New Article: Patierno, Palestinian Liberation Theology

Patierno, Nicole. “Palestinian Liberation Theology: Creative Resistance to Occupation.” Islam and Christian–Muslim Relations (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09596410.2015.1080896

 

Abstract

The ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories has widely affected the Christian population in the region. This study focuses narrowly on the diminishing minority of Palestinian Christians, and how their position under occupation has led to the development of Palestinian Liberation Theology and practices of creative resistance. It begins by acknowledging the unique position of Palestinian Christians as liminal yet indigenous members of society. It then explores their complex collective identity, demonstrating how specific facets of their historic identity (i.e. denominationalism, Arabism, and political station) have been preserved, and how these inform their theological and practical responses to the changing socio-political landscape. It goes on to probe the degree of consensus around Palestinian Liberation Theology, as well as prominent manifestations of the ideology in response to occupation. Ultimately, this study finds that Palestinian Liberation Theology represents a creative and valuable contribution to the national struggle for liberation, providing a shared ideology and culturally specific blueprint for revolutionary collective action guided by plurality, nonviolence, and collaboration.

 

 

Thesis: Saariaho, Representation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in American Newspapers

Saariaho, Katri. Representation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in American Newspapers, BA Thesis, Dept of Languages, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 2015.

 
URL: https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/handle/123456789/46129 [PDF]

 

Excerpt
The aim of this thesis was to find out how two American newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The focus was on the representation of groups, individuals and the depiction of the power relations between the two sides of the conflict.
The analysis showed that the representation of Israelis and Palestinians is not as equal and neutral as the ideals of the press give reason to assume. Washington Post often depicted Israeli violence as institutionalized and Palestinian as militancy, sometimes even terrorism, which gives Israeli violence a certain justification. Israeli violence was often represented in a rather opaque and distancing way, but certain lexical choices also implied its condemnation. References to Israeli victims were sometimes such that they evoke sympathy for them, but Palestinians’ situation was also discussed with emotionally affective lexical choices. New York Times similarly presented the Israeli military as institutionalized, although it did also acknowledge institutionalization in the Palestinian military. Israeli violence was again depicted more opaquely that Palestinian violence, but the representation was more equal than in the case of Washington Post. NYT’s references to religion were, however, more unequal since they only gave prominence to the religion of the Israelis, both as victims and in other positions. References to civilians focused on Israelis and ignored the position of the Palestinians. The results also showed analogy with previous studies: the asymmetry in the power between the two sides was largely ignored, and Israel’s actions were shown as more institutionalized and legitimized than those of Palestine.
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Finally, it has to be acknowledged that the research space of the present study was rather limited, and the research could have been conducted further, regarding both the amount of data and the depth of analysis. The method of study was also limited to only a few aspects, so there is room for a more all-encompassing study that pays more attention to, for instance, multimodality and selection of quotes. The results showed, nevertheless, that the representation of Israelis and Palestinians was unequal. In case the conflict sees no end in the near future, it is important to continue scrutinizing the coverage so that the unequal representations do not continue to influence the public’s understanding of the nature of the conflict.

 

 

New Article: Mirilovic and Siroky, Two States in the Holy Land? International Recognition and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Mirilovic, Nikola and David S. Siroky. “Two States in the Holy Land?: International Recognition and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” Politics and Religion 8.2 (2015): 263-85.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755048315000164

 

Abstract
How do states decide to extend or withhold international recognition in cases of contested sovereignty? We focus on how religion shapes the incentives of states in making this decision, both at the domestic level through religious institutions and at the international level through religious affinities. States with transnational religious ties to the contested territory are more likely to extend recognition. At the domestic level, states that heavily regulate religion are less likely to extend international recognition. We test these conjectures, and examine others in the literature, with two new data sets on the international recognition of both Palestine and Israel and voting on the United Nations resolution to admit Palestine as a non-member state observer, combined with global data on religious regulation and religious affinities. In cases of contested sovereignty, the results provide support for these two mechanisms through which religion shapes foreign policy decisions about international recognition.

 

 

 

New Article: Biggs, Women, Faith, and the Politics of Space in Israel/Palestine

Biggs, Victoria. “Women, Faith, and the Politics of Space in Israel/Palestine.” Peace Review (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10402659.2015.1063375

 

Excerpt

As with religious women’s quest to create inclusive faith communities, which in Plaskow’s assessment means allowing “the words of women to rise out of the white spaces between the letters in the Torah as we remember and transmit the past through the experience of our own lives,” women’s peace work takes place in unmapped white spaces. Their religious experience, exemplified by a Muslim woman’s story of a holy mother standing watch, invites us to reconsider our understanding of community and the meaning of peace and security – a reconsideration that is enriched when Palestinian women’s activism is analyzed with reference to Jewish feminist theology.
As demonstrated in this essay, the two fall into natural dialogue, articulating perspectives that are absent from secular conversations on women’s peacemaking. The questions raised by their life experiences as women of faith – on the nature of female participation in justice struggles, on the politics of space, on the relationship with the land, on interpersonal encounter – demand a change in language and a more holistic analysis of the issues at stake.

New Article: Leon | ‘Ovadia Yosef, the Shas Party, and the Arab-Israeli Peace Process

Leon, Nissim. “Rabbi ‘Ovadia Yosef, the Shas Party, and the Arab-Israeli Peace Process.” Middle East Journal 69.3 (2015): 379-95.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3751/69.3.13
https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/the_middle_east_journal/v069/69.3.leon.html

 

Abstract

One of the prominent religious parties in Israel, intimately involved in political decision-making, has been the Shas party, led by the late Rabbi ‘Ovadia Yosef. This article examines four components of Rabbi Yosef’s political stance: (1) his view of Jewish religious law as a factor that moderates the force of changes of seemingly historical and revolutionary significance; (2) his opposition to radical messianism; (3) his desire to adopt independent positions; and (4) his role in the development of a Mizrahi, ultra-Orthodox stream of Zionism.

 

New Article: Fantauzzo, British Soldiers, Liberal Imperialism, and the First World War in Palestine

Fantauzzo, Justin. “Ending Ottoman Misrule: British Soldiers, Liberal Imperialism, and the First World War in Palestine.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 6.1 (2015): 17-32.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21520844.2015.1026244

 

Abstract

Historians have debated whether or not the First World War in Palestine and the battle between the British-led Egyptian Expeditionary Force and the Ottoman army was considered by contemporaries as a modern, twentieth-century crusade. But did British soldiers who fought in the First World War in Palestine actually view the war as a religious crusade against the Muslim Ottoman Empire? Or did they consider it a war of liberation, conducted to free Palestine’s oppressed population from the clutches of Ottoman misrule? This article argues that British soldiers, at least retrospectively, believed that they had fought in Palestine to liberate its population and to bring forth the righteous rule of the British Empire. Wartime propaganda that painted the Turk as an enemy of civilization had a far greater effect on shaping the memory of the campaign than did any language of religious conflict. With British rule, argued ex-servicemen, came all the benefits of liberal imperialism: democracy, religious freedom, and a free-market economy.