Rabinowitz, Dan 1954- (Dani Rabinovits)

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Rabinowitz, Dan 1954- (Dani Rabinovits)


Born 1954, in Haifa, Israel; married; children: three. Education: King's College London, B.A., 1982; Pembroke College, Cambridge University, M.Phil, 1983, Ph.D., 1990.


Office—Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Naftaly Bldg., Rm. 626, Ramant Aviv, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, journalist, scholar, and educator. Hebrew University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, lecturer and senior lecturer, 1991-2000; Tel-Aviv University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, senior lecturer, 2000—. University of Toronto, visiting professor, 2002. Zukey David Field Study Center, Sinai, instructor and chief instructor, 1975-79. Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, director of publications, 1983-85. Van-Leer Jerusalem Foundation, researcher, 1985-87. Worked as a freelance journalist in the 1980s. Life and Environment (Israeli environmental organization), chair.


Association of Israel Studies, Israeli Anthropological Association (member of board, 1993-98; president, 1998-2001).


SPNI research grant, 1977-79; SPNI higher education scholarship, 1979-1982; Bnei-Brit (London, England) scholarship, 1982-83; Merchant-Taylor Fund research award, Pembroke College, Cambridge University, 1983; William Wyse research award, Cambridge University, 1983; Merchant-Taylor Fund scholarship award, 1988-90; Marcus Sieff Foundation grant, 1990; AVY Foundation fellowship, Geneva, Switzerland, 1989-90; CONANIMA scholarship, Zurich, Switzerland, 1989-1990; William Wyse studentship, 1990; postdoctoral research fellowship, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1990-91; research grant, Truman Institute, Jerusalem, 1991-93; Sikuy research grant, Jerusalem, 1992-93; research grant, Van-Leer Jerusalem Foundation, 1992-93; CONANIMA research grant, 1994-95; research grant, Center for the Study of Arab Society in Israel, 1993-94; research grant, Ministry of Science, Jerusalem, 1995-97; research grant, Porter School of Environmental Studies, 2002; New Century Scholars Program grant, Fulbright Foundation, 2003.


(Editor, with Avraham Shaked) Spirit of the Earth, Spirit of the Earth (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1978.

Mount Serbal Ecological Survey, SPNI (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1978.

Feiran Basin Ecological Survey, SPNI (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1978.

Nature Conservation in the Negev Mountains, SPNI (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1979.

Har Sirbal, Misrad ha-hinukh veha-tarbut (Jerusalem, Israel), 1979.

Mount Serbal, SPNI (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1979.

Shemirat Teva Be-Har Ha-Negev, Misrad ha-hinukh veha-tarbut (Jerusalem, Israel), 1979.

Nofe Pesagot Be-Har Meron: Tiyulim U-mishakim Lekhol Ha-mishpahah, Misrad ha-hinukh veha-tarbut (Jerusalem, Israel), 1985.

Ruah Sinai, Adam (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1987.

Spirit of Sinai, Adam (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1987.

Shekspir Ba-g'ongel: al Mifgashim Ben-tarbutiyim, Devir be-shituf im Mekhon Van Lir bi-Yerushalayim (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1988.

(Editor) Shakespeare in the Bush, Dvir (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1988.

12 Mishpahot Be-Yisrael, Sifre Tel-Aviv (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1988.

(Editor) Voices in the Background: A Collection of Essays on the Arabs in Israel, Center for Educational Technology (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1994.

(Editor) Five Voices: Arab Youth in Israel Speak about Their Lives and Culture, Center for Educational Technology (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 1994.

Overlooking Nazareth: The Ethnography of Exclusion in Galilee, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Anthropology and the Palestinians, Institute for Israeli Arab Studies (Beit-Berl, Israel), 1998.

Ha-Dor Ha-zakuf, Keter (Jerusalem, Israel), 2002.

(With Khawla Abu-Baker) The Stand-Tall Generation, Keter (Jerusalem, Israel), 2002.

(With Khawla Abu-Baker) Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2005.

(Editor, with Daniel Monterescu) Mixed Towns, Trapped Communities: Historical Narratives, Spatial Dynamics, Gender Relations and Cultural Encounters in Palestinian-Israeli Towns, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Grasping Land: Space and Place in Contemporary Israeli Discourse and Experience, edited by E. Ben-Ari and Y. Bilu, SUNY Press (New York, NY); Border Identities, edited by Hastings Donnan and Thomas Wilson, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1998; Ethnic Frontiers in Israel: Peripheral Development and Group Inequalities, edited by Oren Yitachel and A. Meir, Westview (Boulder, CO), 1998; Real-Time: The Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Israeli Left, edited by Adi Ofir, Keter (Jerusalem, Israel), 2001; and Can the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict be Solved?, edited by Tamar Herman and Ya'ar Efrayim, Tami Steinmitz Center for Peace Research (Tel-Aviv, Israel), 2001.

Contributor to periodicals and journals, including Journal of Anthropological Research, Ethnography, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Etnologia Europaea, Social Anthropology, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Teorya Uvikoret, Critical Inquiry, American Ethnologist, MESS, Ha'aretz Books Supplement, Israel Social Science Research Journal, Visual Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, and Boston Globe. Teorya Uvikoret (title means "Theory and Criticism"), member of editorial board. Columnist for Ha'aretz.


Dan Rabinowitz, a writer, researcher, and sociology educator at Tel-Aviv University, is a frequent writer on issues related to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. A biographer on the Tel-Aviv University Faculty of Social Sciences Web site identified his research and scholarly interests as including broad topics such as Middle East politics, ethnicity and nationalism, environment and society, and globalization and transnationalism. Rabinowitz studies smaller groups, including the Palestinians, Israelis, and Bedouins, and geographical areas, such as Nazareth and Sinai.

Overlooking Nazareth: The Ethnography of Exclusion in Galilee is a "well-documented, insightful, and readable ethnography of the troubled encounters between Arabs and Jews in an Israeli town," Natzerat Illit, or Upper Nazareth, commented Sammy Smooha in the American Political Science Review. The book "is not a comprehensive community study but a focused ethnography of the relations between the Arabs and Jews in the town," Smooha noted. In the main thrust of the book, "Rabinowitz argues that the institutions of state and town consistently deny the validity of any collective presence on the part of Palestinian citizens, and that this discrimination is systematically supported by Israeli Jews," commented Don Handelman in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. The author bases his conclusions on a number of case studies of events that occurred in the town. He analyzes the sale of apartments by Jewish owners to Palestinians. He explores how the educational system serves to influence young Palestinians toward an identity favored by the Israelis while neglecting their authentic Palestinian identity. He considers the attitude of Israeli parents who take their child to a Palestinian pediatri- cian for health care. Overall, the Palestinians resist the exclusion they face, even as the Israelis are uncomfortable letting Arabs buy housing, and are not enthusiastic about receiving professional services from Palestinians. Jews in Israel wish to retain their Jewish majority and the democracy they have established, wheras Palestinians want to retain their culture and identity while achieving equality. One of Rabinowitz's more notable conclusions is, though the exclusivity practiced by Israelis continues to exist in Nazareth and throughout Israel, it is often suppressed "when Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel interact as individuals in relation to common interests that emerge contextually amongst them," Handelman noted. Rabinowitz's "study deserves our attention for its fine ethnography and its touching on questions of ethnicity, nationalism, and democracy," Smooha concluded.

Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel, written with Khawla Abu-Baker, melds stories of the authors' personal and family histories with the tumultuous history of Palestine and Israel since the partition of Palestine in 1948. Rabinowitz's family were Russian immigrants to Palestine in the 1920s, while Abu-Baker's family came from Haifa on her mother's side and Jenin on her father's. This blend of personal and political history offers a level of detail and sense of authenticity that would have been difficult to achieve in a political history alone. "Each chapter in this book does something remarkable. The authors walk us through the history of Israel/Palestine by telling the narrative of their family's story in a given period," commented Gary M. Burge in Christianity Today. "The narratives are told with honesty and respect. And then the authors interpret the period together." The "intersection of these family histories with the dramatic military, political, and social upheavals of Palestine, and Israel, give the book a vibrant sense of geopolitical realities," commented Dawn Chatty, writing in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Reviewer Sammy Smooha, writing in the Middle East Journal, remarked: "This book is a significant addition to the social science literature that tells the story of Israel's Palestinian Arab minority from a Palestinian perspective."

In the introduction, Rabinowitz and Abu-Baker describe the effects and characteristics of Zionism as it exists in the modern state of Israel. They find a high level of "institutionalized exclusivity and inequality" manifested in Israel's Zionism, noted reviewer Sara Powell in the Washington Report on the Middle East. By its clarity and quality, "the introduction alone is a valuable contribution to the literature in the field," Powell stated. Rabinowitz and Abu-Baker also recount the area's history from the time just before the partition to late 2000. They look at the group of Palestinian activists that calls itself the "Stand Tall Generation," and how their ideals and goals are manifested in a modern Palestine. Perhaps more importantly, "the book shows in stunning detail how Israeli Arabs are marginalized and dismissed" in Israel, Burge noted.

Powell concluded that those who are "looking for a single book to explain the issue of Palestine would be well advised to consider [Coffins on Our Shoulders]." "Beyond their limitations and biases, the personal stories and scholarly analyses of Coffins on Our Shoulders demonstrate well the predicament of the Palestinian Arab minority in the Jewish state," Smooha concluded. "This is a short, articulate, well-researched, and deeply personal work," Chatty remarked. "It is a welcome addition to the field of Middle East studies, in general, and to the study of Palestinian society, in particular."



American Ethnologist, May, 1999, Nadia Abu El-Haj, review of Overlooking Nazareth: The Ethnography of Exclusion in Galilee, p. 488.

American Journal of Sociology, July, 1998, review of Overlooking Nazareth, p. 287.

American Political Science Review, June, 1998, Sammy Smooha, review of Overlooking Nazareth, p. 490.

Choice, November, 1997, review of Overlooking Nazareth, p. 544; July-August, 2006, L.D. Loeb, review of Coffins on Our Shoulders: The Experience of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel, p. 2057.

Christianity Today, January-February, 2007, Gary M. Burge, "Coffins on Their Shoulders: Seeing through the Eyes of Palestinians," review of Coffins on Our Shoulders.

International Journal of Middle East Studies, November, 1998, Elia Zureik, review of Overlooking Nazareth, p. 604; May, 2007, Isis Nusair, review of Coffins on Our Shoulders, p. 313.

Journal of Palestine Studies, spring, 1998, Laurie King-Irani, review of Overlooking Nazareth, p. 108.

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, December, 1998, Don Handelman, review of Overlooking Nazareth, p. 801; December, 2006, Dawn Chatty, review of Coffins on Our Shoulders, p. 969.

Middle East Journal, spring, 2006, Sammy Smooha, review of Coffins on Our Shoulders, 389.

Middle East Policy, Annual 2003, review of Overlooking Nazareth, p. 174.

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July, 2006, Sara Powell, review of Coffins on Our Shoulders, p. 76.


Israel21c,http://www.israel21c.org/ (January 28, 2008), biography of Dan Rabinowitz.

Tel-Aviv University Faculty of Social Sciences Web site,http://spirit.tau.ac.il/ (January 28, 2008), biography of Dan Rabinowitz.