“The Palestinian Minority in Israel: Military Rule and its Legacy” is a six-chapter book that examines the experiences of Palestinians in Israel under military rule from 1948 to 1966. The book was edited by Prof. Mustafa Kabha, who served as the Coordinator of Mada’s History Program until 2012. Its chapters consider various topics in the context of military rule, including Arab political organizations, Palestinian literature, the education curriculum in Arab schools, media coverage of political events, and Israeli spatial control.
“The Palestinians in Israel and the Civil Service Plan: Preliminary Readings” examines Palestinians’ reactions to Israel’s plans to incorporate Arab citizens into what the state calls its “civil service program.” The book, edited by the coordinator of the Israel Studies Program at Mada-al Carmel, Dr. Mtanes Shehadeh, is based on an in-depth survey conducted by Mada al-Carmel of Palestinians in Israel on their viewpoints regarding civil service. Civil service is an institution that promotes youth participation in the military and economic advancement of the state without direct military service. The issue of Arab participation in civil service is likely to become central to the relationship between Israel and Palestinian citizens in the next few years. “The Palestinians in Israel and the Civil Service Plan: Preliminary Readings” is the first comprehensive work published on the subject of Arab civil service in Israel.
On July 1, 2015, Professor Ian S. Lustick was Mada’s guest. His talk entitled Failure of the Two State Paradigm: Political and Psychological Challenges and Analytic Opportunities addressed the question of the failures of the two state paradigm. Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania where he holds the Bess W. Heyman Chair. Professor Lustick has authored or edited more than twenty books, including Exile and Return: Predicaments of Palestinians and Jews (2005); For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (1994); Arabs in the Jewish State (1980).
Lustick began his lecture by drawing parallels between social science and empirical science. He discussed the early stages of the Positivist movement, which called for testing theories and claims through the collection and measurement of evidence. As social science progressed [social] scientists began to form communities in which they made agreements on the truthfulness of certain theories and measurement tools they were to use and accept in the world. This allowed the scientists in these particular communities to avoid asking challenging questions on those particular measurement tools.
Lustick explained that for the positivists, part of being in a scientific community is to agree on the boundaries of your discussion and language. Thus, the social science progressions through the positivist movement created a stifled academic atmosphere in which social scientists with academic legitimacy can put their own theories out into the world without being asked complicated questions in regards to their claims. He also discussed the use of negative heuristics (questions that are forbidden or politically wrong to ask) and positive heuristics (questions that are permissible to ask in paradigms which have already been proven as successful), which define the questions that can or cannot be asked by members within that social science community. Positivism has normalized the acceptance of unproved theories as truth in the social science arena in order to avoid complicated inquiries and challenges.
Lustick applied this positivist theory to the failure of the two-state paradigm. He addressed his own conclusion that it was no longer feasible to focus on the institutional arrangement of either a two-state, one-state, or multiple-state solution as the utopian model for a solution. He also claimed that the two-state institutional paradigm had become a theory that was fully accepted by several social science communities without real questioning or inquiry into the measurement tools behind the paradigm. Furthermore, Lustick stated that asking questions about the shape of the institutional structure should not even be the focus of the analysis.
He argued that there were several negative and positive heuristics, things that have been accepted and things that have been rejected by the social science/academic community, that shaped the discourse behind the two-state paradigm and its resulting failure. Lustick argued that the focus on the institutional structure was one of the main controlling factors causing the breakdown of the two-state paradigm.. Lustick ended his lecture by stating that there are three principles on which the focus should remain, and which should not be compromised regardless of the ultimate arrangement, solution, or outcome to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. According to Lustick, the three principles, which need to be honored, are: equality, democracy, and non-exclusivist self-determination for people within Palestine/Israel. When later asked to elaborate on these three principles. Lustick acknowledged he was not implying that the subjects in the struggle were already equal. Lustick further elaborated that currently the two sides at the center of the conflict are not on an equal and level playing field. He also explained that non-exclusivist self-determination was necessary because self-determination in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was never fully free. He stated that Palestinians and Jews do not have the right to any form of self-determination that makes it impossible for the other group to determine its own future.
Lustick concluded by warning against the dangers of viewing issues through a short-term “sports time” lens. Specifically, Lustick was referring to the mentality taken on by politicians, social scientists, academics, and others involved in the two-state solution discourse to look at resolve the issues through short-term solutions or outcomes. For example, there were outcries from people calling for a quick and immediate acceptance of the “Kerry Plan” otherwise the peace process would be dismantled forever. The people behind the outcry didn’t look at long-term solutions. Dr. Lustick explained that in order to come to a real and lasting solution the political players need to look at time strategically, in terms of decades ahead into the future, and not simply focus on short-lived events in the short-term.
In August 2014, Mada researcher Dr. Aas Atrash conducted a survey on the effects of the most recent Gaza war on Palestinian citizens of Israel and its impact on relations between the state, Israeli Jews, and Palestinians.
57% of respondents believed that Israel instigated the war.
81% believed that the severity of the Israeli assault was greater in the most recent war compared with previous Gaza wars.
72% believed that Hamas and the resistance would not back down in the face of Israeli aggression in the future.
50% stated that their ability to openly express their position on the Gaza war in Israeli society was limited or non-existent.
Mada al-Carmel invites researchers to submit proposals for analytical opinion papers on Israeli perceptions of the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which will be published in “Mada’s Files”. We are aware of the difficulty involving research into the various competing interests within Israeli society, which hold different perceptions/views on resolving the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. However, there are several indicators that help us understand the perceptions of different Israeli political and ideological views and ideas for the future of the conflict and/or solutions. The papers should focus on the reading and understanding of these propositions. Therefore, we invite you to take one side, address an aspect of these propositions, or focus on Israeli official policy regarding the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when writing your analytical papers. We believe that your contribution will enrich the files and increase the understanding and exploration of perceptions in Israel concerning this matter.
Examples of possible topics:
Review of the positions of Israel’s historical peace process and talks.
Is there an Israeli peace program? If so, what is it?
Perceptions of peace within “the Israeli left.”
Perceptions of peace within “the Israeli right” and within “streams of the Israeli center.”
Settlers’ views for future solutions.
Israeli views on the future of the Occupied West Bank and/or Gaza.
You can choose other topics, in coordination with MADA .
Abstract and Paper Submission Requirements:
Abstracts may not exceed 150 words.
Papers can be presented and published in Arabic and/or English.
Papers may not exceed 3500 words.
Authors receive a financial reward for his/her paper.
Papers should be written in an academic style but taking into account that the target audience does not only consist of academics.
Please send details to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
From January to July 2014, Mada’s Druze in Israel Research Group met for a 10-workshop series under Dr. Yusri Khaizran of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. This study group was run by the Education Program and included a diverse selection of eight participants from graduate-level educational backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences. It considered various issues pertaining to the Druze community in Israel, such as cultural identity, religion, gender, army conscription, and conscientious objection.