• Signs of Society. Non–Governmental Organizations in Israel and the Palestinian Authority

    The situation of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has lasted for over a century with half of the century of increasing violence, especially after the Six Days War. The long-standing occupation has been leading to mental take over by this issue and dehumanization of opponents in both parties’ minds. Although in last decade one could see some symptoms of peace process, especially after Oslo agreement, violence always erupted despite the official papers. In this paper I will examine the conditions of societies in the Palestinian Autonomy and Israel with special emphasis on NGOs. Although it is obvious that civil society cannot be narrowed to the non-governmental organizations, one can say that the NGOs are the most visible and measurable among the signs of existence of civil society.

  • Editorial

    Dear Readers, this Special Issue of the Polish Political Science Journal on Israel Studies, which we are happy to present, is a result of the cooperation between the European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS), the University of Wrocław, and the Jagiellonian University. The cooperation began at the EAIS 6th Annual Conference on Israel Studies held in September 2017 in Wrocław, Poland. The aim of the conference was to bring together international scholars from a variety of disciplines, who are engaged in research in any aspect of Israel studies – including Politics, Literature, Security, Minorities, Social Studies, History, Economics, Law, Culture, Film, Music, and Art. 

  • Benjamin Netanyahu’s Long Premiership and the Rise of the New Political Center: Is there a Qualitative Change in the Israeli Party System?

    Israel’s party system has been characterized by the bipolar rivalry between the left-wing and right-wing blocks since the late 1970s. In recent years we could have seen at least two trends that seem to diverge from this model. For the last 9 years, the Likud party has formed three successive governments which have made Benjamin Netanyahu the longest continuously serving prime minister in the history of Israel. Another new occurrence is the preservation of a significant representation of the centre parties for four Knesset terms in the row. The aim of the paper is to verify whether Israel’s party system has departed from the two-blocs bipolar model. Based on the empirical data (election results, government formation, party’s political platforms) it examines whether the parties’ rivalry in the years 2009–2018 differed qualitatively from the previous period. To answer this question the paper investigates three hypotheses. First – Likud has become a dominant party in Israel. Second – a dominant and stable Israeli right-wing parties’ bloc has formed. Third – an enduring and relevant centre sector has emerged in Israel’s party system.

  • Israel’s Neoliberal Turn and its National Security Paradigm

    Since the early 2000s, Israel has adhered to a particularly virulent strain of economic neoliberalism which has led to an unprecedented rise in nationwide levels of poverty and inequality. Attempts to explain this phenomenon have ignored a key aspect: The need of Israel – and especially its right-wing governments – to create an economic reality that reduces the pressure Israel faces from the international community in the wake of its continued occupation of the territories.

  • The Domestic Dimension of Israeli Public Diplomacy

    The paper adds to the body of recent scholarly literature that emphasizes the role of domestic publics in public diplomacy – a field until recently examined with only minor attention to the domestic realm. It suggests conducting an analysis of the domestic dimension of public diplomacy on three levels: individual, organizational, and national. By doing so, we are able to understand in a complex manner the environment from which public diplomacy practice grows, and thus also its specific dynamics. Applying this model of analysis to the case of Israel, the paper describes major domestic factors shaping Israeli public diplomacy: the culture of individual engagement (individual level), the clash of organizational ethea of institutions responsible for public diplomacy (organizational level), and the intertwining of public diplomacy and nation-building (national level). The analysis also allows us to better grasp the dilemma faced by Israeli public diplomacy between efficiency and democratic character

  • Understanding the Dispute over the Treatment of Products Exported to the European Union from the Occupied Territories in the Context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

    While the European Union (EU) does not recognize any legal Israeli sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, it does not grant preferential access to the EU market for goods produced in the Israeli settlements in this area, contrary to the preferential treatment for goods produced in Israel. This situation is different, however, as regards the United States (U.S.) trade policy, which does not make any distinction between goods produced in Israel and in the Occupied Territories, since it grants the preferential access to both. Furthermore, the currently suspended negotiations of the super-regional trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), spurred the enacting of a law that set the principal negotiating objectives of the U.S. regarding commercial partnerships, which included some provisions to discourage politically motivated economic actions against the State of Israel. As TTIP embraced the free trade agreement between the EU and the U.S., the EU differentiation policy could become problematic for the two partners, which despite the failure of the negotiations, revealed much about economic diplomacy. Consequently, this article attempts to show the different approaches adopted by the two trading powers, in order to deal with the dispute over the treatment of products exported to the EU from the Occupied Territories.

  • Israeli Innovation Policy: an Important Instrument of Perusing Political Interest at the Global Stage

    Israel is perceived in the international environment as one of the top leaders in innovation. This is proven by the progressively high position of this country in international rankings and the participation of Israeli scientists and technologists in prestigious international programs. In this article, we claim that the aims of Israeli innovation policy, which has the biggest impact on the shape and content of the innovation ecosystem, are highly politicized. The status quo driven by the key assumption of the state strategy, according to which obtaining a competitive predominance in the political international environment will be achieved through economic instruments, primarily technological innovation. Therefore the aim of this article is to critically analyze Israeli innovation policy and the innovation ecosystem, paying special attention to the state interest and the government activities in this realm. For the purpose of this analysis, some basic assumptions of the neoliberal economy redefined by Arie Krampf will be utilized. Furthermore, to better describe and explain the link between politics and economy in the Israeli innovation ecosystem we will refer to the K.N. Waltz considerations on mechanisms of the political and economic system in a globalizing world.

  • Dual Citizenship in Poland and in Israel: Selected Legal Aspects in a Comparative Perspective

    The tragic years of World War II, followed by the unfriendly communist policy in Poland towards the Jewish community, changed the country from a multicultural into the most homogeneous state in the European Union nowadays. At the same time, Israel, as a meeting place for various cultures, enjoys the influence of inhabitants from nearly all over the world. The dissimilar experiences and problems faced by the governing bodies should influence different approaches to dual citizenship in Poland and Israel. In view of the above, in the presented work the author would like to analyze the issue of the legal approach to dual citizenship both in Poland and in Israel. The main goal of the paper, beyond comparison of the effectiveness of the legislation, is finding the answer to the question: what is the state’s attitude towards the issue of the dual citizenship of their citizens? The hypothesis that the article will verify states, that due to the small number of people with dual citizenship in Poland, Polish legislation devoted to this topic is not extensive and has dissimilarities to the law in Israel, which, in contrast, is more complex and better response to the needs of society. The reason for comparing Poland and Israel is the fact that Polish citizenship has been very popular among the citizens of the Jewish state, especially since 2004 when Poland became a member of the European Union. This issue, in the long run, may be one of the key determinants of Polish-Israeli and Polish-Jewish relations.

  • Israeli-Ukrainian Relations after ‘the Euromaidan Revolution’ – the Holocaust and the New Ukrainian Identity in the Context of the European Aspirations of Ukraine

    The Euromaidan revolution totally reoriented Ukraine’s policy in both internal and external dimensions. The new Ukrainian authorities facing Russian aggression and domestic instability started to build a new national identity in order to consolidate social cohesion. Due to the fact that Kiev’s new historical narrative glorifies the Ukrainian nationalists from the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) who contributed to the Holocaust of Jews and committed mass murders on the representatives of other nationalities, such a  policy may be a  serious obstacle in the context of Ukraine’s external relations. The present article investigates particularly Israeli-Ukrainian relations after the Euromaidan revolution. The article analyses the impact of the new Ukrainian identity on bilateral relations as well as attempting to answer whether or not it may influence Kiev’s cooperation with the European Union. The article contains a brief description of the new identity building process in the post-Euromaidan Ukraine with special consideration of those elements of it, which are related to “Ukrainian Nationalism”.

  • Matrilineality as a Historical and Cultural Context of Ethical Reflection on the Use of In Vitro Fertilization in Israel

    On one hand, Israel is a leader in the field of high-tech industry, but on the other, it remains a country focused on traditions. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common treatments among many possibilities which were created in the field of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Indeed, the number of Jewish women as intensive consumers of IVF has increased in the past few years. Due to the great importance of motherhood and raising families in Jewish tradition, Israel strongly supports health care procedures assisting Jewish adults in becoming parents. There is no doubt that for Jews life is the most precious value in its religious and political meaning, however, they are quite flexible in accommodating modern technologies in order to serve life. The State has historically focused on increasing birthrates and nowadays a woman’s biological clock is an important element not only in the context of matrilineal descent and for the answer to the question of Jews identity but it is also intervening as a part of the reproductive industry.

  • Deconstructing the Topos of Poland as a Jewish Necropolis in Texts by Israeli Authors of the Third PostHolocaust Generation

    The paper aims at recognizing and describing the ways of deconstructing the topos of Poland as a Jewish necropolis, a process that in the last decade appears more and more often in the works of Israeli authors of the third generation after the Shoah. The generation concept – as I argue – can serve here as a useful tool for understanding the shift which occurred in the specific national context of Israeli Holocaust discourse and strongly influenced the image of Poland in Israeli literature and culture. Poland depicted as a Jewish necropolis has become one of the central motifs present in Israeli literary as well as the artistic canon of Shoah representations. As the central space where the Shoah occurred, Poland was obviously perceived as a land marked by death and formed exclusively by the experience of the Holocaust. However, in the aftermath of two major shifts that have occurred in the last decades: a meaningful change in the Israeli Holocaust discourse and the new reality of Poland after 1989, and also as a consequence of the growing time distance separating yet another generation from the events themselves, numerous authors born in Israel mostly in the 1970s and in the 1980s began approaching the above-mentioned motif critically. This tendency, one of the few typical for the third generation, is demonstrated either through the motif ’s deconstruction and subversive usage or, more radically, by employing the genre of alternate history and changing the place’s identity (e.g. Tel Aviv by Yair Chasdiel). The topos of Poland as a necropolis has therefore been turned into a part – or even a starting point – of the reflection on collective memory patterns (e.g. Kompot. The Polish-Israeli Comic Book), stereotypes (e.g. Bat Yam by Yael Ronen), and on the authors’ own roots and identity (e.g. The Property by Rutu Modan). By analyzing the abovementioned texts, I will explore the process of constant interaction occurring between collective and the individual memory, between the Israeli national perspective and Polish landscapes, between an author and space and, finally – between the category of the third generation and its representatives themselves.

  • Some New Suggestions for Solving the Israeli–Palestinians Disputes

    Many suggestions have been presented for solving the Israeli – Palestinian dispute. As for now, none of those suggestions, presented during more than thirty years of negotiations, have been accepted by both sides. As for this, some new ideas have to be entered into the arena. Here some new, “out of the box”, geographical proposals are presented, based on actual events and geographical realities which exist in other areas. These proposals could be seen as un-human or politically wrong suggestions but as all other proposals were rejected, the decision makers of both sides, as well as the leaders of the world, can use the presented suggestion as a base for future negotiations.

  • Prawosławni Palestyńczycy – pomiędzy muzułmanami, Żydami i Grekami

    Orthodox Palestinians – between Muslims, Jews and Greeks

    Palestinians are not a homogeneous group. One of the minority groups are Christians, the majority of whom is Orthodox. Although relatively few have stayed in their homeland, they still play an important role there. The Orthodox Palestinians have a strong feeling of identity, both ethnically, as Arabs, and religiously as Orthodox Christians. They face problems in three main domains. First, they are exposed to the same forms of discrimination from the Israeli regime as the rest of Palestinians – they are deprived of the opportunity to create and be part of their own, fully independent state. Second, they are a minority living among the Sunni majority nation. Thirdly, despite being a majority in their Church – Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem – they are under Greek domination in various areas. All these factors render the situation of Orthodox Palestinians very complex. The aim of this article is to show this situation and its potential influence on the Palestinian question and the Orthodox Church issues.

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