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Leah Rosen and Ruth Amir

This study is part of a wider research, which examines different strategies of exclusion and inclusion in public discourse and in the construction of collective memory in Israel. At the beginning of the 1930s, following the great economic crisis and the rise of National Socialism in Germany, a plan was conceived to send Jewish German youth to Palestine. Thus began the Project of Youth Aliyah, and with it the debate within the Zionist Movement and the Yishuv in Palestine on the proper station of immigrants in the emerging Israeli national identity. We characterize the discourse on the young refugees in the 1930s by highlighting two issues: first, the aims of the project for the emigration of Jewish German youth; and secondly, the national identity which should be inculcated in these young immigrants.

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Dalit Simchai

This article focuses on the concept of identity by juxtaposing New Age philosophy and nationalism in the Israeli context. Based on my qualitative research, I deconstruct the Israeli New Age discourse on ethno-national identity and expose two approaches within this discourse. The more common one is the belief held by most Israelis, according to which ethno-national identity is a fundamental component of one's self. A second and much less prevalent view resembles New Age ideology outside Israel and conceives of ethno-national identities as a false social concept that separate people rather than unite them. My findings highlight the limits of New Age ideology as an alternative to the hegemonic culture in Israel. The difficulty that Israeli New Agers find in divorcing hegemonic conceptualizations demonstrates the centrality and power of ethno-national identity in Israel.

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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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The Women of the Wall

A Metaphor for National and Religious Identity

Pnina Lahav

The Women of the Wall wish to participate in communal prayer in the women's section of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Their practice is to pray as a group, wrap themselves in a tallit, and read from the Torah scroll. They represent Jewish pluralism in that their group includes Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular women. They represent openness to change in that they base their claims on Halakhic interpretation, thereby embracing the capacity of Jewish law to evolve. This article reviews the resistance of the religious and political establishment in Israel to their claim and their struggle, unsuccessful so far, to get recognition.

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Orit Rozin

This article portrays the shaping of the Israeli nation and the shaping of the Israeli family at the early stages of statehood and nation-building, in times of economic strain, austerity, and massive emigration. Food supply, food consumption, and food distribution will be discussed. It is assumed that these aspects of daily life express, construct, produce, and reproduce social relation and hence have close affinity to both social and national order. Israeli legislators discussing the austerity policy, Israeli housewives struggling to feed their families, and food habits of immigrants under economic and cultural duress are some of the topics discussed. The study portrays the role of the state in building the nation's social net and constructing its character through food repertoire. The role played by the state will be compared to that of other social and cultural agents.

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Trauma, Time, and the ‘Singular Plural’

The Israeli Television Series Fauda

Nurith Gertz and Raz Yosef

identity—are intertwined. Because of terror and hostile acts, which are rooted in the past and return from the future, a sense is created in Israeli society of weakness and vulnerability. From this weakness, however, Israel’s defensive national unity is

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Menachem Klein

Shaul Bartal, The Palestinians from the Naqba to Feddayun, 1949–1956 (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2009).

Matti Steinberg, Facing Their Fate: Palestinian National Consciousness, 1967–2007 (Miskal: Yedioth Aharonoth, 2008).

Shaul Arieli and Michael Sfard, The Wall of Folly (Miskal: Yedioth Aharonoth, 2008).

Nava Sonnenschein, Dialogue-Challenging Identity: Jews Constructing Their Identity through Encounter with Palestinians (Haifa: Pardes, 2008).

Sarab Abu Rabia Queder and Naomi Weiner-Levy, eds., Palestinian Women in Israel: Identity Power Relations and Coping Strategies (Jerusalem: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute/Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House, 2010).

Honaida Ghanim, Reinventing the Nation: Palestinian Intellectuals in Israel (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2009).

Ephraim Lavie, ed., Israel and the Arab Peace Initiative (Tel Aviv University: Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Studies, Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East and Africa Studies and Daniel S. Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies, 2010).

Michael Milstein, Mukawama: The Challenge of Resistance to Israel’s National Security Concept (Tel Aviv University: Institute for National Security Studies, 2010).

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Guest Editors' Introduction

Football and Society in Israel—a Story of Interdependence

Tamar Rapoport and Amir Ben Porat

Israel, where it has been played every weekend all over the country since before the establishment of the state. Football is not just a game that children and adults love to play and watch; it also involves individual, group, and collective identities, and local and national identification. Football reflects, and often accentuates, political and social conflicts that highlight ethno-national, class, political, and gender hierarchies and tensions in society. The game is largely dependent on the surrounding context(s) that determines its “relative autonomy,” which shapes its distinguished fandom culture(s) and practices (Rapoport 2016).

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Farewell Laurie Eisenberg

Neil Caplan, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories Review by Alan Dowty

Rachel Feldhay Brenner, The Freedom to Write: The Woman-Artist and the World in Ruth Almog’s Fiction Review by Avraham Balaban

Jackie Feldman, Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity Review by Noam Schimmel

Michael R. Fischbach, Jewish Property Claims against Arab Countries Review by Aviva Klen-Franke

Asima A. Ghazi-Bouillon, Understanding the Middle East Peace Process: Israeli Academia and the Struggle for Identity Review by Mira Sucharov

Aviva Halamish, Meir Yaari: A Collective Biography: The First Fifty Years, 1987–1947 Review by Ilan Peleg

Tamar S. Hermann, The Israeli Peace Movement: A Shattered Dream Review by Gordon Fellman

Alexandra Nocke, The Place of the Mediterranean in Modern Israeli Identity Review by Karine Hamilton

Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger, Jewish Terrorism in Israel Review by Eran Schor

Yaron Peleg, Israeli Culture between the Two Intifadas: A Brief Romance Review by Philip Hollander

Orit Rosin, Duty and Love: Individualism and Collectivism in 1950s Israel Review by Michael Feige

Nita Schechet, Disenthralling Ourselves: Rhetoric of Revenge and Reconciliation in Contemporary Israel Review by Eran Fisher

Amit M. Schejter, Muting Israeli Democracy: How Media and Cultural Policy Undermine Free Expression Review by Dan Caspi

Patricia J. Woods, Judicial Power and National Politics: Courts and Gender in the Religious-Secular Conflict in Israel Review by Amnon Cavari

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Menachem Mautner, Law and the Culture of Israel Review by Gad Barzilai

Nadav G. Shelef, Evolving Nationalism: Homeland, Identity, and Religion in Israel, 1925–2005 Review by Ilan Peleg

Susan A. Glenn and Naomi B. Sokoloff, eds., Boundaries of Jewish Identity Review by Kirsten Fermaglich

Arieh Bruce Saposnik, Becoming Hebrew: The Creation of a Jewish National Culture in Ottoman Palestine Review by Nina S. Spiegel

King Abdullah II, Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril Review by Saliba Sarsar

Leslie Stein, The Making of Modern Israel: 1948–1967 Review by Pierre M. Atlas

Joyce Dalsheim, Unsettling Gaza: Secular Liberalism, Radical Religion, and the Israeli Settlement Project Review by Myron J. Aronoff

Beverley Milton-Edwards, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A People’s War 180 Review by Raphael Cohen-Almagor