Bulletin: Peacemaking, Peace Building and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

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New Article: Shalev, Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics

Shalev, Guy. “A Doctor’s Testimony: Medical Neutrality and the Visibility of Palestinian Grievances in Jewish-Israeli Publics.” Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11013-015-9470-7

 

Abstract

This paper follows the testimony of Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian physician who bears witness to his experiences working, living, and suffering under Israeli rule. He presents his story as a doctor’s story, drawing on his identity as a medical professional to gain credibility and visibility and to challenge the limited legitimacy of Palestinian grievances. In this paper, I explore his testimony as a medical voice that at once recounts the suffering and loss endured by the Palestinian people and also struggles to negotiate the values associated with being a “reliable” witness. Consequently, I ethnographically examine the social life and reception of his story in Jewish-Israeli publics. In comparison with most Palestinian narratives, Abuelaish’s testimony achieved an extremely rare degree of visibility and sympathy, a phenomenon that calls out for analysis. I identify the boundaries that typically render Palestinian grievances invisible to Israeli publics and suggest how medicine’s self-proclaimed ethos of neutrality served as a channel for crossing them. Finally, I reflect on the political possibilities and limitations of medical witnessing to render suffering visible and arouse compassion toward those construed as a dangerous/enemy Other.

 

 

New Article: Nathanson, A Malignant Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? A Cardiothoracic Surgeon’s Perspective

Nathanson, Michael. “A Malignant Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? A Cardiothoracic Surgeon’s Perspective and Remedial Implications.” Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies 14.1 (2015): 105-22.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/hlps.2015.0106

 

Abstract
A debate persists whether the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved through substantive and ‘painful’ compromises or that the foundational parametres of the conflict apriori deny a resolution. The nationalist Zionist agenda of mass Jewish settlement in Palestine inevitably clashed with Palestinian nationalist sentiments. Both nationalist movements saw the conflict as mutually exclusive. European imperialist designs and US political considerations at home only cemented the intractability of the conflict. As such, the conflict is akin to a human malignant process that is allowed to progress unchecked and compromises its host because those who were and are responsible to eradicate it have committed malpractice.

 

 

 

New Article: Shvartzman et al, Advance Directives—The Israeli Experience

Shvartzman, Pesach, Yonatan Reuven, Mordechai Halperin, and Sasson Menahem. “Advance Directives—The Israeli Experience.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 49.6 (2015): 1097-1101.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.12.009

 

Abstract

Context

A major step in end-of-life care was achieved in December 2005 when the Israeli parliament passed the “Dying Patient Law.” The law (§31–§36) allows a competent person, even if he/she is healthy, to leave written instructions known as advance medical directives (AD), in which they explain their wishes in detail with respect to future medical treatment should it be determined that they are an incompetent terminally ill patient, as defined by the provisions of that law.

Objectives

The aims were to characterize the group of individuals that completes ADs, characterize the content of recorded ADs, and analyze trends associated with them.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional study of the entire population that signed ADs in Israel from 2007 to September 2010. All computerized AD forms were retrieved from the Ministry of Health’s database. A descriptive analysis of trends, characteristics, and authorized procedures relating to the population of AD signatories was done.

Results

There was an increase in the number of ADs signed during the study period (1167 signatories). About 90% of the AD signatories were 65 years of age or older and 95% were healthy at the time they completed the AD. In an end-stage condition, the mean number of procedures declined was 16.6 ± 4.7 of 19. In a non-end-stage condition, the corresponding mean number was 12.7 ± 3.7 of 15.

Conclusion

There is a need to increase awareness in the general population of the option to prepare ADs. Family physicians, oncologists, and geriatricians should be more involved in this process.

New Article: Nagar & Maoz, Jewish-Israeli Recognition of Palestinian Suffering

Nagar, Rotem and Ifat Maoz. “Predicting Jewish-Israeli Recognition of Palestinian Pain and Suffering.” Journal of Conflict Resolution (early view; online first).

 

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

 

Abstract

Recognition is vital for conflict resolution. This study was designed to learn more about the factors underlying the willingness to recognize the pain and suffering of the opponent in the asymmetrical protracted conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Data were collected through a public opinion survey conducted with a representative sample of Israeli-Jewish adults (N = 511). Perceptions of threat/distrust toward Palestinians and dehumanization of Palestinians each made a significant contribution to explaining Jewish-Israeli (un)willingness to recognize Palestinian pain and suffering (R2 = .36). Hawkishness made an added significant contribution to the overall explanatory power of the model (R2 = .38). Higher scores on the threat/distrust scale and the dehumanization scale, as well as higher hawkishness predicted decreased willingness to recognize Palestinian pain and suffering. The implications of our findings for understanding the role of recognition and of moral concern in conflict resolution are discussed.

New Article: Waissengrin et al, Patterns of Use of Medical Cannabis Among Israeli Cancer Patients

Waissengrin, Barliz, Damien Urban, Yasmin Leshem, Meital Garty, and Ido Wolf. “Patterns of Use of Medical Cannabis Among Israeli Cancer Patients: A Single Institution Experience.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 49.2 (2015): 223-30.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.05.018

 

Abstract

Context

The use of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.) for the palliative treatment of cancer patients has been legalized in multiple jurisdictions including Israel. Yet, not much is currently known regarding the efficacy and patterns of use of cannabis in this setting.

Objectives

To analyze the indications for the administration of cannabis among adult Israeli cancer patients and evaluate its efficacy.

Methods

Efficacy and patterns of use of cannabis were evaluated using physician-completed application forms, medical files, and a detailed questionnaire in adult cancer patients treated at a single institution.

Results

Of approximately 17,000 cancer patients seen, 279 (<1.7%) received a permit for cannabis from an authorized institutional oncologist. The median age of cannabis users was 60 years (range 19–93 years), 160 (57%) were female, and 234 (84%) had metastatic disease. Of 151 (54%) patients alive at six months, 70 (46%) renewed their cannabis permit. Renewal was more common among younger patients and those with metastatic disease. Of 113 patients alive and using cannabis at one month, 69 (61%) responded to the detailed questionnaire. Improvement in pain, general well-being, appetite, and nausea were reported by 70%, 70%, 60%, and 50%, respectively. Side effects were mild and consisted mostly of fatigue and dizziness.

Conclusion

Cannabis use is perceived as highly effective by some patients with advanced cancer and its administration can be regulated, even by local authorities. Additional studies are required to evaluate the efficacy of cannabis as part of the palliative treatment of cancer patients.

Cite: Kamel and Huber, Israeli and Palestinian Understanding the Other’s Suffering

Kamel, Lorenzo and Daniela Huber. “The De-Threatenization of the Other: an Israeli and a Palestinian Case of Understanding the Other’s Suffering.” Peace & Change 37.3 (2012): 366-388.

 

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/pech/2012/00000037/00000003/art00002

 

Abstract

As a result of the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, new initiatives from civil society have emerged. Initiators learned from the shortcomings of the peace process and seek to achieve peace through understanding the suffering of the Other. Such attempts leave an open space for the trauma of the counterpart and engage both sides in deconstructing mutually exclusive identities that represent the Other as an existential threat. They represent a first step for a deep dialogue and have the potential to (de)threatenize the Other. This article examines two such initiatives that are unique in not seeking to explain their own narrative to the Other, but to present the narrative of the Other to their very own community.