This chapter analyses how hiloni millennials have experienced what has been called religionization of the Israel Defence Forces over the past 20 years. It argues that for this generation, serving as IDF conscripts and reservists during and after the 2005 Disengagement, two things have become clear. First, that army service during this period has helped shape both millennial hiloni and Jewish identity post-Oslo. Second, despite bitter recriminations between political left and right on social media, the frequency of wars post-Oslo has reinforced Jewish national solidarity, across religious lines. It provides new interview data with young hilonim as well as teachers in mechinot (pre-army colleges), speaking about Jewish identity education in the IDF.
Living within hiloni habitus feels a certain way. But this is not just about clothing or food, time and place, or social networks. Habitus also involves metaphysics: how we behave in the world is grounded at a basic level in shared positions about the nature of reality and the nature of knowledge. Being reasonable is not just political but also epistemological. This chapter explores this dimension of hiloni habitus through an unusual case study – how young hilonim ‘manage luck’ when confronted by rocket attacks. This is a generationally distinct security threat facing millennials since the Gaza blockade and construction of Separation Walls.
The Postscript addresses the comparative academic debates on religion and ethno-national conflict, particularly the gap around lived secularity. What do violent political conflicts look and feel like phenomenologically to people who, in their given context, distance themselves from religious traditions and yet are fully embedded within them?
How do secular Jewish-Israeli millennials feel about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, having come of age in the shadow of the failed Oslo peace process, when political leaders have used ethno-religious rhetoric as a dividing force? This is the first book to analyse blowback to Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli religious nationalism among this group in their own words. It is based on fieldwork, interviews and surveys conducted after the 2014 Gaza War. Offering a close reading of the lived experience and generational memory of participants, it offers a new explanation for why attitudes to Occupation have grown increasingly conservative over the past two decades. It examines the intimate emotional ecology of Occupation, offering a new argument about neo-Romantic conceptions of citizenship among this group. Beyond the case study, it also offers a new theoretical framework and research methods for researchers and students studying emotion, religion, nationalism, secularism and political violence around the world.
Chapter 1 addresses terminological debates. What does hiloni mean? How do scholars use the term? How do people identifying as hiloni use the term? Does the Western term secular apply in Israel? How does this book use the term hiloni to denote not a religious group but a religio-class? How does social class and Jewish diasporic descent come into play? Engaging both specialist and non-specialist audiences, it analyses and refines academic debate on Jewish secularism in Israel, provides statistical data, including new data collected for this study, and introduces the voices of participants.
This chapter critically interrogates the extent to which in the 1970s remodelled formations of power and influence were forged and contested though a generational shift as embodied by a series of aristocratic figures from the royal and Franco families. Primary texts under consideration include articles from ¡Hola! magazine, Spain’s major contribution to global journalism, and the novels of Corín Tellado, the best selling Spanish author of all time. This chapter demonstrates how and why the feminisation of mass culture is inextricably linked to its exclusion from canonical accounts of the Transition, as well as making the case that successful political figures have been more alive to the possibilities of the popular than most intellectuals in Spain.
A rare point of consensus in an increasingly divided socio-political landscape is that, for better or worse, the institutions and individuals that form contemporary Spain are the products of the Transition. Traditional political parties and commentators speak of the longest period of stability, development and democracy in the country’s tumultuous and frequently tragic history; by contrast, detractors question to what extent the ‘regime of ’78’ prevented Spain from realising its democratic potential, with much of the infrastructure and institutions of sociological Francoism left in tact. Frequently lost in debates surround the merits (or lack thereof) of the Transition is the need to distinguish between critiques of how it was handled at the time and the fetishistic veneration of the Constitution. Drawing together arguments developed in different chapters of this book, the conclusion suggests it is possible, and in fact desirable, to be critical of the latter whilst offering an ambivalent or even positive assessment of the former. A critical analysis is offered of the role of Podemos in a new political landscape that is more divided but, more positively, is also taking steps to deal with democratic deficits in relation to, for example, women’s rights.
The political and cultural casualties of Francoism’s bellicose centralism are imprinted in Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, depicting the aerial bombing of the Basque town. By the time of Franco’s death, Picasso was widely considered the twentieth century’s greatest artist, and Federico García Lorca was the most translated Spanish playwright. Lorca was executed by Falangist thugs shortly after the illegal rebel uprising, and his death, alongside Guernica, was evidence of the regime’s violent philistinism, ensuring an indelible link in the international psyche between Franco’s victory and a defeat for culture. As numerous studies have shown, the afterlife of Guernica is a key barometer for Francoism’s socio-political evolution. This chapter draws upon this scholarship to examine how competing discourses were both constituted by and constitutive of a direct association between culture and democracy, which transformed the former into an increasingly powerful tool of socio-political engineering.
In the 1960s, Spain had the fastest-growing economy in the world apart from Japan. As aspiration replaced austerity as the national ideal, the dictatorship increasingly used the mass media, as opposed to direct repression, as a means of wielding power. The interpellation of (un)willing subjects in a culture of non-inquisitiveness was evidently one of Francoism’s chief political triumphs, but work remains to be done on critically interrogating the information available to everyday Spaniards, alongside a more nuanced understanding of how this both shaped and reflected their interests. This chapter employs two case-studies – the bullfighter El Cordobés and pop singer Raphael – to explore the gender- and class-infected discourses that emerged around celebrity culture in the last thirteen years of General Franco’s life. The chapter analyses how and why young celebrity figures provided evidence for the oppositional left to understand mass-culture as the opium of the masses, a surreptitious form of depoliticisation. The hypothesis advanced is that a dogmatic desire to denigrate, rather than engage with, celebrity culture nevertheless proved counter-productive for their progressive ideological agenda.
The transition to democracy that followed the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1975 was once hailed as a model of political transformation. But since the 2008 financial crisis it has come under intense scrutiny. Today, a growing divide exists between advocates of the Transition and those who see it as the source of Spain’s current socio-political bankruptcy. This book revisits the crucial period from 1962 to 1992, exposing the networks of art, media and power that drove the Transition and continue to underpin Spanish politics in the present. Drawing on rare archival materials and over 300 interviews with politicians, artists, journalists and ordinary Spaniards, including former Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez (1982–96), Following Franco unlocks the complex and often contradictory narratives surrounding the foundation of contemporary Spain.