Yaron Peleg


On his book Israeli Culture between the Two Intifadas: A Brief Romance

Cover Interview of April 21, 2009

A close-up

Chapter 2, titled “Popular Media in a Post National Age” (pages 31-63 in the book) would be most readily accessible and intriguing for readers who know little about modern Israeli culture.  The chapter talks about the media revolution in Israel in the late 1980s and beyond.  It uses one of the most influential newspapers that were published in Israel at the time, the local Tel-Aviv weekly Ha’ir, as an example of the deep changes the country was undergoing at the time.  The chapter focuses on the economic changes that brought about a consumer revolution in the life of the country and the many ways this revolution influenced Israeli society, its politics and its culture.

The chapter’s main argument is that the opening up of Israeli markets to goods and ideas from outside also changed the ways Israelis looked at their own society, their own history, and their own politics.  The freer market that gradually grew in Israel in the 1980s and 1990s subjected many old truths to a new examination and to new evaluations.  As a result, some of the most accepted notions were either changed or discarded altogether by a growing number of Israelis.  These included Israel’s responsibility for the plight of Palestinian refugees, the painful ways the country absorbed various immigrant groups, including Mizrahi Jews and Holocaust survivors, and other aspects of the State’s building process which were reevaluated from the distance and vantage point of time.