We show the existence of Lorentz invariant Berry phases generated, in the Stueckelberg–Horwitz–Piron manifestly covariant quantum theory (SHP), by a perturbed four dimensional harmonic oscillator. These phases are associated with a fractional perturbation of the azimuthal symmetry of the oscillator. They are computed numerically by using time independent perturbation theory and the definition of the Berry phase generalized to the framework of SHP relativistic quantum theory.
Several key areas in modeling the cardiovascular and respiratory control systems are reviewed and examples are given which reflect the research state of the art in these areas. Attention is given to the interrelated issues of data collection, experimental design, and model application including model development and analysis. Examples are given of current clinical problems which can be examined via modeling, and important issues related to model adaptation to the clinical setting.
According to the common view, conscientious objection is grounded in autonomy or in ‘freedom of conscience’ and is tolerated out of respect for the objector's autonomy. Emphasising freedom of conscience or autonomy as a central concept within the issue of conscientious objection implies that the conscientious objector should have an independent choice among alternative beliefs, positions or values. In this paper it is argued that: (a) it is not true that the typical conscientious objector has such a choice when they (...) decide to act upon their conscience and (b) it is not true that the typical conscientious objector exercises autonomy when developing or acquiring their conscience. Therefore, with regard to tolerating conscientious objection, we should apply the concept of autonomy with caution, as tolerating conscientious objection does not reflect respect for the conscientious objector’s right to choose but rather acknowledges their lack of real ability to choose their conscience and to refrain from acting upon their conscience. This has both normative and analytical implications for the treatment of conscientious objectors. (shrink)
To date, both the United States federal government and twenty-one individual states have passed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that aim to protect religious persons from having their sincere beliefs substantially burdened by governmental interests. RFRAs accomplish this by offering a three-pronged exemption test for religious objectors that is satisfied only when (1) an objector has a sincere belief that is being substantially burdened; (2) the government has a very good reason (e.g., health or safety) to interfere; and (3) there is (...) a reasonable alternative to serve the compelling interest. Legal balancing tests like those found in RFRA are content neutral insofar as they sideline the belief-content of conscientious objections as irrelevant when determining the permissibility of granting legal accommodations. However, some theorists worry that this legal picture may be backward: perhaps balancing tests should be content non-neutral given the usual features of conscientious objections. For example, Yossi Nehushtan contends that, contrary to their typical codification, religious conscience beliefs seem undeserving of special legal accommodations because they possess uniquely strong empirical and theoretical ties to intolerance. Thus, the illiberally intolerant content of these conscientious objections might actually give the state a reason to refuse to grant legal exemptions. In this paper, I offer a cursory defense of content neutrality with respect to balancing tests like those found in RFRA. To begin, I outline Nehushtan’s argument for content non-neutrality. The cornerstone of his argument is that illiberal intolerance is intolerable such that conscientious objections that are based upon illiberally intolerant values provide the state with strong, normally prevailing reason not to grant an exemption. I argue that, even when the illiberally intolerant content of one’s conscience constitutes a weighty and relevant factor in determining the permissibility of granting a legal exemption, there remain significant problems. It is difficult, for example, to determine which views are illiberally intolerant and difficult to say whether illiberally intolerant views can effectively serve as the principled demarcating line in balancing tests. To conclude, I offer several cursory arguments in favor of adopting content-neutral approaches without necessarily making a comprehensive case. By drawing on the work of Amy Sepinwall, Nadia Sawicki, and Nathan Chapman, I show that content-neutral approaches can help to safeguard robust protections for conscience by permitting atypical exercises of conscience, protect minority thoughts and practices from being coercively supplanted by majoritarian understandings of morality, appropriately maintain the skepticism and humility that we owe each other as compatriots in a pluralistic society, and allow the kind of justifiable civil disobedience that has an important place in political history among other things. (shrink)
Research shows that the physician’s personal attributes and social characteristics have a strong association with their end-of-life decision making. Despite efforts to increase patient, family and surrogate input into EOL decision making, research shows the physician’s input to be dominant. Our research finds that physician’s social values, independent of religiosity, have a significant association with physician’s tendency to withhold or withdraw life sustaining, EOL treatments. It is suggested that physicians employ personal social values in their EOL medical coping, because they (...) have to cope with existential dilemmas posed by the mystery of death, and left unresolved by medical decision making mechanisms such as advanced directives and hospital ethics committees. (shrink)
In a recent study half of the participants were informed of the occasional occurrence of location regularities in visual stimulus sets, while the other half was not. Evidence was presented to the effect that uninformed participants extracted the patterns from the displays better than the informed participants. The authors interpret their finding as demonstrating that working memory can operate non-consciously. However, inspection of the data suggests that rather than being more effective than the informed participants in extracting patterns, uninformed participants (...) were more strongly affected by the “Broken Patterns” that served as misleading cues. Thus whereas the findings may support the possibility of non-conscious operation of low level WM functions, they nevertheless underscore the importance of conscious awareness as far as higher level functions are concerned. (shrink)
By enacting equality laws the liberal state decides the limits of liberal tolerance by relying on content-based rather than content-neutral considerations. Equality laws are not and cannot be neutral. They reflect a content-based moral decision about the importance and weight of the principle of equality vis-à-vis other rights or interests. This leads to the following conclusions: First, since equality laws in liberal democracies reflect moral-liberal values, conscientious objections to equality laws rely, almost by definition, on unjustly intolerant, anti-liberal and morally (...) repugnant values. Secondly, we should not shy away from explicitly relying on moral-liberal views when deciding whether it is justified to grant exemptions from equality laws. Thirdly, conscientious objections to equality laws should normally not be tolerated or accommodated by the state, because conscientious objections that rely on what is rightly perceived as unjustly intolerant, anti-liberal and morally repugnant values should not be tolerated in a tolerant-liberal democracy. (shrink)
Does the inculcation of patriotic sentiments in the hearts of patriotsrender them invulnerable to the malady of self-alienation experiencedotherwise by citizens of the “atomist” state? Rousseau, as will be shownin this paper, provided a positive answer to this question. Accordingly,he accorded utmost importance in his political and educational writingto the education for patriotism. The purpose of this paper is to offer acritical assessment of Rousseau's education for patriotism. I suggestthat when successfully implemented, this education leads to theestrangement and effacement of (...) the self, giving rise to a malady similarto the one Rousseau wanted to cure. If Rousseau's patriotic educationcan really prevent the experience of self-alienation arising due to alack of a community one can call one's own, this very education givesalso rise to the experience of self-alienation arising upon theemergence of a tight-knit patriotic community. Such a community leavesno room for the development of the individual's (or the patriot's)unique talents and the pursuit of his or her self-regarding goals andencourages the emergence, over again, of the experience ofself-alienation. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore a specific variant of multicultural education inIsrael that developed within the dominant Jewish cultural identity, that isthe claim of Jews from Islamic countries (Mizrahi Jews) for educational autonomy. This demand arose against the backdrop of an aggressive nationalist ideology â Zionism â that claimed torepresent all Jews, and yet was too ambivalent toward its non-European Jewish subjects. The Mizrahi Jews' dual identity, as Jews and as products of the Arab culture, conflated with the state's problematic (...) self-conception as both Jewish and democratic. This phenomenon, apparently, is evidenced by the two types of multicultural responses that developed within the Mizrahi sector: a critical multiculturalism with a social-democratic character on the one hand, and an autonomist multiculturalism with fundamentalist featureson the other. (shrink)
This paper explores two main arguments. The first argument is that religious persons—because they are religious persons—are likely to be more intolerant than non-religious persons. This argument is supported by decisive empirical evidence. The second argument is that there are meaningful, clear and unique theoretical links between religion, or, more precisely, certain types of religion, and intolerance. It is submitted that the special links between religion and intolerance are the result of seven characteristics of religion which are specified in the (...) paper. Both arguments should encourage us to re-evaluate the proper place that religion should have in the legal and political sphere. (shrink)
Between States is the first book that assesses systematically the broad implications of interim governments in the establishment of democratic regimes and on the existence of states. Based on historical and contemporary democratisation experiences, the book presents four ideal types of interim government: opposition-led provisional governments, power-sharing interim governments, incumbent-led caretaker governments, and international interim government by the United Nations. The first part explores the theoretical problems of each of these models from a broad comparative perspective. It uses as illustrations (...) historical and contemporary cases that present a wide spectrum of contexts for comparison. The second part provides extensive case studies that are intended to illustrate, appraise, amplify and criticise the analysis in volume one. These include Iran, East Germany, Portugal, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia. (shrink)
Several possible approaches can be applied by the state when it responds to religious conscientious objections. These approaches compare the response to religious-conscientious objections with that to non-religious objections. If the content of the objector’s conscience is significant when deciding to grant conscientious exemptions, three approaches to the practice of granting conscientious exemptions are possible: First, a non-neutral liberal approach that takes into consideration the content of the conscience but not its religiosity as such; second, a pro-religious approach; and third, (...) an anti-religious approach. This paper contends that the non-neutral liberal approach and the pro-religious approach should be rejected in favor of an anti-religious approach to granting conscientious exemptions. The proposed anti-religious approach is as follows: (1) unjustified intolerance should not be tolerated; (2) empirical evidence links religion and intolerance – that is, people’s responses to measures of religion and intolerance are closely related; (3) theoretical evidence links (some) religions and intolerance; and (4) the religiosity of conscience gives the state a reason to refuse to grant conscientious exemptions. (shrink)
Most democratic states tolerate, to various extents, conscientious objection. The same states tend not to tolerate acts of civil disobedience and what they perceive as selective conscientious objection. In this paper it is claimed that the dichotomy between civil disobedience and conscientious objection is often misguided; that the existence of a “civic conscience” makes it impossible to differentiate between conscientious objection and civil disobedience; and that there is no such thing as “selective” conscientious objection—or that classifying an objection as “selective” (...) has no significant moral or practical implications. These claims are supported by a preliminary, more general argument according to which conscientious objection is and should be tolerated because the objector lacks the ability to choose his conscience and to decide whether to act upon it. The lack-of-choice argument, it is claimed, applies equally to all types of conscientious objection, including those that are mistakenly called “selective” objection. It also applies to one type of civil disobedience. As a result, if a state is willing to tolerate non-selective conscientious objection, it may and at times must also tolerate selective conscientious objection and civil disobedience and to a similar degree. (shrink)
Imbalanced plasticity of neural networks in the brain is proposed to underlie deficits in the integration of efferent and afferent processes in schizophrenia. These deficits affect the priming of the behavior implementing systems by prior knowledge, and thus impair both controlled regulation and automatic activation of mental and motor processes. The sense of self as a distinct entity can consequently be undermined. In predominantly reality-distorting patients, hypo-plasticity of neural connectivity may cause the emergence of highly focused but inflexible patterns of (...) activation in their representation and response systems. This may lead to dominance of prepotent patterns of activity in these systems and a relative inability of higher control systems to bias lower level activity towards congruence with the ongoing cognitive and motor context. By contrast, predominantly disorganized patients are characterized by hyper-plastic connectivity. This leads to a weakening of prepotent response tendencies but also, as in reality-distorting patients, to less effective top-down contextual constraining. (shrink)
In this Article we propose an analytical framework for allocating responsibility for the protection of worker’s rights in the global labor market. Since production and services have expanded globally, and the state’s ability to protect worker’s rights on the national level has been undermined, the main challenge today is to find the appropriate institutional arrangements that allocate responsibility in a manner that realizes basic labor standards. The Article argues that in the context of a global labor market, responsibility should be (...) perceived in terms of "shared responsibility," whereby responsibility is shared by a complex network of agents and institutions that take part in global production and services. Within these global social networks and connections, labor relations generate a unique type of social connection which implies a special type of commitment and obligation towards workers. We propose four principles to guide the allocation of responsibility for remedying the unjust conditions of workers in the world, based on measures of connectedness, capacity, benefit, and contribution. (shrink)
Beilin was a former chief negotiator for the Israeli government in the Oslo process at Camp David and Taba. He brings a valuable contribution to this volume as a practitioner and political scientist involved directly in conflict negotiations. After fulfilling his post as the Minister of Justice for the Israeli government, he became one of the lead Israeli representatives in the Geneva Accord negotiations. In this sceptical work, Beilin points to the possible dangers of speaking about the combined concepts of (...) justice and peace, believing that there cannot be one without the other. Peace treaties have often been signed and implemented by the victors of conflict, but have left the population on either side out of the determinations of justice. Beilin presents a history filled with examples in which political leaders have bypassed opportunities for peace because they did not deem the conditions just, and thus perpetuated conflict with untold costs. (shrink)
In the last two decades the Israeli educational system has undergone major changes which have transformed it from a state-controlled, overly bureaucratic and almost fully state-financed system into a decentralized, partly locally controlled and increasingly privately financed system. Advocates of this transformation of the educational system appeal to the ideal of parental choice. They argue that the implementation of parental choice programs in education shows more respect to the children and their unique talents, take their self-realization seriously and promotes equal (...) opportunities in education. The ideal of parental choice is also upheld in relation to value of cultural pluralism. Supporters of educational autonomy advocate the restructuring of schools in a way allowing them to develop a unique climate and curriculum consistent with respective communities and parents' preferences. The aim of this paper is to assess critically the changes that Israeli educational system has undergone against the background of the principle of equal educational opportunities. The main claim of the paper is that these changes undermine this principle. It will be argued that these changes actually cater mainly to the educational interests of middle and upper middle classes in Israeli society. (shrink)
In a response to Hassin’s reply to my comment on his study ), I suggest that the involvement of the central executive reveals itself in the absence of the Pattern variable effect in the Informed group, rather than in the presence of this effect in the uninformed one.
Seyla Benhabib’s article, “Twilight of Sovereignty or the Emergence of Cosmopolitan Norms” offers a penetrating analysis of the contemporary global order and suggests a normative approach by which to mend its structural failures—viewed from the democratic ideal of popular sovereignty and guided by what she calls “cosmopolitan norms.” The authors take issue with Benhabib's position on both the descriptive and the normative grounds, and make three critical points in this matter: the first two points concern Benhabib's descriptive portrayal of the (...) global order. The third critical point concerns her normative position, i.e., her ideal of the good polity, displayed through her idea of “democratic iteration” operating through global civil society. The critical assessment of Benhabib's views ensues from the authors’ endorsement of the transformationalist position—the state, although somewhat undermined by global processes, still possesses considerable power and maintains a crucial role in determining the trajectory of these processes. (shrink)
In the early 1990s Israel underwent a so-called constitutional revolution. According to the champions of this revolution, Israel has essentially become, as a result of this momentous event, a constitutional democracy, upholding individual freedom and liberties and allowing for judicial review of parliamentary legislation. Despite the congratulatory rhetoric, it is generally agreed upon that the constitution is still in need of some essential supplements before Israel can qualify as a fully constitutional democracy. The main question addressed in this paper is (...) the following: is it ‘reasonable’ that Israel take the further necessary steps that qualify it as a fully constitutional democracy? The doubts raised in this regard stem from the very concerns that lead political philosophers (mainly Rawls) to stress the unique value of liberal democracy. As they argue, liberal democracy provides deeply divided societies with the best means to secure their legitimacy and political stability. Israel's political realities, I argue, defy this claim. Moreover, Israel's political realities may also carry a valuable lesson to other states, even to seemingly robust liberal democracies. It is not the purpose of the paper, of course, to argue that Israel's existing rule of government should be embraced by other states – far from that. Israel should undergo some radical changes so that it can protect the rights and interests of all its citizens. Yet, to achieve this purpose, it should transcend, I will argue, liberal democracy. As matters stand, simply strengthening its liberal character, Israel's political system may be exposed to a growing challenge to its legitimacy and stability. It should, therefore, reject liberal democracy and especially the principle of neutrality that is intimately connected with a liberal rule of government and embrace, instead, the ideal of multicultural democracy. This ideal, I argue, is better equipped to answer the need of deeply divided societies to secure their legitimacy and stability. (shrink)
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)
My dissertation is about the scope and limits of practical rationality. Specifically, it is intended as a critical essay on instrumental rationality; it will also include some suggestions on how to go beyond instrumental rationality. ;The instrumental conception of rationality expresses a recurrent theme in modern contemporary philosophy. This theme made its first formidable appearance in the work of Hobbes, and since then it has dominated most of the debates about the objectivity of moral values, personal values, and ideals. Depending (...) on their aspirations, the participants of these debates have either accepted the instrumental theme or wanted to expose its shortcomings. ;The instrumental theme is identified with two complementary theses. According to the first thesis, humans are identified as desire-maximizers who are motivated to act only by their actual desires, inclinations, and dispositions. Under this conception, even morality is perceived as being a set of prudential precepts reducible to the agent's concern with the satisfaction of his desires . ;According to the second thesis, rational deliberation has only the limited function of selecting effective means to satisfying one's desires. That is, rational deliberation does not involve the furnishing of the practical agent with new desires and goals, nor are his desires and goals susceptible to rational appraisal. The rationality of a person is a direct function of his capacity to select proper means for satisfying his desires: the more efficient the means, the more rational the person's conduct. The skeptical thrust of the second thesis amounts to the denial of intrinsic value to any desire or goal. ;My critical discussion of the instrumental conception is intended to show two things. First, the ultimate goal of humans cannot be identified solely with the satisfaction of desires; and second, reason is capable of doing more than just selecting efficient means for satisfying one's desires. The idea guiding my critical discussion of the instrumental conception is that personal values and ideals are susceptible to rational appraisal--an appraisal that contributes essentially to the conception of what it means to be rational. Indeed, this kind of appraisal is what carries us beyond instrumentalism. (shrink)