This study written by Ahlam Rahal investigates and analyzes public health and Israel’s indigenous Palestinian community. Focusing on the last few decades, in which Israel underwent major neoliberal reforms, the study also takes into account the positionality of Palestinians in relation to the Israeli state and the historical power struggles informing this relationship.

By reviewing health data from this period of neoliberal transition, the study sheds light on existing physical and mental health gaps between Palestinians and Jews in Israel. The study demonstrates that widening socio-economic gaps between Palestinians and Jews are accompanied by a concurrent widening in ‘health gaps’ separating these groups.

Making reference to race theory, the study presents its analysis through a critique of Israeli state policy and national ideology. The general exclusion of Palestinians took new shape within the context of neoliberalism, as the Palestinian community in Israel were denied equal participation in the free market. Its socio-economic standing was thus further weakened; this manifested in many areas, including poorer standards of Palestinian mental and physical health.

The study concludes that Israeli policies which control and exclude Palestinians have penetrated into all aspects of Palestinian life, including mental and physical health, alongside access to healthcare. It provides suggestions for the future and makes recommendations on how to deepen our understanding of health gaps between Palestinians and Jews in Israel.

Read the full paper here (Arabic only).

On the 29th of June, Mada released a new position paper addressing the proposal to annex large areas of the Occupied Palestinian West Bank. Whilst the long-slated July 1st date for annexation has come and gone, it remains at the top of the current Israeli government’s agenda. This position paper, penned by Yahya Qaoud, discusses the history of annexation as an Israeli political project, and describes it as an inevitable outcome of the status quo created by the collapse of the Oslo Accords.

Read the paper here (Arabic only)

Mada al Carmel- The Arab Center for Applied Social Research, has concluded the sixth seminar group of its Higher Education Student Support program, in which eleven Palestinian students from all over the country participated. The program was run and academically supervised by Dr Mohanad Mustafa, general director of Mada al Carmel, and coordinated by Dr Areen Hawari, a researcher at Mada. The support program aims to foster Palestinian PhD and Masters’ students who work in Israeli universities, and give them a space in which they can discuss their studies and research in their mother tongue. Mada seeks to provide a context in which students can express themselves and their ideas freely. Mada’s workshops and seminars make a valuable contribution to the effort of building a new generation of scholars who can counter, critique and work to reverse dominant trends in Israeli academia.

In addition to the workshops, discussion groups and debates that the students participated in, the seminar also hosted prominent Palestinian academics, giving the students a chance to become personally acquainted with them and to learn from their experiences. Students can benefit from hearing constructive feedback on their work from established Palestinian academics. Among the academics who participated were Doctor Yasmin Zahir, Doctor Sami Muhajna, Prof. Khawla Abu Baker, Prof. Amal Jamal, Doctor Ayman Aghbariyya, Prof. Mina Khoury Kasabry, and Doctor Taghrid Yahya Younis. These academics gave advice to the students on different topics, such as the process and challenges of writing PhD theses, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, getting work published in academic journals, what comes after your doctorate, and other such topics. Guest lecturers also participated in workshops where they discussed the various stages and waypoints in the development of their careers. They also stressed the political, social and national aspects of their jobs, for example the social responsibilities that come with being a researcher, the role of the intellectual in resisting hegemonic academic approaches, and the importance of producing justice-centred scholarship.

Participants expressed to Mada just how important these spaces are, which bring together Palestinian doctoral students from both sides of the green line. This helps to build a communicative intellectual network between Palestinians living in different contexts. It also exposes participants a taste of professional academia, and exposes them in the recommendations of researchers who work in it. One participant, Loay Weted, commented on the experience, saying “the real bonus I got out of the program was meeting Palestinian academics. Before they were just names that I’d read or heard, but today their faces became familiar to me, and I got to build a personal relationship with that name. This gap between me and them suddenly closed, a gap that had been enforced by their position in academia, or them belonging to a different generation, or by the elitism that is so characteristic of the academic sphere. Today I feel as though I have become part of this academic community, that this community is ready to accept me into it, and that there is a space for me here.”

Another participant, Aisha Muslimani, a student from Jerusalem, also shared her thoughts on the program: “Interacting with Palestinian students who live in Israel, having lacked that experience in Jerusalem, especially in my studies at the Hebrew University- I was shocked by the feelings of discontinuity I had about our different experiences. The program enabled me to fill these gaps in my experience and helped to get past those feelings of discontinuity. There is no doubt, in my view, that this program is valuable and enriching.”

Mada al Carmel Center is aiming to develop and expand this project by starting up a workshop for undergraduate students as well, and is launching a questionnaire to seek advice on what the best kind of seminar would be for students starting this year. Dr Mohanad Mustafa, general director of Mada, said that “we aim with this project expansion to create a department for training critical, professional researchers ranging from the undergraduate stage all the way up to doctoral level. The work is made up of research and training workshops, which are participated in by quality Palestinian researchers and critics of all different ages. We will be launching an undergraduate seminar in social sciences, to meet with our PhD seminar group, which this year we expanded to include Masters students. All these groups will also be involved in our workshop on Zionism and settler colonialism. These efforts will help us build a department through which students can develop their research abilities, and be exposed to the experiences of Palestinian academics, all in cause of supporting well-rounded Palestinian intellectuals.”

An essay by renowned Israeli academic Gershon Shafir has been translated and released in Arabic by Mada al Carmel. The translation was carried out by the writer and activist Antoine Shalhat, who has formerly served as a member on Mada’s board. Whilst Shafir’s article is not newly published, Mada’s research committee took the decision to have it translated on the grounds that it is extremely relevant to the current moment, and should be made accessible to scholars and academics working in the Arabic language. It is vital to give consideration to both historical and contemporary processes of colonisation, colonial domination and control when assessing racism and inequality in Israel, the US and Europe today.

 

Click here to read the full text (Arabic only).

Mada al Carmel has announced the opening of registration for its Doctoral Student conference, to be held on Saturday 25th of July. The conference aims to support Palestinian PhD students and candidates, providing them with a platform to present research and participate in academic discussion and debate. It is an opportunity for up and coming Palestinian scholars to develop presentation skills, network with prominent Palestinian academics, and receive feedback on research.

Registration closes on Thursday 2nd July.

 

This position paper argues for a considered and specific approach to redressing some of the problems that the Coronavirus crisis has thrown up for Israel’s Palestinian community, with a particular focus on the Bedouins of the Naqab. These marginalised groups have suffered greatly from the economic and social impact of the virus. The paper’s author, Ibrahim Ismail Abu Ajaj, calls for a plan of action which pays heed to the particular structural inequalities and discriminatory policies endured by Palestinians in Israel, which have rendered them more vulnerable to the long-term fallout of the virus.

We would like to introduce to you the fifth online lecture of Mada’s series of lectures called “Politics in the Time of Corona.” This lecture, titled “The Deal of the Century in the Post-Colonial Period,” was presented by Prof. Ilan Pappé, Director of the European Center for Palestine Studies. It was the first lecture in the series to be held at Mada’s office in Haifa since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis. Areen Hawari, the coordinator of the PhD student support program at Mada, introduced and welcomed Prof. Pappé, emphasizing that it is not a coincidence that Mada is hosting Professor Pappé in the week in which we are commemorating the Nakba.  Prof. Pappé has written extensively about Palestinian history and about the Nakba, most notably in his seminal work The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

You can watch the lecture on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/MadaalalCarmel/videos/892251374626466

Or on YouTube: https://youtu.be/aa75QeS1xaQ

As part of Mada al Carmel’s ongoing lecture series, “Politics in the time of Coronavirus”, researcher Ahmad Mahmood of the Hebrew University has given a lecture examining how Palestinians are represented during pandemics. Focusing on the local history of Haifa, Mahmood draws a comparison between the current Coronavirus pandemic and a Cholera outbreak which befell the city in 1911, when Palestine was under Ottoman rule. He argues that the history of diseases in Palestine has not been sufficiently studied in Arabic-language scholarship, thus leaving a knowledge gap in which non-Arabic sources predominate, with those sources often drawing on Orientalist stereotypes when describing Arab community responses to disease.

 

Mada al-Carmel has recently published the 37th edition of its online journal Jadal. It features essays from Palestinian doctoral students who participated in Mada’s 2019 PhD student seminar. In their introduction to the edition, editors Areen Hawari and Dr. Mohanned Mustafa describe the importance of generating rigorous Arabic-language scholarship, and promoting Palestinian perspectives in academia. This is particularly vital with regards to the research of Palestinian scholars who live inside the Green Line and who work in Israeli universities often dominated by Israeli perspectives and theoretical approaches.

The articles contained in this edition centre on three main areas: historical approaches to Palestine and Palestinian issues; religion and identity, with a particular focus on Palestinian Muslim women; and health and education in Israel from the perspective of the Palestinian community.

Jadal Issue (No’ 37) is Available only in Arabic. (To Download Click here)

As part of Mada al-Carmel’s series ‘Politics in the time of Coronavirus’, Dr Osama Tanus, paediatrician and doctoral student of public health, has given an online lecture exploring the implications of settler colonial practices on the current Coronavirus crisis. Drawing on the analysis of the Marxist scholar David Harvey, Tanus sets out a case for critiquing our understanding of ‘natural disasters’ like viruses. Whilst viruses exist in nature, the recent wave in highly contagious viral mutations like Ebola and Coronavirus are largely driven by ‘un-natural’ human interventions, and are spread rapidly by human means.

Tanus builds on this by pointing to the unequal impact of diseases in colonial contexts around the world: more often than not, indigenous populations suffer disproportionate rates of illness and infection. Palestinian communities in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have suffered from higher rates of Coronavirus infections. The alienation of Palestinians in their own land and loss of Palestinian sovereignty, as well as problems accessing healthcare and Arabic-language information about Coronavirus, all have a role to play in evaluating why this might be the case.

Watch the lecture (in Arabic) here.