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  Issue 4, Fall 2021

Is the Relationship Between the Bedouin and Fellahin Dichotomous? An Anthropological Case Study

Tomer Mazarib

This article discusses interrelations between Bedouin and Fellahin (Arabic for “peasants”) living in the village of Yafa (also known as Yafa of Nazareth), in the western Galilee region in Israel. This article documents the daily lives of Bedouin and Fellahin living together from an anthropological perspective, focusing on how shared communal life both conserves and creates social and cultural differences between the two groups. Ostensibly, the distinctions between the two populations are blurred in almost every aspect of life; however, there is also conflict, feeding into the existence of a dichotomy between the two. The current research, which seeks to develop a scholarly understanding of the relationship between the two groups, is based on ethnographic fieldwork in the form of in-depth interviews, participatory observations, anthropological literature, and a review of archival information of Yafa local council.    Read more...

  Issue 3, Spring 2021

What Do Americans Think of Israel? Long-Term Trends and Socio-Demographic Shifts

Eytan Gilboa

This study focuses on American attitudes toward several key bilateral dimensions of U.S. relations with Israel. It presents and analyses long-term trends based on numerous national public opinion polls conducted in the United States (U.S.) from 2000 to 2020. The first part explores overall views of Israel, perceptions of Israel as a U.S. ally and levels of American support for Israel. The second part presents data analysis of general views of Israel among several groups including Republicans and Democrats, American Jews, Christian Evangelicals, Hispanics, and African Americans. The final section explores views registered in 2020 by gender, race, age, education, party, and ideology. Since 2000, between two-thirds and three-quarters of Americans have held highly stable favorable views of Israel. They have considered Israel a close U.S. ally and thought U.S. support for Israel has been “adequate” or even “too little.” Socio-demographics, however, expose gaps among parties and groups.   Read more...

  Issue 2, Summer 2020

The History, Politics and Social Construction of “Blackness” in Israel

Uri Dorchin

Israeli society is not racially divided between Blacks and whites in the way that American society has long been. Still, Blackness in Israel has shaped the relations between Jews and Arabs, Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, Ethiopians and immigrant workers from Africa. Despite the salience of Blackness in Israel, scholars of Israel and the wider academic field of Israel Studies have largely ignored it so far. In this essay I argue that the reason for this scholarly neglect is that in Israel, Blackness does not neatly fit into the conventional configurations that exists in countries like the U.S. and the U.K. I further stipulate that in its uniqueness, the Israeli case shows that Blackness transgresses color lines in new and unexpected ways, offering fresh perspectives on Israeli society and challenging the arbitrary stipulations of Blackness as a concept.   Read more...

  Issue 1, Fall 2019

The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Conundrum

Shlomo Ben-Ami

The decades-long process to formulate a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians has been a voyage of trial and error throughout. The failure to reach a settlement thus far has not always been the result of bad faith or inadequate negotiating skills. Rather, it stems mainly from the inherent incapacity of both parties to reconcile themselves to each other's fundamental requirements. The brief examines one of the substantial efforts in what might be the biggest folly in the history of diplomacy—the quest for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, which has continued to defy the logic of conflict resolution.   Read more...

About Currents: Briefs on Contemporary Israel

Aim and Scope

The UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies is dedicated to bridging the gap between academia and the general public. We aim to highlight scholarship about Israel on a wide range of topics and make it accessible to the public. To that end, the center’s publication, Currents: Briefs on Contemporary Israel, offers timely, research-based essays on contemporary issues, trends, and dynamics in Israel. Currents essays disseminate scholarly expertise, cutting-edge research, and innovative analyses of Israel's society, politics, economy, and culture to a wide audience. Each essay approaches an issue from a theoretical, comparative, or historical perspective to offer scholarly insights on current developments. Currents is a bi-annual publication that is freely available online and as a PDF download. 

For submissions, queries, and more information, contact Dr. Liron Lavi: laviliron@ucla.edu



Dov Waxman
University of California, Los Angeles


Managing Editor

Liron Lavi
University of California, Los Angeles 


Editorial Board

Norman Abrams
University of California, Los Angeles

Shira Efron
RAND Corporation

Stuart Gabriel
University of California, Los Angeles

Ayelet Harel-Shalev
Ben-Gurion University

Mark Kligman
University of California, Los Angeles

David Menashri
Tel Aviv University

Steven Spiegel
University of California, Los Angeles

Asher Susser
Tel Aviv University