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The Kollel Movement in the State of Israel

A Pedagogic and Ideological Typology

Daniel Schiffman and Yoel Finkelman

In Israel, the contemporary Haredi kollel (institute for advanced Torah study for adult men) is caught between two institutional visions: one sees the kollel as a selective, temporary framework to train future educators, rabbis, and leaders, while the other views the kollel as a non-selective phenomenon of indefinite study for people who have few career options. This tension has resulted in several types of contemporary kollels and a number of religious ideologies that promote full-time study for adult men. The article examines three different models of Haredi kollels and analyzes how they manage the friction between temporary and permanent kollel study. It articulates an abstract typology of ideological justifications that are advanced to support long-term kollel study.

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Ian S. Lustick

As a state founded on Jewish immigration and the absorption of immigration, what are the ideological and political implications for Israel of a zero or negative migration balance? By closely examining data on immigration and emigration, trends with regard to the migration balance are established. This article pays particular attention to the ways in which Israelis from different political perspectives have portrayed the question of the migration balance and to the relationship between a declining migration balance and the re-emergence of the “demographic problem“ as a political, cultural, and psychological reality of enormous resonance for Jewish Israelis. Conclusions are drawn about the relationship between Israel's anxious re-engagement with the demographic problem and its responses to Iran's nuclear program, the unintended consequences of encouraging programs of “flexible aliyah,“ and the intense debate over the conversion of non-Jewish non-Arab Israelis.

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Yael S. Aronoff

I analyze the actions of Israeli prime ministers in the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, comparing one prime minister who remained hard-line and one who evolved into a peace maker. By examining their belief systems and individual characteristics, I hypothesize the types of hawks that are more likely to change their views of an opponent and convert into peace-makers. Although a change in both the opponent and the environment is necessary for a leader to change his image of an enemy, three additional elements make change more probable: (1) a weak ideological commitment, or a commitment to an ideology that does not have its components articulated as obstacles; (2) a present or future individual time orientation; (3) either a flexible cognitive system or exposure and openness to a significant advisor who has a different view of the opponent.

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Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Refugees

Ideology, Morality, and Praxis

Yossi Goldstein

Abstract

A prominent aspect of the Jewish-Arab conflict over Palestine has been the Palestinian ‘catastrophe’ or ‘Nakba’—the displacement of some 750,000 Palestinians during Israel's War of Independence. David Ben-Gurion, the Yishuv's pre-state leader and Israel's first prime minister, was an influential figure in this process. This article investigates Ben-Gurion's attitude toward the Palestinian refugee problem, highlighting its dynamic nature and its linkage to military developments. Contrary to the conclusions of previous research, only after the Arab states’ invasion and the war's expansion in late May and early June 1948 did Ben-Gurion decide to oppose the refugees’ return. Undeterred by his own ethical misgivings and international efforts to secure repatriation, his view was reinforced over time, as Israel's victories on the battlefield became unequivocal.

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Zohar Segev

This article examines American Zionist leaders' positions on the Jerusalem issue, taking into consideration that from the 1920s until 1948, they acted within the Zionist movement as an independent political force that sought to play an active role in shaping the Yishuv and the State of Israel according to their own worldview. Their position on Jerusalem included recognition of its significance in Jewish history and the necessity of consolidating Jewish nationalism in Palestine. Yet they demonstrated a clear preference for social and economic patterns that, they maintained, had consolidated in Tel Aviv as a counterbalance to Jerusalem.

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Aviva Halamish

The article critically examines Mapam's activity regarding the Military Government imposed on Arab-populated areas between 1948 and 1966. It analyzes and compares the party's declared stand and its parliamentary activity with the role played by the issue as a factor in coalition negotiations. The article contends that the issue of the Military Government did not serve as a crucial factor in Mapam's decision either to join the coalition or to stay out of it. It also claims that Mapam did not have a direct influence on the actual decisions concerning the Military Government, due to Mapai's dominance in the Israeli political system in those years. The article suggests that the case of Mapam and the Military Government sheds light on the modus operandi of the Israeli political system prior to the Six Day War, on the extent of Mapai's dominance of the political system in Israel prior to the 1977 political upheaval, on the limited role and influence available to small parties in a dominant party system, and on the inherent conflict and potential collision between security considerations and democracy.

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Of Other Cinematic Spaces

Urban Zionism in Early Hebrew Cinema

Hizky Shoham

The Zionist ethos is commonly described as pro-rural and anti-urban, with the imagined Zionist space perceived as being rural and the Zionist drama as a reflection of the life of the pioneers in Palestine. Recent studies of early Hebrew cinema shared this view. This article analyzes two Jewish films from inter-war Palestine, Vayehi Bimey (In the Days of Yore) (1932, Tel Aviv) and Zot Hi Ha'aretz (This Is the Land) (1935, Tel Aviv), to suggest a more complex view of the Zionist ethos and spatial imagery in the context of the relationship between the urban and the rural. A thematic and formal analysis of the films shows their sources of Soviet influence and reveals the presentation of the city as a nationalist space.

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War and Memory

The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986

Amir Locker-Biletzki

The Spanish Civil War, which began on 19 July 1936, quickly became the rallying point for leftists around the globe, who flocked to defend the Spanish Republic. During those same years, the rise of extreme right-wing ideologies in Central and

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Uzi Meshulam and the ‘Mishkan Ohalim’ Affair

The Influence of Radical Ultra-Orthodoxy

Motti Inbari

2016, due to public pressure, the government decided to declassify the documents. In this article, I examine the process by which the anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidic ideology, which is dualistic in that it views all Jews as either righteous or sinners but

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Heroes of Our Time

The Historical-Political Context of Devorah Omer’s Novels

Rima Shikhmanter

toward glorifying the past began to wane. As Zerubavel (1995) observes, the myths prevalent during the Yishuv era—those of Bar-Kokhba, Masada, and Tel Hai, for example—began to receive increasing criticism. Reflecting a lessening of ideological