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.
Urban Zionism in Early Hebrew Cinema
The Looming Absence of the Temple
, now far removed in space and time. The menorah, in particular, became a key Jewish symbol in a space politically and symbolically controlled by Byzantine Christianity ( Levine 2000: 8–32 ). In this context, the image of the menorah symbolized the
Beyond the Liberal Grammar of Contemporary Sociology
’s interpretive space and consequently limits its added value and potential public impact. As I will show, the interpretive repertoire available to sociologists and human rights activists hampers their attempts to decipher a widely recognized yet puzzling local
The Perspective of Outsiders
Soli Vered and Daniel Bar-Tal
This study explores features of the routinization of the Israeli-Arab conflict in everyday life in Israel. Specifically, it examines how foreign students view this aspect of the culture of conflict, compared to the point of view of Israeli students born into the day-to-day reality of a society that has been engaged in an intractable conflict for decades. Findings show that foreigners perceived and identified various conflict-related routines that have been absorbed into the social and physical spaces of daily life in Israel, becoming unnoticeable to Israelis. This was the case particularly with various images and symbols of the conflict that saturate both public and private spaces, conflict-related informal norms of behavior, and the central place that the conflict occupies in private interpersonal discourse. These results are discussed in relation to the functionalities of the routinization of the conflict and its implications.
Kibbutz Yakum as a Case Study
Amir Har-Gil and Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler
Architecture and landscape constitute key aspects of fictional realistic drama in film and television. In fictional films whose plots take place on Israeli kibbutzim, on-site cinematography is a central means of achieving a realistic and dramatic portrayal of the communal settlement and its social space. In this article, we investigate five productions filmed on location at Kibbutz Yakum. We argue that these filmic representations of architecture and landscape reify the image of the kibbutz as an introverted society that denies individuals their privacy and upholds the centrality and presence of community. By comparing the actual sites with their presentation in films, we show that the physical space of the kibbutz was filmed selectively in a manner that immortalizes its communal, 'classical' image, which in reality no longer exists. The kibbutz's transformation from a communal to a privatized society is purposely veiled in these films, preserving the kibbutz's established image.
This article discusses the form in which the “I-We“ relationship is configured in Israel, in terms of its intersection with democracy. It argues that what is usually considered as a sine qua non for a robust democracy, namely, an agonistic tension between the “I,“ that is our individual uniqueness, privacy, and personal liberty, and the “We,“ that is our collective liberty and autonomy, is absent from Israeli society. Moreover, when we examine the distribution, consumption, use, and negotiation of power in the sphere of everyday life in Israel, we find that “the military,“ its discourse, and its practices suffuse precisely those spaces where the social fabric as well as identities are being shaped. The conclusion is that the Israeli society is actually drifting away from democracy in an increasingly oppressive erasure of personal identity claims, as well as of their discourse and praxis.
This article demonstrates that theatrical representations of crises in family life, which have been produced in the Religious Zionist (RZ) community in the past few years, reflect a complicated, crisis-ridden reality that many of its members wish to address publicly. The image of Orthodox family life as sacred and harmonious has been carefully cultivated by rabbis and educators, yet the upsurge of plays portraying crises in Orthodox families proves otherwise. Theater, as a space where social dramas are presented, has become one of the facilitating tools of Western, secular society adopted by members of this community to allow for open discourse on previously silenced social problems. A recurring theme in the article is how Orthodox individuals seeking autonomy within the framework of family life engage in acts of individualized religious practices, often with only partial success.
Encounters in the Public Space
This article discusses the reactions of Israelis in the public space to 'mixed families' that include members of Ethiopian origin, written from the perspective of members of such families. The findings reveal that Israelis still react to the dark skin color of Ethiopians in mixed families and that, in most cases, 'black colors white', that is, behavior toward the mixed family is determined mainly by the presence of its black member. The three typical responses are as follows: (1) expressions of surprise at the presence of an Ethiopian in the family, evincing a stereotypical view of Ethiopian immigrants and their place in Israeli society; (2) invasions of privacy that are perceived by the family members as greatly exaggerated when compared with Israeli norms; and (3) declarations of appreciation for/admiration of the 'white' partner in the family for 'lifting up' the 'black' person through a (supposedly) altruistic act. The major conclusion is that Israeli society has yet to accept mixed families that include Jews of Ethiopian origin as a normative category.
Sderot and Sha’ar Hanegev
, identity, and space in Israel. The case of Yossi, a man who belongs to the third generation of immigrants from Islamic countries, can help us understand the historical and present-day power relations between Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council
spaces in 1970s Israel. These practices were seen as an alternative voice responding to the instability of the decade, especially after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 ( Barzel 1987 ; Omer 1998 )—a period considered to be significant in the relationship