From its earliest days, Zionism was characterized by a tension between an impulse to integrate the Jews into the would-be community of nations on the one hand, and a counter-tendency that leaned toward a separatist approach to Jewish life?between ?Kechol ha-goyim? (?a nation like all others?) and ?am levadad Yishkon? (?a nation that dwells apart?), as it has often been formulated. These two poles seem to shape Israeli political discourse, and the country?s network of crisscrossing social and cultural currents, to the present day.
What impact has this duality had on Zionist and Israeli society, institutions, political and economic settings, and culture? In what ways can these be said to be a function of the country?s participation in global trends? How, on the other hand, are they unique to Israel
In a related vein, to what extent has this tension between integration and segregation been reflected in scholarship on Israel? Has Israel scholarship situated itself?methodologically, theoretically, and thematically?in international scholarly conversation? What has it taught us about Israel?s place in the international arena?its comparability or uniqueness? To what extent has scholarship on Israel, as it has developed over the past few decades, influenced broader social and cultural currents or been influenced by them? Has scholarship had an impact on public policy and on political discourse and praxis beyond the academy? Papers on these and other topics relating to the broader field of Israel studies will be presented during the 29th Annual Meeting of the Association for Israel Studies, June 24-26, 2013 at the University of California, Los Angeles.