Ethnic Minorities and Media in the Holy Land 085303897X, 9780853038979

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Ethnic Minorities and Media in the Holy Land
 085303897X, 9780853038979

Table of contents :
Cover
Front Matter
Title Page
Dedication
Contents
Figures and Tables
Contributors
Introduction
Media and Minorities in Israel: Four Research Traditions
Section A
Minorities' Representation in the Media
Chapter 1
The Whore and the Other Israeli Press Images of Female Immigrants from the Former USSR
Chapter 2
Gesher: An Immigrant Theatre in Israeli Media: A Snapshot from the 1990s
Chapter 3
A New Century and Still the Enemy: The Portrayal of Arabs in Israeli TV News during 2000-11
Chapter 4
Representation of Social Workers in the Immigrant Press. The Case of Russian-language Media in Israel
Section B
Media Production for and by Minorities
Chapter 5
Manila-Tel Aviv: Complexities of a Migrant Workers' Magazine
Chapter 6
Marketing and Nationalizing Ethnicity: The Case of Israel Mediterranean Pop Music
Chapter 7
'I Live as an Alien in the Land; Do not Hide Your Commandments from me': The Regulation of Broadcast Media for and by the Palestinian-Israeli Minority
Chapter 8
Mapping Minority Webspaces: The Case of the Arabic Webspace in Israel
Section C
Minorities' Uses and Reception of Media
Chapter 9
'Tell Me Which Books You Read and I Will Tell You Who You Are': Cultural Boundaries between Co-cultures in Israeli Society
Chapter 10
Ethnicity and the Diversification of Access to Online Health Information and Communication in Israel
Chapter 11
Race and Television through the Eyes of Israeli Mizrahi Audiences: An Ethnography of Television
Chapter 12
Media Use as Integration Strategy: Returning Diasporas from the Soviet Union in Israel and Germany
End Matter
Select Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

CaspiEliasHB1e_HB.qxd 15/01/2014 12:33 Page 1

Professor Simon Cottle, Cardiff University

Russian prostitutes, Manilla migrant workers, Arab Israelis and Misrachi Jews are among Israel’s minorities examined in this thorough research compilation by Dan Caspi and Nelly Elias. The editors offer a compelling paradigm of four historical research traditions that have guided Israeli scholars’ examination of minorities since the country’s founding. Central to the tome is the relationship between the several minorities in Israel and the mass media – their own media efforts as well as those of the Israeli media. A dozen studies, both qualitative and quantitative, evaluate media portrayals, productions, use and reception of and by the minorities. Social scientists interested in minorities or media or both will welcome this contribution. Professor Bradley Greenberg, Michigan State University

Jacket image designed by Noga Korman. Photo of Thai workers courtesy of Shaul Golan. Background photo of Tel Aviv skyline courtesy of Can Stock Photo Inc.

VA L L E N T I N E M I T C H E L L Middlesex House 29/45 High Street Edgware, Middlesex HA8 7UU, UK VALLENTINE MITCHELL

www.vmbooks.com

ISBN 978 0 85303 897 9

ETHNIC MINORITIES AND MEDIA IN THE HOLY LAND

Edited by DAN CASPI and NELLY ELIAS

Nelly Elias is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Her recent projects have dealt with the roles of mass media in the lives of immigrant children and adolescents and media representation of the Russianspeaking Jews in different cultural contexts. She is an author of Coming Home: Media and Returning Diaspora in Israel and Germany (2008) and has published extensively in leading academic journals in English, Hebrew and Russian.

Ethnic Minorities and Media in the Holy Land

Dan Caspi is Professor and former Chair of the Department of Communications Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Founding Chair of the Israel Communication Association (ISCA). He has filled several public roles, including consultant for a communications program at Israel Educational Television, Member of the Committee on Public Broadcasting of the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sports and Board Member of the Israel Broadcasting Authority. He has written and co-authored several books, most recently, Mustafa Kabha and Dan Caspi, The Palestinian Arab In / Outsiders: Media and Conflict in Israel (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011).

Interwoven into most if not all societies today are diverse minorities and cultures. Modern Israel, externally besieged and internally conflictual, is no exception, and its fault-lines of difference and dynamics of change are far more complex and nuanced than is often perceived from afar. Editors Dan Caspi and Nelly Elias, alongside their assembled contributors, shine a necessary spotlight on ethnic minorities and media in Israel today. Attuned to the cultural politics of recognition and processes of audience reception in Israel’s conflicted polity, the book invites us to move beyond easy ‘melting pot’ metaphors and comforting ideas of ‘multiculturalism’. It does so to better discern Israel’s minorities and their struggles for media representation and change. An insightful collection of studies.

920 NE 58th Avenue Suite 300 Portland, OR 97213-3786 USA

E DITED VALLENTINE MITCHELL

Numerous studies have noted the dual role the media play in the lives of minorities: assimilation into the majority society and isolation there from, adopting new identities and preserving original ones. In this context, Israeli society provides a rare test case, as nearly half of its population comprises various minorities, the most significant of which are the Palestinian citizens of Israel, Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants from the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia and migrant workers, who maintain differential relations with the dominant Jewish majority. This anthology comprises selected studies written by key Israeli minorities and media scholars, some of whom are part of minority groups themselves. The book includes original material as well as studies published over the past decade and paints a fascinating portrait of Israeli society as a mosaic of minorities and co-cultures, reflecting an ideological and cultural turnabout in society that has shifted from melting pot to multiculturalism. Although focused on Israeli society, the book includes important insights for understanding the place and roles of the minority media in other national contexts. It is concerned with three specific areas of research: Creation, development and production of media and content for and by minorities; minority representation in mainstream media; and minorities’ media consumption and the media’s role in minority identity construction and location vis-à-vis the dominant majority. Hence, unlike other books in this field, that are usually limited to one aspect of media and minorities (production, representation or consumption), this book adopts a broader perspective and includes a thorough mapping of the three chief aspects that are essential to a better understanding of media and minorities.

BY

DAN CASPI and NELLY ELIAS

ISBN 978 0 85303 897 9

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Media and Ethnic Minorities in the Holy Land

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Media and Ethnic Minorities in the Holy Land EDITED BY

Dan Caspi and Nelly Elias

VALLENTINE MITCHELL LONDON • PORTLAND, OR

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First published in 2014 by Vallentine Mitchell Middlesex House, 29/45 High Street, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7UU

920 NE 58th Avenue, Suite 300 Portland, Oregon, 97213-3786 USA

www.vmbooks.com © 2014 Dan Caspi and Nelly Elias

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A record can be found on request 978 0 85303 897 9 (cloth) 978 0 85303 907 5 (ebook)

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data An entry can be found on request

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved alone, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

Typeset by FiSH Books, Enfield, Middx. Printed & bound by TJ International Ltd, Padstow, Cornwall.

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To Dalia and Hezi ‘Iraqis’ forever

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Contents

List of Figures and Tables List of Contributors

ix xi

Introduction: Media and Minorities in Israel: Four Research Traditions

1

Section A: Minorities’ Representation in the Media

11

1

2

3

The Whore and the Other: Israeli Press Images of Female Immigrants from the Former USSR DAFNA LEMISH

13

Gesher: An Immigrant Theatre in Israeli Media: A Snapshot from the 1990s OLGA GERSHENSON

27

A New Century and Still the Enemy: The Portrayal of Arabs in Israeli TV News during 2000–11 ANAT FIRST

43

4. Representation of Social Workers in the Immigrant Press: The Case of Russian-language Media in Israel NATALIA KHVOROSTIANOV AND NELLY ELIAS

59

Section B: Media Production for and by Minorities

79

5

83

Manila-Tel Aviv: Complexities of a Migrant Workers’ Magazine AMIT KAMA

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Contents

Marketing and Nationalizing Ethnicity: The Case of Israeli Mediterranean Pop Music DANNY KAPLAN ‘I Live as an Alien in the Land; Do not Hide Your Commandments from Me’: The Regulation of Broadcast Media for and by the Palestinian-Israeli Minority AMIT M. SCHEJTER Mapping Minority Webspaces: The Case of the Arabic Webspace in Israel ANAT BEN-DAVID

Section C: Minorities’ Uses and Reception of Media

99

117

137

159

9. ‘Tell Me Which Books You Read and I Will Tell You Who You Are’: Cultural Boundaries between Co-cultures in Israeli Society 161 HANNA ADONI AND HILLEL NOSSEK 10 Ethnicity and the Diversification of Access to Online Health Information and Communication in Israel GUSTAVO MESCH, RITA MANO AND JUDITH TSAMIR

183

11 Race and Television through the Eyes of Israeli Mizrahi Audiences: An Ethnography of Television YIFAT BEN HAY-SEGEV AND CATHERINE SQUIRES

201

12 Media Use as Integration Strategy: Returning Diasporas from the Former Soviet Union in Israel and Germany NELLY ELIAS

219

Select Bibliography Index

237 241

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Figures and Tables

Figures 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5

8.6

The hyperlink network formed by all returned results. Distribution of host countries of Arabic-language websites from Israel registered in the .org domains. The hyperlink network formed by Arabic-language websites registered in the .org.il domain. The hyperlink network formed by Arabic-language websites registered in the .org domain. A network graph comparing the distribution of types of Arabic-language websites from Israel registered in the .com and .co.il domain names. A network graph comparing the distribution of types of Arabic-language websites from Israel registered in the .net and .net.il domain names.

144 147 148 149

150

153

Tables I.1 3.1 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 9.1

Media and minorities in Israel: Four research traditions. News items according to type of event, TV channel and dates. Queries used to demarcate the Arab-language webspace in Israel. Distribution of domain names of Arabic-language websites from Israel, September 2012. Distribution of Whois registration cities of the .org and .org.il domains. Distribution of domain registration cities – com domains in Arabic. Empirical studies cited in the chapter.

3 49 141 143 146 152 167

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Figures and Tables

9.2

Distribution of Jewish readers (%) by language of respondents’ latest book read in 1970, 1990, 2001, 2007 and 2011. 9.3 Distribution of readers (%) by language of respondents’ latest book read in 2011. 9.4 Preferred language for media consumption (%) by co-culture and media 2011. 9.5 Distribution of titles and mentions in the bestseller lists according to genre and language in 2000–02. 10.1 Descriptive statistics of entire sample according to ethnic origin (Internet users only). 10.2 OLS regression predicting Internet use for health information search. 10.3 OLS predicting change in health habits.

168 170 171 172 191 195 196

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Contributors

Hanna Adoni – Sammy Ofer School of Communications, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. Anat Ben-David – Faculty of Humanities, Capaciteitsgroep Media & Cultuur, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Yifat Ben Hay-Segev – Israel Audience Research Board. Dan Caspi – Department of Communication Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Nelly Elias – Department of Communication Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Anat First – School of Communication, Academic College, Netanya, Israel. Olga Gershenson – Department of Judaic and Near Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA. Amit Kama – Department of Communication, Yezreel Valley Academic College, Israel. Danny Kaplan – Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Natalia Khvorostianov – Department of Communication Studies, BenGurion University of the Negev, Israel. Dafna Lemish – College of Mass Communication & Media Arts, Southern Illinois University , USA. Rita Mano – Department of Human Resources, University of Haifa, Israel. Gustavo Mesch – Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa, Israel.

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Contributors

Hillel Nossek – School of Media Studies, College of Management Academic Studies, Rishon Lezion, Israel. Amit M. Schejter – Department of Communication Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Catherine Squires – Department of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota, USA. Judith Tsamir – Maccabi Health Services, Israel.

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Introduction Media and Minorities in Israel: Four Research Traditions

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus Israeli society has always included linguistic, ethnic and cultural minorities. Palestinian citizens of Israel may well comprise the most outstanding of these minorities, if only because of their unique and complex relations with the Jewish majority, although continuing mass immigration over the years has preserved Israel’s variegated minority mosaic. Multilingual communities from different cultures gathered in the young State. Early mass immigration established and shaped the pre-State Jewish community before the establishment of an independent state and thereafter as well. Over the years, dramatic changes have taken place in the Israeli media map, especially regarding the scope of sectoral media.1 Generally speaking, sectoral media developed in parallel with Israeli society. During the early years, when the fledgling country lacked resources, the partisan press flourished, including a minority press, as did limited radio and television broadcasts,2 while in the succeeding decades, accelerated economic development encouraged an abundance of media, old and new, for the majority as well as for minorities.3 The Israeli academic community also flourished and took shape in parallel to Israeli society. Consequently, social science researchers were apparently unable to detach themselves from the prevailing values and social processes. This is particularly true of social scientists, who experienced the processes that were the object of their research. Such trends are applicable and highly

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prominent in the history of research on the subject of this book: media and minorities. Several major factors left their mark on the scope and nature of research in this field: media ecology, prevailing social values and especially society’s overall orientation towards minorities, and the academic community’s increasing methodological and theoretical diversity, as well as the awareness of the issue. This review enumerates four social science research traditions4 that impacted the study of media and minorities in Israel. Each was shaped in a specific sociocultural and historic context, based on the dominant social and academic paradigms of its time, yet remained intact even as circumstances changed. The survey of the following research traditions may reveal the maturation process of Israeli social science. In retrospect, it appears preferable to view the four research traditions as cotemporaneous and competitive (see Table I.1).

The Melting Pot Tradition The Melting Pot research tradition in the social sciences is identified with the initial, formative years of the State of Israel. A mass influx of immigrants flooded the country’s shores immediately on declaration of the independent State of Israel, as a vigorous battle over the new State’s national identity was being waged. The determining principle of majority–minority relations is inscribed in the Declaration of Independence: ‘The State of Israel ... will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.’5 In the nation-building process, society was perceived as it was supposed to be or as people sought to render it – a schism-free, hegemonic society. Even if mass immigration creates linguistic and cultural minorities, they are only temporary, as all such differences will eventually be assimilated into the host society. Concerned with consolidating a national identity while confronting hostile Arab surroundings, Israeli society paid much attention to the linguistic and ethnic minorities that immigrated to the new country. They were perceived as a resource and as an inseparable part of the Jewish majority collective. By contrast, as the fighting ceased, the Arab minority emerging in the new State was viewed as necessitated by realities.6 Since the inception of the State, it was accepted that immigration could intensify the Jewish majority’s advantage over the Arab minority. Consequently, it was essential to accelerate the immigrants’ acculturation process, assimilating them into the Jewish majority while imparting significant national symbols, especially the Hebrew language. Under such circumstances, an official policy of ‘ingathering of exiles’ took shape, engendering a compulsory and painful

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Table I.1 Media and minorities in Israel: Four research traditions. Melting Pot

Pluralistic

Multicultural

Hybrid

When popular

The State of Israel’s first three decades

Since the early 1980s

Last decade of previous millennium

As of the inception of the present millennium

Conception of society

Monolithic, western, melting pot for ethnic minorities

Heterogeneous, integrative

Post-Zionist, schism-ridden, comprising ‘ghettos’ and ‘enclaves’

Mosaic of co-cultures

Conception of minorities

Temporary minorities

Fleeting enclave

Permanent enclave

Permanent minority

Chief spheres of research

Political sociology, demography

Stratification, cultural and gender studies

Cultural, ethnic and migration studies

Communications, political sociology, migration and ethnic studies

Researchers

Majority studying minority; administrative research

Primarily majority but also minorities

Primarily minorities studying themselves; selfadministrative

Primarily minorities studying themselves

Semantic repertoire

Immigrants, in gathering of exiles; the term ‘minority’ is reserved for Arabs

Minorities, immigration and integration

Immigrants, enclaves, tribes

Immigrants, communities, cultural mosaic, co-cultures

Status of Majority Language

The Hebrew language is the chief feature of the national identity; a clear hierarchy between the majority language and minority languages; value ascribed to adoption of Hebrew by minorities

Language hierarchy preserved but with a pragmatic approach to the minorities’ adoption of the majority language

Hebrew not a feature of national identity; no language hierarchy; minorities not expected to learn and speak Hebrew

Hebrew not an essential characteristic of national identity; bilingualism expected as an expression of hybrid identity

Media Ecology

State-controlled and subsidized nationwide media; media for minorities

Initial signs of media by minorities; growth of the local press

Multiple channels; New media privatized media promote media for and by minorities by minorities

Chiefly representation of minorities in majority media

Chiefly minority media institutions, including production and regulation

Subjects in Chiefly contact Communication between minorities Studies with/and the dominant majority

Chiefly ethnic audiences, media and identity, reception and interpretation

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melting pot of languages and cultures. As the chief goal was to achieve a monolithic society, tolerance of ethnic differences was only minimal. There was much interest in encouraging evaluative studies of the success of the melting pot policy. Many of the immigration and integration studies were commissioned and financed by State agencies and authorities and were thus considered to be administrative studies. For the most part, research emphasis was placed on demographic and stratification processes, the role of education in integrating diverse groups, and the political implications of immigration. The choice of terminology, too, attests to the dominant value paradigm of that time. Media research in Israel lagged behind that of the rest of the social sciences, beginning in the 1960s as a sub-discipline of sociology.7 The first sociological studies, mainly inspired by the structural functionalism paradigm, focused on patterns of communication between official authorities and the new immigrants, while examining relations between the bureaucracy and the various segments of the Israeli public. The prevailing modernization patterns of that time8 also influenced these studies, which focused on the relations between the young bureaucracy – itself in a process of formation – and the public at large, including immigrants.9 By contrast, academic research ignored media in the immigrants’ languages almost entirely, apparently assuming that they played only a temporary role and would disappear rapidly as the immigrants learned Hebrew and switched to media in the majority language. Arabic-language media and the media needs of the Arab minority were also given scant research attention, except in the overall context of Arab cultural life in Israel.10

The Pluralistic Tradition In 1967, following the Six Day War, the map of Israel was expanded, leading to the emergence of geographic and ideological schisms and the growth of power centres in the social periphery, as reflected in the rise of the local press, for example. During the 1980s, the proliferating local papers were perceived initially as a marginal phenomenon that was not even worthy of attention, not to mention research, because the centre is more significant and interesting than the periphery as the subject of research. To a great extent, policymakers, too, expressed their firmly established opinion that the cracks in the media map – that is, the dozens and even hundreds of local papers that began to appear throughout the country – were only a fleeting phenomenon that would wane as a result of powerful integration processes.11 Apparently, however, social ferment in the early 1970s, the temporary opening of the gates of the Soviet Union and the resumption of

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mass immigration prepared the territory for the regrowth of varied sectoral media. Furthermore, the political upheaval of 1977 and the end of left-wing hegemony in Israeli society12 accelerated a dramatic value shift, as reflected in a dramatic transition from collectivistic values in a controlled economy to liberal values of individualism and market forces. The new value climate left considerable room for social and economic rifts, while upgrading the status of sectors that had been disadvantaged during the first few decades of the State because they were ethnic or cultural minorities, particularly Mizrahi Jews (mostly immigrants from Muslim countries) and ultra-Orthodox Jews. Gender studies also challenged the hegemony – especially the male hegemony – in the academic world, pressing for the adoption of a pluralistic view of society. A new generation of female researchers,13 along with several of their male colleagues,14 displayed the anticipated sensitivity to the longneglected stratified structure of Israeli society, replete with socio-economic, gender, national, cultural and geographic disparities. It is thus no coincidence that feminist researchers were quick to adopt the pluralistic tradition in studying the representation of Arab citizens15 or of immigrant women from the Former Soviet Union (FSU).16 The researchers posited that the minority is entitled to fair, egalitarian representation in the majority media as befits a pluralistic society, warning consistently about media flaws, under-representation and stereotyping.

The Multicultural Tradition At least three ‘posts’ informed the third tradition, multiculturalism: postmodernism, postcolonialism and post-Zionism. In this context, new historians and sociologists set a dual goal for themselves: to challenge integrative and functionalist conceptions,17 and to corroborate an alternative value conception that perceives a schism-ridden society breaking down into tribes and enclaves. Critical re-examination of the melting pot policy, especially by its former adherents18 and by post-colonialist scholars,19 also contributed to the multicultural tradition. As this change in values was taking place, the gates of the USSR were opened and mass immigration to Israel resumed. This time, the intensive and powerful influx of immigrants firmly posed its unprecedented cultural demands: instead of one-way adoption of the host society’s norms and values, the immigrants demanded the right to maintain their own culture and even to exert a broad cultural and political influence on their hosts.20 The multicultural approach eliminates the hierarchy between the majority and minorities and legitimates a segmentary approach to society, which is

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seen to comprise a wide range of tribes or cultural enclaves.21 As such, the deconstruction of Israeli society adopted an alternative terminology, with special attention to terms reflecting key Zionist values: Olim (Hebrew term for Jewish immigrants to Israel, literally ‘those who rise’) made way for ‘immigrants’,22 and ‘Israeli Arabs’ were now called ‘Palestinian citizens of Israel’, with emphasis on the Palestinian identity they share with their people living beyond the 1967 borders. One key reflection of this tradition may be found in studies on the cinematic representation of various minorities23 and in studies concerning an extensive range of topics addressing Arabic-language media and their use.24 The multiplicity of studies concerning the Arab minority from a multi-cultural perspective is not surprising: because of the special position of Arab citizens in the Jewish State and the extended conflict between Israel and her neighbours, the Palestinian minority in Israel is perceived as a distinct enclave with ethno-national, political and cultural features that are reflected in the content of Arab media, as well as in patterns of exposure to such media.

The Hybrid Tradition The hybrid identity research tradition now taking shape recognizes coexistence and is not resigned to endless struggles among identities. The hybrid identity of minorities is consolidated through constant negotiations between the minorities and the majority society and through imparting various meanings to media content, drawing on the original cultural load as well as the new realities.25 Studies in this tradition are affected by reception research, especially Hall’s theory,26 approaching media and minorities primarily through this perspective and considering the interpretations accorded to the content consumed. The harbinger of this tradition may well be a pioneer reception study conducted in the 1980s, in which intercultural differences were found among various segments of Israeli viewers, including what we now term ‘sectors’ or ‘minorities’, in decoding the meanings encoded in the American television series Dallas, broadcast between 1978 and 1991.27 Each of the four groups studied – Arabs, new immigrants from the Soviet Union, new immigrants from Morocco, and kibbutz members – found different meanings in the American series. Considerable similarity was evident between Arab and kibbutz viewers. Both groups identified with the tribalism of the series, with relatives living together and with family intrigues. By contrast, the immigrants from the Soviet Union concentrated primarily on ideological criticism of the series and the American capitalistic system.

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The past decade constituted the hybrid tradition’s heyday – and with good reason. Apparently, tolerance for hybrid identity originates not in the Jewish majority’s overall reconciliation with demographic realities, but rather primarily in the temporary decline in its sense of being threatened by the ‘other’. During the first few decades of the State of Israel’s existence, the national identity strengthened and its sense of security increased: the social climate no longer pressured citizens to speak the majority language or to adopt the local culture.28 The media ecology also favoured the hybrid identity of minorities, while convenient access to new media encouraged their development and use. Various websites, unaffected by geographic distance, help preserve one’s original identity in a new society. One may reside in one place yet experience another, working in Israel yet exposed constantly to events in one’s country of origin. These different research traditions are grounded in social and political contexts within Israeli society. Just as the melting pot tradition suited the captains of the nascent State so perfectly, so the hybridity seems to be highly amenable to many of the current political elite. This was evident in the maiden speech of Yuli Edelstein, the new Knesset Chair, at the torch-lighting ceremony on Independence Day 2013, which is considered a major national ceremony. Edelstein himself is a veteran immigrant from the Former Soviet Union, who began his political career in the FSU immigrants’ party Israel Ba-Aliya (Israel Rising), led by Nathan Sharansky, and is now affiliated with the ruling party Likud-Beytenu (Likud-Our Home). It is thus no surprise that a considerable part of his festive speech was dedicated to the tension between melting pot and hybridity: ‘I do not envision a cultural melting pot. On the contrary! Difference, which some view as a curse, I experience as a blessing. There are those who regard Israel’s cultural and ethnic diversity as a disaster: They see our disagreements and differences as a sign of disintegration. But I see them as a sign of vitality, a promise of growth.’29 What is the meaning of this allusion to the issue and its celebratory timing? We could cautiously suggest that, like dozens of his immigrant counterparts in the Knesset and the political arena, Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein values the hybrid identity as an important political resource. Therefore, in order to maintain that resource for years to come, the hybrid identity of the constituency must be cultivated. Research on media and minorities in Israel began to flourish at the inception of the new millennium, considerably behind the rest of the world. Despite the late start, however, this corpus of knowledge is rapidly growing, explaining the significance of the present collection. ***

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The chapters are divided into three sections covering representation, production and use, with a marked connection between them and the research traditions described above. Each such tradition appears to have its own preferred research focus. Pluralism, for example, correlates with the first section dealing with the representation of minorities in mainstream media. The multicultural tradition, in turn, manifests greater presence in studies concerning production and regulation of media by and for minorities, while the hybrid tradition echoes through the articles in the third section, which deals with minorities’ patterns of exposure to and use of media, including content reception. Most of the chapters concern the two largest ethnic minorities in contemporary Israeli society: immigrants from the FSU who have been coming to Israel since the 1990s, and the Palestinian citizens of Israel. These two minorities are of nearly equal size, each constituting about one-fifth of Israel’s population of seven million. While other similarities between them are evident as well (e.g. ethnic political parties, separate cultural institutions, dense connections with co-ethnics outside Israel), the differences are clearly more striking. The Jewish immigrants from the FSU became a minority as a result of massive immigration, whereas the Arab citizens of Israel changed their status without any physical movement whatsoever. Moreover, each of them developed different relations with the Jewish majority. The FSU immigrants feel free of national tension, while the Arab citizens of Israel have harboured a growing sense of all-encompassing deprivation, and many have developed a hybrid identity as Israeli citizens who identify with cultural and political power centres outside of Israel.30 In addition, the anthology includes several chapters on two other minorities who have yet to be studied comprehensively: a relatively new and small minority of migrant workers, alongside a large and veteran ethnic minority – the second and third generations of Jewish immigrants from Arab countries. However, one significant minority, that of the Black Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia, has remained outside of this collection because of the lack of a substantial corpus of academic studies. We believe that this book will inspire young scholars to turn their research lens to this ethnic community, thus adding an important category of race to the growing body of knowledge on minorities and media in Israel.

Notes 1. D. Caspi, Beyond the Mirror: The Media Map in Israel (Beer Sheva: Ben-Gurion University Press, 2012) (Hebrew). 2. D. Caspi, and Y. Limor, The In/Outsiders: The Media in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999).

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3. D. Caspi, ‘Israel: From Monopoly to Open Skies’, in A. McNicholas and D. Ward (eds), Television and Public Policy: Change and Continuity in an Era of Liberalization (New York and London: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2008), pp.305–21. 4. Research traditions are defined in various ways, such as a group of researchers with some similarity in style and time period, with a common ideological foundation or following a common mentor. 5. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel (2013), www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Declaration+of+Est ablishment+of+State+of+Israel.htm. 6. B. Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict 1881–1999 (London: J. Murray, 1999). 7. H. Adoni and A. First, Media Research and Instruction: Built-In Dilemmas and Changing Solutions (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2006) (Hebrew). 8. S.N. Eisenstadt, Tradition, Change and Modernity (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1973). 9. E. Katz and B. Danet, ‘Petitions and Persuasive Appeals: A Study of Official–Client Relations’, American Sociological Review, 31, 6 (1996), pp.811–22. 10. J.M. Landau, The Arab Minority in Israel 1967–1991: Political Aspects (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993); E. Rekhess, The Arab Minority in Israel: Between Communism and Arab Nationalism (Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1993) (Hebrew); O. Stendel, The Arabs in Israel: Between Hammer and Anvil (Jerusalem: Akademon, 1992) (Hebrew). 11. D. Caspi, Media Decentralization: The Case of Israel’s Local Newspapers (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1986). 12. A. Arian and M. Shamir, ‘Two Reversals in Israeli Politics: Why 1992 Was Not 1977’, Electoral Studies 12, 4 (1993), p.315. 13. Y. Azmon and D.N. Izraeli (eds), Women in Israel, revised edn (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 2009 [1993]); H. Herzog, Gendering Politics: Women in Israel (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1999); T. Horowitz,‘The Political Empowerment of FSU Immigrants in Israel: From Passive to Active Citizenship’, in M. Lissak and E. Leshem (eds), From Russia to Israel (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2001), pp.100–23 (Hebrew); V. Krauss, Secondary Breadwinners: Israeli Women in the Labor Force (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002); D. Lemish, ‘Equal Communication Rights: A Feminist Perspective on Israeli Media’, in D. Caspi (ed.), Media and Democracy in Israel (Jerusalem: Van-Leer & Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1997), pp.119–39 (Hebrew). 14. For example, M. Al-Haj, ‘Multiculturalism in Deeply Divided Societies: The Israeli Case’, International Journal of Intercultural Relations 26, 2 (2002), pp.169–83; M. Semyonov and N. Lewin-Epstein (eds), Stratification in Israel: Class, Ethnicity, and Gender (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 2004); S. Smooha, and Y. Peres, ‘The Dynamics of Ethnic Inequalities: The Case of Israel’, in E. Krausz (ed.), Studies of Israeli Society: Migration, Ethnicity and Community (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1980). 15. A. First, ‘Who is the Enemy? The Portrayal of Arabs on Israeli Television News’, International Communication Gazette, 60, 3 (1998), pp.239–51; A. First, ‘The Transitional Nature of Representation: The Coverage of Arabs in the Israeli News’, Howard Journal of Communication, 13 (2002), pp.173–91. 16. D. Lemish, ‘The Whore and the Other: Israeli Images of Female Immigrants from the Former USSR’, Gender and Society, 14, 2 (2000), pp.333–49. 17. E. Katz, ‘And Deliver us from Segmentation’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 546, 1 (1996), pp.22–33.

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18. M. Lissak, The Great Aliyah of the Fifties: Failure of the Melting Pot Policy (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1999) (Hebrew). 19. Y. Shenhav, The Arab Jews: A Postcolonial Reading of Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnicity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006); Y. Yonah, ‘Israel as a Multicultural Democracy: Challenges and Obstacles’, Israel Affairs, 11, 1 (2005), pp.95–116. 20. Al-Haj,‘Multiculturalism’, 2002; M. Al-Haj, Immigration and Ethnic Formation in a Deeply Divided Society: The Case of the 1990s Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel (Leiden: Brill, 2004); Horowitz, ‘Political Empowerment of FSU Immigrants in Israel’; O. Gershenson, Gesher: Russian Theatre in Israel: A Study of Cultural Colonization (New York: Peter Lang, 2005); B. Kimmerling, The Invention and Decline of Israeliness (Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2001). 21. M. Lissak, ‘Together the Tribes of Israel? Main Schisms among Israeli Society’, in Y. Kop (ed.), Pluralism in Israel: From the Melting Pot to a Jerusalem Mix (Jerusalem: Centre for Social Policy Studies, 2000) (Hebrew). 22. B. Kimmerling, ‘The New Israelis: A Multiplicity of Cultures Without Multiculturalism’, Alpayim, 16 (1998), pp.264–308 (Hebrew). 23. Y. Loshitsky, Identity Politics on the Israeli Screen (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2001); E. Shohat, Israeli Cinema and the Politics of Representation (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1989); M. Talmon and Y. Peleg (eds), Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2011). 24. A. Jamal, ‘Media Culture as Counter-Hegemonic Strategy: The Communicative Action of the Arab Minority in Israel’, Media, Culture & Society, 31, 4 (2007), pp.559–77; M. Kabha and D. Caspi, The Palestinian Arab In/Outsiders: Media and Conflict in Israel (London and Portland, OR: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011); K. Rinnawi, ‘De-Legitimization of Media Mechanisms: Israeli Press Coverage of the Al Aqsa Intifada’, International Communication Gazette, 69, 2 (2007), pp.149–78. 25. H. Adoni, D. Caspi and A.A. Cohen, Media, Minorities, and Hybrid Identities: The Arab and Russian Communities in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006); N. Elias, Coming Home: Media and Returning Diaspora in Israel and Germany (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2008). 26. S. Hall, Encoding and Decoding in the Television Discourse (Birmingham: Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham, 1973), pp.507–17. 27. T. Liebes and E. Katz, Export of Meaning: Cross-Cultural Readings of Dallas (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). 28. E. Ben-Rafael, E. Olstain and I. Geijst, ‘Identity and Language: The Social Insertion of Soviet Jews in Israel’, in E. Leshem and J. Shuval (eds), Immigration to Israel: Sociological Perspectives (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1998). 29. Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein’s speech at the torch-lighting ceremony on Independence Day, 2013, http://main.knesset.gov.il/About/Lexicon/Documents/Edelstein IndependenceSpeech2013.pdf (in Hebrew). 30. R. Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997); M. Azaryahu and R. Kook, ‘Mapping the Nation: Street Names and Arab-Palestinian Identity: Three Case Studies’, Nations and Nationalism, 8, 2 (2002), pp.195213.

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A Minorities’ Representation in the Media

This section consists of four studies concerning the representation of two minorities in Israeli society: immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Media representation is accorded considerable significance, as the extent and nature of coverage may well reflect one’s status in society. Accordingly, numerous studies have addressed the representation of minorities in the majority media. Moreover, the quality of representation in mainstream media is also likely to clarify majority– minority relations. Only a few studies, however, have considered majority representation in minority media, one of which is included in this section. Most representation studies demonstrate consistently that majority media discrimination against the minority is manifested primarily as underrepresentation and stereotyping. The minority is not given adequate coverage proportional to its share of the population, and whatever coverage it does receive is replete with stereotypes. What minority representation researchers tend to ignore, however, is that the majority often voices the same complaints against the media. In the first article of this volume, Dafna Lemish examines the dominant images of female immigrants to Israel from the FSU, addressing the intersection of gender, class and race in the context of the immigrants’ problematic status. Portrayals of female immigrants were assessed according to a qualitative content analysis of news items in the Israeli popular press during the years 1994 to 1997. The results suggest that female immigrants are associated primarily with two negative images: as suppliers of sexual services and as the ‘other’, not ‘one of us’. A third image, the ‘exceptional immigrant’, occasionally appears as well. This symbolic mechanism, coupled with the dual disadvantage that immigrants encounter in the everyday worlds of housing and employment, renders it very difficult for the immigrants to call Israel home.

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To analyse participation of post-Soviet immigrants in mainstream Israeli media, Olga Gershenson borrows from the toolbox of postcolonial discourse analysis. Nearly a million former Soviet Jews arrived in Israel during the mass immigration of the 1990s. They found themselves both within and outside Israeli culture, simultaneously rejecting and affirming the Zionist master narrative. Gesher (Hebrew: Bridge), a bicultural and bilingual theatre company founded by Russian immigrants in Tel Aviv, voices this position. Its ambivalence is reflected in Gesher’s media reception, especially that of its founder and artistic director, Evgenii Arye, emerging most clearly with regard to the themes of immigration, language, identity, culture and ideology. Analysis of this reception shows how the concept of hybridity is realized in the discursive practice of the media. In the next article, Anat First analyses representation of the Arab citizens of Israel on Israeli television news over the past decade. Such representation, like that of any group in Israel, is closely aligned with the country’s sociopolitical realities. First examines the media representation of Israeli Arabs in two different modes of nationalism (hot versus banal), as conceptualized by Michael Billig. Billig’s ‘banal nationalism’ refers to the everyday representations of the nation that works to promote the popular use of ‘nationalism’ as denoting a reactionary, racist and xenophobic political agenda, and which in times of crisis can turn into ‘hot nationalism’. Alternating between these two modes in a peculiar pattern, Israel is a unique case in point. It is thus interesting to determine whether and how representation of the ‘other’ – or, in this case, the Israeli Arab minority – varies between these two modes. While minority representation in mainstream media has been investigated widely, in Israel and elsewhere, very little is known about how minority media represent the majority. Studies of mass media in the immigrants’ mother tongue mostly generalize that these media constitute a major source of information about the host society, thus satisfying the newcomers’ basic need for orientation and helping them adjust to their new environment. The last article in this section sheds light on this issue by questioning the representation of Israeli social services by the FSU immigrant press. Social work is a public service that did not exist in the Soviet Union, and most Russian-speaking immigrants were not familiar with it before immigration. Natalia Khvorostianov and Nelly Elias assume that this lack of basic knowledge underscores the importance of correct and reliable representation of this major public service in the immigrant media. Nevertheless, their findings show that by taking the immigrants’ side under any circumstances, while distorting the function of the social services, the Russian immigrant press fails to fulfil its role as an agent of socialization and consequently does not facilitate its readers’ integration in their new society.

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1 The Whore and the Other Israeli Press Images of Female Immigrants from the Former USSR1 Dafna Lemish On 20 July 1997, an attractive blonde was stopped at the airport in Israel and denied entry to the country under suspicion of being a prostitute. Later it was found that she was a medical student on a family visit, who was traumatized by the humiliating reception. This story, which received heavy media coverage, is but one illustration of the prevailing stereotypes of female immigrants from the former USSR (FSU – Former Soviet Union) in Israeli society. These women relate stories of frequent incidents of sexual harassment, both verbal and physical, and of daily confrontations with prejudice, suspicion and disrespect.2 What are the typical perceptions of female immigrants from the former USSR in Israeli society as they are portrayed in the local press? What cultural forces perpetuate these images and grant them discriminatory meanings? This is the focus of the following analysis. The discussion initially focuses on the particular positions of female immigrants in general and on those in Israel in particular, later moving on to a discussion of the media’s role in constructing images of this population. The analysis considers the intersection of gender, class and race in understanding the problematic status of female immigrants.

Immigrant Women Until relatively recently, immigrant women and their experiences have been invisible in academic inquiry. The immigrant was assumed to be genderneutral (i.e. male), and historical studies of immigration, which tended to focus on the public sphere, ignored women who were confined to the domestic realm.3 Much of the data available has centred on issues of fertility and delinquency, thereby providing a rather limited and misleading picture of an exceedingly multifaceted situation. With female immigrants joining the labour force, the recent literature concerning the unique position of this segment of

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the population focuses mainly on their economic activities and highlights the role gender plays in the stratification of immigrant populations.4 Recent Israeli research concludes that gender has a powerful impact on the ‘cost of immigration’. Women are at a ‘double disadvantage’ by being both women and immigrants in the labour market of the absorbing country, since they are less successful than immigrant men at obtaining suitable employment.5 This disadvantage can be explained by at least two constraints: general sex-occupational segregation, compounded by a lack of language skills and credentials caused by immigration, and a lack of social networks that typically assist women in minimizing conflict between work and traditional family roles.6 Three main conclusions have been offered in an effort to summarize studies dealing with female immigrants in the labour force in Israel. First, immigrant women are characterized by higher rates of labour force participation than other women; second, they face greater difficulties in the labour market than do immigrant men; and third, country of origin plays a role in determining the socio-economic disadvantages.7 FSU female immigrants, in particular, were caught in a bind. Coming from a society that supported women’s equality in the labour force, most were highly educated and held high-status positions in their country of origin. Moving to Israel therefore entailed a severe economic, professional and psychological cost for most of them. This wave of immigrants differed from the receiving population along some crucial demographic features. There was a higher percentage of female immigrants in comparison to their proportion in the receiving population. This was particularly the case in the 30-plus age groups and markedly so in the elderly population (the 65-plus group contained 601 men to 1,000 women, as compared to 832 men per 1,000 women in the Israeli Jewish population). In addition, this population was also characterized by a higher rate of single parents – mainly mothers (8 per cent of households), some of them divorcees (8–15 per cent – depending on the year – of the newimmigrant females aged 15 and older were divorced, compared to 3 per cent of Israeli Jewish women) and some widows (16 per cent among immigrants, compared to 12 per cent in Israel). Available evidence suggested that more female immigrants remain unemployed for longer stretches of time than male immigrants.8 No systematic information, however, has been gathered on female immigrants’ employment profile, especially in the sex industry.

The Media’s Construction of Immigration The difficulties created by this unique situation have affected all realms of social, economic, cultural and political life in Israel, and are reflected and

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debated in media coverage. Previous research on the media’s coverage of immigrants focuses on the processes and mechanisms used in framing the immigrants as ‘others’.9 Strategies and methods of newsgathering and production, including choice of subjects and perspectives, as well as heavy dependency on clichés, stereotypes and prejudices, often result in both implicit and explicit racist expressions. Heavy emphasis on the negative and the criminal serves to associate immigrants with the violation of peace and order. Furthermore, rather than focusing on complex analyses of social and political structures and conditions related to immigrants’ lives, the media focus the stories on individual fates and conflicts. Such treatment of immigrants by the media can be understood in the general context of the ideological construction of otherness through processes of exclusion, by which a community crystallizes and creates its own sense of solidarity and identification.10 However, an analysis of the coverage of Jewish immigration to Israel is different in nature, since, according to the formal national discourse, the principal goal is that of inclusion rather than exclusion: immigrants from the FSU have migrated to become part of ‘us’, to strengthen ‘us’, to help ‘us’ build our society. Postcolonialist interpretations of the ‘other’ therefore cannot account for the ideological conflicts inherent in such a unique form of immigrant absorption. At the same time, these interpretations challenge the self-definition of the nation, whether intentionally or not, creating social and political unrest. This is particularly true due to the deep social-political-economic split in Israel between Jews originating in European countries (Ashkenazim) and those from Northern Africa and the Middle East (Mizrachim). The new immigrants are strengthening the greatly challenged myth of the ‘new Israeli’ moulded after the European Ashkenazi Zionist image of the return to the homeland, while continuing to threaten the accomplishments of the growing resistance of the historically oppressed Mizrachim.11 The agenda-setting tradition in media research suggests that the media set the stage for issue salience within a given society. The media are deemed influential, not necessarily by dictating what to think but rather by highlighting what to think about.12 However, the framing of particular attributes of an issue and the choice of perspectives provided offer the possibility of second-level agenda-setting analysis. Not only will an issue, such as the situation of immigrants in Israeli society, become salient, but focusing on particular characteristics and dimensions of it helps define the nature of the phenomenon while diverting attention from others.13 One such realm of concern is the treatment of the unique position of female immigrants from FSU countries.

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Portrayals of Women in Israeli Media Portrayals of female immigrants should also be understood in the context of depictions of women in the Israeli media in general. Previous research on gender representations in the areas of news, public affairs and politics suggests that women in Israel are perceived as marginal to society. They are generally under-represented, often associated with their traditional roles as caregivers or with dependency roles as the ‘wife’ or the ‘daughter of ’, and as victims of crime and domestic violence.14 The inequality in the presentation of females and males in the media is so well entrenched that it is even evident during television election campaigns based on an official discourse of equality.15 A number of textual strategies are commonly used to reinforce and reproduce the existing gender order: the compartmentalization of women and women’s issues in the media, the presentation of female politicians as women first and foremost, and the representation of the world of politics as an ugly place that threatens femininity by placing women in a role that conflicts with their traditional roles.16 Finally, the social world presented in advertising in Israel is primarily focused on women in the private sphere and on the realm of sexuality. Israeli advertising draws heavily on images of women as sex objects, including hints at violent sex, degradation and submission.17 The intellectual discourse on these problematic images attributes them to various factors, such as the militarization of Israeli society, the political strength of the ultra-orthodox religious groups, and the centrality of the family in Jewish tradition.18 Even the achievements of Israeli women in recent years in legislation, labour and politics are minimized and glossed over in media portrayals. This is much in accordance with what Tuchman19 called ‘symbolic annihilation’ – the condemnation, trivialization and absence of women in the media.

The Study Based on the above discussion, the purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which the Israeli press handles the double bind in which female immigrants from the FSU find themselves. The question thus posed was the following: how do the Israeli newspapers portray female immigrants from the FSU? An analysis of the three central daily newspapers in Israel was completed for a three-year period from January 1994 to December 1996, and an additional year (until December 1997) for the most popular of the three (Yedioth Achronoth). An additional non-systematic search of various local weekly papers was performed as well. All newspaper items (featured articles,

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news reports, photos) mentioning females living in Israel who originated from the former USSR were included. Overall, 102 items were collected (48 items from the most popular paper and 54 from the rest). Each item was analysed for the following: (1) placement in the newspaper and salience (hard news vs soft news; headline size; visuals; spread); (2) main themes discussed in relation to female immigrants and general perspective provided (negative, positive or descriptive; compassionate vs critical; personal vs structural); and (3) main themes hinted at in the headline and sub-headline and their relationship with the item as a whole (item expanding on the headline; headline irrelevant to the item; item contradictory to the headline).

The Whore, the Other and the Exceptional: Content Analysis Three major images emerged from the qualitative content analysis of the newspapers. The first two are negative, referring to the female immigrants as prostitutes, on one hand, and as foreigners, ‘others’, on the other hand. The third image positions the immigrant in a positive light and can be defined as the ‘exceptionally successful woman’.

The Whore The most dominant image associated with newspaper coverage of female immigrants from the former Soviet Union is that of a supplier of sexual services. These include references to prostitutes, call girls, masseuses, stripteasers and the like. ‘Russian whores’ or ‘Russian prostitutes’ is a typical catchphrase marking a news item dealing with this topic. Other examples in headlines or opening lines provide some sense of the range of these references: ‘Fresh meat for Israelis’ (Ma’ariv, 11 December 1994), or the headline that states ‘Meat for Rent’, followed by the subtitle ‘A New Immigrant’; ‘The minute she opens her mouth to ask for a job, they only want to sleep with her’ (Ha’ir, 15 July 1994); ‘Vodka, caviar and strip-tease’ (Ha’ir, 16 December 1994); ‘Five call girls from Russia tried to infiltrate Israel through Egypt’ (Ma’ariv, 23 June 1995); ‘The prostitutes from Russia were held hostage in a massage parlor’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 17 April 1996); ‘Police officers had sexual intercourse at Abu Kabir [prison] with Russian prostitutes’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 9 July 1996); ‘The investigators were shocked: The two call girls had the same identification card’ (Ma’ariv, 1 August 1996); and finally, ‘I am a prostitute, and not ashamed to admit that I enjoy it’ (Yedioth Achronoth, unidentified, 1996).

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This image is so prevalent and seemingly accepted that the newspapers occasionally discuss the means by which the immigrants try to avoid being automatically labelled as whores: ‘A phenomenon: Immigrants from Russia dye their hair so as not to be considered whores’ (Ma’ariv, 5 December 1996). The subtitle continued to explain: ‘One of the immigrants, Ela Patchevski: “For Israelis, every [blonde] Russian is a whore, so I dyed my hair red.”’ In an attempt to explain the cultural dynamics, female immigrants themselves suggest differences in dress codes and the various meanings of bright lipsticks: ‘In Russia a tall blonde is nothing special’ (Ma’ariv, 4 October 1996). The news items in this category were generally placed in the inside pages of the newspapers, compartmentalized within the general context of human interest, interpersonal violence and colourful sensational stories. The lengthier articles, which often included interviews with female immigrants themselves, appeared in the weekend soft-news magazine sections. Strongly related to the conception of the whore was that of the ‘other’. A whore is framed in western societies as a deviation from the internalized conceptions of normative femininity. As such, it is believed to create cultural anxiety by escaping the social control exerted on women. As Wolf20 argues, being sexually out of control, as whores are perceived to be, is punished in western society by symbolic or even actual annihilation. The definition of ‘whore’ becomes a disciplinary category, and the fear of becoming one serves to regulate young women’s behaviour. This is particularly the case in Israel, since, according to Jewish tradition, prostitution is acceptable as long as the prostitutes are not Jewish. Therefore, prostitution is negatively perceived and stigmatized as double otherness – vis-à-vis both womanhood and Jewishness. The number of prostitutes in Israel is estimated to be around 8,000 to 10,000 and rising. On the one hand, the 1962 law in Israel does not prohibit the occupation of prostitution but prohibits solicitation, disturbances in public places or operating an establishment. On the other hand, the law does not officially allow prostitution by providing enabling legislation. The result is that most of the prostitutes work in the streets under conditions of poverty, exploitation, violence and drug abuse. Several attempts at changing the situation, including a special report by a 1977 judicial committee and a 1997 proposal for legal changes, are still being debated. Prostitution in Israel is highly compounded by race and class: until the beginning of the 1990s, the majority of the women were of the lower classes and Mizrahim. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the proportion of women from the FSU among the prostitutes is growing rapidly as a result of the intensification of the trafficking of women for the sex industry from that region. A recent report on trafficking to Israel21 reveals that approximately

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2,500 women have been brought to Israel under false pretences and forced into prostitution. Women are recruited in their home countries through newspaper advertisements promising lucrative job opportunities in Israel. While some of them know they will be working as prostitutes, they do not anticipate the human rights abuses that confront them on arrival. Hundreds of these women have been deported, but usually after a detention period of about fifty days. Action is rarely taken against the procurers, who purchase the women for about $10,000 a head. Most of these young women are not Jewish, and they do not plan to make Israel their home. However, in this particular case, the intersection of race and class is complicated since the women coming in are white and in many ways similar in their appearance and background to some segments of the Israeli Ashkenazi middle class. Indeed, one discursive strategy through which otherness was achieved was the blurring of identities of ‘our’ Jewish Russian female immigrants (or even ‘our’ Russian whores) with that of Russian females imported for the sex industry, clearly framed as outsiders. Since the public discourse on the immigrant role in the sex industry has become so familiar, any mention of a Russian female potentially had a spillover effect of otherness on those who are by definition ‘ours’. ‘Is it possible that a Jewess should work in a massage parlor?’ challenges a headline in a form of a rhetorical question (Yedioth Achronoth, 23 May 1994). The assumed answer is that this is unimaginable and should not be accepted.

The Other Otherness was also constructed through several other dominant characteristics of the newspapers’ coverage of the immigrants. First was the upfront questioning of the woman’s Jewishness, as well as her true motive for moving to Israel. Israel’s Law of Return ensures citizenship of every Jew wishing to move to the homeland. At the same time, however, it places harsh demands on defining Jewishness. Questions regarding the sincerity of the immigrant’s intentions and doubts concerning her Jewish genealogy are often raised in conjunction with the possibility of exploitative motives on the part of the newcomers. The following headlines illustrate this: ‘The body of an FSU immigrant remains unburied due to suspicion concerning her Jewishness’ (Ha’aretz, 17 March 1994); ‘New immigrant: “The State wants to deport my two young daughters”’, with a subtitle explaining that ‘The girls’ – who are not considered Jewish – visas are about to expire in the next few days’ (Ma’ariv, 13 June 1994); ‘A new [phenomenon]. A wife for [economic] benefits’ (Ha’ir, 11 February 1994); ‘Sister of an Israeli Defense Force soldier

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was deported to Russia based on the argument that she is not Jewish’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 31 August 1994); ‘The two sister-immigrants – not sisters and not immigrants’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 2 October 1997); ‘A refugee from Chechniya is absorbed in Israel – her mother is being thrown into the street’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 2 November 1997). A second form of otherness is expressed through the observation of a woman’s deviation from expected norms of a functioning wife and mother, both strongly embedded in Jewish tradition, which treasures the family as the centre of cultural existence. Items highlighted the immigrants’ deviant marital status (single mother, divorcee and battered wife) as well as their reproductive practices (contraceptives, surrogate motherhood). This is expressed in headlines such as the following: ‘Incest – a widespread phenomenon among FSU immigrants’ (Ma’ariv, 25 May 1994); ‘Russian immigrants abort between 6 to 8 times during fertile age’, followed by a subtitle stating that ‘A survey determines: They have very little knowledge of contraceptives’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 19 June 1994); ‘Difficult absorption, easy divorce’ (Ha’aretz, 28 April 1995); ‘A fifth of the 5,000 battered women ... are new immigrants’ (Ha’aretz, 12 July 1996); ‘I am willing to become the surrogate mother of ...’ – the headline quotes a new immigrant divorcee, mother of a 2-year-old, who is also quoted as saying, ‘My motherhood impulse is a bit defective’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 15 October 1996). Not complying with traditional feminine roles is another threat to societal norms, much in the same way as being a whore. Both represent resistance to control, and both are negatively sanctioned by society through the process of categorizing and differentiating women as ‘others’. Finally, otherness was amplified through stories linking the immigrants to crime and poverty – at the social periphery of normative society. Items framed the immigrants as marginal to the Israeli cultural core. They lived in poor neighbourhoods, were involved in illegal activities and served as both victims and offenders of criminal acts. They were also linked to alcoholism (clearly a marker of otherness in Israeli society, where heavy drinking in general and that of women in particular is still perceived as representative only of goyim – non-Jews – an unworthy form of behaviour). Most stories included various characteristics of the whore and the ‘other’ together. These can best be illustrated in the following two instances. The first, located on the front-page section of the most popular newspaper (Yedioth Achronoth, 11 August 1995), was accorded a four-column spread, two photographs, and a major headline announcing the following: ‘Friday on Sheinkin [street]: A Russian call girl, jealous and drunk, murdered her female lover with a knife’. Analysing this headline suggests several markers of otherness: Sheinkin is a well-known street in Tel Aviv, the modern centre of

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Israel, which in recent years has become identified with the avant-garde, popular bohemian set, somewhat akin to Greenwich Village in New York City. The murderer is a Russian immigrant, a call girl and a lesbian. In addition, she is a drunk and a violent fanatic. The victim herself is also a Russian immigrant, as well as a lesbian call girl. Otherness is therefore created and reinforced through a multiplicity of frames. Similarly, a disproportionately large headline in the second most popular newspaper (Ma’ariv, 24 June 1996) highlights a very short item: ‘New: A brothel of Russian prostitutes – in Ramallah’. Ramallah is a major city in the Occupied Territories, with a hostile Palestinian population. It is clearly enemy territory. Providing sexual services to the enemy has been associated in Israeli society with double treachery. This is part of a larger dynamic. For example, Hellman and Rapoport discuss how the Israeli ‘Women in Black’ movement against the Israeli occupation was attacked not on its political platform but rather on its gender-related characteristics.22 Women in Black demonstrated every Friday for years in twenty-five locations in the country in the pre-peace talks period and offered a political alternative to the national consensus. However, they were perceived as lonely, frustrated, unfaithful women. Framed as ‘Arabs’ whores’ who do not love the ‘Land of Israel’, they were denied their civil voice, marginalized by the public and excluded from the media.

The Exceptional Immigrant Finally, a few articles have been devoted to success stories: female immigrants who, against all odds, overcame obstacles and made it in Israeli society. These were found mainly in the local newspapers and the magazine sections of the dailies, which focus, by their very nature, on more positive personal and human interest stories. Examples include the following: ‘A new immigrant is the best worker at ...’ (Yedioth Achronoth, 29 January 1995); ‘Marina opened a sewing workshop, Irena opened a daycare center’ (Kol Hanegev, 10 March 1995); ‘I am an optimist, despite the depressions’ (Ma’ariv, 10 November 1996). However, even success stories are often framed around stereotypical characteristics: ‘Naked Chekhov’ declares a headline for an article about a successful immigrant actress (Yedioth Achronoth, 1 December 1997). ‘Picking up the gauntlet’ describes professional wrestlers (Yedioth Achronoth, 10 December 1997). Special emphasis is given in the articles to the successful woman’s physical appearance – a pretty actress, stuntwoman, model, journalist and student. The exceptional women seem to offer a moral disciplinary lesson: women who are ambitious enough can make it. Empowerment, they suggest, is an individual choice and possibility. Framed in this way, they present the token

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successful women as the exception that proves the rule. Their personal success, therefore, is in many ways disempowering for the majority of immigrant women, since it marks them apart from the many who did not make it.

The Three Images and Journalistic Practices Most of the women trafficked for prostitution are not Jewish; they are often forced into the situation under difficult personal circumstances. These women have no interest in making Israel their home and therefore are not immigrants. In sharp contrast, most of the Jewish immigrants are highly educated; held high-status, well-paid professional jobs in their countries of origin; and moved to Israel for various personal and economic reasons. They encounter major absorption difficulties and make creative adjustments. The press coverage, however, as we have seen, tends to blur this critical distinction. Immigrants on one hand and exploited sexual slaves on the other are all thrown into the general basket of the whore and the ‘other’. Reality is portrayed very selectively indeed: the reality of prostitution comes out as dominant and vivid; the reality of a flourishing cultural enclave remains silent. This blurring of realities is aided by two additional discursive strategies detected in the content analysis. First is the framing of the immigrants as isolated, unfortunate individuals, facing their bad luck, being punished for their bad character or bad career choices. Such an attitude, which tends to blame the victim, is pervasive in the newspaper coverage. Little concern is given to contextualizing these stories within the general social processes in which they are located: the major difficulties the country has to face in absorbing such an intensive wave of immigration, and the structural constraints such as policy decisions, resource allocations, cultural differences, saturation of the professional labour market, women’s rights and the like. Failure or success is perceived as a personal matter, in the hands of the individual rather than the responsibility of society as a whole. A second strategy relates to the striking difference between the headlines and sub-headlines of the items and the contents of the articles themselves. As is common in much of popular press reporting, the headlines provide decontextualized, sensational eye-catchers. Selected or formulated by the page editor, rather than by the reporters, they often offer quite a misleading indication of what the article is about. Many of the items presented compassionate attitudes toward the immigrants, quoted them as expressing their distress and criticism of Israeli society, and explained their life conditions, absorption difficulties and aspirations. The headlines, however, offered no hint of this detail or depth.

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In summary, then, the thematic content analysis of the portrayal of FSU female immigrants in Israeli newspapers suggests the problematics of estrangement: they are presented mostly in negative connotations and are located in the margins of society. Discursive strategies of eroticization and trivialization are typical of both the negative and the positive stories. The whores as well as the successful are mainly constructed through sexual definitions of physical appearance and purpose. In both cases, they are alone: individual women, disconnected from collectives, unrelated to structuralsocial processes and constraints.

Reality and Representations The question of gender representation has been the topic of much discussion and debate in the feminist communication literature. This study attempted to analyse portrayals of female immigrants in the Israeli press. However, like any analysis of this nature, it raises the question of the complex relationship between ‘self’ and ‘image’.23 What is the actual reality of the immigrant today? How can its multifaceted nature and changes be told? What would be the ‘correct’ representation of immigrants’ reality in Israel today? The analysis provided here suggests that the negative portrayals serve as a mechanism allowing the construction of otherness and the marginalization of women, despite the formal national discourse of the inclusion of immigrants and of women in Israeli society. These representations thus need to be regarded as a political as well as an epistemological problem.24 Presenting the immigrants in a stereotypical manner, through reduction to a limited number of essential characteristics – in this particular case, a gendered concern mainly with the female’s appearance and sexuality – expels them from the core of society. Polarized binary forms of representation, such as deviant whores and unfit mothers versus the expected definition of Jewish femininity and motherhood, are used to signify otherness. Such a marking of difference serves to maintain the symbolic boundaries by which the absorbing culture defines its identity. The threat of polluting the meaning of ‘us’ posed by the immigrants’ otherness is used to solidify the subjective sense of individuals as well as the culture as a whole. This mechanism is common to societies struggling with major social, cultural and political splits. As Hall25 observes: It sets up a symbolic frontier between the ‘normal’ and the ‘deviant’, the ‘normal’ and the ‘pathological’, the ‘acceptable’ and the ‘unacceptable’, what ‘belongs’ and what does not or is ‘Other’, between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’, Us and Them. It facilitates the ‘binding’ or bonding together

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of all of Us who are ‘normal’ into one ‘imagined community’; and it sends into symbolic exile all of Them – ‘the Others’ –who are in some way different – ‘beyond the pale’. This process was also found to be operating in Israel in regard to the construction of the Arab as an enemy. Arabs on Israeli television news were under-represented, strongly associated with disruption of law and order and with an oriental (i.e. foreign) way of life, and positioned as the enemies of the ‘imagined community’ of Israeli nationalism.26 Here too, of all the categories of Arabs (Israeli citizens, Palestinians, Arab nations in peace with Israel, Arab enemy nations), mostly the conflictual ones were visible, hence depicting the extremist as representing the ‘other’ as a whole. Liebes27 describes the framing mechanisms through which journalism serves to maintain the hegemonic perception of conflicts with others. These include excising the enemy, sanitizing the portrayals of human suffering and damage inflicted on the enemy, equalizing the protagonists’ threat to justify mobilization against them, personalizing ‘us’ while demonizing ‘them’, and minimizing the context of ‘our’ conflicts. However, womanliness as ‘other’ has unique characteristics of its own in Israeli society. Stepping outside of sexual bounds, as a conceptual framework for degrading women and denying them a civil voice, has been used in other frameworks as well. Such, for example, was the debate over the political movement Women in Black discussed above. This is in sharp contrast with the other side of the dichotomy of female roles – the mother. The mythical strength assigned to motherly love seems to legitimize almost any form of action, including protest, rebellion and even crime. The power bestowed by motherhood and the romanticization of its calling camouflages women’s lack of power as citizens. This is particularly true in a society such as Israel, which glorifies motherhood as a public role serving national goals. Indeed, many women who have infiltrated political life in Israel find it of value to present themselves as mothers. Motherhood allows them the legitimization of voicing their opinion, since they have already paid their traditional dues to society. What they would otherwise not dare to voice, they are allowed to do ‘as mothers’.28 This seems to be the case in the Four Mothers movement (named after the four founding persons, who were mothers of soldiers, and echoing the tradition of the four biblical mothers) which called for the withdrawal of Israel from Southern Lebanon. In contrast with Women in Black, this movement has received favourable media coverage: it was not perceived as challenging the gender order and therefore was not seen as a threat to the male-dominated public sphere. While the political female voice (Women in Black) is unacceptably

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‘whorish’, the voice of the motherly ‘womb’ (Four Mothers) is accepted as natural.29 The new female immigrants, as revealed in the content analysis, are denied any option since they are framed as both whores and bad mothers. It is possible to understand the particular social position they occupy as a result of the structures of power in Israel, organized as they are around the intersection of gender, class and ethnicity and situated in a particular historical and social context.30 Manipulating this difference between immigrants and veterans seems to serve as an exploitative mechanism maintaining control of both women and immigrants. By ignoring the institutional structures, social policies, constraints on resources and opportunities at work behind this system of oppression, the individualized stories in the newspapers serve to protect the unequal power arrangements rather than challenge them. The newspapers’ portrayals of the FSU female immigrants can be perceived as an illustration of a process by which ‘we’ (i.e. Jewish immigrants) are deemed ‘others’. Jewish immigrants, the potential jewel in the crown of a national ethos, are turned into threats to morality and social order. This process is a form of power, in which the media represent people in a certain way. This symbolic mechanism, coupled with the double disadvantage in which the female immigrants find themselves in the concrete world of housing and labour, makes the task of calling Israel home a very difficult one indeed.

Notes 1. Reprinted with permission. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published by SAGE in Gender and Society, 14, 2 (April 2000), pp.333–49. All rights reserved. For copyright information see http://gas.sagepub.com/content/14/2/333.full.pdf+html. 2. M. Vandenberg, Trafficking Women to Israel and Coerced Prostitution (Jerusalem: Israeli Women’s Network, 1997) (Hebrew). 3. S.S. Weinberg, ‘The Treatment of Women in Immigration History: A Call for Change’, Journal of American Ethnic History, 11, 4 (1992), pp.25–69. 4. M. Sicron and E. Leshem, Profile of an Immigration Wave: The Absorption Process of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, 1990–1995 (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, Magnes Press, 1998) (Hebrew). 5. R. Rajiman and M. Semyonov, ‘Gender, Ethnicity, and Immigration: Double Disadvantage and Triple Disadvantage among Recent Immigrant Women in the Israeli Labor Market’, Gender & Society, 11, 1 (1997), pp.108–25. 6. M. Semyonov,‘On the Cost of Being an Immigrant in Israel: The Effects of Tenure, Origin and Gender’, Research in Stratification and Mobility, 15 (1997), pp.115–31. 7. See Rajiman and Semyonov, ‘Gender, Ethnicity, and Immigration’. 8. See Sicron and Leshem, Profile of an Immigration Wave.

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9. C. Butterwegge,‘Mass Media, Immigrants and Racism in Germany: A Contribution to an Ongoing Debate’, Communication: The European Journal of Communication Research, 21, 2 (1996), pp.203–19. 10. H.K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1994). 11. See Sicron and Leshem, Profile of an Immigration Wave. 12. M. McCombs and F.L. Shaw, ‘The Evaluation of Agenda Setting Research: Twenty-five Years in the Marketplace of Ideas’, Journal of Communication, 43 (1993), pp.58–67. 13. M. McCombs, D.L. Shaw and D.H. Weaver, Communication and Democracy (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1997). 14. D. Lemish, ‘Equal Communication Value: Feminist Perspectives of Israeli Media’, in D. Caspi (ed.), Communication and Democracy in Israel (Jerusalem: Van Lear Institute, 1997), pp.119–39 (Hebrew). 15. D. Lemish and C.E. Tidhar, ‘Where Have All the Young Girls Gone? The Disappearance of Israeli Women-Broadcasters during the Gulf War’, Women & Language, 22, 2 (1999), pp.27–32. 16. H. Herzog, ‘More than a Looking Glass: Women in Israeli Local Politics and the Media’, Press/Politics, 3, 1 (1998), pp.26–47. 17. D. Lemish, ‘The Ripple Effect: Pornographic Images of Women in Israeli Advertising’, in S.G. French (ed.), Interpersonal Violence, Health and Gender Politics (Toronto, ON: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1998), pp.285–95; G. Weimann, ‘Gender Differences in Israeli Television Commercials’, Megamot, 40, 3 (2000), pp.466–485 (Hebrew). 18. S. Fogiel-Bijaoui, ‘Women in Israel: The Social Construction of Citizenship as a NonIssue’, Israeli Society Science Research, 12, 1 (1997), pp.1–30. 19. G. Tuchman, ‘Introduction: The Symbolic Annihilation of Women by the Mass Media’, in G. Tuchman, A. Kaplan-Daniels and J. Benet (eds), Hearth and Home: Images of Women in the Mass Media (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), pp.3–38. 20. N. Wolf, Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood (New York: Random House, 1997). 21. See Vandenberg, Trafficking Women to Israel and Coerced Prostitution. 22. S. Hellman and T. Rapoport, ‘Women in Black: Challenging Israel’s Gender and SocioPolitical Orders’, The British Journal of Sociology, 48, 4 (1997), pp.681–700. 23. E.A. Kaplan, ‘Feminist Criticism and Television’, in R.C. Allen (ed.), Channels of Discourse (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1987), pp.211–53. 24. K. Ganguly, ‘Accounting for Others: Feminism and Representation’, in L. Rakow (ed.), Women Making Meaning: New Feminist Directions in Communication (New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1992), pp.60–79. 25. S. Hall, ‘The Spectacle of the “Other”’, in S. Hall (ed.), Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (London: Sage, 1997), pp.223–90 (p.258). 26. A. First, ‘Who is the Enemy? The Portrayal of Arabs in Israeli TV News’, Gazette, 60, 3 (1998), pp.239–51. 27. T. Liebes, Reporting the Arab–Israeli Conflict: How Hegemony Works (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1997). 28. D. Lemish and C.E. Tidhar, ‘Still Marginal: Women in Israel’s 1996 Television Election Campaign’, Sex Roles, 41, 5–6 (1999), pp.389–412. 29. D. Lemish and I. Barzel, ‘Four Mothers: The Womb in the Public Sphere’, European Journal of Communication, 15, 2 (2000), pp.147–69. 30. C. West and S. Fenstermaker, ‘Doing Difference’, Gender & Society, 9, 1 (1995), pp.8–37.

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2 Gesher: An Immigrant Theatre in Israeli Media: A Snapshot from the 1990s1 Olga Gershenson Hybridity in Postcolonial Studies In the 1930s, literary scholar Mikhail Bakhtin suggested understanding linguistic and cultural interaction as a process of hybridization.2 This process may be organic or intentional: organic hybridity stands for fusion and amalgamation of cultures, whereas intentional hybridity brings forward contestation and collision between different points of view. Later, Homi Bhabha, Robert Young and others theorized hybridity within the field of postcolonial discourse analysis.3 Organic hybridization is further developed in Bhabha’s idea of a ‘third space’, which approaches cultural exchange as an empowering and productive process. According to Bhabha, the constant stream of cultural production results in new hybrid identities that are ‘neither the one thing nor the other’.4 These hybrid constructions contain multiple voices, practices and feelings that inform them. They exist in a ‘third space’, which has a transformative power to negotiate contradictory and antagonistic instances, and set up ‘new structures of authority, new political initiatives’.5 This ‘third space’ then becomes an arena for complex negotiations, where polarities are blurred and different discourses are woven together. Hybrid agencies ‘deploy the partial culture from which they emerge to construct visions of community, and versions of historic memory, that give narrative form to the minority positions they occupy; the outside of the inside: the part in the whole’.6 Bhabha’s hope is that within this ‘third space’, different cultures and communities may coexist and grow at their own pace. But hybridization is also an uneven and ambivalent process, and, to understand it, Bhabha further develops the idea of intentional hybridization. He notices that the cultural exchange is fraught with ambivalence, a process defined in psychoanalytic terms as simultaneous attraction to and repulsion from an object. Within colonial discourse, ambivalence is expressed through

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the mechanisms of mimicry and menace: mimicry forces a colonial subject to become like the colonizer – to be ‘a reformed recognizable Other’.7 However, this mimicry can quickly turn into mockery, and thus call into question the normative knowledge and power relations. Then mimicry becomes menace. Therefore, Bhabha argues, mimicry has a profound and disturbing effect on the colonial discourse.8 Colonizing master discourse is incessantly involved in a fort/da game: the colonial subject is required to mimic the colonizer and to correspond to the colonizer’s norms and models. But when this happens, the threat of mockery is so great that the colonizer, filled with remorse and anxiety, withdraws his desire to reform the ‘other’. In Bhabha’s words, ‘[T]he ambivalence of colonial authority repeatedly turns from mimicry – difference that is almost nothing but not quite – to menace – a difference that is almost total but not quite.’9 Is hybridity the syncretic ‘third space’, or the ambivalent mechanism of mimicry and menace? Robert Young argues that hybridity belongs to the new generation of theoretical concepts that, by following the Derridean logic of breaking and joining at the same time, defies the fixed character of the usual theoretical categories.10 Because of this, the model of hybridity is uniquely suited for an analysis of the discourse of immigration in Israel, which in and out of itself is woven together from many voices and multiple discourses. Here, I show how the idea of cultural hybridity plays out in the representation of Russian immigrants in the mainstream Israeli media. I apply the postcolonial theoretical perspective to the context of immigration, thus making a connection between postcolonialism and post-Zionism. Post-Zionism calls for critical rethinking of Zionist ideology and history in pre- and post-statehood Israel, and insists on a deconstruction of mainstream Israeli myths such as the ‘Jewish state’, ‘land settlement’ and ‘Law of Return’.11 Similar to postcolonialism, post-Zionism critiques the colonizing role of Israeli society towards Palestinians, and the oppressive role of the cultural hegemony of the Ashkenazi establishment in relation to Mizrahi (literally, Oriental) Jews. However, I argue that Israeli Zionist ideology plays a colonizing role in respect to all cultural ‘others’, including FSU (Former Soviet Union) immigrants. My reading of colonization here refers to any hegemonic discourse, in this case the mainstream discourse of Zionist ideology. Following Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, I view colonization as ‘the infantilising trope, which projects colonized people as embodying an earlier stage of individual human or broad cultural development, a trope which posits the cultural immaturity of the colonized’.12 Despite the obvious historical and political differences, using this definition enables applying postcolonial theory to the context of immigration discourse in Israel.

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The process of absorbing the ‘other’ into the ‘imagined community’ of the nation is attained through discourse.13 Discourse here is conceptualized in Foucauldian terms, as a way of constituting knowledge, including social practices, forms of subjectivity and power relations. Studying historically and culturally specific discursive fields can uncover regimes of knowledge as well as the production of power relations at work in a society.14 Applying this approach to colonial discourse, Edward Said showed that language is not a transparent, innocent, ahistorical tool, but rather an instrument of colonial subjugation.15 This implies that the discourse of literary and academic texts can be analysed as a means for understanding the diverse ideological practices of colonialism. Thus, Zionism, the hegemonic narrative in Israel, can be analysed as speaking through such institutional channels as law, education and mass media. Yet these institutions are themselves a site of contestation, since even a dominant discourse is not monolithic, but is woven from different voices. In the 1990s, the wave of the FSU immigration added one more voice to the polyphony of Israeli discourses, which has both resisted and affirmed the Zionist master-narrative. This essay shows how the Israeli mainstream media represents this voice.

The Russian Immigrant Community and Gesher Theatre In the 1990s, Israel was transformed when nearly a million FSU immigrants arrived in the country. This new wave of immigration turned into a tsunami that hit Israeli society head on. Both immigrants and hosts suffered from unemployment and lack of housing, and felt frustrated by the clash of mutual expectations. The new Russian immigrants did not fit the somewhat antiquated Zionist expectations of complete and voluntary assimilation. Fed up with ideology in their Soviet past, and often accomplished professionals, these immigrants were not in a rush to leave behind their diasporic past and plunge into a new cultural reality. This new wave of immigration, neither quite Israeli, nor quite Russian, neither quite complicit, nor quite resistant, inhabited the borderlands of the Israeli cultural landscape.16 Despite its emergent political representation in the Israeli parliament already in the 1990s, Russian immigrants still remained under-represented in Israeli culture. Media coverage of immigration was invariably given from the Israeli vantage point. A thriving industry of Russian-language media and culture in Israel existed separately from the mainstream Hebrew media, and was therefore rendered invisible for Israeli audiences.17 One of the few places in the Israeli cultural scene where the new immigrants were seen and heard was Gesher. The Russian accent, usually relegated to the cultural margins, sounded there in the context of a major artistic production.

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Gesher’s history stands in contrast to the history of Habima, the first national theatre in pre-Israel Palestine. Originally established in Moscow in 1917 as the Hebrew-speaking theatre, Habima was driven by the idea of the Hebrew language revival. In contrast to this Zionist ideological mission, Gesher had a cultural vocation. Founded in 1991 by a group of ex-Soviet immigrants as a Russian-speaking theatre in Israel, Gesher (‘bridge’ in Hebrew) was intended as a bridge between the Russian culture of the actors and the Israeli culture of audiences.18 However, by 1992 Gesher had already been forced to switch from Russian to Hebrew since Israeli audiences were not interested in shows with simultaneous translation. At first, the actors, who were new immigrants, did not speak Hebrew and had to learn their parts by heart without comprehending the text. Despite these challenges, the company proved to be both a box-office and critical success, and received the recognition of the international theatre community. Today the Gesher troupe, comprised of both immigrants and native Israelis, performs mostly in Hebrew, and only occasionally in Russian. However, the Israeli public still perceives it as somewhat Russian. The attitudes of critics and audiences towards this specific cultural identification range from enthusiastic acceptance to complete rejection. Critical acclaim, commercial success and official recognition on the one hand, and a condescending view of the theatre as an ‘ethnic phenomenon’ on the other, have placed the theatre in an ambivalent position in Israeli culture and politics. These ambivalent attitudes are reflected in Gesher’s media reception, and they all come to the fore in the media’s treatment of Evgenii Arye, Gesher’s founder and artistic director. As such, Arye’s persona in the media is often used to represent the entire theatre and, by extension, even the whole Russian immigrant community. Therefore, here I focus specifically on the way Arye is portrayed in the media, and the way he positions himself vis-àvis Israeli critics.19 My primary data consist of seven journalistic profiles of Evgenii Arye, published in the national daily newspapers (Ha’aretz and Ma’ariv) and in the Tel-Aviv weekly (Ha-Ir) during 1994–99. Ha’aretz, one of the oldest newspapers in Israel, is an elite publication in its scope of coverage and journalistic standards. Ma’ariv, the second most popular paper in Israel, is a mass publication with lower journalistic standards. Foucault’s and Said’s understanding of discourse (as explained above) defines my approach to discourse analysis as used here. In each text I coded its subject matters and rhetorical strategies. I combined these results and found the recurring patterns in Arye’s media reception. These overarching trends then guided the way in which my analysis is organized and presented here. When necessary, I preserved the key terms used in the original Hebrew texts.

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These ideological terms are particularly important for understanding Israeli media. Israeli journalistic writing, including theatre criticism, has its origins in ‘party journalism’, when media were mobilized to serve the needs of society – specifically, to disseminate Hebrew language and Zionist ideology. The traces of this discourse are still pronounced in contemporary Israeli privately-owned media.20 Some scholars observe that theatre criticism underwent a transformation in the post-state era, and became more specialized and professional.21 Nevertheless, in the 1990s – Gesher’s formative years – ideological considerations still remained the major criteria of critical judgment in Israel.

Evgenii Arye: Between Complicity and Resistance Politics of identity are at the centre of media discourse about Arye. In contrast to the representation of local celebrities, Arye’s media representation focuses on his cultural and national identity, especially on his identity as a new immigrant. I begin my analysis by unfolding the cultural and ideological meanings of immigration in Israel. Then, I show how these meanings inform Arye’s media representation.

Representation of Immigration In modern Hebrew, the word immigrant (oleh, plural olim) means literally ‘repatriate’ or ‘ascendant’. The positive meanings of the term are sanctified by Zionist ideology, which sets immigration as a top national priority. In the hegemonic Zionist narrative, olim are repressed diasporic Jews, who ‘ascend’ to the Land of Israel in order to build their national home. In the process of assimilation (called in Israel ‘absorption’), the olim blend into the melting pot of a new society. They undergo the transformation from passive Jews into active Hebrews. This transformation includes the fulfilment of a Zionist commandment of mastering the Hebrew language. For new immigrants, therefore, learning Hebrew is not only a pragmatic necessity, but also an ideological exigency. All these norms and expectations are predicated on the Zionist definition of immigration as ‘homecoming’, and immigrants are the ‘homecomers’ and not ‘foreigners’. Some Israeli sociologists argue that ‘the homecomers’ position eases entry into the new society’.22 But such a position also puts immigrants under tremendous ideological pressure. Zionist ideology interprets Jewish immigration to Israel as relinquishing exile. Therefore, the discursive practice of Zionism obliges immigrants to feel ‘at home’ and delegitimizes feelings of nostalgia or even using their mother tongue.

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Jewish immigration is the raison d’être of the State of Israel, and Zionist ideology glorifies the newcomers. This might be so, but in everyday life, the word oleh has developed degrading connotations. These connotations signal the incompetence and ineptitude of new immigrants, emphasizing their otherness. This gap in meanings is reflected in an Israeli adage: ‘Israelis love immigration, but hate immigrants.’ In the following analysis I show how the ideological meanings of immigration in a hegemonic Zionist narrative inform Evgenii Arye’s media representation. The public persona of Evgenii Arye epitomizes an emergent position of an immigrant, which both reaffirms and challenges the mainstream ideology. Some characteristics of Arye’s public persona challenge Zionist ideology. For instance, he does not know Hebrew, relying on Russian and English in his daily life. Also, his immigration was motivated by personal and professional interests, not by Zionism. Like many other Soviet immigrants, Arye refuses to abandon his Russian cultural heritage. Not only does he not assimilate, he is also condescending towards Israeli culture. Yet other characteristics of Arye’s public persona are consistent with Zionist ideology. Arye’s project, Gesher Theatre, is highly regarded by the Israeli establishment. The theatre performs in Hebrew, and is considered to be a story of successful ‘absorption’ of both its actors and audiences. Reviews of Gesher’s productions appear in all major newspapers; shows and films about Gesher are broadcast on Israeli television. Therefore, Arye occupies an ambivalent position in Israeli culture: he is simultaneously an insider and an outsider, a marginal and a central figure. Arye’s ambivalent position challenges the mainstream media discourse which is informed by the norms of hegemonic Zionist ideology. One way to cope with this challenge is to emphasize the cultural difference and the immigrant status of the theatre-makers. To do so, Gesher is referred to as ‘theater of olim’, ‘olim ensemble’ and ‘Russian miracle’.23 By marking Gesher’s specific cultural identification, critics segregate the theatre from the rest of the theatres in Israel. An inclusive reference to Gesher as ‘a theater of Russians and Israelis’, emphasizing the troupe’s diverse composition, is extremely rare.24 Another way to emphasize the immigrant status of Gesher theatre-makers is to speak of their language and culture instead of their artistic production. The result is that the actors are presented not only as new immigrants in Israel, but also as novices in theatre. One critic gives the Gesher troupe a pat on the shoulder for coping with all the difficulties of theatre production in addition to the difficulties of adjustment to the new country.25 The immigrant identities of the actors-olim override their artistic activity, as the degrading connotations of the word oleh trickle down into media discourse. The same critic interprets an invitation to Arye to become an artistic director

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of Habima in the context of his immigrant status: ‘This was an expression of appreciation to a director who has only been in Israel for three years.’26 The professional discourse about theatre is imbricated here with the discourse of immigration. Arye’s conformance to the ideological norms serves as a main criterion of critical judgment in the media texts. In earlier publications, Arye is framed as a complicit newcomer, an oleh on his way to becoming an assertive and uninhibited Israeli: ‘Gesher today is an Israeli theater in the full meaning of this word, and so is its director. When I met him at one of the first shows of Gesher, he was embarrassed and reserved. Today he does not hesitate to give his opinion, to point out the weaknesses of Israeli theater, to suggest, and to criticize.’27 Here Arye appears as a ‘good’ immigrant, whose behaviour is consistent with an Israeli ethos. The critic applies an ideological yardstick to judge Arye, imposing on him a system of values grounded in Zionist ideology. Later, the media change their tune – if earlier on it looked as if Arye was on his way to assimilate, over time it became clear that he remains ‘foreign’. A profile from 1997 describes Arye as an ‘alien’. Insisting on the necessity of assimilation, its author, Tsipi Shohat, reprimands Arye that he ‘still does not speak Hebrew’, ‘still lives as an alien’. 28 In her logic, as a recent immigrant Arye had been allowed not to speak Hebrew, but after seven years in Israel he should have mastered the local language and culture. By failing to do so, Arye violated the Zionist norms of assimilation and commitment to Hebrew, and is now publicly reprimanded in the media. Indeed, Arye’s failure to learn Hebrew is presented as a stumbling block in every article. Another writer, Tamar Avidar, speaks about it in apologetic terms, attributing Arye’s failure to his busy work schedule.29 However, like Shohat, she still insists that Arye ought to master Hebrew. The persistent preoccupation with Arye’s Hebrew (or lack thereof) is not only a way of emphasizing his cultural otherness, but also a way to subjugate him to the ideological discourse of immigration. Only one journalist discusses Arye’s language situation as a personal and professional drama: English with journalists, Russian with actors, [Hebrew] with the help of crutches of translation ... It looks like part of Arye’s extra adrenalin has its source in his constant fear that his comments will not be conveyed exactly as he intended; that the language of such a verbal person as him, will fail to cross the double barrier of Hebrew and local culture. ‘And it will be like that for the rest of their lives,’ he says sadly about his Russian actors, who do a heroic work and manage not to sound like a parody of the early Habima. About the rest of his life, and his own linguistic limbo, he does not speak.30

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This account reveals an understanding of Gesher’s linguistic situation and succeeds in giving readers an insight into it, without lapsing into ideological judgment. If the journalists are ambivalent about Arye, his self-representation in the media is equally conflicted: he is simultaneously complicit with and resistant to the hegemonic Zionist discourse. In some interviews, Arye takes a resistant position and speaks of immigration without relating to Zionist imperatives: ‘In Israel people understand what it means to be an immigrant. It’s a feeling that doesn’t easily dissipate. My home is here; my old home doesn’t exist. I realized that last year when I got back to Tel Aviv and felt that I was coming home.’31 This testimony presents Arye’s newly formed attachment to Israel in personal and geographically specific terms, without reference to the ideology of Zionism. But in other cases Arye comes across as complicit with the Zionist meanings of immigration. Thus, faced with a provocative question probing his ‘attachment to the Land of Israel’, Arye plays according to the implicit rules and gives an answer consistent with mainstream ideology: ‘In Kanyuk’s play [Adam Resurrected] I tried to attach [us] to the Land of Israel.’32 In another interview, Arye is asked a question probing his Zionist commitment: ‘So, why did it take you so long to come to the Land of Israel?’ Arye explains that back in the Soviet Union he was a refusenik – a person denied permission to emigrate by the Soviet authorities.33 In a later article he makes even a bigger statement, by saying that ‘immigration to Israel after being a refusenik for years was a most meaningful change in my life’.34 Regardless of the actual accuracy of his claim, within the Israeli context, his self-representation as a refusenik automatically creates a positive image of Arye as someone who had suffered in exile and for whom coming to Zion was a fulfilment of a lifelong yearning. In some instances, Arye’s ambivalence about his cultural and national identities runs so deep that he presents himself as both complicit with and resistant to the Zionist norms at the same time: ‘I understand how right I was to leave everything behind and to immigrate to Israel. Not because of Gesher’s success, but because everything happening there [in Russia] does not belong to me. While visiting Russia I missed it here, despite the fact that my literature and theater are still not here, but there, in Russia.’35 In this selfreport, Arye positions his cultural world separately from his national identity. Arye’s approval of his own immigration to Israel is complicit with the Zionist ideology, yet his Russian cultural identification contests the Zionist norms. Arye represents an emergent position of a new immigrant, which is both complicit with and resistant to Zionist ideology. The same ambivalence is evident in Arye’s discussion of his Jewish identity.

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In one interview, he talks about his roots and his family’s history in a slightly defensive tone: ‘In Israel they think that someone who comes from Russia does not have Jewish roots, because they [Russian Jews] did not keep the tradition, but this is not exactly how it is ... Maybe we are from the outside, but we are Jews to the same extent, and the Shoah is significant for us too. Many people died in my family.’36 Arye’s defensiveness is most palpable when he is trying to present his heritage and his family in terms that are consistent with the Zionist narrative. It is not by chance that Arye brings up the Holocaust, a cornerstone of Israeli identity and a major justification of Israel’s founding. And yet Arye also resists the restrictive approach to Judaism as ‘keeping the tradition’. He acknowledges his community’s cultural difference and demands recognition of their alternative Jewishness. Arye is positioned both inside and outside of Israeli culture. On the one hand, as an immigrant and a foreigner he is excluded from Israeli culture; on the other hand, he is included into it by virtue of his participation in the mainstream media discourse. Arye’s own voice, as reproduced by the newspaper writers, is equally ambivalent. Arye readily acknowledges his foreignness, yet he insists on his membership in Israeli society. In their turn, the media are unable to discuss Arye’s persona and activity without the crutches of ideological norms. As a result, whether media discourse is derisive or sympathetic, Arye’s status as an immigrant and his conformance to the ideological expectations that it entails are at the centre of the discussion. Preoccupied with measuring Arye with the ideological yardstick, media discourse fails to articulate the emergent hybridity of Arye’s position.

Representation of Culture and Cultural Exchange Complete cultural assimilation is a central ideological Zionist norm. Enacting a Zionist ethos, immigrants are required to absorb themselves into Israeli reality, discarding the culture of their country of origin. This cultural policy puts a hegemonic Zionist discourse into a colonizing position in respect to the Russian immigrants’ discourse. However, historically it was not always the case. The ideology of modern Zionism originated in Russia and Eastern Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. Most of the codified heroes of Zionism were of Russian descent. The first Hebrew national theatre, Habima, was founded in Moscow by Russian Jews. Many Israeli national poets and public figures originated from a discriminatedagainst Jewish minority in the Russian Empire. They grew up deeply impressed with Russian literature and arts and their lofty ideas. In early Israel, translations of Russian classic literature and songs were cornerstones of the nascent public culture. One may say, then, that in the past, Russian

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culture had a colonizing influence on the emergent Israeli-Hebrew culture. These times, though, have long passed. In turn, Russian culture was once subject to a European colonizing influence. In the nineteenth century, Russia was culturally subordinate to the French and, to a lesser extent, German and British cultures. As the Slavist Andrew Wachtel argues, this colonization found expression in the Europeanization of the Russian elites, which ‘laid the groundwork for the great Russian literary, musical, and artistic achievements of the 19th and 20th centuries, but it also produced a strong case of culture shock and a nagging sense of inferiority’.37 The sense of inferiority to Europe resulting from a typical colonial power relationship is still perceptible among many Russian-Soviet intellectuals and cultural producers. At the same time, this colonizing influence also produced a sense of identification with European arts and culture among Russians. They see themselves as heirs to the European legacy, and as such may express colonial (read, condescending) attitudes towards Israeli ‘oriental’ culture. All these complicated relationships play out in the media discourse about Gesher: Israeli critics take a colonizing attitude towards Arye as a new immigrant, subject to Zionist norms; whereas Arye positions himself as a European-cultured intellectual, and responds to them with equal condescension. Both discourses are monocentric, equally insisting on the rigid norms of one legitimate culture. The discursive practice that transpires between Zionist and Eurocentric discourses results in mutual colonization. This process most clearly emerges in a discussion of Arye’s attitude to art and to Israeli culture. It is noteworthy that the colonization trope is employed by the journalists themselves. This means that the colonial relations between mainstream Israeli and Russian immigrant discourses are taken for granted. Writer Ariana Melamed begins her article with the sarcastic threat: ‘[Arye] will show you what is kultura.’ She chooses the Russian word kultura (culture) rather than the Hebrew word tarbut, to allude to European ‘high culture’. She claims that Gesher has developed and thrived in the Israeli context because Israeli culture, nurtured on the Russian heritage, has created space for a troupe such as Gesher. Then Melamed directly charges Arye with the colonization of Israeli culture, when she asks him: ‘Maybe Chekhov is a part of your colonization program? An attempt to show how to do Russian culture correctly?’38 Arye responds to this provocative question by appealing to the presumed universality of art: ‘Arye, who ... despite the limitations of language is familiar with the local sensitivities and complexes, passes on the bait with elegance. “There is no program”, he admits, “Chekhov is not Russian, just as Shakespeare is not English.”’39 Denying a suggestion that he has a

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‘colonization program’, Arye assumes the universal value of the western canon that transcends boundaries of national cultures. For him there is no doubt that these examples, Chekhov and Shakespeare, represent crossover cultural universals. In another article, Arye scoffs at the Israeli production of Romeo and Juliet transplanted into modern Israel: ‘I would never do Romeo and Juliet with Jews and Arabs, it’s impossible ... One cannot bring Shakespeare to the level of a poignantly journalistic, almost primitive situation.’40 For Arye, Shakespeare has the status of a sacred cow, which renders the contemporary interpretation of his plays and transplanting them into the Middle Eastern (read, oriental) context ‘primitive’. Arye’s critique seems even more prejudiced when he admits that he has not even seen the production which he so adamantly criticizes. Arye’s Eurocentric position is also salient in the discussion of Israeli art. Whenever he speaks about it, Arye takes the position of an expert from a cultural centre. When he asks a critic a rhetorical question – ‘In such a small country as Israel, is it possible for us to do something that is not provincial?’41 – the negative answer is clearly implied. Arye’s concern reflects the centre– periphery paradigm characteristic of Eurocentrism. To help his charge along, he compares Israeli theatre with second-class Russian theatre: ‘[Copying productions] is a provincial way of work. In the Russian provinces they would see a show in Moscow and then reproduce it locally. It’s like in a supermarket. You buy a tomato that looks like a tomato, but it does not have the smell of a real tomato. So are these productions, they only look like productions.’42 Here Arye’s concern with provinciality is interwoven with a discourse of authenticity. His metaphor, comparing copycat productions to supermarket tomatoes, echoes Walter Benjamin’s critique of art in the era of mechanical reproduction.43 But what is really behind Arye’s critique is his view of Moscow as a European cultural centre, unlike Israel, which is a provincial backwater like the Russian boondocks with which he is familiar. As he superimposes his cultural map onto Israel, Israeli theatre falls in the margins. His seeming stance on authenticity in the spirit of the Frankfurt School of criticism, betrays deep-seated cultural prejudice. The same values are evident in Arye’s references to European theatrical figures. In Israel, where permanent troupes are relatively rare and companies often hire different directors for different productions, Arye’s sole artistic ownership of Gesher is a subject for discussion. Arye is often asked why is it that only he directs at Gesher. Here is Arye’s response: ‘Only in Israel it raises questioning, but it’s a common thing in theaters in Europe and Russia. Peter Brook, for instance, is the sole director in his theater.’44 In this juxtaposition, once again, Europe and Russia are at the cultural centre – and are assumed

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to be normative; whereas Israel, with its provincial culture, is lagging behind. By comparing himself to Peter Brook, a celebrated, world-renowned director, Arye conveniently assigns to himself a high status and positions himself closer to the culturally central figures than his out-of-the-loop Israeli colleagues.45 But Arye’s biggest indignation is reserved for Israeli critics who perceive Gesher as an ‘ethnic’ or ‘immigrant’ theatre. For Arye, who sees himself as a European ambassador and who believes in the universality of the western cultural canon, this is anathema. Arye, as journalist Sarit Fuchs correctly notes, ‘wants to be defined only by his art’. She goes on to quote him: I don’t like it when they say about us: ‘those are immigrants’. Our being olim does not define our work. We are not an ethnic dance group of Eskimos, when everything that is interesting about it is the fact that the dance is Eskimo. This is a very humiliating point of view. From the first day of founding Gesher we are trying to fight it.46 Arye objects to a condescending view of his company, which pigeonholes it as ‘an immigrant theater’. Ironically, he himself exhibits the exact same position towards others: for him, Gesher represents cultural universals, whereas ‘Eskimo dance’ has strictly anthropological appeal. Objecting to the view of Gesher as somewhat culturally inferior, Arye, in fact, only reinforces a hierarchical normative view of cultures: some are higher than others. Arye’s Eurocentrism transcends the context of theatre criticism, and spills over into his judgement of broader Israeli society. When asked,‘What bothers you in Israel?’ Arye replies: ‘Garbage that people leave behind, small towns covered with trash, dogs whose owners don’t clean after them. An El-Al [Israeli airline] airplane that looks like a dumpster after landing.’47 Lurking behind these hygienic and environmental concerns are Arye’s colonial attitudes. ‘Small towns’ in the Israeli context are so-called ‘development towns’, projects built in the periphery for settling Jewish immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East, the second-class citizens of Israel. In Arye’s account, which is strikingly consistent with a classic colonial view of the Orient, these people, drowning in their own garbage, are backward barbaric ‘natives’, untouched by civilization and European culture. Vacillating between Russian-intellectual and Israeli-Zionist discourses, Arye is put into an ambivalent cultural position. On the one hand, standing on his Russian-cultured high ground, he dismisses Israeli culture, as he himself struggles to assert his belonging to an even higher European culture. On the other hand, Arye himself is marginalized by Israeli critics. They treat Gesher as an ethnic theatre, an oddity of interest to immigration officials or

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anthropologists, rather than a professional theatre company. As a result, Arye is simultaneously in an inferior and superior position in regard to Israeli culture. Israeli critics are equally ambivalent. Proud of their national culture, they force newcomer Arye to comply with it; yet, yielding to the authority of Russian arts and culture, they allow his positioning as a cultural expert.

Conclusions Evgenii Arye’s hybrid identity exists in between the Russian and Israeli cultures. His media representation reveals a complex negotiation between the Russian immigrant narrative and the hegemonic Israeli-Zionist narrative, each of which are influenced by Russian and European cultural values. Arye’s persona in the media is a site where a new hybrid identity is being formed. Arye is a new immigrant and an Israeli citizen; he is a Russian intellectual and an Israeli cultural producer, he is a diasporic Jew and simultaneously a Jew who relinquished his diaspora. Nevertheless, he is neither quite Israeli, nor quite Russian. His hybrid identity as a Russian Israeli exists, using Bhabha’s words, on the borderline of cultures, in the empowering ‘third space’, where the voice of the ‘other’ has a chance to be heard rather than silenced. One can see, then, Arye’s portrayal in the media as a realization of organic hybridity, which celebrates the emergence and development of hybrid agencies, paving the road to a policy of multiculturalism. However, the media representation of Arye is deeply ambivalent, and hardly warrants its unconditional placement in an empowering ‘third space’. The analysis shows that hegemonic Zionist narrative ignores or villainizes Arye’s hybrid identity. Arye’s own position doesn’t help either. As I showed, both media discourses, that of Israeli critics and that of Arye, use colonial frames of reference in dealing with cultural ‘others’. There is a great deal of ambivalence in both their attitudes: the media condescend to Arye as a ‘new immigrant’ and demand that he should conform to the ideological norms of Zionist homecoming; yet simultaneously it elevates him to a pedestal as a cultural expert. Arye responds in kind; his media persona also comes across as ambivalent: he attempts to be a ‘good immigrant’ and a Zionist, hailing his new country and his newly formed attachment to it. At the same time, he looks down on Israel, as a country at a lower level of cultural development, a province, where people and their towns are dirty. Locked in these ambivalent relationships, the two cultural discourses complement and clash with each other – often, as I showed, within the same text and the same subjectivity. What results is also a hybrid discourse, but one that is far from the optimistic vision of the ‘third space’.

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This essay captures a particular moment in Israeli society; one might say the last hegemonic moment. In the 1990s, Zionist ideology was still in an indisputably hegemonic position. Immigrants had to comply with its imperatives or risk marginalization. Things have changed since then: it’s not that Israeli society has turned into a multicultural paradise, but its public discourse has become more fragmented and diverse (which is not to say more just). Today, along with other discourses, be it Mizrahi, leftist-liberal or its opposite, settlers’ movement, the Russian-Israeli voice is clearly heard, and not just in politics. Two decades after the mass immigration, the Russian language is everywhere, Russian accent in Hebrew has become a new norm, both in real life, and – more pertinent to this essay – on stage and on screens (big and small). The media no longer obsess with assimilation, with whether Arye (or other immigrant creators) are on their way to become ‘real Israelis’. They are real Israelis, because an entire definition of who is an Israeli has been gradually changing, and this new definition includes Russian Israelis as much as any others. But it’s not yet time to celebrate. As Russian Israelis have been gaining greater acceptance, there are new ‘others’ (like labour migrants and non-Jewish refugees) as well as old ‘others’ (Palestinians) who are vying for recognition and inclusion in the national narrative.

Notes 1. The current article is a revised and updated version of an earlier publication by the author, ‘Politics of Identity and Critical Judgment: Gesher Theatre in Israel’, published in Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex and Race, 14 (2007), pp.99–114. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the series’ publisher, Editions Rodopi B.V. 2. M. Bakhtin, The Dialogical Imagination: Four Essays, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1981). 3. H. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1994); H. Bhabha, ‘Culture’s In-Between’, in E. Hall and P. Du Gay (eds), Questions of Cultural Identity (London; Thousand Oaks, CA; and New Delhi: Sage, 1996), pp.53–60; R. Young, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race (London and New York: Routledge, 1995). 4. See Bhabha, Location of Culture, 33. 5. H. Bhabha, ‘“The Third Space”: Interview with Homi Bhabha’, in J. Rutherford (ed.), Identity: Community, Culture, Difference (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1990), p.211. 6. See Bhabha, ‘Culture’s In-Between’, p.58. 7. See Bhabha, Location of Culture, p.86. 8. Ibid., p.86. 9. Ibid., p.91. 10. See Young, Colonial Desire. 11. For background on the rise of the post-Zionist school of thought, see E. Nimni, The Challenge of Post-Zionism (London: Zed Books, 2003). 12. E. Shohat and R. Stam,‘Narrativizing Visual Culture: Towards a Polycentric Aesthetics’, in N. Mirzoeff (ed.), The Visual Culture Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 1998), p.28.

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13. For an idea of ‘imagined community’, see B.R. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983). 14. M. Foucault, The History of Sexuality. Volume 1: An Introduction (New York: Vintage Books, 1981). 15. E. Said, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978). 16. C. Jones, Soviet Jewish Aliyah, 1989–1992: Impact and Implications for Israel and the Middle East (London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 1996); L. Remennick, Russian Jews on Three Continents: Identity, Integration, and Conflict (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2007). 17. For an analysis of the Russian-language media in Israel, see N. Elias, Coming Home: Media and Returning Diaspora in Israel and Germany (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2008). 18. For Habima’s history, see E. Levy, The Habima: Israel’s National Theater 1917–1977: A Study of Cultural Nationalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979). For Gesher’s history, see O. Gershenson, Gesher: Russian Theatre in Israel: A Study of Cultural Colonization (New York: Peter Lang, 2005). 19. For the comprehensive analysis of Gesher’s media representation in Israeli media, see Gershenson, Gesher. 20. D. Caspi and Y. Limor, The In/outsiders: The Mass Media in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999). 21. E. Levy, ‘Art Critics and Art Publics: A Study in the Sociology and Politics of Taste’, Empirical Studies of the Arts, 6, 2 (1988), pp.127–49; S. Weitz, ‘From Combative to Bourgeois Theater: Public Theater in Israel in 1990’, in L. Ben-Zvi (ed.), Theater in Israel (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), pp.101–19. 22. E. Lomsky-Feder and T. Rapoport, ‘Homecoming, Immigration, and the National Ethos: Russian-Jewish Homecomers Reading Zionism’, Anthropological Quarterly, 74, 1 (2001), p.2. 23. Tsipi Shohat, ‘They Deal Here with Production and not with Art’, Ha’aretz, 20 April 1994 (Hebrew); Tsipi Shohat, ‘Now I Have to Be Here’, Ha’aretz, 19 July 1995 (Hebrew). 24. A. Melamed, ‘He Will Show us What is Kultura’, Ha-Ir, 5 December 1997 (Hebrew). 25. See Shohat, ‘Now I Have to Be Here’. 26. Ibid. 27. See Shohat, ‘They Deal Here with Production’. 28. Tsipi Shohat, ‘The Big Devotion’, Ha’aretz, 4 December 1997 (Hebrew). 29. T. Avidar, ‘The Truth Is that I Am Lazy and Hate to Work’, Ma’ariv, 10 January 1999 (Hebrew). 30. See Melamed, ‘He Will Show Us’. 31. Shiri Katz, ‘Arye in Summer’, Ma’ariv, 9 July 1999 (Hebrew). 32. Ibid. 33. Sarit Fuchs, ‘Arye’, Ma’ariv, 13 January 1995 (Hebrew). 34. See Avidar, ‘The Truth Is that I Am Lazy’. 35. Ibid. 36. See Fuchs, ‘Arye’. 37. A. Wachtel, ‘Translation, Imperialism, and National Self-Definition in Russia’, Public Culture, 11, part 2, no.1 (1999), pp.49–73 (p.50). 38. See Melamed, ‘He Will Show Us’. 39. Ibid. 40. See Fuchs, ‘Arye’.

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41. See Shohat, ‘The Big Devotion’. 42. Ibid. 43. W. Benjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn (London: Jonathan Cape, 1970), pp.217–53. 44. See Avidar, ‘The Truth Is that I Am Lazy’. 45. This changed later. In the 2000s, Gesher worked with different directors along with Arye. 46. See Fuchs, ‘Arye’. 47. See Avidar, ‘The Truth Is that I Am Lazy.’

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3 A New Century and Still the Enemy: The Portrayal of Arabs in Israeli TV News during 2000–11 Anat First The 1990s can be characterized as a period of banal nationalism, in which the representation of Israeli Arabs was marked by postcolonial trends, along with symbolic annihilation (which also typify the representation of other cocultures in the Hebrew media).1 Two main reasons underlie the choice to study the representation of Israeli Arabs in the symbolic reality since 2000. The first relates to changes in the sociopolitical reality of relations between Israeli Jews and Arabs in the wake of hot nationalism – two conflicts which are elaborated below. The second concerns changes in the symbolic reality, primarily the operation of Channel 2, Israel’s most popular commercial TV station, and the establishment of Channel 10 in 2002 as a new commercial channel in Hebrew. This study compares the representation of Israeli Arabs in Israeli news media in light of these developments, at four points of contact between Israel’s majority and minority groups, in an attempt to categorize these points (2000, 2003, 2006 and 2011) into the two types of nationalism (hot and banal) advanced by Michael Billig.2 The second Intifada – the October 2000 events, in which thirteen Arab citizens were killed by security forces3 – and the Second Lebanon War in July–August 2006,4 in which both Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel were attacked by Hezbollah missiles, resulting in the death of nineteen Arabs and twenty-five Jews, constitute instances of hot nationalism. Banal nationalism is represented in the findings of two studies, conducted in 20035 and 2011.6 The changes that occurred in the first decade of the twenty-first century in the Israeli sociopolitical reality as well as in the symbolic reality, enable us to discern the representation of the ‘other’ in time of conflict (hot nationalism) and in everyday life (banal nationalism). Thus, comparing media portrayal of these national frames can help clarify the relationship between the two groups and identify the dominant civil discourse in the Israeli media.

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A New-Old Sociopolitical Reality? Arabs in Israel are the ‘other’ virtually by definition, as they constitute a national group living in an ethnic democracy.7 Their ‘otherness’ is twofold, stemming from the fact that they are a religious and ethnic and national minority in a given ‘imagined community’ – the State of Israel – as well as from their links to another ‘imagined community’ – the Palestinian People. In addition, each of these communities – one already established and the other now coalescing – is in conflict regarding the definition of its own borders. Inevitably, the ‘Israeliness’ of the country’s Arab citizens has been a frequent subject of discussion and source of friction, associated primarily with their formal status as 20 per cent of the country’s population. This means that they are subject to Israeli laws, participate in elections and are fully aware of democratic principles and civil rights. Their ‘Israeliness’ is also reflected in their way of life, which increasingly resembles that of the majority. Nevertheless, this ‘Israeliness’ is flawed in at least two major ways. Firstly, most Arabs live in the periphery of Israel and on the margins of its society and institutions, so that they constitute a deprived sociological minority lacking influence in most of the major issues affecting their lives. Secondly, their interpretation of their citizenship is inconsistent with the accepted Jewish connotation of loyalty to and identification with Israel’s Jewish character and symbols.8 The decision to focus on media representation of Arab citizens in the twenty-first century derived from the changes that occurred in both the Jewish and Arab societies in Israel. The Jewish population became aware of the changes in Arab society during the events of October 2000, in which a new generation of Arab citizens rose to prominence.9 This group emerged in response to the appeal of the Arab political parties in the 1990s to change the official definition of the State of Israel, in an attempt to transform it from an ethno-national into a liberal-democratic state.10 In terms of the discourse of citizenhood, it might be said that the Arabs, who had been excluded from both the republican11 and the ethno-national discourse, began to benefit from and participate in the liberal discourse. In the same period, Jewish Israeli society was undergoing a capitalist upheaval, which primarily entailed converting the hegemonic Fordist model, which prevailed during Israel’s formative years, into a neo-liberal one, spurred on by rapid globalization.12 In the 1990s, particularly after the 1993 Oslo Accords, which declared mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, peace was viewed as a political option in the war-torn Middle East. This intensified the political debate, leading in late 1995 to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Also during the 1990s, about one million

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immigrants joined Israeli society. This mass immigration, along with globalization and a communication revolution, led to massive changes in Israeli politics and values. Ethnic groups began fighting for their identity, and individualism intensified, along with a growing advocacy of universal values, leading to the emergence of a civil society.13 By the end of the twentieth century, the Zionist ethos was epitomized in two conflicting yet converging cultural codes: the universal or human, i.e. the liberal discourse of citizenhood; and the particular or national, i.e. the ethno-national discourse. This delicate balance, which had just begun to evolve in Israeli society, was severely undermined by the October 2000 events.14 In the years between the October 2000 events and the Second Lebanon War (the summer of 2006), various attempts to examine the relationship between the two sectors were made by both official15 and voluntary bodies. In 2006, relations between Arabs and Jews were again tested. Whereas in the autumn of 2000 the two groups had clashed, in the summer of 2006 they both became victims of war, the targets of thousands of missiles launched at Israel by Hezbollah, killing Arabs and Jews alike. Thus the October 2000 events can be seen as a case of hot nationalism, because the ‘us’ had been exclusively the Jewish citizens of Israel against the Israeli Arab citizens as the ‘them’, whereas in the second Lebanon War the ‘us’ were all the inhabitants of Israel – Jews and Arabs alike.

The Discourse of Representation The media is the stage on which representation processes are played out, the instrument through which the images of different groups in society are disseminated and restructured.16 These mediated images help to shape the world views of individuals and groups, enabling continuous negotiation with both the sociopolitical reality and other individuals. Concurrently, the media is the primary agent for instilling ideology, enabling the social world to be regimented, both overtly and covertly, in a manner consistent with the world view of the ‘strong’, while silencing the ‘weak’.17 This dynamic is often evident in the colonialist representational discourse, disseminated by official school texts as well as popular texts, which has often served as an authoritative tool for constructing images of both the ‘strong’ and the ‘weak’. Representation as a constant act of constructing identities also constitutes a force for creating stereotypes, which help to structure otherness in an orderly interpretive scheme perceived as ‘natural’. This scheme serves as an instrument for perpetuating stigmas and exclusion, and, as such, is a major element in colonial discourse. However, given that representation is a dynamic process, otherness can be presented in a positive light, as a challenge

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to the existing order, thereby enabling the emergence of postcolonial discourse.18 This type of discourse can be seen in the attempts of minorities to propose alternative agendas. Relations between the ‘strong’ and the ‘weak’ have been investigated in respect of three factors: (a) visibility – the presence or absence of ‘others’ in written and/or photographic text, measured by means of a ‘head count’; (b) the quality and nature of visibility – in what roles, contexts and behaviours are members of the different groups shown; (c) majority–minority relations – the degree of interactions between the groups. The discourse of representation is an integral part of the discussion of media frameworks, as it refers to the framework’s content. In other words, the mutual relationship between the manner of representation and the media framework determines the nature of the media product.19 The representation of Arab citizens as ‘others’ in the Israeli media is neither fixed nor homogeneous; it is influenced by the political relations between the various Arab groups and the State at any given moment.20 Studies conducted in the 1990s21 found that the Hebrew media tended to ignore the Arab population, and that the coverage that did relate to it generally dealt with offences: crime, hostile activities, violence, breaches of public order, etc.22 Arabs were viewed within the sociopolitical environment as a menace and an enemy. Furthermore, Israeli Arabs were perceived stereotypically by the mass media as a threat to the Jewish majority. They were often depicted by means of generalizations which presented a negative image that also pervaded other systems in society.23 Because the process of representation takes place in the symbolic reality, it should be noted that this reality had undergone a major shift in the late 1980s and early 1990s, moving from a single-channel, state-owned monopoly to a multi-channel television with two new commercial channels: Channel 2 since 1993, and Channel 10 since 2003. Both channels aspired to have their nightly news broadcast become the proverbial ‘tribal bonfire’, and to gain massive ratings (around 30 per cent).24 Thus, every day, banal nationalism as an integral part of the news25 characterizes the lion’s share of the Jewish state of mind. In addition, it should be remembered that the representation of a group constitutes the content of the framing done by journalists. There is abundant literature about the place of journalists in times of conflict,26 when they promptly relinquish their professionalism and rally to the defence of the nation against the enemy. It is argued that when the cannons’ roar subsides, journalists resume the practice of reporting and their professional ethos.27 The present study focused on two key questions relating to the TV news coverage of the Arab citizens of Israel, in extraordinary situations variously

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as the ‘enemies’ or ‘fellow-sufferers’ or both, and in the routine of everyday life during the last decade:

• •

How were Israeli Arabs, the ‘other’ in Israeli society, represented in news reports during the last decade? How were Israeli Arabs represented in a variety of modes of ‘hot nationalism’, as compared to days of ‘banal nationalism’?

Method In order to examine these questions, quantitative content analyses were performed on items relating to the events appearing in TV newscasts. To demonstrate the nature of the results, some qualitative analysis was added, especially in order to illustrate various modes of hot nationalism. For the period of each of the events, a coding system was developed to aid in measuring the dependent variables. Validity and reliability of the system were ensured by the use of three judges (male and female Jewish students in different degree programmes in media studies), who yielded a mean intercoder agreement rate of 93 per cent for the different variables. To achieve this high rate of agreement, the judges underwent prior training and several pre-tests were conducted.28 The coding sheet for the TV broadcasts contained the following variables: name of broadcast; date; ordinal number of item in broadcast; mention of the item in the headlines; length of item; classification of event; name and ethnicity of reporter; theme of coverage; reliance on quoted sources; inclusion of name and description of Arab casualty; name used to refer to the group; depiction of Arab participant and biographical details provided; reference to civil protest, terrorism, Arab and Palestinian world; description of historical circumstances or group’s demands; subjects covered in item. In order to examine the nature of the representation (in 2003 and 2011) in its diverse characteristics, two central indicators were constructed, each of which sums up a number of qualities of each of the persons analysed: a status indicator and a backdoor entry indicator. The status indicator included: language usage and proficiency, education, professional status, socioeconomic status, role in item (expert, public figure), and rationality (as opposed to emotionality). These were rated on a seven-point scale, ranging from zero points awarded to a person lacking any of the characteristics for high status, to a maximum of seven points. The ‘backdoor’ indicator29 comprises characteristics of deviant behaviour: violence, provocativeness (in appearance, expression or conduct) and emotionality. Due to the distribution pattern of this indicator, we created a dichotomous scale between zero and

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one, in which zero implies that the person has not been characterized by any of the variables as employing backdoor practices to gain media entry, whereas one implies the use of such practices in at least one dimension.

Sample and Period of Study October 2000 events. On Thursday, 28 September 2000, Ariel Sharon, then leader of the opposition, visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The following day, at the conclusion of Friday prayers on the Temple Mount, clashes broke out between the Muslim worshippers and the police, with dire consequences: seven Arabs were killed, and hundreds of Arabs and dozens of policemen were injured. At the same time, fierce battles were taking place between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories (outside the borders of the State of Israel). The conflict between the Israeli security forces and the Arab civilians spread to various locations within the country and lasted for nearly two weeks. By the time it was over, thirteen Israeli Arab citizens had been shot dead.30 The Second Lebanon War, 2006. This is the official name given by Israel to the war waged from 12 July to 14 August 2006 in Lebanon and northern Israel. Fighting began with the abduction of two Israeli soldiers by members of Hezbollah. Over the course of thirty-four days, battles raged between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters in south Lebanon; the Israeli Air Force attacked targets deeper in Lebanon, and Hezbollah fired thousands of missiles of different types into Israel, striking the civilian population.31 Two studies by the Second Authority for Television and Radio.32 The first study, commissioned in 2003, examined the representations of different minority groups on commercial channels. In 2011 a follow-up study was conducted to reveal whether any changes in the representation of various groups occurred in the interim period. Table 3.1 summarizes the scope of items analysed in the present study.

Results Hot Nationalism October 2000 events.33 During the first two weeks of the second Intifada, a total of 181 relevant TV news items were broadcast, 118 on (the state-owned) Channel 1 and sixty-three on Channel 2. The mean length of an item was approximately two minutes. On five of the fourteen days of the study, Channel 1 presented over ten items dealing with Israeli Arabs in its various newscasts, whereas over ten items appeared on Channel 2 on a single day.

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Table 3.1 News items according to type of event, TV channel and dates. Event

Media

Sampling dates

Number of items

Banal vs Hot nationalism (H/B)

2000: October Events*

Television: Channel 2

29/9–14/10 2000

181 news items

H

2003: Study by the Second Authority for Television and Radio **

Television: Channels 2 & 10

19 weeks in 2003

2,222 news items***

B

2006: Second Lebanon War

Television: Channel 10

2010: Follow-up Study by the Second Authority for Television and Radio

Television: Channels 1&2

12/7–14/8/2006 500 news H items on the main evening newscast Jan–June 2011 731 news B items

Notes * For a detailed discussion of this event, see First and Avraham, Coverage of Israeli Arabs in Israeli Media. ** For a detailed discussion of this period, see First and Avraham, Coverage of Israeli Arabs in Israeli Media. *** In other media genres, the number of references made to Arab citizens was negligible. E. Avraham, A. First, N. Leor, and N. Leffler, The Absent and the Present on Prime Time: Cultural Diversity in Commercial Television Channels in Israel. Research report (Jerusalem: The Second Authority for Television and Radio, 2004) (Hebrew).

Israeli Arabs were the subject of the opening item on three evenings, all on Channel 2. Of the 181 items, sixty-seven were mentioned in the headlines of the newscast, all indicating that the subject was deemed of prime importance. Although the data indicates an increase in the news coverage of Israeli Arabs compared to previous investigations,34 the number of references was still far below their proportion in the population. The framing of the coverage on television was typified by a depiction of the group as a whole in reference to disruption of the public order and violence by objects (without any biography). Arab citizens were seen on the screen in demonstrations resulting in casualties or damage, rioting, or funerals. Moreover, stress was laid on the severity of the conflict. Given the large number of items relating to this aspect of the events, the coverage of casualties appears surprising: on Channel, only fourteen items (11 per cent) made reference to casualties among Israeli Arabs; on Channel 2 it was even lower (four items; 6 per cent). When they were mentioned, Arab casualties were again generally objectified; in other words, no biographical details, such as name, age, place of residence, or occupation, were provided. For example, the report on Channel 1’s 7.30 p.m. newscast (2 October 2000) said: ‘It began

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in the territories. Rioting by Israeli Arabs too. In Nazareth and Sakhnin several casualties have been laid to their final rest in recent days.’ The anonymity of the description is particularly striking precisely because of what is missing: the exact number of casualties buried, or their names. Such information would certainly be included in any report of the killing of any Jewish citizens. On the whole, the voice in the items was the hegemonic Jewish voice. Thus, 32 per cent of the items made reference to Jewish leaders, whereas Arab leaders were mentioned in just 14 per cent. Security was the predominant discourse, with the majority of items offering broad coverage by and on the security forces, principally the police. The dissociation of Israeli Arabs from their status as citizens, and their characterization as belonging to those responsible for the clashes, were intensified by the context. That is, the coverage related to them as a group and linked them with the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and with the Intifada. Most of the coverage ignored the reasons and the historical causes behind the events, focusing almost exclusively on the violence itself. Only 12 per cent of the items on both TV channels related to historical factors, and the group’s demands were presented in a mere 6 per cent of the items. In addition, the overwhelming majority of journalists reporting on the Israeli Arab population were Jewish. In contrast with the glaring absence of the Israeli Arab narrative, the Jewish narrative was presented through the use of terminology drawn from the War of Independence. In comparison with the results of studies of the coverage of Israeli Arabs during previous events, in 2000 there was a rise in this sector’s visibility, and their voice was heard, albeit to a very limited extent. Their presence was felt as early as the Channel 1’s 7.30 p.m. newscast on the day Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount (28 September 2000). On the whole, power remained in the hands of Jewish male reporters (90 per cent of all items). They chose to associate Israeli Arabs with the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and to demonize the Arab parliamentarians, accusing them of behaviour ranging from improper conduct to incitement. The Second Lebanon War. The most striking finding from this period is the drop in the visibility of Israeli Arabs in the media as compared to the coverage of the October 2000 events. Of the 500 items on the war aired in various newscasts and bulletins on Channel 10, only twenty centred on Israeli Arabs. This is despite the fact that Arabs accounted for 40 per cent of all civilian casualties in Israel. The mean length of the items on this population sector was 2.5 minutes. However, the few Arab citizens who did appear on TV news were not anonymous. As a rule, a full biography was presented, including name and place of residence, and often occupation and severity of injury. The few items

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on Channel 10 news that were devoted to Israeli Arabs demonstrate the ambivalence in representing them either as ‘others’ or as equally vulnerable fellow citizens. One of the most compelling examples was broadcast on 20 July 2006; the TV correspondent was visibly repulsed by the views of a father who had lost two children in a missile attack, and yet was reluctant to condemn the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah. What is more, the father blamed the Israeli governments throughout history for the deaths of his children. Later in the item, however, the reporter displayed empathy for the grief-stricken father, offering a historical explanation for the discrimination against Israel’s Arab population and describing their feelings and frustrations. Israeli Arabs were thus presented simultaneously as traitors and as people whose distress was understandable. A process of defamiliarization is discernible in most of the televised news items. The question of Israeli Arabs’ identity was ever-present, with the question ‘Are “you” part of the “we”?’ looming large. In an item broadcast on 7 August 2006, a resident of Wadi Nisnas, an Arab section of the northern city of Haifa, stated after a missile attack that ‘You can’t destroy a whole nation’ and wondered how long ‘you’ (the Jews) would continue to try to do so. The reporter asked,‘What do you mean by “you”? Don’t you feel part of “us”?’ The reply was that ‘You don’t let us feel part of you.’ TV correspondents repeatedly examined and questioned the identity and sense of belonging of the Arab population. The dominant reporter figure was a Jewish male, making broad use of a republican discourse, clearly allying himself with the agonized home front, and having no doubt who was to blame. When discussion of the home front related to Israeli Arabs, the same pressing questions about instrumental issues – such as shelters, supplies or early warning systems – were raised, but these were generally accompanied by concerns regarding the degree to which these citizens identified with the ‘shared fate’. An article by Uzi Benziman in Ha’aretz a month after the end of the fighting (September 2006) best demonstrates the sort of framing offered by Channel 2’s anchorman Amnon Abramowitz six years earlier, during the October 2000 events. According to Benziman, and other Jewish Israeli journalists, ‘During and after the Second Lebanon War, the Israeli Arabs have crossed the lines.’ Thus Benziman explicitly defines the status of this population, once again, as the enemy.

Banal Nationalism The 2003 survey results showed reference to the Arab minority group in 3 per cent of the 2,222 TV news items analysed. In the main, they appeared in the

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context of aspects of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict (e.g. internal politics, activities of the security forces, international diplomacy), with a mere five items dealing with the quality of life of this population (with neither positive nor negative judgments), as compared to 403 reporting on the life of the Jewish sector. In the fields of economics, business, commerce and industry, Jews predominated, appearing in 133 items, whereas not a single item featured Arab citizens. Israeli Arabs were covered in 75 per cent of the reports on breaches of public order, four times more frequently than that of Jews. In terms of the balance of power, in 99 per cent of the coverage, the voice of the newsreader, expert or commentator was Jewish. No differences were found between Channel 2 and Channel 10 in regard to the representation of this sector of the population. The follow-up study, conducted eight years later, indicated that these trends continued. In 2011, in newscasts, out of the 1,160 items analysed, only 4 per cent presented Arabs.35 Their time on screen, about 2.5 minutes on average, did not change, and was similar to that of the Jews in previous studies; however, by now the average screen time of Jewish people rose to about 3.5 minutes. This means that the salience of Israeli Arabs actually fell in terms of length of appearance.36 As in the previous study, here too, Arab Israeli characters featured mainly in the context of crime and violence reporting (52 per cent compared to 13 per cent of the Jews; army, police and security forces (24 per cent); and terror incidents (14 per cent compared to 6 per cent of Jewish characters). It therefore comes as no surprise that the appearance of Arab citizens was primarily in the context of incidents of disorder (48 per cent), or a mixture of order and disorder (48 per cent). The group was featured in the context of order in only 3 per cent of the cases. In 2003, the average status of Jewish males was close to four points on the seven-point scale described earlier, whereas the status of Arab citizens was close to three points. In the 2011 study, there was a decline in this indicator for both groups, but the gap between them remained (Jews 3, Arabs 2.1). In 2003, the use of backdoor practices for gaining media entry by Israeli Arab citizens was 34 per cent, while in 2011 it dropped to 24 per cent. This was the only observable improvement. One key technique for ‘naturalizing’ power differences between groups is assigning the roles of commentators and experts to members of the majority group. We therefore examined which persons appeared in which groups. In both studies (2003 and 2011), Jewish secular males were most prominent in both expert roles and as public figures. It should be noted that in the 2011 follow-up study, Israeli Arab citizens were mostly in ‘man on the street’ roles (37 per cent). In addition, Jews were more salient as public figures compared

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to Israeli Arabs (18 per cent versus 3 per cent, respectively). Notably, no Israeli Arabs were featured in the role of commentator.

Is There Any Difference? This chapter’s objective has been to examine the representation of the Arab citizens of the State of Israel in the commercial Hebrew-speaking news channels. The examination focused on the first decade of the third millennium in view of the changes in Israeli society, both in the political arena and in its media ecology. The main point of interest in the collated findings from the four points of contact is the fact that, using the same research tool (coding sheet), it was possible to compare encounters between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority in different contexts; in addition, an attempt was made to conceptualize these varying contexts using Billig’s constructs of banal and hot nationalism. Based on our findings, it seems that in the context of the media representation of the Arab citizens of the State of Israel, the distinction between banal and hot nationalism is meaningless. When the representation of a group that is not included in the ‘we’ is concerned, the distinction between patriotic and professional coverage is useless. Findings show that even in times that may be coloured by banal nationalism, the ‘us’/‘them’ binary remains intact. That is, even in these times, the ‘us’ is strictly limited to the Jewish citizens of Israel. We may therefore conclude that in the first decade of the third millennium, media representation of Israeli Arabs was still primarily ethno-national. The traces of a liberal discourse, which began to sprout in the late twentieth century, have disappeared, whilst the ethno-national discourse prevailed. Smooha’s definition of Israel as an ethnic democracy37 is corroborated by these findings, which indicate that news programmes in Israel continue to maintain and sustain Jewish ethnic unity. The analysis shows that the positioning of this sector of the population in the media has remained unchanged, both when they represent the other side in the conflict and when the enemy is across the border. The media represented the October 2000 events as a clash between Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens largely in a dichotomous fashion: the apprehensive Jews were the ‘good guys’ and the Arabs were the ‘bad guys’, perceived as collaborators with the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Their political leaders were cast in the role of chief instigators. The Jewish ethno-national discourse in the sociopolitical reality was duplicated in the symbolic reality whilst critical voices fell silent. Israeli Arabs were positioned as a menace on Israel’s national security map, and their loyalty to the country was continually questioned. This, together with the Jewish public’s sense that it was under threat, cast

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Israeli Arabs as part of the enemy. Thus, their otherness was intensified by the fact that they could not take part in the discourse, not only because of its nature, but also, and perhaps more significantly, because they were perceived as the enemy. This discourse was represented by a wide range of journalists who habitually mobilize in times of crisis and fill up most of the media space. During the Second Lebanon War, the media played a major role in shaping the home front38 and giving it a voice. This function became even more significant in view of the ineptness of the political establishment.39 In light of the role of the electronic press in representing the Jewish civilian population, the scarcity of references to the suffering caused to Arab citizens is especially conspicuous. Moreover, even in items about Arab civilians, who account for about 60 per cent of the population of Haifa and northern Israel – the region which came under attack – the coverage invariably opened with the question of their loyalty and identity, and only later moved on to a description of their human suffering. The thematic framing, which called for discussion of the government’s investment in infrastructure in the Arab sector (such as enforcing regulations concerning shelters and warning sirens) was absent from most of the items. In addition, coverage of the evacuation of particularly vulnerable Jewish populations from the north of the country made no mention of the unique difficulties typically involved in asking Arab citizens to leave their homes. In the October 2000 events, the Jewish inhabitants of Israel feared the violence of Arab citizens, in conjunction with the violent eruption vis-à-vis the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Their representation was in the spirit of taken-for-granted hot nationalism, mirroring the sentiment of Israel’s Jewish citizens as well as its reporters.40 In the Second Lebanon War, when the ‘we’ inevitably encompassed Israel’s entire citizenry, the representation of the group was still ‘we’ the Jews and ‘you’ the Arabs, despite the shared vulnerability to the missile attacks. Thus it seems that the concept of hot nationalism is not sufficiently sensitive for application in countries where the ‘we’ is only one group of citizens. Even after the October 2000 events were over, they continued to impact the quantity and quality of the televised representation of Israeli Arabs. Channels 2 and 10 reneged on their promise to increase the visibility of Arabs on screen.41Í Thus, despite explicit assurances of station editors and executives to give higher priority to the representation of Arab citizens, their visibility on both channels declined. The follow-up study (2011), which examined representations of various groups in Israeli society eight years later, found that the presence of Israeli Arabs on news and current affairs programmes still suffers from symbolic annihilation.42

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Notes 1. A. First, ‘The Transitional Nature of Representation: The Coverage of Arabs in the Israeli News’, Howard Journal of Communication, 13 (2002), pp.173–91. 2. M. Billig, Banal Nationalism (London: Sage Publications, 1995). 3. The data regarding these events was collected as part of a study conducted by the author and Dr Eli Avraham, funded by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University, 2004. 4. We are grateful to Keren Tamam and Uri Goldstein for collecting and encoding the relevant material. 5. The relevant data was collected as part of a study conducted by the author with Dr Eli Avraham and Noa Elefant-Lefler, funded by the Second Authority for Television and Radio. 6. The relevant data was collected as part of a study conducted by the author with Noa Elefant-Lefler and Naama Petch, funded by the Second Authority for Television and Radio. 7. S. Smooha, Autonomy for Arabs in Israel? (Raanana, Israel: Institute for Israeli Arab Studies, 1999) (Hebrew). 8. A. Ghanem and S. Ossitzky-Lazar, A Year since the October Uprising: What Has Changed? (Givat Haviva, Israel: Institute for Peace Research, 2001) (Hebrew). 9. D. Rabinowitz and H. Abu-Baker, The Proud Generation (Jerusalem: Keter, 2002) (Hebrew). 10. Y. Peled and G. Shafir, Being Israeli (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press, 2005) (Hebrew). 11. For details about the nature of the republican, ethno-national and liberal discourses in Israeli society, see Peled and Shafir, Being Israeli. 12. D. Filc and U. Ram, Introduction, in D. Filc and U. Ram (eds), The Power of Property: Israeli Society in the Global Age (Tel Aviv: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute/Hakibutz Hameuchad, 2004), pp.7–16 (Hebrew). 13. A. Timm, ‘Israeli Civil Society Facing New Challenges’, Israel Studies Forum, 17, 1 (2001), pp.47–69. 14. See Rabinowitz and Abu-Baker, Proud Generation. 15. For example, the Orr Commission, set up by the Israeli government to investigate the October 2000 events, published its conclusions in September 2003. 16. See, for example, a discussion of various aspects of media representation in R.A. Lind, ‘A Note from the Guest Editor’, (ed.), Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 54, 1 (2010), pp.3–5. 17. S. Hall (ed.), Representation (London: Open University and Sage, 1997), pp.1–75, 223–90. 18. H.K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994). 19. A. First and E. Avraham, ‘Combining the Representation Approach with the Framing Concept: Television News Coverage of the Arab Population in Israel during Conflict’, Journalism, 11, 4 (2010), pp.481–99. 20. See First, ‘Transitional Nature of Representation’. 21. Research into the representation of Israeli Arabs gained momentum in the 1990s. Before that time, studies dealing with the image of the Arab were limited to mostly official sources, and primarily textbooks rather than popular culture (e.g. TV programmes, the press, radio). 22. G. Wolfsfeld, E. Avraham and I. Aburaiya, ‘When Prophecy Always Fails: Israeli Press Coverage of the Arab Minority’s Land Day Protests’, Political Communication, 17 (2) (2000), pp.115–32.

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23. T. Liebes and A. First, ‘Framing the Palestinian–Israeli Conflict’, in P. Norris, M. Kern and M. Just (eds), Framing Terrorism (New York: Routledge, 2003), pp.59–74. 24. See www.rashut2.org.il/about_survey_rating_day.asp?dayFatherID=87686&choice=1. 25. A demonstration for the embodiments of banal nationalism as part of the news; see Billig, Banal Nationalism, Chapter 5. 26. See, for example, G. Wolfsfeld, Media and Political Conflict: News from the Middle East (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997); S. Allan and B. Zelizer, Reporting War: Journalism in Wartime (New York: Routledge, 2004); T. Liebes and P. Frosh, Meeting the Enemy in the Living Room (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2006) (Hebrew); T. Liebes, Reporting the Arab–Israeli Conflict (London: Routledge, 1997). 27. M. Schudson,‘What’s Unusual About Covering Politics as Usual’, in B. Zelizer and S. Allan (eds), Journalism After September 11 (New York: Routledge, 2002); E. Zandberg and M. Neiger, ‘Between the Nation and the Profession: Journalists as Members of Contradicting Communities’, Media Culture & Society, 27, 1 (2005), pp.131–41. 28. For more on the methods (sampling, reliability, nature of TV channels) of various studies conducted during 2000–11, see (for 2000) Avraham and First, ‘Combining the Representation Approach with the Framing Concept’; (for 2006) A. First,‘Enemies, Fellow Victims, or the Forgotten? News Coverage of Israeli-Arabs in the 21st Century’, Conflict and Communication Online, 9, 2 (2010); (for 2003–04) E. Avraham and A. First, ‘Can a Regulator Change Representation of Minority Groups and Fair Reflection of Cultural Diversity in National Media Programs? Lessons from the Israeli Case Study’, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 54, 1 (2010), pp.136–48. 29. See Wolfsfeld, Media and Political Conflict, p.1. 30. See Peled and Shafir, Being Israeli. 31. O. Shelah and Y. Limor, Captives in Lebanon (Tel Aviv: Yedioth Achronoth Books, 2007). 32. In late January 2005, four groups submitted bids for the operation of Channel 2, the major commercial TV station in Israel. Two were to be awarded an exclusive franchise until 2015. One of the key issues on the public agenda during the time leading up to the tender was ensuring cultural diversity in commercial TV broadcasts. Bidders were required to enhance cultural diversity in their programming, based on the results of this study. The bidding itself was not selected for study as an ‘event’; the Second Authority for Radio and Television commissioned the original and follow-up studies because representational diversity had been a key requisite in the bid. However, both studies were conducted in relatively uneventful times, hence, at least hypothetically they could be regarded as reflecting instances of banal nationalism. 33. All the data in this section is from A. First and E. Avraham, Coverage of Israeli Arabs in Israeli Media (Tel Aviv: Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, 2004) (Hebrew). 34. Cf. Wolfsfeld et al., ‘When Prophecy Always Fails’. 35. It should be mentioned that based on data published by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics for 2004, the share of the Arab citizens of Israel out of the total population is 19.5 per cent, but they constitute a mere 2 per cent of the people presented in all TV genres. For a discussion of the representation of Arabs in other genres, see N. Elias, A. Jamal and O. Soker, ‘Illusive Pluralism and Identity in Popular Reality Shows’, Television and New Media 3 (2009), pp.375–91. 36. It is important to note that in 2011, Arabs were presented only in the news (4 per cent) and in current affairs programmes (1 per cent) during all the prime-time programmes. 37. See Smooha, Autonomy for Arabs in Israel?

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38. T. Liebes and T. Kampf, From Spider Webs to Fortified Fighting and Back: Coverage of the Home Front During the Second Lebanon War (Tel Aviv: Haim Herzog Institute, 2006) (Hebrew). 39. For the role of the media in times of crisis in shaping the civil society, see P. Frosh and G. Wolfsfeld, ‘ImagiNation: News Discourse, Nationhood and Civil Society’, Media, Culture and Society, 29, 1 (2007), pp.105–29. 40. Zandbert and Neiger, ‘Between the Nation and the Profession’, pp.131–41. 41. See Anat Balint’s interview with Hulud Masalha of the Ilam Center (Ha’aretz, 12 February 2006). 42. The paper relates only to news and current affairs programmes. Until recently, Israeli Arabs did not appear on the screen in Hebrew programming. In the past few years, however, Arab actors have begun to be included in Hebrew-language soap operas, reality programmes and TV dramas.

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4 Representation of Social Workers in the Immigrant Press The Case of Russian-language Media in Israel Natalia Khvorostianov and Nelly Elias The extensive research literature on immigrants’ representation by the host language media reveals that the host media are likely to ignore the existence of immigrants, or, alternatively, they tend to focus on negative events connected to these groups. Moreover, even if the host media attempt to support immigrants and present them in a particularly positive light, it is likely to be merely an ethnographic anecdote rather than a realistic presentation of the immigrants’ way of life.1 The media stereotypes further nourish and reinforce negative public opinion regarding the immigrants, thus increasing the mutual alienation between the newcomers and the hosts.2 On the other hand, very little is known about how immigrant media represent the host society for their recently arrived consumers. Studies on mass media in the immigrants’ mother tongue mostly generalize that these media constitute a major source of information about the host society, thus satisfying the newcomers’ basic need for orientation and helping them adjust to their new environment.3 This socialization function is often carried out through reports on immigration laws, taxes, legal matters, economics and the like, but previous studies have never examined systematically the reliability of information provided on these matters, nor did they question the ability of immigrant media to mediate effectively between immigrants and their new surroundings. In order to fill this gap, the present study aimed at analysing the representation of social services by the immigrant press oriented towards the immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) in Israel. This topic was chosen for the study since social work is a public service that did not exist in the Soviet Union, and most of the Russian-speaking immigrants were not familiar with it prior to immigration. We assume that this lack of basic knowledge stresses even more the importance of a correct and reliable

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representation of one of the major public services by the immigrant media, so that their consumers would know how to utilize it in times of need.

Immigrants and Social Services Studies conducted on immigrant applicants for social services indicate that such services remain largely unused by most immigrants. Paradoxically, although immigrants often manifest an elevated level of psychological distress,4 studies have repeatedly confirmed that they underuse formal mental health and social services. According to Leung, Cheung and Cheung,5 seeking help from mental health professionals was the least-favoured treatment among Vietnamese immigrants with depression symptoms in the United States. Similar results were reported among Korean immigrants, who chose not to seek help at all or to obtain it from informal sources, such as family. As a result, they found themselves at mental health service centres involuntarily, sometimes near death, having suffered considerably from their illness.6 Possible explanations for underuse of social services may include language barriers, lack of information about available services, and general distrust in their efficacy.7 Notwithstanding these factors, Sowers-Hoag and Siddharthan8 and Ma and Chi9 indicated that in some cases even informed immigrants were reluctant to use social services, fearing the social implications of seeking professional help. Similarly, Becher and Hussain10 found that parents of South Asian origins are particularly resistant to certain types of professional help, such as mental health and child welfare services, because their users are stigmatized in these communities. Unfamiliarity with available services, mistrust and cultural misunderstanding could be symptoms of poor cultural adaptation among immigrants. Unfortunately, the literature does not examine the reasons for immigrants’ slow acculturation in this respect, nor does it discuss the role of possible agents of socialization and information sources that could help narrow immigrants’ knowledge gaps regarding social services and their purpose. Lack of knowledge about social services or distrust thereof may thus be counterbalanced by adequate information and commentary delivered through immigrant media, but no studies conducted to date have examined social services coverage by immigrant-oriented media. In the absence of previously published background information, the next section presents the principal characteristics of social services as depicted by majority media.

Media Portrayal of Social Services Research literature shows that the ways in which social workers are portrayed

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in the media may help shape the public images of the social workers themselves, the social problems with which they are identified and the consumers of the services they provide.11 An early study explored the portrayal of social workers in American fictional formats, such as films, novels, plays and television dramas, concluding that ‘they are generally depicted as of low status, [in] denigrated roles as humorless villains or as fools to be laughed at’.12 A study conducted twenty years later revealed that the social workers’ image in Hollywood films had hardly improved: they were portrayed as mostly white women, likely to be incompetent and having a tendency to engage in sexual relationships with their clients. Similarly, social workers in US television drama series were represented as unqualified and untrained,13 while on British television their counterparts were depicted as highly bureaucratic, isolated and bitter individuals rather than as an integral part of the working class that they serve.14 The social workers’ portrayal in newspapers is more diverse than in entertainment formats, but negative images are still prominent. Five key negative images of social workers were found in the US and UK national press: naive, gullible, incompetent and barely trained, on the one hand, and powerful and heartless on the other.15 At the same time, a more positive image of social workers was also presented: caring individuals who perform difficult, stressful and complex work, and experts quoted in news items because of their professional knowledge.16 Informed by these studies, we proceed to analyse the image of social services and staff in the Russian-language press established in Israel by recent FSU immigrants. Our aim is to identify the dominant profile of Israeli social workers as portrayed by the immigrant media with regard to their level of education, professionalism and understanding of immigrants’ cultural particularities, as well as the social workers’ goals and methods in working with immigrants, the effectiveness of their assistance, and the motives underlying their activity.

Immigrants and Social Services in Israel Research literature concerning Israel, which has accepted about a million immigrants from the FSU over the last two decades, reveals that these immigrants are extremely reluctant to use social services. Elderly immigrants, for example, who usually have fewer financial resources and greater needs, are only half as likely to have been in contact with a social worker as native-born Israelis of the same age group.17 Similarly, immigrant children and adolescents are in contact with social services significantly less often than native-born children.18

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In a survey of Russian-speaking immigrants, Shor19 identified three culturally based reasons for not seeking help from social workers. The most prominent among them, noted by 54 per cent of participants, was a lack of trust in social workers. Participants believed that social workers are incapable of responding to problems and could make situations even worse; hence, they should not be trusted. Other reasons cited were unfamiliarity with social workers’ functions and concern over invasion of family privacy (17 per cent), as well as the language barrier (3 per cent). Reluctance to use social services is especially disturbing because FSU immigrants are defined as an at-risk group, with psychological distress levels consistently higher than those of their Israeli counterparts.20 According to the Israel Social Survey (2010), 34 per cent of FSU immigrants felt lonely, and 10 per cent had no one to turn to in time of crisis.21 Moreover, suicidal behaviour was significantly more prevalent among FSU immigrants than among their Israel-born counterparts: about 25 per cent of all suicides in Israel were committed by FSU immigrants.22 The disparity between the percentage of immigrants who apply to social services for assistance and the prominence of social problems that justify such applications underscores an urgent need to identify the factors responsible for the immigrants’ marked distrust of social work, such as the way these services are presented in Russian-language media. Here we should notice that the Russian immigrants still face a major language barrier: about 41 per cent of FSU immigrants have difficulty writing Hebrew, 28 per cent do not understand any Hebrew, and 58 per cent are dissatisfied with their Hebrew proficiency level.23 Accordingly, most FSU immigrants tend to use media in Russian as their chief and often sole source of information about their host society.24

Methodology Since the beginning of the 1990s, about a million Russian-speaking immigrants have arrived in Israel. Today, they constitute about a fifth of the country’s population. As a result of the arrival of tens of thousands of immigrants, an extensive network of Russian-language newspapers have developed in Israel. According to estimates, during the 1990s, about 130 Russian-language periodicals were being published in Israel, including four dailies. The number declined as immigration rates dropped, and today only one such daily is published, with a highly limited circulation. In parallel to the demise of the printed press, however, we are witnessing rapid growth of online newspapers and news portals visited daily by hundreds of thousands of FSU immigrants.25 Consequently, to assess the image of social workers in

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the Russian press, we elected to limit the search to the electronic press, which constitutes the immigrants’ chief source of information about what is happening in Israel. A Google search filtered to search only Israeli websites assisted in the selection of sites containing the Russian equivalents of terms such as ‘social worker’, ‘social services’ and the like, as well as transliterated Hebrew words such as revaha (social welfare) and oved(et) sotziali(t) (male/female social worker), as transliterated Hebrew is common in the Russian-language press. The search yielded fifty-seven items published between 2006 and 2010 in Israeli Russian-language news portals and Internet newspapers. Based on this corpus, we built a sample of thirty-seven items (eight news reports and twenty-nine opinion columns and commentary) which contained additional information about social services and staff in addition to a laconic report of the event (for a sample composition, see Appendix). All websites selected for the study are oriented towards readers in Israel, as reflected in the website subject selection, as well as in the geographical distribution of its visitors (about two-thirds are located in Israel). Recurrent themes were revealed by subjecting items to qualitative content analysis. Principal analytical categories included: general assessment of social services (negative, positive, neutral); social workers’ educational, professional and cultural levels; their motivation and goals; their ability to engage in crosscultural contact with FSU immigrants, and the methods they use in their work with immigrants. On this basis, four images used for portraying Israeli social workers were identified: low professional level; cultural gaps between FSU immigrants and the social workers; repressive character of social services; and social services as a corrupt, criminal institution.

Findings Factual information was provided in sixteen of the thirty-seven items analysed, while the remaining twenty-one contained the authors’ opinions only. Twenty-six items included false information on the Israeli court system and laws relating to the social services, while only eight offered any explanation of these laws. Most items (twenty-six) focused on family and children’s problems, and only eleven dealt with problems of other social groups, such as adolescents, the elderly, the mentally ill, the homeless, etc. A similar number of items (twenty-seven) were limited to the events and social problems within the Russian immigrant community, and only ten discussed broader social problems affecting Israeli society as a whole. Among the items analysed, we did not identify those journalists specializing in social issues, since the same authors also used to write about a variety of other subjects.

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This finding, however, is not surprising in light of previous studies on the Russian media in Israel, which found a very low degree of specialization among the staff of the Russian immigrant publications.26 Only four items assessed the social workers’ function as ‘positive’; twenty-three were directly critical of specific social workers and the social services as a whole; ten did not express criticism directly, but the information provided tended to discredit social workers. In twenty-six items the authors explicitly took the immigrants’ side, in eight cases they did so less declaratively, and only in three items did they appear to adopt a neutral stance. Eight items gave the social workers an opportunity to express their views and interpretations of the events presented in the respective items, whereas a majority (twenty-three) gave voice to ‘commentators’, such as lawyers and politicians, who dared to resist the ‘evil’ social workers. The language of most items is highly emotional and the headlines contain shocking statements, such as ‘The Hunt of Immigrant Children Continues’, or ‘Social Service is the Basis of a New Business – Child Trafficking’. The items to which these headlines referred presented no solid facts or evidence. In the following sections, we detail the four chief representations of social workers and the social services in the items, analysing the rhetorical means which their authors employ.

1. Lack of Professionalism One major characteristic ascribed to Israeli social workers in the twentyfour items analysed for this study is a low level of professionalism that keeps them from doing their job effectively. For example, the item entitled ‘Lessons of a Modern Parent’27 stated: ‘What is most horrible is that social workers simply don’t know how to help families in which domestic violence actually occurs. They know nothing except how to take away the children, which is the simplest solution. Social workers never help and don’t try to understand the problem. They immediately take the child and destroy the family.’ One principal reason for social workers’ inefficiency, according to these items, is their professional ignorance: ‘A social worker recommended a daily schedule to the court, in which an infant is one day with his father and the next with his mother [and so on], attesting most powerfully to her lack of professionalism. Only a person who is clueless about children’s physiological development would recommend such a regimen.’28 Statements about the low level of social workers’ education were evident in other items as well. In the item ‘Hero, Show Your Face!’,29 social workers were described as recent graduates of two- or three-month seminars, for

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which even a high school diploma is not required,30 while another item31 even claims that they have low IQs: In an ideal situation, a social worker is expected to be capable of solving family problems professionally, providing the courts with all required information. But it should be recalled that unlike law school, it takes far less effort to be accepted by a school of social work. This means that people with a much lower IQ are granted authority comparable to that of judges, who had worked as attorneys for many years before becoming judges. The author questions the very legitimacy of the social workers’ authority – a theme common in other items as well, which propose transferring such authority to members of other professions more familiar to FSU immigrants (e.g. judges, psychiatrists and psychologists): ‘When social workers encounter a homeless person, they give him an explanatory brochure. But sometimes this may provoke opposition, as some homeless persons perceive their way of life not just as habit but as essential. This type of problem goes beyond a social worker’s knowledge and requires the involvement of psychologists and sometimes even psychiatrists.’32 The item implies that the professional knowledge of social workers suffices only for distribution of brochures, while provision of authentic assistance is delegated to psychiatrists and psychologists. The item thus not only emphasizes the social workers’ ignorance and lack of professionalism, but also questions the legitimacy of the profession itself. Besides accusing social workers of ignorance, which is often cited as a major cause for their lack of professionalism, several items provide an even more disturbing explanation, claiming that social workers base their decisions on nefarious unconscious impulses rather than professional norms: ‘[S]ometimes, forbidden impulses can be discovered between the lines of her [the social worker’s] statements: a powerful desire to peep at other people’s private lives; a desire to compare clients’ family situations with her own – as people with undetermined identity usually have – and a desire to have power over those dependent on you.’33 This is an example of the basest kind of unprofessionalism, with social workers described as having a strong desire for voyeurism and domination. Later in the same item, social workers are presented as ‘neurotic persons who are trying to fix problems in the lives of other people that have not been solved in their own families’. The item thus claims that social workers use their authority primarily to solve their own psychological problems or to satisfy some forbidden desires, and are consequently unable to help their clients.

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Furthermore, several items question not only the social workers’ ability to do their jobs, but also their ‘social mandate’ and professional authority: ‘The monopoly on child welfare, which has been expropriated by social services, has led to numerous tragedies. The right accorded to strangers – even if they complete a social workers’ training program – to control and destroy other people’s lives should be subject to serious revision.’34 It should be noted that the item describes the case of a single mother who smacked her little son in the face with the iron buckle of a belt. He started bleeding and neighbours, who heard screams, called the police. It would appear that this situation indeed justifies social service involvement, especially if the child’s welfare is concerned, but instead, the author presents social workers as private individuals, ‘strangers’, whose efforts are deemed unreasonable, constituting illegitimate interference in someone’s private life. Moreover, also in this item, the author disregards the social workers’ professional education, calling it a ‘training program’ rather than acknowledging that the profession requires a university degree followed by five semesters of internship. Finally, the item delegitimizes social work as a profession, presenting problems that are supposed to be solved by social workers as entirely private and consequently not open to intervention.

2. Cultural Misunderstanding Twenty-two items reflect a theme of cultural opposition between immigrants and Israeli social workers. For example, the above-noted item, in which the author attempts to justify the actions of an immigrant mother who beat her child, cites a popular Russian proverb: ‘Even a lash from one’s mother is sweet, while a raspberry from a stranger is bitter’, which was assumed to be incomprehensible to Israeli social workers, thus highlighting the cultural gap between FSU immigrants and native Israelis. The incompatibility between the cultural background and way of life of the social workers and the FSU immigrants may also be found in many other items that present Israeli social workers as unable to understand specific particularities of their clients’ lives and world views, rendering them incapable of solving their problems: Native Israelis in critical situations receive support from their families and their friends from high school and military service. New immigrants do not have such a support system. They have no one to rely on. Then, to distract himself from bad thoughts, a person starts drinking or using drugs and soon loses all his possessions and becomes homeless. Israeli social workers cannot understand all this, while

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alcohol and drug-addicted immigrants are scared to death about using social services.35 According to the item, Israeli social workers cannot understand an alcoholic immigrant because they are guided by their personal life experience rather than by professional knowledge. At the same time, the author emphasizes that immigrants at risk are ‘scared to death’ to seek help from the social services, their fear usually explained by their lack of faith in the social workers’ ability to understand them: ‘Although nearly 20 years have passed since the beginning of mass immigration, fear of social services still persists in many immigrant families. There is a palpable feeling that a social worker who does not understand certain particularities of the immigrants’ lives would do something horrible, like taking the kids away.’36 Moreover, several items stated that underlying the social workers’ inability to ‘understand certain particularities of the immigrants’ lives’ is a lack of motivation to engage in cross-cultural contact and to acknowledge cultural differences between native Israelis and FSU immigrants.37 In another item, the same author also compares the particular stringency which social workers apply in dealing with immigrant families, as contrasted with the much more lenient measures taken with similarly disadvantaged families of native-born Israelis, thus highlighting their discriminatory attitude towards immigrants:38 It’s no secret that children in immigrant families often suffer because of altercations. Some may suffer in the heat of the moment if a father or a mother who are disappointed with their life lose their control. It could also happen that parents who reach a critical level of poverty may forgo things that are important to themselves and their children. Among the poor families of Orthodox Jews, numerous children rarely eat enough to feel full. But here [in the case of immigrant families], social services interfere immediately – and there are only two measures applied towards the ‘Russians’: parents are arrested and further deprived of parental rights.39 Similarly, many items dealing with children’s placement in foster care emphasize that these foster families are native-born Israelis. The authors concur that the phenomenon is not due to a lack of Russian-speaking families willing to care for children; apparently, they believe that the social workers’ mission is to remove children from their ethnic community, depriving them of their native language and culture. A more positive explanation maintains that they do so with no malice aforethought but simply because of cultural misunderstanding, while the more negative opinions

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declare that such behaviour is intentional and thoroughly planned. In both cases, however, there is only one outcome: irreparable harm to the children: Social workers try really hard to make [immigrant] children forget everything about their previous lives, particularly their native language, preventing any theoretical opportunity for them to communicate with their relatives. I am ready to believe that everything is done for the children’s own good, but in practice, the difference in mentality is obvious and social workers do not understand that their actions cause irreparable harm to the child and his family.40 In several items, such as the one entitled ‘A Majority of Israeli Social Work Services’ Decisions Could be Revised’, cultural differences are even described as a kind of ethnic persecution. Social workers are portrayed as ‘confrontational, illiterate, and whose attitude sometimes verges on ethnic discrimination’, and consequently incapable of serving their clients effectively because of their cultural misunderstanding and biased attitude towards Russian-speaking immigrants.

3. Repressive Character The social workers’ purportedly unlimited power and repressive character was the theme of nineteen items, at times given away by their titles: ‘Social Workers have Unlimited Power’,41 or ‘Ordinary Violence: Social Workers Playing God’.42 The absolute nature of the social workers’ power is also said to reveal itself in their merciless and at times punitive working methods. It is interesting to note that many authors use historically loaded terminology to describe these methods, thus provoking associations with dark totalitarian regimes. For example, in the item ‘Hero, Show your Face!’,43 the author states that ‘[S]ince the beginning of the mass immigration wave in the 1990s, guardianship units of Israeli social services have been converted into “punitive forces”, enjoying absolute support from the State and its courts.’ In Russian, the term ‘punitive forces’ applied to the military troops dispatched to put down rebellions in the early twentieth century, as well as to Hitler’s troops which slaughtered the Jewish population of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. A similar connection to the tragic events of the last century was noted in the item ‘Social Workers Have Unlimited Power’: Immigrants from the FSU have suffered greatly from the actions of the social services. There are many single mothers in this group and

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social workers apply a standard formula to all of them: a child who has no father is in the risk group, and consequently should be taken away ... This is a manifestation of genuine fascism; it undermines all basic family traditions and family morale. After all, our people have experienced many catastrophes.44 Several horrifying metaphors may be identified in this excerpt: social workers’ actions against immigrants are declared to be fascism, while the phrase ‘After all, our people have experienced many catastrophes’ could be read as hinting at the Holocaust (called ‘[the] Catastrophe’ in Russian). Other items describe social workers’ behaviour in a manner that provokes associations with another notoriously repressive organization – the Soviet Secret Police and State Security forces (NKVD, later KGB). Although officially this organization was responsible for inland security, its name was frequently associated with human rights violations, military crimes and mass murder during the 1930s. At that time, people were arrested in the middle of the night with no warrant; sentences were passed without formal trial by a special commission (set up by the NKVD) and were carried out immediately.45 The ghost of the NKVD indeed looms large in the above-cited article: ‘Social workers have almost unlimited power to transfer children to other families, even without a bench warrant ... She [the social worker] can literally knock on your door at night and tell you that she is taking your child away46 ... This happens even in normative, educated and civilized families.’47 The combination of ‘knock on your door at night’ and ‘without a bench warrant’ is directly connected to a familiar image from Soviet history, when NKVD officers knocked on doors in the middle of the night to take away someone’s children. Subsequently, the same item raises another disturbing association with the darkest times of the Soviet regime, namely ‘punitive psychiatry’, which was used against Soviet citizens who dared to criticize the regime, stipulating interdiction on the basis of a false diagnosis, illegitimate hospitalization and compulsory medical treatment.48 According to the item, Israeli social workers are authorized to incarcerate disobedient clients in mental hospitals and derange them with psychotropic drugs:49 I talked to one unfortunate young woman. She was short of money. Social workers came, verified it and placed her in a mental hospital against her will ... She appeared stunned when she spoke with me. She told me she is compelled to visit the hospital daily to take a sedative shot. In response to my question of why she is complying, she told me that if she didn’t go, she would not get her kids back. That is what the

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social workers told her. This story has been going on for three years. She loves her children and is ready to do anything.50 Another item, titled ‘Lobby against Social Workers’ Arbitrariness Sounds an Alarm’,51 describes how social services are part of the ‘classical’ system of punitive psychiatry that also involves psychiatrists, the courts and the police: ‘Those [immigrants] who express disagreement with social services’ decisions are considered mentally abnormal, or criminals, or both. Then, the law and the psychiatrists cooperate to place these people in jails or hospitals, labeling them as “violent”.’ Despite differences in metaphor use (from the Holocaust to the NKVD and punitive psychiatry), the common theme in all these items is the omnipotence of the social services and the invulnerability of the social workers. This theme is inspired by the collective memory of the FSU immigrants, which connects the most tragic pages of the Soviet history, related to Hitler’s occupation and Stalinism, with Israeli social services and their supposedly repressive nature.

4. Corruption and Crime In fourteen items, the authors attribute social workers’ actions against FSU immigrants to greed and to borderline criminal motives. In these cases, the social services are described as a very profitable business, as they (illegally) appropriate large sums of money from the State budget by fabricating problems that supposedly require attention or by implementing particularly unjustified measures for which they receive additional compensation: A social worker who decides to take a child away from his family and put him up for adoption receives a 20 per cent salary bonus52 ... Of course, all these laws are designed to give social services even more power and that alone will provide them with a constantly increasing budget. But to do so, they have to scare people with horrifying data on the rise of violence in immigrant families, as every new case of violence generates thousands of shekels for the social services budget.53 Furthermore, the items imply that it is useless to seek justice and protection from other State institutions (such as the courts or police), as all are bound together in corruption: In the majority of cases, the courts act as a rubber stamp blindly supporting social workers’ decisions ... I have determined that it’s

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simply a mafia, a real clique. One provides salaries for the other: social workers for National Insurance Institute officials, who in turn support the organizations to which children are sent after they’ve been taken away from their families and so on.54 Moreover, the items claim that the social workers are collaborating not only with corrupt judges and police officers, but also with mental health specialists, with whom they share their profits:55 ‘Large amounts of money are spent from the State budget to finance forced separation of children from their families, as well as the salaries of large teams of social workers, instructors and psychologists. In addition, social workers may require children from a so-called risk group to undergo numerous psychological examinations, facilitated by corrupted psychologists who cooperate with the social services.’56 Social workers are presented as having Mafia-style agreements not only with other officials, but also with wealthy Israelis, who ‘thank’ them for their ‘services’ and especially for their help in facilitating child adoption:57 There are a significant number of families in Israel who would like to adopt children, for various reasons. It appears that the ‘orders’ they place play a significant role in social workers’ motivation to take children away from their families. How else can it be explained that some pregnant immigrant women are being persuaded to abandon their children immediately after birth for [adoption by] a ‘good family’?58 Furthermore, ‘It is possible that extreme measures, such as deprivation of paternal rights, are applied to some people [i.e. FSU immigrants] for monetary gain, as thousands of native childless couples are waiting to adopt and are ready to pay any price for it.’59 The item implies that ‘thousands of childless couples’ are a source of profit for the social workers, who are essentially trafficking in immigrants’ children. Moreover, in several cases, social workers’ business opportunities are not limited to children only; they also make money at the expense of another weak and dependent social group – the elderly. It appears, therefore, that social workers are represented by the Russian immigrant online newspapers as blatantly violating civil rights for money: children are sold, elderly people are deprived of their modest pensions, and innocent immigrants are sent to jail to keep them from interfering with the social services.

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Conclusions First and foremost, the findings show that the prevalent image of social workers portrayed in the Russian-language online newspapers shows them to be not only undereducated, ignorant and inefficient, but also omnipotent and corrupt formalists, culturally alienated from and hostile to FSU immigrants. Their professional activity is presented as inhuman, socially dangerous, criminal and uncontrolled, motivated by greed or perverted desires. On the other hand, the social ills that the items mention, such as domestic violence, child abuse, alcohol and drug addiction and homelessness, are presented as though they were not problems at all. The real problem, according to the items, is the social services and their methods. One may readily assume that immigrants who rely on the Russian-language press in forming their opinions on the social services would not be willing to seek their help and would resist any kind of professional intervention, no matter how essential it may be. The question, of course, is why social workers are portrayed as the sworn enemy of the FSU immigrants. One reason may be the immigrants’ lack of familiarity with the profession, since in the Soviet Union social services were inexistent.60 As such, social workers are often perceived as formidable strangers on whom immigrants can project their fears of adjustment to the host society. Another possible reason for resistance is that social services’ intervention might be perceived as a threat to the immigrants’‘last sanctuary’ – the family realm and family relationships. It is important to emphasize that immigrants experience a lack of control and a sense of helplessness in virtually every aspect of the public sphere. They require translation, explanations, ‘special treatment’ at banks, health funds and the like, and they are unfamiliar with the laws that protect them at work. The only place in which they ostensibly still maintain authority and control, and in which they feel free to maintain their original culture and familiar behavioural patterns, is at home. Social workers, in turn, attempt to take away this freedom and impose new values on them. According to Bornstein and Bohr,61 the need for cultural adjustment to the new norms and values is more tolerated by immigrants in the public realm, whereas at home it is important to them to preserve familiar norms and habits. In this sense, social workers undermine immigrants’ control over the private domain, thus weakening immigrants’ power as parents, spouses or guardians of elderly parents. Even if the immigrants adjust to the new norms and behavioural patterns in the public sphere, they are not willing to accept the dictates of the host society in the private sphere, which would explain their staunch opposition to the social services.

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Finally, the research findings shed light on the various functions that the immigrant press fulfils for its readers. According to Viswanath and Arora,62 one major role assumed by the immigrant press is that of community sentinel, since immigrant journalists are especially sensitive to attempts at harming members of their community, such as discrimination against immigrants, changes in immigration laws, hate crimes against immigrants and the like. Consequently, they will not hesitate to defend the immigrants and protect their rights. The present study, however, shows the other side of the coin, wherein defence ultimately becomes dysfunction, as the Russian-speaking journalists’ quest to protect their readers from social workers comes at the expense of providing factual and reliable information and even detracts from their ability to fulfil another role that is equally important for the successful integration of immigrants in the new society, namely that of agent of socialization63. Hence presenting social workers as an enemy may interfere with the immigrants’ integration process, and make it more difficult for them to cope with the challenges of social and cultural adjustment to the new society. Appendix: Sample Composition according to the Website Format and Rating. URL*

Website format

http://zahav.ru http://news.israelinfo.ru http://izrus.co.il/ www.zman.com/ www.isra.com/ www.russian-bazaar.com/ www.sem40.ru/ www.7kanal.com/ http://left-liberal-il.livejournal.com/ www.isramir.com/ https://sites.google.com/site/detivizraile/

Portal News portal News portal News portal News portal Internet newspaper News portal News portal News blog Internet newspaper Thematic website

*

Number of items

5 3 9 4 1 3 1 7 2 1 1

Website rating (average number of visitors per 24 hours) 50,000 45,000 30,000 20,000 10,500 8,200 8,000 – – – –

Many Israeli websites in Russian are located on servers in Russia or the US – in order to reduce costs as well as to attract a more varied and international audience (for more on Russian websites in Israel, see Elias and Shorer-Zeltser, ‘Surfing without Boundaries’.

Notes 1. C. Butterwegge,‘Mass Media, Immigrants and Racism in Germany: A Contribution to an Ongoing Debate’, Communication: The European Journal of Communication Research, 21, 2 (1996), pp.203–19; S. Cottle, Ethnic Minorities and the Media (Buckingham: Open

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University Press, 2000); O. Santa Ana, ‘“Like an Animal I Was Treated”: Anti-Immigrant Metaphor in US Public Discourse’, Discourse and Society, 10, 2 (1999), pp.191–224. M. Hussain, ‘Islam, Media and Minorities in Denmark’, Current Sociology, 48, 4 (2000), pp.95–116; F. Keshishian, ‘Acculturation, Communication, and the US Mass Media: The Experience of an Iranian Immigrant’, Howard Journal of Communication, 11 (2000), pp.93–106; D. Lemish, ‘The Whore and the Other: Israeli Images of Female Immigrants from the Former USSR’, Gender and Society, 14, 2 (2000), pp.333–49. See, for example, N. Elias, Coming Home: Media and Returning Diaspora in Israel and Germany (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2008); B. Hwang and Z. He, ‘Media Uses and Acculturation among Chinese Immigrants in the USA’, International Communication Gazette, 61, 1 (1999), pp.5–22; K. Viswanath and P. Arora, ‘Ethnic Media in the United States: An Essay on their Role in Integration, Assimilation, and Social Control’, Mass Communication and Society, 3, 1 (2000), pp.39–56; M. Zhou and G. Cai, ‘The Chinese Language Media in the United States: Immigration and Assimilation in American Life’, Qualitative Sociology, 25, 3 (2002), pp.419–40. G.J. Edwards and M. Beiser,‘Southeast Asian Refugee Youth in Canada: The Determinants of Competence and Successful Coping’, Canada’s Mental Health, 42 (1994), pp.1–5; M. Ritsner and A. Ponizovsky, ‘Psychological Distress through Immigration: The Two-Phase Temporal Pattern?’, International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 45 (1999), pp.125–39; T.N. Tang, K. Oatley and B.B. Toner, ‘Impact of Life Events and Difficulties on the Mental Health of Chinese Immigrant Women’, Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 9 (2007), pp.281–90. P. Leung, M. Cheung and A. Cheung, ‘Vietnamese Americans and Depression: A Health and Mental Health Concern’, Social Work in Mental Health, 8, 6 (2010), pp.526–42. J.K. Shin,‘Help-Seeking Behaviors by Korean Immigrants for Depression’, Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 23, 5 (2002), pp.461–76. G.K. Auslander, V. Soskolne and V. Ben-Shahar,‘Utilization of Health Social Work Services by Older Immigrants and Veterans in Israel’, Health and Social Work, 30, 3 (2005), pp.241– 51; I. Hyman, T. Forte, J. Du Mont, S. Romans and M.M. Cohen, ‘Help-Seeking Rates for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) among Canadian Immigrant Women’, Health Care for Women International, 27, 8 (2006), pp.682–94; H. Lee and C. Eaton, ‘Financial Abuse in Elderly Korean Immigrants: Mixed Analysis of the Role of Culture on Perception and Help-Seeking Intention’, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 52, 5 (2009), pp.463–88. K.M. Sowers-Hoag and K. Siddharthan,‘Access and Use of Health-Related Social Services of Immigrants and Native-Born Americans: Implications for Social Interventions’, Journal of Multicultural Social Work, 1, 4 (1992), pp.47–61. A. Ma and I. Chi, ‘Utilization and Accessibility of Social Services for Chinese Canadians’, International Social Work, 48, 2 (2005), pp.148–60. H. Becher and F. Hussain, Supporting Minority Ethnic Families – South Asian Hindus and Muslims in Britain: Developments in Family Support (London: National Family and Parenting Institute, 2003). M.L. Freeman and D.P. Valentine, ‘Through the Eyes of Hollywood: Images of Social Workers in Film’, Social Work, 49, 2 (2004), pp.151–61; C. Zugazaga, R. Surette, M. Mendez and C. Otto, ‘Social Worker Perceptions of the Portrayal of the Profession in the News and Entertainment Media: An Exploratory Study’, Journal of Social Work Education, 42, 3 (2006), pp.621–36. M. Siporin, ‘Have You Heard the One about Social Work Humor?’, Social Casework, 65 (1984), pp.459–64.

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13. M. Gibelman, ‘Television and the Public Image of Social Workers: Portrayal or Betrayal?’, Social Work, 49, 2 (2004), pp.331–34. 14. L. Henderson and B. Franklin, ‘Images of Social Care Professionals in Popular UK Television Drama’, Journal of Social Work, 7, 2 (2007), pp.133–53. 15. M. Aldridge, ‘Poor Relations: State Social Work and the Press in the UK’, in B. Franklin (ed.), Social Policy, the Media and Misrepresentation (London: Routledge, 1999), pp.89– 103; N. Axford and R. Bullock, Child Death and Significant Case Reviews: International Approaches (Edinburgh: Scottish Executive, 2005); K. Jackson, ‘Time for a Change: The Social Work Image Campaign’, Social Work Today, 4 (2004), pp.12–16; J. Kitzinger, Framing Abuse: Media Influence and Public Understandings of Sexual Violence against Children (London: Pluto Press, 2004). 16. J. Davenport and J. Davenport, ‘Social Workers: Fad-Chasing Jackasses or still on the Side of the Angels?’, New Social Worker, 4, 1 (1997), pp.2–11; W.J. Reid and E. Misener, ‘Social Work in the Press: A Cross-National Study’, International Journal of Social Welfare, 10 (2001), pp.194–201. 17. See Auslander et al., ‘Utilization of Health Social Work Services’, pp.241–51. 18. K.J. Aroian, A. Spitzer and M. Bell, ‘Family Stress and Support among Former Soviet Immigrants’, Western Journal of Nursing Research, 18, 6 (1996), pp.655–75; S.A. Sharlin, ‘Soviet Immigrants to Israel: Users and Non-Users of Social Work Services’, International Social Work, 41, 4 (1998), pp.455–69; R. Shor, ‘Differentiating the Culturally-Based HelpSeeking Patterns of Immigrant Parents from the Former Soviet Union by a Comparison with Parents in Russia’, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 77, 2 (2007), pp.216–20. 19. See Shor, ‘Differentiating the Culturally-Based Help-Seeking Patterns’. 20. J. Mirsky, R. Kohn, I. Levav, A. Grinshpoon and A.M. Ponizovsky, ‘Psychological Distress and Common Mental Disorders Among Immigrants: Results From the Israeli-Based Component of the World Mental Health Survey’, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 69 (2008), pp.1715–20; J. Mirsky, R. Kohn, P. Dolberg and I. Levav, ‘Suicidal Behavior Among Immigrants’, Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 46 (2011), pp.1133–41. 21. Israel Social Survey (Jerusalem: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2010) (Hebrew). 22. Ministry of Health, Suicidal Tendencies in Israel (Jerusalem: Information and Computerization Services: 2008) (Hebrew). 23. E. Leshem, ‘20 Years of the Aliya from the Former Soviet Union’, Hed Ha-ulpan Hahadash, 96 (2010), pp.3–10 (Hebrew). 24. See Elias, Coming Home. 25. N. Elias and M. Shorer-Zeltser, ‘Surfing without Boundaries: The Russian-Language Electronic Newspapers in Israel’, in T. Shwarz-Altshuler (ed.), Press.com: Online Newspapers in Israel (Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute and Burda Center for Innovative Communications, 2007), pp.147–77 (Hebrew). 26. D. Caspi and N. Elias,‘Being Here but Feeling There: The Case of Russian Media in Israel’, Israeli Sociology: A Journal for the Study of Israeli Society, 2 (2000), pp.415–55 (Hebrew); D. Caspi, H. Adoni, A.A. Cohen and N. Elias, ‘The Red and the White and the Blue: The Russian Media in Israel’, Gazette, 64, 6 (2002), pp.537–56. 27. V. Matveeva, ‘Lessons of a Modern Parent’, Sem40: The Central Jewish Resource, 20 June 2006, www.sem40.ru/evroplanet/17307/ (Russian). 28. Victoria Vekselman, ‘On Stage and Behind the Curtain’, 7th Channel, 9 April 2008, www.7kanal.com/article.php3?id=244 (Russian). 29. Isaac Eventov, ‘Hero, Show Your Face!’, Russian Bazaar, 28 October 2009, www.russianbazaar.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=15892 (Russian).

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30. Contrary to the item’s accusations, according to the 1996 Social Workers’ Law, a social worker must have a bachelor’s degree in social work and be listed in the Social Workers’ Registry. 31. Asher Rohberger, ‘The Child’s Good Comes First: Misunderstanding and Arbitrariness’, 7th Channel, 19 October 2009, www.7kanal.com/article.php3?id=269072 (Russian). 32. Maria Yanovskaya,‘No One will be Left Without a Roof ’, Israeli Cities Online, 3 November 2007, http://news.israelinfo.ru/events/23847 (Russian). 33. See Vekselman, ‘On Stage’. 34. Inna Stessel, ‘Ordinary Violence: Social Workers Playing God’, Zahav.ru: Mnenia, 10 February 2008, http://mnenia.zahav.ru/ArticlePage.aspx?articleID=6150 (Russian – no longer available). 35. Evgenia Kravchik, ‘Moscow Children Underground: 20 Years Later’, Zahav.ru: Mnenia, 28 March 2007, http://mnenia.zahav.ru/ArticlePage.aspx?articleID=2422 (Russian – no longer available). 36. Victoria Martynova, ‘Leave Us Alone!’, Zahav.ru: Salat, 1 March 2009, http://salat.zahav. ru/AuthorProfile.aspx?aid=19 (Russian – no longer available). 37. See Eventov, ‘Hero, Show Your Face!’ 38. Ibid. 39. The item’s contentions notwithstanding, social workers apply numerous measures before taking such drastic steps, revoking the right to parenthood only as a last resort. In most cases, children and their parents are referred to services for at-risk children that aim at improving the children’s physical, social and emotional well-being, parental care and parent–child relations, thus enabling the children’s continued growth within their families. Treatment of this type is financed by the Ministry of Welfare. 40. Victoria Martynova, ‘Jewish Chalk Circle’, Isramir, 15 March 2009, www.isramir. com/content/view/6939/55/ (Russian). 41. Victoria Vekselman, ‘Social Workers Have Unlimited Power’, 7th Channel, 30 March 2008, www.7kanal.com/news.php3?id=244028 (Russian). 42. See Stessel, ‘Ordinary Violence’. 43. See Eventov, ‘Hero, Show Your Face!’ 44. See Vekselman, ‘Social Workers Have Unlimited Power’. 45. R. Gellately, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (New York: Knopf, 2007). 46. Contrary to the article’s claim that social workers routinely remove children from their homes at night, in reality it is only in emergency cases that minors are taken from their guardians at unconventional hours, such as when social workers are summoned by the police. This usually occurs in cases of severe domestic violence, when one parent is arrested and the other (usually the mother) requires medical treatment. When there is no one to watch over the children, urgent action is justifiable, even at night, to ensure that they receive foster care. Ordinarily, however, social workers’ visits take place only during daytime. 47. See Vekselman, ‘Social Workers Have Unlimited Power’. 48. R. van Voren, ‘Political Abuse of Psychiatry: A Historical Overview’, Schizophrenia Bulletin, 36, 1 (2010), pp.33–5. 49. According to the 1991 Law for Treatment of the Mentally Ill, only district psychiatrists are authorized to issue compulsory hospitalization orders, and may do so only after conducting a psychiatric examination and proving conclusively that the person is at immediate risk of self-inflicted physical harm.

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50. See Vekselman, ‘Social Workers Have Unlimited Power’. 51. ‘Lobby against Social Workers’ Arbitrariness Sounds an Alarm’, 7th Channel, 23 December 2009, www.7kanal.com/news.php3?id=271609 (Russian). 52. Social workers’ salaries rise according to experience, training and grade, but are not contingent on ‘success’ in taking children from their families. 53. See Matveeva, ‘Lessons of a Modern Parent’. 54. See Vekselman, ‘Social Workers Have Unlimited Power’. 55. ‘It Won’t be that Easy to Take Children Away from Parents’, Russian Bazaar, 22 May 2008, www.russian-bazaar.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=8449 (Russian). 56. In fact, only the court reviewing the minor’s case is authorized to order a minor to report for a mental examination by a child psychiatrist or psychologist. 57. See Stessel, ‘Ordinary Violence’. 58. In this case as well, false ‘facts’ are presented which contrast with the legal situation and the social workers’ code of ethics. According to Israeli law, infants may be separated from their mothers only after an emergency order has been issued in cases of proximate danger to the infant’s life. Such orders are issued by the courts only and not at the social worker’s discretion. During the separation period, preference is accorded to members of the extended family who are interested in and capable of caring for the infant. Foster homes are sought only for infants who cannot be placed with relatives. 59. Isaac Eventov, ‘Children of Permissiveness’, Russian Bazaar, 26 April 2006, www.russianbazaar.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=8449 (Russian). 60. S. Imbrogno, ‘The Emergence of the Profession of Social Work in the Russian Republic’, in R. Constable and V. Mehta (eds), Education for Social Work in Eastern Europe: Changing Horizons (Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, 1994), pp.91–103; S.B. Templeman, ‘Social Work Education in Russia in the Wake of Communism: Implications for International Participation’, Journal of Social Work Research and Evaluation, 4, 2 (2003), pp.213–24. 61. M.H. Bornstein and Y. Bohr, ‘Immigration, Acculturation, and Parenting’, in R.E. Tremblay, M. Boivin and R. deV. Peters (eds), Encyclopedia of Early Childhood Development (Ottawa, ON: Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Development, 2011), pp.1–8. 62. See Viswanath and Arora, ‘Ethnic Media in the United States’. 63. S.H. Riggins, ‘The Promise and Limits of Ethnic Minority Media’, in S.H. Riggins (ed.), Ethnic Minority Media (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992), pp.276–88.

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B Media Production for and by Minorities

Section B comprises four articles on minority media production patterns and content. Attempts at development of alternative media, primarily by the minorities themselves, have increased recently, possibly because of disappointment over failure to gain a foothold in key mainstream media or as a result of technological developments that render media more accessible. Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants from different countries and Palestinian citizens of Israel have established their own print and online newspapers, broadcasting networks and Internet forums. In such cases, production studies largely tend to assess the minority’s media output, structural and regulatory processes connected with operation of these media, the quality of their content and its implications for the minority’s collective identity. The community of migrant workers from the Philippines in Israel may well constitute an exciting example of a small minority remote from its homeland that is producing a medium oriented to its own needs. Diaspora communities have developed sphericule media that serve as re-socialization agents and provide connection with the homeland, but migrant labourers’ media differ from other types of diasporic media because overseas workers are not allowed – and usually do not wish – to remain in their host countries. The first article in the second section sheds light on Manila-Tel Aviv, a hybrid diasporic magazine. While its declared purpose is to cater to Filipinos, it is owned, run and edited by native Israelis. Its contributors are mostly Filipina women working as caregivers, whose situation is inherently precarious and whose involvement in magazine production constitutes an authentic source of empowerment. Amit Kama elucidates the motivations and rewards entailed in the production of a unique cultural text, in which nuanced vectors of domination and resistance are interlaced, proposing a perspective on the means by which migrant workers can and do overcome their tenuous living conditions.

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Media and Ethnic Minorities in the Holy Land

As a culturally deprived minority, the Mizrachi community (Jewish immigrants from Arab countries and their descendants) accords great importance to its ethnic artefacts, with music apparently remaining a crucial symbol of its primordial identity. The rise of Mizrachi music to centre stage in Israeli media is explored through three organizational-cultural processes: privatization in the electronic media field, the emergence of a liberal discourse of multiculturalism, and mechanisms of ‘institutional erasure’, whereby global cultural models are repackaged as nationally unique. Danny Kaplan describes how these seemingly contradictory processes operated jointly in marketing and ‘nationalizing’ an ethnic subculture. By 2010, ‘light’ versions of Mizrachi music, previously marginalized by state-run media, crossed over to mainstream radio playlists and gained legitimacy as a national genre relabelled ‘Israeli Mediterranean pop’. This was accomplished through various displacements of Arab-Muslim markers recast in a (western-oriented) Mediterranean guise. It is concluded that although Mizrachi artists retained vestiges of ‘ethnic other’ markers as part of Israel’s growing self-image as a multicultural society, their attainment of local institutional legitimacy ultimately relies on the reproduction of national meanings. Israel’s Palestinian minority is apparently expected to seize the opportunity to cultivate its own media. Stringent regulation, however, may be more amenable to establishment of electronic media for Israel’s Palestinian minority. Amit Schejter describes the history of these media and uncovers the underlying assumptions of the policymakers who designed them. Two underlying beliefs have influenced the approach taken by Israeli policymakers in providing the country’s Palestinian citizens with electronic media services: (1) the Palestinians are merely a linguistic minority with linguistic needs; and (2) constitute an ‘enemy within’. These characterizations of the Arab minority, that emerge throughout the legal documentation described in this chapter, have given rise to a two-headed policy, both de jure and de facto, that has driven broadcasts for Palestinian Israelis away from the traditional channels offered to society at large, relegating them to seclusion in dedicated channels, some of which were designed to present the State’s positions to citizens of neighbouring countries. The new media may offer an opportunity for establishment of alternative media by the Israeli Palestinians. Anat Ben-David has proposed a method for delineation and analysis of minority webspace spatial politics, based on techniques currently used for the study of national webs and adapting theoretical methods of minority media to the Web’s unique characteristics. The analytical framework, that combines search engine ranking, network analysis, geo-IP spatialization and domain registration data, is applied to study the geopolitics of Arabic-language webspace in Israel. Ben-David

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claims that minority websites registered in the national domain have networked topologies, geographies, activity types and causes different from those registered in generic domain names. In the case of Arabic-language webspace in Israel, it was found that generic domains are preferred over the national domain suffix for advocacy of human rights, while the national suffix is more commonly chosen for advocacy of minority issues within Israel (org.il) and local online news websites (co.il). While regional media for and by minorities (such as satellite television from the Middle East) are growing in popularity, the high localization levels of Arabic-language webspace in Israel show it to be grounded in the geography of the national web.

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5 Manila-Tel Aviv: Complexities of a Migrant Workers’ Magazine1 Amit Kama

Diasporic Media .

The majority of mass-mediated texts and images reflect the interests and experiences of the dominant majority of a given culture. The smallest amount of media content is of, by and for minority groups.2 In recent years, national public spheres have been giving way to cultural productions of relatively homogenous groups that converse within their own rather autonomous sphericules.3 Sphericule discourses form a primary countermeasure against the hegemonic forces that prompt national media to symbolically annihilate, marginalize and render some groups voiceless and invisible.4 Because sphericule media, by definition, ‘belong’ to disenfranchised, subordinated and often abject ethnic, racial, sexual and other subaltern minorities, their primary aim is self-empowerment via solidarity, identity politics, and internal social and cultural cohesion.5 Among the means utilized to achieve a coveted social change, political mobilization, setting an independent agenda, and the abolition of prevalent stereotypes are all paramount.6 In the face of hegemonic exclusionary practices, minority media constitute a platform on which a shared consciousness is constructed; political agendas and questions of a shared future ferment and consolidate; and political activists are mobilized. Means of production and ownership are in the hands of minority members, whose personal experiences are invaluable resources.7 Consequently, these media are characterized by staff who are rarely paid professionals, motivated primarily by a commitment to their community’s welfare.8 Various diasporic communities (e.g. new immigrants to Israel, postcolonial emigrants) have developed public sphericules and created platforms for internal communication.9 Several attributes define these media. Firstly, diasporic groups did not constitute a minority before arrival in the host

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country. They may have come from varied socio-economic strata, geographical regions, native tongues, etc. A sense of oneness is imposed on them owing to new circumstances.10 Since identity is not previously shared, it needs to be evoked and maintained by mediated mechanisms.11 Secondly, diasporic media are aimed at two contradictory functions. On the one hand, they serve as re-socialization agents into the host society and are supposed to help in acculturation and accommodation processes.12 On the other hand, diasporic media establish symbolic bridges with the homeland.13 They provide information from ‘home’, and, by doing so, they offer a haven from daily hardships, alienation and peripheral position. The third feature of diasporic media is their contents, where ‘informational and libidinal economies’14 are blurred. News items mostly focus on events in the homeland. Due to scarcity of manpower and financial resources, the lion’s share of these items is copied from home media or translated from local media. However, nowadays, new media enable fast and direct connections that practically situate the immigrants on a par with their fellow countrymen and countrywomen at home and around the globe.15 Because immigrants are neglected or misrepresented by mainstream media,16 and also do not occupy any positions in the host country elites, their media are the only arena where they can learn about themselves.17 Labour migrants’ media differ from other diasporic media because overseas workers are not allowed by their work contracts – and usually do not wish – to remain in the host countries, but to return to their families. Migration is but a source of remittance, which indeed accounts for a growing percentage of the gross domestic product in many countries.18 Since labour migrants neither share nor wish to share social and cultural bonds with the host society, acclimatization and accommodation are not desired objectives.19

Migrant Workers in Israel20 As of the early 1990s, the Israeli labour market has been inundated by international migrant workers. They number approximately a quarter of a million people and comprise a tenth of the entire Israeli work force.21 Kav LaOved,22 (lit. ‘workers’ hotline’), a non-profit Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO), estimates that some 50,000 Filipinas worked in Israel in 2004.23 Exact figures are unattainable because unknown numbers of ‘legal’ – that is, documented – people become ‘illegal’, and thus inaccessible. The Philippines’ Technical Education and Skills Development Authority24 states that Israel is one of the largest markets for foreign caregivers, employing 9 per cent of officially deployed Philippine caregivers in 2003. In spite of their numbers, these non-citizens are ‘a transparent minority’,25 framed by the

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media as well as by the native population as threatening, dangerous or unworthy human beings.26 Consequently, they are excluded from the national public sphere. Research on non-Jewish or non-Palestinian migrant workers in Israel has concentrated so far on their media representations,27 political participation,28 informal networks and formal associations,29 socio-spatial segregation30 and Israelis’ xenophobic attitudes and State policies.31 Migrants’ plight, human rights violations and exploitation have been documented considerably;32 yet no attention has been paid to their media. The present study attempts to address this empirical gap by delving into questions concerning migrant workers’ motivation to take part in media production, their perceptions of what is purportedly ‘their’ magazine, and the ways in which their lived experiences interrelate with these pursuits.

Manila-Tel Aviv Manila-Tel Aviv (MTA) is similar in some respects to international Filipino magazines (e.g. Tinig Filipino, Diwaliwan, Kabayan, Filipinas), some of which are supported by the Philippines government and employment agencies. They are designed to help migrant workers cope with loneliness and homesickness and to boost professionalism as well as encourage them to develop positive attitudes towards their positions.33 MTA is exceptional because it is owned, controlled, published and managed by members of the host society. Consequently, the unequal power relations (i.e. imbalanced distribution of resources, especially in relation to decision-making) which characterize the labour market are echoed within the newsroom. The Israelis include Yossi Eitan, a self-made businessman with rudimentary English; Ruth Lewin, associate editor-in-chief who holds a PhD and is fluent in English; administrative and circulation managers; graphic designers; and secretaries. Three Filipinos (Grace, Lily and Emmanuel) work part-time in the office; other Filipina contributors arrive irregularly. MTA was founded in 200234 by Yossi Eitan. For the celebration of its 100th issue, Yossi unfolds MTA’s history, in which its trials and tribulations – such as police raids and harassment, deportation of ‘illegal’ staff ’,35 low sales, financial difficulties and lack of cooperation with potential advertisers – are detailed. His ‘mission is to change the life of the foreign workers in Israel’, and to publish ‘a strong magazine of their own that can help ease and improve their life’. Yossi declares his plan to employ staff members who have ‘the courage to write articles and stories that will “move the posts of the door” regarding social injustices [and] will pose a question to the acceptable conventions’.

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MTA has not been formally recognized as a newspaper by the Ministry of the Interior.36 Consequently, it cannot legally employ non-citizen staff. Aside from the Israeli staff and Grace,37 who holds Israeli citizenship, all other contributors must rely on their income as caregivers, the only legal employment that allows them to remain in the country. Since some of them have no legal permit to remain in Israel, they need to vigilantly orchestrate their movements in order to dodge imminent deportation. The office door is always locked for fear of the immigration police, who once broke into the office and captured staff. MTA is published weekly in approximately 7,000 copies38 and consists of eighty pages, of which a third are printed on glossy, full-colour paper. Commercial advertisements39 take about a quarter of the magazine, and a fifth of these are self-promotions. There are forty-six fairly regular sections: thirtyfour written in English, six in Pilipino (the national language of the Philippines, also known as Tagalog), and the rest combine both languages. Of these sections, twenty-nine are copied from Internet sites of online magazines from the Philippines and English-speaking countries; five sections are written by MTA staff; four are contributed by readers. The other sections are translations of various materials (e.g. Israeli newspaper articles, official and governmental publications).

The Study The present interpretive study is based on fourteen in-depth, semi-structured interviews, participant observations, and textual analyses of the magazine. During 2005 I arrived at the MTA office to perform various tasks. This allowed me to carry out participant observation and to conduct informal conversations with the staff. I also took an active part at staff meetings and non-journalistic activities (e.g. beauty pageants). Being thus involved eased my entrance into the ‘field’. Between June and November 2005 I conducted interviews with eleven Filipinas, one Filipino and the two Israeli editors. Interviews were ‘distilled’ in a thematization process.40 The intention was to see what details of the informants’ narratives were of relevance to the study. During this process, researchers did not know towards what ends they were driving and what the possible themes or categories of meaning might be. These ‘revealed themselves’ to the analyst, whose reflexivity was crucial at this point,41 in order to avoid denial of the researcher’s agency.

Duties at Manila-Tel Aviv Filipina contributors play various roles in the production of the magazine

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and can be categorized basically according to whether they are paid employees or volunteers. The latter occupy but a peripheral position within the organization. They handwrite at home and deliver their papers to be typed in the office. Although most of their tasks involve journalistic practices, none uses the word ‘journalist’ to define themselves. One reason for not selflabelling as ‘journalists’ could be that only relatively minor parts of the paper are actually written by MTA staff. The paid staff devote most of their working hours to surfing the Internet in search of relevant items to be copied. Jossie and Tess serve as mediators between the community at large and MTA. Their official title, ‘Public Relations Officers’, refers to their role in supporting Kabayan (Pilipino for ‘compatriots’) in need. Thanks to their prominent and popular position within the community, they are able to reach out and shed light on individual Kabayan. Their input is invaluable, for they are the only contributors who write about their peers’ lives. They narrate mundane personal stories as well as expose ordeals suffered by abused Kabayan. Jossie explains: ‘The first editor of MTA encouraged me, because they started the magazine and he knows that many Filipino knows me. But, I’m afraid to deal with the magazine, because I don’t know how: I’m not a writer, I’m not a journalist. So, how?! I’m not educated ... Slowly I’m becoming involved with the magazine.’42 Women (rarely accompanied by a man) drop into the office for several reasons: some to show off their handicrafts, some to hand in envelopes containing material for publication, but the majority arrive in order to hand in answers to the puzzles or competitions or to collect their prizes. BenHorin43 argues that the MTA office is a ‘hub of struggle’, where intensive activities on behalf of Filipinas who have been wronged or victimized are more prevalent than routine journalistic practices. Yet I noticed that only Ruth and Yossi were dedicated to performing duties such as contacting lawyers or NGOs. I witnessed neither commitment nor willingness to be involved on the part of any of the Filipinas. This division of labour is taken for granted, and both Israelis and Filipinas who are involved in MTA adhere to it as if it is a tacit contract.

Motivation for Writing Motivations and rewards are conceptually interrelated and constitute a cyclical process in which one cannot be separated from the other. Nevertheless, future-oriented incentives are presented independently from the ‘real’ outcomes that are derived from contributing to MTA, in order to shed light on their differences. Several incentives drive interviewees to be involved in the production of MTA.

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Preaching Some of the contributors perceive themselves to be pillars of moral integrity whose mission is to demarcate the map of moral behaviour for the entire community and uphold its ethics. This is why they come to volunteer. They are preoccupied with concerns that emerge in the face of a seeming moral dissolution, particularly marital unfaithfulness. Their vigilance stems from religious devoutness as well as fear of a stigma that may be attached to them by the host society. The conveyed message is unambiguously indignant. This moral panic constitutes such a major issue that it takes precedence over all other pressing problems, which should be silently endured or even overlooked. In other words, some interviewees are so provoked by the dissolution of morality that they are driven to offer remedies via their articles. Arlyn maintains: I saw the hard situation for a lot of the Filipinos here and the situation is very bad ... We forgot, they forgot, they have a family, and they are cheating on each other, having a baby and having an abortion. And my article in MTA tried to courage to my Filipinos not to forget the reasons why we are here ... We are here to work, to earn money, and because of our family. We live for our family, because we want them to have a good future. But what happening, you know, but the temptation is always there ... So, in my article the point is to remind, to [en]courage that: ‘Please, stop!’ I made a lot of articles about this. Because of perceived moral alarm, Faye pronounces herself to be a prophet of wrath, in charge of correcting Kabayans’ evil ways: I am not one of them. But I give them advice with that sort of article ... It excites them; they can relate on these article and those topics. Because with this philosophy you give them a deep ... It’s a very sad thing, but it’s a life, because they are far from their families, they play this game, you know. I don’t want to be saying such word. They go with illicit relationships. [Researcher: So, you are saying that the most important issues are of love, fidelity?] Yes, morality, immorality! ... My next topic is ‘Broken Vows, Broken Dreams’. I then said that personal relationships are at the top of her agenda, while other concerns are low in her priority list. Faye concurred, yet evaded an explanation and remained adamant that ‘to cover up their homesickness they go like that, singing with a beer ... dancing there with their Israeli boyfriends’.

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Religious preaching is another manifestation of some interviewees’ eagerness to serve as moral leaders. Constable also notes that Filipinas ‘advocate religious solutions to their difficulties as a substitute for attempting to enact change’.44 Mercy accentuates her column’s role in alleviating daily difficulties by the means of piety and devoutness: My articles are always related to God or religion ... My column is called ‘Prisms of Life’. [It] is the mirror of life ... or shadows of life ... One of the readers wrote to the editor: ‘We love this column very much, and this is the one that gives us the strength to go on with our loneliness and problems here in Israel.’

Humanitarian Assistance The ‘Public Relations Officers’, who have been residing in Israel for lengthy periods and are relatively older, are motivated by assuming a motherly role. Jossie explains: ‘My purpose is to help the Filipinos because I always say that I don’t want some Filipino [who] is having [a] problem with no one to help ... If somebody needs help, I voluntary give my support, because I don’t want them to experience what I experienced before.’ Help is also indirectly provided to the community at large by publishing biographical narratives from which readers can learn a lesson. These stories constitute a means for better adjustment for newcomers, as well as beacons of inspiration, guidance and warning. Tess states: ‘Because a lot of the Filipino, they are here and they don’t know what to do. If they have a problem they don’t know what to do, where to go. So, we talk about what can be ... a helping hand to guide them ... This is really the big work.’

Emotional Deprivation Whereas the first two incentives were centred on the community and expressed by a minority of interviewees, personal need gratifications are central for nearly all of the others. They are motivated by individual hardships that emanate from primary characteristics of their lived experiences: being torn from their families, living in a foreign land and doing menial, degrading and boring jobs in solitude. As caregivers they work six twentyfour-hour days a week at the homes of their elderly and disabled employers, with whom they have minimal communication. Boredom and coerced solitude induce depression. Many interviewees report emotional deprivation as impetus for writing. They wish to share their feelings with other Kabayan. Poems seem to be the

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main modus of expression; they constitute a prominent bulk of the materials contributed to MTA and are a very popular platform for many readers to participate in their public sphericule. It may also be that poems are easier to compose than fiction and, due to their short and compact form, pose fewer drawbacks for amateur writers. Poems interlace Pilipino, English and Hebrew (transcribed phonetically in Latin alphabet), and convey intense emotions, particularly love. For instance, Evelyn says: ‘When I’m depressed I do it [writing poems] ... When I feel lonely ... And then when my [?] died in the Philippines, I cried a lot and I write a poem about death.’ Gloria describes her times for writing poems: ‘Sometimes I feel bored. It comes out my mind ... I can sit for a long time and then: “Oh, it’s so boring. So hard to work in here.” So, it’s just like this. Then I also get reaction from my friends: “Oh! You wrote this. It’s nice!”’ Faye, too, writes to pass the time in hopes of easing the pains of seclusion: ‘I just wanted to see my little accomplishment of writing poems ... I write my poems ... I was really bored. My Goodness! ... And then I wanted to have an outlet ... That’s why I made a lot of poems.’ Love is a significant motivation for writing and is also derived from the excruciating isolation that enhances vulnerability.45 Although their mundane tasks involve emotional labour and demand love for the people they care for,46 this is a bogus situation because the beneficiaries of love are not of their choice. Filipina caregivers compensate themselves by composing stories and poems usually dedicated to faraway kin or friends. Note the passion with which Evelyn talks about her favourite subject matter: ‘I also am writing about love, poems about love, articles about love ... It’s about love!’

Shunning Political Issues I was intrigued by the striking imbalance between the Israelis’ and the Filipinas’ motivations to write about legal issues, current affair, or expressions of resistance to practices of subjugation by various authorities (e.g. police raids, deportations). An atmosphere of ‘anti-politics’47 was conspicuous among the Filipinas. They withdraw and retreat from the arena of politics, which I would describe as a never-ending struggle to change social reality in which power relations determine and affect the outcome. An overall erosion of civic engagement48 is conspicuous among them. These women are exclusively preoccupied with personal issues, either their own or their fellow Kabayan. Aside from the three public relations officers, not one ever expressed any motivation to carry out a journalistic investigation into widespread problems concerning employers’ exploitation, official mistreatment, etc. Although many migrant workers are harassed, mugged or abused – and

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many come into the office to complain of this – nobody dares to seize an opportunity to study and write about such incidents. Political involvement is shunned in favour of immersing themselves in non-confrontational issues, aside from moral preaching. There is thus a strict division of labour between the Israeli advocates and a quiescent community. This phenomenon is baffling even to the interviewees, as Arlyn replied to my query: ‘You open my mind also. I never think about this also, really. I think you have a very good idea. I can say that you open my mind, really.’ Several interviewees justified this disinterestedness by objective obstacles: lack of official information, lack of resources, hard work at a secluded home, etc. Filipinas’ dormancy is grounded in a web of hindrances over which they have no control or ways to overcome. Miranda vindicates this situation: ‘How can I write about events if I’m inside the house of my employer all the time? If only I had time to go out and see the environment, what [is] happening, I can write also. If you go outside, and see events or something there and talk to your friends.’ Faye agrees: ‘How can I write about the immigration police and the laws? I’m not so familiar with them, the rules and regulations. Even if I wanted to write ... You have to know the laws, where to go, connections. Lack of information. Lack of connections. I never go anywhere.’ Grace is a singular actor on the MTA stage because she is neither a foreign worker nor a native Israeli: she is married to an Israeli and thus entitled to citizenship. In our conversations, she elaborated about being alienated and eschewed by her Kabayan, who forsake her upon learning her status: Grace is not a precariously existing Metapelet (Hebrew for ‘caregiver’; this and other words are commonly intermingled in the informants’ speech), but a relatively prosperous homeowner. This bipolar class cleavage49 places her in a position where she feels free to criticize and even denigrate her compatriots. Grace is an example of the tendency, observable in the Filipino personality, to shun political issues, which other interviewees also mentioned in numerous contexts. A recurrent premise in many interviews was an essentialist conviction in a frame of mind shared by all Filipinos; a common denominator ingrained in their ‘national psyche’. To my puzzlement concerning the division of labour regarding politics, Grace responded: There are many victims. But they are afraid, they don’t have the guts. It’s the mentality of the Filipinos to be like too quiet. Suffering by themselves. They don’t want to share it. But they need someone, a leader, that will come out and pull them up: ‘Please, talk! Look, this is a microphone, this is a paper! Write what you have to say!’ Because if you are not going to lift this community, they will be waiting for the

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grace of God to do justice to the ones who are abusing them. But, Ruth is doing a nice job helping them. She calls the Embassy, she makes arrangements with the lawyer ... She is the leader ... [The Filipinos] don’t want to talk about community matters ... It’s what we need: community news. But, what happens, they want ‘Prisms of Life’. Contribute to the ‘Sunday Reflection’, ‘Love Factor’.

Contributing to MTA and its Symbolic Rewards MTA contributors work in demanding and arduous jobs, for which they are overqualified. Obviously, they need both a driving force to motivate them to take on further responsibilities, and, at the same time, expect no monetary rewards to compensate them for their efforts. Their continued involvement in MTA is driven by social and psychological gratifications, of which four types were identified. The first category derives from the perception that contributing to MTA is involved with achieving an esteemed social status. Positive feedback from others is not only beneficial for one’s sense of self-accomplishment, but also confers a respected status within the community. They claim that seeing one’s name printed in the paper is a primary motivation and hence indicate the importance and centrality of symbolic rewards, such as fame and public recognition even for a fleeting moment.50 Pride is another source of gratification for contributors whose writings attest to their abilities. Moreover, as Mercy confesses, pride also stems from being able to surmount barriers such as education: ‘My family ... they are very proud because they know that I’m not a journalist, but I can write, even short articles.’ Thirdly, some informants reported success as agents of moral authority to be a source of satisfaction. The opportunity to affect the behaviour, and in particular the moral conduct of others, is a great symbolic reward. The feeling that they were successful in shaping others’ imperfect ways yields vital satisfaction, as Arlyn tells: ‘There is some people that [are] calling me and telling me it’s a very good article. And they say: “Keep up the good work!” I can’t say that they can change, but at least I tried to remind.’ Finally, being involved within a newsroom furnishes the contributors with skills that could not be otherwise attained. Emmanuel says: ‘Because there are thousands of Filipinos here and I am one of the few who’s lucky enough to be part of the magazine. And it’s a great opportunity and chance. Not many people get that chance.’

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Mundane Empowerment MTA is a medium of communication that creates and safeguards an imagined community vis-à-vis a hostile world that refuses to acknowledge its existence. As a haven and an umbilical cord, MTA connects Filipinas with their home and host country and with each other. These platitudinal observations are meant to be a starting point for a discussion of a text whose authors occupy vastly conflicting ontological positions. Israeli and Filipino participants are motivated by and aspire for two sets of notions: the former are basically politically driven and mobilized, while the latter are focused on personal – be they ludic, sentimental or ethical – matters. Although Filipina involvement and input are vital and indispensable, Israeli ownership of the material and personnel infrastructures yields an uneasy textual authorship. The latter embody the rule of employers, to whom the former are subjected within the general regime of total control of Israelis over their foreign labourers. The magazine is hence a veritable site of struggle within the realms of symbolic production and social power relations. A clearcut division of labour between the two parties mirrors and underpins their respective positions in the ‘real’ world, where masters and servants have minimal room for manoeuvring their positions. Negotiations of the Filipina contributors’ agency are constricted by webs of relations that are enmeshed within a system of obedience, submission and colonization. All editorial and non-journalistic (e.g. various competitions) decisions are the sole mandate of the Israelis, although they are meant for the overall welfare of the readers who do not perform resistance tactics. Having said that, it is crucial to bear in mind that resistance could have been expressed and performed in the ‘hidden transcripts’51 among themselves, from which I and all other Israelis were excluded, having no knowledge of the Pilipino language. In the past two decades, resistance has been an overarching and dominant interpretive framework employed in the literature in the context of nonprivileged subjects, labour migrants in particular. As was mentioned in the literature review regarding diasporic media, one of their objectives is augmenting empowerment. The present study offers insights according to which I wish to argue with and challenge this conceptual premise. Although de Certeau’s52 conceptualization of everyday practices of resistance has imbued the field with dynamic discussions,53 I wish to offer another perspective of the production of an oppressed minority’s sphericule discourse. The Filipinas in this study are overwhelmingly preoccupied with questions of the heart, not politics per se. They seem to acquiescently bear the cross of subjugation and accept their coerced marginality as a given, not as

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a source of problematic interrogations of their positionality and the world at large. This is not to say that obedience and submissiveness are an intrinsic or essentialistic trait, but they do not constitute a resource of motivation for these women. Unlike some scholars who tend to romanticize various modes of resistance to domination,54 I would contend that power (or lack thereof) is not necessarily the key force motivating subjugated actors. Migrant workers live in a suspended social, citizenship and cultural status. Generally speaking, many do not demonstrate attachment to sociopolitics of either the Philippines or Israel, do not consume news from either home or host countries and profess a disinterest in current events. In other words, they exist in limbo, or a detached universe, which is nearly self-contained within the quotidian – that is, the repetitive and habitual tasks of the everyday. Moreover, being a Metapelet drains emotional reservoirs, not only because a caregiver’s monotonous tasks are based on allocation of love, but also because she exists in a sort of an emotional vacuum, where she is torn from her genuine loved ones. Her affectional resources are thus not replenished. I would suggest that involvement with cultural production, albeit on a small scale, constitutes a means to refill and invigorate a drained self and combat the ‘soul-destroying hollowness’ of caregiving.55 MTA does, however, offer its contributors a means of empowerment, in its fundamental denotation: having faith in one’s ability to overcome, survive and endure trials and tribulations; to know that one’s fate is in one’s hands. MTA is a great tool for infusing a sense of worthiness, not to achieve some abstract political objective, but to overcome individual and mundane hardships. Furthermore, MTA is a stage on which one’s merit can have public recognition and private satisfaction, particularly because invisibility is both one of the prerequisites of the caregiver’s job and part of the mechanisms rendering the caregiver non-human.56 Empowerment can be achieved by, for example, being publicly acknowledged as a poet or an accomplished writer, or by completing a crossword puzzle. Empowerment can also be attained by reading the ‘Caregiver in Focus’ column, where one can learn of stories of personal victories. In short, participation in MTA is not perceived as a journalistic endeavour for the voiceless, but as a rare and crucial opportunity to be heard, to have a voice, albeit feeble, to win over forced lived circumstances of alienation, solitude and hard work. In this context, Filipinas are not ‘just the Metapelet’, but accomplished writers, winners of competitions, moral agents and recipients of respect by their Kabayan. Empowerment is derived from pleasure, and vice versa. It is grounded in recreational gratifications and a sense of mission that have no political dimensions or ramifications.

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This paper has focused on aspects related to media manufacture; a further study is hence recommended in order to understand reception patterns and uses of diasporic media by communities of migrant workers. Additionally, it may be interesting to compare MTA to other diasporic media whose control and ownership are in the hands of the labour migrants. How is empowerment conceptualized and achieved in contexts where the latter are able to speak for themselves?

Notes 1. The current essay is a revised and updated version of an earlier publication by the author, ‘Labor Migrants’ Self-empowerment via Participation in a Diasporic Magazine: Filipinos at Manila-Tel Aviv’, Asian Journal of Communication, 18, 3 (2008), 223–38. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher, Taylor & Francis. 2. D. Caspi and N. Elias, ‘Don’t Patronize Me: Media-by and Media-for Minorities’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34, 1 (2011), pp.62–82; L. Gross, ‘Minorities, Majorities and the Media’, in T. Liebes and J. Curran (eds), Media, Ritual and Identity (London: Routledge, 1998), pp.87–102. 3. T. Gitlin, ‘Public Sphere or Public Sphericules?’, in T. Liebes and J. Curran (eds), Media, Ritual and Identity (London: Routledge, 1998), pp.168–74. 4. S. Cunningham, ‘Popular Media as “Public Sphericules” for Diasporic Communities’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 4, 3 (2001), pp.131–47. 5. J. Cohen, ‘Politics, Alienation, and the Consolidation of Group Identity: The Case of Synagogue Pamphlets’, Rhetoric and Public Affairs, 3, 2 (2000), pp.247–75; A. Kama,‘Israeli Gay Men’s Consumption of Lesbigay Media: “I’m Not Alone in This Business”’, in K.G. Barnhurst (ed.), Media Queered: Visibility and its Discontents (New York: Peter Lang, 2007), pp.125–42; C.R Squires, ‘Black Talk Radio: Defining Community Needs and Identity’, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 5, 2 (2000), pp.73–95. 6. F. Kesheshian, ‘Acculturation, Communication, and the US Mass Media: The Experience of an Iranian Immigrant’, Howard Journal of Communication, 11 (2000), pp.93–106. 7. P. Dahlgren, Introduction, in P. Dahlgren and C. Sparks (eds), Communication and Citizenship: Journalism and the Public Sphere (London: Routledge, 1993), pp.1–23. 8. S.H. Riggins, ‘The Promise and Limits of Ethnic Minority Media’, in S.H. Riggins (ed.), Ethnic Minority Media: An International Perspective (Newsbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992), pp.276–88. 9. H. Adoni, D. Caspi and A.A. Cohen, Media, Minorities, and Hybrid Identities: The Arab and Russian Immigrant Communities in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006); G. Bar-Haim, ‘Revista Mea: Keeping Alive the Romanian Community in Israel’, in S.H. Riggins (ed.), Ethnic Minority Media: An International Perspective, pp.196–216; S. Cunningham and J. Sinclair (eds), Floating Lives: The Media and Asian Diasporas (Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001); K. Kosrick, ‘Building Bridges: Media for Migrants and the Public-Service Mission in Germany’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 3, 3 (2000), pp.319–42; Z. Sarabia-Panol, ‘Filipinas Magazine: An Exploration of Diasporic Cultural Production’, paper presented at the conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, Cairo, 25 July 2006; R. Silverstone, ‘Finding a Voice: Minorities, Media and the Global Commons’, Emergences, 11, 1 (2001), pp.13–27. 10. See Cunningham and Sinclair (eds), Floating Lives.

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11. K. Viswanath and P. Arora, ‘Ethnic Media in the United States: An Essay on their Role in Integration, Assimilation, and Social Control’, Mass Communication and Society, 3, 1 (2000), pp.39–56; N. Zilberg and E. Leshem, ‘Russian-Language Press and Immigrant Community in Israel’, Revue europeenne des migrations internationales, 12, 3 (1996), pp.173–88. 12. B. Hwang and Z. He, ‘Media Uses and Acculturation among Chinese Immigrants in the USA’, International Communication Gazette, 61, 1 (1999), pp.5–22; D. Reece and P. Palmgreen, ‘Need for Acculturation and Media Use Motives among Indian Sojourners in the US’, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24, 6 (2000), pp.807–24. 13. See Kosrick, ‘Building Bridges’. 14. See Cunningham, ‘Popular Media as “Public Sphericules”’, p.139. 15. D. Caspi and N. Elias,‘Being Here but Feeling There: The Case of Russian Media in Israel’, Israeli Sociology, 2, 2 (2000), pp.1–42 (Hebrew); M. Gillespie, Television, Ethnicity and Cultural Change (London: Routledge, 1995); V. Malka and A. Kama, ‘ “Umbilical Cord that Cannot be Severed”: Israeli Media Sustaining Israeli Migrants’ Identity’, Media Frames: Israeli Journal of Communication, 7 (2011), pp.1–28 (Hebrew). 16. D. Lemish, ‘The Whore and the Other: Israeli Images of Female Immigrants from the Former USSR’, Gender and Society, 14, 2 (2000), pp.333–49. 17. See Viswanath and Arora, ‘Ethnic Media in the United States’. 18. G. Musser, ‘The Check is in the Mail: Does the Money Immigrants Send Home Do any Good?’, Scientific American, April 2006, pp.9–10. 19. S. Castles, ‘Migration and Community Formation under Conditions of Globalization’, International Migration Review, 36, 4 (2002), pp.1143–68. 20. In order to avoid a historical fallacy, all information within the body of the paper is pertinent only up to 2005, when the fieldwork was completed. For example, a fierce competition arose when Focal Magazine: Serving the Filipino Community in Israel was established by Eitan’s commercial and personal rival roughly at the time this study was concluded, and hence its aftermath is not discussed here. 21. A. Kemp, R. Raijman, J. Reznik and S.S. Gesser, ‘Contesting the Limits of Political Participation: Latinos and Black African Migrant Workers in Israel’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 23, 1 (2000), pp.94–119. 22. Kav LaOved (2004), Kav LaOved’s Annual Report 2004, www.kavlaoved.org.il/katava_ main.asp?news_id=1343andsivug_id=21 (Hebrew). 23. Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics estimated that in 2010, 28,800 Filipinos resided in Israel with work permits. This figure does not and cannot take into account those who remain after their permit has been expired or who have entered the country as tourists (Central Bureau of Statistics, ‘At the End of 2010 in Israel: 116,000 Foreign Workers Who Entered with Work Permits’), www.cbs.gov.il/reader/newhodaot/hodaa_template. html?hodaa=201120182. 24. Technical Education and Skills Development Authority [TESDA], Labor Market Intelligence Report: How Saturated is the Caregivers’ Market? (2004), www.tesda.gov.ph/ services1/lmi_feb2004.asp (no longer available). 25. A. First, ‘ “The Whites of Their Eyes”: The Representation of Migrant Workers in Israeli Media’, paper presented at the 23rd GIF (German Israel Foundation Conference) on Labor Migration in the Global Market, Berlin, 17–19 December 2003, p.7. 26. Z. Rosenhek, ‘Migration Regimes, Intra-State Conflicts, and Politics of Exclusion and Inclusion: Migrant Workers in the Israeli Welfare State’, Social Problems, 47, 1 (2000), pp.49–67.

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27. See First, ‘“Whites of Their Eyes”’. 28. See Kemp et al., ‘Contesting the Limits of Political Participation’. 29. C. Liebelt, Caring for the ‘Holy Land’: Transnational Filipina Domestic Workers in the Israeli Migration Regime (Oxford: Berghahn, 2011); and see Rosenhek, ‘Migration Regimes’. 30. I.Y. Schnell, Y. Benjamini and A. Ben-Adiva,‘An Alternative Measurement for Segregation: Migrant Workers in Tel Aviv’, in I. Ianos, D. Pumain and J.B. Racine (eds), Integrated Urban Systems and Sustainability of Urban Life (Bucharest: Editura Tehnica, 2000), pp.289–304. 31. D. Filc and N. Davidovich, ‘Health Care as a National Right? The Development of Health Care Services for Migrant Workers in Israel’, Social Theory & Health, 3, 1 (2005), pp.1– 15; R. Raijman, M. Semyonov and P. Schmidt, ‘Do Foreigners Deserve Rights? Determinants of Public Views towards Foreigners in Germany and Israel’, European Sociological Review, 19, 4 (2003), pp.379–92. 32. E. Iecovich, ‘What Makes Migrant Live-In Home Care Workers in Elder Care Be Satisfied with their Job?’, Gerontologist, 51, 5 (2011), pp.617–29; A. Kemp, ‘Labour Migration and Racialisation: Labour Market Mechanisms and Labour Migration Control Policies in Israel’, Social Identities, 10, 2 (2004), pp.267–92; A. Kemp and R. Raijman, Migrants and Workers: The Political Economy of Labour Migration in Israel (Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2008) (Hebrew). 33. N. Constable, Maid to Order in Hong Kong: Stories of Filipina Workers (Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press, 1997); R.S. Parre as, Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration and Domestic Work (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001); G. Ebron, ‘Not Just the Maid: Negotiating Filipina Identity in Italy’, Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context, 8 (October 2002), wwwsshe.murdoch.edu.au/intersections/ issue8/ebron.html 34. MTA has gone through numerous formats and publication frequencies. As of 2012, it is still published as a monthly and consists of sixty-four pages. 35. Several journalists have been deported since the Israeli government launched a deportation campaign in 2003. See Kav LaOved, ‘They Are All Gone: The Plight of Migrant Worker Communities and Their Leaders Since the September 2003 Crack-Down’ (unpublished report [n.d.]). 36. The publication of a newspaper in Israel requires a licence by the Minister of the Interior. See A. Schejter, Muting Israeli Democracy: How Media and Cultural Policy Undermine Free Expression (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009). 37. Filipinas’ names are aliases. 38. Since the authorities do not recognize MTA as a newspaper, precluding its delivery by the post office infrastructure, Eitan devised an ingenious way of marketing, by which it is not only sold in kiosks around the country, but also sold individually by approximately 175 ‘wholesalers’, Filipinos whose names and addresses are published in the paper and are monetarily rewarded for sales to their friends. 39. Eitan is constantly preoccupied with finding financial backing for MTA’s survival. Aside from advertising revenues, there were unidentified (and probably hefty) sources of income that could not be verified. The lion’s share of advertisements was placed by phone companies; the rest were for money transfer services, small shops, restaurants and lawyers. 40. A. Strauss and J. Corbin, ‘Grounded Theory Methodology: An Overview’, in N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1994), pp.273–85.

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41. J. Nelson,‘Phenomenology as Feminist Methodology: Explicating Interviews’, in K. Carter and C. Spitzack (eds), Doing Research on Women’s Communication: Perspectives on Theory and Method (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1989), pp.221–41. 42. Interviewees are quoted verbatim. 43. E. Ben-Horin, ‘Manila Tel Aviv Times: An Immigrants’ Newspaper’ (unpublished masters thesis, Hebrew University in Jerusalem, 2003) (Hebrew). 44. See Constable, Maid to Order in Hong Kong, p.192. 45. D. Wong, ‘Foreign Domestic Workers in Singapore’, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 5 (1996), pp.117–37. 46. A.R. Hochschild, ‘Love and Gold’, in B. Eherenreich and A.R. Hochschild (eds), Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers (New York: Henry Holt, 2004), pp.15–30. 47. P. Dahlgren, ‘The Public Sphere: Linking the Media and Civic Cultures’, in E.W. Rothenbuhler and M. Coman (eds), Media Anthropology (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005), pp.318–27. 48. N. Eliasoph, ‘Close to Home: The Work of Avoiding Politics’, Theory and Society, 26, 5 (1997), pp.605–47. 49. See Parre as, Servants of Globalization. 50. A. Kama, ‘Contested Hegemony: Political Participation via Letters-to-the-Editor’, paper presented at the 56th annual conference of the International Communication Association, Dresden, Germany,20 June 2006. 51. J.C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990). 52. M. de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1984). 53. M. Romero, Maid in the USA (New York: Routledge, 1992). 54. L. Abu-Lughod, ‘The Romance of Resistance: Tracing Transformations of Power through Bedouin Women’, American Ethnologist, 17, 1 (1990), pp.41–55. 55. E. Clark-Lewis, Living In, Living Out: African-American Domestics in Washington DC, 1910–1940 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994). 56. L.M. Rivas, ‘Invisible Labors: Caring for the Independent Person’, in Eherenreich and Hochschild (eds), Global Woman, pp.70–84.

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6 Marketing and Nationalizing Ethnicity: The Case of Israeli Mediterranean Pop Music Danny Kaplan

This chapter explores the rise of Mizrahi music to centre stage in Israeli popular culture and its consolidation under the label ‘Mediterranean pop’.1 When Mizrahi music (of Middle Eastern background; literally, oriental) merged as a genre of popular music in the 1970s, it faced systematic media exclusion or else was relegated to ethnic ‘ghettos’ in radio and television programming, as well as in public events and music festivals. Throughout the years, Mizrahi artists and producers have protested against its representation as ‘the ethnic other’, and insisted on its nativeness and Israeliness, demanding recognition as an authentic bearer of the national culture.2 This recognition was gradually attained during the first decade of the twenty-first century. By 2010, ‘light’ versions of Mizrahi music had crossed over to mainstream playlists and gained legitimacy as a national genre. Much of the research on Mizrahi ethnicity has focused on questions of cultural identity. Thus, Mizrahi music was typically explored as a hybrid identity formation which preserves some of its cultural roots while striving to claim its place in the Israeli collective in the face of the surrounding hegemonic Ashkenazi culture.3 Given the focus on cultural cleavages and Kulturkampf, this scholarship failed to account for significant sociopolitical and economical trends, such as the rise of a large Mizrahi middle class since the 1980s, following liberalization and privatization reforms in the Israeli labour market.4 Similarly, the transformations in the mediation of Mizrahi music should be explored within these sociopolitical and economical trends. In what follows, I suggest that underlying this shift are three distinct organizational and cultural processes: partial commercialization and privatization in the electronic media field, the growing visibility of a liberal discourse of multiculturalism, and enduring mechanisms of ‘institutional erasures’, which systematically nationalize exogenous cultural models.5 Although these processes are often considered as contradicting one another, I shall describe

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how they operated jointly in legitimizing a subculture associated with a minority identity and previously marginalized by State-run media institutions. This chapter is based on secondary analysis of an ethnographic study in the organizational field of Israeli radio.6 The study consisted of: (1) eighteen interviews with music editors, DJs and station managers from the State network Kol Israel, the military radio Galei Tzahal and eight commercial regional stations; (2) visits to four selected stations for in situ observations of everyday activities and interactions among staff members; (3) live listening sessions to music broadcasting in all sampled stations during designated days of national significance; (4) review and analysis of local journal reports and Internet forums addressing changes in radio practices and policies between 1995 and 2010. The sample covered virtually all stations catering to the Hebrew-speaking audiences that focus on popular music or on talk and music programmes. The analysis follows a neo-institutional approach to the study of change in organizational fields7. Neo-institutionalism underscores how organizational practices perceived to be rational are ultimately shaped by considerations of legitimacy by local actors irrespective of their actual efficacy, and how this quest for legitimacy typically results in homogenization of the organizational field. DiMaggio and Powell delineated three such mechanisms of homogenization, or ‘institutional isomorphism’: (1) coercive pressures beyond the organizational level, such as State regulation; (2) mimetic pressures to adopt accessible models from other organizations, as means to demonstrate innovativeness; (3) normative pressures, spreading professionalized knowledge through shared training and social networks.8

Mizrahi Identity Israel is an immigrant society that has absorbed Jewish migrants from over 100 countries over a few decades. As such, Israel’s public culture reflects a kaleidoscope of ethnic identities, customs and traditions. However, this heterogeneity is often reduced and simplified into a binary ethnic construction along the homogenous categories of Ashkenazim and Mizrahim. Ashkenazi is the Hebraic term for the region of Germany and refers to Jewish communities that consolidated in central Europe during medieval times. Mizrahi, literally ‘easterner’, is the common term for Israeli Jews of MiddleEastern and North African origin. This category is a reflection of two related but separate historical processes. The first is the historical divide since medieval times between Jewish communities ‘living under the crescent’ and those ‘living under the cross’.9 The Jewish communities living in the Muslim,

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predominantly Arab world were influenced by the culturally affluent Sephardic (Spanish) Jewish community, and partly shaped their religious code, ritual and liturgy accordingly. This resulted in a Sephardic-Ashkenazi cultural-religious distinction, which persisted and expanded after the expulsion of Spaniard Jews at the turn of the sixteenth century and their dispersion mainly to the Muslim world.10 The second historical context of the term Mizrahi/m relates to the cultural differences between the first waves of Zionist immigration, predominantly of Eastern European, Ashkenazi communities, and the latter waves of immigration, which arrived mostly from Arab and other Muslim countries after State independence in 1948. The former immigrants became the hegemonic group in society, both culturally and politically. Considering themselves the avant-garde of a modern, western, effectively secular Jewish state, they consistently singled out the latter immigrants, who often retained Sephardic and Arab traditions, as different, no longer in terms of their Jewish religious heritage but more broadly in terms of their non-western mentality. This differentiation based on racial-ethnic cleavages should be seen in the wider context of orientalism, whereby Ashkenazi Jewry adopted deep-rooted European distinctions between East and West, evaluating Mizrahim according to their potential assimilation to the westernization identity project or lack thereof, and against the backdrop of their perceived Arabness.11

Mizrahi Music in Israeli Media Historically, Israel’s political culture is nested in a socialist-collectivist background, leading to a highly centralized and regulative structure in a variety of spheres, from economy to academia to the arts, all of which were the subject of institutionalized governmental involvement.12 A similar situation prevailed in Israeli electronic media, where radio was a central medium for disseminating popular music and defining cultural representation. Modelled after the BBC radio as a State apparatus committed to nation-building, the State-run network Kol Israel and the military radio Galei Tzahal held a formative role in promoting a homogeneous national culture, shaped by the values and preferences of the hegemonic group in society, secular Jews of Ashkenazi (European) descent.13 The dominant musical genre was Shirei Eretz Israel (Songs of the Land of Israel), a folk tradition established by the first waves of Ashkenazi settlers and emulating Russian and Yiddish melodies, Romantic classical music and French chanson. During the 1970s, major Israeli artists began to incorporate elements of pop-rock music in their Hebrew repertoire, influenced primarily by American folk-rock and British pop. The folkish accordion arrangements

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of Shirei Eretz Israel songs switched to electric guitars and the lyrics shifted from a collectivistic-heroic rhetoric to an individualized tone committed to self-expression. The dissemination of the new musical expression benefited from shared conventions and social networks among local artists, record producers and radio gatekeepers. Gradually, these normative isomorphic pressures led to the adoption of pop-rock music as the dominant genre of Israeli music.14 The same normative pressures were at play in filtering out artists and producers of Mizrahi music. Not fully socialized into the Ashkenazi hegemonic culture, they lacked the social networks to access the established popular music industry and State media institutions. As a popular, commercial genre, Mizrahi music consolidated in the 1970s. The variety of Middle Eastern musical traditions ranging from Yemen, Iran, Caucasus and Iraq through Greece and Turkey to Egypt and Morocco underwent processes of standardization and commercialization, combining the traditional Arab musical instruments such as the oud (guitar-like stringed instrument) and the qanoun (harp-like instrument played on the lap) with electric instruments and a rhythm section. Until then, Mizrahi music circulated among diverse Mizrahi audiences mostly outside the public eye in local coffee houses, clubs and family events. In addition, some elements, particularly of the Yemenite style, were incorporated as authentic ‘orientalist’ ornamentation in the music of Ashkenazi composers associated with Shirei Eretz Israel as early as the 1920s.15 The Mizrahi genre made its commercial debut in the market stalls of Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. The proliferation of low-budget Mizrahi music recordings and productions on audio cassette tapes (called in Israel ‘White Cassettes’), invented only a decade earlier, enabled artists to circumvent the established record industry.16 The lyrics typically dealt with romantic love, family relations or Jewish religious themes. The singing was mainly in Hebrew although some artists interwove Arabic dialects. Markers of Arabness were also manifest in their Arabic-Jewish accent and in the ‘trilling’, a stylized wavering of the voice that invokes the quarter tonality characteristic of Arab music scales. The new ‘Cassette Music’ was associated not only with Mizrahi ethnicity but also with low-class culture, and was considered as lacking in artistic value.17 Whereas the commercial Mizrahi music market reflects cultural production by the Mizrahi minority and for its own benefit, the State media and established producers made several initiatives throughout the years at making Mizrahi music for the minority, such as the annual Oriental Song Festival, in order to raise its artistic standards and integrate the various social groups under the umbrella of the hegemonic musical culture.18

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Privatization Reforms in Israeli Radio In the 1990s, following global neo-liberal pressures and a gradual shift in the local political culture towards a free market economy, the government promoted an ‘open air’ policy in the electronic media through decentralization and privatization reforms, accompanied by a rhetoric of globalization.19 Since 1995, seventeen privately owned regional radio stations have been established. Stations were chartered primarily based on geographical distribution. The Second Authority for Television and Radio sanctioned the new stations to cater for specialized interests and distinctive needs of the local communities in the designated geographical regions. In practice, only five stations cater to distinctively differentiated audiences, such as the Palestinian minority of northern Israel, Jewish Orthodox audiences and the sizeable Russian immigrant population. All other regional stations have followed the military and State networks in targeting a relatively homogeneous secular-Jewish audience. The continual disregard for marginalized subgroups by both the public networks and the new regional stations has resulted in a proliferation of pirate radio stations, particularly among the Arab and Jewish ultra-Orthodox communities.20 In terms of musical repertoire, despite the dramatic increase in radio stations, the field consolidated around a limited choice of pop-rock genres varying mainly in the choice of balance between English and Hebrew lyrics. As found in the US market, media privatization or deregulation reforms have led to increased homogenization in the field.21 Private regional stations and public stations alike faced institutional pressures to address the logic of commercialization. However, the Israeli field has not become as standardized as is common in the US radio market. Indeed, the only radio to adopt a fully standardized organizational model was the State-funded military radio, Galei Tzahal. Fearing budget cuts from the Ministry of Defense, in 1993 the military radio founded a daughterstation, Galgalatz, specializing in non-stop pop music combined with traffic updates. It was the first radio in the country to specialize in traffic reports, and provided the military with extra funding from the Ministry of Transport. In 1996, anticipating competition from the new commercialregional actors, the new station made a strategic decision to adopt the structure of format radio that is common in the US radio field. Specifically, it imported a pop-rock music format of easy listening termed Adult Contemporary (AC), the most successful format in the US next to country music.22 AC format is aimed at the 25–49 age range, the preferred demographic group among advertisers; its repertoire spans two or three decades and is taken predominantly from the soft-rock genre. Galgalatz

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adapted its AC repertoire to include a slightly larger portion of contemporary hits to cater for the younger soldier and teenager audience and supplemented the Anglo-American repertoire with a share of Israeli songs with a similar soft-rock sound. Moreover, as a government-funded station prohibited by law from broadcasting commercials, 23 Galgalatz could offer its audience practically non-stop music, a doubly successful formula, which could not be mimicked by the commercial-regional stations that earn their revenue from a heavy load of nine to twelve minutes of commercials per hour. Thus, within a decade, Galgalatz became the most listened-to station in Israel and a key player in the Israeli music industry.24

The Rise of Light Mizrahi Music At first, most of new commercial-regional stations followed the historical normative pressures in the field and refrained from playing many Mizrahi artists. This was reinforced by new mimetic pressures to follow the commercial logic of Galgalatz and avoid music that disagrees with the logic of the AC format. A discussion of Galgalatz and Mizrahi music in an Internet forum reveals the logic involved. Listeners complained about the ‘deterioration of Galgalatz’ after the station added the song ‘Confuse Him’ by Mizrahi singer Kobi Peretz to its playlist. In support of their complaint, a music critic explained that Mizrahi music of the more hardcore variety is perceived to have ‘rough edges’ that disagree with AC format and could potentially ‘annoy people’.25 It seems that the song ‘Confuse Him’ momentarily confused Galgalatz gatekeepers, who routinely applied the logic of AC to exclude hardcore Mizrahi music. Meanwhile, many of these artists discovered another newly emerging market with fewer gatekeepers – that of music ringtones for mobile phones, where they soon reached dramatic levels of popularity. Recent estimates are that Mizrahi music ringtones account for over a third of all download activity from the Israeli cellular market.26 This commercial potential was not lost on the new stations, particularly those situated in peripheral regions with a relatively high percentage of Mizrahi listeners. However, reaching out to this potential market required institutional adaptations. This was accomplished by introducing a subgenre of the Mizrahi style, commonly referred to by actors in the field as ‘light Mizrahi music’, which gradually extended its appeal in the field. In the face of public reactions against airing songs with Arabic lyrics and heavy trilling and in compliance with the logic of the AC format, ‘light’ Mizrahi singers kept Arabic phrases to a minimum and maintained a delicate balance between a pop-style standardization of the vocals and a gentle but still clearly audible trilling.

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The emergence and legitimization of the ‘light’ Mizrahi style can be best illustrated in the case of the regional station Lev Hamedina (Heart of the Country) which became a key player in promoting Mizrahi artists. It was the first station to make a strategic decision, back in 1997, to play only Israeli music, balancing between a declared Mizrahi specialization and a broader mainstream appeal. Lev Hamedina music director explained how he developed a musical schedule that implicitly distinguished between two forms of Mizrahi styles: a ‘light, gentle’ style that could appeal to the mainstream audience on prime-time listening, such as during the morning rush-hour, and a ‘hardcore’ Mizrahi variety that is channelled to evening programs. The director further gave an example of the aforementioned hit ‘Confuse Him’ by Kobi Peretz: ‘It’s a song that I won’t play at 8 in the morning ... at 8am it’s a bit heavy.’ Instead, he noted a list of other, ‘more gentle’ Mizrahi artists ‘that are more relaxed or pleasant for morning drive-time.’ Songs that belonged to the hardcore variety are played in a specialist daily show that is ‘hardly committed to the playlist ... offering hot releases as well as classics in the genre.’ The institutional pressures to compete with mainstream stations such as Galgalatz during prime-time listening still afforded a wide space for interpretation as to how to juxtapose Israeli songs of various genres and periods according to the logic of the standardized AC format. This challenge called for a particularly creative solution with regards to Lev Hamedina’s specialization in the Mizrahi genre. The station had to come up with new aesthetic rules in order to advance a watered-down version of Mizrahi songs – in which salient markers of Arab music and vocalization had been diluted – which could then be smoothly integrated in standardized playlists next to contemporary and older hits from the other mainstream Israeli genres, poprock and Shirei Eretz Israel. In this sense, light Mizrahi music revealed a stylistic flexibility. Its packaging and musical arrangements followed standardized pop harmonies and rhythms. At the same time, its rich melodic lines shared much in common with traditional Shirei Eretz Israel. This stylistic flexibility facilitated the consumption of Mizrahi music in other public venues, beyond radio playlists. It is evident in the repertoire played by DJs at festive social events, particularly weddings, a repertoire which increasingly rotates between Mizrahi and pop-rock hits. The fusion of light Mizrahi and more established genres is also evident in the revival of traditional singalong gatherings.27 Although commercialization is more readily associated with pressures on peripheral actors to mimic the success stories of dominant actors in the field, such as the Galgalatz playlist, commercialization pressures may also operate in the other direction. Thus, even Galgalatz was eventually compelled to

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compete with Lev Hamedina and other regional stations by increasingly including songs of the more watered-down Mizrahi variety in their popular playlist. Thus, by 2009, light Mizrahi songs formed half of the top twenty entries in the Chart of the Decade produced by Galei Tzahal and television music Channel 24. Mizrahi artists Eyal Golan and Sarit Hadad were chosen by the audience as best male and female singers of the decade. Within a few months, the general media declared the birth of ‘Mediterranean pop’, pronounced as the new mainstream Israeli genre.28 In the next sections I examine the cultural processes associated with this transformation in the mediation of Mizrahi music.

The Multicultural Dilemma In recent decades Israel’s foundational ethos as a homogenizing ‘melting pot’ society has partially given way to a multicultural approach, one that recognizes minority groups and legitimizes cultural differences based on categories such as ethnicity, religion or immigrant subcultures.29 As opposed to a classic liberal discourse that is blind to differences based on group identity and denies the right of minority groups to public recognition, the multicultural liberal discourse encourages minorities to express their unique identity and obtain public recognition as such.30 This recognition may even enable minorities to gain public resources based on their perceived uniqueness. However, such labelling may also function as a means to segregate the minority group from wider social resources that are open to non-labelled individuals. In this sense, minority groups which retain or demand a unique identity often remain subordinated to the surrounding hegemonic culture.31 Along these lines, scholars of Israeli society have suggested that the hegemonic values of secular Jewish Ashkenazi culture have remained intact alongside the recognition of differentiated subcultures.32 Consequently, when individuals pursue their sense of belonging to a minority group, this may impede their chances for self-realization and success in the context of the wider society.33 The growing legitimacy of multicultural liberal discourse in Israel may explain why Mediterranean pop artists sought to preserve markers of Mizrahi ethnicity in their music, in contrast to Mizrahi artists of previous decades who, in order to succeed with the general public, avoided the Mizrahi style altogether and preferred to perform in the Shirei Eretz Israel and pop-rock genres instead. However, according to the aforementioned predictions, by subscribing to this multicultural discourse and emphasizing their ethnic identity, Mediterranean pop artists would merely replicate their position as niche singers. Labelling and branding their music as Mediterranean could

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gain them public recognition and material resources, but was not likely to influence and reshape the wider national culture, which is what actually happened. In order to make sense of this accomplishment we must further examine the question of multiculturalism from the angle of institutional and national legitimacy, focusing on the processes of branding and market positioning that Mizrahi music has undergone in past decades.

Mediterranean Displacements: Arab Music Recast as Turkish Music Recast as Greek Music There is nothing unique about the way Israeli Mediterranean pop merges western pop arrangements and popular Arabic styles. Very similar syntheses can be found throughout the region, such as Arab-Turkish pop. Moreover, the same institutional constraints that led first to the marginalization and then the consolidation of Mizrahi music can be found in Arabesk music in Turkey. Arabesk is a commercial synthesis of Arab folk music, Egyptian popular music and Ottoman classical music. It emerged in the 1960s and 1970s as labour migrants from south-east Turkey settled in the country’s urban areas in the west and became exposed to Egyptian radio and film music, providing them with a new language to commercialize their folk traditions. During the secular Kemalist era, Turkish State radio promoted purist European-like music forms and officially banned this hybrid Arab style. But, in the 1990s, privatization reforms created mimetic pressures between commercial and State actors and legitimized the inclusion of commercial forms of Arabesk. By the mid-2000s it had gradually fused with the previously separate genre of Turkish pop to become the new authentic representation of Turkishness. Moreover, this Arab-Turkish pop synthesis seems to have become one of the generic representations of so-called ‘Eastern music’ on international stages, such as in the Eurovision contest.34 The Turkish processes of legitimizing popular Arab music preceded the Israeli case and partly affected it. Although only a small portion of Mizrahi artists are of Turkish descent, since the beginning of the 1980s, many of the younger-generation singers have been exposed to Arabesk music and began to incorporate Turkish melodies in their repertoire. The melting pot of Arabesk music provided these singers with an alternate space in which to work, in the face of a controlling apparatus of the more established Mizrahi producers and composers, who were, until then, working mainly in the Yemenite style.35 In this vein, many of the leading performers of contemporary Israeli Mediterranean pop, such as Kobi Peretz and Best Singer of the Decade Sarit Hadad, specialized in Turkish Arabesk music at earlier stages in their careers, often importing songs directly from the source and merely

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substituting Hebrew lyrics for the original ones.36 However, in Israeli popular discourse, these artists are rarely identified with Turkish music nor with their Arabesk inspiration. In an Internet search conducted in 2010 on Hebrew web pages referring to the new Mediterranean style, the term Arabesk appeared very sparsely and only in direct conjunction with Turkish singers, not with the related Israeli singers. This collective amnesia becomes especially conspicuous when compared with an opposite trend in the local adoption of Greek music. Mizrahi artists who pursued Greek music were immediately identified as such and were the first to gain access to mainstream venues and radio playlists.37 The privilege of naming its origins was offered only to Greek music, possibly because it is the only non-Islamic tradition incorporated into Israeli Mediterranean pop. These preferences are epitomized by the very term ‘Mediterranean music’ coined by the media for the new subgenre, deliberately replacing the former vernacular term ‘Mizrahi music’. The framing of Mizrahi culture as a question of Mediterranean identity was introduced in highbrow debates among intellectuals and social activists a few years earlier.38 Yet once this reframing appeared in public discourse, it conveniently shifted Arab MiddleEastern soundscape into a more western-oriented and partly European Mediterranean landscape, echoing the broader, historical westernization project underlying Zionist culture.

Nationalizing Ethnicity as a Case of Institutionalized Erasure The incorporation and consolidation of Mizrahi music from Arab, Turkish and other sources reflects the ongoing ‘translation’ of exogenous models. Recent theorizing in organizational research known as ‘translation studies’ attends to the way organizational models move across borders, underscoring how local actors transform the imported models rather than simply receiving or rejecting them. Such translation may entail mediation, displacement and even reinvention.39 However, when it comes to the cooptation of cultural models, processes of national translation may play out as systematic mechanisms of institutionalized erasures, in an attempt to engender a sense of authenticity and national uniqueness.40 Theories of nationalism went to great lengths to explain how a sense of authenticity develops along the historical, ‘vertical’ axis of cultural appropriation in terms of a collective past, reproduced by rituals of commemoration or invented traditions.41 Much less has been said about the ways in which authenticity is continuously developed along the ‘horizontal’ axis, whereby exogenous models travel across borders and acquire a sense of national uniqueness in the target societies.

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The establishment of Shirei Eretz Israel as the national Israeli genre back in the mid-twentieth century can serve as a prototype exemplar for such erasure. Although these songs borrowed aesthetic elements from eastern and central European folk and classical music, they were perceived as an authentic manifestation of the new State and its Zionist ideology. The Hebrew lyrics conveyed explicit national themes celebrating the old-new homeland, agricultural settlement and military prowess.42 Similar to the Turkish case during the secular Kemalist era, this type of translation reflects an attempt to essentialize the national culture by a stance of purism. In order to preserve a sense of authenticity, external origins of the adopted model are concealed and its markers are reinvented as local. Some might consider the emergence of light Mizrahi or Mediterranean soundscape as an alternative to purist national identity, an attempt to make space for hybrid and even cosmopolitan identity.43 In this spirit one can, for example, interpret the following explanation by artist Kobi Oz for the choice of name for his ethnic pop band Tippex:44 My favorite explanation for our name is that Tippex is meant to erase differences between styles. Our music dwells on the bridge between different colors, our artistic lives in the passageway between tastes; wherever there is a boundary we erase it and create a new space … we integrate elements that we loved in other cultures: Jewish humor, hiphop protest, Mizrahi melody, classical harmony, Hebrew accordion, the power of rock, the structures of pop music.45 However, the present neo-institutional analysis suggests an alternative interpretation for the importance that actors in the organizational field – from artists and producers to broadcasters and journalists – assign to this blurring of genres and cultural boundaries. For instance, when the music editor of Radio Haifa, interviewed for this study, wanted to illustrate the accomplishment of new Mediterranean artists in appearing on radio mainstream playlists alongside foreign songs, he said: ‘Sarit Hadad is no longer really Mizrahi, she’s as Latin as Ricky Martin.’ A similar stance emerges from contemporary media articles that reviewed Kobi Peretz, the first musician to ‘conquer’ Israel’s largest indoors performance venue, Nokia basketball arena in Tel-Aviv. Against the backdrop of the structural constraints that formerly excluded his music with ‘rough edges’ from mainstream AC playlists, it was important for Peretz to declare in front of his large audience, ‘You are the only playlist that decides!’ At the same time, Peretz – like Sarit Hadad and Eyal Golan before him – underwent a process of rebranding. One article distinguished him from outdated, hardcore Mizrahi music and

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enthusiastically described his music as ‘somewhat kitschy but wellperformed pop-rock ballads par excellence, reminiscent of the great ballads of top-quality European singers, from the Spanish Julio Iglesias to the German Scorpions’.46 When Mediterranean culture extends to the verges of Germany, we can see how light Mizrahi music is enjoying not only stylistic flexibility, which renders it a good fit for local commercial playlists, but also branding flexibility. Its correspondence with global models of commercial music does not necessarily imply an attempt to celebrate a cosmopolitan identity. Rather, it implies a quest for legitimacy in the local context. Recasting an overly threatening Arab-Muslim soundscape associated with the national enemy as Mediterranean and smoothing some of its rough edges was the only way that marginalized Mizrahi artists could achieve legitimacy, not as the ‘ethnic other’ but as bearers of the national culture. In this vein, the rise of Sarit Hadad to glory, recast as the Israeli equivalent of Latin star Ricky Martin, encapsulates a long and complex process of legitimization, whereby the female singer of Caucasian Mountain descent, who began her singing career in the Yemenite sub-style and then specialized in Turkish Arabesk, went on to collaborate with artist and producer Kobi Oz, until finally establishing herself as the queen of Israeli Mediterranean pop.

Discussion Regev has underscored the easy flow of pop-rock music across borders and its predisposition to the effects of global standardization and commercialization. Relative to the indigenous musical traditions of most nations, pop-rock music requires abstract and sophisticated technologies of expression – electric, manipulated and recorded sound.47 Although light Mizrahi music and the associated label of ‘Israeli Mediterranean pop’ are similarly a by-product of globally induced pressures toward commercialization and standardization, it became a meaningful vehicle for solidifying a new music genre perceived to be nationally unique. Acknowledging the hybridity of Mizrahi music and at the same time incorporating it into mainstream playlists required a complex process of legitimization through various displacements of its Arab-Muslim origins, which represent the national enemy. Given its high stylistic flexibility, light Mizrahi music provided a temporary blurring between the distinct genres of Israeli popular music and led to their partial fusion. It provided a sense of togetherness, both in radio playlists and in public activities, from weddings and singalong gatherings to rush-hour traffic jams, times of commemoration and terror attacks.48

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I addressed three distinct organizational and cultural processes underlying this transformation in the mediation of Mizrahi music: commercialization and privatization in the media field, the discourse of liberal multiculturalism, and the national appropriation of exogenous cultural models. Although these trends are often considered as contradicting one another, the study has shown how they may operate jointly in marketing and ‘nationalizing’ a previously marginalized ethnic subculture. First, privatization reforms in the electronic media reinforced the motivation of media actors to maximize profits by reaching out to large audiences who were hitherto neglected. Commercial radio stations could not afford to give up on the big money that Mizrahi music made in the wedding industry and the cellular market. As the monopoly of the State and military radio dissolved, normative pressures to exclude Mizrahi artists gave way to mimetic pressures to include them in mainstream programming and stations once they demonstrated popularity and stylistic compatibility with playlist considerations. Paradoxically, this recognition of Mizrahi music was made possible not because of greater diversification in the field, but because of the growing pressures toward standardization and homogenization. Second, the fact that light Mizrahi artists maintained certain hybrid elements in their music and preserved mild markers of Arabness reflects not a cosmopolitan consciousness but rather the growing importance of multiculturalism as a vehicle for internal identity politics in Israeli public culture. Israel adopted a selective model of multiculturalism, as part of its self-image as a liberal and pluralistic society and as means to control and keep in check some of its inner cleavages.49 In this regard, expressing some form of ethnic uniqueness has become a prerequisite for gaining public recognition. Whereas some scholars have suggested that the hybridity of Mizrahi music served to produce a ‘third space’ in between the national hegemonic culture and the ethnic subculture of the marginalized minority,50 the present case suggests that multiculturalism is better understood as a form of packaging and strategic market positioning rather than a novel consciousness or a challenge to hegemonic national culture. Finally, the neo-institutional approach demonstrates how national identification is a crucial factor for mediating between commercial considerations and the multicultural context. Commercial success is meaningless without institutional legitimacy, and, at least in the Israeli context, such legitimacy rests on the production of national meanings. The new Mediterranean soundscape does not offer a third way between hegemony and minority, the local and the global, but rather corresponds to the old and familiar expanse of Israeli nationalism that simply underwent a wave of stylistic revitalization. In this manner, Mediterranean pop artists did not merely reproduce their

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marginalized position as ‘the ethnic other’, but also paved their own way to the national pantheon. Two broader conclusions emerge from this study. The first is that even in a multicultural era, national cultures still rest on the partial erasure of foreign sources of influence. The second is that commercial actors may assume a central role in producing national meanings as a way of establishing legitimacy, no less so than State actors.51

Notes 1. N. Kohavi, ‘Mediterranean Pop: No Longer a Niche’, Achbar Hair Online, 30 September 2009, www.mouse.co.il/CM.articles_item,1021,209,43742,.aspx (Hebrew). 2. M. Regev, ‘To Have a Culture of Our Own: On Israeliness and its Variants’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 23, 2 (2000), pp.223–47. 3. A. Horowitz, ‘Israeli Mediterranean Music: Straddling Disputed Territories’, Journal of American Folklore, 112, 445 (1999), pp.450–63; B. Shimoni, ‘Ethnic Demonstration and Cultural Representation: From Multiculturalism to Cultural Hybridization, the Case of Mizrahi-Sabras in Israel’, Hagar, 7, 2 (2007), pp.13–34; G. Saada-Ophir, ‘Borderland Pop: Arab Jewish Musicians and the Politics of Performance’, Cultural Anthropology, 21, 2 (2006), pp.205–33. For a study of hybrid identities in Israeli media, see H. Adoni, D. Caspi and A.A. Cohen, Media, Minorities, and Hybrid Identities: The Arab and Russian Communities in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006). 4. N. Leon and U Cohen, ‘The New Mizrahi Middle Class: Ethnic Mobility and Class Integration in Israel’, Journal of Israeli History, 27 (2008), pp.51–64. 5. D. Kaplan,‘Institutionalized Erasures: How Global Structures Acquire National Meanings in Israeli Popular Music’, Poetics, 40 (2012), pp.217–36. 6. D. Kaplan, ‘The Songs of the Siren: Engineering National Time on Israeli Radio’, Cultural Anthropology, 24, 2 (2009), pp.313–45. 7. Fieldwork and interviews were conducted with the assistance of Orit Hirsh and Noa Bergman. All source material was translated from Hebrew. 8. P.J. DiMaggio and W.W. Powell, ‘The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields’, American Sociological Review, 48 (1983), pp.147–60. 9. M. Cohen, ‘The Origins of Sephardic Jewry in the Medieval Arab world’, in Z. Zohar (ed.), Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry: From the Golden Age of Spain to Modern Times (New York: New York University Press, 2005), p.23. 10. Z. Zohar,‘A Global Perspective on Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry’, in Zohar (ed.), Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry, pp.3–22. 11. A. Khazzoom, ‘The Great Chain of Orientalism: Jewish Identity, Stigma Management, and Ethnic Exclusion in Israel’, American Sociological Review, 68, 4 (2003), pp.481–510. 12. I. Ben-Ami, ‘Government Involvement in the Arts in Israel: Challenging the Existing Theoretical Models’, paper presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Israel Studies, Banff, Canada, 2006. 13. T. Liebes, ‘Acoustic Space: The Role of Radio in Israeli Collective History’, Jewish History, 20 (2006), pp.69–90; R. Man and T. Gon-Gross, Galei Tsahal: Medabrim Meha-she a [Galey-Zahal on the scene] (Tel Aviv: Yedi ot A aronot, 2002) (Hebrew); D. Caspi and Y. Limor, The In/Outsiders: Mass Media in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999).

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14. See Regev, ‘To Have a Culture of Our Own’; O. Almog, Farewell to ‘Srulik’: Changing Values Among the Israeli Elite (Haifa: Haifa University and Zemora-Bitan, 2004), p.666 (Hebrew). 15. Y. Goldenberg, ‘Links and Differences between Shirei Eretz Israel Repertoire and the New Mizrahi Repertoire’, Igud: Selected Articles in Jewish Studies, vol. 3 (Jerusalem: World Association of Jewish Studies, 2008), pp.315–31; J. Hirshberg, Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine 1880–1948: A Social History (Oxford University Press, 1996); M. Regev and E. Seroussi, Popular Music and National Culture in Israel (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004), pp.196–200. 16. A. Horowitz, ‘Performance in Disputed Territory: Israeli Mediterranean Music’, Musical Performance, 1, 3 (1997), pp.43–53. 17. Against this trend, there have been various attempts in recent decades at high-culture, artistic musical projects based on classical Arab and Sephardi musical traditions, such as the Andalusian Orchestra. See V. Wasserman, ‘Climbing Up the Cultural Hierarchy: The Artistic Mizrahi Music’, lecture presented at Forum for Study of Culture, Sapir Academic College, Sderot, 10 March 2009, http://college.sapir.ac.il/sapir/culture_forum/kenes03/ articles03/06hige_culture.pdf (Hebrew - not longer available); M. Aharon-Gutman,‘“Put Your Hands Together for the Israel Andalusian Orchestra!” Toward a Criticism of Multiculturalism in Israel’, Alpayim, 33 (2008), pp.72–102 (Hebrew). 18. Regev and Seroussi, Popular Music and National Culture, p.123; for a theoretical discussion of media for versus media by minorities, see D. Caspi and N. Elias, ‘Don’t Patronize Me: Media-by and Media-for Minorities’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34, 1 (2011), pp.62–82. 19. D. Shinar and M. Moshe, ‘Proliferation of Channels and Privatization of Broadcasting in Israel: Rhetoric and Reality’, in D. Caspi (ed.), Communications and Democracy in Israel (Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute, 1997), pp.71–96 (Hebrew). 20. Y. Limor and C. Naveh, Pirate Radio in Israel (Haifa: Pardes, 2008) (Hebrew). . N. Huntemann, ‘The Effects of Telecommunications Reform on US Commercial Radio’, in J. Lewis and T. Miller (eds), Critical Cultural Policy Studies (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), pp.71–9. 21. Format radio refers to a designated music style strategically chosen by a station as part of its market positioning. The format prescribes a preselected list of songs (playlist) played repeatedly according to variable degrees of daily or weekly rotations. Originating in the 1950s in the US, format radio spread to Europe since the 1980s following neoliberal deregulation reforms in local public or State broadcasting systems. See M. Forsman and F. Stiernstedt, ‘The Decoding of a Format: Examples from Music Radio Production in Sweden and Estonia’, Recherches en communication, 26 (2006), pp.45–61. 22. The military station is allowed to air short sponsorship messages and ‘service broadcasts’. See ‘The Law that will Enable Advertizing in Galei Tzahal’, www.shituf.gov.il/discussion/ 674 (Hebrew). 23. S. Lahav, Play List: The Way Galgalatz Changed the Israeli Music (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2009) (Hebrew). To date, the station still tops the rating charts with 27.4 per cent listening rates. See D. Avraham, ‘TGI Survey: Rise in Kol Yisrael: Slight Decline in Galei Tzahal’, Walla, 28 January 2013, http://b.walla.co.il/?w=/3051/2611261 (Hebrew). 24. Nana Radio Forum, ‘Galgalatz is Slowly Deteriorating’, 2003, http://forums.nana10. co.il/Forum_2020/8/1/2307918.html (Hebrew). 25. Y. Saar, ‘How Come all the Kids Brought Mediterranean Music to their Homes?’ Ha’aretz, 16 April 2010, www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/spages/1163289.html (Hebrew).

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26. Close-knit group singing, particularly in the Kibbutz communities, served as a breeding ground for the early Shirei Eretz Israel genre. Regev, ‘To Have a Culture of Our Own’. 27. Kohavi, ‘Mediterranean Pop’. 28. E. Ben-Refael, ‘Israel: From Pluralism to Multiculturalism’, Social Issues in Israel, 6 (2008), pp.94–120 (Hebrew). 29. C. Taylor, Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994). 30. Aharon-Gutman, ‘“Put Your Hands Together”’. 31. M. Aharon-Gutman, ‘The Iron Cage of Israeli Ethnicity’, Sociologya Israelit, 12, 1 (2010), pp.181–210 (Hebrew); Y. Yonah and Y. Shenhav, What is Multiculturalism? On the Politics of Difference in Israel (Tel Aviv: Babel, 2005) (Hebrew). 32. M. Aharoni and A. Preminger, ‘Late Insight: Ideological and Multicultural Conflict in the Film “A Late Wedding”’, Social Issues in Israel, 7 (2009), pp.214–43 (Hebrew); Y. Kupper and D. Kaplan, ‘When the Private Meets the Public: The Politics of Recognition in an LGBT Organization for Education and Social Change’, Sociologya Israelit, 12, 1 (2010), pp.159–80 (Hebrew). 33. E. Algan, ‘Privatization of Radio and Media Hegemony in Turkey’, in L. Artz and Y.R. Kamalipour (eds), The Globalization of Corporate Media Hegemony (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003), pp.169–92; C. Baker, ‘Wild Dances and Dying Wolves: Simulation, Essentialization, and National Identity at the Eurovision Song Contest’, Popular Communication, 6, 3 (2008), pp.173–189; M. Stokes, ‘Islam, the Turkish State and Arabesk’, Popular Music, 11, 2 (1992), pp.213–27. 34. Saada-Ophir, ‘Borderland Pop.’ 35. See also Regev and Seroussi, Popular Music and National Culture, pp.233–5. 36. See also Y. Goldenberg, ‘The Complex of Identities of Balkan Influences on Israeli Art and Popular Music’, paper presented at the 15th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, http://jewish-studies.org/imgs/uploads/proceedings/goldenberg.doc. 37. A. Nocke, ‘Israel and the Emergence of Mediterranean Identity: Expressions of Locality in Music and Literature’, Israel Studies, 11, 1 (2006), pp.143–73. 38. B. Czarniawska and G. Sevón (eds), Translating Organizational Change (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1996). 39. Kaplan, ‘Institutionalized Erasures’. 40. A. Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1991); E.J. Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982). 41. Regev, ‘To Have a Culture of Our Own.’ 42. Regev coined the term ‘aesthetic cosmopolitanism’ to connote cultural consumerism in late modernity, typified by the case of global rock. It is characterized by a hybrid identity situated within local-national boundaries, but which consciously consumes aesthetic styles from global culture. See M. Regev, ‘Cultural Uniqueness and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism’, European Journal of Social Theory, 10, 1 (2007), pp.123–38. 43. The distinction between light Mizrahi style and ethnic pop or rock is that the former refers to artists working within the Mizrahi genre who tried to attain a mainstream appeal without sacrificing the genre’s core musical aesthetics, whereas the latter refers to artists based in the pop-rock aesthetics who consciously integrate non-western elements in their work, whether to tap into their ethnic roots or as part of the ‘world music’ genre. See also Regev and Seroussi, Popular Music and National Culture, p.186. Prominent ethnic pop/rock artists include Yehuda Poliker, Ehud Banai, Ofra Haza, Ahinoam Nini (Noa),

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44.

45.

46.

47. 48. .

49.

50.

51.

Idan Raichel and Moosh Ben Ari. Notable bands are Ethnix and Tippex. By virtue of their grounding in the local pop industry, on the one hand, and their productive collaboration with Mizrahi artists on the other, artists like Kobi Oz served as catalysts for light Mizrahi music. K. Oz,‘Addicted to Multiplicity,’ Eretz Aheret, 31 (2005), http://acheret.co.il/?cmd=articles. 139&act=read&id=486 (Hebrew). Regardless of this explanation, for its English incarnation the band chose a different spelling, ‘Tea-Packs’. B. Shalev, ‘Kobi Peretz Conquered Nokia Arena’, Achbar Hair Online, 4 February 2012, www.mouse.co.il/CM.articles_item,405,209,45409,.aspx (Hebrew); A. Nevo, ‘Unbelievable’, Mako Music, 9 February 2011, www.mako.co.il/music-Magazine/reviews/ Article-918786a3712b621006.htm (Hebrew). M. Regev, ‘Pop-Rock Music as Expressive Isomorphism: Blurring the National, the Exotic and the Cosmopolitan in Popular Music’, American Behavioral Scientist, 55 (2011), pp.558–73. Kaplan, ‘Songs of the Siren’, p.330. Yona and Shenhav, What is Multiculturalism? H. Hever, ‘We Have not Arrived from the Sea: Towards Literary Mizrahi Geography’, Teoria Ubikoret, 16 (Spring 2000), pp.188–89 (Hebrew); Shimoni,‘Ethnic Demonstration and Cultural Representation’. For a detailed theoretical and ethnographic exposition of the latter conclusion, see D. Kaplan and O. Hirsh,‘Marketing Nationalism in the Absence of State: Radio Haifa during the 2006 Lebanon War’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 41 (2012), pp.495–525. H. Hever, ‘We Have not Arrived from the Sea: Towards Literary Mizrahi Geography’, Teoria Ubikoret, 16 (Spring 2000), pp.188–9 (Hebrew); Shimoni, ‘Ethnic Demonstration and Cultural Representation’. For a detailed theoretical and ethnographic exposition of the latter conclusion, see D. Kaplan and O. Hirsch, ‘Marketing Nationalism in the Absence of State: Radio Haifa during the 2006 Lebanon War’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 41 (2012), pp.495–525.

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7 ‘I Live as an Alien in the Land; Do not Hide Your Commandments from Me’:1 The Regulation of Broadcast Media for and by the Palestinian-Israeli Minority Amit M. Schejter

Resolution 181 of the United Nations’ General Assembly, enacted on 29 November 1947, established Israel as a ‘Jewish State,’ that was to reside next to an ‘Arab State’ in the former British colony of Palestine. The Israeli Declaration of Independence adopted this construct, promising equal civil rights to the Arab minority that would end up residing within its borders. The Israeli constitutional framework that evolved over the years defined Israel in 1992 as a ‘Jewish-Democratic’ state. Still, while Israeli parliamentary democracy grants all citizens equal rights regardless of their ethnicity, it is indisputable that the Arab citizens of Israel, many of whom have since assumed a ‘Palestinian’ identity, aligned with the yet-to-be-formed Arab state, are economically and socially removed from positions of power in Israeli society and are systematically discriminated against.2 The case of the electronic media institutions established to serve their needs is no exception to this rule. Indeed, the institutional arrangements regarding the establishment and licensing of electronic media aimed at serving Israel’s Palestinian minority reflect the State’s ambivalent relationship with the most prominent minority group among its citizenry. The regulatory history of these media is intertwined with the State’s media history, and they have been a main concern of the State as it progressed in developing its media landscape. This chapter describes the development of electronic media targeting the Palestinian-Israeli population and is organized according to the institutional characteristics of the medium whose history is described: public/governmental broadcasting, commercial terrestrial broadcasting, cable and satellite distribution, and digital terrestrial broadcasting. With regard to each of these media, a critical analysis of the regulatory landscape and its history is

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provided. The concluding section discusses the overarching principles of the State’s approach to electronic media serving or addressing the Palestinian minority.

Public/Governmental Broadcasting The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) was established in 1965. Its establishment through the enactment of the 1965 Broadcasting Authority Law was purportedly designed to create a European-style public service broadcaster following years of government broadcasting; however, the law at the time stipulated that the IBA should provide its broadcasts as a ‘state service’ (Article 2). While IBA’s goals regarding broadcasting content for the Jewish population were detailed and vast, requiring the fledgling broadcaster to air programming that advances the ‘values of Judaism’ and ‘knowledge of life of the Jewish people’ (Article 3(a)(3)), among other goals, the purpose of broadcasting to the Arab population was limited to ‘maintaining broadcasts in the Arabic language for the needs of the Arabic-speaking population and broadcasts to advance understanding and peace with neighbouring states according to the basic aspirations of the state’ (Article 3(c)). A critical textual analysis of this edict reveals that it identifies the Palestinian-Israeli minority as (a) an ‘Arabic-speaking’ population, thus neither a ‘people’ nor even an ethnicity, and (b) a population whose targeted broadcasting is closely associated with broadcasts targeting people in the ‘neighbouring states’, which at the time of legislation were at war with Israel. IBA goals would not be rewritten until 2012; but in 1990, when the Knesset passed the Second Authority for Radio and Television Law establishing commercial television and radio, the passage from the 1965 Broadcasting Authority Law that refers to broadcasting to the ‘Arabic-speaking population’ was copied verbatim, now referring to commercial broadcasting as well. In 2012 the Broadcasting Authority Law underwent a major restructuring. The new law defines IBA for the first time as a ‘public’ rather than a ‘state’ broadcaster (Article 2). It also contains a brand-new list of content obligations. The first of IBA’s goals in the new law is to ‘strengthen and deepen the Zionist identity of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and as a state absorbing Jewish immigrants’ (new Article 3(1)). However, the new law also requires that IBA broadcasts ‘propagate ... values of equality’ (new Article 3(3)),‘reflect all of the components of Israeli society’ (new Article 3(4)), ‘strengthen the values of democracy, pluralism and tolerance’ (new Article 3(12)), and ‘mirror and document the life and culture of the citizens of Israel’ (new Article 3(13)), all new additions that did not appear in the

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original law. The one passage referring to broadcasting in Arabic, which refers to the ‘Arabic-speaking population’ and the broadcasts to the neighbouring states, was once again copied verbatim from the 1965 law (and the Second Authority Law of 1990), with only minor grammatical corrections (new Article 3(11)).

IBA Television The amalgamation of broadcasting in Arabic to the Palestinian-Israeli population and to the ‘neighbouring states’ is a manifestation of IBA’s dual role as both a ‘public’ and a ‘state’ broadcaster. Nowhere has this duality been more apparent as in the development of Israeli television. It was not until 1968 that general television broadcasts3 were launched in Israel.4 These were perceived as a means for both diluting the impact of across-the-border broadcasts from neighbouring Arab countries on both Jews and Palestinian Israelis, and for the advancement of national goals that serve the Jewish majority as well as promoting understanding between the two populations. It should be noted that the decision to initiate television broadcasts followed failed attempts to block the proliferation of television sets through their excessive taxation, as a result of the fear of the impact of external propaganda.5 In 1961, a United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) task force concluded that creating a national/public television service would help achieve the national goal of striking a reasonable balance between paying respect to different ethnic cultures and promoting a unique national identity.6 A European Broadcasting Union (EBU) team stressed in its 1965 report that any decision to establish a television service in Israel could not ignore the existence of a large Arab minority in the country, and recommended launching a simultaneous bilingual service that would allow all viewers to watch the same programmes in the language of their choice.7 The inter-ministerial committee, headed by Shmuel Bendor from the Prime Minister’s Office and appointed to examine ways of implementing the government decision of July 1965 to establish a national television service following these two international expert reports, expressed concern about the Arabic-speaking Jewish population of the State (which it described as the most susceptible to television’s presumed effect), noting that these citizens owned television sets and were watching ‘uninterrupted’ broadcasts from neighbouring countries.8 The committee therefore recommended that the national television service provide fourteen weekly hours of broadcasting in Hebrew and three-and-a-half weekly hours of broadcasting in Arabic to ‘explain’ Israel’s positions in neighbouring countries.

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As it happened, the eventual decision to establish a television service in Israel was taken three months after the June 1967 War, which culminated with the Israeli occupation of territories heavily populated by Palestinians. The decision called for launching ‘emergency broadcasts’ aimed primarily at audiences in the occupied territories and at ‘Arab Israelis’; such broadcasts were to include three hours of Arabic programming and one hour of Hebrew programming daily. Effectively overturning the Bendor committee’s recommendation, this decision has shifted the cultural emphasis of the broadcasts, leading Elihu Katz, the renowned Hebrew University sociologist who was charged with spearheading this effort, to later testify that ‘I did not think that television could by itself cause the Arabs to like Israelis, and I said so.’9

IBA in the 2000s The IBA’s dual public (internal) and state (both internal and external) missions initially emerged in response to the political climate of the 1960s, which Israel perceived as hostile. These objectives were not forsaken, however, in the early 1990s, when the first official reconciliation talks between Israel and the Palestinians were being held and Israel had begun forming relations with other Middle Eastern countries. In 1993, at the government’s behest and financing, the IBA launched a satellite channel charged with broadcasting in Arabic to neighbouring countries (commonly known as ‘Channel 33’). As part of its effort to gain back Hebrew-speaking viewers who had abandoned it in favour of the newly launched commercial Channel 2, the IBA began concomitantly to reduce its Channel 1 terrestrial broadcasts in Arabic. In August 2001, IBA announced plans to launch yet another satellite channel for the purpose of enhancing its Arabic and English broadcasts and compensating for the constant decline in terrestrial broadcasting in Arabic. The government ‘took notice’10 of IBA’s plan, with the Minister of Communications announcing in a press release that the new channel would broadcast in Arabic for twelve hours daily. In June 2002, the IBA indeed launched this satellite channel, but ended up targeting Arabic-speaking viewers in neighbouring countries. The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labor11 notified the Knesset in November 2003 that this new channel, ‘the Middle East Channel’ would provide, for the first time since broadcasting was launched in 1968, around-the-clock broadcasts in Arabic, to fulfil the needs of ‘the Arabic-speaking population’ and thereby enable the cessation of broadcasts in Arabic on IBA’s lone terrestrial channel.12 After the Supreme Court was petitioned in 2003 to force the IBA to continue terrestrial broadcasts in Arabic as part of the commitment to all Israeli viewers,13 the public broadcaster started retransmitting the Middle East Channel over

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terrestrial channels for a limited number of hours a day, since only a small percentage of Israelis were equipped with satellite dishes, but vowed to eventually provide another twenty-four-hour service. The petition was consequently withdrawn, exempting the court from the need to discuss the meaning of the compromise reached. In June 2004, however, the deputy minister announced yet another new policy, this one involving the integration of Channel 33 and the Middle East Channel. The proposed integration, he argued, would allow the two channels to carry more broadcasts in Arabic than ever before, daily from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.14 Eventually, and as recently as the summer of 2012, Channel 33 had become the de facto broadcast in Arabic of the IBA, starting daily at 4 p.m. and continuing until midnight, except on Fridays when broadcasts begin at 10 a.m. Since 2011, and as explicated further on, Channel 33 became part of the digital terrestrial multiplex offered free of charge.

Commercial Over-the-Air Broadcasting The Kubersky Committee was appointed in 1978 by the first Likud-led government – whose election signified a departure from the socialdemocratic values that had defined the State until then, to a more hawkish15 and free-market ideology. The committee was to design a ‘second channel’ and to decide whether it should be launched within IBA or independently. The committee recommended creating a commercially funded television channel that would be separate from the IBA, although it copied virtually verbatim the words used to define the goals of public broadcasting in the Broadcasting Authority Law when referring to the commercial channel’s goals.16 Providing more broadcasting to Palestinian Israelis (at the time, the IBA was providing ninety minutes of daily programming in Arabic on its one and only channel) was not perceived as a prime objective of the commercial channel, although the report did note that the establishment of a second channel might reduce the number of television programmes from neighbouring countries viewed in Israel and, to a certain extent, might also fulfil the ‘political-security related’ need to enhance visibility of Israel’s positions in the region.17

The Launching of Commercial Terrestrial Television Conceived of in 1978, the Second Authority for Radio and Television Law, which regulates commercial broadcasting, was enacted only in 1990. The law repeats verbatim the Broadcasting Authority Law’s requirement that Arabiclanguage programmes be broadcast both to serve the Israeli Arabic-speaking

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population and to promote peace and understanding with neighbouring countries, applying it to the commercial broadcasters as well. Although the law prima facie favours a broadcasting policy that is more open to western culture and less suspicious of foreign cultural influences, reference to broadcasting in Arabic is the only section of the Broadcasting Authority Law that appears verbatim in both the Kubersky report and the Second Authority Law,18 and, as mentioned before, it has also been reintroduced in the 2012 version of the IBA Law. Among the cultural obligations assigned to the commercial broadcasters, the law requires providing ‘adequate expression to the cultural diversity of Israeli society’ (Article 5(b)(6)). The Second Authority for Radio and Television, as the regulator is known, was empowered to require the channel licensees to broadcast programmes in Arabic (Article 61) as well as news (Article 63(c)). Originally, the regulations enacted in 1992 required the broadcasters to allot no less than 2.5 per cent of their total programming time, and in any case no less than thirty minutes a week, to programmes in Arabic. Half of this quota was to be filled with original, local productions. No mention, however, was ever made of news. In 1997, the quota was raised to 8 per cent of the total weekly broadcasting time, with thirty minutes for original programming. In 1999, the quota was raised once more, this time to 18 per cent, reflecting the ratio of Palestinian Israelis in the total population.

The Second Commercial Channel Amendments to the Second Authority Law, enacted in 2000, provided for the establishment of a second commercial terrestrial channel, a move justified in the explanatory memorandum appended to the draft of the bill only by the need to broaden the choice of commercial television programmes available to viewers and to lower the price of advertising. The amendment included an addendum to the law, fixing quotas for different types of programmes and genres, a task previously undertaken by the regulatory body. The law redefined the term ‘local programming’ to include programming in Arabic and in Russian, so long as the majority of those involved in production were Israeli citizens. The addendum to the law set the minimum time allotted to programming in both Arabic and Russian, including programmes with subtitles, at 5 per cent of the total programming time. When a representative of the Knesset Finance Committee presented the law on the Knesset floor, he explained that this provision was meant to ‘protect the Arabic language’,19 although, at the time, the Second Authority regulations required that Arabic programmes be allotted 18 per cent of broadcasting time.

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After this legislation was passed, new regulations were enacted in 2002 (by now, the Likud was in power once more), which redefined ‘the character’ of commercial broadcasts. While the original regulations made no reference to minorities, the new regulations urged the franchise holders to express in their broadcasts ‘the core of Israeli existence’, which was defined as ‘the Jewish-Israeli discourse’, alongside ‘the culture and religious beliefs of the residents of Israel’ and of ‘Jews and Arabs, immigrants and old-timers ... a variety of audiences’. As for the amount of broadcasting, the new regulations reversed the upward trend of previous years, lowering the minimum quota of broadcasting in Arabic to 5 per cent in order to match the law’s addendum. The minimum thirty minutes a week of original programming was maintained and similar requirements were set for Arabic and Russian programming. In 2003, the Knesset intervened again in the content of commercial broadcasts by adding a second addendum to the law, one which stipulates how much commercial television franchisees are required to invest in the production of different genres of programmes they are legally obligated to broadcast. Regarding programming in Arabic and Russian, however, this second addendum merely repeated the first addendum’s requirement that 5 per cent of broadcasting time be allotted to programming in these languages. The Knesset record does not explain why a minimum monetary expenditure was not fixed to the desirable language broadcast as well.

Developments in Commercial Terrestrial Television and Radio In September 2004, the Second Authority published a new tender for a tenyear licence commencing in November 2005 for two franchise holders in Channel 2. While the requirements for the tender were stipulated in the law, the Second Authority formulated its own set of conditions for fulfilling the requirements. These included the production and broadcasting of ‘preferred programs’, defined as ‘programs of knowledge and culture, heritage and Jewish culture’. A requirement for a minimum number of programmes in Arabic dealing with issues relevant to ‘Israeli-Arab society’ was also included, although it is not clear whether this was meant to be part of the ‘preferred programs’ quota that was evaluated at 5 per cent of the total value of the offer. What is clear is that the most important programme category, the ‘elite genre’, which accounted for 20 per cent of the total offering, was not required to include programmes in Arabic or programmes produced and created by Palestinian Israelis. In 2002, the Second Authority also initiated special rules for commercial radio broadcasts in Arabic. Of the twelve commercial radio regions in the country, one was dedicated to broadcasting in Arabic and consisted of two

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non-contiguous geographic regions where the majority of Palestinian Israelis reside. Cross-ownership barriers between newspapers and radio were lifted in order to expand the pool of operators eligible for this licence. In its annual reports, which provide information on how the franchise holders comply with the terms of their licences and other regulations since 1999, the Second Authority reported that the only sanction taken against franchise holders who failed to meet the quota of programming in Arabic in 2002 and 2004 was that they were required to increase the number of hours they broadcast in Arabic the following year. In subsequent years – 2007, 2008 and 2009 – the authority reported that the franchise holders had fulfilled their obligations. In 2006 and 2010, however, the Authority merely stated in its annual report that one of the franchise holders did not fulfil its obligations for programming in Arabic, yet it refrained from noting any sanctions carried out against the non-compliant broadcaster.

Cable and Satellite The Bar-Sela Committee, appointed in 1982, drafted the blueprint for cable policy in Israel, and was of the opinion that Palestinian Israelis deserved special attention, being a ‘large public with a separate linguistic and cultural affinity’.20 It did not, however, recommend specific policies. It merely urged the government to consider ‘special channels or special hours for programming aimed at the Arabic-speaking population in Israel’, that require ‘special supervision’ to ensure they do not ‘slip into discussion of controversial issues for which this medium was not meant’.21 While the committee’s recommendations were arguably at the heart of the amendment introduced into the Telecommunications Law in 1986 (subsequently renamed the Communications Law [Telecommunications and Broadcasting] in 2001), which launched the cable service (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Cable Law’), its specific recommendation regarding the needs of the Palestinian Israeli population was disregarded. On the whole, the Cable Law paid little attention to content, restricting the operators from broadcasting anything but local current affairs and programmes serving the unique needs of each franchise territory/area. The majority of programming, as envisioned by the original law, was to be comprised of the rebroadcast of Israeli terrestrial and foreign satellite channels. The first set of regulations governing the cable industry, enacted by the newly formed Cable Broadcasting Council (CBC) in 1987, however, did include a minimum requirement for broadcasts in Arabic. The regulations stipulated that in a franchise area where the mother tongue of at least one-quarter of the potential subscribers was Arabic, a weekly minimum of four fifteen-minute

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newscasts and one full-length feature film in Arabic should be broadcast. A 1997 amendment to the cable regulations lowered the threshold for the Arabic-language broadcast requirement: under the amendment, the requirement would kick in when at least 20 per cent of the population in a franchise area was Arabic-speaking, rather than the original 25 per cent. In addition, the amendment granted the CBC the discretion to replace the required newscasts and feature films with other programmes that targeted Arabic-speaking subscribers. By 2005, the minimum Arabic programming requirements in densely Arabic-speaking cable franchises were scrapped as well and replaced with a general obligation to broadcast in Arabic.

The ‘Designated’ Channels A provision in the original Cable Law allowed the government to determine the use of one-sixth of the country’s cable capacity. The first channel launched on this platform in 1995 was a shopping channel. However, when the Minister of Communications and the CBC appointed by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s Labor government began contemplating creating an Arabic-language channel in 1995, a petition filed by commercial broadcasters to the Supreme Court initially blocked them. The petitioners feared that the new channel would become a competitor and broadcast in Hebrew as well, and acted to guarantee that its mandate would be limited to broadcasting in Arabic. The government succumbed to the pressure and agreed to define the channel and its goals through legislation before taking any further steps to promote the plan. The ensuing Amendment No. 15 to the Telecommunications Law established a new ‘type’ of cable channel, dubbed the ‘designated channel’. Designated channels were to be identified and licensed as such if they limited their content to a designated topic, identifiable audience, or unique language, culture or heritage. It was decided that the communications minister and the CBC would share the authority to award licences to such channels. In order to alleviate the fears of the commercial terrestrial broadcasters, a minimum of 20 per cent of the programmes on these channels were to be locally produced; all of the programmes and advertisements on those channels designated by a language were to be made accessible to speakers of that language; and half of the programmes on those channels designated by language were to be dubbed or broadcast in that language, including at least half of the programming during prime time. While the Knesset was in the throes of debating the law in 1996, the conservative Likud government elected following the assassination of Rabin established the Peled Committee, which was asked to present recommendations for deregulating the

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broadcasting industry. Although this committee’s recommendations22 focused on deregulation, it provided non-partisan retroactive support for the government’s decision to promote the designated channel plan. In August 1997, the government decided to adopt the committee’s recommendations (even though the law had already passed a few months earlier) and established the Broadcasting Regulation Administration (BRA) to oversee their implementation. While the idea for a channel in Arabic that would serve Palestinian Israelis had been the catalyst and precursor of the process that led to the creation of the designated channels, with the Knesset’s Economics Committee listing it first among the planned designated channels in its July 1998 decision on ‘designations’, the BRA put the Arabic channel last on its list in its request for information from the public regarding the designated channels, published in December of that year.23 What emerged as the first ‘designated language’ channel to be established was a channel in Russian, reflecting the dramatic demographic change that took place in the 1990s, with the massive immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union states. The ‘Designated’ Channel in Arabic: Special Legislation. Amendment No. 24 to the Telecommunication Law, designed to redraw and somewhat liberalize the regulatory landscape of the cable industry, was presented to the Knesset in 1999. The draft included a provision, not explicated in the explanatory memorandum, authorizing the minister of communications to allow a designated channel to be broadcast as an unencrypted satellite channel as well. As the amendment went through the legislative process, this provision was ‘clarified’, and renamed the ‘designated channel in Arabic’ provision. Its final version, as it appears in what became Amendment No. 25 to the law, stipulates that in order to ensure maximum access to the designated channel in Arabic, it should be allowed to broadcast over an unencrypted satellite signal. It also states that within two years of its launch, the channel would pass from the jurisdiction of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council (CSBC)24 to that of the Second Authority, and be regulated as a commercial channel. The Knesset Economics Committee devoted lengthy discussions to this provision, mainly because of objections raised by MKs (Members of Knesset) representing the nationalistic and religious right-wing parties. While initially it appeared that their objections were only procedural, it eventually emerged that they were ideological. Representing the nationalist Herut (‘Liberty’) faction, MK Michael Kleiner said he objected to the proposed channel because the only ‘Arab channel’ (sic) that should exist is a government-owned channel, namely the IBA’s Channel One.25 Kleiner described the proposed privately owned channel as an enemy channel with an ‘official stamp of

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approval’. He argued that since it would have to broadcast ‘what they [the Palestinian-Israelis] want to hear’ in order to survive economically, it would revert to broadcasts serving the enemies of the State. His position was endorsed by MK Yigal Bibi of the National Religious Party, who described the proposed channel as a ‘lifetime license to broadcast propaganda’ without proper supervision. Kleiner later raised similar concerns on the Knesset floor, but to no avail.26 The Designated Channel in Arabic: Implementation. After the blocking of the first tender in the mid-1990s, it was not until January 2003, and only after tenders had been published and licences were awarded for designated news, music and Russian-language channels, that a tender for a designated channel in Arabic was finally published.27 The tender documents described the proposed channel’s character as aimed at covering ‘a wide range of topics and giving appropriate expression to the experience of life in Israel and to the cultural and social experience of the Arabic-speaking public in Israel’. Second, states the tender, is the requirement to ‘provide a stage to the Arab community in Israel in general and to the artists, creators and original creativity of the Arabic-speaking public in the State of Israel in particular’.28 While the goals of the channel stress ‘life in Israel’ before the ‘Arab community’, the types of programming as well are listed in an order that is primarily entertainment-based. Only the seventh type of programming to be included in the new channel (after movies, TV series, ‘practical information’ programmes, culture and entertainment, children’s programmes and sports) is ‘programs dealing with issues on the public agenda in general, and among the Arabic-speaking community in Israel in particular’. The eighth requirement is for the presentation of news; however, these programmes must be produced by an entity ‘licensed by law to produce and broadcast news’, which is limited to the IBA and to the news corporations of the existing commercial channels, in whose boards government representatives have veto power. Indeed, under special circumstances, which remain to be defined, the channel’s licence holder was to be allowed to produce news independently, after receiving appropriate permission from the Council. Ananey Tikshoret, a commercial producer of other cable channels, was the sole competitor and eventually was declared the winner of the tender in June 2004.29 The partnership it headed had no Palestinian or Arab partners, and the programme offering it envisioned was to include mostly entertainment. However, in June 2005, Ananey Tikshoret notified the CSBC that it would not launch the channel, citing the absence of an Arab partner as impeding the establishment of a channel that would be ‘acceptable by the target audience’.30

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In April 2010 the CSBC published yet again a new tender.31 The channel’s goals and the general description of the expectations with regards to its programme offering remained identical to the previous tender, however the monetary requirements from the prospective bidders were lowered significantly. The only proposal this time, presented by Hala TV, a group of eight partners – consisting among others of PANET, the leading website in the Israeli Palestinian community, and Three Sectors, a leading advertising agency in the Palestinian Israeli sector, alongside Reshet, one of the Channel 2 franchises, and Ananey Tikshoret – was awarded the licence in September 2011,32 and started broadcasting in March 2012.33

Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Regulatory attention to digital terrestrial television (DTT) in Israel was delayed relative to other western economies. The first signs of regulatory interest in the adoption of DTT in Israel point to 2002, while the first actual step in the DTT transition took place in 2006 with the cessation of analogue distribution of Channel 2 over satellite, despite consumer groups and some Knesset members arguing that those relying on the satellite signal were mostly disadvantaged households, many from the Palestinian minority.34 Concomitantly, and more forcefully once the government introduced a bill to launch DTT in Israel, the Knesset started debating which channels should be included in the first multiplex offered, which was to be operated by the Second Authority. The government’s plan was to limit the service to existing over-the-air channels and to add to them IBA’s Channel 33 and the Knesset Channel. IBA’s representatives to the Knesset debates described this as an opportunity to provide a terrestrial service in Arabic. Ironically, Channel 33 was the heir of the ‘merger’ of the propaganda-oriented Middle East Channel of the early 2000s with Channel 33, which began as a propaganda channel in the mid-1990s, and with the IBA’s broadcasts in Arabic, which by then had been eliminated from the terrestrial Channel 1. Lawmakers disregarded the fact that the Communications Law had already specified that the ‘designated channel’ would become a freely accessible channel, which meant that it would have been the natural addition to the first multiplex, opting to keep the potential commercial entity out of the offering. Only when the Broadcast Dissemination by Digital Transmitters Law passed, in April 2012, was the legal platform for the inclusion of the designated channel in Arabic (by then a licensed entity conducting experimental broadcasts) finalized.

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Discussion With the launch of Hala TV, the electronic media offering for Israel’s Palestinian minority consisted of a public channel carried over unencrypted satellite and retransmitted over cable, satellite and DTT; a commercially funded channel carried over unencrypted satellite and retransmitted over cable and satellite with a future plan to launch over DTT as well; a public radio station run by IBA; and one regional commercial station in the Galilee. By systematically analysing the legal documentation relevant to a particular issue, it is possible to identify motivations that may be legitimate within a specific social order (at least formally), but whose formal justification obscures their real political importance in serving a dominant ideology,35 as is the case here. Two underlying beliefs have influenced the approach taken by Israeli policymakers in providing the country’s Palestinian citizens with electronic media services: one, that the Palestinians are merely a linguistic minority with linguistic needs, and two, that they are an ‘enemy within’. These characterizations of the minority, which emerge throughout the legal documentation described herein, have created a two-headed policy, both de jure and de facto, which has driven broadcasts aimed at Palestinian Israelis away from the traditional channels offered to society at large and into seclusion on dedicated channels, some of which are meant to serve as apparatuses aimed at presenting the State’s positions to citizens of neighbouring countries.

A ‘Linguistic Minority’ Definition and its Implications The characterization of Palestinian Israelis as a linguistic minority allows the Israeli legal system to simultaneously adopt both a ‘liberal’ and a ‘hostile’ approach in addressing them. Linguistic rights are widely regarded as a minority right that should be guarded, in accordance with Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Israel is party.36 Palestinian Israelis are consistently defined only as an ‘Arabicspeaking’ minority in all media laws and regulations and in most regulatory preparatory work such as committee reports. Providing Palestinian Israelis with some Arabic content in broadcasts would seem to fulfil an international obligation aimed at linguistic minorities, and be in line with the State’s democratic ethos. At the same time, it achieves another goal – one implied in the wording of Israeli media laws and many of the accompanying legal documents: it associates this minority with an ‘Arab’ culture and an ‘Arab’ nation, thereby denying its self-proclaimed ‘Palestinian’ identity. Hence, in the Israeli case, awarding linguistic rights has become a means for restraining nationalistic sentiments.

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How the Law has Created an ‘Enemy Within’ The constant parallel drawn between Israel’s Palestinian citizens and the State’s enemies abroad is neither accidental or incidental nor archaic, but rather systematic and repetitious, in both law and practice. It is a common thread that runs through the government’s decision to adopt the Bendor Commission’s report in 1965, the subsequent reports that established commercial and cable television in Israel, and the eventual endorsement by the government, the Knesset and the court, of the IBA’s decision to broadcast to Israel’s Palestinian minority a channel meant for neighbouring states, some of which are hostile, and, in that way, fulfil its ‘public service’ obligation to Israeli citizens who purportedly enjoy equality in a democracy. It is a characterization independent of time, political regime or level of conflict with neighbouring Arab countries. This characterization plays out on two levels. First, the committee reports all refer to broadcasting to the Palestinian minority, not as an obligation the State has toward citizens with equal rights, but rather toward citizens with ‘special needs’, who are susceptible to acrossthe-border broadcasts and whose television viewing should be monitored. Second, the law and the policy implemented band together Palestinian Israelis and the citizens of neighbouring states, both in the definition of the service and in the actual provision of one service to both audiences. Indeed, the broadcasts that supposedly serve the ‘needs’ of ‘Arabic-speaking Israelis’, in fact serve the needs of the State.

The Policy’s Outcome The elimination of Arabic broadcasts from public channels (after being its core content in the original plans in the 1960s) and the creation of a media service aimed at Palestinian Israelis and Arabs in other Middle Eastern countries at the same time add to the exclusion and seclusion of Palestinian Israelis from Israeli society. This is in line with other exclusionary policies and in sharp contradiction to the self-description of the State as ‘democratic’. This exclusion from civic discourse has been achieved through two measures: one, Arabic programmes are no longer broadcast on the public channel, and on the main commercial channels their time slot has been slashed from 18 per cent of the total to a mere 5 per cent (all during non-prime-time viewing hours). The only remaining Arabic-language news broadcast is one produced for Channel 33, which is at best a hybrid state/public newscast. Since commercial and cable channels are not required to broadcast Arabic newscasts (although the regulators were empowered to require such broadcasts), Arabic-speaking viewers are left to choose between Israeli government

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messages and messages emanating from neighbouring Arab countries and transmitted via satellite, the same choice facing Israel’s neighbours, some of which are its enemies.

The Policy’s Ideological Roots At the root of this policy is Israel’s interpretation of its credo of being at once ‘ethnic’ (‘Jewish’) and ‘democratic’, and the apparent contradiction that this interpretation creates. Indeed, the State’s ‘Jewish’ ethnicity and ‘democratic’ institutional structure were dictated by its founding documents: UN Resolution 181, the Declaration of Independence and the incorporation of the Declaration into the State’s constitutional framework in 1994. However, the definition of ‘Jewish’ articulated by Israel’s minority media policies dictates an exclusion of ethnic minorities from civic, by definition nonethnic, activities. The definition of ‘democracy’ incorporates a limited and narrow concept of ‘liberalism’, particularly in the 1990s, which highlights individual rights. It could be argued that both processes were fuelled by the ongoing conflict with Arab nations, who by identifying with the Palestinian cause ‘helped’ Israelis define their in-state Palestinian constituency as a ‘fifth column’, denying them both equal rights and an equal opportunity to participate in national decision-making and culture-building. However, that would be too narrow an explanation and clearly not a justification for the policy. This is true in particular since as far as the Palestinian community itself is concerned its self-identification as a distinct cultural and ethnic entity has only grown since the 1967 War, the two Palestinian intifadas and the creation of the Palestinian National Authority in parts of the territories occupied by Israel. The exclusion of Palestinian Israelis can be explained by two parallel underlying ideological forces: the deep-seated rejection of the Israeli ruling elite, which originated in European Jewry, of all that smacked of the Orient, and its more recent tendency to embrace anything deemed ‘liberal’, ‘western’ or, better, ‘American’. As Yiftachel and Kedar note,37 Israel may be defined as a ‘settling ethnocracy’, a political system based simultaneously on ethnonational expansion and ethno-class stratification through a three-layered – European Jews (Ashkenazi); Middle Eastern Jews (Mizrahi); Palestinians – ethnocratic structure that allows the dominant Ashkenazi group to sustain its power by controlling cultural hegemony and, as a result, economic and political power. The control of the cultural hegemony is translated into the control of political power and is also evident in the country’s political hierarchy. This pattern emerges with regards to Israel’s Palestinian population: reference to Palestinian culture in the Jewish educational system

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is all but non-existent, and Palestinians have always been portrayed in popular culture products and in news programmes as an ‘enemy within’.38 Only in 2004 was the first non-Jewish justice appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court, and only in 2007 was the first Palestinian Israeli appointed to a cabinet position – albeit a minister without portfolio. Indeed, individual members of the Palestinian Israeli community slowly get more opportunities as citizens, as Israel is distancing itself from its formative years in which Palestinian Israelis were held under military rule. But Israel’s emergence from the ‘developmental’ stage into the ‘post-industrial’ stage was paralleled by a transition from the ‘collective-socialist’ ideology to a ‘neo-liberal’ ideology. This has allowed the social exclusion of the Palestinian Israelis to remain intact; as their rights as individuals are slowly being recognized, their rights as a collective are being denied. The history of media policy regarding Israel’s Palestinian minority demonstrates that the emphasis on individual rights and individualism has served exclusionary policies even when political winds shifted and governments more open to social equality were in power. Indeed, there is a direct connection between Israel’s self-determination as a ‘State of the Jews’ and its continued oppression of the Palestinian Israeli minority,39 to the extent that Israel’s cultural policies do not fit those of a ‘liberal’ society, although it may define itself as such.40 This ‘liberal’ self-definition allows policymakers, lawmakers and courts to award members of the Palestinian minority individual constitutional rights, but its emphasis on individualism comes at the expense of community and group solidarity. These would have led to the support of inclusive policies, which would allow a significant Palestinian voice to be heard on predominantly Hebrew channels. Providing the Palestinian ‘Arabic-speaking minority’ with its own channels allows its members to express themselves as individuals, but disregards the need to accept them as equal participants in the formation of Israeli culture. Even those who contend that a state that is self-described as belonging to one ethnic group can be democratic acknowledge that the Palestinian minority is more often than not excluded from participating in policymaking affecting its own status and welfare.41 Media rights are therefore but one aspect of this much larger ideological debate. The decision – though still unimplemented – taken by Israeli policymakers to provide separate media outlets to the country’s minority groups has become the norm in many multi-ethnic societies. One might argue that this approach should be commended for demonstrating a deep internalization of multiculturalism. However, as this study argues, this approach is, in effect, segregational. First, because language rights are awarded in order to diminish broader cultural rights to citizens of the State who are perceived as enemies;

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and second, because even if an international ‘norm’ of creating separate media outlets in ethnically diverse countries exists, that does not necessarily make it a desired policy.42 Mini cultural spheres created along ethnic lines probably do not promote an ideal public sphere, as an ideal public sphere strives to support a sense of community.43 Indeed, ‘for democracy to work, community is necessary’,44 a community that is deliberative and participatory.45

Notes 1. Psalms 119:19. 2. See www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm. 3. S. Hasson and M. Karayanni, Arabs in Israel: Barriers to Equality (Jerusalem: Floresheimer Institute for Policy Studies, 2006) (Hebrew), www.fips.org.il/Fips/Site/System/Up LoadFiles/DGallery/%F1%F4%F8%20%E8%EE%F4%EC%E3%F4%E5%F1.pdf. 4. Educational broadcasting for schools was launched in 1966. 5. D. Caspi and Y. Limor, The In/Outsiders: Mass Media in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1999), p.132; T. Oren, Demon in the Box: Jews, Arabs, Politics and Culture in the Making of Israeli Television (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004), p.131. 6. Oren, Demon, p.48. 7. H. Cassirer and T. Duckmanton, ‘Educational Television in Israel: Report of a UNESCO Mission’ (unpublished report, 1961). 8. European Broadcasting Union, ‘Report on Israeli Television’ (unpublished report, 1965) (Hebrew). 9. S. Bendor, ‘Report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on General Television’ (unpublished report, 1965) (Hebrew). 10. E. Katz, ‘Television Comes to the People of the Book’, in I. Horowitz (ed.), The Use and Abuse of Social Science: Behavioral Research and Social Science (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1971), pp.249–71. 11. According to a government press release, 19 August 2001; see www.pm.gov.il/ PMO/Archive/Spokesman/2001/%D7%90%D7%95%D7%92%D7%95%D7%A1%D7 %98/Spokesman5022.htm (no longer available). 12. Representing the minister in charge of IBA at the time, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labor. 13. Knesset Records, 11 November 2003. 14. HC 375/03 Musawa Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel v. the Prime Minister (unpublished decision) (Hebrew). 15. Knesset Records, 6 June 2004. 16. This included massive building of settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied in the 1967 War, a move mostly refrained from by the preceding Labor regime. 17. A. Schejter, ‘The Cultural Obligations of Broadcast Television in Israel’, International Communication Gazette, 56, 3 (1996), pp.183–200. 18. H. Kubersky, ‘A Report and Recommendations of the Committee for Learning the Issue of a Second Television Channel in Israel’ (unpublished report, 1979) (Hebrew). 19. Schejter, ‘Cultural Obligations’. 20. Knesset Records, 28 March 2000.

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21. Y. Barsela, ‘Report of the Committee on Cable Television’ (unpublished report, 1982), p.76 (Hebrew). 22. Ibid., p.77. 23. E. Nissan, ‘Commission on Extending and Reforming of Broadcasting Choice: Summary of Recommendations’ (unpublished report, 1997) www.moc.gov.il/sip_storage/FILES/4/ 1054.pdf (Hebrew) and www.moc.gov.il/sip_storage/FILES/9/1049.pdf (Hebrew summary). The English summary is no longer available. 24. This change in preference can be attributed to the fact that a member of the opposition party traditionally heads the Knesset Economics Committee. In 1998, the BRA was appointed by the ruling rightwing Likud coalition. 25. By 2000 the council had been renamed the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council following the launch of direct-to-home satellite service. 26. Knesset Economics Committee Records, 18 July 2001. 27. Knesset Records, 25 July 2001. 28. Tender 1/2003 for Provision of Special License for a Broadcaster of a Designated Channel in Arabic, see www.moc.gov.il/sip_storage/FILES/6/1546.pdf (Hebrew). 29. Designated Channel Tender Documents, p.10. 30. See www.haaretz.co.il/gallery/1.972655 (Hebrew). 31. See www.ynet.co.il/articles/1,7340,L-3102498,00.html (Hebrew). 32. Tender 1/2010 for Provision of Special License for a Broadcaster of a Designated Channel in Arabic, see www.moc.gov.il/sip_storage/FILES/2/2682.pdf (Hebrew). 33. See www.globes.co.il/news/article.aspx?did=1000681652 (Hebrew). 34. See http://b.walla.co.il/?w=/3050/2516362 (Hebrew). 35. R. Davidson and A. Schejter, ‘“Their Deeds are the Deeds of Zimri; but They Expect a Reward like Phineas”: Neoliberal and Multicultural Discourses in the Development of Israeli DTT Policy’, Communication, Culture and Critique, 4 (2011), pp.1–22. 36. R. Cotterrell, The Politics Of Jurisprudence: A Critical Introduction to Legal Philosophy (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992), p.212. 37. Linguistic rights are recognized in many other international documents; however, only the Covenant is part of Israeli law, hence relevant in this context. . O. Yiftachel and A. Kedar, ‘Power and Land: The Real Estate Policy in Israel’, Theory and Criticism, 16 (2000), pp.67–100 (Hebrew). 38. See, for example, M. Niger, E. Zandberg and A. Abu Ra’iyeh, Jewish Media or Israeli Media? The Operation of Media in Israel in the Coverage of the Violent Events between the Arab citizens and the Police on October 2000 (Jerusalem: Keshev – The Center for the Protection of Democracy in Israel, 2000) (Hebrew); A. First, ‘The Fluid Nature of Representation: Transformations in the Representation of Arabs in Israeli Television News’, Howard Journal of Communications, 13 (2002), pp.173–90; E. Avraham, ‘Press, Politics, and the Coverage of Minorities in Divided Societies: The Case of Arab Citizens in Israel’, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 8, 4 (2003), pp.7–26. 39. G. Barzilai, ‘Fantasies of Liberalism and Liberal Jurisprudence: State Law, Politics, and the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian Community’, Israel Law Review, 34, 3, (2002) pp.425–51. 40. G. Gontovnik, ‘The Right for Culture in a Liberal Society and in the State of Israel: Living the Contradictions’, in Y. Rabin and Y. Shany (eds), Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Israel (Tel Aviv: Ramot Tel Aviv University Press, 2004), pp.619–62 (Hebrew). 41. For example, see R. Gavison, Can Israel Be both Jewish and Democratic? Tensions and Prospects (Jerusalem: Van Leer and Hakibutz Hameuchad, 1999), p.12 (Hebrew).

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42. A. Sreberny,‘“Not Only, But Also”: Mixedness and Media’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 31, 3 (2005), pp.443–59 43. D. Browne, Ethnic Minorities, Electronic Media, and the Public Sphere: A Comparative Approach (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2005). 44. L. Friedland, ‘Communication, Community and Democracy: Toward a Theory of the Communicatively Integrated Community’, Communication Research, 28, 4 (2001), pp.358–91. 45. Ibid., p.359.

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8 Mapping Minority Webspaces: The Case of the Arabic Webspace in Israel Anat Ben-David

This study maps the Arabic-language space of the Israeli web as a minority’s webspace, and analyses its political geography in relation to network topology, geographic location and domain registration preferences.1 The definition of a minority’s webspace is not an obvious one, and in many ways depends on the larger question of defining and demarcating the (national) webspace within which it is considered a minority. That is, if we are to treat the Web as a political space, how do we demarcate the national space that is the whole, from which a part forms a minority? And which methods can be used to demarcate, characterize and diagnose a minority’s webspace? The demarcation of a national webspace is a challenging task for Internet researchers. Consider, for example, the problem of determining where web content comes from. Should the ‘nationality’ of a website be derived from its domain name? From the physical location of the server where it is hosted, or, rather, from the user’s self-declared location? On the one hand, the Web is becoming more national – with the ever-growing localization of web services according to the location of the users.2 On the other hand, content declared as belonging to a specific country does not necessarily originate from that country, nor is it necessarily hosted in that country. To demarcate a national webspace, then, researchers must choose between various demarcation criteria. These may include user-generated content (declared location, local language), protocols and protocol-based artefacts (IP addresses, URLs registered under a national TLD) or other web devices (such as localization features of search engine algorithms). Such demarcation criteria are employed, for example, by Baeza-Yates and colleagues, who offer methodologies for characterizing national domain names based on content, links and technologies.3 Researchers from the govcom.org foundation have mapped the political space of the Palestinian web based on hyperlink analysis, geo-IP location and other ranking devices such as YouTube.4 The

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Iranian web has also been demarcated and ‘diagnosed’ based on triangulation of various ranking devices of Iranian websites and content.5 This study builds on existing methods for the study of national webs, and adds to them by proposing a method for demarcating a minority space inside a national domain. This is done by mapping the geopolitics of the Arabiclanguage webspace in Israel, using a demarcation practice that combines language, network topology and geolocation. The approach undertaken in this study uses the research methods of the Digital Methods Initiative (DMI) for studying the Web’s devices, objects and structures in order to learn about social and political processes.6 The DMI approach focuses on ‘natively digital’ objects – that is, devices that are written for the medium and phenomena that are generated by web-based technologies, such as search-engine algorithms, hyperlink networks, and code. DMI researchers perform social research by interpreting the Web’s ranking and organizing devices.7 Elsewhere I have argued that natively digital objects such as IP addresses, Whois data and hyperlinks can be used as ‘digital border-markers’ to map national webspaces.8 In this study I also add language as an internal bordermarker that distinguishes between minority and majority media inside a country’s webspace. The case study of the Arab minority’s webspace in Israel is introduced in the following part of this paper.

The Arabic-Language Media Landscape in Israel The Arab minority in Israel accounts for a fifth of Israel’s population.9 It is a heterogeneous minority, comprised of various ethnicities and religions, such as Muslims, Bedouins, Druze, Christians, Cherkessk and Armenians. These different communities are often treated as a homogenous group in Israel, since they are an ethnic and a religious minority compared to Israel’s majority of Jewish citizens, and since their primary spoken language is Arabic (compared to Israel’s majority of Hebrew-speaking citizens). Although Arabic is the official second language in Israel, this rule has not been fully implemented throughout the years. English is reported as the de facto second language, and the official bilingualism is maintained unevenly: Arabicspeaking children are required to follow the school curriculum in Hebrew, whereas Jewish children do not acquire Arabic-language skills as a second language, despite some basic Arabic lessons in the syllabus.10 The history of the Arab minority in Israel is beyond the scope of this study. However, its complicated and often marginalized place in Israel should be taken into account for understanding the changing political landscape of Arabic-language media in Israel. The Arabic media space in Israel has a long

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history of media control, censorship, and attempts by State/public media in Arabic to shape the minority’s public opinion.11 As noted by Kabha, the introduction of regional satellite television channels from the Middle East and the introduction of the Internet in Israel have dramatically changed the Arabic-language media landscape in Israel.12 Despite a digital divide in access to ICTs between Arab and Jewish populations in Israel,13 studies report that the Arab community adopted the Internet as a primary tool for political communication and for advocacy of their rights, as well as for consuming local news from online media outlets.14 The literature also analyses the Arabic online media landscape in terms of a ‘dual affiliation’ dilemma, describing the minority’s reliance on Israeli media (both in Hebrew and Arabic) for consuming local news, on the one hand, and a growing tendency to participate in regional Arabic media landscapes on the other.15 These studies predict greater integration with websites originating in other Arabic-speaking countries, a phenomenon that would be similar to the growing popularity of Aljazeera’s satellite TV among most of the Arabic-speaking population around the world.16 Focusing on the natively digital objects of the Web for identifying, mapping and analysing a minority’s space of a national web, the analysis presented below proposes a different perspective to previous studies on the Arabic online media space in Israel, which had so far focused on historical and ethnographic approaches and on data obtained from interviews and surveys. Theoretically, it resonates the analytical framework of minority media put forward by Caspi and Elias. Caspi and Elias differentiate between ‘media-by’ minorities, and ‘media-for’ minorities, by analysing publisher types, content and audiences.17 Through the mapping of the Arabic-language webspace in Israel, the following analysis adds geolocation and domain name registration to the characteristics of ‘media by’ minorities. For example, as the analysis below shows, ‘websites for minorities’ are often bilingual, with primary content in Hebrew, and are geolocated in cities with a Jewish demographic majority. Unlike the ‘websites for minorities’, ‘websites by minorities’ are only offered in Arabic, and are geolocated in cities and areas with an Arab majority, or with a larger percentage of Arabic-speaking citizens within Israel. In addition, the dual affiliation of the Arab minority described above is analysed through domain registration politics. The following findings show that the topology of websites registered under the national domain suffix (.il) differ from the topology of websites registered under generic domain names (.com, .org, .net, etc.), and that the geo-IP location of each of the suffixes points at different geographies of the Arab minority in Israel. These indicators may serve as new diagnostic tools for understanding minorities’

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participation in local or international media landscapes (and, accordingly, public spheres). The following section outlines the analytical framework proposed for mapping minority spaces of national webs.

Analytical Framework: Mapping Minority Webspaces Using Natively Digital Objects The characteristics of a minority webspace within a national web presented in this study have four elements: geo-IP location, language, domain-registration politics and network analysis. As previously mentioned, the Arabic language is used in this study as a key identifier to automatically detect and demarcate websites published by and for the Arabic-speaking minority in Israel. Domain name politics have so far been addressed from a top-down perspective of Internet governance and the politics of domain allocation.18 This study employs a bottom-up approach, by examining differences in minorities’ domain registration preferences between national and generic domain suffixes. Domain registration preferences may have different reasons, ranging from lower hosting costs of generic domains to explicit affiliation or disaffiliation with the local domain, and yet findings from this study indicate that domain registration preferences characterize specific actors and issues in networks of Arabic-language websites based in Israel. Geo-IP analysis was performed to identify the location of Arabic-language websites in Israel. The geolocation of websites enables answering questions such as whether there are differences between the webspaces formed by different Arab localities. Geo-IP analysis also complements the domainregistration analysis, as it enables comparing and contrasting the registration and hosting addresses of websites in a local or a generic domain. Such comparison helps in answering questions such as whether the Arabicspeaking minority tends to host their websites in Israel, or in servers hosted in other countries, and whether differences in generic or national domains’ suffixes account for different geographies of the Arabic-language webspace in Israel. In a sense, the geolocation analysis provides a counter-narrative to the perception of the Web as a global space; it shows that despite the common perception that the Arabic-speaking community in Israel is increasingly inclined to participate in regional Arabic language webspaces, the Arabic language webspace in Israel is very much local. Finally, hyperlink analysis was performed to examine internal ties within the Arabic-language webspace in Israel. Hyperlink network analysis enables answering questions such as whether Arabic-language websites in Israel form isolated enclaves within the larger Israeli interlinked space; whether they form homogenous and cohesive interlinked networks, or are rather

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heterogeneous and dispersed, and to what extent they reach out to websites outside Israel. The hyperlink analysis performed in this study was also used to compare and contrast networks formed by websites registered in the national and generic domain suffixes, and their respective geographic locations. To summarize, the approach undertaken in this study triangulates different digital methods to demarcate a minority’s webspace by analysing domain, location, language and networked topology. The following section describes the specific method used to combine these four elements of the analysis.

Method (a) Demarcation The practice of demarcating the Arabic-language webspace in Israel is based on Google’s search algorithm, which automatically identifies the location and language of its indexed websites.19 DMI’s Google Scraper Tool20 was used to mine all search results of Arabiclanguage websites from Israel. The queries were designed to return all sites in a specific domain name (for example, ‘site:co.il’), and the search results were limited to websites that the search engine identified as originating from Israel, with Arabic as their primary language. Top 1,000 search results were scraped per domain name. The queries included all generic top-level domains (.com, .org, .net, .edu), as well as all second-level domains of the Israeli top level domain (.co.il, .org.il, .ac.il, .net.il, .gov.il and .muni.il) (see Table 8.1). The results were collected into a database containing the top 1,000 Arabic-language websites in Israel (according to the search engine’s ranking algorithm), organized per domain name.

Table 8.1 Queries used to demarcate the Arab-language webspace in Israel. The advanced settings were: Generic Domain Name

Local Domain Name

Results Limited To

‘site:.com’ ‘site:.org’ ‘site:.net’ ‘site:.org’

‘site:gov.il’ ‘site:net.il’ ‘site:co.il’ ‘site:net.il’ ‘site:org.il’ ‘site:.ac.il’

1. Google version: co.il 2. From region: Israel 3. Language: Arabic 4. No. results set to: 1000

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(b) Geo-IP Mapping The dataset obtained from the Google Scraper Tool was used for subsequent analyses of the Arabic webspace in Israel. For geo-IP analysis, a tool was built to automatically convert the URLs of websites into their IP addresses (reverse DNS), and to obtain their host and registration address from their Whois registration forms.21 The addresses were then added to the dataset.22 Subsequently, the dataset was imported to Google Fusion Tables, which automatically identifies place names and visualizes the data on a geographical map. Geographical maps were created in order to compare the geo-IP location of the Arabic websites in the various domain names.

(c) Hyperlink Analysis In order to analyse the networked topology of the Arabic-language webspace in Israel, all URLs in the dataset were used as starting points for performing hyperlink analysis. IssueCrawler23 was used to crawl and perform co-link analysis of the websites that are interlinked with the list of starting points within a two-page-deep distance. The resulting networks were subsequently visualized with Gephi.24 It should be noted that although the demarcated space presented in this study is comprehensive, it does not necessarily include all Arabic websites in Israel. Rather, it shows a large sample of the most prominent websites in this webspace, according to one of the medium’s most popular organizing devices (in this case, Google search engine and its ranking algorithm, as well as embedded language and location detection features).

Findings (a) General Demographics of the Arabic-Language Webspace in Israel A general overview of the returned results shows that, similar to other national webs, the demarcated space is predominantly commercial, with a strong presence of websites of civil society organizations.25 Although the total number of results is evenly distributed between the generic and local domain names, there are differences in the distribution of generic and local domain names across domain types. The commercial and organizational spaces have more websites registered in the generic top-level domain than in the Israeli second-level domain (.com, .net and .org vs .co.il, .net.il and .org.il). The academic space, however, is predominantly local. The local governmental

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and municipal second-level domain names (.gov.il and .muni.il) do not have generic equivalences, and the number of returned results registered in these domains is relatively low (see Table 8.2). Table 8.2 Distribution of domain names of Arabic-language websites from Israel, September 2012. Generic Domain Name com net org edu — — Total Domains

No. of Results 193 103 163 9

Local Domain Name No. of Results co.il net.il org.il ac.il muni.il gov.il

468

144 16 152 120 30 14 476

The differences between the distribution of the national second-level domains and generic top-level domains across different domain types indicate that domain politics can be used to characterize minority webspaces of national webs. As will be shown, there is consistency between domain registration preference and organization types and causes. For example, .co.il websites are mostly characterized by Israeli companies providing bilingual content in Hebrew and Arabic. Another example is the popularity of the .net domain among websites of Arab localities that run in addition to Israel’s official municipal websites in the .muni.il domain. Figure 8.1 shows the hyperlink network formed by all the returned results, and provides an overview of the networked topography of the demarcated Arabic-language webspace.26 The network is organized around the commercial and .net domains at the centre. There is a leading cluster of civil society organizations, with local .org.il NGOs, at its core. Academic websites are relatively peripheral in this networked space. The following analysis characterizes each of the domain name types, analysing differences between websites registered in the national and generic domains, and their respective geographies. The analysis focuses on the network’s largest clusters: the organizational domains and the commercial space.

(b) Organizational Domains (.org and .org.il) As previously mentioned, Arab civil society organizations adopted the Web as a medium for organizing activities and for spreading information.27 Most

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Figure 8.1 The hyperlink network formed by all returned results (944 websites in Arabic from Israel). Nodes are websites, coloured by their domain name suffixes. Arrows indicate the direction of hyperlinks. The larger a node, the more inlinks it received from the network. The thickness of an arrow depends on hyperlink’s frequency. Hyperlink analysis by IssueCrawler. net. Visualization by Gephi.org.

of the organizations’ websites are in both Arabic and English, and some offer information in Hebrew as well.28 Despite internal competition between organizations attempting to lead the Arab community in Israel,29 the findings show that on the Web, Arab civil society organizations form a cohesive network of interlinked websites. At the same time, a comparison of domainregistration in the second-level domain .org.il and the generic domain .org reveals differential geographic distribution, organization types and hyperlink behaviour. Organizations registered in the .org.il domain are characterized by a Hebrew name of the URL. In most cases these are organizations that serve both Arab and Jewish communities,30 or Jewish-Israeli organizations that provide information in the Arabic language.31 Of the 136 websites, only thirteen websites in the .org.il domain have an Arabic name of the URL,

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mostly social services centres and institutions.32 Interestingly, these thirteen websites include organizations of minority groups within the Arabic minority in Israel, namely Druze, Bedouins and Christians. The dominance of bilingual websites of Jewish-Israeli organizations is also apparent when examining the geographic distribution of the .org.il domain. Table 8.3 shows the distribution of Whois registration addresses of the org.il domain in the Arabic language. As seen in Table 8.3, most of the organizations are geolocated in Israel’s three largest cities – Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa – followed by cities with a Jewish demographic majority such as Ramat Gan and Hertzlia. Few organizations are geolocated in cities with an Arab demographic majority. The geographic distribution of websites registered in the .org.il domain thus shows that they are ‘websites for minorities’ rather than ‘websites by minorities’. The geographic distribution of organizational websites in the .org domain is different from the one described above for the .org.il domain. The majority of websites are based in Israel, and websites with both host and registration addresses outside Israel are in the US, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Dubai and European countries (see Figure 8.2). Apart from transnational organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Wikimedia, .org websites hosted abroad are of various organizational types, ranging from Craigslists (the online community forum for posting localized and classified advertisements) of cities, educational institutions, churches in East Jerusalem, and peace-building organizations. The websites registered in the generic top-level domain with addresses in Israel are the core of the Arab civil society organizations in Israel. This space includes Arab and Jewish organizations active in the context of the Palestinian–Israeli conflict33 and prominent NGOs advocating rights of the Arab minority in Israel,34 as well as organizations addressing the rights of specific groups within the Arab community in Israel (such as LGBT rights, women’s marital status rights and Arab workers unions). These organizations address internal problems within the Arab community as well as representing these vis-à-vis Israeli state institutions. The space of the .org websites registered in Israel also includes websites of Arab political parties (such as the National Democratic Assembly, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, and the Arab Movement for Change), websites of Arab municipalities, educational institutions (both Christian and Islamic), cultural institutions, feminist organizations, religious institutions such as churches and mosques, and charity and development organizations (such as the Association for the Blind, or child development organizations). Compared to the .org.il domain, which is characterized by joint Arab-Jewish initiatives or by organizations of relatively marginalized groups within the Arab

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Table 8.3 Distribution of Whois registration cities of the .org and .org.il domains .org

.org.il

Whois registration address in Israel Jerusalem (29) Nazareth (21) Tel-Aviv (19) Haifa (11) Shefar’am (4) Petach Tikva (3) Umm El Fahim (3) Beer Sheva (2) Hadera (2) Jaffa (2) Kafr Kanna (2) Majdal Shams (2) Neve Shalom (2) Ra’anana (2) Rehovot (2) Tamra (2) Abu Snan (1) Ashdod (1) Atlit (1) Baqa El Garbiya (1) Dabburiya (1) Eilat (1) Hofit (1) Kabul (1) Kafr Manda (1) Kfar Yassif (1) Kibbutz Qetura (1) Lod (1) Migdal Haemek (1) Modi’in (1) Nesher (1) Omer (1) Ramat Hasharon (1) Sderot (1) Tira (1)

Tel-Aviv (34) Jerusalem (32) Haifa (9) Ramat Gan (6) Nazareth (5) Hertzlia (4) Kfar-Saba (3) Netanya (3) Petach Tikva (3) Beer-Sheva (3) Ra’anana (2) Hod Hasharon (2) Misgav (2) Ramat Hasharon (2) Acre (1) Ben Shemen (1) Bir Elmaksur (1) Cabri (1) Elad (1) Gilon (1) Givatayim (1) Harashim (1) Harduf (1) Holon (1) Jaffa (1) Kefar Menachem (1) Kfar Vradim (1) Kinneret (1) Lod (1) Majd Alkurum (1) Nesher (1) Ramle (1) Regba (1) Rosh Pina (1) Tamra (1) Umm El Fahim (1)

Whois registration address abroad Dallas (2) Drums (2) Fullshear (2) Orlando Brooklyn (1) Montreal (1) (2) Toronto (2) San Francicso (2) Amman (1) Ashburn (1) Berlin (1) Brea (1) Chicago (1) Culver City (1) Dubai (1) Hebron (1) Hillside (1) Los Angeles (1)Mountain View (1) Oakville (1) Ottawa (1) Philadelphia (1) Prague (1) Rolling Meadows (1) Rome (1) San Diego (1) Seattle (1) Sunnyvale(1) West Jacksonville (1)

community in Israel, the overall preference of the .org domain by leading Arab civil society organizations (political parties among them) reflects the minority’s dual affiliation with the Israeli state. Although most organizations are based in Israel, they do not affiliate themselves with the national domain suffix. The geographic distribution of the .org websites in Israel shows that (East) Jerusalem is highly represented in this space – perhaps indicating the

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Figure 8.2 Distribution of host countries of Arabic-language websites from Israel registered in the .org domains.

problematic status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at the heart of the conflict (see Table 8.3.) The second-largest location is Nazareth (where most of Arab civil society organizations are based), followed by Tel-Aviv and Haifa. Arab municipalities in Israel’s northern district are highly present,35 as well as the largest Arab cities in the ‘Triangle’ area in the centre of Israel, bordering the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories. Thus, compared to organizational websites registered in the .org.il domain, which are ‘websites for minorities’ based in cities with a Jewish demographic majority, the organizations hosted in the .org domain are ‘websites by minorities’, based in municipalities with an Arab demographic majority. Differential domain registration practices among civil society organizations are also apparent when comparing their hyperlink networks36 (see Figures 8.3 and 8.4). The hyperlink network formed by websites registered in the .org.il domain shows the interlinked space of civil society organizations in Israel, which includes both Jewish and Arab organizations. The network’s starting points are at the core of the network, and the websites of the Arab civil society organizations registered in the .org domain are interlinked with them, albeit less densely. Most of the websites in the network’s core are dedicated to local social issues in Israel, such as workers’ rights, social justice and women’s rights. Put differently, this is a space characterizing Israel’s social left. The Palestinian–Israeli conflict is one of the issues discussed in the network, but it is not the dominant one. The network’s peripheral nodes are

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Jewish civil society organizations (and Israeli public media websites hosted in the .org.il domain, such as Channel 2 and the Israel Broadcasting Authority), some governmental websites, cultural institutions and charity foundations (see Figure 8.3).

Figure 8.3 The hyperlink network formed by Arabic-language websites registered in the .org.il domain. Nodes are websites, coloured by their domain name suffixes. Arrows indicate the direction of hyperlinks. The larger a node, the more inlinks it received from the network. The thickness of an arrow depends on hyperlink’s frequency. Hyperlink analysis by IssueCrawler. net. Visualization by Gephi.org.

Figure 8.4 shows that the hyperlink network resulting from the .org websites also brings the .org.il websites to the centre of the network. However, the majority of websites are from the generic domain, and the issues are different from the local org.il network. Specifically, this is an issue network, dedicated to Palestinian rights, opposition to the Israeli occupation and to the rights of the Palestinians living in Israel. The core of the network is

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Figure 8.4 The hyperlink network formed by Arabic-language websites registered in the .org domain. Nodes are websites, coloured by their domain name suffixes. Arrows indicate the direction of hyperlinks. The larger a node, the more inlinks it received from the network. The thickness of an arrow depends on hyperlink’s frequency. Hyperlink analysis by IssueCrawler. net. Visualization by Gephi.org.

comprised of human rights organizations based in Israel (such as Btselem, Adalah and Hamoked), human rights organization from the Palestinian Territories (Al-Hak, Miftah, PCHRgaza) and international human rights organizations (such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch). In a sense, Figures 3 and 4 provide two views of the placement of the Arab civil society organizations within the Israeli webspace. The .org.il map provides an internal view of their placement among other Israeli NGOs; the .org map provides an external view of their placement within a larger transnational network dedicated to Palestinian rights and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Since most of the organizations run by the Arab minority in Israel are registered in the .org domain, one can infer that there is greater affiliation with the human rights framing of the space, rather than with social issues treated locally in Israel.37

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(c) The Commercial Domain Space (.com and .co.il) As previously mentioned, websites registered in commercial domain names are the largest subset of the demarcated webspace and the central core of its hyperlinked topology. This space includes websites of companies whose primary language is Hebrew but who offer pages in Arabic, as well as websites created by and directed at the Arabic-speaking community in Israel. As with the organizational domain, commercial-domain websites are evenly distributed between the local and generic domain names, with respectively different geographies and demographics. What stands out in this space is that it is not necessarily commercial. Only a third of the websites registered with a commercial domain name are business companies (mostly large Israeli companies offering bilingual web pages). The rest of the space is characterized by local news websites, followed by blogs, fora, content-sharing platforms, websites of municipalities and personal websites (see Figure 8.5).

Figure 8.5 A network graph comparing the distribution of types of Arabic-language websites from Israel registered in the .com and .co.il domain names. Dark nodes indicate domain name suffix (local/generic), light nodes are types of websites. Node size is determined by the count of websites. Thickness of arrows depends on the frequency of a website type per domain name. Visualization by Google FusionTables.

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Local news websites are popular both within the local and generic domain names. The commercial domain space includes online versions of the most popular Arabic-language broadcasting media and newspapers in Israel, as well as online news outlets that gained popularity among the entire Palestinian community in Israel (such as Panet).38 In addition, almost every Arab village or municipality in Israel has a local news site, reporting events and providing information about the local community, such as village events, congratulations on births and weddings. The format and layout of the news outlets of the different localities are often similar and some of the news reported overlap. Although most of the local news outlets cite international news from the Arab world, the focus is on the local. Compared to the censored media space of three decades ago, the large number of local news outlets in Arabic is an indication of the transformed media landscape, as noted by Kabha. On the other hand, many local news websites may indicate an internal competition, or even perhaps fragmentation of the media landscape formed by the Arab community in Israel – each consuming their own local news at the most granular level. The geolocation of the commercial domains within the demarcated space confirms the internal competition among local Arabic language online news outlets in Israel. Websites with a generic commercial top-level domain and a registration address in Israel include a large number of highly localized media outlets of villages and cities.39 In addition, almost every city has its local news website (see Table 8.4). The geographic distribution of the commercial space is different from the distribution of the organizational space shown in Table 8.3. Compared to the websites registered in organizational domains, most of the registration addresses of the commercial websites are in Arab municipalities. Although Tel-Aviv is the most recurrent city in the local domain, the majority of websites both in the co.il and the .com domains are from Arab municipalities in northern Israel and the Triangle area.

(d) The .net Space The .net space is similar to the commercial domain, with the exception that the second-level domain .net.il is less popular (in most cases these are Arabiclanguage web pages of Israeli ISPs). Most websites registered in the .net domain are hosted in the US, the Palestinian Territories and Germany, and the distribution of website types is similar to the .com domain. As seen in Figure 8.6, there are many .net websites of local news, followed by commercial websites, portals and fora. As previously seen in Figure 8.1, local news websites registered in the .net domain receive most of the inlinks from the

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Table 8.4 Distribution of domain registration cities of the .com and .co.il domains. .org

.org.il

Whois registration address in Israel Nazareth (14) Haifa (11) Kafr Yassif (6) Ara (5) Netanya (5) Majdal Shams (5) Petach-Tikva (5) Tel-Aviv (5) Kafr Kanna (4) Baqa El Gerharbiya (3) Hertzlia (3) Tamra (3) Beer Sheva (2) Dabburiya (2) Dalliat El Carmel (2) Jerusalem (2) Kafr Manda (2) Kafr Qassim (2) Kfar Saba (2) Lehavim (2) Rahat (2) Ramat-Gan (2) Shefar’am (2) Tira (2) Tivon (2) Umm El Fahim (2) Acre (1) Ashdod (1) Ashqelon (1) East Jerusalem (1) Ein Knaya (1) Holon (1) Jatt (1) Majd Alkroom (1) Newe Shalom (1) Ra’anana (1) Rama (1) Reineh (1) Yaffa (1) Yarqa (1)

Tel-Aviv (25) Nazareth (9) Tamra (6) Haifa (5) Jerusalem (5) Ramat Gan (5) Yarka (5) Herzlia (4) Tira (4) Baqa El Gerharbiya (3) Dalliat El Carmel (3) Kafr Kanna (2) Kafr Yassif (2) Karmiel (2) Maalot Tarshiha (2) Sakhnin (2) Reineh (2) Rehovot (2) Umm El Fahim (2) Abu Snan (1) Acre (1) Beer Sheva (1) Beit Hillel (1) Beit Keshet (1) Bina (1) Gimzo (1) Hurfeish (1) Jatt (1) Jesr ez Zarqa (1) Kabul (1) Kafr Nahef (1) Kefar Veradim (1) Kiriyat Ata (1) Lod (1) Maghar (1) Majdal Shams (1) Miliya (1) Misgav (1) Netanya (1) Ramat Hasharon (1) Rosh Ha’ayin (1) Shefar’am (1) Taybeh (1) Tiberias (1) Zikhron Yaakov (1)

Whois registration address abroad New York (8) Scottsdale (6) Dallas (4) Houston (2) Huston (3) Orlando (3) Berlin (2) Provo (2) San Diego (2) Amman (1) Amsterdam (1) Chicago (1) Clifton (1) Copenhagen (1) Eldred (1) Eugene (1) Gaza (1) Gunzenhausen (1) Helsinki (1) Lisle (1) Mountain View (1) Palo Alto (1) Plano (1) Qalqiliya (1) Ramallah (1) San Francisco (1) Sialliual (1) Slough (1) Yiwu (1)

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hyperlink network of the entire Arabic-language webspace in Israel. Bokra.net, a leading online news outlet, is the network’s star hub that receives the largest number of inlinks from the network’s nodes. The centrality and popularity of Bokra.net is a case in point when examining domain registration politics in terms of a minority’s dual affiliation with the national webspace. In fact, Bokra.net is mirrored in the Israeli second-level domain, Bokra.co.il. A comparison of traffic statistics and ranking for each site reveals their differential audiences, and possibly affiliation. The comparison was conducted in November 2012 by consulting Alexa search engine’s traffic ranking for top websites in Israel, which shows their estimates of traffic popularity and site traffic from different countries. Interestingly, Bokra.net is ranked high (147 of Alexa’s top 200 websites in Israel), but only 10 per cent of its visitors are from Israel (it is mostly visited from Egypt and Saudi Arabia).40 By contrast, Bokra.co.il is ranked very low (20,202 in Alexa’s top

Figure 8.6 A network graph comparing the distribution of types of Arabic-language websites from Israel registered in the .net and .net.il domain names. Dark nodes indicate domain name suffix (local/generic), light nodes are types of websites. Node size is determined by the count of websites. Thickness of arrows depends on the frequency of a website type per domain name. Visualization by Google FusionTables.

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websites in Israel), and 100 per cent of its visitors are from Israel.41 The dual domain name and its relative traffic ranking and audiences show the extent to which the local domain is confined to its national borders, and that the choice to host a local news website under a .net domain can also be read as an attempt to participate in cross-national webspaces. The mirroring in the local domain also suggests that despite the international appeal, the site also participates in the local webspace, albeit less prominently (considering the low traffic ranking).

(e) Educational Domain Names (.edu and .ac.il) The academic space of the Arabic-language websites in Israel makes an exception to the trends in domain registration politics described above for the .org, .com and .net domains. Most Israeli colleges and universities offer websites in both Hebrew and Arabic, and are dominant in this space. Most Arab higher education institutions (such as colleges in Sakhnin, Nazareth and Umm El Fahim) are also registered in the local domain. It should be noted that the Israeli Internet Association, the organization that allocates web addresses in the .il domain, requires registering all academic institutions recognized by the Israeli Council for Higher Education under the secondlevel domain .ac.il.42 Since the Israeli Internet Association’s requirements ground the academic space to the local domain, domain registration politics may be less overt here. However, the grounded webspace brings bilingualism to the fore. Compared to other domain types, then, official bilingualism is most prevalent in the academic webspace.

Conclusions The analysis presented in this study attempts to contribute to both methods for studying national webs and for studying the geopolitics of minority media. Methodologically, it employs digital methods to map the Arabiclanguage minority of the Israeli webspace, by focusing on its networked topology, geo-IP location and domain registration politics. Theoretically, it attempts to characterize information politics of minorities on the Web. The proposed demarcation practice is exemplified by mapping the Arabiclanguage minority webspace in Israel, which is characterized by a densely interlinked topography, a very local geography, and differential domain preference patterns between Israeli second-level domains and generic toplevel domain names. Data from this study show that registration of a website’s address under a generic or national domain name by minorities is far from arbitrary. Information politics of minority webspaces can be read,

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for example, from the overall preference of the .org domain to represent leading minority political parties and civil society organizations, and of the .net domain to represent minority municipalities. In this sense, these organizations ‘distance’ themselves from the national webspace and from the majority of Israeli political parties, civil society organizations and municipalities, which are registered in the .il domain. On the other hand, the ‘distancing’ of minority websites does not cross geopolitical borders, as most websites are hosted and registered in Israel, and are also interlinked with .il websites. In this sense, the Arabic-language online space in Israel differs from the landscape described for other global media, such as satellite television. Although the popularity of websites from other countries among the Arabicspeaking community in Israel is beyond the scope of this study, the dense network of locally produced online news in the Arabic language and its high level of localization are an indication of the importance of local news to the Arabic-speaking community in Israel. Putting too much emphasis on consumption of regional media can therefore overshadow the thriving online community formed by Arabic-language websites in Israel, which can be characterized as ‘media by minorities’, to follow Caspi and Elias’s analytical framework. Although the data in this study examined the geopolitics of one minority webspace, future studies may apply the demarcation method outlined here to compare the findings to other minority spaces within the Israeli web (such as the Russian-language space), or to minority spaces of other national webs.

Notes 1. The author would like to sincerely thank Hugo Huurdeman and Bernhard Rieder (University of Amsterdam). Sincere thanks are also extended to Sinai Rusinek and the anonymous reviewers for commenting on previous versions of this essay. 2. R. Rogers, ‘Mapping and the Politics of Web Space’, Theory, Culture & Society, 29, 4–5 (2012), pp.193–219. 3. R. Baeza-Yates, C. Castillo and E.N. Efthimiadis, ‘Characterization of National Web Domains’, ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, 7, 2, Article 9 (May 2007). 4. Govcom.org., ‘Mapping the Palestinian Web Space, September–November 2007’, www.govcom.org/pisp_maps1.html. Information graphics from the Information Society in Palestine project workshops, held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 4-8 September and 7–9 November 2007. 5. R. Rogers, E. Weltevrede, S. Niederer and E.K. Borra, ‘National Web Studies: The Case of Iran Online’, in J. Hartley, A. Bruns and J. Burgess (eds), A Companion to New Media Dynamics (Oxford: Blackwell, forthcoming 2013). 6. R. Rogers, Digital Methods (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013). 7. R. Rogers, F. Jansen, M. Stevenson and E. Weltevrede, ‘Mapping Democracy’, in Global Information Society Watch 2009 (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries and Assocation for Progressive Communciation, 2009).

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8. A. Ben-David, ‘Palestinian Border-Making in Digital Spaces’ (unpublished PhD dissertation, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, 2013). 9. G. Ramsees, (ed.), Arab Society in Israel, 5: Population, Society, Economy (Jerusalem: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, 2012). 10. Y. Suleiman, Arabic Sociolinguistics: Issues & Perspectives (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1994), pp.227–8. 11. M. Kabha and D. Caspi, The Palestinian Arab In/Outsiders: Media and Conflict in Israel (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011); A. Jamal, ‘Media Culture as Counter-Hegemonic Strategy: The Communicative Action of the Arab Minority in Israel’, Media, Culture, and Society, 31, 4 (2009), pp.559–77. 12. M. Kabha, ‘A Net without Borders’, in T. Shwartz Altshuler (ed.), Online Newspapers in Israel (Jerusalem and Beer Sheba, Israel: Israel Democracy Institute and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Burda Center for Innovative Communications, 2007), pp.177–97. 13. G.S. Mesch and I. Talmud,‘Ethnic Differences in Internet Access’, Information, Communication & Society, 14 (2011), pp.445–71. 14. Jamal, ‘Media Culture as Counter-Hegemonic Strategy’; N. Hamdy, ‘Arab Citizen Journalism in Action: Challenging Mainstream Media, Authorities and Media Laws’, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 6 (2009), pp.92–112; U. McGahern, ‘The Limits of Dissent: Palestinian Media in a Jewish Ethnocracy’, Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research, 4 (2011), pp.79–93; Kabha, ‘Net Without Borders’. 15. Jamal, ‘Media Culture as Counter-Hegemonic Strategy’, p.560; D. Caspi and N. Elias, ‘Don’t Patronize Me: Media-by and Media-for Minorities’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34, 1 (2011), pp.63. 16. M. Dahan, ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Changing Public Sphere of Palestinian Israelis’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 8, 2 (2003), http://jcmc.indiana. edu/vol8/issue2/dahan.html; Kabha, ‘Net Without Borders’. 17. Caspi and Elias, ‘Don’t Patronize Me’, pp.62–82. 18. M.L. Mueller, Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010). 19. G. Jacobson, B. Krishnamurthy and D. Srivastava, ‘Method for Providing More Informative Results in Response to a Search of Electronic Documents’, US Patent 6070157 (2000), www.google.co.il/patents?id=LScEAAAAEBAJ. 20. Digital Methods Initiative, ‘Google Scraper Tool’, https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/ Dmi/ToolDatabase. 21. Thanks are extended to Dr Bernhard Rieder, Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, for providing a script for automatically extracting the geographical data from the IP numbers and Whois forms of the websites in the dataset. 22. The transcriptions of Arabic and Hebrew place names were copied from the Whois forms, based on the spelling used by website owners (for example, Umm el Fahim, or Hertzlia). When different transcriptions were used for the same place, the transcription appearing in the figures follows the English transcription as it appears in Geonames.org’s database. Geonames can be consulted for alternative transcriptions of place names in Arabic and Hebrew. See http://geonames.org. 23. IssueCrawler.net, http://issuecrawler.net. 24. Gephi, an open source graph visualization software, http://gephi.org. 25. Milton Mueller notes that although in many countries a relatively large proportion of websites is registered under generic domains, a typical ccTLD controls 50–90 per cent of

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the domain name market within their countries. See Mueller, Networks and States, p.234. 26. Please consult the following URL for a full-colour version of the figures: http://goo.gl/ EN6To. 27. Jamal, ‘Media Culture as Counter-Hegemonic Strategy’. 28. Kabha, ‘Net Without Borders’, p.194. 29. A. Jamal, ‘The Political Ethos of Palestinian Citizens of Israel: Critical Reading in the Future Vision Documents’, Israel Studies Forum, 23 (2008), pp.3–28. 30. Examples are acri.org.il, the Israeli Association for Human rights; Maki.org.il, the Israeli Communist Party; or the Hagar association, a Jewish-Arab initiative for equality in education in the Negev area. 31. Examples are Shaarit.org.il, a new social movement; or vanleer.org.il, a leading Israeli research institution based in Jerusalem. 32. Three educational institutions, two municipalities, two employment centres, two Christian institutions, a weekly magazine, a feminist organization and two psychological and family therapy centres. 33. Examples are Yesh Gvul and Middle East Web. 34. Examples are Adalah, Adva, Mossawa, Arabs48 and Jawlan. 35. Highly recurrent cities are Shefar’am, Kabul, Kfar Yassif , Kafr Kanna, Tamra, Dabburiya, and the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. 36. The lists of websites hosted in the generic .org domain and the local .org.il domains were used as starting points for crawling their respective hyperlink networks using IssueCrawler.net. 37. R. Rogers and A. Ben-David, ‘The Palestinian–Israeli Peace Process and Transnational Issue Networks: The Complicated Place of the Israeli NGO’, New Media & Society, 10, 3 (June 2008), pp.497–528. 38. Kabha, ‘A Net without Borders’. 39. Examples are Baqa2day, Qalanswa.com, GloanNews and Ibillin.com. 40. See www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bokra.net#. 41. See www.alexa.com/siteinfo/bokra.co.il. 42. See Israeli Internet Association (ISOC-IL), ‘Rules for the Allocation of Domain Names Under the Israel Country Code Top Level Domain (“IL”)’, August 1998, www.isoc. org.il/domains/il-domain-rules.html). Section B of the ISOC-IL rules notes that only academic institutions of higher education that have been recognized as such by the Israel Council for Higher Education (MALAG) will be allocated the ac.il domain.

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C Minorities’ Uses and Reception of Media

Section C consists of four studies of ethnic communities (FSU immigrants, Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israelis of Mizrachi origin), emphasizing use of and exposure to media in the minority and majority languages, as well as the manner in which content is decoded and meaning is derived. The studies are inspired by functionalist paradigm, the uses and gratification approach and reception studies. Hanna Adoni and Hillel Nossek investigated the function of book reading in a society comprising a multiplicity of ethno-cultural communities, inquiring whether it functions both as a unifying factor within each such community and a dividing factor and boundary delineator among them. Their article is based on multi-year survey data concerning representative samples of Israeli adult readers over the past forty years, focus groups and analysis of bestseller lists. The findings demonstrate that book reading functions as a signifier of boundaries within Israeli society, namely among ethno-cultural co-cultures of veteran Jewish Israelis, Jewish immigrants from the FSU and Israeli Arabs. This conclusion supports the claim that book reading may be a divisive factor among co-cultures within nation states. While Adoni and Nossek examine the patterns of use of the oldest medium (books) among ethnic minorities in Israel, Gustavo Mesch, Rita Mano and Judith Tsamir investigate ethno-national differences in use of online sources and the perceived influence of such use on changes in health-related behaviour. They tested the Diversification Hypothesis, which argues that disadvantaged groups in society will be more likely to use online sources to access health information to compensate for their lack of social capital. Data were gathered from a sample of Internet users reflecting the percentage of minorities in the overall population in Israel. The results indicate that disadvantaged groups display greater motivation to access online medical information and health communication than the majority group. Such

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behaviour, along with use of online communications, was perceived as affecting changes in health-related behaviour. The findings show that minority groups that do not have access to specialized networks use the Internet to overcome their lack of access to the relevant services and to adopt new health-related behaviour. Whereas quantitative studies exposed major trends in minority use of different media, Yifat Ben Hay-Segev and Catherine Squires conducted a qualitative investigation to explore how the Mizrahi audience negotiates televised representations of its identity, displaying consistencies and discrepancies across generations. The findings reveal ambivalent responses to attempts at media inclusion, similar to those of black audiences concerning US television. Despite their recognition of media discrimination, however, the participants in this study, unlike the black audiences in American research, did not seem eager to achieve change. The participants describe the two-way traffic between themselves and the hegemonic collective according to the politics of ‘belonging and difference’ that Zionism practices with regard to Mizrahim. The findings suggest that despite the call from some critics for rejection of positive and negative imagery discussions, audiences continue to use these terms as they navigate the increased visibility of their group on television. The concluding chapter of this volume offers a comparative perspective, shedding light on the role of immigrants’ media use in their integration into the host society, examining the situation among immigrants from the FSU in Israel and Germany. Nelly Elias based her study on 100 in-depth interviews with Russian-speaking immigrants who emigrated from the FSU during the 1990s. In both cases, these immigrants meet the definition of ‘returning diasporas’ by virtue of their belonging to the dominant nationality of the target country, entitling them to full citizens’ rights immediately on arrival. This situation is of particular interest, as ‘returning home’ ostensibly guarantees freedom from the sense of alienness that had clung to these immigrants as ethnic minorities in their country of origin. In practice, however, immigration to an old-new homeland entails potential for the emergence of a new type of alienness, as the immigrants differ from the local residents in language and culture. Consequently, these immigrant communities provide a rare opportunity for studying how they apply their media practices as integration strategies and how they cope with their newly acquired alienness.

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9 ‘Tell Me Which Books You Read and I Will Tell You Who You Are’: Cultural Boundaries between Co-cultures in Israeli Society Hanna Adoni and Hillel Nossek

The main question this chapter asks is to what extent does book reading, as a cultural behaviour, function as an integrative or divisive factor in Israeli society; it addresses this question both at the macro level, by delineating socially constructed boundaries among three ethno-cultural groups that coexist side by side in Israel: ‘veteran’ Jewish Israelis (either native-born or immigrants before 1989), recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU), and Arab citizens of Israel; and at the micro level, by delineating individual readers’ gender and status groups. Ethnic and national identities have been studied by many different disciplines and, accordingly, have been defined in various ways. In this chapter, the starting point is the general definition of identity as the sense of belonging to a community – sharing a feeling of common destiny, a language, interests and values, and often even physical characteristics,1 as well as a collective memory that comprises a system of representations and opinions regarding the past shared by group members.2 These ethno-cultural groups, which share the same society with the larger, hegemonic ethnic group that defines and rules the nation state, are often defined as ethnic or religious minorities. We prefer another, more egalitarian term coined by Orbe,3 that of co-cultures, which coexist within the same society and comprise both the majority and the minority populations. The culturally divisive or unifying potential of book reading is a politically important issue, inasmuch as we believe that these patterns of cultural behaviour may contribute to the creation of cultural and political sphericules4 and, consequently, may jeopardize the existence of the common public sphere that is necessary for the sustainability of a democratic regime. In Israel, this question became especially pertinent during the 1990s, following changes in Israeli culture, society and media that involved the rapid

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penetration of new communication technologies and the empowerment of multicultural aspirations of Israeli co-cultures.5 Today, Israeli society comprises two major distinct ethnic co-cultures; the Jewish majority, comprising about 75 per cent of the population; and the Arab minority, comprising about 21 per cent6 – and also about 4 per cent of non-Arab Christians and other religions. Each co-culture includes several subgroups. The Arab community consists of Christians, Druze and the Muslim majority. Within the Jewish population too, several strong co-cultures coexist: (a) ‘Veteran’ Jews, including Jews who immigrated to Israel at least thirty years ago (about 50 per cent of the general population), who are further divided into large ethnic groups comprising people from different countries and cultures, generally depicted as those from western origins (Ashkenazi) or from Muslim countries (Mizrahi); (b) the ultra-orthodox community (about 10 per cent of the general population); and (c) the ‘Russian’ group (about 20 per cent of the Jewish population), comprising FSU immigrants. Each of these groups is anxious to preserve its unique culture, and often actively encourages separatist cultural practices.7 This trend of empowering co-cultures that coexist in the same nation state is not exclusive to Israel; similar processes have occurred in the USA and Europe, especially after the influx of great waves of immigration from all over the world. These ethno-cultural changes generally find support in an intellectual climate that encourages the questioning of traditional hierarchies and challenges the cultural hegemonies and ‘melting-pot’ ideology. Such a climate also supports a strong tendency toward separatism among the cocultures and the evolution of multicultural societies.8 We believe that our findings concerning Israeli society may be highly relevant to other societies characterized by a multiplicity of cultures. This chapter is based on long-term research, which is a rare phenomenon in current academic studies. Over four decades, we have carefully and continually collected, analysed and re-analysed data on media consumption of different co-cultures in Israel, including reading habits and preferences, which hopefully permits us to offer a wider perspective and a deeper understanding of reading practices in Israeli society.

Why Book Reading? Book reading is a cultural behaviour with a built-in paradox. On the one hand, it is perhaps the most individualistic and lonely cultural activity, demanding the deepest and best of human emotional and cognitive faculties. On the other hand, sharing similar literary tastes and texts creates a community of readers9 and contributes to individuals’ identification with

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and integration within social groups. Our data have consistently demonstrated that even in today’s media-saturated environment, reading for pleasure – whether in print or digital books – is here to stay.10 Its enduring power stems from its role as one of the most significant cultural behaviours: book reading fulfils an array of psychosocial needs that are not as successfully met by other media,11 particularly those needs associated with the social construction of one’s national, ethnic and cultural identity.12 This particular social function of books has been pinpointed already by McLuhan’s13 argument concerning the relations between printing-press technology and the development of national consciousness, which provided a springboard for the political creation of the European nation states. McLuhan argued that the printing press helped to formalize and spread the lingua franca, thus laying the social foundations for the emergence of these new political systems – that is, nation states. In his highly influential book, Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson14 also examined the impact of printed books on modern capitalism and nationalism. He demonstrated that individuals’ exposure to a common language and shared texts, both religious and secular, were prerequisites for identifying with religious and ethnic groups and for creating the ‘imagined communities’ of religions and nation states. Thus, the establishment and dissemination of national languages as the ‘languages of power’ in Europe were a prerequisite condition for the political establishment of nation states. Inasmuch as social identities in the nation state are the product of social and political construction15 and are also the objects of ongoing negotiation in a competitive space, the mass media (i.e. books, in this case) can also play a key role in delineating the boundaries between different groups.16 Morley and Robins17 even argued that cultural consumption may be a divisive factor between co-cultures that coexist in the same society. In his analysis of Israeli co-cultures, Kimmerling18 distinguished between immigrants, settlers and natives. He suggested that multiplicity of co-cultures does not necessarily lead to tolerance and acceptance of ‘other’ co-cultures, and that in certain social circumstances it may even lead to conflict and cultural war among them. The central role of books and reading in the history of the Jewish people is well documented and universally accepted. Jacob Katz19 has demonstrated the connection between changes in attitude toward the study of traditional Jewish texts in eighteenth-century Europe and the ensuing crisis in the traditional Jewish community, as reflected in the rise of both the Hassidic movement and the secular Enlightenment. On the one hand, Hassidism promoted the idea of the religious experience as equal in importance, and in some instances even superior, to the study of traditional

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religious texts. On the other hand, the Enlightenment movement, in sharp contrast to the tradition of focusing on the Holy Scriptures shared by all members of the Jewish diaspora, strived to encompass diverse texts, both religious and secular, Jewish and foreign, as the basis for the new, emancipated Judaism. Tracing the importance of book reading in Israeli society, a main aspiration of the Zionist movement in line with these Enlightenment principles was that the Jewish people’s renewal in the Land of Israel would embrace all areas of culture and integrate tradition with a secular Hebrew culture.20 In addition, cultural, literary and scientific activities would award the would-be state a higher spiritual authority over the Jewish diaspora and nations of the world. Practical steps taken to establish the Land of Israel as this spiritual centre involved the gradual transfer of the Jewish literary centre from the diaspora (mostly Europe) to pre-state Israel.21 Over time, this centre has built up all the elements of a literary world: book publishers and literary journals in Hebrew; professional guilds; informal circles of Hebrew authors; translators of the European classics; literary critics; printers; booksellers; and, most importantly for our purposes, an ever-expanding Hebrew-reading public, which was perceived as taking an active part in the revival of Jewish cultural and national identity.22 Research on book reading by adults in ethnic groups is rather scarce. In contrast, the use of national languages and acquisition of a second language have gained much attention and empirical research within the context of ethnic identity and the acculturation of ethno-cultural groups in the processes of immigration and cultural transition.23 Studies conducted in Israel, USA and other host countries of immigrant cultures have amply confirmed that acquisition of the majority language is one of the basic conditions for acculturation and construction of new identities.24 In contrast to voluminous research on minorities and language, research on the interaction between book reading and ethno-cultural identity is still in its infancy. Most attention up to now has been directed toward joint reading by mothers and children from different minorities and the culture-specific patterns of book reading and language acquisition.25 Our earlier research26 demonstrated that even today, in media-saturated environments, book reading in one’s own language remains more effective in developing national and ethnic identities than does consumption of any other media.

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Reading, Gender and Social Status The reading public is not homogenous, comprising women and men of different ages, levels of education and socio-economic status, and, as a result, different cultural capital. Sociological research27 has amply established that at the micro level of the individual, book reading, as well as other forms of cultural behaviour, may affect the social distinctions among status groups, or other types of associations based on various socio-demographic variables. In the present chapter, we focus on reading differences according to gender and years of schooling (the most important variable of socio-economic status). Gans28 analysed the distinctions between social groups in terms of ‘taste cultures’ and ‘taste publics’, which do not necessarily overlap completely. A ‘taste culture’ is an aggregate of cultural products, leisure activities and other consumer products. ‘Taste publics’ are the social groups who consume these products, where those taste publics who are more educated and higher up the socio-economic ladder reveal more complex cultural tastes.29 Both Gans30 and Bourdieu31 have concluded that people with high cultural capital who belong to high-level ‘taste publics’ consume both ‘high’ complex culture and lower popular culture. In contrast, those belonging to the ‘taste public’ with only limited cultural capital cannot enjoy both worlds and mainly enjoy taste cultures with a low level of complexity. These phenomena have become more prevalent in the last two decades. Peterson and Kern32 suggested that ‘highbrow’ consumers underwent a transformation from ‘snobs to omnivores’ and now prefer to abundantly consume cultural fare of different complexities.33 As for the relation between gender and book reading, feminist research has shown a connection between the literary genres preferred by women as well as their aspiration to read and learn, and both their integration within their interpretative community and the level of feminine empowerment in both secular34 and traditional35 societies. Long36 suggested that female members of book clubs were ‘involved in the process of exploration and self definition that is mediated by literature’.37 These studies, as well as our own research,38 clearly indicate that gender is a powerful variable in predicting differences in book reading within the common co-culture and the same social strata. Overall, in societies comprising multiple ethno-cultural groups, or cocultures, there is a continuum of possibilities regarding the boundaries between any given pair of co-cultures, as indicated by their literary taste culture (reading material) and their reading taste publics. At one extreme end of this continuum, the cultural boundaries are rigid and impenetrable;

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each co-culture constructs its own unique cultural taste and, consequently, its own isolated cultural sphericule. In this extreme case, the distribution of readers according to other socio-demographic variables, like social status, age and gender, can exist only within the ethno-cultural group but cannot cut across the ethnic co-cultures. At the other end of the continuum, cultural boundaries among ethno-cultural groups are relatively weak and porous, with plentiful commonalities in their taste culture and taste publics, and rather weak or non-existent taste publics of cultural sphericules. In this opposite case, the distribution of readers defined by other socio-demographic variables like gender and education level will cut across the ethno-cultural boundaries and create alternative, non-ethnic cultural public spheres. Between these extreme ends of the continuum, varying degrees of overlap can develop at different periods for various ethno-cultural groups, and thus create fertile conditions for the development of a shared cultural sphere, as a basis for a shared civic public sphere.

Research Questions and Methodology The theoretical approaches surveyed above share the basic premise that book reading, more than any other cultural behaviour, exposes readers to shared texts and a common language, thereby contributing to a differential social construction of the boundaries between and within various co-cultures. Consequently, our study addressed three main empirical research questions regarding Israel’s three major co-cultures (veteran Jews, FSU immigrants and Arabs) and socio-demographic characteristics: 1 2

3

Do the three investigated ethno-cultural co-cultures reveal distinctive literary taste publics and taste cultures? Do the reading publics within each co-culture demonstrate clear-cut distinctions between taste publics based on their individual members’ socio-demographic variables (in our study: gender and years of schooling)? Do the similar reading taste publics (in terms of socio-demographic variables) from the various co-cultures share a common, or at least partially overlapping, taste culture that serves as an integrative factor between them, or does the ethno-cultural division prevail?

This chapter is based on several studies conducted since 1970 and up to the present day, as elaborated earlier and as specified in Table 9.1. Three indicators of reading taste culture were defined: (a) language – the language of books read and the books’ original language (Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, English or other); (b) preferred genres; and (c) content – books on

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Table 9.1 Empirical studies cited in the chapter. Study I

Study II

Study III

Study IV

Study V

Study VI

Year of Study

1970

1990

2001

2002

2003

2011

Sample size

4000

2315 Jews 520 250 Arabs

9 focus groups comprising 10–12 participants

All bestseller lists published in Ha’aretz 2000–02

733 Jews 300 Arabs

Population Jewish adults 21+

Jewish and Arab adults 21+

Jewish adults 21+

Respondents 125 Fiction include veteran 125 Reference Jews, FSU 75 Leisure immigrants, Israeli Arabs, Orthodox Jews

Method

Face-toface survey

Telephone Focus survey groups

Face-toface survey

Quantitative content analyis

Jewish and Arab adults 21+

Internet survey amongst Jews Telephone survey amongst Arabs

Reference

Katz and Gurevitch, The Secularization of Leisure (1976).

Katz et al., Leisure Culture (2000).

Adoni and Nossek, Readers’ Voices (2007).

Adoni and Nossek, Readers’ Voices (2007).

Adoni and Nossek, Readers’ Voices (2007).

Adoni and Nossek, ‘Between the Book’ (2011).

universal humanistic contents versus books on national/ethnic history, politics and culture. It should be noted that these operational definitions were quite loose, and a certain overlap may arise between genre and content. Also, the literary field from which every reader chooses contains a vast, in fact infinite, catalogue of reading material from different periods and languages.39 In practice, the vast majority of readers prefers to read in one language, two at most, and primarily, though not exclusively, books written in the most recent decade. Yet, even given these limitations, the options within the text inventory of each field are infinitely diverse.40

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Results Reading Languages: Comparisons across Taste Publics and Taste Cultures Almost the entire veteran Jewish taste public reads books in Hebrew. In the two decades of 1970–90, a process of homogenization took place in Israel in terms of reading language, and the number of Hebrew readers rose from 69 per cent in the 1970s to 81 per cent in the early 1990s. This increase (see Table 9.2) pointed to the emergence of a new generation of readers, young nativeborn Jews (sabras) whose first and sometimes only reading language was Hebrew. This group has gradually been replacing the older generation of readers who reached Israel from European and Middle Eastern countries and were often fluent in several European languages or in Arabic, respectively. When almost a million FSU immigrants were absorbed into Israeli society during the 1990s and the early years of the twenty-first century, the status of the Hebrew language for book reading changed dramatically. The percentage of Hebrew readers in the Jewish population reverted to the level seen in the 1970s (69 per cent). As expected, a significant rise occurred in the percentage of readers in the Russian language, which was the primary and often only reading language of these immigrants (see Table 9.2). However, in 2007, the percentage of Hebrew readers rose again, to 78 per cent, almost reaching its former level from 1990 and again rising to 87 per cent in 2011. In 1990, we found a consistent increase from 1970 in the number of people who read books in English, and the most recent book read by onetenth of the total reading population in the 1990s was in English. However,

Table 9.2 Distribution of Jewish readers (%) by language of respondents’ latest book read in 1970, 1990, 2001 and 2011. Year/Study/ Language

1970 Study I IV (N=1,602)

1990 Study II (N=1,050)

2001 Study III (N=430)

2011 Study VI (N=773)

69 7 5 0 2 0 17 100

81 7 2 2 0 0 8 100

69 10 2 15 1 0 3 100

87 7 1 5 0 0 0 100

Hebrew English French Russian Yiddish Arabic Other Total % Note. For details of studies, see Table 9.1.

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reading in other European languages such as French or German was uncommon. A very small percentage of readers reported that the last book they read was in French, and the percentage of readers whose latest book was in another European language was also extremely low, especially when compared longitudinally. Although Israeli society’s cultural orientation toward the English-speaking world is well known,41 there is evidence of change in Israeli society, which only a generation ago was remarkable for its number and variety of reading publics of different languages. Predictably, the number of Russian readers rose dramatically: in 2001, it reached about 15 per cent of the total Jewish population (compared with 2 per cent in 1990). In 2011, the number of book readers in English was 7 per cent and in Russian 5 per cent. Analysis of Israeli bestseller lists (2000–02) revealed a growing tendency among veteran Jewish readers to prefer relatively recently published books written originally in Hebrew. This preference was especially clear for guidebooks, reference books and books on leisure subjects, although it was also true for fiction. In 2000, when the number of translated fiction books on the bestseller lists was slightly higher than the number of books written in Hebrew (nineteen translations compared with seventeen originally written in Hebrew), original Hebrew titles still outnumbered translations on the lists. In 2002, the number of original Hebrew titles was double the number of translations. As seen in Table 9.2, three-quarters of the listed books (74 per cent) were originally in Hebrew and only a quarter comprised translations (26 per cent). Translations that were respectably placed on the bestseller lists included the Harry Potter books, books by Tolkien, Saramago’s novel Blindness, novels by John Grisham and Danielle Steel, and The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. These books were all popular in other countries, where they also appeared on bestseller lists. Hebrew translations of the classics have also enjoyed a revival at the initiative of Israeli publishing houses. In recent years, the Israeli public has enjoyed translations of works by classical Russian writers such as Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Gambler (Igrok in Russian) and Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. The Russian and Arabic language reading publics can be divided into four categories of readers:42 ‘Bilingual’ readers (Dualists) who read both the majority language of Hebrew and also the language of their minority, Russian or Arabic; ‘Adapters’ who read mostly in Hebrew, whereas ‘Separatists’ mainly or only read in the minority language; and the ‘Detached’ do not read in any language at all. According to Adoni and her colleagues,43 by the end of the 1990s, most of the reading public of FSU immigrants (76 per cent) read

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books only in Russian and could thus be classified as Separatists. Dualists who read both in Russian and Hebrew formed only 9 per cent of the immigrant population, and a similar number of Dualist readers read both in Russian and English. Only 4 per cent of immigrant book readers were Adapters who read mainly in Hebrew. According to our findings from 2011, in the following decade, an increase in Hebrew readers occurred in the Russian immigrant community, in particular among the younger generation; yet, interest in Hebrew literature remained low (about 6 per cent answered that the last book they read was in Hebrew). Russian and Arab co-cultures clearly differ both in their cultural origins and their societal status within Israeli society. However, regarding their preferred language for book reading, these two ethno-cultural communities share similar patterns. According to our findings from 1999,44 among the Arabs, the majority of the reading public (79 per cent) only reads books in Arabic and can be defined as Separatists. Slightly more than a tenth (11 per cent) read in both languages, Hebrew and Arabic, and almost 4 per cent read in Arabic and English (Dualists). Only 4 per cent mostly read books just in Hebrew (Adapters). The Arab readers also show little interest in translated Hebrew literature, with the majority of readers enjoying works by Arab writers or translations of world literature into Arabic. Finally, it is important to note that while the preferred language for reading books is predominantly the language of one’s co-culture (see Table 9.3), this is not necessarily the case for other media (see Table 9.4). Newspaper reading (19 per cent), television viewing (12 per cent) and even Internet surfing (9 per cent) in Hebrew by the Arab population might indicate a different direction towards a partially common public sphere that differs from book reading. Our findings do not show the same trend for FSU immigrants, thus highlighting the need for further research into co-cultures’ other media consumption habits in order to complement the research on book reading.

Table 9.3 Distribution of readers (%) by language of respondents’ latest book read in 2011. Co-culture

Arabs Veteran Jews FSU immigrants

Language Hebrew

Arabic

Russian

English

Other

Total %

9 92 6

83 – –

– – 90

6 6 4

2 2 –

100 100 100

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Table 9.4 Preferred language for media consumption (%) by co-culture and media 2011. Co-culture Media

FSU immigrants

Arabs

Veteran Jews

English Russian Hebrew English Arabic Hebrew English Arabic Hebrew & other & other & other Books Newspapers Television Radio Internet

5 4 5 1 3

95 93 93 91 93

– 3 2 8 4

2 1 5 1 4

94 80 83 94 87

4 19 12 5 9

5 3 23 6 14

– – – – –

95 97 77 94 86

Literary Genres and Contents: Comparisons across Taste Cultures and Taste Publics As expected regarding literary genres, a similar distribution emerged in all the taste cultures, with novels pinpointed as the most popular of the genres in all the taste publics. Only some slight differences appeared: among the Russians, poetry was a more popular genre than in any other taste public; Arabs read practical guides on health and child-rearing more than the other taste publics; and secular Jews read more fantasy and science fiction literature than the others. However, as the following analysis and examples show, even the same genres are anchored in the different literary traditions of the examined co-cultures as expressed by the participants in focus groups. We based this part of our study on a bestseller-list analysis, while aware of the controversy that has surrounded the status and function of bestseller lists since their debut in 1895 and their establishment as part of the literary supplements in American quality newspapers. Whether or not they point to the democratization of reading or represent an outgrowth of the development of the book market and indicate an inverse relation between quality and quantity continues as a subject for scholarly debate.45 Another controversial point is the relation between buying books and reading them. But, for our purposes, the basic assumption was that books included in bestseller lists are both bought and read by many people, and as such can be considered indicators of the taste publics selection from the larger inventory of the taste culture. One of the most conspicuous features of the Ha’aretz bestseller list for fiction (see Table 9.5) is its large percentage of high-quality, high-complexity books. During the three years of the study (2000–02), the twelve most popular books included works by Israeli world-renowned writers such as A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz and David Grossman – books considered to be

22 (79%)

849 (67%) 74 (64%)

6 (21%)

425 (33%) 41 (36%)

433 (35%) 42 (37%)

815 (65%) 73 (63%)

17 (68%) 1248 115

25

480 44 480 46 288

N

487 (39%) 39 (41%)

7 (32%)

204 (43%) 19 (53%) 172 (36%) 13 (35%) 111 (39%)

Translation

761 (61%) 56 (59%)

15 (68%)

276 (57%) 17 (47%) 308 (64%) 24 (65%) 177 (61%)

Hebrew

Note. For sources, see Adoni and Nossek, Readers’ Voices. Mentions refer to the number of weeks for which titles were mentioned on the list.

1244 115

8 (32%)

347 (72%) 27 (61%) 255 (53%) 29 (63%) 213 (74%)

Hebrew

2000

1248 95

22

480 36 480 37 288

N

Mentions Titles

Titles

Mentions Titles Mentions Titles Mentions

Total

Guidebooks/ leisure

Reference

Fiction

Genre

172

28

133 (28%) 17 (39%) 225 (47%) 17 (34%) 75 (26%)

365 (74%) 30 (67%) 262 (53%) 22 (52%) 222 (75%)

125 (26%) 15 (33%) 228 (47%) 20 (48%) 72 (25%)

490 45 490 42 294

Translation

Hebrew

Translation

N

2001

2002

Table 9.5 Distribution of titles and mentions in the bestseller lists according to genre and language in 2000–02.

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highbrow canonical Hebrew literature.46 The fact that these books appear on the bestseller list side by side with younger, avant-garde Israeli authors demonstrates how serious the reading public is and how involved it is in contemporary Hebrew literature. Similar to the books written in Hebrew, translations could also be divided according to their level of complexity, ranging from John Grisham books to classics such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Although books about the Holocaust seldom appear on bestseller lists, many Jewish participants in focus groups, both veterans and FSU immigrants, reported that they often read books on Holocaust subjects. Moreover, the Holocaust and its aftermath constitute a central motif in Hebrew literature in general, as well as in many bestselling books by Israeli authors. In contrast, translations of books by Palestinian or Arab writers from neighbouring countries were conspicuously missing from both of the bestseller lists. Most books about the ongoing Arab–Israeli conflict addressed it from the Israeli perspective. The Israeli Russian readers are interested first and foremost in Russian writers or translations into Russian, mostly of American and European writers. Unlike the veteran secular Jewish public, hardly any Jewish FSU immigrants are interested in Hebrew literature. Popular Russian books in our 2011 study included detective stories by Donzova; science fiction by Tolstaya; a series of detective books by Boris Akunin depicting the period of Tzar Nicholas II; and the novel Kukotsky’s Case by Ulitskaya about Stalin’s era. In vogue among the translated works were The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, two books by Haruki Murakami, and additional books translated from various European languages. Most of these books in their Hebrew version were also very popular among the veteran Jewish reading public. Arabs read Hebrew newspapers and any print material that they need for their professional work, but when it comes to reading books for pleasure and personal gratification, they definitely prefer to read either Arab literature or world literature translated into Arabic. Arab focus group participants stated their clear preference for classic Arab literature and poetry and mentioned reading books on mysticism and Islamic religious commentaries, which reach Israel via Jordan and Egypt. In our 2011 survey we found that Arabs in Israel read classic and canonical writers from Egypt, Lebanon, North Africa and Syria, as well as the Gulf states. Books on health and religion are also popular in this taste public. Survey questions (as well as interviews with expert informants) on books read in the last year revealed that Arab readers most often reported reading Egyptian authors, all situated in famous areas of Cairo and dealing with people’s day-to-day lives as well as their social and political beliefs. Also popular were Yusuf Idri’s books relating to rebellious activities against King

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Farouk and the British, and to poor, struggling Egyptians. Other well-liked authors from Egypt included Tawfiq al-Hakim, who was critical of Abdul Nasser’s regime, and Taha Hussein, whose fictional work centres on social commentary attacking poverty and ignorance. Emil Habibi’s popular books, The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist, Afr Q sim (Kafr Kassem) and Saraya, the Ogre’s Daughter, were among the few books mentioned by Arab readers which were written by local Arabs from Israel or the Palestinian Authority. On the other hand, Arab readers reported reading only a very few books translated from Hebrew to Arabic, mainly those dealing with personal problems and universal human suffering, and also those relevant to the Israeli–Arab conflict. A few books from world literature were also read, including Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, Paulo Coelho’s books, and some new-age literature. The boundaries between Jewish and Arab cocultures are also evident in two important aspects of book contents – Holocaust literature and books written by Arab authors. Holocaust literature is almost totally ignored by the Arab population. Both Jews and Arabs read literature dealing with Jewish–Arab conflict but almost none (with the exceptions mentioned above) read non-fiction books discussing the problem from the standpoint of the other group.

Language, Literary Genres, and Contents According to Gender and Years of Schooling Gender Regarding the language of their latest book read, no differences emerged between men and women in any of the investigated co-cultures. However, in all the examined co-cultures, literary taste was influenced by readers’ gender, as indicated by differences in genre preference by male and female readers. Consistent with the popular stereotype, women indeed read more novels and poetry than men, who tended to enjoy professional literature, travel books, non-fiction current affairs and religious texts. We found that readers with more years of schooling revealed fewer gender-related differences in their reading habits, although gender differences did not disappear completely even among the highly educated. Among the veteran Jewish secular reading public, many women preferred reading books written by women, particularly female Israeli authors. The same held true for Arab women. Although books written by Arab women dealt with issues such as basic human rights for women, while Israeli women wrote about problems of modern western women, such as combining career

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and raising a family, there was a common interest in issues relevant to women. These books differed greatly in terms of themes, complexity and personal style; yet several participants in focus groups told us that they read these books because they experienced identification with them and a sense of common female destiny through their books.

Years of Schooling Our research on the role of education in determining reading tastes – Studies III (2001) and VI (2011) – revealed that with regard to preferred reading language and the language of their last read book, only slight differences emerged according to readers’ educational level. One common feature to all three taste publics was that readers with more years of schooling tended to read more in English. In all the taste publics, a positive correlation emerged between readers’ years of schooling and the degree of book complexity. Nearly half of the reading public, comprising mostly readers with eleven-plus years of schooling, read books that can be classified as having a middle-to-high degree of complexity, whereas the majority of the reading public (about 60 per cent), mostly those with fewer years of schooling, preferred to read more popular and less complex literary genres. The better-educated tended to read more professional literature, non-fiction and current affairs than people with lower levels of education. Other fictional genres – thrillers, poetry, science fiction and fantasy – were more equally spread across the reading public, and educational status had no significant impact on the preference of these genres. People with higher education who read mainly complex books also read popular books. On the other hand, people who mainly read popular books hardly ever read more complex books. In other words, members of the higher taste public could read literature from both the high and the popular reading tastes, whereas people from the lower taste publics were limited to the popular reading material.

Discussion Our main conclusion is that book reading functions as a sociocultural dividing factor between three co-cultures that coexist in Israeli society and were investigated here: veteran Jews, Russian Jews and Arab citizens of Israel. In each co-culture, the taste publics focus on their own taste culture in their own language – a unique world of content representing different values, conserving a collective memory of a shared past and strengthening the within-group bonds among its members. While fulfilling this in-group

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integrative function, book reading also delineates invisible boundaries between these social groups. Thus, our findings clearly support Morley and Robins’s47 argument that cultural consumption may be a divisive factor among the co-cultures that coexist within nation states and, as Kimmerling48 suggested, may even cause conflict and cultural war between them. Veteran Jewish Israelis prefer reading in Hebrew and are highly interested in Hebrew literature, whether canonical, popular or young avant-garde. Foreign literature is mostly, though not solely, translated from English, and is generally oriented toward American and British cultures. Although this hegemonic majority group is highly heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity (Ashkenazi and Mizrahi) and degree of religiosity (secular, traditional, national-religious), its members share a rather similar taste culture in book reading and belong to the same taste public. In other words, they share a common cultural public sphere, a sine qua non basis for the development of a common political public sphere in which, hopefully, the social and political problems of Israeli society can be discussed and eventually solved in a democratic manner. Russian Jewish immigrants’ reading patterns indicate that this ethnocultural group continues to remain significantly separated from the majority of veteran Jewish Israelis, more than two decades after immigration. This coculture mostly continues to read books in the Russian language, and its taste culture continues to comprise mainly Russian books, both classic and new, with some translations of books from other languages into Russian or English. In terms of contents, the Russian taste culture remains strongly oriented toward classic Russian literature, followed by European literatures. Lately, however, Russian readers’ growing interest in Hebrew literature, as well as current foreign bestsellers, may signify a softening of the boundaries between the immigrant and veteran Israeli-Hebrew co-cultures, which calls for further research to follow up on these immigrants’ integration into Israeli society after more time in the country. Cultural boundaries between the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel appear to be linked to the strange asymmetry that exists between these two co-cultures regarding language acquisition. The majority of Arabs, especially the younger generation, can speak, write and read Hebrew; in contrast, the majority of Jews have never mastered the Arabic language. Even those Mizrahi Jews who immigrated to Israel from Muslim countries decades ago and spoke Arabic at home did not transfer this knowledge to the younger generation. Notwithstanding their knowledge of Hebrew, Arabs in Israel read books for pleasure almost exclusively in Arabic – books by Arab authors and also translations of various books, mostly from English or other European languages, into Arabic. Thus, the Arabic reading public is part of a co-culture

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that clearly seeks to preserve its language and culture and its connection to the Arab cultures in neighbouring states. There are, however, several indicators for potential change and a prospect of social construction of a common cultural sphere that might traverse or at least weaken the rigid boundaries of ethno-cultural communities. First, in all three ethno-cultural communities, the reading publics do read translations of classic world literature and modern bestsellers, and their intellectual elites also read books in the English language. Reading books in their own language still preserves cultural boundaries; yet there is some common, albeit quite limited, body of shared knowledge and values. Moreover, these shared contents rather neglect ethnic and national issues, instead focusing on individuals’ needs and fulfilment, environmental issues and universal problems of human beings. Books by Saramago, Haruki Murakami and J.K. Rowling mentioned by well-read people from all three communities illustrate this point. Second, the three Israeli reading taste publics – veteran secular Jews, Jewish Russian immigrants and Arabs – also divide horizontally, creating boundaries between two other taste publics: readers with higher education and readers with intermediate education. The trend of omnivorous and voracious consumerism49 also applies to the more educated of these two reading publics. The capacity of people with a higher educational level and cultural capital in general, and of the omnivorous readers in particular, to move between horizontal boundaries and enjoy ‘high’ as well as popular taste cultures seems to be a cross-culturally applicable rule. It is possible that this capacity will also enable them to develop interest in the literature of other ethno-cultural communities and thus cross over the rigid cultural boundaries. Some indication of this process can be detected among Arab and Russian intellectuals who are reading Hebrew literature translated into their languages, as well as among veteran Israelis who are ‘discovering’ the classic Russian literature in the excellent new Hebrew translations made available by a new generation of native Russian translators. Furthermore, our data showed the impact of gender on genre preferences, regardless of ethno-cultural community. Women read more literature in general and romantic novels in particular. These novels, however, are anchored in completely different social contexts, values and norms and thus do not contribute overtly or directly to the social construction of a common cultural sphere. However, there is an indication of a common denominator, as women in all three communities report that they are interested in literature written by women and tend to prefer novels with narratives concerning specific topics related to personal relationships, children and family, as well as the non-fiction literature dealing with issues of women’s rights and social

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roles in different societies. In conclusion, the cultural divide between the three co-cultures coexisting in Israel is anchored in completely different and sometimes even hostile cultural contexts. Each one of the Israeli co-cultures is interested mostly in its own literature and culture and thus creates its own cultural sphericule.50 Consequently, the boundaries between the co-cultures are strengthened by their reading material’s different language, contents and cultural origins. However, some signs of possibility exist for traversing these cultural boundaries by both intellectuals and women who share certain basic literary preferences in spite of their different taste cultures. In today’s flourishing multimedia environment, book reading is only one of many cultural behaviours and patterns of consumption for communication purposes. Some cultural activities are connected to contents that are less culture-bound than book reading, including activities considered ‘high culture’ (e.g. classical music, movies) and others considered ‘popular culture’ (e.g. popular music, soap operas or reality television). The latter activities are less culture-bound as they speak in the universal language of music and visual arts (even if people prefer to watch television programmes or surf the Internet in their own language), and consequently their consumption might be potentially less divisive than that of book reading.51 Media consumption by Arab and Russian co-cultures – especially newspaper reading and TV news and entertainment in Hebrew – indicate that these media are indeed potentially less divisive than book reading.52 As elaborated above, book reading, more than any other cultural behaviour, fulfils the need for belonging and for constructing ethnic and national identity.53 In the context of Israel’s long-standing circumstances, in which the reading publics of three co-cultures focus mainly, indeed almost exclusively, on their own language and literature, the chances for the evolvement of a common cultural sphere are slim. In spite of this situation, promising markers may indicate the beginning of a process of social construction of new civic public spheres, cutting across the rigid ethnocultural boundaries, which may constitute the foundation of a common political public sphere.

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Notes 1. S. Hall, ‘Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms’, Media, Culture and Society, 2 (1980), pp.57–72; S. Smooha, ‘Ethnic Groups and Ethnic Relations’, in A. Kuper and J. Kuper (eds), The Social Science Encyclopedia (London: Routledge, 1989), pp.262–72. 2. M. Halbwachs, On Collective Memory (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1992). 3. P.M. Orbe, Constructing Co-Cultural Theory: An Explication of Culture, Power and Communication (London: Sage, 1998). 4. T. Gitlin, ‘Public Spheres or Public Sphericules?’, in T. Liebes and J. Curran (eds), Media, Ritual and Identity (London: Routledge, 1998), pp.168–75. 5. B. Kimmerling, Immigrants, Settlers, Natives: The Israeli State between Cultural Pluralism and Cultural Wars (Tel-Aviv: Am Oved, 2004) (Hebrew). 6. Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Monthly Statistical Bulletin, 11/2012 (Jerusalem: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012). 7. H. Adoni, D. Caspi and A.A. Cohen, Media, Minorities, and Hybrid Identities (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006); Kimmerling, Immigrants, Settlers, Natives; Y. Peri and A. First, The Sectoral Media in Israel (Tel-Aviv: Herzog Communication Institute, Tel-Aviv University, 2004) (Hebrew). 8. J.C. Alexander and S. Seidman (eds), Culture and Society (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990); D. Crane (ed.), The Sociology of Culture (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994); C. Geertz, Available Light: Anthropological Reflections on Philosophical Topics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000); D. Kellner,‘Postmodernism as Social Theory: Some Challenges and Problems’, Theory, Culture & Society, 5 (1998), pp.239–71; M.D. Matsaganis, V.S. Katz and S.J. Ball-Rokeach, Understanding Ethnic Media, Producers, Consumers, and Societies (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2011); D. Morley and K. Robins, Spaces of Identity (London: Routledge, 1995); M. Schudson, ‘Culture and Integration of National Societies’, in Crane (ed.), Sociology of Culture, pp.21–45; Y. Tamir, ‘Two MultiCultural Concepts’, in M. Mautner, A. Sagi and R. Shamir (eds), Multi-Culturalism in a Jewish Democratic Country (Tel Aviv: Ramot – Tel Aviv University Press, 1998), pp.79–92 (Hebrew). 9. S. Fish, Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000). 10. H. Adoni and H. Nossek, Readers’ Voices: Literacy and Reading in the Multimedia Environment in Israel (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2007) (Hebrew); H. Nossek and H. Adoni,‘The Future of Reading as a Cultural Behavior in a Multi-Channel Media Environment’, in B. Cope and A. Philips (eds), The Future of the Book in the Digital Age (Oxford: Chandos, 2006), pp.89–113; H. Nossek and H. Adoni, ‘On Gutenberg’s Shoulders’, Panim, 54 (2011), pp.35–48 (Hebrew). 11. H. Adoni and H. Nossek, ‘Between the Book and the Reader: The Uses of Reading for the Gratification of Personal Psychosocial Needs’, in R. Crone and S. Towheed (eds), The History of Reading, Volume 3: Methods, Strategies, Tactics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), pp.49–66. 12. H. Nossek and H. Adoni, ‘Israelis in the Local and the Global Villages: National Identity in an Era of Globalization, Multiculturalism, and Multimedia Environment’, Qesher, 35 (2007), pp.136–46 (Hebrew). 13. M. McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy (Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 1962). 14. B. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983).

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15. J. Gillis (ed.), Commemorations: The Politics of National Identity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994). 16. S. Hall,‘Ethnicity, Identity and Difference’, Radical America, 23, 4 (1991), pp.9–13; S. Hall, ‘Culture, Community, Nation’, Cultural Studies, 7, 3 (1993), pp.349–63; P. Scannell,‘Public Broadcasting and Modern Public Life’, Media ,Culture, and Society, 11 (1989), pp.66–135; J. Sinclair and S. Cunningham, ‘Go with the Flow: Diasporas and the Media’, Television and New Media, 1, 1 (2000), pp.11–31. 17. Morley and Robins, Spaces of Identity. 18. Kimmerling, Immigrants, Settlers, Natives. 19. J. Katz, Tradition and Crisis (Tel Aviv: Mossad Bialik, 1958) (Hebrew). 20. H. Adoni, ‘Books and Reading in Changing Societies’, and ‘What Do Israelis Read?’, in E. Katz, H. Hass, S. Weitz, H. Adoni, M. Gurevitch, and M. Schiff, Leisure Culture in Israel: Changes in Patterns of Cultural Activities 1970–1990 (Tel Aviv: Open University Press, 2000), pp.341–68 and pp.369–88 (Hebrew); E. Katz and H. Adoni, ‘Functions of the Book for Society and Self ’, Diogenes, 81 (1973), pp.106–18. 21. O. Elyada, The Book Culture: The Annales School and the Historiography of Publishing in History and Literature (Jerusalem: Israeli Historical Society, 1999) (Hebrew); O. Elyada, ‘Reading and Cultural Practice’, Misgarot Media, 2 (2008), pp.139–46 (Hebrew); G. Shaked, The New Tradition: Essays on Modern Hebrew Literature (Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College Press/Wayne State University Press, 2006); Z. Shavit, Literary Life in Eretz Israel 1910–1933 (Tel-Aviv: Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics; Hakibutz Hemeuhad, 1999) (Hebrew). 22. I. Even-Zohar, ‘The Emergence of a Native Hebrew Culture in Palestine 1882–1948’, Kathedra, 16 (2005), pp.165–89 (Hebrew). 23. E. Olshtain and G. Horenczyk (eds), Language, Identity and Immigration (Jerusalem: Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2000). 24. E. Ben-Rafael, E. Olshtain and I. Geijst, ‘Identity and Language: The Social Insertion of Soviet Jews in Israel’, in E. Leshem and J.T. Shuval (eds), Immigration to Israel: Sociological Perspectives (London: Transaction, 1998), pp.333–57). 25. A.G. Bus, P.P.M. Leseman and P. Keultje, ‘Joint Book Reading Across Cultures: A Comparison of Surinamese-Dutch, Turkish-Dutch, and Dutch Parent-Child Dyads’, Journal of Literacy Research, 32, 1 (2000), pp.53–76; C.C.Y. Chan, A.C. Brandone and T. Tardif, ‘Culture, Context, or Behavioral Control? English and Mandarin-Speaking Mothers’ Use of Nouns and Verbs in Joint Book Reading’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 40, 4 (2009), pp.584–602; Y.H. Luo, C.E. Snow and C.J. Chang,‘Mother–Child Talk During Joint Book-Reading in Low-Income American and Taiwanese Families’, First Language, 32, 4 (2012), pp.494–511. 26. Adoni and Nossek, Readers’ Voices; Nossek and Adoni,‘Israelis in the Local and the Global Villages’. 27. P. Bourdieu, Distinctions: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984); P. Bourdieu, ‘Artistic Taste and Cultural Capital’, in J.C. Alexander and S. Seidman (eds), Culture and Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp.205–17. 28. H.J. Gans, Popular Culture and High Culture (New York: Basic Books, 1974). 29. R.A. Peterson (ed.), The Production of Culture (Beverley Hills, CA: Sage, 1976); R.A. Peterson, ‘Patterns of Cultural Choice: A Prolegomenon’, American Behavioral Scientist, 26 (1983), pp.422–38.

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30. Gans, Popular Culture and High Culture. 31. Bourdieu, Distinctions; Bourdieu, ‘Artistic Taste and Cultural Capital’. 32. R.A. Peterson and P.M. Kern, ‘Changing Highbrow Taste: From Snob to Omnivore’, American Sociological Review, 61 (1996), pp.900–07. 33. O. Sullivan and T. Katz-Gerro, ‘The Omnivore Thesis Revisited: Voracious Cultural Consumers’, European Sociological Review, 23 (2007), pp.123–37; T. Katz-Gerro and O. Sullivan, ‘Voracious Cultural Participation: Reinforcement of Gender and Social Status’, Time and Society, 19, 2 (2010), pp.193–219. 34. T. Modelski, Loving with a Vengeance: Mass-Produced Fantasies for Women (New York: Methuen, 1982); J. Radway, Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1984). 35. T. El-Or, Education and Ignorance (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1992) (Hebrew); T. El-Or, Next Passover: Women and Literacy in the National Religious Community (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2002) (Hebrew). 36. E. Long, ‘Women, Reading and Cultural Authority: Some Implications of Audience Perspective in Cultural Studies’, American Quarterly, 38 (1986), pp.591–612; E. Long, Book Clubs: Women and the Uses of Reading in Everyday Life (Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2003). 37. Long, Book Clubs, p.116. 38. Adoni and Nossek, Readers Voices. 39. G. Toury, ‘The Question of Describing Literature as a Multi-System’, HaSifrut, 18-19 (1974), pp.1–20 (Hebrew). 40. H. Adoni, ‘Literacy and Reading in a Multi-Media Environment’, Journal of Communication, 45 (1995), pp.152–74. 41. G. Taub, ‘Millions of People Alone’, Ha’aretz Supplement, 30 May 1997, pp.42–50 (Hebrew). 42. Adoni, Caspi and Cohen, Media, Minorities, and Hybrid Identities. 43. Ibid. 44. Ibid. 45. A. Glasner, ‘When the Human Spirit Is Translated into a Table of Stock Exchange Data’, Another Country, 34 (June–July 2006), pp.30–5 (Hebrew). 46. Criteria for book complexity were examined and established in 1990 by two postgraduate literature students and a book critic (Study II) and were then used in subsequent studies; see V. Zolberg, Constructing a Sociology of Arts (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990). 47. Morley and Robins, Spaces of Identity. 48. Kimmerling, Immigrants, Settlers, Natives. 49. Peterson and Kern, ‘Changing Highbrow Taste’; Katz-Gerro and Sullivan, ‘Voracious Cultural Participation’. 50. Gitlin, ‘Public Spheres or Public Sphericules? 51. H. Adoni and H. Nossek, ‘“I”, “Israeli”, and “World Citizen”: Cable Television and its Implications for Social Relations’, in D. Caspi (ed.), Communication and Democracy in Israel (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv: Van Leer Institute and HaKibutz HaMeuhad, 1997) (Hebrew); H. Adoni and H. Nossek, ‘The New Media Consumers: Media Convergence and the Displacement Effect’, Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 26, 1 (2001), pp.59–83; H. Nossek and H. Adoni, ‘The Social Implications of Cable Television: Restructuring Connections with Self and Social Groups’, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 8, 1 (1996), pp.51–69.

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52. A. Jamal, The Culture of Media Consumption among National Minorities: The Case of Arab Society in Israel (Nazareth: I’lam Media Center for Arab Palestinians in Israel, 2006). 53. Olshtain and Horenczyk, Language, Identity and Immigration; Jamal, Culture of Media Consumption; E. Katz and M. Gurevitch, The Secularization of Leisure (London: Faber & Faber, 1976); Katz et al., Leisure Culture in Israel; McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy.

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10 Ethnicity and the Diversification of Access to Online Health Information and Communication in Israel1 Gustavo Mesch, Rita Mano and Judith Tsamir The Internet has emerged as a valuable channel for accessing health information and health services. According to recent surveys, 61 per cent of US adults look online for health information.2 In Europe, the percentage of the population that has used the Internet for health purposes increased from an estimated 42.3 per cent in 2005 to an estimated 52.2 per cent in 2007. Studies indicate that the perceived relevance of online health resources has also increased. In 2007, in Europe the Internet was perceived as an important source of health information by an estimated 46.8 per cent of the population, a significant increase of 6.5 per cent from 2005. The use of the Internet for health purposes is growing in all age groups and for both men and women.3 Online communication on health issues, linking individuals in need of specific information and support from health care professionals, is becoming more common.4 In Europe, in 2007, an estimated 7.4 per cent of the population reported having approached a family doctor, specialist or other health care professional via email or the Web to request or renew a prescription, 9.9 per cent to schedule an appointment, and 6.7 per cent to ask particular health questions.5 Similarly, in the US, 5 per cent of adults report that they received online information, care or support from a health professional, 13 per cent report having had online contact with friends and family, and 5 per cent report that they interacted online with fellow patients. Patients, healthcare organizations and public service agencies are relying more and more on the Internet as a channel to provide services. In this study, we investigate the use of the Internet to access health information and communication in Israel, and its perceived effects on health habits, with particular emphasis on similarities and differences among a disadvantaged minority (Israeli Arabs), relatively recent immigrants (from the former Soviet Union) and the native majority of Israeli Jews. We rely on a conceptual framework, the Diversification Hypothesis, for understanding

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the association between social standing and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for accessing health information and communication.

Digital Inequalities and Online Health Information Seeking In recent years, the literature on digital inequality has moved from a focus on the first level of the digital divide to the second level.6 Early studies centred on the socio-economic determinants of physical access to ICTs, generally reporting on differences in access based on education, income, occupation, gender and ethnicity.7 As Internet access is reaching saturation in western countries, studies are now focusing more on the second level of the digital divide by examining the extent and causes of differences in ICT access and differences in types of use and skills.8 While inequalities in access have not completely disappeared, this study is part of the second level of the digital divide tradition. Therefore, the questions that this study attempts to answer are: what are the differences in the use of the Internet for health information seeking and health communication according to background origin? To the extent that they exist, is it possible to determine that the differential position of groups in society is associated with these differences? Finally, is health information and communication seeking associated with changes in health behaviours? This assessment is of particular importance for understanding the potential contribution of ICT use to inequalities in health. The relevant literature makes two alternative and contradictory predictions. According to the Normalization Hypothesis, the rise of the ‘Information Society’ and the adoption of the Internet have the capacity to reduce existing social inequalities. According to this hypothesis, in affluent post-industrial societies the social profile of the online community will gradually broaden over time, providing cheap and easy access to information and people.9 There is some recent evidence in support of this hypothesis as the percentage of Internet use had increased over time, and Internet use at home and work is clearly associated with higher wages, increased access to governmental and financial services, information on available jobs and improved health.10 On the other hand, the Stratification Hypothesis argues that the process of ICT adoption replicates existing social inequalities and may cause their amplification. In the early and middle stages of technology adoption, adopters are more likely to be from groups with higher income, education and technical skills. With time, the skills required for taking real advantage of the technology become more demanding, and late adopters will face new access barriers.11

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Ethnic minorities and immigrants face barriers in their access to the Internet and its types of usage. Whether these disparities are fully explainable by socio-economic factors or are a unique cultural effect which persists after socio-economic factors are controlled is unclear. According to the Communication Infrastructure theory, ethnic communities differ in their communication opportunity structures. Some environments afford easy connections to necessary and useful communication channels, while others make access to communication channels more difficult. Differences in communication opportunity structures are the result of social stratification processes and are associated with differential access to social, political, cultural and social capital resources.12 A study of the incorporation of ICT in ethnic neighbourhoods found that the Internet was more integrated into the communication infrastructure of white neighbourhoods than of immigrant neighbourhoods. The study suggests the possibility that in ethnic neighbourhoods, ICT is creating a ‘magnifying glass effect’. Thus, ICT is beneficiary only for those people who already have connections to the communication resources.13 A recent study on Internet users in Israel found that members of minority groups who had Internet access were more likely than members of the majority group to use the Internet to compensate for lack of social capital. These minority group members are more likely to report a greater use of the Internet for the expansion of their social networks and for accessing new information.14 An important issue is the extent to which ethnic differences in patterns of ICT use persist after socio-economic factors are controlled. There is some evidence for this argument; a study that focused on connected individuals reported that ethnic and racial differences in use persisted even after measures of socio-economic status are controlled. The study, which focused on patterns of ICT use in ethnic neighbourhoods in the Los Angeles area, found that while socio-economic factors explained access, ethnicity was a unique contributing factor in explaining differences in Internet connectedness and the use of social media.15 Thus, even universal access may lead to differential patterns of use and differential outcomes that may amplify or reduce the existing inequalities in an information-based society.

Social Diversification Hypothesis: Accounting for Differences in Use The Diversification Hypothesis is concerned with the differential use of ICT based on people’s position in society. This hypothesis is based on existing knowledge about the nature of the association in stratified and multicultural societies, and the literature on social capital. From the literature on social stratification, the assumption is that social inequality in multicultural

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societies is reflected in social and residential segregation according to ethnic and social class status.16 Social and spatial segregation implies the differential ability of individuals to gain access to residential locations and social services, given that services are often allocated according to place of residence. As a result, their choices in terms of access to health information and health services are limited to the ones that exist in their residential locations. Residential segregation along ethnic lines translates into an opportunity structure for interaction and access to information that emerges from the social structuring of activities and the location of services in society. According to the Diversification Hypothesis, computer-mediated communication provides a vehicle for overcoming these social inequalities in access to information and social networks.17 Residential and social segregation prevents members of minority groups from creating interactions across ethnicity and migration status. As a result, segregation reduces their access to social networks that provide information on available health-related conditions.18 Studies on differences in access to health information in the US found that AfricanAmericans and Hispanics reported a high level of agreement that the Internet is a helpful resource for health information. The motivation and need for accessing health information exists, particularly for low-income members of minority groups.19 Accordingly, the diversification perspective maintains that due to migration status and ethnicity, disadvantaged groups will use the Internet to expand their social circle, to diversify their sources of information and social networks through computer-mediated communication, and to access non-redundant information and networks. At the same time, majority groups will use ICT to maintain their existing levels of information and social networks, for example, through interpersonal communication and direct communication with healthcare providers. Another important assumption of the diversification approach is the conceptualization of ICTs as a space of activity and social interaction.20 The Internet is not only about communication with existing ties. Although many individuals do use it as another channel of communication with existing relationships, the innovative aspect of the Internet is its ability to provide opportunities for social interaction, creating a space for meeting new individuals who share similar concerns, lowering the barriers to accessing health information. Consequently, an important motivation for minorities and immigrants to use computer-mediated communication is diversifying their sources of health information and identifying other individuals who share their concerns or health problems but are not part of their face-to-face social circle. Diversification is a concept that can be linked to social capital.21 Using a communication infrastructure approach, the use of ICT has been linked to

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access to informational, social, cultural and political resources and to specialized medical information.22 Social capital refers to network ties that provide mutual support, a shared language, shared norms, social trust, and a sense of mutual commitment from which people can derive value.23 Based on these qualities, networks provide differential access to resources that include opportunities, skills, information, social support and sociability. In the diversification perspective, the Internet is conceived as a social arena that creates opportunities for accessing health information and connecting with people who share health concerns, overcoming barriers imposed by residential and social segregation along ethno-national lines. Consistent with this argument, a study that investigated the characteristics of consumers of health information online found that the price of alternative sources of health information relative to the price of obtaining information on the Internet affects the demand for health information. The study found that consumer health information served as a substitute for health information from health care practitioners when the distance and time associated with a face-to-face visit to a physician was much higher than the one associated with accessing health information over the Internet.24 Another study conducted in Israel found that Arabs are more likely to visit a family physician than Israeli Jews. At the same time, they are less likely than Israeli Jews to visit a specialist and more likely to be hospitalized.25 Explanations for these differences in the utilization of healthcare services cannot be attributed to insurance factors. In Israel, there is a National Health Insurance Law that provides healthcare services for all Israeli residents. However, there are still structural barriers that might explain differences in access to services. While primary care services are well developed in Arab localities, specialist clinics are more likely to be located in the large cities. However, most of the Arab population lives in relatively small communities. In addition, Israeli Arabs must cope with geographic and language barriers. Sometimes they have to travel an hour each way to Jewish cities where specialized clinics are located, losing work and having to pay for transportation costs. Moreover, because Israeli Arabs are over-represented among lower income groups, it is harder for them to afford the payments.26 Engagement with health information and communication can have an effect on changes in health behaviours. Health information seeking is an active and motivated search for information. Seeking health information online is often motivated by an attempt to find explanations for particular conditions or diseases. Seeking health information on the Web or communication with peers can help individuals fulfil informational needs and may prepare them to consider a change in their health habits. In that sense, exposure to online health information through browsing and online communication might increase the

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likelihood of changes in health habits. This possibility is more likely for individuals who, when exposed to online information, realize they must change their habits to improve their health. Thus, an interesting research question to explore is whether exposure to online health information and communication is perceived to affect health-related behaviours and whether there are ethnic differences in this perception.

Additional Factors Affecting Online Search for Health Information The literature on health-related communication and information seeking indicates that additional factors are associated with this behaviour. Age is an important factor to consider. Health usually deteriorates with age, so age might be an important motivation for seeking health-related communication and information. Gender may also play a role. Previous studies have shown that women are more likely to search for health-related information online.27 It is very likely that this effect reflects traditional gender role models which place higher expectations on women for providing care to family members. After reviewing the relevant literature, we also included two motivational factors in the analysis – the presence of children at home and the health status of the individual. Having children at home may prompt parents to seek health information, so we controlled for this factor in the study. Similarly, being in poor health or having a chronic condition may also prompt the search for information online and participation in support forums about health issues. Finally, some have speculated that health-related Internet use might be replacing healthcare professionals. It is reasonable to assume that lack of confidence in healthcare professionals or lack of patient satisfaction might prompt people to search for health-related information online or participate in health related forums. For this reason, in this study we controlled for satisfaction with healthcare professionals.

The Israeli Context Israel is a multi-ethnic society. The majority of the population is Jewish and 21 per cent are Arabs. The Arab minority is a distinctive, indigenous group that became a minority after the creation of the State of Israel. They speak a different language (Arabic), profess a different religion (the vast majority are Muslims) and preserve an autonomous cultural existence through a network of institutions (separate schools and religious institutions, mass media and highly cohesive extended families).28 Israeli Arabs are full citizens of Israel, but are also economically disadvantaged in education and socio-economic status relative to Jews. Most of the Arab population resides in peripheral areas

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of the country and in small localities in which they form the great majority of the population. This high residential concentration restricts the access of the Arab population to widespread networks, and they tend to associate with residents of their and neighbouring localities in Israel’s periphery. Another important group in the Israeli population is immigrants from the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU). Immigration from the FSU to Israel took place in two waves. The first was from 1968 to 1979, when 150,000 Jews entered Israel. The second large wave began after 1989, shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since then, it is estimated that more than one million immigrants from the FSU have arrived in Israel, constituting 15 per cent of the total population and 20 per cent of the Jewish population. As a group, they show a high level of participation in the workforce. However, with regard to social integration, studies indicate that FSU immigrants largely confine their social encounters to other immigrants from their country of origin. The spatial distribution of the immigrants in the country is uneven, and they have become the majority of the population in many towns in Israel’s periphery. In the large urban centres, one of the main features of the settlement of immigrants is their residential concentration in the older areas of the big cities. Some sociologists have concluded that because of their high residential and social segregation, and high level of language and culture conservation, FSU immigrants have become a new ethnic group.29 In sum, the multi-ethnic nature of Israeli society and the high level of residential and social segregation of Arabs and immigrants make Israel a perfect setting for conducting this study on social position and the pattern of use of computer-mediated communication and its outcomes regarding health behaviours.

The Internet in Israel In Israel, Internet use is rapidly expanding. In 1998, only 11 per cent of Israeli households reported having access to the Internet; the figure had risen to 30 per cent by 2002 and to 71 per cent in 2008. As Israel moves ever closer to becoming an information-based society, a central question for social scientists is the extent to which people from all the different groups in society are able to enjoy the benefits of new information technologies. Overall, 81.5 per cent of the population report access to the Internet. However, 72 per cent of the Jewish population and 64 per cent of the Arab population reported using the Internet.30 The ethnic gap in Internet access is wider for low-income individuals of both groups and narrower for those with more than a high school education. Studies to identify the causes of the lack of Internet access

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and use by the Arab population concluded that structural barriers associated with their disadvantaged status in society were the main source of the disparities. Specifically, the Arab population is concentrated in blue-collar occupations and is less exposed to ICT and social networks of support for its use. Lack of exposure contributes to the development of negative attitudes to its use, resulting in a tendency to keep away from ICT.31 In sum, the central argument of the Diversification Hypothesis is that in multicultural and stratified societies, immigrants and disadvantaged minorities face barriers to accessing information, including specialized health information. Accordingly, different motivations drive the differential use of ICT. The majority group generally has access to social capital and networks that provide access to health services and information. For these reasons, we expect that members of the majority (Israeli-born Jews) will be less likely to use the Internet for accessing health information than immigrants from the FSU and Israeli Arabs. Minority and immigrant groups also have less access to social networks that provide information on educational, occupational and social opportunities. To overcome their limitations, minorities and immigrants attempt to increase their social capital by using ICT mainly to access health information through websites and participate in computer-mediated communication. Thus, in this study we expect that members of the majority (Israeli-born Jews) will be less likely than immigrants from the FSU and Israeli Arabs to use the Internet for health communication. An important assumption of the current study is that the use of online communication and access to health information has consequences for the health habits of its users. According to the Media Systems Dependency theory, the ability of individuals to attain their goals (such as changes in their health behaviour) is contingent upon the information resources of the media system. Information resources can be defined as the ability to gather, process, and disseminate information. According to Baran and Davis, ‘media systems dependency theory assumes that the more a person depends on having his or her needs met by media use, the more important will be the role that media play in the person’s life, and therefore the more influence those media will have on the person’.32 The more a person relies on media for information, the more that person is influenced by media. With regard to health, this effect will be more profound among disadvantaged groups in society, who usually have higher levels of illness and thus a greater need to change their health habits. Based on this argument, we expect that immigrants and members of minority groups are more likely to report a change in their health habits as a result of the health information and communication they accessed through the Internet.

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Method Design and Procedure Data for this study were collected in January 2010. The Statistics Unit of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Haifa conducted a phone survey. Using a national sample frame, a large representative sample of the population was extracted, and 4,000 phone numbers were contacted with a 50 per cent response rate. The final sample included 2,000 respondents. Of them, a total of 1,371 respondents were identified as Internet users and answered the survey questions. The full sample consisted of 752 native Israelis, 252 immigrants and 367 Israeli Arab respondents. The average age was 43.04 (SD = 15.81), 69 per cent were married, and 52 per cent were women. In terms of education, the average number of years of schooling was 14.22 (SD = 2.75). Table 10.1 presents the differences in the characteristics of the sample of Internet users based on minority and migration status. The average age of the Israeli Jews in the sample was 45.9 (SD = 15.64), of the immigrants from the

Table 10.1 Descriptive statistics of entire sample according to ethnic origin (Internet users only).

Age Education Number of children Frequency of Internet use Hypertension Diabetes Heart disease Cancer Other Trust in online health information Satisfaction with physician Health information Health communication Changes in health behaviours N *

Israeli Jews

Immigrants Israeli Arabs

45.90 (15.64) 14.52 (2.73) 2.29 (1.66) 2.66 (1.81) 0.22 (0.41) 0.06 (0.24) 0.09 (0.29) 0.05 (0.22) 0.30 (0.45)

48.49 (15.47) 33.15 (11.58) 14.61 (2.56) 13.32 (2.73) 1.50 (0.95) 1.96 (2.09) 2.38 (1.57) 2.12 (1.74) 0.34 (0.47) 0.18 (0.39) 0.08 (0.28) 0.06 (0.24) 0.14 (0.35) 0.04 (0.21) 0.10 (0.30) 0.005 (0.07) 0.32 (0.46) 0.15 (0.36)

3.13 (1.20) 13.93 (7.12) 11.41 (3.94) 3.32 (0.99) 7.77 (3.44) 734

F 114.26* 27.37* 20.07* 13.07* 11.35* 0.76 8.63* 16.57* 15.98*

2.84 (1.25) 3.26 (1.32) 8.58* 13.91 (7.53) 13.77 (7.23) 0.055 11.44 (4.16) 14.37 (6.13) 8.59* 3.30 (1.07) 3.83 (1.88) 18.05* 7.71 (3.66) 9.23 (4.53) 41.21* 265 359 1,358

p < 0.01. Values are means, percentages (standard errors) for each measure in each group.

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former Soviet Union, 48.49 (SD = 15.47), and of the Israeli Arabs, 33.15 (SD = 11.58). Differences were statistically significant (F = 114.26, p < 0.01). In terms of education, the average education of the Israeli Jews was 14.52 (SD = 2.73) years of schooling, and of FSU immigrants, 14.61 (SD = 2.56). For the Israeli Arabs, the average level of education was lower, with an average of 13.32 years of schooling (SD = 2.73). The mean difference showed a statistically significant difference between the education of Israeli Arabs and the education level of the other two groups (F = 27.37, p < 0.01). In terms of the online search for health information, 61 per cent of the sample indicated that they had searched online for health information for themselves, and 54 per cent for someone in their close family. However, there were differences according to migration and ethnic status. While 70 per cent of the Israeli Arabs reported searching for health information online, only 61 per cent of the Israeli Jews and 49 per cent of the immigrants reported doing so. There were also statistically significant differences in terms of selfreported illnesses. In general, the Arab population reported the lowest levels of illness; FSU immigrants reported the highest levels, and Israeli Jews ranked in between them.

Dependent Variables We used seven items to measure the online search for health information. Respondents were asked to indicate how often they looked online for information about vaccines, high blood pressure, hospitals and doctors, quitting smoking, diet and nutrition, and protection from exposure to the sun. Responses were made on a 5-point Likert scale, with 1 indicating ‘never’ and 5 indicating ‘very often’. We then converted the responses into a single scale by totalling all of the responses to the items (scale mean = 12.25, SD = 4.89, α = 0.73). As Table 10.1 shows, Israeli Arabs searched for health information online more frequently than Israeli Jews and FSU immigrants. We measured online health communication using three items from the survey in which respondents indicated how often in the last year they had participated in Internet forums on health-related topics, sent an email to a physician or sent an email to a nurse. Respondents replied using a 6-point Likert scale ranging from 0 for ‘never’ to 5 for ‘very often’. Once again, we combined the responses into a single scale by totalling all of the responses to the items (α = 0.65). As Table 10.1 shows, Israeli Arabs engaged in more online health communication than Israeli Jews and immigrants from the FSU. We measured changes in health habits using items that inquired about the extent to which respondents had changed their health behaviours as a result

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of being exposed to health information on the net. Items included coping with a chronic disorder, starting a diet, starting physical activity, and quitting smoking. Responses were made on a 5-point Likert scale, with 1 indicating ‘not at all’ and 5 indicating ‘to a great extent’. A single scale was created by combining the responses to the items (scale mean = 8.35, SD = 4.01, ␣ = 0.75). Once again, Israeli Arabs reported changing their health habits more frequently than Israeli Jews and immigrants from the FSU. We measured satisfaction with one’s physician using items asking the respondents how often they felt that their family practitioner explained their health conditions to them, the extent to which their family practitioner respected the patient, how much time the family practitioner spent explaining things and how involved the family practitioner was with the patient’s health. Responses were made on a 5-point Likert scale, with 1 indicating ‘never’ and 5 indicating ‘always’. The items were combined into a single scale by totalling the responses (scale mean = 16.78, SD = 3.82, ␣ = 0.80). As Table 10.1 indicates, there were no statistically significant differences in the extent of confidence in the physician according to ethnicity. We also used two survey items to measure ethnicity. Respondents were asked for their country of birth. The answer ‘Israel’ was cross-tabulated with an item eliciting the respondent’s religion, to yield two variables. Israeli-born and Jewish was coded as a dummy variable, called ‘Israeli Jewish origin’. Israeli-born and Muslim, Christian or Druze was coded as a dummy variable, ‘Arab origin’. Immigrants were identified by means of two items. The first asked for the respondent’s country of origin. Those answering ‘former Soviet Union’ were identified. Then their year of immigration was determined, and a dummy variable was created indicating FSU immigrants since 1989. The preliminary analysis showed that the great majority of immigrants (93 per cent) belonged to this category. The other immigrants were excluded from the analysis because their number was very small. In the analysis, we also controlled for age, education in years of formal education, marital status and number of children.

Results We begin the presentation of the findings by looking at the differences among the three groups with regard to online health information searching and selfreported changes in health behaviours. We conducted an ANOVA test for differences in the means. As Table 10.1 shows, this preliminary analysis provides some support for our expectations. The results indicate the existence of differences based on ethnicity and migrant status. While Israeli Jews and immigrants from the FSU report an average of 11.44 on the scale

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of online health information searching, Israeli Arabs report an average of 14.37. Thus, the group that is most likely to search for health information online is Israeli Arabs. Indeed, the difference among the groups is statistically significant (F = 8.59, p < 0.01). With regard to differences among the three groups in Internet-based health communication, the results in Table 10.1 again support the diversification hypothesis. Israeli Arabs report an average of 3.83 on this scale, which is higher than the average reported by Israeli Jews (3.32) and immigrants from the FSU (3.30). Once again, the difference between the Israeli Arabs and the two other groups is statistically significant. We expected that minorities and immigrants would be more likely to report changes in health behaviours. The results indicate that on average, Israeli Arabs are more likely to report changes in health behaviours (M = 9.23, SD = 4.53) than Israeli Jews (M = 7.77, SD = 3.44) and immigrants from the FSU (M = 7.71, SD = 3.66). While the results provide some support for the study’s hypothesis, given the differences in the background characteristics of the groups, such as age, education and prevalence of disease, we needed a multivariate model controlling for background information, and conducted OLS regressions.

Results from the Multivariate Analysis In the first step of the multivariate analysis, we regressed the independent variables on the scale of online health communication searching and online health communication, controlling for socio-economic status and demographic variables. Table 10.2 presents the findings. The results indicate that Israeli Jews and immigrants from the FSU are less likely to search for health information and to use the Internet for health communication. Regarding the use for health information search, both standardized regression coefficients are negative and statistically significant (β = –0.24; p < 0.01 and β = –0.16; p < 0.001). Thus, of the three groups, Israeli Arabs are the most likely to search for health information online. An additional interesting finding of this model is that satisfaction with one’s physician is positively associated with both searching for health information online and using the Internet for health communication (β = 0.08; p < 0.01). Thus, physicians and the Internet are complementary resources, and the latter does not replace the former. Table 10.2 also indicates that controlling for socio-demographic and motivation variables, immigrants and Israeli Jews engage in online health communication less often than Israeli Arabs (β = –0.13; p < 0.01 and β = –0.18; p < 0.01, respectively). This finding provides partial support for

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Table 10.2 OLS regression predicting Internet use for health information search. Internet use for health communication Variable

B

SE

Age Marital status (1 = married) Number of children Gender (1 = male)

–0.01 0.08 –0.01 –0.05

0.01 0.11 0.03 0.09

Education High School College Graduate Income Immigrants Israeli Jews Frequency of Internet use

0.06 –0.05 0.04 0.04 –0.46 –0.49 –0.01

0.14 0.11 0.11 0.03 0.16 0.12 0.02

Medical condition Hypertension Diabetes Heart disease Cancer Patient satisfaction with physician Constant Adjusted R square

0.06 0.09 0.06 0.21 0.01 3.15 0.04

0.11 0.17 0.15 0.19 0.006 0.27**

β

Internet use for health information search B

SE

β

–0.06 0.03 –0.02 –0.02

–0.05 0.44 –0.09 –0.88

0.01 0.35 0.10 0.27

–0.19** 0.04 –0.03 –0.09**

0.02 0.01 0.01 0.06 –0.13** –0.18** –0.02

–0.58 –0.77 –0.84 0.08 –2.13 –2.43 0.10

0.44 0.36 0.36 0.12 0.51 0.37 0.06

–0.05 –0.08* –0.08* 0.04 –0.16** –0.24** 0.04

0.02 0.74 0.01 –0.30 0.01 1.23 0.03 –0.51 0.10** 0.05 14.06 0.14

0.35 0.06* 0.55 –0.01 0.49 0.07** 0.62 –0.02 0.01 0.08** 0.83**

*p < 0.05. **p < 0.01.

the diversification hypothesis, indicating that of the three groups, Israeli Arabs (the omitted category in the multivariate analysis) are most likely to take advantage of online health communication. Finally, we expected to find differences based on ethnicity and status as a migrant in reporting changes in health habits resulting from exposure to Internet health information. Results pertaining to this issue are presented in Table 10.3. The results in model 1 show the existence of differences based on ethnicity and status as a migrant. Both immigrants and Israeli Jews are less likely than Israeli Arabs to report having changed their health habits (β = –0.11; p < 0.01 and β = –0.17; p < 0.01, respectively). In the second model, we present a possible explanation for this gap. The effect of health information is positive and statistically significant (β = 0.21; p < 0.01), as well as the effect of health

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Table 10.3 OLS predicting change in health habits. Internet use for health communication Variable Age Marital status (1 = married) Gender (1 = male) Education High School College Graduate Income Immigrants Israeli Jews Frequency of Internet use Hypertension Diabetes Heart disease Cancer Satisfaction with physician Health information Health communication Constant Adj. R Square

B

SE

–0.01 0.12 –0.10

0.007 0.22 0.17

–0.06 –0.12 –0.26 –1.13 –1.20 0.03 0.14 0.45 0.42 0.35 0.04

5.52 0.12

β

Internet use for health information search β

B

SE

–0.06 0.01 –0.01

0.01 –0.05 0.18

0.01 0.22 0.17

0.03 –0.01 0.02

0.28 0.23 0.23

–0.09 –0.01 –0.03

0.10 0.13 –0.01

0.28 0.23 0.23

0.01 0.02 –0.02

0.32 0.23 0.04 0.22 0.35 0.31 0.39 0.01

–0.11** –0.17** 0.02 0.01 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.09**

–0.32 –0.30 –0.02 –0.11 0.53 0.01 0.47 0.02 0.57 0.26

0.32 0.24 0.04 0.22 0.35 0.31 0.39 0.01 0.07 0.07

–0.03 –0.04 –0.01 –0.01 0.04 0.01 0.03 0.05* 0.21** 0.09**

0.52** 0.22

*p < 0.05. **p < 0.01.

communication (β = 0.09; p < 0.01). Adding each one of the measures of exposure to communication or information nullifies the effect of ethnicity and immigrant status. The results indicate that ethnic differences in the change in health behaviours do not result from initial differences between the groups, but are the result of differential exposure to health information and health communication, even when socio-demographic and other variables are controlled.

Discussion The purpose of this study was to understand the factors associated with the search for health information online and its effects on health-related

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behaviours. In doing so, we focused on ethnic differences in access to health communication and information. In order to study these differences, we proposed the use of the Diversification Hypothesis, which argues that disadvantaged groups will take advantage of the Internet to overcome social inequalities such as access to specialized information and services, as our theoretical framework. The study demonstrated that there are ethnic differences both in the search for health information and in participation in electronic communication. However, contrary to our hypothesis, the differences emerge along ethno-national lines, rather than migration status. The results strongly support the diversification hypothesis, and imply that members of disadvantaged groups that have access to and use the Internet may use the technology to overcome existing social inequalities. Our study makes several contributions to the literature. First, previous studies on access to health information and communication focused on the factors affecting access, neglecting the potential implications for quality of life of the information found. An important contribution of our study is to show that access to health information and health-related online communication has implications for health behaviours. Individuals who search for health information and are involved in online communication report a greater likelihood of changing their health habits. This finding also contributes to the literature on the social effects of exposure to media. In this respect, the finding that once access to health information and health communication are controlled, the ethno-national effects on perceptions about changes in health habits disappear, is important. It indicates the importance of exposure to health information and communication for supporting healthy behaviours not only for ethnic minorities, but also for the population in general. One additional important result of the study is the positive association between satisfaction with one’s physician and the search for health information and the use of online communication. While some had raised the possibility that greater exposure to health information might result in the development of conflicts between the patient and the physician, our findings seem to indicate a more complementary role for online searching. It is reasonable to assume that the information gathered online expands the patient’s knowledge and facilitates a more focused discussion on health matters with the physician. At the same time, it might indicate that physicians do not hesitate to encourage patients to learn more on their own, through online information and communication. While the direction of the effects cannot be explored in our cross-sectional design, it implies the existence of collaborative and partnership relationships among the patient, the physician and the Internet, which is generally assumed.

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Notes 1. This research project was funded by a 2010 grant from Maccabi Health Services. 2 S. Fox and S. Jones, The Social Life of Health Information (Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2009), www.pewinternet.org/Experts/~/link.aspx?_id=62 F4D7EFB49C4F9FA384FDC9D3A4B49B&_z=z. 3. P.E. Kummervold, C.E. Chronaki, B. Lausen, H.U. Prokosch, J. Rasmussen, S. Santana, A. Staniszewski and S.C. Wangberg, ‘eHealth Trends in Europe 2005–2007: A Populationbased Survey’, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 10, 4 (October–December 2008), e42. 4. S. Fox, Peer to Peer Health Care (Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2010), http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/P2PHealthcare.aspx. 5. S. Santana, B. Lausen, F. Bujnowska, C. Chronaki, P.E. Kummervold, J. Rasmussen and T. Sorensen, ‘Online Communication between Doctors and Patients in Europe: Status and Perspectives’, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 12, 2 (2010), e20, www.ncbi. nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956231. 6. P. DiMaggio, E. Hargittai, S. Shaffer and C. Celeste, ‘From Unequal Access to Differentiated Use: A Literature Review and Agenda for Research on Digital Inequality’, in K. Neckerman (ed.), Social Inequality (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004), pp.366– 400; E. Hargittai and A. Hinnant, ‘Digital Inequality Differences in Young Adults’ Use of Internet’, Communication Research, 35, 1 (2008), pp.602–21. 7. J.E. Katz and R. Rice, Social Consequences of Internet Use: Access, Involvement and Interaction (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002); S. Korup and M. Szydlik, ‘Causes and Trends of the Digital Divide’, European Sociological Review, 21, 4 (2005), pp.409–22. 8. E. Hargittai, ‘Second-Level Digital Divide: Differences in People’s Online Skills’, First Monday, 7, 4 (2002), http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_4/hargittai/index.html; E. Hargittai and P.L. Hsie, ‘Predictors and Consequences of Differentiated Practices on Social Network Sites’, Information, Communication and Society, 13, 4 (2010), pp.515–36. 9. Jan A.G.M. van Dijk, The Deepening Divide (London: Sage, 2005). 10. P. DiMaggio and B. Bonikowski, ‘Make Money Surfing the Web? The Impact of Internet Use on the Earnings of US Workers’, American Sociological Review, 73, 2 (2008), pp.227– 50; P. Dolton, G. Makepeace and H. Robinson, ‘Use It or Lose It? The Impact of Computers on Earnings’, Manchester School, 75, 6 (December 2007), pp.673–94. 11. K. Nahon, ‘Gaps and Bits: Conceptualizing Measurements for Digital Divides’, Information Society, 22, 5 (2006), pp.269–78. 12. Y.C. Kim and S.J. Ball-Rokeach,‘Civic Engagement from a Communication Infrastructure Perspective’, Communication Theory, 16, 2 (2006), pp.173–97. 13. S. Matei and S.J. Ball-Rokeach, ‘The Internet in the Communication Infrastructure of Urban Residential Communities: Macro or Mesolinkages?’, Journal of Communication, 53, 4 (2003), pp.642–56. 14. G.S. Mesch, ‘Minority Status and the Use of Computer-mediated Communication: A Test of the Social Diversification Hypothesis’, Communication Research, 39, 3 (2011), pp.317–37. 15. Y.C. Kim, J.Y. Jung and S.J. Ball-Rokeach, ‘Ethnicity, Place and Communication Technology’, Information, Technology & People, 20, 3 (2007), pp.282–393. 16. D. Massey, Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007). 17. G. Mesch and I. Talmud, Wired Youth: The Social World of Youth in the Information Age (New York: Routledge, 2010).

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18. N. Pena-Purcell, ‘Hispanics’ Use of Internet Health Information’, Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96, 2 (2008), pp.101–07. 19. D. Lorence, H. Park and S. Fox, ‘Racial Disparities in Health Information Access: Resilience of the Digital Divide’, Journal of Medical Systems, 30, 4 (2006), pp.241–9. 20. G. Mesch, ‘Social Diversification: A Perspective for the Study of Social Networks of Adolescents Offline and Online’, in N. Kutscher and H.U. Otto (eds), Grenzenlose Cyberwelt? (Heidelberg: Verlag fur Sozialwiseenschaften, 2007), pp.105–21. 21. N. Lin, A Theory of Social Structure and Action (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 22. C. Weare, W.E. Loges and N. Oztas, ‘Email Effects on the Structure of Local Associations: A Social Network Analysis’, Social Science Quarterly, 88, 1 (2007), pp.222–43. 23. M. Huysman and W. Wulf, Social Capital and Information Technology (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004). 24. M.K. Bundorf, T.H. Wagner, S.J. Singer and L.C. Baker, ‘Who Searches the Internet of Health Information’, Health Services Research, 41 (2006), pp.120–31. 25. O. Baron-Epel, N. Garty and M. Green, ‘Inequalities in Use of Health Services Among Jews and Arabs in Israel’, Health Research and Educational Trust, 24 (2007), pp.1008–18. 26. D. File, ‘Circles of Exclusion: Obstacles in Access to Healthcare Services in Israel’, International Journal of Health Services, 40, 4 (2010), pp.699–717. 27. M. Ybarra and M. Suman, ‘Reasons, Assessments and Actions Taken: Sex and Age Differences in the Use of Internet Health Information’, Health Education Research, 23, 3 (June 2008), pp.512–21. 28. S. Smooha, ‘The Model of Ethnic Democracy: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State’, Nations and Nationalism, 8, 4 (October 2002), pp.475–503. 29. M. Al-Haj, Immigration and Ethnic Formation in a Deeply Divided Society: The Case of the 1990s Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel (Leiden: Brill, 2004). 30. Y. Dror and S. Gershon, Israelis in the Digital Time (Rishon Letzion: College of Management, Academic Studies, 2012) (Hebrew), www.colman.ac.il/research/ research_institute/Israel_project_Digital/Documents/Israelis_digital_.pdf. 31. G.S. Mesch and I. Talmud,‘Ethnic Differences in Internet Access: The Role of Occupation and Exposure’, Information, Communication and Society, 14, 4 (2011), pp.445–72, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369118X.2011.562218. 32. S.J. Baran and D.K. Davis, Mass Communication Theory, 2nd edn (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2009), p.273.

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11 Race and Television through the Eyes of Israeli Mizrahi Audiences: An Ethnography of Television Yifat Ben Hay-Segev and Catherine Squires1 Identity politics continue to pepper discussions of media and audiences across the globe. Consider this example: three months prior to the Israeli general election, on 8 December 2008, Le Monde published an article titled ‘Boublil – Israel’s Prime Minister’, in which reporter Benjamin Barthe introduced French readers to a new reality TV star: Yossi Boublil, an arrogant, ignorant macho in his fifties, is the obsession of the Israeli street. The previously anonymous vivid character of the Oriental Jew, i.e. Mizrahi, is the flagship of Big Brother Israel, a reality TV show. His populist remarks stir up constant disputes between pro-Boublils, who support his authenticity, and anti-Boublils, who despise his vulgarity. Alas, the old debate between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi is awakened. Boublil’s stardom raises many questions regarding the presence and reception of Mizrahi images in Israeli television. We use the term ‘Mizrahim’ here to define Jews of oriental origin, from North Africa and the Middle East, and their Israeli-born descendants. As with other racial/ethnic minorities in the west, Mizrahim, like Boublil, are no longer absent from national imagery; indeed, a few Mizrahim have even acquired stardom after many years of marginality. This development, however, is uneven and has varied consequences. Moreover, despite some gains in social, economic and political status, minority groups have remained structurally and socially disadvantaged. The tensions between increased pop culture visibility and continued socio-economic inequalities are evident in controversies over television representations of ‘others’. Marginalized audiences, then, often understand media within an arena of discursive struggle over national and political identities.

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This paper explores Mizrahi audience interactions with Mizrahi representations on Israeli television. We present the results of an audience study, which reveals ambivalent responses to attempts at media inclusion, similar to those of African American audiences reacting to US television.2 The study explores how different generations of Mizrahim negotiate televised representations of Mizrahi identity, showing consistencies and discrepancies across age groups. Importantly, analysis of the audience’s voices evinces a continued concern with positive and negative portrayals, and inter-generational differences regarding the level of concern for how much imbalanced portrayals influence the social and political status of Mizrahim. This suggests that, despite the call of some critics to move away from discussions of positive and negative imagery, audiences continue to utilize these terms as they navigate the increased visibility of their group on television.

Mizrahi Identity Struggles Sixty-three years after the establishment of Israel, ethnic cleavages within Israeli society continue to exist. Within the cultural colonization developed by Zionism, one ‘other’ is the Mizrahi Jew, who became an ‘individual incidence of Orientalism’.3 The perception of Mizrahim as backward is an internal Jewish version of the negative attitude displayed by Europeans towards the eastern culture. At the outset, the Zionist enterprise set out to create one historical truth. Its success, as it was then perceived, was conditional on its ability to overcome the multitude of problems posed by the divergent communities, each bringing their own history, culture and identity. The adoption of one universal, exclusive truth was instrumental in marginalizing other cultural approaches.4 In Israel, as in other postcolonial countries such as the US, ‘the struggle over relations of representation has shifted into the politics of representation itself ’.5 While Mizrahi activists have demanded the inclusion of Mizrahim in the mainstream’s narratives, when this actually occurred, it principally served the conservatives in their claim that ethnicity in Israel has become a ‘nonissue’. Influenced by the postmodern discourse, the 1980s bore witness to expressions of multiculturalism that permeated the Israeli discourse. This sea change heralds consolidation of a new Mizrahi critical discourse pioneered by Mizrahi activist intellectuals, who have aspired to dismantle the monolithic discourse of culture and society in Israel. They stress that Mizrahiness cannot be examined in isolation from contexts of colonization and nationalism, and that ethnic identity is a result of fluctuations and renewal that shape an alternative stance. Rather than one

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uniform and distinct Mizrahi identity, they perceive many diverse identities formulated from relations of simultaneous inclusion and exclusion.6 However, this diversity has rarely been part of dominant Israeli media representations of Mizrahim.

Israeli Television and Identity Politics While many theorists eschew ‘identity politics’,7 representational regimes correspond with regimes of political and social power.8 Within the polysemic arena of neo-television,9 Mizrahi images are ‘sites of semiotic struggles’10 that are open to diverse and even contradictory readings, a claim that will be illustrated further. While these texts may transcribe negative stereotypes of Mizrahi habitus, they simultaneously proffer subversive motifs. Commercial television, launched in Israel in 1993, increased the visibility of Mizrahim after many years of marginality on screen. This shift has corresponded with the flourishing of identity politics discourse and the global postmodernism of the televisional medium. Some critics, however, claim this shift was a de facto transition from ‘pure Ashkenaziness’ to a ‘façade of multiculturalism’, as observed by Lemish in her discussion of stereotypical iconography in Israeli advertisements.11 The most common image on Israeli national prime-time TV is still a native-born Israeli man, secular and Ashkenazi.12 In mainstream Israeli media, Mizrahiness is often marked by an assortment of practices, including lack of education; vulgarity; sparse, poor language; materialism; violence; aggression; crime and delinquency; tribalism; tradition; and consumption of low cultural products.13 Rigorous historical and contemporary examination of the processes by which national television networks have included Mizrahim indicates three main phases: (1) symbolic annihilation; (2) stereotypical iconography; and (3) cultural stardom. This classification is both historical and analytical, but it is also asynchronous, inasmuch as the boundaries between the categories are indistinct and continue to exist side by side. These phases are mirrored in the US, where network television misrepresents and marginalizes non-White publics. Moreover, when US television has had to integrate the airwaves, results have been dialectic at best.14 Since the launch of commercial television in Israel, audiences are beginning to gain access to the on-screen representation of Mizrahim as expressed in dramas produced by Mizrahi artists. These texts can be regarded as constituting a realm of memory,15 deconstructing paradigms of nationalism by voicing different experiences from those inscribed in hegemonic discourse. The recent flourishing of Reality TV shows, such as Israeli Idol and Big

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Brother, has awarded social minorities, among them Mizrahim, an iconic status after many years of invisibility. As Holmes argues, this construction of celebrity and stardom is based on the ‘mobilization of ordinariness’, deconstructing the traditional binaric matrix of text and audience. This reflects the decentralization of traditional social power and the emergence of new forms of power.16 Although these new representations are dynamic and changeable, the presence of old images in the cultural sphere, such as the bourekas films,17 creates a multifaceted ‘Mizrahi representation heritage’. How audiences negotiate this accumulation of Mizrahi representations has not been investigated.

Audience Studies and Race/Ethnicity Alasuutari outlines three phases of audience studies:18 the first was reception research, which Stuart Hall introduced with his ‘encoding/decoding’ model; the second was audience ethnography, as employed by David Morley,19 James Lull,20 and Katz and Liebes;21 and the third was a constructionist phase, which emerged in the late 1980s with scholars such as Ang,22 Grossberg23 and Radway.24 The main interest of the constructionist phase is media culture and its role in everyday life; it is anchored in the reflexivity mode, addressing both audience and researcher. As such, it focuses on empirical audiences and the ways in which they construct themselves as an ‘audience’ constituted in the discursive mechanism of media and cultural practices, as well as on the ‘analytic gaze’. The role of nation,25 gender26 and class27 identities in audience interactions with media texts has aroused consistent interest. More recently, scholars have turned to racialized audiences, with multiple studies of African American inclusion on TV and Black audiences’ responses to emerging representations. Herman Gray28 and Robin R. Means Coleman have provided rigorous historical and contemporary examinations of the processes by which national television networks have included African Americans. Their work also provides a template for interpreting the patterns of representational inclusion in other countries, especially as the Black freedom movements of the 1950s and 1960s have been appropriated globally by many other movements. The exclusion of African Americans from television – save for small or stereotypical roles that reaffirmed their subordinate status – symbolically anhiliated Blacks from the national identity. As Gray observed,29 US network television was not set up to provide representational equity for non-White publics. Moreover, when US television confronted the need to integrate the airwaves, results were mixed at best. Despite the increased inclusion of Black characters, there continue to be conflicts over the meaning of these

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representations and of whether integration on television has gone far enough. Black audience research, along with periodic protests against networks, reveal concerns and ambivalence about Black representation on American TV. While audience research shows that African Americans find characters and storylines with which to identify, they continue to be frustrated by the prevalence of stereotypical representations and the limited depictions of Black life. Many African Americans worry that TV images continue to reinforce negative stereotypes held by many Whites. Most research concerning Mizrahim representation in the Israeli media focuses on textual interpretation. This study is the first research project that concentrates on the Mizrahi audience, problematizing30 the ‘Mizrahi Experience of Television’, by identifying the television experience as a multidimensional practice that involves changing psychological, personal, cultural, social and political texts.31

Mizrahim in Israel Talk about Prime-Time Television Shows Like the aforementioned audience research, this study describes and interprets the meaning-making process that Mizrahim audiences re/produce from their representation in prime-time television on Israel’s commercial Channel 2. Our audience study corresponds to Alasuutari’s second and third phases, aimed to expose the dialectics of the television viewer as a subject who is also an object of a political order. Mizrahiness is examined from a postcolonial perspective, according to which it is produced by discursive mechanisms and cultural practices of ethnic inequality and political economy.

Methodology The fieldwork was conducted over two years, in 2005 and 2006. All the participants in this study were of Mizrahi ethnic origin. We anonymized the participants through the use of pseudonyms. The youngest participant in the study was 28 and the oldest was 80. Participants were recruited through ‘purposive sampling’ to assure the participation of people who could potentially provide the most relevant information regarding the research questions, and not necessarily according to statistical generalization.32 At the same time, we ensured that the pool would reflect the heterogeneous nature of the Mizrahi audience regarding variables such as education, socioeconomic level, gender, place of residence, marital status and country of origin. The main guiding assumption was the likelihood of intergenerational differences affecting the readings, particularly between Israeliborn Mizrahim and Mizrahi immigrants.

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Another presupposition was that the evolution of the discourse on Mizrahiness in Israel, in all its stages, from ‘melting pot’ through ‘critical discourse’ to ‘identity politics’, would influence the readings. Hever et al. defined three generations of ‘speech’ about Mizrahim in Israel:33 1. In the 1950s and 1960s, the melting pot approach underlying the Zionist enterprise, where Mizrahim were perceived as a minority that must be assimilated into the Israeli society. 2. In the 1970s and 1980s, the dominant views were critical, with neoMarxist characteristics. 3. In the 1990s the dominant view regarded Mizrahim as ‘absent presences’, influenced by postmodern movements and ‘identity politics’. To capture these different voices, two research tools – ‘living-room focus groups’ and in-depth personal interviews – were simultaneously employed. Each focus group lasted two hours on average, had six participants, and was grouped in generational cohorts as follows:

• • •

Three focus groups of participants aged between 18 and 40 (second- and third-generation Mizrahi immigrants); Three focus groups of participants aged between 40 and 60 (first- and second-generation Mizrahi immigrants); Two focus groups of participants over the age of 60 (first-generation Mizrahi immigrants).

In addition to the focus groups, sixteen participants were interviewed in depth: seven aged 20–40, six aged 40–60 and three over 60. Each interview lasted two hours on average. In total, there were five interviewees from the focus groups and eleven new candidates. Five interviewees from the focus groups were revisited for a second interview in order to expand upon interpretations they had voiced during group discussion. In the second indepth interview, they reconstructed their readings after confronting counter ideas raised by other participants, and were queried by the interviewer. Both the focus group questionnaire and our analysis of the transcripts were influenced by four research questions: 1. How do different generations of Mizrahim respond to Mizrahi representations on prime-time television? 2. How do Mizrahim regard themselves in relation to their representations on prime-time television? 3. How do Mizrahim characterize relations between representations of

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Mizrahim on prime-time television and societal perceptions of Mizrahim? 4. What solutions (if any) do they suggest to improve the portrayal of Mizrahim on prime-time television? We used Stuart Hall’s model to analyse reception findings.34 When first introduced, the encoding/decoding model offered a synthesis between the semiotic and ideological theoretical perspectives. Despite its functionality, this model suffers from overgeneralization which was criticized for being limited to a connotative level. As Schroder argued, the model supposed that the ideological function of a text, like its polysemy, occurs on the connotative level and therefore does not permit tracking different denotative meanings.35 Drotner calls for a distinction between reception studies, which detect different interpretations of the same text, and ethnographic studies, which explore how a social group uses media texts in their everyday lives.36 As Fetveit framed it, whereas reception studies focus on what Eco defines as ‘interpretation’, ethnographic studies concentrate on what he defines as ‘use’.37 As ethnographers, our concern is principally with the ‘use’ of text; the encoding/decoding model provides a fitting tool to classify the cultural meanings that television texts produce. The three types of readings function as metaphors for the reader’s positioning with respect to the text and the regimes that produced that text.

Audience Negotiations of Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Representations Two common themes emerged from the discussions. First, participants across generations expressed criticisms of Mizrahi representations, feeling that the depictions remain mostly negative due to Ashkenazi dominance in the industry. Second, participants drew parallels between Mizrahim and Blacks in American and British TV representations. Where participants differed was when issues of migration and national origin arose during discussions. Here, participants from different age groups varied in terms of their understanding of why and how Mizrahi media representations came about, and what impact they have on everyday life and politics.

Negative Reactions to Representations of Mizrahim and Theories of Ashkenazi Media Hegemony When asked ‘How are Mizrahim represented on prime-time television?’, most participants, regardless of age, demonstrated ‘oppositional reading’, inclining

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toward harsh criticism of the negative portrayals of Mizrahim on television. For example, one participant in the 20–40 age group offered the following comment: Eran (M, 29): TV is constructed on a basis that represents Ashkenazim as rich, and intellectual, as opposed to Mizrahim, who are simple, and inarticulate, living in troubled neighborhoods. Eran and others maintain that Mizrahi representations in media are essentially negative and based upon ‘stereotypes, stigmas, and prejudice’, which perpetuate the existing social order. As such, they relate to televisual texts as discourse sites of domination. As their comments suggest, they see a powerful binary of Ashkenazi versus Mizrahi reinforced in the media. Participants referred to a continuum of stereotypical Mizrahi representations, from the bourekas film genre38 to its present-day incarnations, an ahistorical and mythical creation that, nonetheless, persists in entertaining audiences: Daphna (F, 33): TV, like the bourekas films, is based on the same old story: Mizrahi against the Ashkenazi, in order to make people laugh. It worked then and it works now. Focus group members were clearly frustrated with the redeployment of this racial binary, and remarked on the seeming refusal of Israeli TV to venture beyond these stereotypes that relegate Mizrahim to a limited set of roles and images which trap them in the past. Shlomi (M, 29): You will never see a Mizrahi advertising Internet or cellphones. While the participants were overwhelmingly disappointed with television’s representation of their racial/ethnic group, they were aware of the depictions’ dialectical polysemy, and negotiated with it without neglecting the cultural and social contexts within which they live. Thus, while they rejected the stereotypical representation of Mizrahim, they located positive motifs in the text, such as family values, warmth and hospitality, and wisdom of hindsight. They regard these qualities as ‘genuine’ characteristics of Mizrahim. Sharon (a 32-year-old female), for example, explains the warmth demonstrated by the prison warden in the crime series Zinzana39 as a Mizrahi quality: ‘It’s Mizrahi, warm compassion always characterizes Mizrahim. Like the warden who tries to get close to the prisoners.’ Yonni (a 35-year-old male) adds:

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Look at the prisoner who sits and listens to the monologue, how in the end he pats his shoulder ... But on the other hand, that warmth goes together with crime, shallowness and inferior intelligence. Participants perceived these positive descriptions as common to all Mizrahim. Thus, while they rejected the negative stereotypes of Mizrahim, they accepted and celebrated a portion of the binary discursive construction of ‘East’ and ‘West’, where Mizrahim are perceived as ‘warm and human’, while Ashkenazim are perceived as cold and alienated. This construction is troubling, as it essentially reinforces Mizrahim’s difference from Ashkenazim. Yonni’s follow-up comment, alongside other critiques of media representations, suggests that he and others are well aware of how even ‘positive’ characteristics of Mizrahim (warmth) are yoked to negative essentialist constructions (inferior intelligence) of the same group.

Migration, Negation and/or Negotiation of Mizrahi Status in Israel40 The second major theme that emerged from the discussions was nostalgia for a Mizrahi cultural milieu, often accompanied by memories of Arab homelands and mistreatment at the hands of Ashkenazi Israelis. Generational status made a definitive impact here; the more removed participants were from experiences of migration, the less they discussed cross-cultural conflict. When the researcher posed questions dealing directly with the establishment of Mizrahi identity, its relations with the media, and subsequent self-image, a distinction emerged between the over-60 participants, who were mainly first-generation immigrants, and the other age groups, made up of second- and third-generation Mizrahi in Israel. Migration to a foreign country is a formative experience with well-known political, cultural and psychological implications. Psychoanalytical research re-examines the relations between immigration and loss, trauma and cultural transformation, and trauma and displacement, demonstrating the psychic mechanism which arouses post-traumatic feelings such as loss, split, grief, yearning, disorder and nostalgia.41 Kaplan implements the theorization of trauma in a postcolonial context. She regards postcolonial conditions, namely the experience of migration and life in exile, as typical traumatic events that greatly influence family life and identity, and stresses that the postcolonial trauma passes from generation to generation. This seems to have heightened the sense of indignity and injustice over media stereotypes of Mizrahim, which is one explanation of the sense of alienation, shame and anger expressed by the over-60 participants, who were born in Arab countries and

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immigrated to Israel after the establishment of the State. Victoria (F, 80): It’s the establishment that wants to vilify us. Why only criminal types? In the countries where we were born, none of our children were in prison, and here 97% of prisoners are Mizrahim! As they responded to the interview questions, other participants also recalled memories of hardships during their early years in Israel: Nachum (M, 66): We had to steal in order to eat ... and they [Ashkenazim] had everything. Varda (F, 64): I was born in a concentration camp in Tripoli, my whole family had been murdered there, and I was left alone, with nothing ... and what do they give me here? The European Holocaust survivors got the lion’s share of the money. Efraim (M, 70): And who built this country? We did. Although they were overwhelmingly disappointed with current and past representations of Mizrahim, many of the participants were fond of the dramas Bat Yam–New York and Meorav Yerushalmi,42 both of which were instances of Mizrahi self-representation on screen. The participants have linked ‘authentic’ Mizrahi cultural traits (food, music, dress) with family memories. David (M, 39): I grew up on these experiences, I loved them, the music, the dress, the gestures, even the hand movement of rolling Iraqi pitta bread. Shuli (F, 45): Most Mizrahim actually liked Bat Yam-New York. They like the idea that their culture that has been repressed for years was exposed for the first time on TV. The identity of the first-generation immigrants is primarily constructed on a colonial discourse, characterized by the binary polarity of Ashkenazi vs Mizrahi. They reject the realistic validity of negative portrayals of Mizrahiness, arguing that they are not a true reflection of most Mizrahim, even as they embrace a notion of a unified Mizrahi experience. Their ‘oppositional reading’ of Israeli media, then, is rooted in a discourse repertoire based on the binarism of ‘us’ and ‘them’, where they perceive television in general

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as an extension of the Ashkenazi establishment. The participants identify with some culturally specific portrayals, welcoming the attempt to document nuances of Mizrahi experiences as ‘counter memories’43 that are not inscribed in hegemonic discourse. The sense of identification, or the ‘realms of memory’ that are invoked, are subversive, and may be interpreted as the response of both the creators and their audience to the ‘rejection of diaspora’ – a Mizrahi-Jewish memory in this case – on which Zionism was based.44

Negotiation Rather than Negation The voices of participants in the 20–40 and 40–60 age groups, most of whom are Israeli-born, are situated in a discourse on Mizrahiness anchored in semiotic fields of struggle, counter memory, boundaries, anger and protest. Their attitude toward their representation in the media is therefore one of negotiation rather than negation, and is hybrid and essentially dialectic. Accordingly, they demonstrate a ‘negotiated reading’; on the one hand, they confirm, if sorrowfully, the realistic validity of stereotypical portrayals, while on the other they find themselves included in that reality. They are both deeply entrenched within the Mizrahi experience and outside it. In contrast to the over-60 participants, they did not exhibit nostalgia for Arab-Jew cultural artifacts or place themselves in stark opposition to the Ashkenazidominated society. Rather, they explored their in-between status, and the subtler tensions it creates between themselves and their elders, as well as the larger social milieu. Dan (M, 39): We, the generation born here, were given more opportunities and this created a dilema. On one hand, I don’t want to be like them, I want to be Israeli, closer to Ashkenazim ... From my earliest memory, I was ‘anti’, I told them I didn’t want to hear Arabic spoken at home. I was ashamed of it. It reminded me of our enemies’ language. Until today, that type of music repels me ... though I regret it now. Eran (M, 39): There are things you grew up on, were educated in and however much you want to escape them, you can’t, it’s deep inside you ... but you are in conflict because there’s a part you do want to preserve and a part you want to distance yourself from. The negotiated readings of Zinzana best illustrate the elusive nature of identity construction among these age groups. On one hand, they confirm – albeit with compunction – the text’s realism, while on the other hand they are

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quick to distance themselves from the situation, especially as a result of the ‘threat of stereotyping’:45 that is, the fear of associating themselves with images of criminality and lawbreaking: Shaul (M, 36): I don’t regard myself as similar to any of those characters; I don’t relate to them at all ... no member of my family is in prison, I have never had any connection with prisoners apart from on television. Ayelet (F, 31): Let’s not prettify it, we don’t like to hear it, but unfortunately Zinzana is an authentic Mizrahi story. Gadi (M, 37): Since it is probably not a genetic problem, one should ask what were the reasons for that situation, what was it in Israeli social policy that led the Mizrahim into prisons? However, although the younger participants found the media stereotypes disturbing, it was not a burning issue: Dan (M, 39): When you dwell on it, its uncomfortable, but I don’t lose any sleep over it. Mali (F, 37): It strays from the boundaries of good taste, but not to the extent that it troubles me. Their political awareness and developed sense of criticism remain dormant and do not translate into vehement protest.

Discussion When discussing the effect of TV images on Mizrahi social identity, as well as what non-Mizrahi viewers deduce from them, most participants demonstrate both negotiated and oppositional readings, regarding television as an influential tool controlled by the elites to reinforce their hegemony. They are convinced that the negative imagery of Mizrahim on television is perceived by the general public – characterized by Ashkenazi dominance – as an accurate description, which harms their status. Unlike Black audiences, despite our participants’ recognition of media discrimination, none of them seemed eager to work for change. They voiced serious criticism of how the representational regime mimicked the socioeconomic hierarchy, particularly the older participants, but they all stopped

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short of suggesting a civil-rights-style protest movement to press for change. Rather, most of them proposed ‘making amendments while progressing’ in the two-way traffic between Mizrahim and the national centre. This suggests that Mizrahi identity may be more attached to the Zionist narrative because of the religious affinities with Ashkenazi citizens. The symbiosis between religion, nationality and ethnicity works to make Mizrahi identity function as a ‘constitutive outside’, whose very existence indicates a borderline between Jewish nationality and the neighbouring Arab enemy. With an Arab culture and Jewish religion, Mizrahim embody ‘metaphysical and physical borderlines’.46 This betwixt-and-between identity may not suggest a clear oppositional identification against Ashkenazi dominance of media in the ways that the structuring of the Black/White divide in the US often does. The comments of the younger generation especially suggest that Mizrahim who are more distant from the migratory experience may accept the binary discursive construction of Jews versus Arabs, and choose Jewish nationality. This choice awards them a valid position in the Israeli national narrative without having to divide themselves between their culture and religion.

Resistance between Quiescence and Revolt 47 These findings uncover fascinating political responses to Mizrahi representations that, though they do not comply with traditional concepts of resistance, are nevertheless worthy of attention. Explicit political resistance is quite rare; but public protest is not what determines political activism, since forms of resistance in political life are diverse.48 Therefore, even if participants fail to translate their criticism of, and dissatisfaction with, the negative imagery into decisive demands, this does not negate nor detract from the intensity of their discourse, as voiced in this study. Exposing the operating modes of resistance in action is the first step in the deconstruction of the binary dichotomy between ‘active dominator’ and ‘passive subjugated’, which characterizes the relationship between the nation and Mizrahim. From a historiographical aspect, these ‘unlicensed’ modes of operation, and many others, have not been included in either the resistance route of Mizrahim, as paved in the Israeli historiographical canon, nor in the sociology of the ethnic/class protest that restricted Mizrahi audiences to its violent clashes with the forces of law and order.49 Audience study has attracted criticism about the exaggerated power of the agency it ascribes to the audience. As Ang emphasizes, the audience’s power is ‘the power of the weak’: not the power to transform regimes, but to negotiate over the suppressive effects of these structures.50 The voices that emerge in this

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study offer us a new route, secretive and abundant, that fluctuates between ‘quiescence and revolt’. This research reveals that group discussions constitute a fertile ground for minorities’ empowerment, by fostering their self-awareness as political subjects and their potential to cultivate the sociological imagination of social scientists and of themselves. With respect to media policy, a multitude of public sectoral arenas, where minority groups express their views and formulate their status based on their stance of otherness whilst developing policy from the bottom up, is a prerequisite for an egalitarian public sphere. Moreover, the findings suggest that, despite scholars’ desire to move forward from past discussions of negative/positive imagery, audiences still utilize this framework to talk about their perceptions of and disappointments with contemporary modes of multicultural inclusion in dominant media. Media critics should attend to this recurrent finding in minority audience response research, and ponder how audience investment in better media representation might be a starting point to theorize other concerns. For example, bell hooks urges scholars to leverage Black audience members’ lay theories of media representation and oppositional reading practices to engender consciousnessraising discussions connecting media to politics, and so forth.51

Conclusions New Cultural Moves The continuum of stereotypical Mizrahi representations in the Israeli media, from the bourekas film genre to its present-day incarnations, is in essence ahistorical and mythical, constituting a ‘Mizrahi representation heritage’. While Gray acknowledges the validity of concerns about negative fetishization, he has recently posed a provocative challenge: should racial and ethnic groups that have been marginalized look to national television networks for representation? In an era of exploding media channels and technologies, should marginalized ethnic and racial groups seek other venues to satisfy representational desires? Gray encourages us to view the problem of network TV’s racial representations as a symptom of the crisis of the nation state itself.52 The difficulties of including othered subjects into the televisual representations of the nation reflect the difficulties of a nation that has depended upon the myth of a homogeneous national culture whilst being confronted with the realities of heterogeneity and hybridity. The conflicts over Mizrahi representation and inclusion in Israeli media are in fact symptomatic of tensions over the myths of national identity that privilege Ashkenazi experiences and narratives that position Mizrahim in problematic ways.

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These research findings challenge conventional assumptions of recognition and visibility, and call for a re-conceptualization of representation in its traditional sense, since the issue of Mizrahi imagery in the media is much more complex than issues of inclusion or exclusion, or negative and positive imagery. As Gray suggests, an analytical shift in the politics of representation is needed, one that allows new cultural moves in the dominant cultural sphere.

Racism without Race Many scholars have taken up Edward Bonilla-Silva’s claim that the millennium has brought an era of ‘racism without racists’. That is, conservative backlash against the civil rights and anti-colonial movements of the midtwentieth century has shifted discourses of race from biological determinism to denial of institutional racism.53 These discourses have morphed and migrated globally. Traces of this denial emerge in Europe in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, and in the United States, in anti-affirmative action campaigns and insistence that the US has achieved a ‘color blind’ or a ‘postracial’ state.54 Unlike the growing body of knowledge on race in the US and Europe, the academic discourse in Israel barely deals with race and racialization. While critical works do recognize discrimination against Palestinians, Mizrahim, Russians, Black Jews and migrant workers,55 the conservative academic discourse substitutes ‘race’ with categories of ethnicity and class.56 Given the racism in the discourse of Israeli law, parliament initiatives, everyday life, and discussions of colour as a signifier of race in the media, this absence is troubling. As Modood notes, these discourses present multiculturalism either as a failed experiment or as a fait accompli. In both cases, people of colour and their allies who insist on interrogating how the remnants of the old racial/colonial order continue to affect society are accused of ‘playing the race card’ to achieve unearned gains or to unnecessarily shame White citizens.57 In this climate of denial, racial representations in media remain a charged terrain for debates concerning social progress and the role of the state in achieving equal access to all of its heterogeneous citizens.

Notes 1. The findings are based on a dissertation which was written by Yifat Ben Hay-Segev under the supervision of Yehudith Auerbach (Bar Ilan University) and Catherine Squires (University of Minnesota).

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2. R. Means Coleman, African American Viewers and the Black Situation Comedy (New York and London: Garland, 2000); R. Means Coleman (ed.), Say It Loud! African-American Audiences, Media and Identity (New York and London: Routledge, 2002); C. Squires, ‘Black Audiences, Past and Present: Commonsense Media Critics and Activists’, in Means Coleman, Say It Loud!, pp.45–76. 3. E.W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 2000). 4. E. Shohat, Forbidden Reminiscences: Toward Multicultural Perspective (Tel Aviv: Bimat Kedem Lessifrut, 2001) (Hebrew). 5. S. Hall, ‘New Ethnicities’, in B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths and H. Tiffin (eds), The Post-Colonial Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 1989), pp.223–27. 6. H. Hever, Y. Shenhav and P. Motzafi-Haller, Mizrahim in Israel: A Critical Observation into Israel’s Ethnicity (Tel Aviv: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2002), p.17 (Hebrew). 7. For example, see T. Gitlin, The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America is Wracked by Culture Wars (New York: Holt, 1996). 8. R.M. Entman and A. Rojecki, The Black Image in the White Mind (Chicago, IL, and London: University of Chicago Press, 2000); S. Hall, ‘Who Needs Identity?’, in S. Hall and P. Du Gay (eds), Questions of Cultural Identity (London: Sage, 1996), pp.1–17; K.A. Ono and V. Pham, Asian Americans and the Media (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009). 9. Umberto Eco describes the shift that Italian television underwent from the late 1970s as a move from paleo-television to neo-television. Neo-television is postmodern by nature, it talks about itself and its relations with its own audiences. See U. Eco, ‘A Guide to the NeoTelevision of the 1980s’, in Z.G. Baranski and R. Lumley (eds), Culture and Conflict in Postwar Italy (London: Macmillan, 1990), pp.245–55. 10. J. Fiske, Understanding Popular Culture (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989), p.124. 11. D. Lemish, ‘“If You’re not There, You Don’t Exist”: Advertising as a Peek Hole to Israeli Society’, in H. Hertzog (ed.), Fifty Years: Reflection of a Society (Tel Aviv: Ramot, 2000), pp.539–59 (Hebrew). 12. E. Avraham, A. First, N. Leor and N. Leffler, Absent and Present in Prime-Time Viewing: Cultural Diversity in Commercial Television Broadcasts. Research report (Jerusalem: The Second Authority for Television and Radio, 2004) (Hebrew). 13. Ibid. 14. H. Gray, Watching Race: Television and the Sign of Blackness (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995); Means Coleman, Say It Loud! 15. Pierre Nora formulated the concept of Lieux de mémoire (places/locations of memory) to re-conceptualize the French tradition of history and memory in order to deconstruct paradigms of nationalism. P. Nora, ‘Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire’, Representations, 26, special issue: Memory and Counter-Memory (Spring 1989), pp.7–25. 16. J.Z. Bratich, ‘“Nothing is Left Alone for Too Long”: Reality Programming and Control Society Subjects’, Journal of Communication Inquiry, 30, 1 (2006) pp.65–83. 17. The ethnic divide serves as a key motif in the so-called bourekas films (named after a savoury pastry available on most Israeli street corners), which were highly formulaic, usually of a comic nature, and highlighted the clash between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi culture. The genre was popular in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly with Mizrahi audiences. 18. P. Alasuutari, ‘Introduction: Three Phases of Reception Studies’, in P. Alasuutari (ed.), Rethinking the Media Audience (London: Sage, 1999), pp.1–21.

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19. D. Morley, Family Television: Cultural Power and Domestic Leisure (London: Comedia, 1986). 20. J. Lull, ‘The Social Uses of Television’, Human Communication Research, 6 (March 1980), pp.198–209. 21. E. Katz and T. Liebes, ‘Once Upon a Time in Dallas’, Intermedia, 12, 3 (1984), pp.28–32. 22. I. Ang, ‘Culture and Communication: Towards an Ethnographic Critique of Media Consumption in the Transnational Media System’, European Journal of Communication, 5 (June 1990), pp.239–60. 23. L. Grossberg, ‘Wandering Audiences, Nomadic Critics’, Cultural Studies, 2, 3 (1988), p.377–91. 24. J. Radway, ‘Reception Study: Ethnography and the Problems of Dispersed Audiences and Nomadic Subjects’, Cultural Studies 2, 3 (1988), pp.359–76. 25. See Katz and Liebes, ‘Once Upon a Time’, pp.28–32. 26. See Radway, ‘Reception Study’, pp.359–76. 27. See Morley, Family Television. 28. See Gray, Watching Race; H. Gray, Cultural Moves (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2005); Means Coleman, Say it Loud! 29. See Gray, Watching Race. 30. Problematization does not mean the representation of a pre-existing object, nor the creation through discourse of an object that doesn’t exist. It is the set of discursive or non-discursive practices that makes something enter into the play of the true and false, and constitutes it as an object for thought (in the form of moral reflection, scientific knowledge, political analysis, etc.). See M. Foucault and L. Kritzman (eds), Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interviews and Other Writings 1977–1984 (London: Routledge, 1988), p.257. 31. See Silverstone’s discussion of the ‘Experience of Television’, in R. Silverstone, Why Study the Media? (London: Sage, 1999), p.2. 32. M. Patton, Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990), p.169. 33. Hever et al., Mizrahim in Israel, pp.20–7. 34. S. Hall, ‘Encoding and Decoding in Television Discourse’, in S. Hall (ed.), Culture, Media, Language: Working Papers in Cultural Studies 1972–1979 (London: Hutchinson, 1981), pp.128–38. 35. K.C. Schroder, ‘Making Sense of Audience Discourses: Towards a Multidimensional Model of Mass Media Reception’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 3, 2 (May 2000), pp.233–58. 36. K. Drotner, ‘Medieetnografiske problemstillinger – en oversigt’ [Ethnographic Media Problem Formulations: An Overview], MedieKultur, 21 (1993), pp.5–22, see http://ojs.statsbiblioteket.dk/index.php/mediekultur/article/view/982. 37. A. Fetveit, ‘Anti-Essentialism and Reception Studies: In Defense of the Text’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 4, 2 (2001), pp.173–99. 38. E. Shohat, Israeli Cinema: History and Ideology (Tel Aviv: Brerot, 1991) (Hebrew). 39. The police docudrama Zinzana (slang for patrol car), broadcast between 2000 and 2005 on Channel 2, was based on the true story of Beersheba Prison’s commanding officer, both of whose brothers descended into a life of crime. The series dealt with the lives of inmates and staff of an Israeli prison and their relations with family and society outside the prison. Most of the characters are distinctly Mizrahi types, as is the neighbourhood. 40. Homi Bhabha employed the concepts of hybridity and ambivalence to describe the

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41.

42.

43. 44. 45.

46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54.

55. 56. 57.

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dynamics of the colonial encounter, while stressing the negotiation theme in contrast to the binary negation at the base of Saidian thought. Bhabha maintains that cultural identity is constructed in a process of ‘negotiation rather than negation’, which produces mutual recognition of cultural difference. H.K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), p.37. For discussions on migration and trauma, see S. Akhtar, Immigration and Identity, Turmoil, Treatment and Transformation (Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1999); L. Grinberg and R. Grinberg, Psychoanalytic Perspective on Migration and Exile (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989); E.A. Kaplan, Trauma Culture: The Politics of Terror and Loss in Media and Literature (New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Rutgers University Press, 2005). Meorav Yerushalmi (lit. ‘Jerusalem-style Mixed Grill’) ran for three seasons on both Channel 10 and 2. Named after a mixed-grill meat dish considered a speciality of Jerusalem, the series follows the fortunes of three generations of the Sa’ada-Sadeh family, beginning with Eliahyu Sa’ada, a rabbi from Tunis who lives in Jerusalem and experiences the disintegration of his family. M. Foucault, Language, Counter Memory, Practice (New York: Cornell University Press, 1980). A. Raz-Krakotzkin,‘Diaspora within Sovereignty as a Criticism of “Rejection of Diaspora” in Israeli Culture’, Teoria u’Biqoret, 5 (1994), pp.113–32 (Hebrew). C.M. Steele and J. Aronson, ‘Stereotype Threat and the Intellectual Test Performance of African Americans’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 5 (1995), pp.797– 811. Y. Shenhav, The Arab Jews: Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnicity (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2003), p.115 (Hebrew). J.C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992), p.199. Ibid., p.99. A. Kemp, ‘Peoples’ Migration, or the Big Burning: State Control and Resistance in the Israeli Periphery’, in Hever et al., Mizrahim in Israel, pp.36–67. I. Ang, Living Room Wars: Rethinking Media Audiences for a Postmodern World (London: Routledge, 1996), p.11. b. hooks, Black Looks: Race and Representation (New York: South End Press, 1992); b. hooks, Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies (New York, Routledge, 1996). See Gray, Cultural Moves. E. Bonilla-Silva, Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010). For example, see B. Jones and R. Mukherjee, ‘From California to Michigan: Race, Rationality and Neoliberal Governmentality’, Communication and Critical Cultural Studies, 7, 4 (2010), pp.401–22. N. Elias and A. Kemp, ‘The New Second Generation: Non-Jewish Olim, Black Jews and Children of Migrant Workers in Israel’, Israel Studies, 15, 1 (2010), pp.73–94. Y. Shenhav and Y. Yona (eds), Racism in Israel (Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute, Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2008), pp.13–46 (in Hebrew). T. Modood, Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007).

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12 Media Use as Integration Strategy: Returning Diasporas from the Former Soviet Union in Israel and Germany Nelly Elias One key effect of the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 was the mass emigration of two ethnic minorities – Jews and Germans – from the territory of the former Soviet Union (hereafter FSU) to Israel and Germany, respectively. Germany took in about two million immigrants and Israel about a million. Both migration waves were defined in ideological terms as ‘returning home’, wherein the target countries declare an open-door policy and recognize the right of these minorities to return to their historic homelands. The returning diasporas were thus granted citizenship and full rights immediately on their arrival, as well as extensive financial assistance during their initial adjustment.1 Another fascinating similarity between these two groups is that both Jews and Germans were perceived by the Soviet regime as ‘problematic’ minorities with dual loyalties who were liable to betray their Soviet homeland in favour of their national or religious affiliation. Consequently, Jews and Germans were periodically kept under close watch by the authorities and suffered discrimination in admission to institutions of higher education, professional advancement and conditions for preservation of their ethnic culture and language.2 As such, their arrival in a country considered their historic homeland bore the promise of liberation from the negative stereotypes that clung to their ethnic group, as the surrounding local residents were Jews/Germans just like them. It should be recalled, however, that Jews and Germans had been living in the Russian Empire – and subsequently in the Soviet Union – for centuries, and had absorbed various elements of Russian culture, especially during the Soviet era, when their assimilation into the majority culture was accelerated. In the Soviet Union, the Jews became an ethnic group without a language, without ritual symbols, without Jewish tradition or even historic roots.3 Similarly, the German minority, especially the generation born after the

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Second World War, experienced a marked decline in knowledge of the German language and affiliation with the culture of origin.4 It is thus not surprising that the return to the historic homeland confronted the immigrants with a land entirely alien to them, and with local residents who mostly belonged to the same nation as the immigrants, but differed from them in terms of culture, custom and lifestyle. In many cases, the immigrants did not live up to the expectations of the host society, as they were more strongly attached to their culture of origin rather than to that of their old-new homeland. Consequently, alongside freedom from old stereotypes that had been ascribed to them in the FSU, this encounter between the returning diasporas and their hosts constituted fertile soil for identity negotiations of the returnees. In other words, although these immigrants could shed their ‘shameful’ visibility upon arrival in the safe harbour of their historic homeland, they quickly acquired a new visibility as a distinct social and cultural group that responded to the generalized definition of ‘Russians’.5 The mass media in the majority language played a highly significant role in this context. As a powerful agent of symbolic visibility, media can create and disseminate negative stereotypes of the new immigrants and condition the manner in which they are received and represented in public discourse.6 On more than one occasion, the Israeli media portrayed FSU immigrants as involved in prostitution and organized crime and accused them of forging documents attesting to their Jewish roots.7 Similarly, the German media frequently reported mass forging of documents by FSU immigrants in order to obtain entry visas to Germany, as well as their involvement in crime and violence and their incompatibility with the western way of life.8 In both cases, the majority-language media created an image of the returning diaspora as a threat, as immoral outsiders, underscoring their otherness. Research literature also indicates that media in the majority language may help immigrants blur their undesirable visibility by serving as an agent of socialization and as a major source of information through which the immigrants learn about their new surroundings, acquire a new vocabulary and become aware of the political agenda of the host society and the lifestyles of local residents. The media can supply immigrants with tools, such as language proficiency, and familiarity with the local mores and folkways, through which they can blur the differences by learning to look and sound like local residents.9 Media in the immigrants’ language may also play a dual role in their integration process. On the one hand, they provide the immigrants with essential information and interpretation, familiarizing them with their new society and its institutions. At times, they may even serve as a kind of handbook, with instructions regarding what to do and how to behave to ensure rapid assimilation into the majority population.10 On the

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other hand, the immigrant-language media can help immigrants preserve their original cultural identity and attachment to their country of origin, offering immigrants the tools they need to resist assimilation and maintain their uniqueness.11 Consequently, the Russian-speaking returnees in Israel and Germany provide a rare opportunity for studying how they apply their media practices as strategies for their social and cultural integration, while coping with their newly acquired alienness. It should be noted however, that immigrants’ adjustment is affected by the structural and cultural context of the host country and the characteristics of the immigrants themselves. Hence, before proceeding to examine the connection between media use and social and cultural integration, I consider the immigration and integration policies of Israel and Germany and the sociocultural characteristics of Russian-speaking Jews and Germans.

Immigration and Integration Policy Israel and Germany are among the few countries in which immigration policy and procedures for obtaining citizenship are based on the ethnoreligious criterion known as jus sanguinis (Law of Blood), as distinguished from countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, in which every immigrant has the right to obtain citizenship, wherein the basic criterion thereof is place of birth – jus soli (Law of Land).12 Since its establishment, Israel has displayed a highly liberal attitude towards immigrants of Jewish origin, in accordance with the principles of its Declaration of Independence and by virtue of the 1950 Law of Return (as amended in 1980), that was enacted as a Basic (Constitutional) Law, declaring that Jews have the ‘natural right’ to return to their historic homeland. Hence all Jews and their families have the right to immigrate to Israel and to have Israeli citizenship conferred on them forthwith.13 Quite similarly, in the latter half of the twentieth century, Germany took in hundreds of thousands of ethnic German immigrants who had lived in Eastern European countries and the FSU for many years. Germany, like Israel, offered the immigrants immediate citizenship by virtue of Article 116(1) of the 1949 German Constitution and additional legislation such as the 1956 Federal Refugee and Deportee Law (amended in 1990 and 1992).14 As a direct consequence of ideological commitment to its ‘children returning from exile’, instead of using the neutral term ‘immigrant’, both countries generally apply special normative terminology: Oleh (one who rises) in Israel and Aussiedler (resettled one) in Germany. Both such terms refer to people who are returning to their ancestral homeland, and who are

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perceived as having a cognitive and emotional attachment to the cultural heritage of the target country.15 Notwithstanding similarities in immigration policy, research literature reveals that the integration ideologies typical of Israel and Germany differ substantively. At present, Israel upholds the ‘cultural pluralism’ model, which recognizes the cultural variance of immigrants and facilitates its preservation.16 Hence Israeli society displays rather extensive receptivity to ethnic and sectoral symbols and expressions, including the culture and heritage that immigrants from the FSU have brought with them.17 The transition to cultural pluralism is reflected also in the change in status of the Hebrew language in the process of immigrants’ integration. The greatest change began to occur in the 1970s and reached its peak in the 1990s, as expressed in the tendency towards tolerance of the Russian language. During this decade, government institutions began publishing information sheets for immigrants in Russian, Israeli television began broadcasting programmes in Russian and providing Russian subtitles for its Hebrew programmes, and Russian-language magazines and newspapers were published with the government’s support.18 In a sharp contrast, Germany’s immigrant integration policy towards Aussiedler is based on the assimilative model, wherein immigrants are expected to assimilate rapidly into the German culture and lifestyle.19 As a direct consequence of this assimilative policy, the FSU immigrants’ integration in Germany is a highly structured process, characterized by powerful emphasis on building a German identity.20 The German language plays a most significant role in this process: besides serving as an instrumental means of integrating in society, it also constitutes a sign of national identification.21 Thus, the Aussiedler must learn Hochdeutsch and speak it in public instead of the local dialect on which they were raised. As a result of this coercive language acquisition process, instead of mastering the language, the immigrants are mastered by it, rendering many of them mute in the public sphere.22

Socio-Demographic and Cultural Characteristics of Jewish and German Immigrants Besides the structural characteristics of the host country, which condition the pace and scope of integration, the socio-demographic and cultural characteristics of the immigrants themselves play an important role in this process as well. Consequently, in addressing immigrants from the FSU in Israel and Germany, one should consider the historical background of Jews and Germans in the Soviet Union, their affinity for their ethnic culture

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(Jewish and German) versus Russian-Soviet culture, and their socio-demographic features. First, it is important to note that the Germans in the Soviet Union were able to preserve their cultural heritage to a far greater extent than the Jews could. Centres of Jewish life were annihilated in the Holocaust, thereby eradicating knowledge of Yiddish and Hebrew languages. By contrast, the Germans continued to live in closed agrarian communities, kept up their authentic religious and cultural features, and even spoke ancient dialects of German.23 Consequently, most Germans in the Soviet Union felt a deep emotional tie to the German language and considered it an important part of their identity.24 Moreover, these two communities also differ from one another in the extent of their involvement in Russian culture and their place in the Soviet Union’s social and cultural hierarchy. During the seventy years of Soviet rule, the Jews succeeded in ascending the ladder to become the integral part of Soviet intellectual and cultural elite.25 By contrast, most of the Germans lived in peripheral-agricultural regions in Siberia and Kazakhstan and held only a marginal position in cultural and scientific spheres.26 These differences are reflected in the socio-demographic characteristics of FSU immigrants in Israel and Germany: 55 per cent of Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel have post-secondary education; 69 per cent hold whitecollar jobs;27 and 80 per cent come from the big cities in the European regions of the FSU.28 By contrast, among the German immigrants, only 25 per cent have post-secondary or academic education,29 with a high concentration of workers in industry (58 per cent) and agriculture (7 per cent), and only 19 per cent with white-collar professions. Furthermore, a decisive majority of Russian-speaking Germans immigrated to Germany from the periphery of the Soviet Union, particularly Siberia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.30

Methodology The present study is based on 100 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with Russian-speaking immigrants (fifty in Israel and fifty in Germany) who emigrated from the FSU between 1995 and 2002. The interviews in both countries were conducted in two stages: sixty interviews in 2001 and another forty in 2004. The Israeli sample comprised twenty-six women and twentyfour men aged 24 to 80, of whom 63 per cent had higher education. About 73 per cent of the interviewees had white-collar jobs, and 90 per cent lived in the European areas of the FSU before immigrating. The German sample consisted of twenty-nine women and twenty-one men aged 23 to 81, of whom 17 per cent had higher education; 37 per cent held white-collar jobs

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before immigrating, and 68 per cent lived in small villages in Siberia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. In both cases, the socio-demographic profile of the sample conformed to the basic profile of the immigrant population. Interviewees in the two countries were selected using the snowball sampling method. The sampling process began with several informants representing the group studied with whom I was acquainted personally. These informants provided an initial list of their relatives and acquaintances who met the research criteria. Similarly, at the end of the interview, interviewees were asked to recommend additional people whose sociodemographic profiles were likely to suit research needs. All interviews were conducted in the semi-structured format, in which the interview has a rigid topic list but allows for maximum flexibility in the order in which they are presented, based on the interaction that develops between interviewee and interviewer. Interviewees answered a series of open questions about their uses of the media in the two relevant languages, with focus on the roles of each medium in their social and cultural integration and in the preservation of their original identity. The interviews were transcribed precisely and subjected to thematic organization analysis, in which the researcher identifies a series of key themes derived from repeated reading of the interview material.31

Findings Media Uses as an Adaptation Strategy Acquisition of the host language is a key component of the immigrants’ new identity that takes shape through their interaction with the host society. Moreover, adoption of ‘proper’ pronunciation and idioms common among local residents may constitute a major strategy in obscuring immigrants’ undesired visibility, revealed by a foreign accent, grammatical errors or an outdated vocabulary. In this context, interviewees in both countries claimed that the host language cannot be acquired in a half-year language course alone; hence majority-language media served them as a complementary source of vocabulary enrichment and familiarization with the vernacular. Despite this similarity, the interviewees in Israel and in Germany differed in their motivation to invest time and effort in language acquisition: for the interviewees in Germany the use of the host media appears to entail intensive effort, whereas among interviewees in Israel effortless language acquisition was a prominent theme, as can be seen in the following quotes: Inessa, 32 (Germany): When I arrived here, I watched television all the

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time. Even though I didn’t understand anything, I tried to remember, to translate and little by little, I got used to it. By now, I can already watch it for pleasure. I don’t need to translate anymore. But in the first year, I really had to make an effort to concentrate, as though it were a lesson. After an hour of watching television, no matter what type of program, I felt as though my brain was exploding. Sveta, 25 (Israel): When I’m at home, I try to have the radio playing all the time. I want there to be a background of Hebrew music, even if I’m not listening intentionally. It’s important because it affects my subconscious. I also take along a radio with earphones so I can listen to it on the bus. I think it helps me. I even like to listen to advertisements and songs in Hebrew, especially when they repeat a word several times, so I can understand it. Most interviewees in Germany said that their exposure to German-language media, especially television, began as early as their first few weeks in the country as part of their attempt to learn German as quickly as possible. In parallel, most of them decided to forgo Russian-language media almost entirely, fearing it would impede their acquisition of German. For these interviewees, use of German media held the promise of more rapid integration, while Russian media were seen as liable to retard the process. Moreover, interviewees in Germany claimed that they were highly motivated to learn German because local residents considered knowledge of the language as proof that the immigrants were indeed ‘authentic’ Germans. On the other hand, illiteracy of the German language or speaking it with a foreign accent placed the speaker outside the German nation, inviting offensive comments regarding the legitimacy of their presence in Germany: Victor, 48 (Germany): When we arrived in Germany, we detached ourselves completely from anything Russian. I would not allow my family to buy Russian-language newspapers or videocassettes that would keep them from learning German. Even now, two years later, you’ll hardly find a Russian newspaper in our house. I also don’t want to subscribe to the Russian channels, because then we would all slip back into Russian and forget German. As it is, our knowledge of German is still pretty weak and not good enough for integration. If you want to find work here, you must know German. Philip, 30 (Germany): When I arrived here, I didn’t use any of the media in Russian – neither newspapers, nor books, nor videocassettes.

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I just didn’t want to, because I set myself a goal of integrating here as quickly as possible. I didn’t read a thing in Russian, because it was so important for me to learn German quickly and to find a good job. Unlike the interviewees in Germany, who felt that they were required to demonstrate their linguistic skills to prove their Germanness, most interviewees in Israel said that Israeli Jews did not expect them to avoid speaking Russian in public. Some even indicated that, over the years, Israeli society has learned to appreciate the cultural assets that the FSU immigrants brought with them. Free of surrounding pressure, interviewees in Israel made far less use of local-language media as a tool for language learning than their counterparts in Germany. Generally speaking, the extent to which interviewees used Hebrew media to learn the language was dependent on their individual motivation for rapid integration and especially the likelihood of their finding suitable employment. Moreover, even interviewees who were highly motivated to acquire the language did not forgo Russian-language media entirely. Unlike the interviewees in Germany, who limited themselves to German media only, none of the interviewees in Israel was willing to give up Russian-language media, even at the cost of slowing down their acquisition of the Hebrew language. Besides serving as a resource for language learning and adoption of ‘proper’ pronunciation, host media also constitute a kind of showcase through which immigrants become familiar with the lifestyle and behavioural patterns of local residents. In this context, interviewees in both countries indicated that during their first few years in the host country, they were almost totally isolated from the local population. As such, television in the majority language, especially drama series and talk shows, became their chief means of gaining familiarity with local residents and their culture: Larissa, 51 (Israel): Before we subscribed to cable TV, we used to watch all kinds of Israeli entertainment programs, like Taverna, for example. It was nice, because I wanted to become more familiar with Israeli culture. It was interesting to look at people’s faces, to see what they wear and how they talk, because the way television shows people is like a mirror of society. It was extremely interesting, especially at the beginning. We were really watching Israeli society, alive, well and kicking. Alexander, 26 (Germany): To be honest, even today, my contacts with local Germans are pretty rare, although I attend university here and work with Germans. Whatever information I have about what’s going on here and even my integration itself may be attributed to television.

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For example, when you watch a German television series, you pay attention to the clothes; you learn the slang spoken by youngsters. You can really get a lot out of it, much more than by communicating with the locals. Despite this similarity, interviewees in Israel differed substantively from their counterparts in Germany regarding not only media-based language acquisition, but also familiarity with the local culture. The latter tended to use German media consistently, while the former’s encounter with the majority culture through the media was relatively brief, generally taking place during their first year in Israel. After satisfying their initial curiosity, most interviewees in Israel returned to their regular patterns of consuming media in Russian, thus terminating their concerted efforts to acquaint themselves with popular Israeli culture. These differences in interviewees’ motivation express more intense differences regarding closeness to and identification with their culture of origin as opposed to that of the host country. The interviewees in Israel all spoke in favour of the Russian culture, which they perceived as a key component of their identity and which they sought to preserve after immigrating to Israel. By contrast, their German counterparts displayed no particular identification with Russian culture; many were not even familiar with it to any great extent. As a result, they felt a lack of confidence and even feelings of inferiority regarding the cultural demands of their host society and were thus anxious to be assimilated into the local culture. Finally, interviews with younger immigrants in both countries indicate that they were attempting to adapt themselves to the host culture by consuming media content of interest to local residents. Thus, young interviewees in Germany generally took an interest in celebrity gossip, perceiving the interest local Germans display in such topics and thus considering them to be an important element in their integration. By contrast, young interviewees in Israel claimed that familiarity with politics and current affairs is required to maintain conversations with Israeli Jews, considering celebrity sensationalism of no significance whatsoever: Inessa, 32 (Germany): I read newspapers just for the gossip; politics don’t interest me. I didn’t understand it in Russia and it doesn’t interest me here. I read only to know what’s in fashion, what deals are being offered – and also so I can conduct a conversation with the Germans: Which celebrities got married, which ones got divorced. If I talk to the Germans and they drop a name, what will happen if I don’t know the name? They’ll look at me as if to say: ‘How can it be that you don’t

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know?’ Personally, the gossip doesn’t really interest me; I don’t even like this kind of journalism, but I read it to avoid looking stupid because it’s important to them. Katerina, 32 (Israel): I always read the front page of the newspaper; everything connected with current events and the financial section. Sometimes I also read the women’s supplement, but I’m not really interested in all kinds of gossip. To admit in conversation with Israelis that I’m not familiar with some local celebrity or that I haven’t heard some gossip is less embarrassing than to admit that I don’t know something about politics. I think that if I admit not knowing about bohemian life, it’s more forgivable than not knowing current events or not having a political opinion. It appears, therefore, that the interviewees in both countries felt uncomfortable when they could not conduct everyday conversations with local residents; hence they directed their media consumption towards content enabling them to sound like the people around them. Moreover, in several cases in the German sample, the interviewees’ need for integration and acceptance by the Germans was so strong that they were willing to forgo their personal cultural preferences and adopt those of local residents, even if it meant consuming media content that was culturally alien and uninteresting to them.

Immigrants’ Criticism of Majority Media Besides constituting an accessible and efficient resource that helps immigrants integrate, media in the majority language also served as a mirror for how the immigrants were viewed by the host society, thus providing an indicator of their acceptance or rejection. The research findings show that this function was far more dominant among the German sample. As the interviewees in Germany were regular consumers of German-language media, they were exposed, at times, to biased coverage of Aussiedler that portrayed them stereotypically as drunks, ruffians and idlers who burden the German social welfare system, including the ever-present connection between violations of the law and the Russian origin of those involved in the incident: Genadi, 38 (Germany): If the newspapers report any case involving an Aussiedler, they will always stress his origin; they will always write that it’s an Aussiedler from the FSU, even though we are Germans exactly like them. The simplest example is in the case of a car accident. If a German man had an accident, they will write ‘a man had an accident’,

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but if it’s an Aussiedler, they will write explicitly that it was an Aussiedler from Russia. It’s very obvious. Konstantin, 25 (Germany): Coverage of Aussiedlers in the German newspapers is very unbalanced. If an Aussiedler is involved in any criminal activity, they start writing in all the newspapers that the Aussiedlers only speak Russian and don’t want to fit in. Personally, it bothers me a lot, because local people aren’t aware of the whole picture and when a newspaper writes only from such a narrow angle, all so black and white ... It would be nice if the newspapers would take an interest in our culture, our history and the problems facing people when they arrive here. I think that if the local Germans were to read the whole story, their attitude towards us would be different; their perspective would be more objective. They would stop seeing us so negatively, as if we were such aliens in society. They would understand that we are Germans exactly like them, that we are part of the same nation. Such coverage is also a chief component of the sense of alienation that the interviewees felt towards German society, preventing them from developing identification and solidarity with their new home. It is important to note that many of these interviewees were particularly skilled in acquiring the German language and integrated successfully in the job market. They were even willing to forgo consumption of media in Russian entirely if it meant gaining an ‘admission ticket’ to the German majority. Despite their professional success and cultural integration, however, they expressed an ambivalent and at times even negative opinion of German society, and suspicion of the German media. Unlike the interviewees in Germany, most of the interviewees in Israel hardly used Hebrew media and therefore knew very little, if anything, about how the Israeli media portrayed them. Even those few interviewees who did have an opinion on this matter found a way to cope with their negative representation without feeling personally affronted, as can be seen in the following example: Klara, 44 (Israel): It’s true that Israeli television depicts Russianspeaking immigrants in the wrong light, but our community has made its mark nonetheless. We have shown the Israeli public what we are worth, that we are strong, that we can cope with everything. I think our people deserve a round of applause. From talking to local Israelis, I know that they realize our community is not only made up of

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prostitutes or the mafia. They know we are educated people who contribute to Israeli society. So I don’t really think it matters if the media sometimes portray us incorrectly. People know that it’s not true and we also help them understand just who we are. Furthermore, most of the interviewees in Israel shared the opinion that the attitude of Israeli society, including the media, towards immigrants from the FSU has improved over the past few years, as a result of the security crisis that began with the outbreak of the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2001: Vera, 33 (Israel): I think that after terrorist attacks, everyone becomes ‘us’ – especially after the terrorist attack on the Dolphinarium.32 Russian newspapers wrote a lot about how hard the Israelis took the tragedies of the Russian families and finally accepted them into society, as if by virtue of their being victims. Or, for example, there was an article about two Ukrainian tourists who were killed in this attack. Israel made every effort to help their families, whereas Ukraine did nothing, even though they were her citizens. It gives you something to think about, how Israel regards such a tragedy, as opposed to Ukraine. If it had happened there, no one would have cared, but here you feel like you belong; you feel close to others. Lidija, 45 (Israel): It’s true that at first, the attitude of Israeli society to us wasn’t so great; there were lots of stereotypes. But lately, it has subsided; it’s no longer that relevant, because we’re all in the same boat, especially after the terrorist attack on the Dolphinarium ... that was like a blood pact. It was as if the Israelis finally realized that we are part of them, we’re all in the same boat, part of one entire whole. Another important difference found between the German and the Israeli samples was in their feeling of suspicion or trust toward the host media. In contrast to the German sample, interviewees in Israel were characterized by the unequivocal trust they placed in the Israeli media, especially television news. Channels originating in the FSU, on the other hand, were accused of an anti-Semitic sentiment and a tendency to distort information about Israel. Consequently, many interviewees tended to cross-check and verify information about Israel by watching the news programmes of all Russian channels: Evgeni, 61 (Israel): I watch the news on the Russian channels almost every day, because I’m interested in how they present the events over

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here. I always find some imprecision; sometimes it’s even deliberately biased, because the media in Russia are still influenced by the government. It is not too hard to find anti-Semitic opinions voiced by Russian politicians. And the media are no better; they never criticize anyone for anti-Semitic sentiments. Sofija, 35 (Israel): I don’t watch the news from Russia every day. But I always watch it after terrorist attacks, just to see how the Russians present the events here. There are always all kinds of discrepancies and it’s interesting to see just how far the Russians distort things. Thus the findings show that despite these interviewees’ powerful attachment to Russian culture, in all that concerns current affairs, especially the Israel– Palestinian conflict, they accorded full loyalty to media originating in Israel, whereas media from the FSU were perceived as unreliable and hostile.

Discussion and Conclusions First and foremost, the comparison between the Russian-speaking returnees in Israel and in Germany reveals that the latter made far more intensive use of media in the majority language than did the former. Most of the interviewees in Germany used German-language media almost exclusively, severing themselves entirely from media content in Russian and perceiving their success in Germany as contingent on German media use and mastery of the German language. By contrast, the vast majority of interviewees in Israel used a variety of media in Russian, and were hardly exposed to Hebrew-language media, even at the cost of delaying their acquisition of the host language. One key factor explaining such marked differences between the two samples is the assimilative pressure that the host society applied to immigrants returning to Germany. Most interviewees claimed that the host residents expected them to speak German in public, while speaking Russian entailed offensive remarks and a generally suspicious attitude shown by the locals. Such pressure intensifies the role of the German-language media as a principal agent of socialization, while obliterating the Russian media’s role in preserving the immigrants’ original cultural identity. The interviewees in Israel, by contrast, sensed no such pressure on the part of the host society to abandon their original culture. Consequently, they felt free to select a personal media menu that suits their cultural preferences. Another key factor engendering the significant differences in media consumption between the two samples is the cultural capital and the

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differential attachment of these immigrants to Russian culture and to their host culture. The Germans in the Soviet Union accumulated modest cultural capital and occupied a marginal position in the cultural and intellectual landscape of the Soviet Union. Consequently, on their arrival in Germany, many of them felt that they were a marginal and inferior group compared with the majority culture, as reflected in their lack of confidence when facing the cultural demands of German society. Unlike the Germans, the Jews in the Soviet Union were deeply involved in culture and science; in fact, many had been present at the forefront of cultural and intellectual activity. Hence, on their arrival in Israel, they continued to perceive themselves as an elite group that bore the assets of the great Russian culture. Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel and in Germany thus represent two types of cultural integration and hence also two different types of media consumers in their native tongue and in the majority language. The interviewees in Germany were highly involved in an attempt to assimilate into the host society – a process in which German-language media played a key role. Moreover, many of them accompanied the assimilation process with a near-total abandonment of their original cultural identity, including severance from media content in Russian. In contrast, interviewees in Israel preserved their original cultural identity and hardly adopted the local culture. Intensified use of cultural and entertainment media content in Russian was thus a key element in maintaining their connection with their culture of origin. The findings also show that assimilation does not necessarily entail more intense social involvement and identification with the host society. The extensive efforts of interviewees in Germany to adopt the majority culture through intensified use of German media were largely unproductive. For a majority of the interviewees, the promise that German media use would serve as a bridge to the host culture and society was not fulfilled. Despite the ostensible blurring of external differences, most felt they were unwanted outsiders, partly because of the way they were labelled by the German media. That is, the host media, which provided the interviewees with an ‘admission ticket’ to German society, also tagged them as foreigners, thus increasing the disparity between them and local residents and intensifying the mistrust that they felt towards the German media. By contrast, despite their limited use of majority-language media, the interviewees in Israel placed their absolute trust in Israeli information sources, perceived by them as more objective than news broadcast from Russia. As new citizens of Israel, these interviewees found themselves in the middle of a long-term conflict between their new home and its Arab neighbours, thus granting their solidarity to Israeli society, whereas their former

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homeland was considered by them to be on the opposing side of the conflict. Hence, despite their powerful attachment to Russian culture and their intensified consumption of media in Russian, when it comes to the Israel– Palestinian conflict, the interviewees accorded their full ‘tribal’ loyalty to the Israeli media. In conclusion, the findings of this study disprove several preconceived assumptions regarding the connection between media use and immigrants’ cultural integration. The German case shows that exclusive exposure to media in the majority language is not necessarily translated into rapid and full integration, while the Israeli one emphasizes that intensified use of media in the immigrants’ mother tongue does not necessarily engender isolation and alienation. These differences underscore the importance of discerning the social, cultural and political contexts in which immigrants’ integration takes place, as they condition the manner in which immigrants use the various media and the interpretation they accord to their content.

Notes 1. B. Nauck, ‘Social Capital, Intergenerational Transmission and Intercultural Contact in Immigrant Families’, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 32, 4 (2001), pp.466–88; J.T. Shuval and E. Leshem, ‘The Sociology of Migration in Israel: A Critical View’, in E. Leshem and J. Shuval (eds), Immigration to Israel (New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Transaction, 1998), pp.3–50; A. Steinbach, ‘Intergenerational Transmission and Integration of Repatriate Families from the Former Soviet Union in Germany’, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 32, 4 (2001), pp.505–15. 2. Z. Khanin, ‘The Russian Political Elite and Community-Building in the Contemporary Israeli Society’, in A.D. Epstein and A.V. Fedorchenko (eds), Mass Migration and its Impact on the Israeli Society (Moscow: Institute of Israeli and Middle Eastern Studies, 2000), pp.198–227 (Russian); R. Munz and R. Ohliger, ‘Long-Distance Citizen: Ethnic Germans and Their Immigration to Germany’, in P. Schuck and R. Munz (eds), Paths to Inclusion: The Integration of Migrants in the United States and Germany (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1998), pp.155–202; R. Trier, ‘Reversed Diaspora: Russian Jewry, the Transition in Russia and the Migration to Israel’, Anthropology of East Europe Review, 14, 1 (1996), pp.34–42. 3. J. Weber, Jewish Identities in the New Europe (London: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1994). 4. B. Pfetsch,‘In Russia We Were Germans, and Now We Are Russians: Dilemmas of Identity Formation and Communication among German-Russian Aussiedler’ (unpublished paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, San Francisco, 27 May–1 June 1999). 5. S. Luchtenberg and N. McLelland, ‘Multiculturalism, Migration and Racism: The Role of the Media: A Comparative Study of Australian and German Print Media’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 19, 2 (1998); P.L. Martin,‘Germany: Reluctant Land of Immigration’, in W.A. Cornelius and P.L. Martin (eds), Controlling Immigration. A Global Perspective (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994), pp.193–225; Munz and Ohliger, ‘LongDistance Citizen’; Trier, ‘Reversed Diaspora’.

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6. M. Hussain, ‘Islam, Media and Minorities in Denmark’, Current Sociology, 48, 4 (2000), pp.95–116; F. Keshishian, ‘Acculturation, Communication, and the US Mass Media: The Experience of an Iranian Immigrant’, Howard Journal of Communication, 11 (2000), pp.93–106; T.A. van Dijk, ‘Mediating Racism: The Role of the Media in the Reproduction of Racism’, in R. Wodak (ed.), Language, Power and Ideology: Studies in Political Discourse (Amsterdam and Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins, 1989), pp.199–226. 7. D. Golden, ‘A National Cautionary Tale: Russian Women Newcomers to Israel Portrayed’, Nations and Nationalism, 9, 1 (2003), pp.83–104; D. Lemish, ‘The Whore and the Other: Israeli Images of Female Immigrants from the Former USSR’, Gender and Society, 14, 2 (2000), pp.333–49. 8. Pfetsch, ‘In Russia We Were Germans’; S. Taraban, ‘Constructing Aussiedler, Manufacturing Anxiety: Media Representations, “Endangered Homeness”, and the Politics of Integration in Germany’ (unpublished paper prepared for the Berlin Roundtables on Transnational Risks, Berlin, 2–10 January 2004). 9. W. Lee and D. Tse, ‘Changing Media Consumption in a New Home: Acculturation Patterns Among Hong Kong Immigrants to Canada’, Journal of Advertising, 23, 1 (1994), pp.57–70; D. Reece and P. Palmgreen, ‘Coming to America: Need for Acculturation and Media Use Motives among Indian Sojourners in the US’, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24, 6 (2000), pp.807–24; S.H. Riggins, ‘The Promise and Limits of Ethnic Minority Media’, in S.H. Riggins (ed.), Ethnic Minority Media (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992), pp.276–88; E.A. Stilling, ‘The Electronic Melting Pot Hypothesis: The Cultivation of Acculturation among Hispanics through Television Viewing’, Howard Journal of Communication, 8, 1 (1997), pp.77–100. 10. Pfetsch, ‘In Russia We Were Germans’. 11. A. Hargreaves and D. Mahdjoub, ‘Satellite Television Viewing among Ethnic Minorities in France’, European Journal of Communication, 12, 4 (1997), pp.459–77; Riggins,‘Promise and Limits of Ethnic Minority Media’; K. Viswanath and P. Arora, ‘Ethnic Media in the United States: An Essay on Their Role in Integration, Assimilation, and Social Control’, Mass Communication and Society, 3, 1 (2000), pp.39–56; N. Zilberg and E. Leshem, ‘Russian-Language Press and Immigrant Community in Israel’, Revue europeenne des migrations internationales, 12, 3 (1996), pp.173–88. 12. S. Castles and M. Miller, The Age of Migration (New York: Guilford Press, 1993); C. Joppke, ‘How Immigration is Changing Citizenship: A Comparative View’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22, 4 (1999), pp.629–52; Munz and Ohliger, ‘Long-Distance Citizen’; Shuval and Leshem, ‘Sociology of Migration in Israel’. 13. Shuval and Leshem, ‘Sociology of Migration in Israel’. 14. R. Koopmans, ‘Germany and Its Immigrants: An Ambivalent Relationship’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 25, 4 (1999), pp.627–47; R. Munz and R. Ulrich, ‘Changing Patterns of Immigration to Germany, 1945–1995: Ethnic Origins, Demographic Structure, Future Prospects’, in K.J. Bade and M. Weiner (eds), Migration Past, Migration Future: Germany and the United States (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1997), pp.65–119. 15. Shuval and Leshem, ‘Sociology of Migration in Israel’; Steinbach, ‘Intergenerational Transmission’. 16. T. Horowitz, ‘Integration or Separatism?’, in T. Horowitz (ed.), Children of Perestroika in Israel (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1999), pp.1–21. 17. E. Ben-Rafael, E. Olshtain and I. Geijst, ‘Identity and Language: The Social Insertion of Soviet Jews in Israel’, in E. Leshem and J. Shuval (eds), Immigration to Israel: Sociological

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24. 25.

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Perspectives (New Brunswick, NJ, and London: Transaction, 1998), pp.333–56; Shuval and Leshem, ‘Sociology of Migration in Israel’. D. Caspi and N. Elias, ‘Being Here But Feeling There: The Russian Mass Media in Israel’, Israeli Sociology: A Journal for the Study of Israeli Society, 2 (2000), pp.1–42 (Hebrew); L. Glinert, ‘Inside the Language Planner’s Head: Tactical Responses to a Mass Immigration’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 16, 5 (1995), pp.351–71; Zilberg and Leshem, ‘Russian-Language Press’. C. Joppke, ‘Multiculturalism and Immigration: A Comparison of the United States, Germany and Great Britain’, Theory and Society, 25 (1996), pp.449–500; A. Zick, U. Wagner, R. van Dick and T. Petzel,‘Acculturation and Prejudice in Germany: Majority and Minority Perspectives’, Journal of Social Issues, 57, 3 (2001), pp.541–68. A. Richter, ‘“Blood and Soil”: What it means to be German’, World Policy Journal, 15, 4 (1998), pp.91–8; S.J. Senders, ‘Mimetic Identification: Ethnic German Repatriation in Post Cold-War Berlin’ (unpublished doctoral dissertation, Cornell University, 1999). Pfetsch, ‘In Russia We Were Germans’. Senders, Mimetic Identification. E. Schmaltz, ‘Reform, Rebirth and Regret: The Rise and Decline of the Ethnic-German Nationalist Wiedergeburt Movement in the USSR and CIS, 1987–1993’, Nationalities Papers, 26, 2 (1998), pp.215–47; Pfetsch, ‘In Russia we were Germans’; Steinbach, ‘Intergenerational transmission’. Munz and Ohliger, ‘Long-Distance Citizen’. Horowitz,‘Integration or Separatism?’; T. Rapoport and E. Lomsky-Feder,‘“Intelligentsia” as an Ethnic Habitus: The Inculcation and Restructuring of Intelligentsia among Russian Jews’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 23, 2 (2002), pp.233–48; M. Tolts, ‘The Interrelationship between Emigration and the Socio-Demographic Profile of Russian Jewry’, in N. Lewin-Epstein, Y. Ro’i and P. Ritterband (eds), Russian Jews on Three Continents: Migration and Resettlement (London: Frank Cass, 1997), pp.147–75; Trier, ‘Reversed Diaspora’. Munz and Ohliger, ‘Long-Distance Citizen’; Pfetsch, ‘In Russia We Were Germans’; B. Dietz, ‘German and Jewish Migration from the Former Soviet Union to Germany: Background, Trend and Implications’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 26, 4 (2000), pp.635–53. Horowitz, ‘Integration or Separatism?’; M. Lissak and E. Leshem, ‘The Russian Intelligentsia in Israel: Between Ghettoization and Integration’, Israel Affairs, 2, 2 (1995), pp.20–36. T. Horowitz, ‘Value-Oriented Parameters in Migration Policies in the 1990s: The Israeli Experience’, International Migration, 19, 4 (1996), pp.513–38; E. Leshem and M. Lissak, ‘Social and Cultural Cohesion of the Russian Community in Israel’, in M. Lissak and E. Leshem (eds), From Russia to Israel (Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2001), pp.27–76 (Hebrew). Dietz, ‘German and Jewish Migration’; Nauck, ‘Social Capital’. Munz and Ohliger, ‘Long-Distance Citizen’; Pfetsch, ‘In Russia We Were Germans’. A.A. Berger, Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2000). The terrorist attack on the Dolphinarium discothèque is burnt in the collective Israeli memory as a ‘Russian’ terrorist attack, as most of the twenty-one youngsters killed were FSU immigrants.

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The Select Bibliography aims at providing additional reading on the major subject of the book – media and ethnic minorities in the international context – as well as adding publications by Israeli authors that were not included in the book. Adoni, H., Caspi, D. and Cohen, A.A., ‘The Consumer’s Choice: Language, Media Consumption and Hybrid Identities of Minorities’, Communication: The European Journal of Communication Research, 27, 4 (2001), pp.411–36. Adoni, H., Cohen, A.A. and Caspi, D., Media, Minorities, and Hybrid Identities: The Arab and Russian Communities in Israel (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006). Al-Haj, M., Immigration and Ethnic Formation in a Deeply Divided Society: The Case of the 1990s Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel (Leiden: Brill, 2004). Alia, V. and Bull, S., Media and Ethnic Minorities (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005). Avraham, E. Behind Media Marginality: Coverage of Social Groups and Places in the Israeli Press (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2003). Avraham, E., First, A., Leor, N. and Leffler, N., Absent and Present in Prime-Time Viewing: Cultural Diversity in Commercial Television Broadcasts. Research report (Jerusalem: The Second Authority for Television and Radio, 2004) (Hebrew). Avraham, E., Wolfsfeld, G. and Aburaiya, I., ‘Dynamics in the News Coverage of Minorities: The Case of the Arab Citizens of Israel’, Journal of Communication Inquiry, 24, 2 (2000), 117–33. Bailey, O., Georgiou, M. and Harindranth, R., Transnational Lives and the Media: ReImagining Diasporas (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Ben-Rafael, E., Lyubansky, M., Glöckner, O., Harris, P., Israel, Y., Jasper, W. and Schoeps, J., Building a Diaspora: Russian Jews in Israel, Germany and the USA (Leiden: Brill, 2006). Browne, D.R., Ethnic Minorities, Electronic Media and the Public Sphere: A Comparative Approach (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2005). Caspi, D., Adoni, H., Cohen, A.A. and Elias, N., ‘The Red and the White and the Blue: the Russian Media in Israel’, Gazette, 64, 6 (2002), pp.537–56. Caspi, D. and Elias, N., ‘Don’t Patronize Me: Media-by and Media-for Minorities’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34, 1 (2011), pp.62–82.

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Caspi, D. and Limor, Y., The In/Outsiders: The Mass Media in Israel (Cresskill, N.J: Hampton Press, 1999). Caspi, D. with Rubinstein, D., ‘The Wallkeepers: Monitoring the Israel–Arab Conflict’, in D. Bar-Tal and I. Schnell (eds), The Impacts of Lasting Occupation: Lessons from Israeli Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp.299–326. Cottle, S., Television and Ethnic Minorities: Producers’ Perspectives. A Study of BBC, Independent and Cable TV Producers (Aldershot: Avebury, 1997). Cottle, S. (ed.), Ethnic Minorities and the Media (Buckingham: Open University Press, 2000). Deuze, M., ‘Ethnic Media, Community Media and Participatory Culture’, Journalism, 7, 3 (2006), pp.262–80. Elias, N., Coming Home: Media and Returning Diaspora in Israel and Germany (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2008). Elias, N. and Lemish, D., ‘Between Three Worlds: Host, Homeland, and Global Media in the Lives of Russian Immigrant Families in Israel and Germany’, Journal of Family Issues, 20, 10 (2011), pp.1–29. Elias, N. and Lerner, J., ‘Narrating the Double Helix: The Immigrant-Professional Biography of a Russian Journalist in Israel’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13, 1 (2012), Art. 15, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1201155. First, A., ‘Who is the Enemy? The Portrayal of Arabs on Israeli Television News’, International Communication Gazette, 60, 3 (1998), pp.239–51. First, A. and Avraham, E., ‘Combining the Representation Approach with the Framing Concept: Television News Coverage of the Arab Population in Israel during Conflict’, Journalism, 11, 4 (2010), pp.481–99. Georgiou, M., Diaspora, Identity and the Media: Diasporic Transnationalism and Mediated Spatialities (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2006). Gereber, H. and Podeh, E. (eds), Jewish–Arab Relations in Eretz Israel/Palestine. (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2002) (Hebrew). Gershenson, O. and Hudson, D., ‘New Immigrant, Old Story: Framing Russians on the Israeli Screen’, Journal of Film and Video, 60, 3–4 (2008), pp.25–42. Gillespie, M., Television, Ethnicity and Cultural Change (London: Routledge, 1995). Gross, L., ‘Minorities, Majorities and the Media’, in T. Liebes and J. Curran (eds), Media Ritual and Identity (London: Routledge, 1998), pp.87–102. Gumpert, G. and Drucher, S. (eds), The Huddled Masses: Communication and Immigration (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1998). Hijazi-Omari, H. and Ribak, R.,‘Playing with Fire: On the Domestication of the Mobile Phone among Palestinian Teenage girls in Israel’, Information, Communication & Society, 11, 2 (2008), pp.149–66. Horowitz, T. (ed.), Children of Perestroika in Israel (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2001). Husband, C. and Downing, J., Representing Race: Racisms, Ethnicity and the Media (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2006). Jamal, A., The Culture of Media Consumption among National Minorities: The Case of Arab Society in Israel (Nazareth: I’lam, 2006). Kabha, M. and Caspi, D., ‘From al-Kuds al-Sherif to al-A’ein: On the Arab Press in Israel’, Panim, 16 (2001), pp.44–56 (Hebrew). Kabha, M. and Caspi, D., The Palestinian Arab In/Outsiders: Media and Conflict in Israel (London and Portland, OR: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011).

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Katz, E., ‘And Deliver us from Segmentation’, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 546, 1 (1996), pp.22–33. Khvorostianov, N., Elias, N. and Nimrod, G., ‘Without It I’m Nothing: The Internet in the Lives of Older Immigrants’, New Media & Society, 14, 4 (2012), pp.583–99. Kimmerling, B., Immigrants, Settlers, Natives: The Israeli State between Cultural Pluralism and Cultural Wars (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2004) (Hebrew). Lerner, J., ‘Introduction: The Pragmatic Power of Culture in Migration’, in J. Lerner and R. Feldhay (eds), Russians in Israel: The Pragmatics of Culture in Migration (Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2012), pp.20–48 (Hebrew). Leshem, E. and Shuval, J.T. (eds), Immigration to Israel: Sociological Perspectives (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1998). Lissak, M., The Great Aliyah of the Fifties: Failure of the Melting Pot Policy (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1999) (Hebrew). Loshitzky, Y., ‘Authenticity in Crisis: Sh’hur and New Israeli Forms of Ethnicity’, Media, Culture and Society, 18, 1 (1996), pp.87–103. Loshitzky, Y., Identity Politics on the Israeli Screen (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2001). Matsaganis, M., Katz, V.S. and Ball-Rokeach, S.J., Understanding Ethnic Media: Producers, Consumers and Societies (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2011). Meiss, G.T. and Tait, A.A., Ethnic Media in America: Taking Control (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt, 2005). Pery, Y., Telepopulism: Media and Politics in Israel (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004). Rapoport, T. and Lomsky-Feder, E., Visibility in Immigration: Body, Gaze, Representation (Jerusalem: Van-Leer Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2010) (Hebrew). Remennick, L., Russian Jews on Three Continents: Identity, Integration, and Conflict (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2007). Riggins, S.H. (ed.), Ethnic Minority Media (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1992). Rinnawi, K., ‘De-Legitimization of Media Mechanisms: Israeli Press Coverage of the Al Aqsa Intifada’, International Communication Gazette, 69, 2 (2007), pp.149–78. Rydin, I. and Sjöberg, U. (eds), Mediated Crossroads: Identity, Youth Culture and Ethnicity: Theoretical and Methodological Challenges (Göteborg: Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research, Göteborg universitet, 2008). Salovaara-Moring, I. (ed.), Manufacturing Europe: Spaces of Democracy, Diversity and Communication (Göteborg: Nordicom, Göteborg universitet, 2009). Samuel-Azran, T., ‘The Mobile Phone and Indigenous Teens: A Comparative Analysis of Bedouin and Tel-Aviv Teens’, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 41, 2 (2012), pp.153–71, http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjic20/41/2. Schejter, A.M., Muting Israeli Democracy: How Media and Cultural Policy Undermine Free Expression (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009). Schejter, A.M. and Tirosh, N., ‘Social Media New and Old in the Al-’Arakeeb Conflict: A Case Study’, Information Society: An International Journal, 28, 5 (2012), pp.304–15. Shenhav, Y., The Arab Jews: A Postcolonial Reading of Nationalism, Religion, and Ethnicity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006). Shohat, E. Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation, revised edn (New York and London: I.B. Tauris & Co., 2010 [1989]). Sicron, M. and Leshem, E. (eds), Profile of an Immigration Wave: The Absorption Process of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, 1990–1995 (Jerusalem: Hebrew University,

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Magnes Press, 1998) (Hebrew). Viswanath, K. and Arora, P., ‘Ethnic Media in the United States: An Essay on Their Role in Integration, Assimilation and Social Control’, Mass Communication and Society, 3, 1 (2000), pp.39–56. Wilson, C.C. and Gutierrez, F. Race, Multiculturalism and the Media (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1995). Yonah, Y., In Virtue of Difference: The Multicultural Project in Israel (Jerusalem: Van Leer and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2005) (Hebrew). Yonah, Y. and Shenhav, Y., What is Multiculturalism? On the Politics of Difference in Israel (Tel Aviv: Babel, 2005) (Hebrew). Zilberg, N. and Leshem, E., ‘Russian-Language Press and Immigrant Community in Israel’, Revue européenne des migrations internationales, 12, 3 (1996), pp.173–88.

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absorption see assimilation Abu-Baker, H., 55n Abu-Lughod, L., 98n academic research, 1–2, 4; see also research; research traditions acculturation process, 2, 60 adaptation strategy, media uses as, 224–8 Adoni, Hanna, 9n, 10n, 95n, 159, 179n, 180n, 181n Adult Contemporary (AC) music format, 103–4, 105 aesthetic cosmopolitanism, 114n African Americans, representation of, 204 agenda-setting tradition, media research, 15 Aharon-Gutman, M., 113n, 114n Aharoni, M., 114n Akhtar, S., 218n Akunin, Boris, 173 Alasuutari, P., 205, 216n Aldridge, M., 75n Alexander, J.C., 179n Algan, E., 114n Aljazeera, satellite TV, 139 ambivalence, intentional hybridization, 27–8 Ananey Tikshoret, 127, 128 Anderson, Benedict R., 41n, 179n; Imagined Communities, 163 Ang, Ian, 204, 217n, 218n Arab political parties, 145 Arabesk music, 107, 108 Arabic-language media, 4, 5, 125, 138–40 Arabic-speaking population, 118, 119, 120, 121–2, 129 Arabs/Arab minorities, 2, 5, 117; co-cultures in Israeli society, 162; health information and communication (online), access to,

188–9; identity, 6, 45, 51, 54, 129; musical tradition, 107, 113n; portrayal in Israeli TV news, 43–57; see also co-cultures in Israeli society, cultural boundaries between; identity; Palestinian minorities; webspace, Arabic Arian, A., 9n Aroian, K.J., 75n Aronson, J., 218n Arora, P., 73, 74n, 77n, 96n, 234n Arye, Evgenii (Gesher’s founder and artistic director), 30, 31–9; ambivalent position, 32, 34–5; Hebrew, failure to learn, 33; self-representation in media, 34; see also Gesher (Immigrant Theatre) Ashkenazi Jews (Jews orginating in European countries), 19, 131, 162, 176; identity, 100–1; media hegemony, 203, 207–9, 212; versus Mizrahim, 15, 28, 100, 209; music, 99; Sephardic-Ashkenazi cultural-religious distinction, 101 assimilation, 29, 31, 33, 35, 232 audience ethnography, 204 audiences: Israeli culture, 30; marginalized, 201; Mizrahi and Ashkenazi representations, negotiations, 160, 207–12; and race/ethnicity, 204–5; study of, 213–14 Auslander, G.K., 74n, 75n Aussiedler, 222, 228, 229 Avidar, T., 41n, 42n Avraham, D., 113n Avraham, Eli, 55n, 56n, 216n Azmon, Y., 9n Baeza-Yates, R., 137, 155n Bakhtin, Mikhail, 27, 40n

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Balint, Anat, 57n Ball-Rokeach, S.J., 198n Banai, Ehud, 114n banal nationalism, 43, 46, 51–3; and hot nationalism, 53–4 Baran, S.J., 190, 199n Baron-Epel, O., 199n Barsela, Y., 134n Bar-Sela Committee, 124 Barthe, Benjamin, 201 Barzel, I., 26n Barzilai, G., 134n Becher, H., 60, 74n Beiser, M., 74n Bell, M., 75n Ben Ari, Moosh, 115n Ben Hay-Segev, Yifat, 160 Ben-Ami, I., 112n Ben-Avida, A., 97n Ben-David, Anat, 80–1, 156n, 157n Bender Commission, 130 Bendor, Shmuel, 119, 133n Benedict, A., 114n Ben-Horin, E., 87, 98n Benjamin, Walter, 37, 42n Benjamini, Y., 97n Ben-Rafael, E., 10n, 114n, 180n, 235n Ben-Shahar, V., 74n Benziman, Uzi, 51 Berger, A.A., 235n Bergman, Noa, 112n Bhabha, Homi K., 26n, 27, 28, 40n, 55n, 217–18n Bibi, Yigal, 127 Billig, Michael, 43, 55n Blacks, representation on American TV, 204–5 Bohr, Y., 72, 77n Bokra.net (online news outlet), 153 Bonikowski, B., 198n Bonilla-Silva, E., 215, 218n book reading see reading Bornstein, M.H., 72, 77n Borra, E.K., 155n Boublil, Yossi, 201 Bourdieu, Pierre, 165, 180n, 181n bourekas film genre, 204, 208, 214, 216n BRA (Broadcasting Regulation Administration), 126, 134n Bratich, J.Z., 216n breaking and joining, simultaneous (Derrida), 28 Broadcast Dissemination by Digital Transmitters Law 2012, 128

broadcast media, 1; and Arabic-speaking population, 118, 119, 120, 121–2, 129; Channel 2 (commercial channel), 46, 51, 120, 123, 128, 148; Channel 10 (commercial channel), 43, 46, 51; Channel 33 (satellite channel), 120, 121, 128, 130; commercial over-the-air broadcasting, 121–4; how law has created ‘enemy within,’ 130; ideological roots of policy, 131–3; Israel Broadcasting Authority see IBA (Israel Broadcasting Authority); ‘linguistic minority’ definition and implications, 129; linguistic rights, 129, 134n; ‘local programming,’ 122; ‘Middle East Channel,’ 120–1; outcome of policy, 130–1; public/governmental broadcasting, 118–21; regulation, 117–35; Second Authority for Television and Radio, 48, 103, 118, 119, 121, 122, 123–4, 126, 128; Telecommunications Law 1986, 124, 125, 126; tenders for designated channels in Arabic, 127, 128, 134n; see also radio, Israeli; television; television news (Israeli), portrayal of Arabs in Broadcasting Authority Law 1965, 118, 119, 121 Broadcasting Regulation Administration (BRA), 126 Brook, Peter, 37, 38 Browne, D., 135n Bundorf, M.K., 199n Bus, A.G., 180n Butterwegge, C., 26n, 73n cable and satellite broadcasting, 124–8, 129, 139; ‘designated’ channels, 125–8; direct-to-home satellite service, 134n Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council (CSBC), 126, 127, 128, 134n Cable Broadcasting Council (CBC), 124, 125 Cable Law, 124, 125 call girl image, female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU), 17–19, 20, 22, 25 capitalism, and printed books, 163 Caspi, D., 8n, 9n, 10n, 41n, 75n, 95n, 96n, 133n, 139, 154, 156n, 179n, 235n Cassirer, H., 133n Castillo, C., 155n Castles, S., 96n, 234n CBC (Cable Broadcasting Council), 124, 125 Channel 2 (commercial channel), 46, 51, 120, 123, 128, 148

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Channel 10 (commercial channel), 43, 46, 51 Channel 33 (satellite channel), 120, 121, 128, 130 Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, 36, 37 Cheung, A., 60, 74n Cheung, M., 60, 74n Chi, I., 60, 74n co-cultures in Israeli society, cultural boundaries between, 161–82; comparisons across taste publics and cultures, 165, 168–74, 176, 177; gender, 174–5; Jewish majority and Arab minority, 162, 188; literary genres and contents, 171, 172, 173–4; reading languages, comparisons across taste publics and cultures, 168–71; research questions, 166–7; ‘veteran’ Jewish Israelis, 161, 162, 166, 168, 176, 177; years of schooling, 175; see also methodology; reading Coelho, Paulo, 173, 174 coercive pressures, Israeli radio, 100 Cohen, A.A., 10n, 95n, 179n Cohen, J., 95n Cohen, M., 112n Cohen, U., 112n collective memory, 161 collectivist values, transition to individualistic, 5 colonialism/colonization, 28, 36, 37, 45, 202; see also postcolonialism/postcolonial studies commercial domain space (.com and .co.il), 150–1, 152 commercial over-the-air broadcasting, 121–4; developments in commercial terrestrial television and radio, 123–4; second commercial channel, 122–3; terrestrial television, launching, 121–2 Communication Infrastructure theory, 185 Communications Law (Telecommunications and Broadcasting), 124 Constable, N., 97n constructionism, 204 content analysis, 11, 25, 63; newspapers, 17–22, 23; see also methodology Corbin, J., 97n Cotterrell, R., 134n CSBC (Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council), 126, 127, 128, 134n cultural capital, 165, 232 cultural hybridity, 28 cultural misunderstanding, Russian immigrants and Israeli social workers,

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66–8 cultural pluralism, 222 cultural stardom, 203 culture/cultural exchange, representation of, 35–9 Cunningham, S., 95n, 180n Czarniawska, B., 114n Dahan, M., 156n Dahlgren, P., 95n, 98n Danet, B., 9n Davenport, J. and J., 75n Davidovich, N., 97n Davidson, R., 134n Davis, D.K., 190, 199n de Certeau, M., 93–4, 98n Declaration of Independence, Israeli, 2, 117, 131, 221 Deputy Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labor, 120, 133n deregulation reforms, Israeli radio, 103–4 Derrida, Jacques, 28 diasporas, returning, from FSU and Germany, 160, 219–33 diasporic media, 83–4 Digital Methods Initiative (DMI), 137, 141 digital terrestrial television (DTT), 128 DiMaggio, P.J., 100, 112n, 198n discourse: postcolonialism, 28, 29; of representation, 45–7; Zionism, 31, 35, 36 displacements, Mediterranean, 80, 107–8 Diversification Hypothesis, 159, 183–4, 190, 197; accounting for differences in Internet use, 185–8; and social capital, 186–7 DMI (Digital Methods Initiative), 137, 141 Dolphinarium discotheque, terrorist attack on, 235n Dror, Y., 199n Drotner, K., 207, 217n DTT (digital terrestrial television), 128, 129 Du Gay, P., 40n Duckmanton, T., 133n ‘Eastern music,’ 107 Eco, Umberto, 207, 216n Edelstein, Yuli, 7 educational domain names (.edu and .ac.il), 154 Edwards, G.J., 74n Efthimiadis, E.N., 155n Egyptian authors, 174 Egyptian popular music, 107 Eisenstadt, S.N., 9n

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Eitan, Yossi, 85 electronic media, Israeli, 101, 103, 111; establishment and licensing, 117 Elefant-Lefler, Noa, 55n Elias, Nelly, 41n, 74n, 75n, 95n, 96n, 139, 154, 218n, 235n Eliasoph, N., 98n El-Or, T., 181n Elyada, O., 180n ‘emergency’ broadcasts, 120 Emerson, Caryl, 40n empowerment of female immigrants, 21–2 encoding/decoding model (Hall), 204, 207 Enlightenment, and reading, 163–4 Entman, R.M., 216n Ethiopia, Black Jewish immigrants from, 8 ethnic democracy, 44 ethnic divide/cleavages, 202, 216n ethno-cultural groups, 161, 165, 166 ethnographic studies, 207 ethnography of television, 201–18; audience negotiations of Mizrahi and Ashkenazi representations, 207–12; audience studies and race/ethnicity, 204–5; identity politics, and Israeli television, 203–4; methodology, 205–7; Mizrahi identity struggles, 202–3; negotiation versus negation, Mizrahi representations, 211–12; prime-time shows, Mizrahim on, 205 Eurocentrism, 37 European Broadcasting Union (EBU), 119 European Jews see Ashkenazi Jews (Jews orginating in European countries) Eventov, Isaac, 75n, 77n Even-Zohar, I., 180n exceptional immigrant image, 21–2 female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU), 5; article contents, 17, 22; compartmentalization of, 16, 18; content analysis of newspapers, 17–22, 23; demographic features, 14; details of study, 16–17; ‘double disadvantage’ of female immigrants, 14; empowerment, 21–2; exceptional immigrant image, 21–2; headlines and sub-headlines in newspapers, 17, 22; Israeli press images, 16–25; journalistic practice and images, 22–3; labour force, female immigrants joining, 13, 14; ‘Other’ image, 15, 18, 19–21, 22, 23–4; racism, 15; reality and representations, 22, 23–5; representations, 13–25; social networks, lack of, 14;

stereotypes, 13, 15, 23; ‘whore’ image, 17–19, 20, 22, 25; see also Former Soviet Union (FSU), immigrants from feminist research, 165; see also research; research traditions Fenstermaker, S., 26n Fetveit, A., 207, 217n Filc, D., 55n, 97n, 199n First, A., 9n, 26n, 55n, 56n, 96n, 97n Fish, S., 179n Fiske, J., 216n focus groups, 159, 171, 173, 174, 175, 206; see also methodology Fogiel-Bijaoui, S., 26n Former Soviet Union (FSU), immigrants from: accent, 29, 40; and co-cultures in Israeli society, 176, 177; and fall of Soviet Union in 1989, 219; Germans in Soviet Union, 223; and Gesher (Immigrant Theatre), 29–31; health information and communication (online), access to, 189, 193, 194; Israel Ba-Aliya (Israel Rising), FSU immigrants’ party, 7; Israeli press images of female immigrants see female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU); postcolonialism/postcolonial studies, 28; under-representation in Israeli culture, 29; representation of culture and cultural exchange, 35–9; returning diasporas, 160, 219–33; as at-risk group, 62; social services, representation of, 59–81; socio-demographic and cultural characteristics, 222–3; stereotypes, 218; see also female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU) Forsman, M., 113n foster care, 67–8 Foucault, Michel, 29, 30, 41n, 217n, 218n Fox, S., 198n, 199n Franklin, B., 75n Freeman, M.L., 74n Friedland, L., 135n Frosh, P., 57n FSU see Former Soviet Union (FSU), immigrants from Fuchs, Sarit, 38, 41n, 42n Galei Tzahal (military radio), 100, 101, 103, 105–6 Galgalatz (radio station), 103–4 Ganguly, K., 26n Gans, H.J., 165, 180n, 181n Garty, N., 199n

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Gavison, R., 134n Geertz, C., 179n Geijst, I., 10n, 180n, 235n Gellately, R., 76n geo-IP mapping, 139, 140, 142 Gephi (open source graph visualization software), 144, 156n German Constitution 1949, 221 German language, 222, 225, 232 Germany, returning diasporas from, 219–33; socio-demographic and cultural characteristics of immigrants, 222–3 Gershon, S., 199n Gesher (Immigrant Theatre), 36, 37, 41n; and Russian immigrant community, 29–31; see also Arye, Evgenii (Gesher’s founder and artistic director) Ghanem, A., 55n ghettos, ethnic, 99 Gibelman, M., 75n Gillis, J., 180n Gitlin, T., 95n, 179n, 181n, 216n Glasner, A., 181n globalization, 44, 103 Golan, Eyal, 106, 109 Golden, D., 234n Goldenberg, Y., 113n, 114n Goldstein, Uri, 55n Gontovnik, G., 134n Google Fusion Tables, 142, 153 Gray, Herman, 204, 214, 215, 216n, 217n, 218n Greek music, 108 Green, M., 199n Grisham, John, 173 Grossberg, L., 204, 217n Grossman, David, 171 Ha’aretz (newspaper), 19, 20, 30 Habibi, Emil, 174 Habima (original national theatre in pre-Israel Palestine), 30, 33 Hadad, Sarit, 106, 107, 109 Ha’ir (newspaper), 17, 19, 30 Al-Haj, M., 9n, 10n, 199n al-Hakim, Tawfiq, 174 Hala TV (group of eight partners), 128, 129 Halbwachs, M., 179n Hall, E., 40n Hall, Stuart, 6, 10n, 23–4, 55n, 179n, 180n, 216n, 217n; encoding/decoding model, 204, 207 Hargittai, E., 198n

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Hargreaves, A., 234n Hassidic movement, and reading, 163–4 Hasson, S., 133n Haza, Ofra, 114n He, Z., 96n health information and communication (online), access to, 183–99; ANOVA test, 193; characteristics of consumers, 187; digital inequalities and online health information seeking, 184–90; Diversification Hypothesis, 159, 183–4, 185–8, 190, 197; Israeli context, 188–9; research methodology, 191–3; study design and procedure, 191–2; and utilization of healthcare services, 187; see also methodology Hebrew language, 2, 109; newspapers, 173; reading, 168, 169; Russian immigrants and Gesher Theatre, 30, 31, 33; and social services, portrayal in immigrant press, 62, 63 hegemony, left-wing, 5 Hellman, S., 21, 26n Henderson, L., 75n Herzog, H., 26n Hever, H., 115n, 216n, 217n Hezbollah, 43, 48, 51 high culture, 36, 113n, 177 higher education institutions, 154, 175 Hirsh, Orit, 112n, 115n Hochschild, A.R., 98n Holmes, 204 Holocaust, 35, 69, 173 Holquist, Michael, 40n ‘homecoming,’ immigration as, 31, 34 hooks, b., 218n Horenczyk, G., 180n, 182n Horowitz, A., 112n, 113n Horowitz, T., 235n Hosseini, Khaled, 174 hot nationalism, 43, 48–51; and banal nationalism, 53–4 human rights abuses, 19 Human Rights Watch, 145 Hussain, F., 60, 74n Hussain, M., 74n, 234n Hussein, Taha, 174 Huurdeman, Hugo, 155n Huysman, M., 199n Hwang, B., 96n hybrid research tradition, 3, 6–8 hybridity/hybridization, in postcolonial studies, 27–9

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hyperlink analysis, 138, 140–1, 142, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149, 153 IBA (Israel Broadcasting Authority): in the 2000s, 120–1; establishment (1965), 118; goals, 118; as a public and state broadcaster, dual role, 118, 119, 120, 130; television, 119–20 Iburaiya, I., 55n ICTs (information and communication technologies), 184, 185, 186 identity: defined, 161; Mizrahi, 100–1, 202–3, 209, 212, 213 identity politics, 201; and Israeli television, 203–4 Idri, Yusuf, 173 Iecovich, E., 97n ‘imagined community,’ nationalism, 24, 29, 41n, 44, 163 Imbrogno, S., 77n immigrants: access to Internet, 185; Black Jewish, from Ethiopia, 8; crime and poverty, linked to, 20; criticism of majority media, 228–31; elderly, 61; female, from Former FSU see female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU); Korean, 60; mother tongue, mass media studies, 59; and natives, 163; Olim see Olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel); as ‘Others,’ 15, 18, 19–21, 22, 23–4; Russian community and Gesher (Immigrant Theatre), 29–31; and settlers, 163; and social services, 60, 61–2; terminology, 31 immigration: cost of, 14; as ‘homecoming,’ 31, 34; and integration policy, 221–2; Jewish, as raison d’être of State of Israel, 32; media construction of, 14–15; representation of, 31–5; see also immigrants; mass immigration, Israel ‘Information Society,’ 184, 185 informational and libidinal economies, 84 ‘ingathering of exiles’ policy, 2–3 institutional isomorphism, 100 institutionalized erasure, 99; nationalizing ethnicity as, 108–10 integration, 4; media use as strategy of, 219–33 intentional hybridity/hybridization, 27 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 129 Internet, 189–90; access to, 185; adoption of, 184; health information and communication, 183; in Israel, 185,

189–90; Israeli Internet Association (ISOC-IL), 154, 157n Intifada, second (October 2000), 43, 44, 45, 48, 50, 54, 230 isomorphism, 100, 102 Israel: as multi-ethnic society, 188, 189; as settling ethnocracy, 131 Israel Ba-Aliya (Israel Rising), FSU immigrants’ party, 7 Israel Broadcasting Authority see IBA (Israel Broadcasting Authority) Israeli Internet Association (ISOC-IL), 154, 157n IssueCrawler, 142, 144 Izraeli, D.N., 9n Jacobson, G., 156n Jamal, A., 10n, 156n, 157n, 182n Jones, B., 218n Jones, C., 41n Jones, S., 198n Joppke, C., 235n journalism: party, 31; practice and images of female immigrants from FSU, 22–3; television news (Israeli), portrayal of Arabs in, 46; see also magazines, Filipino; Manila Tel Aviv (MTA, migrant workers’ magazine); newspapers Jung, J.Y., 198n jus sanguinis (Law of Blood), 221, 234n jus soli (Law of Land), 221, 234n Kabayan (compatriots), 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 94 Kabha, M., 139, 151, 156n, 157n Kama, Amit, 79, 98n Kampf, T., 57n Kaplan, Danny, 79, 112n, 114n, 115n, 209 Kaplan, E.A., 26n Karayanni, M., 133n Katz, Elilhu, 9n, 10n, 120, 133n, 204, 217n Katz, Jacob, 163, 180n, 198n Katz, Shiri, 41n Katz-Gerro, T., 181n Kav LaOved (NGO), 84 Kedar, A., 131, 134n Kemalist era, Turkey, 107, 109 Kemp, A., 96n, 97n, 218n Kern, P.M., 165, 181n Kesheshian, F., 95n Keultje, P., 180n Khalidi, R., 10n Khanin, Z., 233n Khazzoom, A., 112n

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Kim, Y.C., 198n Kimmerling, B., 10n, 163, 179n, 180n Kleiner, Michael, 126–7 Knesset (Israeli parliament), 128; Economics Committee, 126, 134n; Finance Committee, 122; Members of Knesset (MKs), 126; Records, 123, 133n, 134n Kohavi, N., 112n Kol Hanegev (newspaper), 21 Kol Israel (radio network), 100, 101 Koopmans, R., 234n, 235n Kosrick, K., 95n, 96n Kravchik, Evgenia, 76n Krishnamurthy, B., 156n Kritzman, L., 217n Kubersky, H., 133n Kubersky Committee/Report, 121, 122 Kummervold, P.E., 198n labour market, Israel, 84–5; and female immigrants, 13, 14; liberalization and privatization reforms, 99 Lahav, S., 113n Land of Israel, 164 Landau, I.M., 9n language: Arabic-language media, 4, 5, 138–40; establishment and dissemination of national languages, 163; German, 222, 225, 232; Hebrew see Hebrew language; as instrument of colonial subjugation, 29; reading, 168–71; see also Arabic-language media Law of Return, Israel (1950), 19, 28, 221 Lazarus, Emma, 1 Le Monde, 201 Lee, W., 234n Lemish, D., 9n, 26n, 96n, 203, 216n, 234n Leon, N., 112n Leseman, P.P.M., 180n Leshem, E., 25n, 26n, 75n, 233n, 234n, 235n Leung, P., 60, 74n Lev Hamedina (Heart of the Country), radio station, 105, 106 Levy, E., 41n Lewin, Ruth, 85 Liebelt, C., 97n Liebes, T., 10n, 56n, 57n, 112n, 204, 217n Lieux de mémoire (places/locations of memory), 216n ‘light’ Mizrahi music, 80, 104–6, 109, 110, 114n Likert scale, 193 Likud-Beytenu (Likud-Our Home), political

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party, 7, 121, 122, 125–6 Limor, Y., 8n, 41n, 56n, 113n, 133n Lin, N., 199n linguistic rights, 129, 134n Lissak, M., 9n, 10n local press, 4 Loges, W.E., 199n Lomsky-Feder, E., 41n Long, E., 165, 181n Lorence, D., 199n Loshitsky, Y., 10n Luchtenberg, S., 233n Lull, James, 204, 217n Ma, A., 60, 74n Ma’ariv (newspaper), 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 30 magazines, Filipino, 85, 86 ‘magnifying glass effect,’ ICT creating, 185 Mahdjoub, D., 234n Manila Tel Aviv (MTA, migrant workers’ magazine), 79; background, 85–6; contributions to, 85, 86–92, 93, 94; duties of staff, 86–7; emotional deprivation motivation for writing, 89–90; Filipino and Filipina workers, 85, 86, 87, 90, 91, 93; founding of, 85; humanitarian assistance incentive for writing, 89; and morality issues, 88; motivations/incentives for writing, 87–92, 94; mundane empowerment, 93–5; participant observation of, 86; poetry, 89–90; political issues, shunning, 90–2; preaching, by contributors, 88–9; ‘Public Relations Officers,’ 87, 89; publication, 86; resistance, 93, 94; study details, 86; symbolic rewards, 92 Mano, Rita, 159 Martin, P.L., 233n Martin, Ricky, 109, 110 Martynova, Victoria, 76n mass immigration, Israel, 1, 2, 5, 8, 45; see also immigrants; immigration mass media, 12, 29, 46, 59, 83, 163, 218 Massey, D., 198n Matei, S., 198n Matveeva, V., 75n McCombs, M., 26n McLelland, N., 233n McLuhan, M., 163, 179n Means Coleman, Robin R., 204, 216n media: agenda-setting tradition, media research, 15; Arab-language, 4, 5, 125, 138–40; broadcast see broadcast media;

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construction of immigration, 14–15; diasporic, 95; electronic, 101, 103, 111, 117; German, 232; hegemony of, 34, 203, 207–9, 212; majority media, immigrant criticism, 228–31; media culture, 204; ‘media-by’ minorities, 3, 8, 95n, 113n, 139, 155, 156; ‘media-for’ minorities, 3, 8, 95n, 113n, 139, 156n; music, in Israeli media, 79, 101–2; new, 80; regional, 81; sphericule, 83; uses of as adaptation strategy, 224–8; see also mass media; media use as integration strategy Media Systems Dependency theory, 190 media use as integration strategy, 219–33; findings, 224–31; immigration and integration policy, 221–2; and media uses as adaptation strategy, 224–8; methodology, 223–4 Melamed, Ariana, 36, 41n melting pot research tradition, 2, 3, 4 memory, 161, 203, 216n menace, and mimicry, 28 Mesch, Gustavo S., 156n, 159, 198n, 199n methodology: and co-cultures in Israeli society, 166–7; content analysis, 11, 17–22, 23, 25, 63; and ethnography of television, 205–7; focus groups, 159, 171, 173, 174, 175, 206; and media use as integration strategy, 223–4; questionnaires, 206–7; samples, 63, 73, 100, 142, 159, 191–2, 223, 224, 228, 230, 231, 232; and social workers, representation in immigrant press, 62–3; surveys, 51, 62, 75n, 139, 159, 167, 173, 183, 191, 192, 193; see also research, tradition ‘Middle East Channel,’ 120 Middle Eastern Jews see Mizrahim (Northern African and Middle Eastern Jews) migrant caregivers, 84, 85, 89, 91, 94 migrant workers, in Israel, 84–5, 94, 95; see also Manila Tel Aviv (MTA, migrant workers’ magazine) militarization of Israeli society, 16 Miller, M., 234n mimetic pressures, Israeli radio, 100, 111 mimicry and menance, hybridization, 28 minority media, 83 minority webspaces, mapping using natively digital objects, 140–1 Mirsky, J., 75n Mizrahim (Northern African and Middle Eastern Jews), 5, 131, 201; versus Ashkenazim, 15, 28, 100, 209; and

co-cultures in Israeli society, 162, 176–7; identity, 100–1, 202–3, 209, 212, 213; light music, rise of, 80, 104–6, 109, 110, 114n; music in Israeli media, 79, 101–2; new cultural moves, 214–15; on prime-time television shows, 205; quiescence and revolt, 213–14; status in Israel, 209–11 Modelski, T., 181n Modood, T., 218n Morley, David, 163, 179n, 180n, 181n, 204, 217n Morris, B., 9n Moshe, M., 113n Motzafi-Haller, P., 216n MTA see Manila Tel Aviv (MTA, migrant workers’ magazine) Mueller, Milton L., 156–7n Mukherjee, R., 218n multiculturalism, 39, 106–7, 111, 202; multicultural research tradition, 3, 5–6 multivariate analysis, 194–6 Munz, R., 233n, 234n, 235n Murakami, Haruki, 173 music: Adult Contemporary (AC) music format, 103–4, 105; audio cassette tapes, proliferation of Mizrahi recordings on, 102; folkish accordion, 101–2; Greek, 108; light Mizrahi music, rise of, 80, 104–6, 109, 110, 114n; Mizrahi, in Israeli media, 101–2; ringtones, mobile phones, 104; Turkish, 107; see also popular music, Israeli Mediterranean Musser, G., 96n Nahon, K., 198n Nasraillah, Hassan, 51 Nasser, Abdul, 174 nationalism: banal, 46, 53–4; hot, 43, 48–51, 53–4; ‘imagined community,’ 24, 29, 41n, 44; and Mizrahiness, 202; nationalizing ethnicity as institutionalized erasure, 108–10; nation-building process, 2; and printed books, 163; theories of, 108 natively digital objects, mapping using, 138, 139, 140–1 Nauck, B., 233n Naveh, C., 113n Nelson, J., 98n neo-institutionalism, 100, 109, 111 neo-television, 203, 216n .net space, 151, 153–4 new media, 80 newcomers, 32, 33

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newspapers: community sentinel, image of immigrant press as, 73; Hebrew, 173; portrayal of female immigrants from former FSR see female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU); Russian-language, 62; social workers, representation of see social workers, representation in Russian-language online newspapers; see also Ha’aretz (newspaper); Ha’ir (newspaper); Kol Hanegev (newspaper); Ma’ariv (newspaper); press; Yedioth Achronoth (newspaper); specific newspapers Niederer, S., 155n Niger, M., 134n Nimni, E., 40n Nini, Ahinoam, 114n Nissan, E., 134n Nocke, A., 114n nodes (websites), 144, 147–8, 150, 153 Nora, Pierre, 216n Normalization Hypothesis, 184 normative pressures, Israeli radio, 100 Nossek, Hillel, 159, 179n, 180n, 181n Occupied Territories, 48, 50 Ohliger, R., 233n, 234n, 235n Olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel), 5, 32, 33 Olshtain, E., 10n, 180n, 182n, 235n Orbe, P.M., 161, 179n organic hybridity/hybridization, 27 organizational domains (.org and .org.il), 143–9 Oriental Song Festival, 102 Orientalism, 202 Oslo Accords (1993), 44 Ossitzky-Lazar, S., 55n ‘Other’ image: female immigrants, 15, 18, 19–21, 22, 23–4; postcolonialism/ postcolonial studies, 15, 28 Ottoman classical music, 107 Oz, Amos, 171 Oz, Kobi, 109, 110, 115n Oztas, N., 199n Palestinian minorities, 5, 8, 44, 80; broadcast media, 117, 118, 129, 130; culture, 131–2; identity, 6, 10n, 117, 129; see also Arabs/Arab minorities Palestinian National Authority, 131 Palmgreen, P., 234n PANET (website in Israeli Palestinian community), 128, 151

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Park, H., 199n parliamentary democracy, Israeli, 117 party journalism, 31 Patton, M., 217n Peled Committee, 125–6 Pena-Purcell, N., 199n Peretz, Kobi, 104, 105, 107, 109 Petch, Naama, 55n Peterson, R.A., 165, 180n, 181n Pfetsch, B., 233n, 234n, 235n pluralistic research tradition, 3, 4–5 Poliker, Yehuda, 114n political culture of Israel, historical, 101 political upheaval of 1977, 5 popular culture, 178 popular music, Israeli Mediterranean, 80, 99–115; displacements, Mediterranean, 80, 107–8; and Greek music, 108; institutionalized erasure, nationalizing ethnicity as, 99, 108–10; light Mizrahi music, rise of, 80, 104–6, 109, 110, 114n; Mizrahi music in Israeli media, 101–2; multiculturalism, 106–7, 111; and Turkish music, 107; see also Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jews postcolonialism/postcolonial studies, 5; hybridity/hybridization in, 27–9; ‘Other,’ interpretations of, 15, 28; and post-Zionism, 28 postmodernism, 5, 203 post-Zionism, 5, 40n; and postcolonialism, 28 Powell, W.W., 100, 112n Preminger, A., 114n press: electronic, 54, 63; immigrant, 12, 59, 73; Israeli, 16, 23; local, 3, 4, 13; partisan, 1; popular, 11, 22; printed, 62, 163; Russian-language, 12, 61, 63, 72; UK and UK, 61; see also journalism; newspapers printing-press technology, and national consciousness, 163 privatization reforms, Israeli radio, 103–4, 111 prostitution image, female immigrants from Former Soviet Union, 17–19, 20, 22, 25; and Judaism, 18 public/governmental broadcasting, 118–21 purposive sampling, 205 qanoun (harp-like instrument played on the lap), 102 questionnaires, 206–7 Rabin, Yitzhak, 125; assassination (1995), 44, 126

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Rabinowitz, D., 55n racism, 15; without race, 215 radio, Israeli, 100; commercial, developments in, 123–4; privatization reforms, 103–4, 111; regional stations, 103 Radway, J., 204, 217n Raichel, Idan, 115n Raijman, R., 97n Ra’iyeh, A. Abu, 134n Rajiman, R., 25n Ram, U., 55n Ramsees, G., 156n Rapoport, T., 21, 26n, 41n Raz-Krakotzkin, A., 218n reading: bestseller lists, 169, 172; bilingual readers, 169; gender factors, 165–6, 174–5; as integrative or divisive factor in Israeli society, 161; of languages, comparisons across taste publics and taste cultures, 168–71; literary genres and contents, comparisons across taste cultures and taste publics, 171, 172, 173–4; preferred language, 171; reasons for book reading, 162–4, 178; research questions and methodology, 166–7; results of research, 168–74; Russian writers, classical, 169, 173; social function of books, 163; social status and gender, 165–6; years of schooling, 175; see also co-cultures in Israeli society, cultural boundaries between reception studies, 207 Reece, D., 234n Regev, M., 112n, 113n, 114n, 115n regional media, 81 religious preaching, 89 representations: of culture/cultural exchange, 35–9; discourse of representation, 45–7; Former Soviet Union, female immigrants from, 23–5; of immigration, 31–5; of Mizrahim, negative reactions to, 207–9; of social workers in Russian-language newspapers, 59–81 research, 1–8, 3; definitions, 9n research traditions: hybrid, 3, 6–8; melting pot, 2, 3, 4, 7; multicultural, 3, 5–6; pluralistic, 3, 4–5 Reshet (Channel 2 franchise), 128 residential segregation, 186 reverse DNS, 142 Rice, R., 198n Richter, A., 235n Rieder, Bernhard, 155n, 156n Riggins, S.H., 77n, 95n, 234n

Rivas, L.M., 98n Robins, K., 163, 179n, 180n, 181n Rogers, R., 155n, 157n Rohberger, Asher, 76n Rojecki, A., 216n Romero, M., 98n Rusinek, Sinai, 155n Russian elites, Europeanization, 36 Russian immigrants see Former Soviet Union (FSU), immigrants from Russian writers, 169, 173 Saar, Y., 113n Said, Edward, 29, 30, 41n, 216n sampling/samples, 48, 63, 100, 142, 159, 191–2; composition, 73; purposive, 205; and returning diasporas, 223, 224, 228, 230, 231, 232; snowball, 224; see also methodology Santana, S., 198n satellite broadcasting see cable and satellite broadcasting Schejter, A., 97n, 133n, 134n Schmaltz, E., 235n Schmidt, P., 97n Schnell, I.Y., 97n Schroder, K.C., 217n Schudson, M., 56n Scott, J.C., 218n Second Authority for Television and Radio, 48, 103, 118, 119, 121, 122, 123–4, 126, 128 Second Lebanon War (2006), 43, 45, 48, 51, 54 sectoral media, Israel, 1 segmentary approach to society, 5 Seidman, S., 179n semi-structured interviews, 224 Semyonov, M., 25n, 97n Sephardim (Spanish Jewish community), 101; Sephardi musical tradition, 113n Seroussi, E., 113n, 114n settlers, 163 settling ethnocracy, Israel as, 131 Sevón, G., 114n sex industry, trafficking of women for, 18–19 sexual services, images of immigrant women as suppliers of, 17–19, 20, 22, 25 Shakespeare, William, 37 Shalev, B., 115n Shamir, M., 9n Sharansky, Nathan, 7 Sharon, Ariel, 48 Shaw, D.L., 26n Shelah, O., 56n

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Shenhav, Y., 9n, 216n, 218n Shinar, D., 113n Shirei Eretz Israel (Songs of the Land of Israel), 101, 102, 105, 106, 109 Shohat, Ella, 28, 40n, 216n, 217n Shohat, Tsipi, 33, 41n Shor, R., 62, 75n Shorer-Zeltser, M., 75n Shuval, J.T., 10n, 180n, 233n, 234n, 235n Sicron, M., 25n, 26n Siddharthan, K., 60, 74n Silverstone, R., 217n Sinclair, J., 95n, 180n Siporin, M., 74n Six Day War 1967, 4, 120 Smooha, S., 55n, 179n, 199n snowball sampling, 224 social capital, 186–7 Social Diversification Hypothesis see Diversification Hypothesis social science researchers, 1–2; see also research traditions, media and minorities social segregation, 186 social services: and immigrants, 60, 61–2; in Israel, 61–2; lack of familiarity with profession, 72; media portrayal, 60–1; US and UK national press, portrayal in, 61 social workers, representation in Russian-language online newspapers, 59–81; American fictional formats, 61; as corrupt, with criminal motives, 70–1; cultural misunderstanding, 66–8; findings, negative, 63–71; as having repressive character, 68–70; as Mafia, 71; methodology, 62–3; National Insurance Institute officials, 71; as omnipotent and invulnerable, 70; and reluctance to use social services, 62; stereotypes, 59; as unprofessional, 64–6; see also methodology socialization, 59, 79, 231 Soskolne, V., 74n Soviet Union see Former Soviet Union (FSU) Sowers-Hoag, K.M., 60, 74n sphericule discourses, 83, 161, 166, 178 Spitzer, A., 75n Squires, Catherine, 160 Sreberny, A., 135n Srivastava, D., 156n Stam, Robert, 28, 40n Steele, C.M., 218n stereotypes: female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU), 13, 15, 23; new immigrants, 218; representation discourse,

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45, 46; social workers, 59; stereotypical iconography, 203 Stessel, Inna, 76n, 77n Stiernstedt, F., 113n Stilling, E.A., 234n Stratification Hypothesis, 184 Strauss, A., 97n structural functionalism paradigm, 4 Suleiman, Y., 156n Sullivan, O., 181n Suman, M., 199n surveys, 75n, 139; co-cultures in Israeli society, cultural boundaries between, 159, 167, 173; health information and communication (online), access to, 183, 191, 192, 193; television news (Israeli), portrayal of Arabs in, 51, 62 symbolic annihilation, 16, 25, 203 Talmud, I., 156n, 198n, 199n Tamam, Keren, 55n taste cultures and publics, comparisons across, 165, 176, 177; literary genres and contents, 171, 172, 173–4; reading languages, 168–71 Taub, G., 181n Taylor, C., 114n Telecommunications Law 1986, 124; Amendment No. 15, 125; Amendment No. 24, 126 television: cable and satellite, 124–8; digital terrestrial, 128; ethnography, 201–18; and Israel Broadcasting Authority, 119–20; Israeli, and identity politics, 203–4; Italian, 216n; prime-time shows, Mizrahim on, 205; Reality TV shows, 203–4; social workers, representation of, 61; terrestrial, 121–4; see also broadcast media, regulation; television news (Israeli), portrayal of Arabs in television news (Israeli), portrayal of Arabs in, 43–57; banal nationalism, 51–4; casualties, portrayal of, 50; coding sheet for broadcasts, 47; hot nationalism, 48–51, 53–4; Intifada, second (October 2000), 43, 44, 45, 48, 50, 54; methodology, 47–8; results, 48–54; sample, 48; Second Lebanon War (2006), 43, 45, 48, 51, 54; sociopolitical reality, 44–5, 53; strong and weak, images of, 45, 46 terrestrial television: commercial, developments in, 123–4; Digital Terrestrial Television, 128; launching, 121–2 thematization process, interviews, 86

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‘third space,’ 27, 28, 39, 111 Tidhar, C.E., 26n Tikshoret, Ananey, 127, 128 Timm, A., 55n Tippex (ethnic pop band), 109 Tolstoy, Leo, 173 Toury, G., 181n trafficking of women, for sex industry, 18–19 trauma, 209 Tsamir, Judith, 159 Tse, D., 234n Tuchman, G., 16, 26n Turkish music, 107 Ulrich, R., 234n ultra-Orthodox Jews, 5, 16, 67, 103, 162 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Resolution 181, 117, 131 United States: Blacks, representation on American TV, 204–5; health information, online, 183; and race/ethnicity, 215; television, 200 URLs, 142, 144 Valentine, D.P., 74n van Dijk, Jan A.G.M., 198n van Voren, R., 76n Vandenberg, M., 25n, 26n Vekselman, Victoria, 75n, 76n, 77n ‘veteran’ Jewish Israelis, 161, 162, 166, 168, 176, 177 Viswanath, K., 73, 74n, 77n, 96n, 234n Wachtel, Andrew, 36, 41n Wasserman, V., 113n Weare, C., 199n Weaver, D.H., 26n Weber, J., 233n webspace, Arabic, 137–57; Arabic-language media landscape in Israel, 138–40; commercial domain space (.com and .co.il), 150–1, 152; definition of minority webspace, difficulties, 137; demarcating of webspace, 137, 138, 141; educational domain names (.edu and .ac.il), 154; findings, 142–54; general demographics, 142–3; and generic domain names, 139; geo-IP mapping, 139, 140, 142; hyperlink analysis, 138, 140–1, 142, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149, 153; local news websites, 151; national domain suffix, 139; national second-level domains verus generic top-level domains, 143; natively digital

objects, mapping using, 138, 139, 140–1; .net space, 151, 153–4; organizational domains (.org and .org.il), 143–9; Whois registration addresses, 138, 142, 145, 146, 156n Weinberg, S.S., 25n Weltevrede, E., 155n West, C., 26n Whois registration addresses, 138, 142, 145, 146, 156n ‘whore’ image, female immigrants from Former Soviet Union, 17–19, 20, 22, 25 Wikimedia, 145 Wolf, N., 18, 26n Wolfsfeld, E., 55n, 56n, 57n women, immigrant, 13–14, 16; see also female immigrants from Former Soviet Union (FSU) ‘Women in Black’ movement, Israel, 21, 24–5 Wong, D., 98n Wulf, W., 199n Ybarra, M., 199n Yedioth Achronoth (newspaper), 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 Yehoshua, A.B., 171 Yiftachel, O., 131, 134n Yonah, Y., 9–10n Young, Robert, 27, 28, 40n Zandberg, E., 134n Zilberg, N., 234n Zinzana (police docudrama), 208, 211, 217n Zionism: discourse, 31, 35, 36; hegemony of, 29, 35; heroes, 35; identity, 118; Zionist ideology, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 40, 109; see also post-Zionism Zohar, Z., 112n Zolberg, V., 181n