prize Winner: Diego Rotman, The Stage as a Temporary Home: On Dzigan and Shumacher’s Theater (1927–1980) [in Hebrew] (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2017), 354 pp. Paperback, $33.00.

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Capitalism, Kinship, and Fraud

The Case of Bernie Madoff

Sherry B. Ortner

Investment broker Bernie Madoff ran what is still considered the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding thousands of investors over a 20-year period of more than $20 billion. He worked his game almost entirely through kinship connections—relatives, friends of relatives, and relatives of friends. The relationship between kinship and capitalism has drawn renewed attention by anthropologists, part of a broader effort to rethink capitalism not as a free-standing ‘economy’ but as deeply embedded in a wide range of social relations. In this article I use the Madoff case to illustrate, and develop further, several aspects of the kinship/capitalism connection. I also consider briefly the boundary between fraud and ‘legitimate’ capitalism, which many economic historians consider a fuzzy boundary at best.

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A Case of Insult

Emotion, Law, and Witchcraft Accusations in a Botswana Village Customary Court

Pnina Werbner and Richard Werbner

Legal anthropologists have been latecomers in the debate surrounding law and emotion, a movement responding to the notion that the law is ‘imbued with emotion’. As in the US and Europe, in Botswana cases of public insults are emotionally charged, and this is particularly so in witchcraft insult hearings. Akin to hate crimes, these insults threaten public peace, kinship amity, and decency. Members of a customary court mobilize an elaborate moral lexicon from everyday life in order not simply to ascertain the forensic facts, but to persuade offenders to regain their rational good sense, reach a self-conscious emotional balance, and recover spiritual calmness. The procedure culminates in a dialogue intended to restore public peace and to elicit an apology or show of regret from defendants and forgiveness from insulted plaintiffs.

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Contemporary Megaprojects

An Introduction

Seth Schindler, Simin Fadaee and Dan Brockington

There is renewed interest in megaprojects worldwide. In contrast to high-modernist megaprojects that were discrete projects undertaken by centralized authorities, contemporary megaprojects are often decentralized and pursued by a range of stakeholders from governments as well as the private sector. They leverage cutting-edge technology to ‘see’ complex systems as legible and singular phenomena. As a result, they are more ambitious, more pervasive and they have the potential to reconfigure longstanding relationships that have animated social and ecological systems. The articles in this issue explore the novel features of contemporary megaprojects, they show how the proponents of contemporary megaprojects aspire to technologically enabled omnipresence, and they document the resistance that megaprojects have provoked.

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Ronnie Olesker

This article examines the securitization of delegitimization as a national security threat in Israel. The article contains three elements. First, theoretically, it analyzes legitimacy as a national security asset and delegitimization as a risk to ontological security. Second, it traces the Israeli response to delegitimization, providing an empirically rich account of this approach. Finally, it seeks to provide an assessment, albeit preliminary, of the effectiveness of the Israeli response. It concludes by discussing policy implications, emphasizing the benefits and counterproductive outcomes of an otherwise successful securitization process. Although Israel has had success curbing delegitimization with regard to political elites at the state level, it continues to lose ground with both the grassroots and Western liberal audiences.

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Benyamin Neuberger

This article explores the ideological underpinnings of the major Jewish political camps in Israel and the Yishuv—the left, the Orthodox, the national right, the bourgeois center—and evaluates the extent to which they are compatible with liberal democracy as commonly understood in the West. It also analyzes quasi-democratic and non-democratic aspects of older Jewish traditions based on the Torah, the Talmud, and the Halakhah. While the history of Zionism and the Zionist movement contained definite democratic components, Israel’s political system was shaped by a range of anti-democratic traditions whose resonance is still felt today.

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'Dice la nuestra novia' (Says Our Bride)

Music and Poetry in the Wedding Songs of the Moroccan Sephardim

Susana Weich-Shahak

This article presents a selection of Moroccan Sephardi wedding songs based on authentic recordings from the author’s own field work and representing the various Jewish communities in northern Morocco. Among the musico-poetic songs of the Moroccan Sephardim, the wedding songs are, certainly, the richest repertoire, with special songs that fulfil a definite function in each of the stages of the Sephardic wedding. This repertoire is performed by women, more often than not in group singing, with men joining in the repeated refrain. The author analyses examples of these wedding songs considering the themes and structures of their texts, the different ways in which the stanzas are organized, especially the serial and the accumulative structures.

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Demetris Tillyris

Contra the prevalent way of thinking about the dirty-hands problem, this article suggests that dirty hands need not necessarily entail suffering and that a politician who does not suffer for his dirty-handed acts should not be cast as a bad politician. In so doing, the article: (i) argues that the connection between DH and suffering is unsatisfactorily totalising and rests on a contentious conception of conflict as a dysfunction and (ii) develops an alternative account of the good dirty-handed politician, which is associated with what proponents of the prevalent view of the problem find impossible: calm acceptance of – even indulgence in – one’s dirt. This recognition has important implications for our contemporary culture of contrition and for the way we evaluate the characters of our politicians.