Israeli Feminist Scholarship: Gender, Zionism, and Difference by Esther Fuchs
The last two decades have given rise to a proliferation of scholarship by Israeli feminists working in diverse fields, ranging from sociology to literature, anthropology, and history. As the Israeli feminist movement continually decentralizes and diversifies, it has become less Eurocentric and heterocentric, making way for pluralistic concerns. Collecting fifteen previously published essays that give voice to this diversity, Israeli Feminist Scholarship showcases articles on Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, Palestinian, and lesbian identities as well as on Israeli women’s roles as mothers, citizens and activists, and soldiers.
Citing evidence that these scholars have redefined their object of inquiry as an open site of contested and constructed identity, luminary Esther Fuchs traces the history of Israeli feminism. Among the essays are Jewish historian Margalit Shilo’s study of the New Hebrew Woman, sociologist Ronit Lentin’s analysis of gendered representations of the Holocaust in Israeli culture, peace activist Erella Shadmi on lesbianism as a nonissue in Israel, and cultural critic Nitza Berkovitch’s examination of womanhood as constructed in Israeli legal discourse.
Creating a space for a critical examination of the relationship between disparate yet analogous discourses within feminism and Zionism, this anthology reclaims the mobilizing, inclusive role of these multifaceted discourses beyond the postmodern paradigm.