The professional and institutional responsibility for handling genetic knowledge is well discussed; less attention has been paid to how lay people and particularly people who are affected by genetic diseases perceive and frame such responsibilities. In this exploratory study we qualitatively examine the attitudes of lay people, patients and relatives of patients in Germany and Israel towards genetic testing. These attitudes are further examined in the national context of Germany and Israel, which represent opposite regulatory approaches and bioethical (...) debates concerning genetic testing. Three major themes of responsibility emerged from the inter-group and cross-cultural comparison: self-responsibility, responsibility for kin, and responsibility of society towards its members. National contrast was apparent in the moral reasoning of lay respondents concerning, for example, the right not to know versus the duty to know (self-responsibility) and the moral conflict concerning informing kin versus the moral duty to inform (responsibility for kin). Attitudes of respondents affected by genetic diseases were, however, rather similar in both countries. We conclude by discussing how moral discourses of responsibility are embedded within cultural (national, religious) as well as phenomenological (being affected) narratives, and the role of public engagement in bioethical discourse. (shrink)
We describe the parallel changes that have taken place in recent years in two countries, Israel and The Philippines, the former once an “exporter” of transplant tourists and the latter once an “importer” of transplant tourists. These changes were in response to progressive legislation in both countries under the influence of the Declaration of Istanbul. The annual number of Israeli patients who underwent kidney transplantation abroad decreased from a peak of 155 in 2006 to an all-time low of 35 (...) in 2011 while in the Philippines the annual number of foreign transplant recipients fell from 531 in 2007 to two in 2011. The experience of these two countries provides a “natural experiment” on the potential impact of legal measures to prevent transplant tourism. (shrink)
In the latter half of the 20th century, Western medicine moved death from the home to the hospital. As a result, the process of dying seems to have lost its spiritual dimension, and become a matter of prolonging material life by means of medical technology. The novel quandaries that arose led in turn to medico-legal regulation. This paper describes the recent regulation of dying in Israel under its Dying Patient Law, 2005. The Law recognizes advance directives in principle, but (...) limits their effect and form through complex medico-legal artifices. It reflects a culture that places high value on both scientific medicine and the sanctity of life as such, and illustrates a medical culture that pitches battle against death. At the same time, the Law constructs the will of the individual in a medico-legal language that is alien to the lay person. The paper suggests an alternative approach to advance care planning that is patient-centred and addresses the psycho-social needs of the individual in terms of her relational autonomy. From this perspective, advance care planning becomes an opportunity to extract the patient from the medical context and allow her to speak about her approaching death with close ones in her own terms of reference. To this end, there is a need for facilitation of an intimate encounter where patients can speak about their concerns with their loved ones. The paper also presents a methodological approach of attentive listening, which can be applied across diverse cultures and circumstances. (shrink)
Democratic education is one of the significant challenges facing state education in Israel. This is one of the most sophisticated versions of alternative education, which clearly criticizes the traditional education that is centered on curricula and the assessment industry that brought the strongest expression.) This article seeks to contribute to the discussion of the place of democratic education as normalizing education. Democratic schools in Israel, as a space of opportunity and limitations. The article will incorporate a historical overview (...) of the philosophical approach underpinning democratic education while highlighting the opportunities it provides as a space of active and vigilant dialogue, both on its organizational and pedagogical dimensions, and will seek to clarify its social and educational opportunities. (shrink)
Whether the nation of Israel has become a “light unto the nations” in terms of ethical behavior among its business community remains in doubt. To examine the current state of business ethics in Israel, the study examines the following: (1) the extent of business ethics education in Israel; (2) the existence of formal corporate ethics program elements based on an annual survey of over 50 large Israeli corporations conducted over 5 years (2006–2010); and (3) perceptions of the (...) state of business ethics based on interviews conducted with 22 senior Israeli corporate executives. In general, and particularly as a young country, Israel might be considered to have made great improvements in the state of business ethics over the years. In terms of business ethics education, the vast majority of universities and colleges offer at least an elective course in business ethics. In terms of formal business ethics program elements, many large companies now have a code of ethics, and over time continue to add additional elements. Most respondents believed they worked in ethical firms. Despite these developments, however, there appears to be significant room for improvement, particularly in terms of issues like: nepotism/favoritism; discrimination; confidentiality; treatment of customers; advertising; competitive intelligence; whistle-blowing; worker health and safety; and the protection of the environment. When compared with the U.S. or Europe, most believed that Israeli firms and their agents were not as ethical in business. A number of reasons were suggested that might be affecting the state of business ethics in Israel. A series of recommendations were also provided on how firms can better encourage an ethical corporate culture. The paper concludes with its limitations. (shrink)
Zionist national identity in Israel is today challenged by two mutuallyantagonistic alternatives: a liberal, secular, Post-Zionist civic identity, on the one hand, and ethnic, religious, Neo-Zionist nationalistic identity, on the other. The other, Zionist, hegemony contains an unsolvable tension between the national and the democratic facets of the state. The Post-Zionist trend seeks a relief of this tension by bracketing the nationalcharacter of the state, i.e., by separation of state and cultural community/ies; the Neo-Zionist trend seeks a relief of (...) the same tension by bracketing the democratic nature of the state, i.e., by consolidating the Jewish ethno-national character of the state. The focus of the study is upon two dimensions of this unfolding cultural-political strife: the conflicting perceptions of time and space, and the ways they affect the perceptions of the boundaries of the collectivity, either in an inclusionary manner (the ``post'') or in an exclusionary manner (the ``neo''). (shrink)
In response to critics’ claims that a discussion of sexuality and nationalism vis-à-vis the Israeli-Palestinian conflict bears no relation to the author’s previous work, or to such discussions within the US or European contexts, this paper details the complex interconnections between Israeli gay and lesbian rights and the continued oppression of Palestinians. The first section examines existing discourses of what the author has previously called “homonationalism,” or the process by which certain forms of gay and lesbian sexuality are folded into (...) the national body as the Muslim/Arab Other is cast as perversely queer, within Israel and the diasporas. The operations of homonationalism ensure that no discussion of gay and lesbian rights in Israel is independent from the state’s actions toward Palestine/Palestinians. The second section contains a critique of Israel’s practices of “pinkwashing” in the US and Europe. In order to redirect focus away from critiques of its repressive actions toward Palestine, Israel has attempted to utilize its relative “gay-friendliness” as an example of its commitment to Western “democratic” ideals. Massive public relations campaigns such as “Brand Israel” work to establish Israel’s reputation within the US and Europe as cosmopolitan, progressive, Westernized and democratic as compared with the backward, repressive, homophobic Islamic nations, which, in turn, serves to solidify Israel’s aggression as a position of the “defense” of democracy and freedom. The final section looks at the ways in which accusations of “anti-Semitism” function in academic and activist contexts to suppress critiques of the implicit nationalism within Israeli sexual politics. (shrink)
Across four decades of writing, Levinas repeatedly referred to the Holocaust as ‘the Passion of Israel at Auschwitz’. This deliberately Christological interpretation of the Holocaust raises questions about the respective roles of Judaism and Christianity in Levinas’ thought and seems at odds with his well-known view that suffering is ‘useless’. Basing my interpretation on the journals Levinas wrote as a prisoner of war and a radio talk he delivered in September 1945, I argue that his philosophical project is best (...) understood as an ontological rendering of Judaism that accounts for the opening or transcendence of sense and intelligibility. Judaism provides Levinas with a salient critique of liberal and idealist philosophies of the subject and an alternative to fundamental ontology. I show how Levinas’ account of the ‘Passion of Israel’ can be read within the exegetical history of Jewish accounts of divine suffering and thereby effects a reversal of the Christian typological gaze. I conclude by suggesting that Levinas’ recourse to Judaism as a philosophical category does not assume a dogmatic origin to philosophy but ‘formally indicates’, in the Heideggerian sense, the phenomenological origins of normativity. In this respect, the ‘Passion of Israel’ involves not only a reversal of the Christian typological gaze but also a deconstruction of Judaism. (shrink)
This paper suggests looking at cuisines of poverty as practical and political systems practiced by urban and rural Palestinian citizens of Israel. It is an important and interesting case study within which political and economical considerations govern and enhance the development, change, and acceptance of culinary knowledge. Cuisines of poverty operate in two simultaneous arenas. As systems of practical knowledge, they repeatedly center on the ability to maintain the traditional kitchen, turning it into a tool-kit out of which information (...) is recruited upon need. Simultaneously, cuisines of poverty reveal the inter-connection between the culinary discourse and the political one. It is where issues such as access to land, national and ethnic identity, and means to participation in the dominant culture are of major concern. The analysis of cuisines as operating on two complementary discourses contributes to the understanding of the relationship between food and the arena of power. (shrink)
“Brother Daniel” (Oswald Rufeisen) was a Jew with an extraordinary record of resistance to the Nazis in the 2WW, who ultimately took refuge in a monastery and became a Catholic priest, After the war he sought to emigrate to Israel and to claim citizenship as a Jew under Israel’s Law of Return. This article examines the judgments in the case, in part from a semiotic analysis of the opposition between Jew and Christian in the judgments, as well as (...) their construction of time in the context of the religious identity of the “Jewish state”. (shrink)
This article expands on anthropological understandings of affect and emotion to include certain theological and religious concepts that structure and give meaning to the daily lives of religious nationalists in areas of ethnic and political conflict. In doing so, it will ethnographically explore the relationship between theological notions of sanctity and the way those notions manifest themselves in the context of contemporary Jewish religious Zionism in both Israel and the Occupied West Bank. I will argue that analyzing mystical conceptions (...) of sanctity as a distinct affect opens new areas of human experience, which anthropologists may use to better grapple with the dilemmas posed by nationalism and religious extremism in an increasingly politically fraught world. (shrink)
Livestock production in both industrial systems, where livestock are packed tightly together, and in highly traditional systems, where a shepherd follows her herd in dispersed rangelands, are cited as key contributors in some of the most acute environmental problems around the globe. Israel is one of the few countries where both of these systems exist, with surprisingly little contact between them. The environmental impact of the sectors were examined along with Israel’s public policies in the field. While historically, (...) much attention has been placed on the contribution of the Bedouin pastoralists to desertification and erosion, this may be linked to historic misapprehension about actual impacts of goats on local rangelands as well as political motivations and concerns about losing national sovereignty over large areas of rangelands. The true environmental effects appear to be minor. A far more critical concern is water pollution caused by the industrial sector of livestock production—an issue that recently has attracted considerable government attention and investment in a successful dairy infrastructure initiative. The divisions between governmental supports for the Jewish and Arab sectors of livestock management are inconsistent with efficient environmental management. Policies should be designed to encourage Bedouin to find ways to sustainably continue their traditional livestock husbandry practises, which today are largely associated with ecological benefits and constitute a unique cultural asset for Israel and the world. (shrink)
Israel has always mattered to American Christians. They are among the strongest supporters of the State of Israel in the United States. The paper argues that the support that was extended by American Christians in general and the Christian Right in particular, to Israel and the Jewish people is the continuation of a long tradition in conservative American Christians rooted mainly in their theological doctrine. However, the study shows that the Christian Right is ambivalent in its view (...) on Jews. On the one hand, Jews are considered to be God’s chosen people and to have a special Biblical status and role. On the other hand, the Christian Right is allegedly anti-Semitic, as it views Jews as a condemned nation for their rejection of Christ as the Messiah, the reason for which they are unsaved and need to be converted to Christianity. Interestingly, both views, love and hatred of Jews, are based on the Biblical teachings and grounded in conservative Protestant theology; their paradoxical views on Jews are not a new phenomenon among conservative American Christians. Nevertheless, the study found that the support of the American Christians of the establishment of the State of Israel goes beyond theological doctrines or values. In fact, the humanitarian considerations of the liberal Christian and secular organizations in particular, were significant in contributing to the establishment of the Jewish state. (shrink)
This work traces the evolution of Jewish representation(s) of Europe since the Emancipation, focusing on the cultural image of Europe among the Eastern-European Jewish intelligentsia, in relation with the process of building a modern, national Jewish identity. The author mentions the idea of “abandoning” Europe which occured in the Zionist ideology and in the post-Holocaust Israeli public discourse due to the impact of modern political antisemitism, and to the influence of the European national ideologies. This study discusses the new tendencies (...) of the Israeli society and culture to “rediscover” Europe and to re-build the cultural and spiritual bridges between Israel and the postcommunist Eastern Europe. Outlined in their recent books, the perspectives of two outstanding Israeli writers, such as Amos Oz and Aharon Appelfeld, are used, here, to exemplify this new approach. (shrink)
Resenha do novo livro de Israel Finkelstein, publicado em inglês em 2013. Israel Finkelstein apresenta nova visão acerca do reino do Norte Israel, apontando a compilação e redação final das narrativas bíblicas pelos judaítas, depois da queda do reino do Norte Israel. É uma bela obra que resume o desenvolvimento das pesquisas arqueológicas do autor.
The trend to centralization of the Mizrahi narrative has become an integral part of the nationalistic, ethnic, religious, and ideological-political dimensions of the emerging, complex Israeli identity. This trend includes several forms of opposition: strong opposition to "melting pot" policies and their ideological leaders; opposition to the view that ethnicity is a dimension of the tension and schisms that threaten Israeli society; and, direct repulsion of attempts to silence and to dismiss Mizrahim and so marginalize them hegemonically. The Mizrahi Democratic (...) Rainbow [The Keshet], the most prominent proponent and representative of this trend, was established in the 1990s with the intention of being a leading civic and political body in Israeli society. While it was the Mizrahi worldview that led to selection of the organization's name and aims, their vision was to be involved in social struggle on behalf of other groups in Israeli society. Since it was established, The Keshet has aimed to function as an assertive, long-term alternative coalition exerting influence, power, and pressure on the Israeli narrative network. And, indeed, the organization has succeeded in disrupting Israeli discourse, principally, by challenging the ideological foundations of the Zionist meta-narrative. Nearing the end of the first decade of the 21st century and nearly a decade since it was established, The Keshet not only represents the most current wave of Mizrahi discourse, it has changed it to such a great degree that it is impossible to ignore its influence. Further, this alternative narrative may have significant potential to advance the internal Jewish discourse so fundamental at this time given the changing Israeli situation and regional conditions. And, while it is possible to view The Keshet and this new narrative as a continuation of the Mizrahi struggle, as a narrative The Keshet's agenda represents a post-colonial perspective and multi-cultural alternative to Zionism as a social vehicle. Amidst all of this, The Keshet continues to offer concrete proposals to change the Jewish character of the state as well as its internal and external relations. One of the primary goals of this study was to examine the rise of the Mizrahi narrative over the last two decades and the new Mizrahi discourse in Israeli society. More specifically, the study sought to attain an in-depth understanding of the central narrative created and represented by The Keshet. An additional goal was to investigate the influence of The Keshet's activity and the narrative it constructed in regard to other narratives. In particular, the study focused on The Keshet's opposition to the central Zionist narrative that infuses civic, political, and academic frameworks in Israel. Accordingly, the primary research questions investigated in the study sought to determine: What has been the influence of the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow on the Mizrahi narrative in Israel? And, what are implications of such influence for the central Zionist narrative? Methodologically, the study was based on narrative and comparative analyses of texts from different periods of the older and newer Mizrahi narratives. The corpus included two types of texts: First, academic texts and opinion pieces, both philosophical and programmatic in nature, published in magazines, journals, books, as well as position papers; second, all of the texts published by prominent and influential figures who charted the path of The Keshet or led it organizationally and/or intellectually over the last twenty years (e. g., Yehudah Shenhav, Yossi Yona, Moshe Krief among others). All texts were examined by means of philosophical, historical and critical hermeneutic tools. This analysis revealed different levels of Mizrahi and civic discourse in Israel as well as among The Keshet's founders and leading ideologues. The study was based on a three stage process model, developed for purposes of this study, for investigation and analysis of the new Mizrahi narrative as well as other oppositional narratives, in particular opposition to the hegemonic meta-narrative. The stages are: issuing the challenge, dissolution and, liberation; that is, liberation is the measure of the ultimate success of the struggle for narrative change. Such change is not based on success in the field, but rather on a radical, fundamental reversal of thought, discourse patterns, stylistic structures, as well as forms of questioning - in this case of taken-for-granted racist mechanisms. However, the principal change is in achieving a deep, inner de-legitimization of the signifiers, categories, and reproductions of all manner of mockery that are based on immoral colonialist processes that are reinforced by regimes of fear and intimidation whose self-destruction began upon their very creation. This three stage model charts the course of the oppositional Mizrahi narrative from: accounting for the past (passing judgment on the so-called historic colonialist Zionism) to writing a new (pure Mizrahi) history and creation of a Mizrahi-Arab identity separate from the Ashkenazic, identified as Zionist. Contemporary post-colonialist discourse is integral in these stages. Such a perspective has been transformed by transitions from - binarism to hybridity, Orientalism to Occidentalism, the politics of "liberation" to "constructive" politics, from the history of consciousness to the history of change, as well as from nationalist to post-nationalist questions. Fundamentally, according to this approach, political and other struggles for the emerging narrative of Mizrahi (or Arab) history seek to centralize it in society and weave it amidst the models of multiculturalism. Undertaken in parallel, the central characteristics of all these stages are borrowed from countries in which the need for national reconciliation led to renunciation of apartheid and racist policies and historical judgment of the hegemony supported by racist leaders. In addition, these three moves were undertaken in Keshet and its ideologues by means of substantive symbolic violence directed at the hegemonic Ashkenazic discourse, which included creation of hatred of it, use of stereotypes the opposite of oppressive discourse, and adoption of an arrogant point of view toward it. This stands in stark contrast to the claims of the self-proclaimed new Mizrahi stance of a discourse established on purely ethical grounds that sought to cleanse itself of these very same oppressive elements. The model developed for and demonstrated in this study allows for analysis of oppositional narratives in which the libratory stage evolves into a form of entrapment, as appears to be occurring to the new Mizrahi discourse. This conclusion is based on the observations shared by many Keshet proponents including leading intellectuals who worked on the manifestos that were the subject of criticism from the Zionist camp. The study identified and defined the following six interwoven strata, which for purposes of explication are each discussed in a separate chapter: The first chapter presents a general theoretical discussion of the issue of the narrative and the inter-narrative struggle that has become central and applicable in various ways in the latest generation (e. g., anthropologically, hermeneutically, and philosophically). The analysis surveys different discussions in the inter-narrative struggle and locates them in the contexts, relations, and meanings derived from, representing, and indeed reproducing the narrative of national identity. The second chapter includes a historical survey of the older Mizrahi struggle that existed prior to the ascendance of the new Mizrahi narrative. Initially, Mizrahi discourse focused on expressing the ethnic protest that grew in years to follow. These feelings of discrimination and social distancing of the immigrants from Islamic countries gave birth to expressions of protest, the most prominent of which were Wadi Salib and the Black Panther Movement's various activities. The research literature contains many explanations for the exacerbation of the ethnic problem and creation of a situation that could not be ignored. The consensus academic view reached at the end of the 1970s identified a number of primary factors for this situation: the existence and extensive numbers of different ethnic groups; the relative or absolute segregation of frameworks within which members of these ethnic groups lived and acted; and the significant overlap between socio-economic status and feelings of discrimination retained by members of the Mizrahi group due years of neglect by the Ashkenazic establishment, the strengthening of Mizrahi social, cultural, and political power, as well as the emergence of a Mizrahi elite that identified with Mizrahi problems. The severe consequences of feelings of discrimination were expressed in a long series of events, such as: rioting by residents of the Rehovot Sharayim neighborhood in 1956; events of Wadi Salib in Haifa in 1959; and a chain of activities involving the Black Panthers in the 1970s. Protest was also an aspect of the "tent movement" in the 1970s and 1980s. Political activities were advanced by the Tami Movement that competed in the election for the 10th Knesset in 1981 and the Shas Movement that has continued to garner political power since being found in 1984. The 1980s and 1990s were characterized as the era of radical consciousness of Mizrahi discourse as well as by the rise to power, in consecutive order, of the political parties – Tami, Shas, and the Mizrahim HaHadashim [the New Mizrahi]. The latter party laid the foundations of the new radical Mizrahi discourse from which emerged such cultural activities as: Iton Aher [A Different Newspaper]; Bimat Kivon Aher [Another Direction Forum]; Efir'yon journal; the Halah Organization for Education in Neighborhoods, Development Towns, and Villages; Kedma; the newspaper – Patish [Hammer]; and, eventually the establishment of Keshet. The third chapter presents an examination of the materialization of the inter-narrative struggle in the case of Israel, with a specific focus on The Keshet and the new Mizrahi narrative advanced by it and intellectuals. The Keshet ideology is examined in the context of its grounding in post-colonial thought, especially that of Edward Said; the directions proposed by Ella Shohat and her followers; the central thinkers of the narrative in Israel in the last decade; and the harsh critique leveled at the Ashkenazic-Zionist narrative. The practical steps proposed for implementation within the multicultural model are also examined. Here the effort to reduce the centrality of Zionism while revealing its oppressive mechanisms was undertaken in parallel with use of these mechanisms in order to create a Mizrahi space with broad margins inclusive of alternative forms of Israeli identity in the Middle East and in conjunction with Arabs within and beyond Israel. Mizrahi traditionalism is examined in the fourth chapter in two particular respects. First, the criticism of the new Mizrahi narrative leveled by the renewed view and, second, the implications of the alternative in terms of creating a Mizrahi space that does not oppose Zionism. Rather, in opposing the post-colonialist perspective, this renewed traditionalist perspective criticizes as well as values Zionism. This space seeks to be both Jewish and Mizrahi. It does not detach itself from nationalist Zionism but rather views itself as a continuation of this tradition and, accordingly, is an effort to develop a next stage in its development. For example, an essential dimension of the traditionalist perspective, "commitment," is considered in this stage to be a fertile basis for dialogue with the past and as an anchor for contemporary interpretation of Mizrahi and other Jews' identities in Israel. The fifth and sixth chapters deal with all of the vectors of criticism directed at the new Mizrahi narrative, including its ideological foundations, philosophical stance, as well as intellectual and practical basis in the Israeli sphere in the face of Palestinian nationalism. These vectors of criticism from within and beyond The Keshet deal with issues, such as, the meaning of the movement's activities and the narrative that it offers regarding questions of Israeli identity, Israeli collective memory, and Mizrahi self-perception. At the same time, it must confront the capitalist neo-liberal narrative in a global world and thrive in a context in which it must make itself manifest amidst oppositional narratives. The final chapter presents a comprehensive, critical analysis of the new Mizrahi narrative. It does so by means of a theoretical model that examines it as an oppositional narrative – one that seeks to challenge the hegemonic meta-narrative, to dissolve the boundaries of the narrative discourse, and to propose liberation and redemption that may led to entrapment amidst a changing, a-dichotomous realities (e. g., global economic development in the face of Zionist nationalisms that display ideological strength as well as development of the sense of being an Israeli that maintains its vitality and continuity while being constituted by sectors that challenge being a Mizrahi, such as co-ethnic subjects. The Keshet's influence is dramatic and extends in a number of central directions. Its political activity and non-entry into the domains of the Israeli parliament granted the movement significant power in civic discourse and contributed to changing the persona of the Mizrahi discourse; for example, from political-party struggles over budgets and obtaining shares of the regime to changing the face of Israeli society and the centrality of the Mizrahi narrative. This change included deconstructing the Ashkenazic narrative and constructing comprehensive Ashkenazic-Zionist guilt, as evident in the Ehud Barak's request for collective forgiveness. This was accomplished through the participation of leading members of Keshet who appeared in prominent intellectual forums and engaged in lively discourse - principally in academic, social, and media domains. Such participation gave new meaning to various aspects of Israeli society while establishing different models of multiculturalism. The rise of the new Mizrahi narrative is a significant marker in the inter-narrative struggle as it represents a desire for separate or hybrid identities. And, the deep probing of the narrative constructed by leaders of The Keshet and those who identify with the movement produced a number of clear ways to distinguish it from the old Mizrahi struggle, whose history was portrayed through social protests, in a manner similar to linear vectors marked with wars and elections. The old Mizrahi struggle selected the traditional tactical struggle identified usually with social and political movements that seek to change political, social, and economic reality - from the bottom up. Their primary demand was to change decisions as well as the division of social goods and resources. Hence, this older period of struggle was not aimed at opposing the ideological foundations of the hegemonic narrative nor did it seek to undermine in a radical manner the unique nature of the state of Israel as a revolutionary solution for the problems of the Jews according to the Zionist approach, as a national home for the Jewish people, and recognition of the right to an preferred and meta-definition of Jewish nationalism. In contrast, the top down struggle advanced by the new narrative is part of an ideological movement led by the educated that is assertive and ground in post-colonialist theory. Accordingly, it was critical of the techniques and mechanisms of oppression as well as sought to attack the Zionist ideological foundations and to reveal its racist operations and the regimes that have preserved it so efficiently for many years. The uniqueness of this narrative is the intellectual offensive that continues to be advanced and, in parallel, development of the discourse struggle in Israel concerning the justification for Zionism and the concrete political proposal that Jews reject the taken-for-granted status of it as an ideology. This new narrative recognizes the historic difficulties of subversion as an emancipatory and, principally, moral effort. In addition, the new Mizrahi narrative shares the foundations and narrative of Palestinian victimization. In its radical version, the new Mizrahi narrative seeks to connect to the Palestinian narrative in order to create a new space here. According to this version, this action will take place gradually. The first stage will be characterized by opposition to Western European, Ashkenazic Zionism. The Eurocentric Zionism will surrender in the second stage, to be followed in the last stage by creation of a coalition of Jews and Arabs that will be establish through concrete actualization of the refugee status and victimization that is shared by both Palestinians and Mizrahim (whether as Mizrahim or Jewish-Arab). Not a speculative academic exercise, the goal sought by this narrative is delineate and to achieve a multicultural model in which equality, liberty, and social justice will overcome the nationalism and colonialism of either side; that is it will be neither Zionist nor Jewish. Thus, this approach stresses what is shared (e.g., acceptance of the Arab space and not a rejection of it; the legitimacy of the Arab language and culture). This is part of detachment from and historic judgment of the colonialist Zionist enterprise. This possibility includes moral elements that remove the evil and harm caused by Zionism for many years as well as inner cleansing – primarily among Ashkenazim – of attitudes towards Jews and non-Jews. Though, in this regard, it should be noted that, to date, the new narrative has not made similar claims that Palestinians undergo a similar process. The assumption seems to be that this should be tested, that the coalition proposed is a possibility that will be recognized by the Palestinians, and that they are prepared to undergo a similar, shared moral process that involves negating the state of Israel as a Jewish, Western state, a state of the Jewish people, and not only for those who live within it. These Mizrahi thinkers conducted a significant move through deconstruction and substitution of the Eurocentric narrative with a multi-cultural proposal that is optimistic and even attractively naïve. Today, they acknowledge that they did not take into account Palestinian nationalist violence directed to citizens, the traditionalist alternative, and widespread opposition within the Mizrahi community toward what is perceived to be Mizrahi seclusion. They also did not take into account the harsh criticism rendered by young and educated Mizrahim who claim that they were born into a complex, multi-dimensional, multi-layered identity that includes internalization of the language of the West and rules of the game of this complex identity. And, though they are critical of some of its values, this makes it difficult to mount internal emotional opposition to the West and to the globalization contained within this world. Hence, this more familiar world is preferred over the values of the Mizrahi-Arab alternative, particularly in regard to problems in the domains of democratic citizenship, stance taken toward women, and freedom of speech. Further, educated Mizrachim reject the post-colonialist perspective and are stridently critical of its dichotomization. They claim that such a division is irrelevant in a world in which older ideologies have collapsed and new spheres – such as cyberspace and others – are open to them in which they can present themselves with an Israeli identity that is not categorized as necessarily Mizrahi. (shrink)
The debate on history teaching in the Israeli education system often digresses beyond the disagreements between professionals, teachers and educators regarding the discipline. It reflects different points of views regarding the role of the state as an educating factor, its commitment to teach national, nation building, values and its adherence to humanistic, man building, values and democratic, society building, values.
Gaucher disease is a rare, chronic,ethnic-specific genetic disorder affecting Jewsof Eastern European descent. It is extremelyexpensive to treat and presents difficultdilemmas for officials and patients in Israelwhere many patients live. First, high-cost,high-benefit, but low volume treatment forGaucher creates severe allocation dilemmas forpolicy makers. Allocation policies driven bycost effectiveness, age, opportunity or needmake it difficult to justify funding. Processoriented decision making based on terms of faircooperation or decisions invoking the ``rule ofrescue'''' risk discriminating against minoritieswho may already suffer from inequitabledistribution of (...) heath care resources. Apartfrom cost, Gaucher disease prompts questionsabout abortion. Unlike severe geneticdisorders, Gaucher offers no grounds forabortion and, in many ways, is analogous togender based abortions that are prohibitedregardless of fetal age. Finally, Gaucherraises concerns about the disclosure of geneticinformation. These affect potential carriersasked to participate in population studies andcarriers and patients who must considerdisclosure to others. These concerns weigh theright to privacy against communal interests andbilateral commitments. (shrink)
If justice means equal participation and inclusion, as authors such as Axel Honneth or Nancy Fraser have argued, the question still remains: inclusion in what, and of whom? This question has not been investigated with sufficient attention. Drawing on the example of the experience of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, I address this issue by distinguishing different meanings of equality which correspond to different types of political struggles. In so doing, I re-examine Honneth’s claim that the critical theory of recognition has (...) no room for cultural groups as referents of a potential ‘fourth principle of recognition’ beyond legal equality, the merit principle, and love. It is argued that Honneth’s critique of collective rights neglects crucial differences between the types of groups that exist in modern states, and between the different kinds of struggles for equality waged by those groups. (shrink)
Politics, and in particular the question of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, is currently dealt with rather through fiction and art, and much less through genuine political actions, is a strong sign of the failure of politics as a positive, voluntaristic political project. Rap /hip hop music, the most naturally political art, does not have the political agenda anymore. The particular history or Israeli rap illustrates this process in a striking way, embodying the recent evolution of the Israeli society. The country was (...) established on a political project and previously unknown social generosity. Yet, the economical and geopolitical context of Israel, as well as increasingly difficult relationship with Palestinians, made its citizens surprisingly uninterested in rethinking the political project of the country. Individual preoccupations, also economical, family and friends’ problems, started to occupy the central place in art and in daily life in Israel, and politics has been definitively associated to corruption and self-interest of an elite. Rap reflects this evolution, is its condensed version. (shrink)
The policy is consistent with international law because Israel is engaged in armed conflict with terrorists, those targeted are usually killed by conventional military means, and the targets of the attacks are not civilians but combatants.
End-of-life decisions concerning euthanasia, stopping life-support machines, or handling advance directives are very complex and highly disputed in industrialized, democratic countries. A main controversy is how to balance the patient’s autonomy and right to self-determination with the doctor’s duty to save life and the value of life as such. These EoL dilemmas are closely linked to legal, medical, religious, and bioethical discourses. In this paper, we examine and deconstruct these linkages in Germany and Israel, moving beyond one-dimensional constructions of (...) ethical statements as “social facts” to their conflicting and multifaceted embedding within professional, religious, and cultural perspectives. (shrink)
The moral discourse surrounding end-of-life (EoL) decisions is highly complex, and a comparison of Germany and Israel can highlight the impact of cultural factors. The comparison shows interesting differences in how patient’s autonomy and doctor’s duties are morally and legally related to each other with respect to the withholding and withdrawing of medical treatment in EoL situations. Taking the statements of two national expert ethics committees on EoL in Israel and Germany (and their legal outcome) as an example (...) of this discourse, we describe the similarity of their recommendations and then focus on the differences, including the balancing of ethical principles, what is identified as a problem, what social role professionals play, and the influence of history and religion. The comparison seems to show that Israel is more restrictive in relation to Germany, in contrast with previous bioethical studies in the context of the moral and legal discourse regarding the beginning of life, in which Germany was characterized as far more restrictive. We reflect on the ambivalence of the cultural reasons for this difference and its expression in various dissenting views on passive euthanasia and advance directives, and conclude with a comment on the difficulty in classifying either stance as more or less restrictive. (shrink)
End-of-life decision making constitutes a major challenge for bioethical deliberation and political governance in modern democracies: On the one hand, it touches upon fundamental convictions about life, death, and the human condition. On the other, it is deeply rooted in religious traditions and historical experiences and thus shows great socio-cultural diversity. The bioethical discussion of such cultural issues oscillates between liberal individualism and cultural stereotyping. Our paper confronts the bioethical expert discourse with public moral attitudes. The paper is based on (...) a qualitative study comprising 12 focus group discussions with religious and secular persons in the USA, Germany, and Israel. Considering the respective socio-political and legal frameworks, the thematic analysis focuses on moral attitudes towards end-of-life decision making and explores the complex interplay between individual preferences, culture, and religion. Our findings draw attention to the variety and complexity of cultural and religious aspects of end-of-life decision making. Although there is local consensus that goes beyond radical individualism, positions are not neatly matched with national cultures or religious denominations. Instead, the relevance of the specific situatedness of religious beliefs and cultural communities becomes visible: Their status and role in individual situations, for example, as consensual or conflicting on the level of personal perspectives, family relationships, or broader social contexts, e.g., as a majority or minority culture within a political system. As the group discussions indicate, there are no clear-cut positions anchored in “nationality,” “culture,” or “religion.” Instead, attitudes are personally decided on as part of a negotiated context representing the political, social and existential situatedness of the individual. Therefore, more complex theoretical and practical approaches to cultural diversity have to be developed. (shrink)
This article focuses on the dynamic between the medical policy on intersex bodies and intersex activists in Israel. Recently, in many countries changes have taken place in medical guidelines regarding intersex patients and laws that regulate medical practices and prohibit irreversible surgeries for intersex babies for cosmetic reasons and without the patient’s consent. In Israel, intersex activists are limited by several factors. On the one hand, they are influenced by the achievements of intersex activism around the world but (...) on the other, the pathologizing medical discourse and socio-medical practices, which include early diagnosis, early irreversible surgeries, and secrecy surrounding intersexed bodies, present obstacles to achieving bodily autonomy for intersex individuals and social recognition of different sex development. Nevertheless, intersex activists are attempting to find different social and media spaces in which to achieve public acknowledgement and future bodily autonomy for intersexed people and seeking medical professionals’ cooperation. Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Health published a new circular for intersex/DSD patients, and while it does not clearly forbid irreversible surgeries, it provides information about the complexities of intersex people and their experience. (shrink)
Israel 2004 claims that numerous philosophers have misinterpreted Goodman’s original ‘New Riddle of Induction’, and weakened it in the process, because they do not define ‘grue’ as referring to past observations. Both claims are false: Goodman clearly took the riddle to concern the maximally general problem of “projecting” any type of characteristic from a given realm of objects into another, and since this problem subsumes Israel’s, Goodman formulated a stronger philosophical challenge than the latter surmises.
This paper analyses self-declared aims and representation of dementia patient organizations and advocacy groups in relation to two recent upheavals: the critique of social stigmatization and biomedical research focusing on prediction. Based on twenty-six semi-structured interviews conducted in 2016–2017 with members, service recipients, and board representatives of POs in Germany and Israel, a comparative analysis was conducted, based on a grounded theory approach, to detect emerging topics within and across the POs and across national contexts. We identified a heterogeneous (...) landscape, with the only Israeli PO focusing strongly on caretakers, whereas in Germany several POs claim to represent this patient collective. Shared aims of all POs were fighting social stigma, balancing the loss of patients’ individual autonomy, and the well-being of caretakers. By highlighting the emergence of new groups of dementia self-advocacy against the more traditional advocacy by others, this study highlights how advocacy and representation in the context of AD are embedded in the discursive context of stigmatization and revised disease conception. Future developments in early diagnosis and prediction of dementia, with more affected people likely to conduct dementia self-advocacy, might challenge existing representation structures even more. (shrink)
In his book The Purse and the Sword: The Trials of Israel’s Legal Revolution, Daniel Friedmann brings under critical inspection what he names as a legal revolution in Israel. Friedmann gives us, under that name, an account of a shift of certain major and sensitive state powers from elected leaders and legislators to politically insulated officials and judges. The Supreme Court’s construction of two Basic Law enactments of the twelfth Knesset into a justiciable, substantive “formal constitution” for (...) class='Hi'>Israel figures in Friedmann’s book as one component of the revolution, along with other judicial developments, including purposive interpretation of constitutional and other laws, an intensified form of common-law review of administrative actions for unreasonableness, and expansionary revisions to standing and justiciability. In all these developments, Aharon Barak took a leading part as judge and as scholar. I here consider to what extent these developments may be understood as responsive to promptings from a “political-liberal” conception of a justificational burden and need for substantive constitutional law. I reflect here on the possible pull of this conception in a political-cultural setting of a persisting widespread attachment to an idea of Israel as a member of the family of liberal constitutional states, and hence on Barak’s understanding of the role and responsibility of the Supreme Court. I speculate briefly about how far that pull may extend also to Professor Friedmann in his role of critic of the judicial handiwork of Barak and the Court on which he served. (shrink)
On 9 May 2005, the Israeli Ministry of Health issued guidelines spelling out the conditions under which sex selection by preimplantation genetic diagnosis for social purposes is to be permitted in Israel. This article first reviews the available medical methods for sex selection, the preference for children of a specific gender in various societies and the ethical controversies surrounding PGD for medical and social purposes in different countries. It focuses then on the question of whether procreative liberty or parental (...) responsibility should be the centre of attention in this context. Finally, the article critically examines the new Israeli guidelines and their implications for the women undergoing the necessary medical treatments, for the children born as a result, for other members of the family and for society in general. (shrink)
This chapter discusses a form of pedagogy of reflection suggested to be defined as the dialogical-reflective professional-development school (DRPDS) a framework that develops and empowers students by engaging them in a process of continual improvement, responding to diverse situations, providing stimuli for learning, and giving anchors for mediation. The pedagogy of reflection relates to dialogue not only from a theoretical historical context but also by way of example that is, it offers empowering dialogues within the traditional teacher-training framework. (...) This chapter outlines the importance of the pedagogy of reflection in the multicultural educational space of the preservice education field in Israel, analyzing the first university PDS model. The pedagogy of reflection in the context of the educational dialogue of educators is outlined as a tool for student empowerment, achieved through a community of learners who dedicate space to the development of their whole personality within the profession, taking a moral stance toward the educational discourse, minimizing judgmentalism and prejudice, creating national/gender equality with the goal of examining the fundamental question of educational performance, and reinforcing their sense of organizational belonging within the system. In these contexts, the chapter is based on the elements of dialogical philosophy exemplified in the thought of Burbules, Nelson, Isaacs, Bohm, and Heckmann and the reflective basis of educational and organizational performance exemplified in the writings of van Manen. The chapter also presents two examples from a project in which teaching units based on dialogue and reflection were developed within a dialogic community that represents in its very being collective empowerment, the possibility of coping with problems that are too large for an individual to solve on his/her own, and an alternative to sealed and alienated organizations. (shrink)
Unlike most Western nations, Israel does not recognize full separation of church and state but seeks instead a gentle fusion of Jewish and democratic values. Inasmuch as important religious norms such as sanctity of life may clash with dignity, privacy, and self-determination, conflicts frequently arise as Israeli lawmakers, ethicists, and healthcare professionals attempt to give substance to the idea of a Jewish-democratic state. Emerging issues in Israeli bioethics—end-of-life treatment, fertility, genetic research, and medical ethics during armed conflict—highlight this conflict (...) vividly. (shrink)