Personal Home, Communal Tent, and Social Justice in the Beer Sheva Protest Tents / Inbal Cicurel and Tal Litbeck-Hirsch

This paper will look at conceptions of home as they were portrayed through the eyes of dwellers in the tent camp set up in Beer Sheva as part of the social protest of the summer of 2011. It portrays a complicated discourse in three levels of "home": the personal home, which refers to housing solutions; the national home, which speaks of a wish for a better state; and finally, the communal home, representing the meaningful home created in the tent camp that united its heterogeneous members through cooperation and solidarity. This last conception of "home" turned out to be a useful tool in the protest, yet it did not last long. The paper ultimately seeks to demonstrate how the idea of home served the protest, and will present the wider implications on the greater Beer Sheva communal home.


From the Campus to the Port: Coverage of Strikes and Strikers in Israeli Media / Shlomit Benjamin, Moti Gigi, Shlomit Lir, Mati Shmueloff, Naphtaly Shem-Tov and Yossi Dahan

This article examines the issue of class and identity in the Israeli media's coverage of local strikes by focusing the research on the media's coverage of three incidents: the universities' senior academic staff strike (2001), the port workers' strike (2004), and the strike at Ben Gurion Airport by the temporary workers (2006). The study investigates the manner in which media mechanisms constructed and framed each of the strikes, and examines whether these mechanisms created distinct ethnic and/or status representations in relation to each of the three strikes. The quantitative and qualitative analyses point to a high level of media distinction; according to the findings, the senior academic staff in the universities, for instance, was portrayed in a positive manner in relation to the negative coverage of the port workers. This distinction was articulated by the framing of information—notably in terms of the recurring patterns of organization and classification—and in the different constructions of class and ethnic representations of each of the striking groups.




Recipe for Nature: The Nature between Land and Environment (The struggle to establish the new settlement, Mirsham, in eastern Lachish) / Liron Shani

Environmental battles are not concerned solely with the protection of the natural environment and the ecological balance but also with social tensions and conflicts over the shaping of space, society, and the collective identity. This paper examines the environmental battle that ensued in the years 2008-2009 following the governmental initiative to settle part of the evacuated population from Gush Katif in the area of eastern Lachish. The paper examines the different interpretations of the concept of 'Nature' as suggested during the environmental battle by the two main parties—the evacuated population, who intended to establish a new settlement named Mirsham in eastern Lachish, and the environmental activists, who opposed this initiative. Utilizing Ortner's "root metaphor," I suggest that the different framings of 'Nature' by the two parties – LAND on the one hand and ENVIRONMENT on the other—reveal wider cosmological structures. This "root metaphor" allows us to critically examine perceptions about space, the relationship between nationalism and nature preservation, the contemporary role of the settlement practice, and the translation of hegemonic values into government policies.




"Al Haesh" (On the Fire): Roasted Meat, Space, and Nationalism at the Israeli Independence Day Barbeque at Sakker Park, Jerusalem / Nir Avieli

In recent decades, roasting meat al ha'esh (on the fire, or barbequing) has become Israel's Independence Day main practice, a ritual in whose absence the event would not be considered proper, and beyond which there is actually little else to commemorate the day. The roasted chunks of meat can therefore be deemed portions of processed and distilled "Israeliness". But what is the meaning of this ritual? And what does the roasted meat represent? The anthropological literature suggests that meat eating is related to power and masculinity, to control over space, and to modern nationalism. In this article, based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in Jerusalem's Sakker Park during the Independence Day celebrations of 2002–2009, I discuss the relationship between roasted meat and Israeli nationalism. I suggest that al ha'esh events in Sakker Park relate to several cultural scripts that stand at the heart of contemporary Jewish-Israeli identity. I further argue that the analysis of the culinary and spatial practices of al ha'esh events exposes some of the organizing principles that govern the negotiation of power and space in Israel, within and beyond Sakker Park.



Singlehood in Treatment: Visibility, Reflexivity, and the Viewer's Gaze / Kinneret Lahad and Avi Shoshana

Prevalent representations of singlehood in popular culture construe being single as a deficit identity and mostly as a category which is defined through its lack, that is, as an uncoupled/married position. Indeed, marriage, or couplehood, as opposed to singlehood, is normatively constituted as a privileged and taken-for-granted category. The following article proposes not only to explore widespread cultural images of singlehood, but also to examine the scripted strategies which maintain these representations. To accomplish this goal, we analyze seven episodes of BeTipul (In Treatment), a popular Israeli television series. One of the protagonists of the series is a forty-year-old woman, a single lawyer, who is seeking therapy. We argue that the therapeutic discourse plays a central role in constructing the single woman's identity in the series. The therapeutic discourse, as it emerges from the text, encourages a biographical salvation through the eradication of one's singlehood in addition to therapeutic work geared towards embracing a more familial identity. In that vein, being single is thus not constructed as a 'natural' life script characterizing normative identities. We suggest that this form of reflexivity is further endorsed by two scripted tactics: a symbolic eradication of singlehood as a life scenario, and the hierarchy of the happy ending scenario. These personal and scripted forms of reflexivity, which accentuate both the high visibility of being single as well as the desire of single subjects to "un-single" themselves, reinforce deeply ingrained cultural beliefs about singlehood.



“All Is Gendered”: Hebrew’s Role in Constructing Transgender Bodies and Identities / Orit Bershtling

Hebrew abounds with grammatical configurations that prevent interlocutors from bypassing each other’s gender. Therefore, it could, potentially, cast transgendered individuals out of its midst. Nonetheless, after analyzing the interpretations of ten transgendered interviewees regarding contexts of language use, their ambiguity toward Hebrew’s binary structure is salient. I argue that alongside the limits of a language shaped by a restrictive system of gender, the same linguistic rules can help transgendered individuals attain their identity. Moreover, Hebrew’s clear discernment between the sexes can be viewed as liberating; it constitutes a significant tool for structuring bodies and identities in ways that are opposed to social perceptions, while sex ceases to serve as a “natural” reflection of gender.


The Theology and Politics of Translation: How Are We to Translate Naqba from Arabic to Hebrew? / Yehouda Shenhav

What is translation under asymmetrical conditions of power? How do colonial and theological practices shape the relationships between languages? Drawing on Walter Benjamin, Paul Ricoeur, Jacque Derrida, and postcolonial literature in general, I show how untranslatable texts stemming from such asymmetry result in insurmountable gaps which render the messianic "perfect translation" impossible. Using examples from literature on the Palestinian Naqba, I examine how untranslatable texts (from Arabic to Hebrew) are inflated with unstable signifiers, which themselves are contingent on the time/space aspect of the translation. Using these examples, I demonstrate the extent to which translation from Arabic to Hebrew necessitates peculiar political and aesthetic strategies which are sensitive to colonial and theological conditions.



Book Reviews

On: ריבוי מודרניות / מאת שמואל נח אייזנשטדט
אמנון רז-קרקוצקין
pages: 195-199

On: הפמיניזם המשפטי מתיאוריה למעשה: המאבק לשוויון בין המינים בישראל ובארצות הברית / מאת נויה רימלט
חוה דיין
pages: 200-202

On: נשים פלסטיניות בישראל: זהות, יחסי כוח והתמודדות / בעריכת סראב אבו-רביעה-קווידר ונעמי וינר-לוי
ליליאן אבו-טביך
pages: 203-205

On: Feminism, Family, and Identity in Israel: Women's Martial Names \ by Michal Rom and Orly Benjamin
הנרייט דהאן-כלב
pages: 206-208

On: ממני והלאה: הבחירה בחיים בלי ילדים בישראל / מאת אורנה דונת
מירב אמיר
pages: 209-211

On: בכוונה תחילה / מאת תמר הגר
אורלי בנימין
pages: 212-214

On: Body, Language and Meaning in Conflict Situations: A Semiotic Analysis of Gesture-Word Mismatches in Israeli-Jewish and Arab Discourse / by Orit S. Waisman
חיים נוי
pages: 215-218

On: סוציולוגיה של התרבות / מאת מוטי רגב
אבי שושנה
pages: 219-221

On: הכל מדיד: מבטים ביקורתיים על דירוג וכימות / בעריכת יוחאי חקק, לאה קסן ומיכל קרומר-נבו
יובל יונאי
pages: 222-224

On: Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine: Democracy versus Military Rule / by Lev Luis Grinberg
אבישי ארליך
pages: 225-227

On: Rethinking Contemporary Warfare: A Sociological View of the al-Aqsa Intifada / by Eyal Ben-Ari, Zeev Lerer, Uzi Ben-Shalom and Ariel Vanier
הלל פריש
pages: 228-230

Subscriber Login

Taken from: Al Ha'esh (On the Fire) / Nir Avieli, Vol. 14 No.1

Taken From: Dancers in Iron Age Israel ca. 1200-600 BCE / Batyah Schachter, Vol. 13 No. 2

Taken From: Dancers in Iron Age Israel ca. 1200-600 BCE / Batyah Schachter, Vol. 13 No. 2

Taken from: Display of Institutional Power between Race and Gender / Noa Hazan, Vol. 14 No. 2