Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture, Revised Edition (Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality) (Paperback)

Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture, Revised Edition (Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality) By Smadar Lavie Cover Image
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In Wrapped in the Flag of Israel, Smadar Lavie analyzes the racial and gender justice protest movements in the State of Israel from the 2003 Single Mothers’ March to the 2014 New Black Panthers and explores the relationships between these movements, violence in Gaza, and the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran.

Lavie equates bureaucratic entanglements with pain—and, arguably, torture—in examining a state that engenders love and loyalty among its non-European Jewish women citizens while simultaneously inflicting pain on them. Weaving together memoir, auto-ethnography, political analysis, and cultural critique, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel presents a model of bureaucracy as divine cosmology that is both lyrical and provocative. Lavie’s focus on the often-minimized Mizraḥi population juxtaposed with the state’s monolithic culture suggests that Israeli bureaucracy is based on a theological notion that inserts the categories of religion, gender, and race into the foundation of citizenship.

In this revised and updated edition Lavie connects intra-Jewish racial and gendered dynamics to the 2014 Gaza War, providing an extensive afterword that focuses on the developments in Mizraḥi feminist politics and culture between 2014 and 2016 and its relation to Palestinians.  

About the Author

Smadar Lavie spent nine years as a tenured professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis, and is currently a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Ethnic Studies and a visiting professor at the Institute for Social Science in the Twenty-First Century at University College Cork, Ireland. She is the author and coeditor of several books, including The Poetics of Military Occupation: Mzeina Allegories of Bedouin Identity under Israeli and Egyptian Rule. The first edition of Wrapped in the Flag of Israel won honorable mention from the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies and was a finalist for the Clifford Geertz Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion. Lavie won the 2009 Gloria Anzaldúa Prize from the American Studies Association.

Praise For…

“Thick, accusative, and critical, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel is indeed a must-read for all.”—Anne de Jong, American Anthropologist

“Important and provocative. . . . Recommended to researchers, postgraduate students, and undergraduates who are interested in Israel/Palestine, political protest, discrimination, and the anthropology of the state.”—Tobias Kelly, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“Incredibly insightful conceptually but also powerful politically. It does not merely challenge conceptual frameworks and academic canons but actively undoes them through shifting and diverse modes of writing.”—Adi Kuntsman, Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies

“Engaging and insightful. . . . The book makes an important contribution to the literature, demonstrating that throughout the history of Israel, the Jewish immigrants of European descent have retained their privileged socioeconomic position and maintained claims to cultural superiority over communities coming from Asia and the Middle East. Wrapped in the Flag of Israel is an important ethnography of Mizrahi women and an excellent addition to anthropology of Israel.”—Yulia Egorova, American Ethnologist

“Lavie’s study is solid, scrupulously researched and documented and has the ring of truth that comes from the personal experience of a researcher who has had to live through her fieldwork situation in a manner that few anthropologists experience. . . . Lavie has created a text whose insights and analysis extend far beyond her admirable Israeli study.”—William O. Beeman, Anthropological Quarterly

“Lavie raises important questions about victimhood and agency pertinent to the study of the subaltern. . . . This book is not just a unique contribution to understanding gender and race in state bureaucracy and the operations of nationalism in the Middle East; it will interest anyone studying the disenfranchised and their everyday life, something that almost always involves ‘bureaucratic torture.’ . . . Wrapped in the Flag of Israel exposes how inhumanity can be normalized and can thrive in any modern liberal democracy.”—Sealing Cheng, Asian Anthropology

“Lavie’s meticulous ethnographic work and pointed theoretical analysis explain the hopelessness of social protest and problematize the concept of agency in the context of intra-Jewish conflict in Israel; in this Lavie also addresses the ramifications of Mizrahi marginalization on the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”—Shoshana Madmoni-Gerber, Cultural Studies

“Lavie illustrates how asking difficult, troubling questions that disturb taken-for-granted silences can be an important strategy of resistance. In doing so, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel offers theoretical and political insights that extend beyond Israel’s undeclared borders.”—Simona SharoniJournal of Palestine Studies

“Lavie has written a brave and scholarly auto-ethnography using an extended case study method, of a social movement in contemporary Israel. . . . With theoretical sophistication and granular accounts of day-to-day struggles of her own and other single mothers’ efforts to survive and gain access to resources and entitlements as Israelis . . . This is a painful account well worth reading. Social workers from many nations who are involved in difficult macro- and mezzo-practice would find illuminating the many elements of social movement activity and peer-group support that Lavie characterizes and theorizes so powerfully.”—Barbara Levy Simon, Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work

“At the crossroads between a coursebook, a piece of writing about life and a feminist manifesto, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel . . . [is] both an enlightening insight into Israeli intra-racism and an original and valuable connection between two seemingly unrelated concepts: bureaucracy and torture.”—Sorina GeorgescuHypercultura
Product Details
ISBN: 9781496205544
ISBN-10: 1496205545
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication Date: July 1st, 2018
Pages: 336
Language: English
Series: Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality