WOMEN, SECULARISM AND BELIEF: A SOCIOLOGY OF BELIEF IN THE JEWISH-ISRAELI SECULAR LANDSCAPE
By: Hagar Lahav
(Van Leer Institute Press and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2021, Hebrew)
Women, Secularism and Belief is an original and groundbreaking book that traces the supposed “anomaly” of secular Jewish Israeli women who believe in god by combining the knowledge areas of sociology, Jewish and Christian theology, religion studies, and feminist thought. The book points out the relatively large extent of the secular-believer phenomenon (according to a rough estimate, secular-believers constitute about one-quarter of the Jewish population in Israel), identifies new feminist voices of secular-believer women, and brings their stories to the fore. It demonstrates convincingly that secular belief is not a social anomaly. Instead, it is a component of identity that is quite common in Israel but has not been studied until now because of the uncritical clinging to the customary epistemic assumptions, primarily the assumption that religion and secularism, or belief and secularism, are contrary categories.
FROM RUSSIA TO ISRAEL – AND BACK? CONTEMPORARY TRANSNATIONAL RUSSIAN ISRAELI DIASPORA
By: Vladimir Ze’ev Khanin
(De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2022, Ebook ISBN: 9783110668643, Hardcover ISBN: 9783110665161, 327 pages)
Of about a million Jews that arrived to Israel from the (former) USSR after 1989 some 12% left the country by the end of 2017. It is estimated that about a half of them left "back" for the FSU, and the rest for the USA, Canada and the Western Europe. The book provides a comprehensive analysis of this specific Jewish Israeli Diaspora group through cutting-edge approaches in the social sciences, and examines the settlement patterns of Israeli Russian-speaking emigrants, their identity, social demographic profile, reasons of emigration, their economic achievements, identification, and status vis-à-vis host Jewish and non-Jewish environment, vision of Israel, migration interests and behavior, as well as their social and community networks, elites and institutions. Vladimir Ze’ev Khanin makes a significant contribution to migration theory, academic understanding of transnational Diasporas, and sheds a new light on the identity and structure of contemporary Israeli society. The book is based on the unique statistics from Israeli and other Government sources and sociological information obtained from the author’s first of this kind on-going study of Israeli Russian-speaking emigrant communities in different regions of the world.
THE ISRAELI ECONOMY: A STORY OF SUCCESS AND COSTS
By: Joseph Zeira
(Princeton University Press, 2021, ISBN: 9780691199450, 408 pages)
In 1922, there were ninety thousand Jews in Palestine, a small country in a poor and volatile region. Today, Israel has a population of nine million and is one of the richest countries in the world. The Israeli Economy tells the story of this remarkable transformation, shedding critical new light on Israel’s rapid economic growth.
Joseph Zeira takes readers from those early days to today, describing how Israel’s economic development occurred amid intense fighting with the Palestinians and neighboring Arab countries. He reveals how the new state’s astonishing growth continued into the early 1970s, and traces this growth to public investment in education and to large foreign transfers. Zeira analyzes the costs of the Arab-Israeli conflict, demonstrating how economic output could be vastly greater with a comprehensive peace. He discusses how Israel went through intensive neoliberal economic policies in recent decades, and shows how these policies not only failed to enhance economic performance, but led to significant social inequality.
Based on more than two decades of groundbreaking research, The Israeli Economy is an in-depth survey of a modern economy that has experienced rapid growth, wars, immigration waves, and other significant shocks. It thus offers important lessons for nations around the world.
HEBRAIZING SHERLOCK HOLMES: A LITERARY AND IDEOLOGICAL AFFAIR FROM THE BRITISH MANDATE PERIOD
By: Reuven Gafni
(Yad Ben-Zvi Press, 2022, ISBN: 978-965-217-449-9, 231 Pages, Hebrew)
Hebraizing Sherlock Holmes is the story of the first translations of Arthur Conan-Doyle’s detective stories into Hebrew, and of the cultural and ideological import of the famous detective’s character to Eretz-Israel, during the British Mandate period. This unique story is presented alongside the ideological background of the creation of the first translations; The surprising controversy that often accompanied their appearance; and the various ways in which Holmes` character was used in an ideological or political context, within the local Jewish community. The literary, cultural and ideological saga unfolded in the book, traces the main characters who were involved in it, including translators, editors, journalists, critics, playwrights and publishers. It is also a lens, through which some of the fundamental issues that the Jewish cultural world debated in those years are presented: What would be the best way to create a national Hebrew literature? What should be included in it or left outside? What is the status of translated Hebrew literature? Moreover is there a difference, in this context, between children’s literature and adult literature? The tracing of how translations of these original English stories were created, distributed and received, also reveals the complex attitude of the local Jewish community to English literature and culture in general, at a time when relations between the Jews and the British authorities were becoming tense and complex.
ATTRITION, ARMY AND CIVILIANS ON THE NORTHEAST FRONT, 1967-1970
By: Eran Eldar
(Bar-Ilan University Press, 2022, ISBN: 978-965-226-609-5, 458 Pages, Hebrew)
The new circumstances following the Six Day War required the IDF to change from being an offensive army to one that carried out security and defense missions. While the Arab countries licked their wounds, the Palestinian terror organizations began guerilla and terror operations against Israel, primarily from the Jordanian, Syrian, and Lebanese borders, with the aim of exhausting the IDF and, especially, the Israeli home front. The IDF had to undertake operations that were different from those it had been used to, and the Israeli security system, headed by Moshe Dayan as defense minister, seemed to have difficulty in adapting to this type of military confrontation (as manifested, for example, in the IDF’s operation in the Fatah camp in Karameh). From 1967 to 1970, Israeli towns and villages in the Jordan Valley and the Beit She’an Valley suffered shelling and infiltration of terrorists from Jordanian territory. These localities were not prepared for the attacks from the east and complained that the country’s leadership and the IDF had left them on their own to face the Palestinian and Jordanian fire.
In this book Eran Eldar describes and analyzes the years of the War of Attrition on Israel’s northeastern front: on the one hand, the entrenchment of the Palestinian terror organizations in Jordan and Lebanon, their military and propaganda activity, and their complex relations with King Hussein of Jordan and the Lebanese government, and on the other hand, the daily coping of the inhabitants of the Jordan Valley and the Beit She’an Valley, who felt they had been abandoned.
ZEVULUN HAMMER – A POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY
By: Aharon Kampinski
(Bar-Ilan University Press, 2021, ISBN: 978-965-226-514-2, 278 pages, in Hebrew)
The late Zevulun Hammer (1936-1998) was one of the prominent leaders of the National Religious Party (NRP) in Israel, and this book traces his political path. From 1969 he served as a Member of Knesset, and later served as Minister of Welfare, Minister of Religions, Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister. Hammer successfully navigated political waters, from being active in the NRP's youth movement in the early 1960s to the leadership positions he reached at a relatively young age. Hammer led one of the most dramatic upheavals in a political party in Israel as the leader of the youth faction, and ultimately succeeded in unseating the party elders.
Zevulun Hammer's story is not just the story of the man, it is the story of a generation: the leadership generation of the national-religious movement that rebelled against the generation above it, but found itself - after two decades - at the same leadership point as before it. A generation that sought to change world orders, but was ultimately forced to make do with preserving the interests of religious Zionism, in a reality of political power struggles threatening to erode them. A generation that tried to carry the flag of the Greater Land of Israel, but moderated its views when political reality allowed for a political breakthrough. A generation that sought to strengthen Torah religious perceptions, but later turned out to be even more liberal than its ancestors. A generation that sought to strive for general leadership, but was eventually forced to settle for a sectoral party.
Now available in Hebrew:
Paradigm Lost: From Two-State Solution to One-State Reality
By: Ian Lustick
Resling Press has just published a Hebrew translation Paradigm Lost with a new preface, along with a 25% discount code (copy and paste: P3TJSP26).
לכל מכותבי הוצאת רסלינג שלום,
הטבה של 25% הנחה בשימוש קוד קופון P3TJSP26 (להעתיק ולהדביק) עבור צאת הספר:
מפתרון שתי המדינות למציאות המדינה האחת
מאת: איאן לוסטיק
ספרו המעולה של איאן לוסטיק, הפרדיגמה האבודה, מעלה את הטענה שכיום כל משא ומתן להשגת פתרון שתי מדינות בין הים התיכון לנהר הירדן נידון לכישלון ומזיק. היהודים הישראלים והערבים הפלסטינים יוכלו ליהנות מהדמוקרטיה שהם ראויים לה רק בעוד כמה עשורים של מאבק אל מול ההשלכות מרחיקות הלכת, אף אם במקורן לא היו מכוונות, של מציאות המדינה האחת הנוכחית.
בזכות מחקר מדוקדק והמשגה רעננה הספר עונה על הקושי בשינוי דרכי חשיבה בעולם שמשתנה מהר יותר מההנחות הבסיסיות שמוצעות ביחס אליו.
NATIONALISM IN THE WALLET: MONEY, IDENTITY AND IDEOLOGY IN ISRAEL
By: Na'ama Sheffi and Anat First
(Magnes Press, 2022, ISBN: 978-965-7790-33-5, 214 pages, in Hebrew)
The book examines the ideological motivations behind the selection of representations for Israeli banknotes and coins. The research is based on the proceedings and correspondence of the Bank of Israel Banknotes and Coinage Planning Committee from its inception in 1955 to 2012. The study reveals the mechanisms in which the legal tender is exploited as an expression of banal nationalism, implementing national emblems in an unnoticed manner. Banal nationalism is one of three theoretical frameworks we adopted. The other two are the long history of the Jewish people in the territory which today is the State of Israel; and selective tradition as a means for designing a nation. The book comprises eight chapters: theoretical overview; analytical portrayal of the working methods of the Bank of Israel Banknotes and Coinage Planning Committee; a study of the first designed “Allegoric Figures Series” (1959); analysis of the selection of human figures; the construction of the state borders through an array of landscape images; the reflection of the shifting boundaries in the changing representations Jerusalem; the selection of archaeological emblems as a proof for national continuity; and the symbolic role of flora as identification with the land.
THE MAKING OF AN ALLIANCE: THE ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE US-ISRAEL RELATIONSHIP
By: David Tal
(Cambridge University Press, 2022, Online ISBN: 9781108551472, 404 pages)
Laying the foundation for an understanding of US-Israeli relations, this lively and accessible book provides critical background on the origins and development of the 'special' relations between Israel and the United States. Questioning the usual neo-realist approach to understanding this relationship, David Tal instead suggests that the relations between the two nations were constructed on idealism, political culture, and strategic ties. Based on a diverse range of primary sources collected in archives in both Israel and the United States, The Making of an Alliance discusses the development of relations built through constant contact between people and ideas, showing how presidents and Prime Ministers, state officials, and ordinary people from both countries, impacted one another. It was this constancy of religion, values, and history, serving the bedrock of the relations between the two countries and peoples, over which the ephemeral was negotiated.
JEWS, MUSLIMS AND JERUSALEM: DISPUTES AND DIALOGUES
By: Moshe Ma’oz
Sussex Academic Press, Brighton & Chicago, 2021, ISBN 978-1-78976-081-1 [hardback], 270 pages)
Jews, Muslims and Jerusalem: Disputes and Dialogues examines Muslim–Jewish relations during significant periods of history in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. A deep concern in the Muslim Arab world concerns the status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock. Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank since 1967, and its control of East Jerusalem, has reinforced anti-Jewish (Judeophobia) and anti-Israel movements. The most prominent are the Hamas, the “Liberation” Party (tahrir), the Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, the Islamic rulers in Iran, and recently Turkey. Conversely, amongst Jews in Israel and the Diaspora (and amongst many Christians) the last decades have witnessed a rise in extreme Islamophobia in reaction to Arab terrorist attacks, and out of a religious-cultural prejudice against Muslims. Spearheading these trends are members of the Jewish underground, Gush Emunim, Loyalists of the Temple Mount, Holy Temple organizations, and members of the religious Zionist and political movements, the Bayit Yehudi Party and Likud Party.
It is noteworthy that there are numerous proactive movements for coexistence and peace amongst Jews and Muslims in Israel and throughout the world, and in that prevailing spirit dozens of ongoing religious and cultural dialogues are maintained. These interactions, and the political and economic engagement at state level, are distinguished by ambivalence given not only the historical record but through contemporary zealotary by hardliners. The US, the UN and the EU have tried to mediate, but to no avail. President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” has abandoned Washington’s neutrality. PM Netanyahu promotes Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. This book is the most comprehensive, integrated and updated study on these formidable issues. Given the increasingly volatile language by hardline players the Middle East is at a point of critical historical change: Is it to be a political settlement via dialogue or a downward spiral to a dispute that in an age of offensive weaponry available to all parties can only have dire consequences.
UPHEAVALS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC COMMUNITIES (in Hebrew)
By: Moshe Ma'Oz
(Magnes Press, 2021, ISBN: 978-965-7776-27-8 [Paperback], 281 pages)
During the last decades there have occurred significant upheavals in the political and military position of many religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East and North Africa. Communities which had been rejected and discriminated for decades rose to power or strengthened their political position in their countries by means of military struggles.Meanwhile, in Israel/Palestine, the ethnical-religious Jewish minority has become a ruling majority, while excluding the former Arab-Muslim-Sunni majority, following the wars of 1948 and 1976.
This book examines these processes.
The Helen Diller Institute Calls for Visiting Faculty and Scholars Applications for 2023-2024
The Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies houses two core programs: (1) Program on Israel Studies, a nationally recognized initiative, and (2) Program on Jewish Law, Thought and Identity, the only program of its type in the western United States. The Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies, are reaching out because we are seeking to expand our faculty and students connections for the enrichment of our learning programs and opportunities we offer here at UC Berkeley.
The Helen Diller Institute offers a robust Visiting Faculty and Scholars Program that each year encourages about 3-5 visiting professors from various locations, including Israel and other universities, to work alongside UC Berkeley departments on their faculty appointments and course listings. Visiting faculty generally teach undergraduate courses across a multitude of different disciplines that focus on Israel or Israel-based topics for case studies. In the past, the Institute has offered and supported visiting faculty and courses in History, Economics, Near East Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, Geography, Sociology, Law, and as well as other disciplines.
The goals of the Helen Diller Institute are to widen the circulation of our program among Israeli universities and associations and to establish stronger visiting faculty relations. For this reason, we request that you circulate our Visiting Faculty Application to faculty colleagues? Or, if preferred, please direct us to the recommended faculty member(s) so we may personally request their participation in our program?
The deadline for the Visiting Faculty Application is September 30, 2022. Visiting Scholar participants will be accepted on a rolling basis with a deadline of April 1, 2023. For more information please see below.
The Helen Diller Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies invites applications for the Visiting Faculty and Scholars Program from a wide range of disciplines relating to Israel Studies. Visiting Faculty and Scholars are an integral part of the Helen Diller Institute every year, and are actively engaged with Institute programs, faculty and students.
The Helen Diller Institute houses two core programs: the Program on Israel Studies and the Program on Jewish Law, Thought, and Identity. The Helen Diller Institute supports multidisciplinary courses, programs, and scholarship in Israel and Jewish Studies and serves as a hub for student, faculty, and community engagement. The Helen Diller Institute serves both Berkeley Law and the UC Berkeley campus, bridging the two through academic programs and collaborations. Learn more about the Helen Diller Institute here.
The deadline to apply as a visiting faculty is September 30, 2022. We are looking for faculty who teach at a high level of English. While visiting Berkeley, visiting faculty teach courses in a range of departments.
1. Letter of Interest
2. Full Curriculum Vitae
3. Teaching proposal, including course descriptions and sample syllabi
Applications for the visiting scholars program will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with a final deadline of April 1, 2023. The Institute will consider applications for a semester or for the full academic year.
1. Letter of Interest, specifying the time period they wish to be in residence at the Institute 2. Full Curriculum Vitae
3. Research Statement
4. Source of funding while visiting Berkeley
Please submit your application by email or send any questions to email@example.com.
The Helen Diller Institute is committed to building an inclusive community and strongly encourages applications for the program from diverse and underrepresented communities.
Opportunities at Top American Universities for Israeli Scholars
"These programs allow you to meet other influential scholars that you won't necessarily have a chance to meet in Israel or at international conferences."
Dr. Meital Pinto
Visiting Faculty, University of Chicago
Zefat Academic College/Ono Academic College
The Visiting Faculty Program provides financial support to academics with full-time positions at Israeli colleges and universities who want to spend a year teaching about Israel at top universities in the United States.
The Israeli Teaching Exchange Fellowship supports multi-year placements of Israeli scholars at American colleges and universities. It offers greater opportunities to teach, conduct research and build academic networks.
We are currently recruiting faculty for AY 2023-2024
Women and minorities encouraged to apply
Questions - Dr. Erika Falk, Program Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our website.
The Israel Institute is an independent 501(c)(3) organization that advances the rigorous study of modern Israel in partnership with leading universities in the United States and around the world.
DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS IN ISRAEL STUDIES AT BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
Full and partial fellowships supporting doctoral students whose research focuses on Israel. Candidates must be accepted into Brandeis University graduate school programs of Anthropology, History, Literature, Middle East Studies, Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Politics or Sociology. Competitive living stipend with generous health care benefits. Renewable for up to five years. Deadlines vary by department. Learn more at www.brandeis.edu/israel-center/resources/grants-fellowships/graduate-students.html.
The Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies at Concordia University is a multi-disciplinary research centre that brings together students, faculty and researchers who are dedicated to the study of Israel in all its facets.
In an effort to promote faculty-based projects, stimulate research and teaching, and contribute to the study of the state of Israel, locally, nationally and internationally, the Institute is offering financial support in the form of grants and scholarships in the following categories:
The Institute welcomes applications for short-term or sabbatical Visiting Researcher positions. Research stipends are available.
Applicants with a completed PhD can apply for a post-doctoral fellowship.
The deadline to apply for these grants vary. For details please visit: http://www.concordia.ca/azrieli
New publication: "Kriot Israeliot"
We are delighted to announce the inauguration of a new interdisciplinary (social sciences and humanities), digital journal in Hebrew "Kriot Israeliot" (www.kriot.co.il). This peer reviewed journal focuses on Israeli society from all perspectives and welcomes scholarly articles (in Hebrew) of all relevant disciplines (for submission instructions see here).
קריאות ישראליות יצא לאוויר העולם!
קריאות ישראליות, כתב העת הרב־תחומי הדיגיטלי החדש בעברית מבית היוצר של האוניברסיטה הפתוחה, הפך מחלום למציאות. הגיליון הראשון – ובו מסות, מאמרים, ביקורות ספרים ואף ביקור וירטואלי בתערוכה – זמין עכשיו ברשת לקריאה חופשית.
תודה על עזרתכם הרבה בכתיבה ובקריאת עמיתים.
הגיליון הבא יהיה בנושא משבר האקלים, והוא מתוכנן לראות אור ביוני השנה (2022).
אנו מזמינים אתכם לשלוח לנו מאמרים חדשים שלכם שעניינם החברה הישראלית, מכל תחומי מדעי החברה והרוח, לפרסום בגיליונות הבאים.
AIS Statement on the War in Ukraine
The Association for Israel Studies Executive joins in this expression of solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We are deeply saddened by the senseless loss of life, and condemn the wanton aggression and indiscriminate killing being perpetrated on Ukrainian civilians. The AIS Executive stands in solidarity with Ukrainian colleagues in all fields of research, and with the Ukrainian people in their courageous resistance to this ongoing violence.
We would also like to share the European Association for Israel Studies' statement concerning the war in Ukraine.
Executive Board and Academic Council of the European Association of Israel Studies Statement on Russia’s Aggression against Ukraine
We strongly condemn Russia's aggression which started in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and escalated on February 24, 2022 with the massive invasion of Ukraine. This war is destroying peace in Europe and leading to the destruction of the existing political, economic, and socio-cultural relations globally.
We are witnessing a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe that hasn’t been experienced in Europe for decades. Over four million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighbouring countries, half of them are children. Many more are internally displaced.
We express our full support for Ukraine's independence and its unquestionable right to self-determination as a sovereign nation. We call on the international community to support in all possible ways the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian people in order to defend their country, to protect the Ukrainian population and to exert pressure on Russia to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian territory and to compensate for the damages inflicted to Ukraine.
We call on the Russian government to stop this illegal war against the Ukrainian people. We are appalled by the reports from Bucha and other places from which the Russian army has now withdrawn and call on the International Court of Justice to investigate Russian war crimes in Ukraine and to take action against all offenders.
We also deeply appreciate the stand of those courageous Russians including many academics who do not identify with their government's actions against Ukraine – an invasion which has led to atrocities. We hold in high regard all those who do not remain silent. The example of Andrei Sakharov proves how important it is to speak out. The role of dissidents – and in particular the voices of academics throughout Russian history – in challenging the official narrative holds a treasured place for us in our hearts.
In addition, the European Association of Israel Studies actively seeks means of support for all Ukrainian scholars.
We stand with Ukraine!
Executive Board and Academic Council
of the European Association of Israel Studies
European Association of Israel Studies
Institute of the Middle and Far East,
Jagiellonian University in Kraków Oleandry st. 2a 30-063, Krakow, Poland
AIS Statement about University of Washington at Seattle
The Association for Israel Studies views with concern the controversy over the Israel Studies program at the University of Washington at Seattle. We have refrained up until now from making statements or joining in petitions alleging injuries to the academic freedom of faculty in order to ascertain the facts of the incident.
Based on the information we have received from the university administration, Professor Liora Halperin’s position is secure, as is a chair that she will continue to hold, along with considerable resources for her and the Israel Studies Center.
The University reports: “Prof. Halperin will be the holder of a new endowed chair in Jewish Studies created with the funds that remain in a new endowment. This chair will have the same salary and research benefits as her previous endowed chair. Prof. Halperin’s tenured professorship is in place and fully supported. The implication in the claim that ‘the university stripped Halperin of her chair position and halted programming related to Israel studies’ is thus not accurate.”
The fact is that although $5,000,000 has been returned to the donor, through accrued interest, university matching funds of $2.5 million and other investments that were not returned nearly $6 million remains in an endowment and is dedicated for use of Israel Studies.
The reasons for the return of the endowment have been subject to various interpretations. What is clear is that the donor felt aggrieved and charged that understandings and promises were not fulfilled, and therefore sought written clarifications. It appears that Prof. Halperin’s signature on a petition was only one part of a larger, continuing disagreement over the contract.
The AIS trusts that this unfortunate incident will serve as a cautionary episode in which greater clarity will be manifest in future arrangements among the parties involved in creating and advancing Israel Studies.
It is to be emphasized that the incident at Seattle is exceptional. The field of Israel Studies is growing in importance, and there are numerous centers, chairs, and programs in Israel Studies, headed by scholars holding a wide range of views, that flourish, adhere to the highest academic standards, and contribute to the satisfaction of faculty, students, and donors and the communities they serve. We are hopeful that this will continue to be the case at the University of Washington and in the field generally. The Association for Israel Studies will continue to support academic freedom, freedom of expression and the scholarship and scholars advancing knowledge of modern Israel.
Arieh Saposnik, President
AIS Statement on the Closing of the Israel’s National Library
The Association for Israel Studies (AIS)—the leading international body that brings together scholars of Israeli history, society, politics and culture from around the world—is deeply concerned about the impending closure of Israel’s National Library and the decision to send 300 employees home on unpaid leave due to a lack of funding.
In addition to its invaluable holdings of over 5,000,000 volumes that serve scholars and the broad public, it is also home to rare books and parchments, as well as archival collections of inestimable value to the work of studying Israeli society, culture and history. Given this, the National Library is a vital asset to the AIS and to the scholars of Israel from around the world whom it represents.
A national library—the principal treasure trove of a society’s cultural creativity and of a civilization’s artifacts—is a vital asset to any state. Democratic countries throughout the world have recognized this by making sure their libraries have continued to function even in the current crisis.
Israel’s National Library is an expression of the greatest aspirations of the country’s founders, for whom the very purpose of a sovereign state was the ability to freely create a sovereign culture. The National Library is a foundation-stone of that culture, and a record of the many cultures that have together come to constitute Israeli culture. We are extremely concerned that this national treasure might be closed.
Even prior to the current crisis, the National Library received substantially less state funding than equivalent institutions in the free world. We implore the Ministries of Education and Treasury to act immediately to provide the funding needed to allow the continued operation of the National Library—so vital an asset for scholars of Israel.