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CFP: Workshop on Israeli Belonging

last modified Jan 12, 2015 10:10 AM

Call for papers

The Politics of Belonging and Departure: A workshop on the parameters of Israel as ‘home’

 (Joint SOAS-UCL collaboration with support of the EAIS. To be held on Saturday 16.5.2015 at SOAS, University of London)

 In the last few years, emigration from Israel has drawn particular attention in different disciplines. While the actual numbers of Israelis emigrating are debatable, the recent wave of Israeli emigrants to the German capital of Berlin has itself stirred anxieties within the Israeli authorities and Israeli civil society. Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin (1994) has argued that Zionist ideology rests upon a ‘denial of the exile’. Out-migration to Europe reverses this central tenet of Zionism and is seen as a pathological return to the rejected exilic conditions of the pre-Zionist State. In theory, it unsettles the very foundations of Zionist ideology and the ongoing existence of the State of Israel, in its current manifestation. 

In this workshop we would like to focus on the changing notions of belonging in the context of Israel-Palestine. We will explore how new trends in Israeli out migration are related to the broader matter of a human desire for belonging. We will look deeply at the different fantasies of belonging in Israel and Palestine and amongst Israel’s disparate refugees. We will ask ourselves, what do desires for exit mean for the parameters of Israel as ‘home’?

We are interested to hear from any scholars working on different kinds of communities of belonging (or not-belonging) in Israel and Palestine. These may include:

  • Religious communities. 
  • Moral communities.
  • Sexual communities.
  • Vulnerable communities. 
  • Displaced communities. 
  • Refugees and migrants.
  • Political dissidents / political extremists.     

Short abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to by January 25th, 2015.


Research and teaching in the field of Jewish Studies take place in a variety of faculties and departments across the University of Cambridge. The Cambridge Forum for Jewish Studies is an initiative whose objective is to join up this activity and communicate the range of expertise and wealth of research in the field that currently exists in the university. The Forum meets once a term to exchange information and ideas. It is hoped that it will encourage wider participation and a variety of perspectives.

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