The faculty, staff and students of the Ben-Gurion Research Center for the Study of Israel and Zionism are stunned by the incomprehensible loss of our friend, colleague, teacher, a deep and thoughtful scholar—Dr. Michael Feige, who was murdered last night in the terror attack in Tel Aviv.
Michael had been a faculty member at the Ben-Gurion Research Center for over two decades. He was an active and influential member of the academic community of Israel Studies scholars within Israel and worldwide, and he was a friend to us all.
Michael's work focused on the sociology and anthropology of Israeli society, and his contribution to our understanding of the society in which we live received wide recognition in academic circles throughout the world. Michael's book on the development of Gush Emunim and Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), and their impact on the Israeli public sphere, appeared in English and Hebrew editions and was the recipient of the 2009 Shapiro Award for Best book in Israel studies, awarded by the Association for Israel Studies. Dr. Feige's research was always penetrating and invariably profound. He brought a unique perspective to the diverse topics he studied—the shaping of Israeli collective memory; the place of archaeology in Israeli society and the meanings and implications of clashes over antiquities; the changing memory and commemoration of the Rabin assassination; the memory of the Yom Kippur War in Israel; and other subjects central to our understanding of Israeli society in the past five decades.
All who knew Michael knew that he was always able to combine his penetrating and analytical thinking with a profound respect for others and a gentle and accepting manner even in argument and debate.
Michael was a friend, scholar, and teacher. Above all, Michael was the incarnation of a man of reason, tolerance and peace.
We are left with a deep and painful void with his loss.
His friends and students at the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism, Ben-Gurion University in the Negev.
June 09, 2016