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Paula Kabalo

Attempts to explain the achievements of the Jewish side in the 1948 War of Independence have focused thus far on the military and political dimension and on the domestic social, economic, and ideological dimension, as reflected in the collective mobilization of the Yishuv society. This article reveals the role of additional players in the war, including institutions, organizations, and associations that provided social services; the individuals who headed them; the members who took part in operating them; and the recipients of their services. The article's underlying premise is that Jewish society largely owed its resilience during the war, and in its aftermath, to the functioning of these organizations.

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Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Refugees

Ideology, Morality, and Praxis

Yossi Goldstein

two. Until its publication, the standard Israeli (as opposed to Palestinian or British) historiography viewed the refugee problem that emerged during Israel's War of Independence as an outcome of the war itself ( Ben-Gurion 1982 ; Dinur 1973 ; Lorch

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Israel Goes to the Polls

The Road to Elections for the Constituent Assembly, 1948–1949

Meir Chazan

elected. This was in addition, of course, to the establishment of the state and the War of Independence ( Zahor 1998 ). In this article I will outline some of the most prominent milestones on the road to these elections, which were, as Ben-Gurion noted in

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Moshe Berent

Ernest Gellner notes that the quarrel between himself and Anthony Smith could be summarized by the question: do nations have navels? According to his modernist outlook, while some nations might have navels, others do not, and in any case it is not important; while in Smith's conception, navels constitute an 'ethnic core', essential for nation-building. Yet in the pre–independence nation-building process, what Smith considers Israel's ethnic core—mainly the concepts of the 'Chosen People' and 'Holy Land'—either did not have the same meaning or did not play the important role that Smith attributes to them. Indeed, Smith's account of Zionism is a post–independence invention and in this respect a further corroboration of modernism.

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Naomi Chazan

Israel’s democratic order is currently being assailed in a concerted effort to reformulate its priorities and redefine its identity. The civic nature of Israeli nationalism, as delineated by its founders, is being questioned by a growing neo-nationalist wave bent on displacing the universal and Jewish values of equality, justice, and tolerance ensconced in its declaration of independence with an ethnically driven worldview that links the connection between the land and the people with an exclusivist package, which denies diversity and denigrates pluralism.

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Outsmarting the Nation, Together

Subversive Virtual Fraternity in the Israeli Men's Magazine Blazer

Steven Fraiberg and Danny Kaplan

This article examines the reconstruction of a virtual Israeli male fraternity in Israel's only men's lifestyle magazine, Blazer. Modeled after the global 'new lad' magazine format, the Blazer text engages its readers by forging a homosocial joking relationship. Focusing on a satire dedicated to Israel's Independence Day, this study delineates a series of parodic discursive practices employed by the narrators to deconstruct and appropriate traditional Zionist myths on which Israel was founded. The Blazer text thus mobilizes a key cultural trope known as the anti-freier frame (to avoid being a 'sucker'), implemented as a set of manipulations to outsmart the system. The Blazer text rearticulates the relationship between self and society based on a local version of the 'yuppie' value system. We argue that while this frame appears to reject collectivist values, it serves as a critical lens for connecting yuppie masculinity with its Sabra predecessor, thereby consolidating a modified form of national solidarity.

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Hidden Scripts

The Social Evolution of Alterman's “Don't You Give Them Guns”

Efrat Ben-Ze'ev

Nathan Alterman's poem “Don't You Give Them Guns” echoed European post–World War I anti-war literature. Curiously, the poem turned into a key text in a ritual instituted by members of the elite Jewish underground fighting force, the Palmach, which was established during World War II. This article is an attempt to understand how a pacifist poem came to be used by Jewish-Israeli soldiers at the heart of the 1948 War of Independence. In terms of theory, the analysis dwells on the relations between text and social context, arguing that alternative social ideas conceal themselves in poetry and other literary forms. These texts can be likened to undercurrents that preserve hidden social concerns. To follow the changing role of such texts, the article considers the fate of “Don't You Give Them Guns” from its birth in 1934 to its later manifestations in the early twenty-first century.

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Ofra Or

This article deals with midlife heterosexual Israeli-Jewish women in living-apart-together (LAT) partnerships after a previous marriage. The main issue that this research seeks to explore is how Israeli women experience these living arrangements. The most prominent justification for this type of partnership is the need for autonomy. The drive to achieve autonomy and the ambivalence expressed toward independence and intimacy are examined in three areas of identity formation: personal, partnership, and familial. In comparison to LAT partnerships in Western Europe, in which decisions are more likely to be made without taking the future into account, most partners in Israel negotiate possible changes in their living arrangements. In familial Israel, LAT partners also involve the extended family in the relationship. As a result, in Israel, LAT partnerships engender more ambivalence toward autonomy and interdependence than in other Western countries.

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The Editors

forward to late 1948 and early 1949, we come to a study of Israel’s first election campaign for the post-independence Constituent Assembly, which soon became the Knesset. Meir Chazan examines the choices made by the country’s first leaders regarding how

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The Making of a Capital

Jerusalem on Israeli Banknotes

Na'ama Sheffi and Anat First

May 1948, which marked the end of British rule and the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel ( Wallach 2011 ). As a result of the hasty changeover of currency, the first two Israeli banknotes series carried geometric illustrations only