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Emotions of Conflict – Between Fear, Anger and Solidarity : Israel 1949-1967

Orit Rozin, Tel Aviv University

Wed, 4/10 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 399 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building

Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia

Israel’s citizens had to cope with the emotional challenges of the threats their country faced during its first two decades. This lecture will unpack the history of citizens’ emotions by analyzing Israeli state reports about how citizens felt and what will be identified as the emotional regime—the emotional repertoire designed by political leaders and cultural agents wishing to mold the feelings of Israeli citizens. Policymakers—Prime Minister and Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion first and foremost—sought to fortify the spirits of Israelis and to inculcate an emotional regime that would rise to the challenges of the new frontier state. Israel’s emotional regime was meant to mitigate fear, foster preparedness and instill a shared feeling of purpose, belonging, and solidarity; it served as a foundation for the political elite’s ideology and nurtured a model of citizenship. Most significantly, it met the human need for existential meaning in times of crisis, meaning that is essential for overcoming the fear of impending death.

Dr. Orit Rozin is Associate Professor in the Department of Jewish History at Tel Aviv University. She is the director of the Dan David Society of Fellows at Tel Aviv University and the co-editor of the Journal of Israeli History. Her research interests span the social, legal, and cultural history of modern Israel. Rozin has published on Israeli citizenship, legislation and jurisprudence, immigration, gender issues and family life. In recent years she has been assessing Israel’s political and security problems from the perspective of the history of emotions. Recently she embarked on a new research project examining Israeli responses to Palestinian terror attacks during the 1970s. Her book, The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel: A Challenge to Collectivism (2011), was published by Brandeis University Press. The Hebrew version of the book, published in 2008, received the Association for Israel Studies Shapiro best book award in 2009. Her recent book A Home for all Jews: Citizenship, Rights and National Identity in the New Israeli State was published by Brandeis University Press 2016. It was the runner-up for the 2018 Jordan Schnitzer award from the Association for Jewish Studies. Rozin’s forthcoming book, Emotions of Conflict, Israel 1949-1967, is slated for publication by Oxford University Press in June 2024.

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