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New Article: Bourdon & Boudana, Controversial Cartoons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Bourdon, Jerome, and Sandrine Boudana. “Controversial Cartoons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Cries of Outrage and Dialogue of the Deaf.” The International Journal of Press/Politics (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1940161215626565
 
Abstract

This article analyzes the controversies triggered by sixteen cartoons about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, published in nine western countries between 2001 and 2014. For this, we use E.D. Hirsch’s distinction between the meaning of a text—which refers to the author’s intentions—and its significance—which emphasizes the contexts of production and reception. Critics focused mostly on significance, defenders on meaning. Using this distinction, we first examine the rhetoric of cartoons: stereotypes linked to antisemitism (accusations of deicide and blood libel), use of the Star of David as metonym of Israel, disputed historical analogies (between Israeli policy and Nazism or Apartheid). Second, we analyze four levels of contextual interpretations that have framed the debates: the cartoon as genre, the ethotic arguments about the cartoonist and/or newspaper’s track record, the cartoons’ historical and transnational intertextuality (especially with the Arab press), and the issue of audiences’ sensitivities. We analyze the complex exchanges of arguments that led mostly to a dialogue of the deaf, but also, in some cases, to partial agreement on the offensive character of the cartoons. We conclude that this methodology can be applied to other controversies around popular political texts, which offer similar characteristics.

 

 

 

New Article: Muaelm, Jewish Community and Israeli Foreign Policy toward South Africa under the Apartheid Regime

Mualem, Itzhak. “The Jewish Community and Israeli Foreign Policy toward South Africa under the Apartheid Regime – 1961-1967.” Jewish Journal of Sociology 57.1-2 (2015).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/jjsoc.v57i1/2.94

 

Abstract

The discussion of a diaspora’s influence of a sovereign state’s foreign policy provides a new perspective on the nature of international relations. Foreign policy in this context is analyzed in this paper through various theoretical approaches. First, the Realistic approach, examining inter-state relations between Israel and South Africa and the black continent states; The second approach, the Neoliberal approach, examining the processes of cooperation in social and economic areas; The third approach, the State-Diaspora model, examining the impact of the Jewish context on relations between Israel and South Africa. The diaspora phenomenon is universal. However, this case is unique due to the influence of the Jewish Diaspora over Israel’s foreign policy. This unique discussion leads to the existence of a complex Israeli-Jewish foreign policy.

 

 

New Article: Segalo et al, Engaging Memory and Imagination Within Decolonizing Frameworks

Segalo, Puleng, Einat Manoff, Michelle Fine. “Working With Embroideries and Counter-Maps: Engaging Memory and Imagination Within Decolonizing Frameworks.” Journal of Social and Political Psychology 3.1 (2015).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v3i1.145

 

Abstract

As people around the world continue to have their voices, desires, and movements restricted, and their pasts and futures told on their behalf, we are interested in the critical project of decolonizing, which involves contesting dominant narratives and hegemonic representations. Ignacio Martín-Baró called these the “collective lies” told about people and politics. This essay reflects within and across two sites of injustice, located in Israel/Palestine and in South Africa, to excavate the circuits of structural violence, internalized colonization and possible reworking of those toward resistance that can be revealed within the stubborn particulars of place, history, and culture. The projects presented here are locally rooted, site-specific inquiries into contexts that bear the brunt of colonialism, dispossession, and occupation. Using visual research methodologies such as embroideries that produce counter-narratives and counter-maps that divulge the complexity of land-struggles, we search for fitting research practices that amplify unheard voices and excavate the social psychological soil that grows critical analysis and resistance. We discuss here the practices and dilemmas of doing decolonial research and highlight the need for research that excavates the specifics of a historical material context and produces evidence of previously silenced narratives.

 

 

New Book: Spangler,Understanding Israel/Palestine. Race, Nation, and Human Rights in the Conflict

Spangler, Eve. Understanding Israel/Palestine. Race, Nation, and Human Rights in the Conflict. Rotterdam: Sense, 2015.

Spangler

 

 

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the longest, ongoing hot-and-cold war of the 20th and 21st centuries. It has produced more refugees than any current conflict, generating fully one quarter of all refugees worldwide. Everyone knows that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is important itself, and is also fueling tensions throughout the Middle East. Yet most people shy away from this conflict, claiming it is “just too complicated” to understand.

This book is written for people who want a point of entry into the conversation. It offers both a historic and analytic framework. Readers, whether acting as students, parishioners, neighbors, voters, or dinner guests will find in these pages an analysis of the most commonly heard Israeli positions, and a succinct account of the Palestinian voices we seldom hear. The author argues that human rights standards have never been used as the basis on which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved and that only these standards can produce a just and sustainable resolution.

This book will be useful for classes in Middle East studies, peace and conflict studies, Middle East history, sociology of race, and political science. It can be helpful for church groups, labor groups, or other grass roots organizations committed to social justice, and for all readers who wish to be informed about this important topic.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements

Section 1: Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction: Tell Our Story
Chapter 2: In Israel and Palestine: What You See Is What We Bought
Chapter 3: Basic Concepts: Human Rights, Race, and Nation
Chapter 4: Zionism: The Idea That Changed Everything

Section 2: The History of the Conflict: Another Look
Chapter 5: State Builders, Settlers, and Colonial Subjects: The Past Is Prologue
Chapter 6: Establishing the State, Preparing Occupation
Chapter 7: Occupation and Resistance: The Zionist Dream Comes True, or Be Careful What You Ask for 129
Chapter 8: The Endless, Deceptive Peace Process

Section 3: Moving Forward
Chapter 9: Four Frames: Israeli Self-Defense, Genocide, Apartheid, Ethnic Cleansing/Sociocide
Chapter 10: Zionism Revisited: From 1967 back to 1948
Chapter 11: Conclusion: Hope and History

Section 4: Supplementary Materials
Appendix: Study Questions
References
Index

Eve Spangler is a sociologist and a human and civil rights activist. For the last decade, her work has focused on the Israel/Palestine conflict; she argues that human rights are the neglected standards that could lead to a just and sustainable solution. See more at evespangler.com.

ToC: Theory and Event 18.1 (2015); special issue: The Israeli War on Gaza 2014

Theory and Event, 18.1, supplement, January 2015

Introduction: The Israeli War on Gaza 2014
Jon Simons

The Underground Ghetto City of Gaza
Amir Nizar Zuabi

Deconstructing the Israeli Socio-political Apartheid System
Adel Manna

Gaza 2014: The Collapse of a Control Model
Lev Grinberg

Five Lessons Learned from the Israeli Attack on Gaza
Muhammad Ali Khalidi

“Meeting with a Dietician”: Israel’s Institutionalised Impoverishment of Gaza
Trude Strand

Inhabiting the Split: Dissident Aspirations in Times of War
Louise Bethlehem

Divine Violence, Divine Peace: Gaza 2014
Jon Simons

The War with Gaza Did Not Take Place
Ofer Cassif

Biographies

 

New Article: Helman, Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession

Helman, Sara. “Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: the Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10767-015-9198-y

 

Abstract

This article analyzes the repertoires of contention and discourse of two Israeli anti-denial movements, Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch. Through confession and testimony, both social movement organizations (SMOs) demand that Israeli society acknowledge its “problematic present,” which includes human rights violations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in a situation of ongoing ethno-national conflict, and insist that it take responsibility for this reality and act against it. It is based on the interpretative analyses of both SMOs’ reports. Reports are analyzed as narratives in the context of Israel’s national identity and its main motives which are also constitutive of a culture of collective denial. The article compares the testimonial practices of Machsom Watch to testimonies of women in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the confessions of Breaking the Silence veterans to those displayed in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as well as confessions of veterans during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confession and testimony are usually analyzed as blazing the path to a new and inclusive national identity (as was the case in South Africa). In the case of Israel, however, their adoption and mobilization destabilize national identity and turn it into a field of contention.

New Article: Griffin, Segregation and Grassroots Politics on the Bus

Griffin, Maryam S. “Freedom Rides in Palestine: Racial Segregation and Grassroots Politics on the Bus.” Race & Class 56.4 (2015): 73-84.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0306396814567410

 

Abstract

This article offers an examination of the role of buses in Palestinian protest actions directed at an international audience. These demonstrations occur as part of a post-Oslo strategic shift in which Palestinian resistance has de-prioritised leader-centred negotiations in favour of grassroots mobilisation that directly appeals to international civil society. Given this strategy, the bus is a useful vehicle, both literally and symbolically, for transmitting the message of Palestinian demands for freedom. First, the bus powerfully evokes the triumphs of an earlier generation of activists fighting racial segregation. Second, as a recognisable form of public transportation and mobility, the use of the bus allows Palestinian activists to focus international solidarity on one of the central hardships of occupied life: the denial of the right to freedom of movement, which entrenches the ongoing separation of Palestinians across Palestine.

New Article: Bourdon, Historical Analogies in the Coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Bourdon, Jerome. “Outrageous, Inescapable? Debating Historical Analogies in the Coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict.” Discourse & Communication (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750481315576835

 

Abstract

This article explores the debate that has surrounded the use of analogies in coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, analyzing in depth two ‘analogy affairs’ on the basis of a LexisNexis corpus: the 2002 Auschwitz-Saramago affair (64 items) and the 2006–2007 Apartheid-Carter affair (154 items). Using the classic Aristotelian tripartition of logos, ethos, and pathos, the article unfolds the argumentative structure of the controversies. Carter and Saramago used the combination of their own personal status and the controversial nature of their analogies to trigger a debate. Commentators focused very much on the ethos (arguments around the authority and the character of the authors) and the pathos, and tended to ignore the logos (the factual relevance of the analogy). Opponents, who made up the majority of commentators, considered analogies as a way of passing judgment on and mobilizing against one of the actors in the conflict (Israel in our cases). This analysis suggests that despite the call for a more cautious use of (or even a prohibition of) the analogies discussed, participants in the debate on the Israeli–Palestinian conflicts are bound to resort to them – even if only to condemn them.

New Article: Louise Bethlehem, Scratching the Surface

Bethlehem, Louise. “Scratching the Surface: The Home and the Haptic in Lauren Beukes’s Zoo city and Elsewhere.” Scrutiny2 20.1 (2015): 3-23.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/18125441.2015.1035745

 

Abstract

This paper deploys the haptic, and more broadly speaking, notions of multisensory reading and spectatorship to reconfigure perceptions of home. It explores configurations of home in the practice of the late French-Israeli visual artist, Absalon, to draw tropes of “complicity” and “contagion” into an intersection with discourses of moral hygiene arising from the modernist preoccupation with denuded surface in the history of architecture. It then goes on to read a postapartheid South African text, Lauren Beukes’s Zoo city (2010), through the lens of these concerns. Beukes’s text, it claims, can be made to precipitate the historicity of the white suburban home under apartheid. The novel offers alternative iterations of domesticity, however, as metonymies of contagion shift into metonymies of conviviality. The final section of the paper investigates the vulnerability of the home against the background of the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza and its assault on the built environment. It explores an art exhibition, Postcards for Gaza, staged by the dissident Israeli organization, Zochrot, in the context of a previous military assault on Gaza in 2008. Here the reworking of photographic surface is made to gesture towards the possibility of political reparation in an alternate modality of complicity that Mark Sanders parses as “human-foldedness” (Sanders 2002).

 

 

New Article: Beinin, Regrouping in the Absence of a Two-State Solution

Beinin, Joel. “Coexistence, Equality, and Universal Principles in Israel/Palestine: Regrouping in the Absence of a Two-State Solution.” Tikkun 30.2 (2015): 9-15.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tikkun/v030/30.2.beinin.html

 

Excerpt

The inordinate focus on a Palestinian state has diverted attention from the fate of the Palestinian people. The conditions of many Palestinians — citizens of Israel, inhabitants of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq — have deteriorated dramatically since 2000. Evictions of Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan by messianic religious-nationalist settlers, the expansion of settlements to surround East Jerusalem and prevent its return to Palestinian rule, home demolitions and disruption of normal economic and academic life throughout the West Bank, the siege (tighter or looser as Israel chooses) imposed on the population of the Gaza Strip, attacks on refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, insecure and dysfunctional conditions throughout Iraq — all these have taken a toll on Palestinians. The most urgent task is to focus on the present and future conditions of actual Palestinians, not to speculate on the nature of a state or states that have little chance of coming into existence anytime soon.

This means exposing and resisting Israeli efforts to diminish the Palestinian presence through various mechanisms of expulsion. It means dismantling the separation barrier and other infrastructures that separate Palestinian communities, including the massive checkpoints at Qalandiya and Bethlehem in the West Bank that are effectively international frontier posts, and opposing the continuing confiscation of lands for new settlements and the violent campaign of settler fanatics like the “Hilltop Youth” to terrorize Palestinian farmers and shepherds. It means demanding an end to Israeli occupation of all the lands conquered in 1967. It means advocating the full equality, including individual and collective rights, of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Perhaps most painfully for some, but nonetheless absolutely necessary, it means educating ourselves about and recognizing the full extent of the Palestinian Nakba, whose effects continue today. Resolution of the conflict necessitates that we confront our moral obligations as Jews, as Americans, and as global citizens to acknowledge responsibility, make restitution, and pay compensation.

 

New Article: Yi and Phillips, The BDS Campaign against Israel: Lessons from South Africa

Yi, Joseph E. and Joe Phillips. “The BDS Campaign against Israel: Lessons from South Africa.” PS: Political Science & Politics 48.2 (2015): 306-310.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1049096514002091

 

Abstract

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel is animated by a pragmatic strain that views external sanctions as effective pressure against a small democratic state and by a moralistic Manichean strain that portrays Israelis as oppressors. Both strains hearken back to the earlier campaign against apartheid in South Africa. We argue that doing so misreads the lessons of South Africa. Sanctions may have contributed to ending apartheid, but they operated in conjunction with improved security and interpersonal trust among negotiators. Key contenders moved from a discourse of oppression to one that humanized one another as partners with legitimate concerns. These conditions are missing from the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Both sides consider their security to be precarious and they are locked in competing narratives of victimization, which further erode mutual trust and security. Measures to improve the parties’ security and trust would contribute to mutual concessions and greater justification for sanctions if the Israeli government is intransigent.

New Article: Marshall, Love Stories of the Occupation

Marshall, David Jones. “Love Stories of the Occupation: Storytelling and the Counter-Geopolitics of Intimacy.” Area 46.4 (2014): 349-51.

 

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/area.12138_3/abstract

 

Abstract

Though research on Israel/Palestine often privileges the macro-geopolitical perspective, a growing body of work has begun to catalogue the ways in which the violence of occupation is carried out through intimate spaces and practices. However, often missing from such accounts is an understanding of intimacy as a counter-veiling political force. Looking at the ‘Love Under Apartheid’ project in Palestine, and queer anti-occupation organising in Israel, this paper considers how storytelling can serve as both a research methodology and political intervention, changing the way geopolitical stories are told and unfold.

ToC: Israel Affairs 18,3 (2012)

The online platform   for Taylor & Francis Online content

Israel       Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 3, 01 Jul 2012 is now available on Taylor & Francis Online.
This new issue contains the following articles:

Original       Articles
The       war against the Jews
Efraim Karsh
Pages: 319-343
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689514

The       international assault against Israel
Michael Curtis
Pages: 344-362
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689515

Attacking       Israel with genocidal intentions
Nidra Poller
Pages: 363-371
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689517

From       Durban to the Goldstone Report: the centrality of human rights NGOs in       the political dimension of the Arab–Israeli conflict
Gerald M. Steinberg
Pages: 372-388
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689518

De-legitimization       currents in Europe
Manfred Gerstenfeld
Pages: 389-402
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689519

A       bias thicker than faith: Christians who punt for their persecutors
Steve Apfel
Pages: 403-411
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689520

The       BDS message of anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism, and incitement to       discrimination
Joel S. Fishman
Pages: 412-425
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689521

Jews       at sea: reflections on Israel’s Jewish detractors and defamers
Alvin H. Rosenfeld
Pages: 426-437
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689522

Jewish       defamation of Israel: roots and branches
Kenneth Levin
Pages: 438-454
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689523

De-legitimization       of Israel in Palestinian Authority schoolbooks
Arnon Groiss
Pages: 455-484
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689524

Fighting       on the front lines: anti-Semitism at the University of California and       efforts to combat it
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Pages: 485-501
DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2012.689525