Recent legislation in Israel has opened the door to demining in Israel and the West Bank. Roots of Peace campaigned for this legislation and will begin demining a village near Bethlehem before the end of 2011.
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.
Fluctuating forms of diversity have evolved as a result of cross-border interventions by civil resistance activists. Such diversity is nurtured by the inflows and outflows of individuals form very different backgrounds on a local stage of action. Discussing civil resistance as an arena in which such fluctuating diversity produces multilayered patterns of identification, this paper looks at Israeli and international activists who interject themselves temporarily into the local sphere of civil resistance in a Palestinian village. Here, solidarity activists form a highly diverse and shifting assemblage of actors who divide among themselves according to power-related ascriptions and privileges. As in a musical orchestra, individual activists and groups of activists each follow their own “score,” but align their distinct functions with one another to wage a struggle collectively. Within this orchestra of civil resistance, diversity is not the obstacle to collective action but its very basis.
This paper examines the corollaries of the exceptional treatment of Palestinian children under the Israeli military rule. It is shown how the widespread and systematic ill treatment of Palestinian children accrues from exceptional provisions and lack of legal cover of the Israeli military law. Such lack constitutes a precarious condition under which Palestinian children are not treated as children but as a security threat legally accountable for their acts, in many respects with ways similar to adults. Precarity, the paper argues, is produced through three conditions. First, the lack of protection is institutionalised through the legal, territorial and population-regulating techniques internal to state channels. Second, the lack of protection delegates significant power to the discretion of what Judith Butler calls the ‘petty sovereigns’ – to the soldiers, interrogators, police officers, etc., who are asked to rely on their own judgment when making decisions on the fundamental matters regarding the order and justice, even life and death of children. Third, the use of discretionary power is not only encouraged by the legal system and its exceptions; it also works in tandem with the institutional culture of impunity that accepts the violent disciplining, even torture, of Palestinian children.
Social and political oppression of a designated social group may be compared to repression in the individual domain. In both cases, there is an agency that acts as an oppressor or repressor, which agency arouses resistance in the oppressed. Resistance aims to liberate the oppressed/repressed from the subjugating agency. The question that I address in the present paper is whether there is any advantage in resisting oppression or repression jointly with the oppressor or the repressor. Such advantage may emerge if we deconstruct the separateness between the oppressor and the oppressed-repressor and repressed. Such a deconstruction gives rise to more hybrid notions of power relations. My paper examines these issues in two distinct domains: that of psychoanalysis (with special reference to therapy) and post-colonial theory (with special reference to the Israeli Occupation in the West Bank and Gaza). The results of my deconstruction are formulated in terms derived from the work of Melanie Klein, especially the concept of ‘part object’. I freely extend this term to refer to forms of partial subjecthood such as part subject, part resistance and part reconciliation and use these formulations to argue that resistance to repression/oppression in both therapy and the Occupation could better be done by collaboration between the related sides. This allows mutual reinforcement of the resisting effort. I illustrate these ideas by vignettes from the Palestinian-Israeli arena.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is of enormous interest to scholars and policy-makers, yet the internal Israeli policy debate on this issue is often overlooked or oversimplified. It is impossible to understand Israeli actions, the constraints on Israeli decision-makers and the trajectory of the conflict itself without a deeper understanding of this debate. This article presents a framework for categorizing the leading policy prescriptions currently advocated in Israel with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, drawing on public statements by politicians and leading think-tanks, and surveys of public opinion. The most discussed Israeli policy options are presented as follows: maintain the status quo; proactively move towards two states through either a negotiated agreement (Plan A) or unilateral separation (Plan B); or entrench Israeli presence in the West Bank through settlement expansion and annexation. Various public opinion surveys show the extent to which the Israeli public is divided on the issues, and an analysis of Israel’s 2013–14 coalition demonstrates how all these approaches were being promoted simultaneously within the same cabinet, contributing to policy incoherence. The article concludes by outlining how Palestinian and international actions are influencing the Israeli debate, and argues that a move away from the status quo will require decisive Israeli leadership. It also suggests that third party attempts to impose terms for resolving the conflict that do not respond to concerns held widely in Israel are likely to fuel the argument of the status quo camp in the Israeli debate.
Several Palestinian villages are sites for weekly non-violent protests which are regularly visited by both Israeli activist and foreign tourists/activists. While these protests are intended to be non-violent, military actions, such as arrest, tear gas, rubber coated bullets and live ammunition are commonplace. Based on ethnographic research, this paper investigates the perception Israeli solidarity activists hold about foreign protesters. Some Israelis see them as justice tourists who could potentially play an important part in achieving justice and respect for human rights in Palestine. Others however, take a more cynical view and regard them as conflict-zone or dark tourists, who are fascinated with danger, and participate in the protests for indulging in a thrill. More specifically, I examine the emotional interactions between the Israeli and foreign activists and look at the ways in which specific emotions such as suspicion, anger or care towards the foreigners play out in an already tense and emotionally loaded space. Considering emotions and affects experienced and performed during the protests facilitates a more critical understanding of danger-zone and justice tourism and advocates the emotional turn in tourism studies. In addition, I also offer a so far missing academic critic about the seeming virtues and effectiveness of justice tourism by investigating the ways in which peace-building and tourism are interconnected. The major originality of this paper is attempt for a cross-fertilization between studies on conflict and peace, emotions, social movements and tourism.
Various forms of informal activity have long played an under-recognized yet substantial role in solid waste management, especially in developing countries. In particular, informal activity is prominent in the electronic waste (e-waste) sector, whose volume and impacts have grown rapidly over recent decades. While the worrying aspects of informal e-waste recycling have been widely discussed, less attention has been given to its positive potential and to its relation to formal e-waste actors and policies. These topics have direct implication for pathways for transitioning from informality, and, in particular, ways in which informal recyclers can build on their strengths while beginning to operate in cleaner ways that retain livelihoods while reducing ill effects.
In this paper, we draw upon extensive field work as well as secondary literatures to offer a taxonomy of management stances towards informal e-waste practices. These range from hostility through disconnection to interaction and, finally, synergy. Our recommendation is for the latter since the informal sector has important strengths and merits, as well as its harmful aspects, while formal approaches that ignore or attempt to squelch the informal sector do not yield constructive outcomes. Specifically, we suggest an incremental ratcheting synergistic model that draws on the respective strengths of both sectors to forge a genuine partnership between them. We describe six key elements of this model, and illustrate it through application to the Israeli–Palestinian context we have studied in depth. In particular, we show how the treatment of copper cables, now one of this industry’s largest and most harmful segments, can be improved through an incremental series of synergetic solutions that preserve or even improve livelihoods of informal recyclers while greatly reducing their health and environmental impacts.
Ben Shitrit, Lihi. Righteous Transgressions: Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015.
How do women in conservative religious movements expand spaces for political activism in ways that go beyond their movements’ strict ideas about male and female roles? How and why does this activism happen in some movements but not in others? Righteous Transgressions examines these questions by comparatively studying four groups: the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Palestinian Hamas. Lihi Ben Shitrit demonstrates that women’s prioritization of a nationalist agenda over a proselytizing one shapes their activist involvement.
Ben Shitrit shows how women construct “frames of exception” that temporarily suspend, rather than challenge, some of the limiting aspects of their movements’ gender ideology. Viewing women as agents in such movements, she analyzes the ways in which activists use nationalism to astutely reframe gender role transgressions from inappropriate to righteous. The author engages the literature on women’s agency in Muslim and Jewish religious contexts, and sheds light on the centrality of women’s activism to the promotion of the spiritual, social, cultural, and political agendas of both the Israeli and Palestinian religious right.
Looking at the four most influential political movements of the Israeli and Palestinian religious right, Righteous Transgressions reveals how the bounds of gender expectations can be crossed for the political good.
Table of Contents
Note on Language xi
1 Introduction: “Be an Other’s, Be an Other”: A Personal Perspective 1
2 Contextualizing the Movements 32
3 Complementarian Activism: Domestic and Social Work, Da‘wa, and Teshuva 80
4 Women’s Protest: Exceptional Times and Exceptional Measures 128
Rettig, Elai, and Eli Avraham. “The Role of Intergovernmental Organizations in the ‘Battle over Framing’: The Case of the Israeli–West Bank Separation Barrier.” International Journal of Press/Politics (early view; online first).
Current studies focusing on the media’s coverage of international conflicts have largely overlooked the important role that intergovernmental bodies may play in their framing. Still missing is an examination of how and to what degree do actions performed by such bodies help define the way journalists report on ongoing conflicts. We claim that in the absence of credible state actors to rely on for information during conflict, journalists will turn to statements made by international bodies as alternative sources of authority to shape their reporting. This study uses framing theory to examine how the United Nations General Assembly and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) became the primary definers for the international media during its coverage of the Israeli–West Bank separation barrier. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative content analysis, we examine the major news items related to the barrier that appeared between the years 2002 and 2011 in four leading newspapers in the United States and the United Kingdom (New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, and the Times). We determine what main media frames were being used during coverage of the barrier and point to the drastic change that occurred in their dominance following actions performed by the ICJ.
Book Launch: “Political Decision Making and Non-Decisions: The Case of Israel and the Occupied Territories.”
Dr. Ronald Ranta (Kingston University)
November 11 November 2015 – 5.30pm
Brunei Gallery, Room B104, SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG.
What is Israel’s long term plan with regard to the Occupied Territories? Did Israel ever have a clear plan? Examining Israel’s historic relationship with and political decision-making process towards the Occupied Territories, it becomes evident that successive Israeli governments lacked a coherent long term policy. Instead, successive governments implemented a number of ad-hoc and at times conflicting approaches. This lack of a clear approach had a detrimental effect not only on Israeli politics and society, but also on the Middle East in general, and on the Palestinian people in particular. Crucially to understanding the current Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the lack of a coherent long term policy is still a central feature of Israeli politics today.
Bio: Ronald Ranta is a lecturer in politics and international relations at Kingston University London.
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.
Pardo, Sharon. Normative Power Europe Meets Israel: Perceptions and Realities. Lanham and Boulder: Lexington Books, 2015.
The book draws on some of the scholarship in perception studies and “Normative Power Europe” theory. The study of perceptions, although dating back to the mid-1970s, is gaining renewed currency in recent years both in international relations, in general, and in European Union studies, in particular. And yet, despite the significance of external perceptions of the European Union, there is still a lack of theoretical forays into this area as well as an absence of empirical investigations of actual external role conceptions. These lacunae in scholarly work are significant, since how the European Union is perceived outside its borders, and what factors shape these perceptions, are crucial for deepening the theory of “Normative Power Europe.” The book analyzes Israeli perceptions towards “Normative Power Europe,” the European Union, and NATO through five themes that, the book argues, underscore different dimensions of key Israeli conceptions of “Normative Power Europe” and NATO. The book seeks to contribute to the existing research on the European Union’s role as a “normative power,” the Union’s external representations, and on Israeli-European Union relations more broadly.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Normative Power Europe Meets Israel
Chapter 1: Normative Power Europe in Israeli Eyes
Chapter 2: The Seventh Would-Be Member State of the European Economic Community
Chapter 3: Normative Power Europe and Perceptions as Cultural Filters: Israeli Civic Studies as a Case-Study, with Natalia Chaban
Chapter 4: When a Lioness Roars: The Union’s Guidelines Prohibiting the Allocation of Funds to Israeli Entities in the Occupied Territories
Chapter 5: An Elusive Desire: Israeli Perceptions of NATO
Conclusion: Normative Power Europe as Israel’s Negative “Other”
Sharon Pardo is Jean Monnet chair ad personam in European studies in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Kotef, Hagar. Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.
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
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
HAGAR KOTEF is based at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University.
Rodgers, James. Headlines from the Holy Land: Reporting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Tied by history, politics, and faith to all corners of the globe, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fascinates and infuriates people across the world. Based on new archive research and original interviews with leading correspondents and diplomats, Headlines from the Holy Land explains why this fiercely contested region exerts such a pull over reporters: those who bring the story to the world. Despite decades of diplomacy, a just and lasting end to the conflict remains as difficult as ever to achieve. Inspired by the author’s own experience as the BBC’s correspondent in Gaza from 2002-2004, and subsequent research, this book draws on the insight of those who have spent years observing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Starting from a historical perspective, it identifies the challenges the conflict presents for contemporary journalism and diplomacy, and suggests new ways of approaching them.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rosemary Hollis
1 Reporting from the Ruins: The End of the British Mandate and the Creation of the State of Israel
Studies of transnationalism typically frame it in opposition to the entrapping effects of borders. Yet, for many people, transnationalism is negotiated in contexts marked by forced separation and differential mobility. Drawing on long-term fieldwork among West Bank and Israeli Palestinians, this article explores transnational ties and orientations in relation, not in opposition, to the entrapping effects of borders. Specifically, I examine the two-way traffic in emotions and perceptions that marks family, social and symbolic relationships between West Bank and Israeli Palestinians. I show how entrapping and transnational processes combine to generate a tense interplay between closeness and distance, solidarity and estrangement. The paper calls attention to complex transnational formations among people prone to entrapment such as detained and deported migrants, refugees and minorities divided by rigid borders, and it suggests that a focus on emotions and perceptions is critical if we are to understand such formations.