Natanel, Katherine. Sustaining Conflict. Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016.
Sustaining Conflict develops a groundbreaking theory of political apathy, using a combination of ethnographic material, narrative, and political, cultural, and feminist theory. It examines how the status quo is maintained in Israel-Palestine, even by the activities of Jewish Israelis who are working against the occupation of Palestinian territories. The book shows how hierarchies and fault lines in Israeli politics lead to fragmentation, and how even oppositional power becomes routine over time. Most importantly, the book exposes how the occupation is sustained through a carefully crafted system that allows sympathetic Israelis to “knowingly not know,” further disconnecting them from the plight of Palestinians. While focusing on Israel, this is a book that has lessons for how any authoritarian regime is sustained through apathy.
Table of Contents
1 The Everyday of Occupation
2 Bordered Communities
3 Normalcy, Ruptured and Repaired
4 Embedded (In)action
5 Protesting Politics
KATHERINE NATANEL is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.
This article explores the role of sacred places and pilgrimage centers in the context of contemporary geopolitical strife and border disputes. Following and expanding on the growing body of literature engaged with the contested nature of the sacred, this article argues that sacred sites are becoming more influential in processes of determining physical borders. We scrutinize this phenomenon through the prism of a small parcel of land on the two sides of the Separation Wall that is being constructed between Israel and Palestine. Our analysis focuses on two holy shrines that are dedicated to devotional mothers: the traditional Tomb of Rachel the Matriarch on the way to Bethlehem and Our Lady of the Wall, an emergent Christian site constructed as a reaction to the Wall. We examine the architectural (and material) phenomenology, the experience, and the implications that characterize these two adjacent spatialities, showing how these sites are being used as political tools by various actors to challenge the political, social, and geographical order.
This article explores how material and ideological forms of social exclusion manifest at the borders of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem and play out in the walking patterns of surrounding (non-Ultra-Orthodox) populations. It is based on a pilot study that uses a mixed methods design consisting of mental maps and questionnaires to examine how (particularly female) residents living in close proximity to Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods perceive these spaces, experience themselves in relation to the gender norms reproduced there and make wayfinding choices accordingly. This study builds on previous ones that have explored both the contested terrain of Jerusalem’s city center and the dynamic relationship between the social and the spatial to include a discussion of how religiosity and cultural politics express themselves in the commonplace, embodied act of the female pedestrian.
The place of religion in the public sphere is a controversial issue, and scholarly opinions differ, from insisting on a public sphere that reflects the religion of the majority, to those who insist on it being religion-free. Using the method of inquiry of contextual political theory, we examine the struggle of the Women of Wall (WoW) to pray collectively at the Western Wall. Their struggle began in 1988, and by 2013 includes many Courts decision, social struggles, public committees, and the involvement of many politicians and organizations, both in Israel and the USA. As this struggle takes place at the holiest place for observant Jews, it raises questions beyond its geographical location. The article describes three main normative approaches to state–religion relations (privatization, evenhandedness, and ‘dominant culture view’—DCV), examines them, and attempts to consider their application to the WoW case. Our conclusion points to the advantages of the privatization model, the permissibility of the evenhanded model and points to major shortcomings of the DCV.
Abu-Rabia-Queder, Sarab and Yuval Karplus. “Regendering Space and Reconstructing Identity: Bedouin Women’s Translocal Mobility into Israeli-Jewish Institutions of Higher Education.” Gender, Place & Culture 20.4 (2013): 470-86.
This article offers a geographic perspective on the mutually constitutive
relations between institutions of higher education and Bedouin women’s
gendered spaces, identities and roles. Situated beyond Bedouin women’s
permitted space and embedded in Israeli-Jewish space, institutions of
higher education are sites of displacement that present Bedouin women
students with new normative structures, social interactions and
opportunities for academic learning. As such, they become a discursive
arena for the articulation and reconstruction of their previously held
conceptions and identities. Often the journey to institutions of higher
education signifies for Bedouin women the first opportunity to venture
out of their community. Traveling to the university as students,
returning home as educated women and embarking on professional careers
outside tribal neighborhoods and villages involves moving across and
beyond different locales. Such translocal mobility necessitates constant
negotiation between seemingly contradictory cultural constructs and the
development of varied spatial bridging strategies. The article seeks to
contribute to Bedouin gender studies by going beyond the functional
role of higher education institutions as well as the gendered
hierarchies of women’s mobility, placing emphasis, instead, on the
effects of socio-spatial contextuality that shapes Bedouin women’s