New Book: Kotef, Movement and the Ordering of Freedom

Kotef, Hagar. Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.

 

978-0-8223-5843-5-frontcover

We live within political systems that increasingly seek to control movement, organized around both the desire and ability to determine who is permitted to enter what sorts of spaces, from gated communities to nation-states. In Movement and the Ordering of Freedom, Hagar Kotef examines the roles of mobility and immobility in the history of political thought and the structuring of political spaces. Ranging from the writings of Locke, Hobbes, and Mill to the sophisticated technologies of control that circumscribe the lives of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, this book shows how concepts of freedom, security, and violence take form and find justification via “regimes of movement.” Kotef traces contemporary structures of global (im)mobility and resistance to the schism in liberal political theory, which embodied the idea of “liberty” in movement while simultaneously regulating mobility according to a racial, classed, and gendered matrix of exclusions.

 

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements

    • Introduction
    • 1. Between Imaginary Lines: Violence and Its Justifications at the Military Checkpoints in Occupied Palestine / Hagar Kotef and Merav Amir
    • 2. An Interlude: A Tale of Two Roads—On Freedom and Movement
    • 3. The Fence That “Ill Deserves the Name of Confinement”: Locomotion and the Liberal Body
    • 4. The Problem of “Excessive” Movement
    • 5. The “Substance and Meaning of All Things Political”: On Other Bodies
    • Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
Index

 

HAGAR KOTEF is based at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University.

 

 

New Article: Gerver, NGO Repatriation of South Sudanese in Israel

Gerver, Mollie. “Is Preventing Coerced Repatriation Ethical and Possible? The Case of NGO Repatriation of South Sudanese in Israel.” International Migration 53.5 (2015): 148-61.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/imig.12140

 

Abstract

“Voluntary repatriation” to a country of origin may be necessary to restore refugees’ rights, when only a country of origin will provide rights associated with citizenship. Yet, if refugees are returning because they do not have access to basic rights in a host country, their return is not voluntary according to UNHCR guidelines (1996). There is a tension between facilitating repatriation to restore rights, and ensuring that repatriation is voluntary. This article will first draw on arguments from moral philosophy to suggest an alternative policy to current UNHCR guidelines. Following this normative analysis, the article hypothesizes that, on an empirical level, a repatriation policy that attempts to only facilitate repatriation that is not coerced, out of concern for voluntariness alone, may fail both to prevent coerced returns and to restore right through repatriation. This hypothesis was then tested in the case of South Sudanese repatriation from Israel between 2009-2012.

 

 

Conference: Israeli Supreme Court Project (Cardozo, May 17-18, 2015)

cls-conf

The Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo invites you to

Constitutional Conflicts and the Judicial Role in Comparative Perspective

Sunday, May 17, 2015  |  3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Monday, May 18, 2015  |  9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Jacob Burns Moot Court Room

55 Fifth Avenue (at 12th Street)

New York, NY 10003

Visit this link for more information.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please email ISCP@yu.edu with your name, affiliation, and contact information.

Constitutional Conflicts and the Judicial Role in Comparative Perspective

This conference will explore the Israeli Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on complex and challenging questions facing open and multi-cultural societies everywhere. Because these issues are salient in, but by no means peculiar to, Israel, a comparative perspective will enrich our understanding of how such issues are, and might be, dealt with in other democratic societies.

Panels will address the general question of the value and challenges of comparative legal study, differing conceptions of the role of the judiciary and doctrines of justiciability, and substantive areas of current controversy, including the role of the courts in overseeing national security and intelligence gathering; immigration, asylum, and treatment and status of refugees; and religion in the modern nation-state.

The Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo

This conference marks the launch of the Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo Law (ISCP). Intended to both inform and engage constitutional scholars, lawyers, and judges in democracies around the world, the ISCP is a center of study and discussion of the decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court, one of the great judicial bodies of the world and a court at the forefront of dealing with issues at the core of what it means to be a democratic society.

The central undertaking of the ISCP is the translation into English and dissemination of key opinions of the Israeli Supreme Court. In this, the Project is continuing, and will expand on, two decades of work and over 200 translations by the Friends of the Library of the Supreme Court of Israel. Translated opinions, other relevant material about the Court, and more information about the ISCP can all be found on the Project’s website, VERSA, at versa.cardozo.yu.edu.

This conference, as well as the other work of the ISCP, are made possible by essential support from the David Berg Foundation, which is gratefully acknowledged.

2:30-3 p.m. Registration and Coffee3-3:15 p.m. Welcoming Remarks 

Dean Matthew Diller (Cardozo School of Law)

President Emeritus Asher Dan Grunis (Israeli Supreme Court)

3:15-4:45 p.m. The Comparative Project 

This panel will consider the value and challenges of comparative legal study. Why should scholars and judges in one country care what their counterparts elsewhere are up to? Is it ever possible for outsiders to understand the details, cultural meanings, and historical underpinnings of a foreign legal system? What are the settings, issues, or circumstances that make for a successful comparative work?

Panelists:

William Ewald (University of Pennsylvania Law School)

Amnon Reichman (University of Haifa Faculty of Law)

Michel Rosenfeld (Cardozo School of Law)

Adam Shinar (Radzyner School of Law, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya)

Moderator: Michael Herz (Cardozo School of Law)

5-6 p.m. Roundtable Discussion

President Miriam Naor (Israeli Supreme Court)

President Emeritus Asher Dan Grunis (Israeli Supreme Court)

Justice Daphne Barak-Erez (Israeli Supreme Court)

Leon Wieseltier (Harvard Law School)

Suzanne Stone (Cardozo School of Law)

8:30-9 a.m. Registration and Coffee 9-10:30 a.m. The Role of the Judiciary in Comparative Perspective 

The Israeli Supreme Court hears over 10,000 cases a year, has a large mandatory docket, for many of its most important cases is the court of first instance rather than a court of appeal, and has only limited threshold “justiciability” doctrines (such as standing requirements or the bar on political questions). In these features it is utterly different from its U.S. counterpart. This panel will consider such structural characteristics, then turn to their broader implications regarding the role of the judiciary in governance and in society, including the question of whether a Supreme Court leads or follows civil society, whether it is an educational institution, and the sources of its legitimacy.

Panelists:

Justice Daphne Barak-Erez (Supreme Court of Israel)

Yoav Dotan (Hebrew University Law Faculty)

Barak Medina (Hebrew University Law Faculty)

Mark Tushnet (Harvard Law School)

Moderator: Julie Suk (Cardozo School of Law)

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Judicial Oversight of National Security and Intelligence Gathering

Effective national security and intelligence gathering are generally understood to depend on secrecy, dispatch, and subterfuge. These characteristics would seem to leave little room for judicial oversight, which assumes transparency, forthrightness, and deliberate pacing. On the other hand, there is a very real danger of abuse without some sort of oversight and legal restraint. This panel will consider how national security issues differ (if at all) from other issues that come before the courts and what exactly the judicial role should be in overseeing national security agencies.

Panelists:

Oren Gross (University of Minnesota Law School)

Deborah Pearlstein (Cardozo School of Law)

Sam Rascoff (NYU Law School)

Steve Vladeck (American University Washington College of Law)

Moderator: Ari Mermelstein (Yeshiva University)

12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch (Lunch will be provided for all attendees.)

1:30-3 p.m. Immigration, Asylum, and the Treatment and Status of Refugees

Of the Israeli Supreme Court’s recent decisions, one of the most important, divided, and divisive have concerned the detention of asylum seekers. Issues surrounding immigration and citizenship are hugely important, and hugely contested, in Israel and elsewhere. This panel will examine the ISC’s decisions in this area and consider what lessons can be drawn, positive or negative, for Israel and for the rest of the world.

Panelists:

Michael Kagan (UNLV School of Law)

Tally Kritzman-Amir (The College of Law and Business [Israel])

Audrey Macklin (University of Toronto Law School)

Reuven Ziegler (University of Reading)

Moderator: Alex Stein (Cardozo School of Law)

3:15-4:45 p.m. Religion in the Modern Nation-State

Israel’s Basic Laws designate it as “both Jewish and democratic.” The Supreme Court, and many commentators, have struggled to reconcile these two fundamental commitments. Is it possible to construct a constitutional identity that privileges Jewish culture, history, and religion while remaining essentially democratic? The answer to that question has ramifications for religious liberties in many settings as well as minority rights in general.

Panelists:

Ori Aronson (Bar-Ilan Faculty of Law)

Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University)

Jeremy Kessler (Columbia Law School [as of 7/1/15])

Pnina Lahav (Boston University Law School)

Moderator: David Rudenstine (Cardozo School of Law)

4:45-5 p.m. Concluding Remarks

President Miriam Naor (Israeli Supreme Court)

Suzanne Stone (Cardozo School of Law)

5-6 p.m. Reception

 
 
 
 

New Book: Oren, Fishing with the President; The Rise of the Diplomatic Spin (in Hebrew)

אורן, יצחק. לדוג עם הנשיא. עלייתו של הספין הדיפלומטי. תל אביב: רסלינג, 2014.

 

book_806_big

 

URL: http://resling.co.il/book.asp?book_id=806

 

Yitzhak Oren’s book examines and analyzes four dramatic events in the relationships between Israel and the United States towards the end of the 20th century, in which the diplomatic spin dominated the chain of events: the loan guarantees crisis, Israel’s willingness to attend the Madrid Conference, the deportation of Hamas leaders, and the receipt of the loan guarantees, accompanied by a journalist speculation about “fishing with the president.” The book further diagnoses and proposes the characteristics of the diplomatic spin as a new and fascinating theoretical field. The author adds to these case studies his personal perspective, as one who experiences the events from within the Prime Minister’s office.

Dr. Yitzhak Oren teaches political science and public diplomacy at the Academic College of Emek Yezreel and Haifa University. In the past he was a political advisor to Prime Ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, as well as an envoy for US congress matters at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. and an Ambassador in Nigeria.

New Article: Kalir, Moral Obligation and Fearism in the Treatment of African Asylum Seekers in Israel

Kalir, Barak. “The Jewish State of Anxiety: Between Moral Obligation and Fearism in the Treatment of African Asylum Seekers in Israel.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies [early view online, prior to printed version]

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369183X.2014.960819

 

Abstract

Since 2005 around 60,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, have entered Israel by crossing the border from Egypt. Notwithstanding the Jewish history of persecution, and Israel being a signatory to the UN Convention for the protection of refugees, modern Israel systematically refuses to grant a refugee status to asylum seekers. Since 2012, the tenacious hostile approach of Israeli policy-makers and state-agents towards asylum seekers has resulted in an outburst of racist verbal and physical attacks against them. This article analyses the socio-legal location of asylum seekers in Israel by examining how their position is articulated by different parties, deploying competing discourses of human rights, citizenship, security and sovereignty. The article advances that appeals—mostly made by critical non-governmental organisations (NGOs), journalists and academics—to human rights, Jewish morals and historic sensitivities are beguiling; while they arouse hopes for compassion and moral obligation, they are also used by mainstream Israeli politicians to justify the exclusion and deportation of so-called ‘African infiltrators’. A hegemonic ideology of ‘fearism’—which brands the Israeli national narrative and informs the notion of citizenship among Jewish Israelis—leads to the construction of asylum seekers as abject Others, who pose a threat to the Jewish state and to Jews’ own right for secured citizenship.

New Article: Gerver, Testing Repatriation Contracts for Unconscionability: The Case of Refugees in Israel

Gerver, Mollie. “Testing Repatriation Contracts for Unconscionability: The Case of Refugees in Israel.” International Journal of Refugee Law 26.2 (2014): 198-222.

 

URL: http://ijrl.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/2/198

 

Abstract

When an individual signs a contract for voluntary repatriation through a private or public body, there may be a need to draw upon principles of contract law and to test contracts for unconscionability. In the case of asylum seekers and refugees, there may be procedural unconscionability when consent is only the result of fear of deportation or imprisonment, and substantive unconscionability when conditions after return include no access to basic necessities or persecution. At the same time, many asylum seekers and refugees do wish to return, despite conditions in the country of origin or because of conditions in the host country. Ethical issues regarding consent are therefore central. Yet, it is unclear how one would ensure consent under such conditions. While it may be possible to apply principles of paternalism and hypothetical consent in such cases, this may undermine the rights of those who wish to repatriate, and remove an option they otherwise would not have.

This article argues that Parfit’s Principle of Consent (CP) and Rights Principle (RP) may address these concerns and applies these principles to test for the unconscionability of two policies of repatriation of refugees and failed asylum seekers in Israel back to countries in Africa between 2009 and 2013. One policy was implemented by an NGO that repatriated failed asylum seekers to countries deemed safe, although returnees had no legal status to stay in Israel and were therefore at risk of deportation. A second NGO returned individuals to South Sudan, even though this was considered dangerous, but only returned South Sudanese who had the legal status to stay in Israel, as this was considered criteria for true voluntariness in the decision to return. By attempting to apply CP and RP in a test for unconscionability, this article addresses both the ethical dilemmas of repatriation of failed asylum seekers and refugees, as well as possible ways in which contracts, more generally, can be tested for unconscionability.