Subscribe to our mailing list!
Article 15, December 2015
Meytal Eran Jona
The paper attempts to shed light on Israel's trust in the military based on public opinion surveys conducted over the last decade. Our findings illuminate the complexity of the Israeli-Jewish public perception of the IDF. We identify a split between public perceptions of the military as an armed force and its perception of it as a public institution. These two different perceptions co-exist in public opinion, and do not necessarily influence each other. The findings warrant our assertion that public trust in the IDF continued to be high and positive throughout the decade, despite widespread criticism of various aspects of its functioning as a public organizations.
From Military and Strategic Affairs, Volume 6, Issue 3
The Harpaz Affair has revealed one of the worst crises in the history of the relations between the political and military echelons in Israel. Despite the great interest in the affair, one crucial aspect of the relations between then-Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and then-IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has been ignored: the battle between the two over the “general headquarters” section of the IDF Supreme Command orders, which sets forth the status of the Defense Minister vis-ŕ-vis the IDF Chief of Staff and reflects who is head of the military. This is a struggle on the very principles determining the relations between the political echelon and the subordinate military echelon. While the reasons for the recurring crises between the two echelons are generally known and various plans for correcting the situation have been devised, systematic steps to rectify the situation have yet to be taken. What are the reasons for preferring ambiguity in defining the relations between the two? Whose interest does this ambiguity serve, and to what end?
Article 14, January 2015
Election polls in Israel reveal the great electoral potential of the new “Kulanu” (“All of Us”) list, just formed by former Likud Knesset Member Moshe Kahlon. Some polls predict seven seats for him in the next Knesset; others put the number as high as eleven. Either way, this high-profile party is reminiscent of the appearance of Yesh Atid (“There is a Future”) , which emerged ahead of the 2013 general elections to become the second-largest party in the current Knesset. The same scenario may or may not repeat itself this time, but what is clear is that the Kulanu list offers another angle on the mapping of the forces of change that are at work in contemporary Israeli society, first and foremost among them the politics of the country’s increasingly diverse middle class.
Article 13, July 2015
The Reform movement in Israel is growing, with more Israelis turning to it as a viable option to both Orthodoxy and secularism, and with an increasing impact on public discourse. But the story of the movement’s experience in Israel has not been well told. The paper seeks to meet that need. It places the movement in a larger context, reviews its history and current status, and summarizes the challenges it and similar groups are facing.
Article 12, January 2014
This paper analyzes representations of Jerusalem—its history, neighborhoods and communities—found in street signs and plaques in the urban landscape. Narratives of place are always politically inflected. The contemporary visual and textual portrayals of Jerusalem considered here index core issues that are linked to transformative periods in Israel’s history: the 1948 War, Mizrahi immigration and inter-ethnic struggle, and the recent rise of ethno-nationalism buttressed by forces of globalization. Considered together, the selected inscriptions reveal a tension between justifying and undermining Israeli claims to Jerusalem and by extension, upholding and critiquing hierarchies in Israeli society.
Article 11, January 2014
This report seeks to put these controversies in context both within Israel and internationally. It summarizes Israel’s experience with its national assessments, the Meitsav, reviews what actually happened to account for Israel’s recent improvement in international tests, and discusses issues related to the Bagrut. It comments on recent policy changes and discusses how to incorporate best practice worldwide in educational assessments into Israel’s education system.
Article 10, November 2013
Focusing on the possible roles of fear in the context of intractable conflicts, I suggest that fear can serve both as a barrier and as a motivating factor in conflict resolution in general, and in the Israeli-Palestinian case specifically. After elaborating the dominant psycho-political characteristics and implications of fear, the conceptual portion of the article explores the conditions and factors which differentiate between the potential roles of fear in conflict resolution. The empirical section focuses on the use of fear as a barrier and as a motivating factor in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the political discourse in Israel. The research is based on qualitative content analysis of public documents of the principal political programs and on interviews with senior representatives of the programs that were conducted during the formative years of the Disengagement Plan, 2003-2004. Conclusions are drawn regarding emotional appeals, political persuasion, and their social consequences in the Israeli case and in violent and protracted conflict generally.
Article 9, September 2012
Illness caused by smoking has become a worldwide problem, and governments, assisted by the World Health Organization, have conducted campaigns to lessen the health risks to their country’s population. This research illustrates the efforts undertaken by the State of Israel since its founding to make its citizens aware of the problem posed to their health from smoking. The Israeli print media and the health insurance sick funds publicized the latest research on the issue, while Israeli governments and non-governmental bodies, especially the Israel Cancer Association, employed legislation, varieties of educational programs, and advertising campaigns to increase public awareness of the danger to their health from smoking. These efforts had an impact and smoking by Israelis declined. However, recent surveys show that 20 percent of the population continues to smoke.
Article 8, May 2012
This paper is directed towards those living outside Israel who wish to understand the educational challenges that Israel faces. It describes and seeks to explain reasons for the mediocre performance of Israel's primary and secondary schools as well as the problems brought about by the division of schooling into four highly separate sub-systems. It reviews recent initiatives by the government to improve education, from the point of view of international best practice. The paper argues that Israel needs to do more to improve education, through articulating clear goals, ensuring more equitable distribution of resources, recruiting teachers with high knowledge and competence, utilizing assessment results, building bridges between the separate systems, and building consensus among stakeholders.
Article 7, April 2012
"Think Global - Act Local":