The current issue of Mada Al-Carmel electronic magazine “Jadal” addresses the decision to outlaw the Islamic Movement adopted by the Israeli government in the mid of November 2015. The Israeli decision, to politically outlaw the Islamic Movement, is considered a historical turning point in the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians in Israel. This is not a compositional argument, it is the precise description of this outlaw to whom understands the essence of this step and what it expresses from the change of this game’s rules between the Arab Palestinian crowds and the Israeli institution, including all its divisions, the political, the judicial, the media and security, all of which were mobilized to support this outlaw. It is an indicator for the change of the game’s rules, though unfair, and which determined the relationship between the Palestinian people and their national institutions on the one hand, and the State of Israeli on the other hand; a change towards new rules that emphasize Israel’s discourse and  colonial behavior and attitude towards the Palestinian masses inside the green line.

The majority of the Israeli society approved the prohibition of the Islamic Movement, in addition to incriminating the Arab political work in general. A recent poll on “The Israeli Democracy scale” published by the Israeli Institute for Democracy clearly reveals the racist attitudes of Israeli fascist and colonial nature against not only the Islamic Movement, but also the Arab masses, their leadership and parties. According to this poll, the entire Palestinian political work may be banned and criminalized. The Israeli political leadership is not only familiar with that approach but it is also in harmony with it and it feeds it. Some of the Israeli Elite opposed this banning for different reasons. Some opposed it for the harm it would cause to whatever is left of the democratic space in Israel, others are against it because it is ineffective, and there are those who opposed it because they believe it would harm the Arab-Jewish relationship. On the other hand, the majority of the Israeli society and its political parties supported it and considered it to be an accomplishment on Netanyahu’s behalf and that is what Netanyahu was looking for, considering his constant political and security failure; taking advantage of the global confusion about the terrorist attacks in Europe and Islamophobia to increase the fear from the Arab masses in general, their leaders and the Islamic Movement in particular.

The Islamic Movement is nor a closed Sufi trend, neither an Othman association. The Islamic Movement is a political-ideological stream that is present in all Arab social stratums and in all its locations. The debating and disagreements with the Islamic Movement on its political and social agenda do not provide moral nor national justification to support the outlaw. This was reflected in the articles published in this editorial, tackling the different aspects of interpretations and reflections of the outlaw on the validity of this argument.

sohadIn her article, attorney Suhad Bshara, provides a judicial-political reading for banning the Islamic Movement through a comparative approach, comparing the banning of al-Ard (the Land) Movement, the differences and the similarities between the two cases. She also reads the outlaw within the general legal-political system which Israel uses as an attempt to incriminate the political activities and work within the Palestinian society in Israel. The writer clarifies that “unlike al-Ard Movement, the Islamic Movement did not only choose not to operate within the parliament, it also chose to operate out of any system in order not to frame itself as a registered body according to any of the Israeli laws. It preferred to operate as a mass religious political movement legally unframed. Despite that, the Islamic Movement was subjected to the same methods of repression by the emergency regulations, in an attempt to impose the constitutional/ideological equation set by the Supreme Court in the case of al-Ard Movement, also in no harmony with the law. Thereby
the Israeli institution takes one further step to expand its oppressive and dominant space towards the Palestinian political action inside the green line.
The columnist Hisham Nafaa offers a political interpretation for the Islamic Movement prohibition in light of the general Israeli policies hishamtowards the Arab masses, emphasizing that this prohibition came in association with the government’s old strategy of reproducing the Arab Palestinian enemy in a systematic manner, seeking this strategy planned goals. He specifically emphasized the decision made by the right-wing government led by Benyamin Netanyahu to outlaw the Islamic Movement, referring to the techniques used by the authority to produce the enemy, as merging fear and terror, in addition to recruiting media in order to make Israeli decisions as dramatic as possible.

The researcher Rana Iseed offers an interpretation of the Islamic Movement’s role in providing social services and social welfare for ranaArab community, mentioning the self-reliant society, which was embodied by the Islamic Movement through the
initiative for establishing non-governmental institutions, which would be responsible for social welfare. She revealed the negative reflections of the embargo on the different social stratums which previously benefited from the services provided by the Islamic Movement, noting that “the government considers providing social services to be “a socio-political threat” rather than a legitimate competitor against the government and its institutions in this regard. Therefore, Iseed believes that there is a relationship –albeit indirect- between the outlaw of the Islamic Movement and its socio-political activities”.
In his article, advocate Alaa’ Mahajneh presents a reading of the relationship between the diversions in the Israeli and Zionist policies, and the prohibition of the Islamic Movement, emphasizing the relationship between the rising of the religious settler approach of the government and the Zionist project, and their seeking to ban alaathe Islamic Movement. Given the recent activities of the Islamic Movement in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque wherein the Zionist religious colonial stream is attempting to regain religious dominance on Al-Aqsa mosque. The Zionist stream considers the Islamic Movement to be the main obstacle preventing them from accomplishing their ambition.

The writer suggests that “the project of the Islamic Movement, its exceptional activities in Jerusalem and the enforcement of steadfastness and resilience, especially the issue of Al-Aqsa mosque, are the main reasons behind the outlaw decision. Whereas this project collides with the endeavors of the new right-wing to regain the possession of “Temple mount” and the judaization of Jerusalem, in addition to the compulsory displacement of its indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. All of that come as an attempt to establish Jewish religious values within the concept of religious Zionism in the context of its internal struggle over the identity of the State”.

In her study, Dr. Taghreed Yahya-Younis offers a gender approach regarding the Islamic Movement prohibition, where she focuses on the negative aspects of the tghreedIslamic Movement prohibition on the feminist activity within the Islamic Movement, especially that a large feminist stratum has found in the Islamic Movement a political, social and religious framework through which they can play a political and social role, adding to that the opportunity of going out to work and self-actualization on both spiritual and psychological levels. The writer clarifies that “The outlaw impacts affected the whole Palestinian society and the entire Northern Islamic Movement, boys, girls, women and men, individuals and group/s. But it specifically and directly affected the dozens of girls and young women employed by the Movement, in addition to the awareness  raising activists and so many other fields. Thousands of women who receive the Islamic Movement services inside the green line, the West Bank and Gaza have also been affected. The date of the outlaw, to some women, is a determining one with both literal and metaphorical meanings”.

In addition to all of the mentioned previously, the researcher and Professor Saleh Lutfi presents an Islamic interpretation for the Islamic salehMovement outlaw through a cultural approach, considering that the conflict between Israel and the Islamic Movement is not only a political conflict, but also a cultural one; using the Islamic framework manifested in the concept of “Conflict” used by Israel for its relationship with the Islamic Movement, and the concept of “Jostling” adopted by the Islamic Movement for its relationship with Israel. Lutfi suggests: “The nature of advocacy dealt by the Islamic Movement in the gain momentum, and the nature of collision (clash) and conflict dealt by Israel, as the Israeli institution calls for collision because it is easier for it, and it was initially established on that logic, the only logic Israel can understand, through which and by which it can coexist”.

hanenIn the general articles’ section, MK Haneen Zoabi, contributed with an article on the Joint List, which is a continuation of the debate introduced by the previous editorial of “Jadal” magazine. Zoabi approached the Joint List from many different angels, thereby  revealing the political and ideological unlikeness between the components of the Joint List regarding its essence and role, indicating that developing the culture of a national, responsible sober and solid argument among different parties of the Joint List is an important condition, but is not enough for those who want to develop the Joint List as a national strategy. Those who want to achieve that must minimize the differences and deepen the unanimity which develops the Joint List’s political vision. Zoabi also assures that despite all the differences “Unity is more important than the ideological or political agreement, unity will prevent Israel from going alone with any party” of the Joint List’s parties. Unity will prevent Israel from weakening the parties by rating them into “moderate” and “extremist”. Zoabi also suggests that the leadership must repel the incitement and protect its people from it, and this leadership should not change its positions to avoid agitation”.

Finally, the writer and researcher Salameh Keileh provides a summarized and general reading of the Palestinian cause in the present time, and after the outburst of salamathe Arab revolutions in particular, exposing the changes the National Palestinian Scheme went through, and the need to restore the Palestinian National project as a project of national emancipation. He also believes that the Arab revolutions indirectly contribute to the Palestinian cause, contrary to the present illusions. The writer explains that well by saying: “The circumstances were referring to a general tendency to end the Palestinian cause, even before the Arab revolutions; perhaps these revolutions may have led to a different direction, an issue that is not being recognized, or ignored. Wherein the revolutions portend a great coup in the Arab world, which is not in favor of the Zionist State and all the capitalists. It led to the thought of a third intifada by Palestinian youth in Palestine’s various regions.

 

The fourth workshop, held in Ramallah on July 29-30, 2016, dealt with the Palestinian National Movement’s reading of Zionism. In its opening, Professor Nadim Rouhana sowra11stressed the importance of returning to the settler colonial framework in the approach to Zionism and the conflict with it. He pointed out that Palestinian political thought has historically viewed Zionism as a colonial project, but that the shift towards the state project, especially after 1974, led to a political turning point in dealing with the conflict. It became presented as a struggle between two groups vying for the same homeland, in parallel with Israel’s continued settlement activities in the occupied territories in 1967 and also within the Green Line.

In the beginning, before dealing with the Palestinian National Movement, Professor Ilan Pappe, director of the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Palestine Studies and a member of the Middle East Humanities research cluster, presented the introductory lecture on Zionism. He said that Zionist settler colonialism is a path and not a structure, therefore it is difficult to find its properties, rather we must look at the logic that motivates the project, which is the logic of genocide linked to the logic of demonization of the locals.

Mr. Daoud Talhami gave a lecture on the regional surroundings and combatting Zionism. At the outset, he said that in spite of the fact that the Palestinian people are the first victims of the Zionist project, the latter also targets the Arab and non-Arab surroundings, through its inherent geographic expansion. However, the most dangerous aspect of this project, is the regional imperialist role played by the Zionist state in the region.

swra2 The third lecture was given by Professor Samih Hamouda from the political science department at Birzeit  University. He said that the Islamic trend, like the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) trends, suffers from a  weakness in theorization and methodological thinking. Then he argued that Hamas’s discourse mixes between  the religious and political, viewing the Jews in essence, while the Islamic Jihad does not view Zionism as an  extension of the Jewish groups in history, but as organically linked to colonialism.

This was followed by a lecture on the Israeli Communist Party, given by Mr. Abdel-Latif Hussari, a member of its  intellectual department. He still sees the party as an important component of the Palestinian liberation movement.  He said that the party’s ideological roots appeared as a combination of thought of immigrants who arrived in  Palestine with Marxist ideas in parallel with communists who grew up in the Palestinian city. He also mentioned  the various divisions then the unity among the party, such as the split between Arabs and Jews in 1943, and the  formation of the National Liberation League, because the Arabs rejected the parallelism between the nationalism of a movement struggling against oppression and the nationalist tendencies of a nation practicing oppression.

The first session on the second day was a reading of the national movement inside Israel of Zionism, presented by Dr. Mohanad Mustafa, a lecturer at the College for Academic Studies and a researcher at Mada al-Carmel.  Dr. Mustafa argued that political Islam inside Israel approached Zionism from a historical perspective through the wide Islamic paradigm in all its components. The national movement, on the other hand, approached Zionism from an ideological perspective relating to its colonial project in Palestine, without marginalizing its relationship, i.e. Zionism, with the overall colonial project in the Arab region.

The next session was on the Israeli Communist Party and its approach to Zionism. This session was given by Dr. Mahmoud Muhareb, lecturer at Al-Quds University/Abu Dis, on the emergence of the Communist Party in the ranks of the Jewish settler movement and not the indigenous population. Dr. Muhareb said that the Arabs were admitted to the party, at the request of the leaders of the Communist International (Comintern), but the party, sentimentally, was close to the settlement project, and spoke on behalf of the Jewish proletariat. On the other hand, Zionist practices and its alliance with colonialism were one of the factors that distanced the party from Zionism.

Speaking in the final session, which was entitled identity and the Palestinian narrative under Zionism, were two members of the workshop on their research. Heba Yazbek, a doctoral student in sociology at Tel Aviv University, spoke about the displaced inside the Green Line and how they tell their story. Dr. Manar Makhoul, coordinator of the political monitoring project at Mada al-Carmel, spoke on the development of identity inside Israel under Zionism, through the review and analysis of more than seventy Palestinian novels written inside the Green Line.

At the end of each lecture, there were comments and room for discussion by several dignitaries, including Palestinian political leaders such as MK Haneen Zoubi; Mr. Walid Taha, a member of the regional political bureau of the Islamic Movement; and lecturers including Dr. George Giacaman of Birzeit University.
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Mada al-Carmel’s 2nd Conference for PhD Students, part of our PhD Program held on April 15 and 16, 2016, is an important event for Palestinian academia and wider activism and political engagement in the area. Our PhD program provides Palestinian students and researchers with a unique environment that is sorely lacking in the wider academic space in Israel. The conference gives Palestinian students a space to explore and research critical narratives and issues that are often ignored or actively suppressed in Israel, as well as allowing them to stand on stage in an academic forum and present and discuss their research in Arabic, to an audience of distinguished Palestinians academics. The ability of Palestinians to discuss their work in a solely Arabic setting is something without compare in Israel, and of vital importance. The conference also provides a much needed mentoring and knowledge-sharing structure, where established Palestinian academics can guide the researchers of tomorrow in a spirit of support and collaboration, giving essential advice and feedback on their work. The attendance of a diverse range of figures from within the Palestinian community also aids the essential task of sharing and disseminating Palestinian knowledge with the academic community, activists, and decision makers; ensuring that research can be developed further and usefully applied.

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While a total of 18 students were selected to present papers at the conference, only 16 could attend, with 2 being denied entry visas by Israeli authorities. One of these students participated in the conference via Skype, however the other unfortunately could not get a stable internet connection and therefore could not participate. The PhD students were drawn from universities across Israel, the West Bank, and the world. Attendees came from Hebrew University and Haifa University in Israel, Birzeit University in the West Bank, the University of Manchester and LSE in the UK, the University of Paris, Humbolt University in Berlin, the University of Geneva, and the University of Gothenburg to name a few. The audience consisted of academics, fellow local organizations and NGOs, and interested activists. The topics covered by the students addressed a diverse range of pressing issues, framed around 6 thematic areas: Gender; Colonial Perspectives; Social Studies; Planning; Identity; and History. The thematic areas were used to structure the conference, but were dictated by the topics chosen by the students themselves. Issues that were addressed included but were not limited to: women’s Islamic activism and Islamic feminism; the political economy of colonialism; the role of private security companies, individual settlers, and the Palestinian Authority in Israel’s outsourcing of settler-colonialism; the concept of colonial space as linked to the Palestinian body; the results of stratification in education; spatial planning strategies in Bethlehem; farming as a form of resistance; the role and practices of Arab satellite channels; discourses within the Arab blogosphere; and identity strategies of Arab Christians.

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The feedback that we have received following the conference, from the students presenting and the academics participating has been overwhelming. Kais Nasser, on the Faculty of Law at Tel-Aviv University, who presented a talk on the Arab-Palestinian minority community in Israel and the planning challenges facing them, emphasized how “important and beneficial” the conference was to “young researchers”. Adeem Massarwa, from the Department of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who presented on the prevalence and cause of physical violence among Arab-Palestinian adolescents, highlighted the support given to young researchers by being able to “meet fellow Palestinian researchers and share experiences”. Ferial Khalifa, from the Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Manchester stated that this kind of conference helps young Palestinian researchers in “feeling that you’re not alone”. The importance and necessity of the conference was nicely summarized by a comment from Professor Michael Karayanni, a member of the academic committee that selected the PhD presentations, who said that “Mada’s conference is a kind of activity that gives hope. With the inspiration of such a conference and some good will, we can make up for the hollow emptiness we have all around us”.  From this feedback, and from events such as this conference, Mada continues to be energetically dedicated to the promotion of a space where young Palestinian researchers, the future academics and thinkers of our community, can finally express themselves and explore pressing issues fully and confidently, where they can receive necessary and otherwise lacking guidance and support from their peers and elders, and most importantly where they can cultivate hope for their careers and their futures.

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Mada al-Carmel’s 2nd Conference for PhD Students, part of our PhD Program held on April 15 and 16, 2016, is an important event for Palestinian academia and wider activism and political engagement in the area. Our PhD program provides Palestinian students and researchers with a unique environment that is sorely lacking in the wider academic space in Israel. The conference gives Palestinian students a space to explore and research critical narratives and issues that are often ignored or actively suppressed in Israel, as well as allowing them to stand on stage in an academic forum and present and discuss their research in Arabic, to an audience of distinguished Palestinians academics. The ability of Palestinians to discuss their work in a solely Arabic setting is something without compare in Israel, and of vital importance. The conference also provides a much needed mentoring and knowledge-sharing structure, where established Palestinian academics can guide the researchers of tomorrow in a spirit of support and collaboration, giving essential advice and feedback on their work. The attendance of a diverse range of figures from within the Palestinian community also aids the essential task of sharing and disseminating Palestinian knowledge with the academic community, activists, and decision makers; ensuring that research can be developed further and usefully applied.

Jomhor 3

While a total of 18 students were selected to present papers at the conference, only 16 could attend, with 2 being denied entry visas by Israeli authorities. One of these students participated in the conference via Skype, however the other unfortunately could not get a stable internet connection and therefore could not participate. The PhD students were drawn from universities across Israel, the West Bank, and the world. Attendees came from Hebrew University and Haifa University in Israel, Birzeit University in the West Bank, the University of Manchester and LSE in the UK, the University of Paris, Humbolt University in Berlin, the University of Geneva, and the University of Gothenburg to name a few. The audience consisted of academics, fellow local organizations and NGOs, and interested activists. The topics covered by the students addressed a diverse range of pressing issues, framed around 6 thematic areas: Gender; Colonial Perspectives; Social Studies; Planning; Identity; and History. The thematic areas were used to structure the conference, but were dictated by the topics chosen by the students themselves. Issues that were addressed included but were not limited to: women’s Islamic activism and Islamic feminism; the political economy of colonialism; the role of private security companies, individual settlers, and the Palestinian Authority in Israel’s outsourcing of settler-colonialism; the concept of colonial space as linked to the Palestinian body; the results of stratification in education; spatial planning strategies in Bethlehem; farming as a form of resistance; the role and practices of Arab satellite channels; discourses within the Arab blogosphere; and identity strategies of Arab Christians.

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The feedback that we have received following the conference, from the students presenting and the academics participating has been overwhelming. Kais Nasser, on the Faculty of Law at Tel-Aviv University, who presented a talk on the Arab-Palestinian minority community in Israel and the planning challenges facing them, emphasized how “important and beneficial” the conference was to “young researchers”. Adeem Massarwa, from the Department of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who presented on the prevalence and cause of physical violence among Arab-Palestinian adolescents, highlighted the support given to young researchers by being able to “meet fellow Palestinian researchers and share experiences”. Ferial Khalifa, from the Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Manchester stated that this kind of conference helps young Palestinian researchers in “feeling that you’re not alone”. The importance and necessity of the conference was nicely summarized by a comment from Professor Michael Karayanni, a member of the academic committee that selected the PhD presentations, who said that “Mada’s conference is a kind of activity that gives hope. With the inspiration of such a conference and some good will, we can make up for the hollow emptiness we have all around us”.  From this feedback, and from events such as this conference, Mada continues to be energetically dedicated to the promotion of a space where young Palestinian researchers, the future academics and thinkers of our community, can finally express themselves and explore pressing issues fully and confidently, where they can receive necessary and otherwise lacking guidance and support from their peers and elders, and most importantly where they can cultivate hope for their careers and their futures.

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Opening-1On April 15th-16th, the conference for Palestinian PhD students was held in Nazareth, which was organized by Mada al-Carmel – the Arab Center for Applied Social Research. This was the second conference that Mada al-Carmel held for PhD-students. Palestinian students studying at local and foreign universities participated in the conference and presented their research. They also listened to discussions from senior scholars – who took turns chairing the sessions – and from the public.

Ms. Einas Odeh-Haj, the Associate Director of Mada al-Carmel, opened the conference by saying that it aims to stimulate academic dialogue and the exchange of expertise, and that it is the continuation of Mada’s overall efforts towards the goal of supporting a new generation of Palestinian researchers. She added that the idea of the conference comes as  “a challenge to the partition policy suffered by Palestinians. It is an attempt to create an intellectual framework which overcomes geographical and political barriers and contributes to developing a research agenda”. Dr. Manar Mahmoud, the coordinator of the conference, addressed its importance and the preparations that preceded it, including the formation of an academic committee that worked on reviewing and evaluating the submitted applications as well as selecting the conference’s participants. Professor Michael Karayanni from the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, and a member of the conference’s Academic Committee, discussed the importance of standing on an academic stage and speaking in Arabic in a supportive atmosphere, emphasizing the importance of learning from each other and exchanging expertise.

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Jalse-1following the opening, the sessions of the conference began, and were divided according to the research topics of the participants. The first session was about gender, led by Dr. Taghreed Yahia-Younes from Tel-Aviv University. Three students participated in this session:

  • Ferial Khalifa – Women’s Islamic Activism: Various issues and theoretical approaches
  • Dina Zbeidy – Love, Age, Magic and Mothers: Marriage issues in the discourse of civil society and refugees in Jordan
  • Lana Sirri – Islamic Feminism: A response to conditional sisterhood

The second session discussed colonial perspectives and was led by Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian from the Hebrew University, who is also the Director of the Gender Studies Program at Mada al-Carmel. The participants of this session included:

  • Wassim Ghantous – Outsourcing Settler-colonialism: Israel’s outsourcing of control to private security companies, individual settlers, and the Palestinian Authority
  • Taher al-Labadi – War by Other Means: A political economy of colonialism in Palestine
  • Muna al-Dajani – Farming as Resistance under Occupation

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The third session revolved around social studies and was led by Dr. Sami Mahajneh from the Arab Academic Institute Beit Berl. The participants of this session included:

  • Sinyal Attamneh – Occupational Aspirations among Young Palestinian Females in Israel Living in Poverty: The potential of mothers’ contributions
  • Adeem Massarwa – Serious Physical Violence among Arab-Palestinian Adolescents: Normative beliefs as a mediator, parental communication as a moderator
  • Ahmad Badran – Stratification Consequences of Educational Choices: Elementary school choice by Palestinians in Israel

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Jalse-4On the second day, the fourth session of the conference dealt with the topic of planning, led by Professor Yousef Jabareen from Technion. The participants included:

  • Kais Nasser – Planning Challenges among a Conservative Minority Community: The case of the Arab-Palestinian Minority in Israel
  • Ahmad al-Atrash – Spatial Planning Strategies Towards Sustainability in the Geo-Political Context of Present Day Palestine: The case of Bethlehem

Jalse-4The topic of identity formed the core of the fifth session, which was led by Professor Michael Karayanni. Three participants contributed in this session:

  • Firas Khatib – Palestinians in Israel and the Arab Satellite Channels: Identity, continuity and journalism practices
  • Hama Abu Kishk – The Discourse of the Arabic Blogosphere
  • Ramez Eid – Counted Voices: Anthropology and the value of local democracy in the neo-liberal state

The last session revolved around history and was chaired by Dr. Manar Hassan from Ben-Gurion University. It included three talks:

  • Himmat Zu’bi – Control and Surveillance: The elimination of the Arab landscape of Haifa 1948
  • Heba Yazbak – The Re-narration of History; When the Subaltern Speak: The case of internally displaced Palestinians in 1948
  • Ameer Fakhoury – Identity Strategies among Arab Christian Citizens of Israel: Keepers of Arab identity or guardians of Israel’s border?

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The conference lasted for two days and along with these sessions it also included workshops with the participating students. The first workshop revolved around the process of writing and completing a PhD dissertation. It was led by Dr. Ayman Agbaria from the University of Haifa and a member of the Academic Committee of the conference. The second workshop addressed challenges that students face after their PhD, including work and publication. It was chaired by Professor Michael Karayanni.

The first day concluded with an awards ceremony for PhD students, where six grants were allocated in the presence of Dr. Ayman Agbaria, who is also a member of the Awards Committee. The students who received grants are:

  • Adeem Massarwa, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
  • Firas Khatib, from SOAS in  the University of London
  • Haneen Naamneh, from the University of London
  • Himmat Zu’bi, from Ben-Gurion University
  • Abed Kana’ane from Tel Aviv University
  • Lana Tator, from the University of Warwick in Australia

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This issue of Jadal deals with the themes of gender and sexuality, considering how they intersect with other power structures in the context of colonial Palestine.

The collection of articles considers colonial policies alongside silenced perspectives in the discourse of the Palestinian community on gender issues, with the authors challenging arbitrary separations between sexuality and the politics of colonialism. Several articles in this issue attempt to deconstruct the relationship between colonial practices and existing social patterns related to gender and sexuality. Some of the authors shed light on the colonizers’ attempts to portray themselves as open, liberal patrons of social and sexual freedoms, in contrast to the colonized, who are allegedly backward, oppressive toward women, and sexually harrassive. In addition, other articles discuss Palestinians’ political and social activism and their engagement with issues of gender and sexuality.

Most of the articles in this issue were written following the authors’ participation in an academic workshop during December 2014 which explored gender policies in the colonial context of Palestine, initiated and organized by ‘alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society.’

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Hadeel Badarne

The first article is written by lawyer Hadeel Badarne, and examines Israeli political incarceration, which she sees as reflective of the gendered power relations within the capitalist colonial system from the moment of arrest. In the article, the author discusses violent sexual practices to which women are subject in Israeli prisons, and also addresses sexual violence towards male prisoners. Badarne believes that sexual torture does not receive its rightful place in the Palestinian struggle; rather, it remains enveloped in silence, it is not classified as political torture, and it is relegated to the private sphere. She argues that this silencing entrenches sexual taboos and increases the oppressor’s power.

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Budour Hassan

In the second article, Budour Hassan presents a reading of same-sex marriage legalization in the United States, describing the context, debate and radical criticism surrounding it. Hassan suggests that the gay rights movement in the United States is part of a system of white domination, failing to show solidarity with groups who suffer from additional levels of repression such as homosexual/transgender “illegal” immigrants. She adds that the gay rights movement’s choice to struggle for the right to marry is an abridgement of the struggle for sexual liberation, and notes that the decision to legalize same-sex marriage results from the desire to contain and domesticate homosexuals and to preserve marriage as the predominant form of partnership to regulate sexual and emotional life. In her analysis, the author considers the reactions of communities across the Arab world to the decision and criticizes the hypocrisy of supporting same-sex marriage legalization in the U.S. while continuing to internally suppress homosexuals.

The third article, which was written by activists from alQaws, presents a historical analytical reading of the position of the Palestinian left in the Palestinian Liberation Organization on social issues, with special attention to gender relations and homosexuality. The article points to two important factors that impacted their positions: the position of the Soviet Union and later the course of the first Intifada. The article argues that left-wing parties played a role in involving women in politics. However, in terms of gender issues, they prioritized pursuing national liberation from the occupier above social liberation. The authors add that during the first Intifada, the Palestinian national movement acceded to an Israeli scheme that recruited collaborators through entrapment on the basis of participation in illicit sexual relations and taboo social customs, including same-sex relations. Instead of confronting such colonial schemes, the Palestinian national movement adopted slogans that imposed conservative ethical rules, reducing the space for community tolerance and validating internal taboos.

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Yara Saadi

The fourth article, written by Yara Saadi, discusses a campaign carried out by a group of Israeli students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus campus. These students denounced what they described as “sexual harassment and stone throwing” coming from the direction of the Issawiya neighborhood. The author notes that the campaign’s slogans and content suggested that women felt a lack of security and a violation of their rights as students to participate in the space of the university. However, she reads the campaign in the context of the location of the Hebrew University, as well as Israel’s daily policies of colonization in Jerusalem. Reviewing the project of establishing the university, she notes that the decision of its geographical location was in line with classic colonial strategies followed by the Zionist movement. She then examines the policies and practices of the Jerusalem Municipality in implementing plans to isolate Palestinian neighborhoods and villages, which have blocked development and created segregation, leaving the Issawiya neighborhood trapped and isolated. Based on this analysis, the author argues that the students’ campaign does not revolve around sexual harassment or even around threats to university students, but is primarily based on maintaining control of space.

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Haneen Maikey

The fifth article, which was jointly written by Haneen Maikey and Ghaith Hilal, explores perceptions of homosexuality within the Palestinian community, the role of colonialism in forming these perceptions, and homophobia within Palestinian society. It does so by analyzing key stages in Palestinian history since the first Intifada, passing through Oslo, the second Intifada, and the division between Fatah and Hamas. The article also discusses the Israeli propaganda campaign which presents Israel as a “paradise” for homosexuals in the region, whitewashing its image as a colonial state and transforming it into one of a “liberal and democratic” country. The authors suggest that perceptions of homosexuality are always tied to allegations of collaboration with the colonizer and cultural imperialism, confirming this argument by reference to various historical events. The article also touches on the origins of the Palestinian queer movement, and on the formation of their anti-colonialist political consciousness.

The issue also includes two articles whose central topics fall outside the themes of gender and sexuality. These articles engage with issues of national identity and culture and their intersection with colonialism and oppression, as in the articles mentioned above.

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Eyad Barghouty

Eyad Barghouty’s article examines the Palestinian cultural movement inside the Green Line, describing what he refers to as the “forty-eight situation.” He argues that the cultural movement operates in a context where several barriers that hamper and stall it are interwoven. The article refers to three of them: firstly, the funding barrier, whereby the Israeli government allocates small amounts of funding towards Arab culture as a tool to control the content, orientations and identity of Arab cultural production; secondly, the socio-ideological barrier, which is manifested in the dominance of the Islamic movements and their intellectual and behavioral patterns over large segments of society; and thirdly, the geopolitical barrier, which refers to the chasm between the cultural movement among Palestinian citizens of Israel and the broader Arab world. The author argues that this situation results from the acquisition of Israeli citizenship by Palestinians in the area that became Israel in 1948. This citizenship limits their connections with Arab countries, their audiences and cultural movements, due to the fact that these countries forbid entry into 1948 Palestine so as not to normalize relations with Israel. The article was written following a series of cultural and artistic events that reflected these barriers.

aamer
Amer Ibrahim

In the last article in this issue, Amer Ibrahim addresses the question of national identity in the occupied Golan Heights. He does so from a perspective which views national identity as a functional form of subjectivity practiced by the individual within specific spatial and temporal conditions. This stems from the fact that Israel’s colonization of the occupied Golan Heights creates different temporal and spatial spheres in the same colonial setting, imposing the challenges of adaptation, coexistence and formation of identity on the colonized. Throughout the article, the author considers national identity through the lenses of time and performativity, and reviews Zionist settler colonial practices in the Golan Heights since their occupation. The author argues that despite the strong presence of a Syrian national discourse in the face of the Israeli colonial discourse, the daily colonial conditions on the ground produce existential situations that result in dichotomous discourses and practices; making the exercise of national identity in the Golan Heights dependent on the time and place within which the identity is exercised. Thus, certain identity practices appear in certain places, and are obscured in other places and times.

 

The full issue of Jadal is available in Arabic here.

The latest issue of Borderlands, a cutting-edge refereed electronic journal aimed at showcasing transdisciplinary social science and humanities research, features editing and contribution from key individuals in Mada al-Carmel. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, director of Mada’s Gender Studies Program, edited the volume, while both Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Mada General Director Nadim Rouhana contributed articles to the issue. The special issue was based on a workshop held in occupied East Jerusalem and organized as part of a joint project between Mada al-Carmel and Tufts University, entitled “The Fusion of Religion and Nationalism Project” and supported by the Luce Foundation.

Entitled “The Politics of Suffering,” the issue focuses on the embodiment of suffering and pain as a result of the legacies and ongoing realities of colonialism, settler-colonialism, and violent nationalisms. It features scholarship related to a wide range of geographic locales, including South Asia, the former Yugoslavia, Australia, North America, and Palestine.

As Shalhoub-Kevorkian explains in the introduction, the idea for this issue arose organically from the workshop mentioned above, in which participants not only dealt with critical academic work on settler colonialism and suffering, but also encountered such themes more directly by meeting with Palestinians facing eviction in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. Similarly, the issue’s various articles resist a divide between academic scholarship and active involvement in the world, and are informed by the lived experiences of those facing and resisting oppression.

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s article, entitled “Criminalizing Pain and the Political Work of Suffering: The Case of Palestinian ‘Infiltrators’,” analyzes the work of suffering as it manifests itself in the oral testimonies of Palestinians who managed to return home in the aftermath of the 1948 Nakba, which displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. She argues that the Israeli state’s criminalization of these returnees as ‘infiltrators’ serves as a means of legally legitimating the practice of population transfer. She notes that the Palestinian struggle for return and against further expulsion is ongoing, with Israel continuing its efforts to inscribe further suffering over Palestinian bodies, spaces, and lives.

Nadim Rouhana’s article, entitled “Homeland Nationalism and Guarding Dignity in a Settler Colonial Context: The Palestinian Citizens of Israel Reclaim Their Homeland,” examines the ways in which Palestinians assert a connection with their homeland in the face of years of Israeli indignities and efforts at erasure. He focuses particularly on the form of “homeland nationalism” articulated by Palestinian citizens of Israel, who remain steadfast in expressing their (non-exclusive) right to the land despite the existing reality of exclusive Israeli control.

Additional articles in the issue deal both with topics directly related to Palestine and with themes drawn from disparate geographic contexts. Rosemary Sayigh addresses suffering in Palestinian refugee camps; while Rema Hammani focuses her analysis on the Israeli checkpoint. Sarah Ihmoud goes on to consider the 2014 act of racialized terror committed by Israeli settlers against Mohammed Abu-Khdeir. Goldie Osuri interrogates connections between a 2012 gang rape case in Delhi and sexualized violence in Kashmir; while Suvendrini Perera discusses atrocities against Tamil civilians in the final stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war and considers the role and limitations of global institutions of justice. Following this, Joseph Pugliese analyzes suffering in the context of Israeli technologies of violence implemented in the occupied zones of Gaza and East Jerusalem. Jasbir Puar considers bodily violence by analyzing what she refers to as the Israeli state’s “right to maim”; while Sunena Thobani deals with violence against indigenous women in Canada. Dino Abazovic considers the fusion between religion and nationalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, both during ethnic conflict and in its aftermath. Reflecting the international scope of the various contributions to the journal, Magid Shihade concludes the issue by arguing that Zionist settler colonialism should be understood in its global dimension and not on a purely local or regional basis.

By editing and contributing to this issue of Borderlands, Mada’s researchers drew connections between Palestine and other settler-colonial contexts or instances involving the entanglement of nationalism and religious claims. Mada al-Carmel’s research and publications situate Palestinian issues within international discussions of homeland minority rights, settler-colonialism, racism, identity, and democracy in multi-ethnic states.

This issue of Borderlands is accessible in full here.

On 17-18 October 2015, the Palestine Society at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) held its 10th annual conference under the title “Settlers and Citizens: A Critical View of Israeli Society.” The conference, which aimed to situate the current trend in Israeli society and state policy toward the political right within the framework of settler-colonialism, featured participation from various researchers affiliated with Mada al-Carmel.

Nadim MSProfessor Nadim Rouhana, Mada al-Carmel’s founding director, served as the conference’s keynote speaker. His lecture, entitled “The Israeli Settler State: Zionism Between Triumph and Defeat,” differentiated between Israel’s success as a state according to various economic, military, and educational indicators and the outcome of Zionism’s settler colonial project, which as of now is not determined. He then discussed four main features of Zionism – being a settler colonial project, a national movement, a project in which religion and nationalism are fused, and a project in which the inherent violence has the ingredients of escalation to mass atrocities – and how these features impact the dynamics of Zionism’s conflict with the Palestinians.

Following the keynote speech, conference attendees took part in a series of six panels, several of which included speakers from Mada al-Carmel.

In a panel considering the relationship between the Israeli military sector and the public image of the state, Mada Director of Research Programs Dr. Mtanes Shihadeh presented a talk entitled “The Political Economy of Israeli Military and High-Tech Industry.” He focused on the diplomatic functions of the Israeli military and high-tech industries, tracing the history of the Israeli arms trade across various continents. He argued that these industries are used by Israel to influence other nations and garner international support.

In a panel dealing with the spatial policies of the Israeli state, Mada researcher Dr. Areej Sabbagh-Khoury gave a presentation entitled “The Zionist Left, Settler-Colonial Practices and the Nakba in Marj Ibn ‘Amer, 1936-1956.” In the talk, she argued against the notion that Israeli ethnic cleansing began or ended with the 1948 Nakba, considering Jewish immigration and the expulsion of Palestinians prior to and after its occurrence. She focused on the region of Marj Ibn ‘Amer, which saw significant Zionist settlement prior to the Israeli state’s existence.

In a law-themed panel, former Mada researcher Dr. Nimer Sultany gave a lecture entitled “The Legal Structures of Subordination.” Contrary to portrayals of the Israeli legal system as a progressive force, he argued that Israeli law subordinates Palestinians and advances state colonization. However, he also proposed that the Israeli state derives legitimacy by portraying itself as operating within the “rule of law.”

Through its researchers’ contributions to academic and policy debates at institutions like SOAS, Mada al-Carmel advances its goal of generating informed and thoughtful public discussion on key issues affecting Palestinian society.

The majority of the Palestinian community in Israel, 78%, holds the Israeli government responsible for the recent outbreak of violence; 66% report that they do not feel safe after Israeli police appealed to the public to carry guns; and only a minority, 15%, feels a high sense of security regarding the future of the Palestinian community in Israel

Mada al-Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research (Mada) in Haifa, conducted a public opinion survey through Stat Net Institute regarding the recent outbreak of violence to gauge Palestinian public attitudes toward Israel and to ascertain the extent to which Palestinian citizens feel safe or unsafe. The survey was conducted on October 18 and 19, 2015 with a random sample of 307 adult respondents representative of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

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Dr. Ameed Saabneh – Director of the Survey Research Unit (SRU) at Mada al-Carmel

The poll results indicate that the majority of respondents, 78%, hold the Israeli government responsible for the recent outbreak of violence. With regards to the cause of this outbreak, 26% of respondents make reference to Israel’s attempt to impose a temporal division in Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem; 24% cite lack of progress in the peace process; 17% refer to the continued Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank; while 16% attribute the violence to the free reign and support given by the Israeli government to the settler movement. 3% of respondents blame the Palestinian Authority for the outbreak in violence, and 7% feel that both parties bear responsibility.

The survey finds that recent events have led to a decline in the levels of security experienced by broad categories of Palestinians in Israel. 66% of respondents report feeling a high degree of insecurity in the wake of the appeal by the Israeli police for the Jewish Israeli public to carry guns. Only 13% of respondents say that they feel a high degree of security after this appeal, while nearly 21% report that they feel moderately safe.

In response to the question, “Do you fear the possibility of armed attacks by Jewish extremists on Arab towns as a result of the current situation?”, 43% of those surveyed report a high degree of fear of such attacks; 29% report moderate fear; while the rest, 28%, say that they fear the occurrence of such attacks either to a low degree (11%) or not at all (17%).

Regarding levels of popular support in Israeli society for calls made by politicians, government officials and police to shoot and kill the perpetrators of stabbings, a plurality of respondents (36%) say that these statements find support from the majority of Israeli society; 28% say that they are moderately accepted by Israeli society; 16% say that they find minimal support within Israeli society; and 14% say that such calls find no support within Israeli society.

A clear majority of those surveyed (70%) report avoiding Jewish towns, cities, and areas to varying degrees for fear of their safety: 39% report that they avoid being present in Jewish communities at all times, while 31% report that they sometimes avoid Jewish communities.

When asked to what extent they feel a sense of security regarding the future of the Arab community in Israel, 45% of respondents say that they feel a low sense of security or no sense of security at all, 40% report feeling a moderate sense of security, while 15% say that they feel a high sense of security.

Assessing the results of the survey, Mada Survey Research Unit Director Dr. Ameed Saabneh noted, “The results of the survey indicate that the Arab public in Israel holds the Israel government responsible for the recent events. The results also clearly indicate a sense of fear among the Arab population about violence by Israeli security services or the Jewish public, leading to an increased separation between the two communities.”

Mada’s Gender Studies Program director Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian co-authored an article entitled “Funding Pain: Bedouin Women and Political Economy in the Naqab/Negev” with Himmat Zu’bi, Antonina Griecci and Rachel Busbridge. The article was published in Routledge’s Feminist Economics Journal (Volume 20: Issue 4).

This article explores how the economy of international funding for local nongovernmental organizations impacts Palestinian activism and resistance inside the state of Israel. In particular, the authors examine Orientalist assumptions held by donors regarding Bedouin women who live in unrecognized villages in the Naqab desert. Lacking historical and political awareness of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinian dispossession, funding agencies instead view individual problems and cultural deficiencies as at the root of Bedouin women’s struggles. By bringing Bedouin women’s voices to the forefront of their analysis, the authors challenge the political economy of state violence against these women’s communities and consider how donors’ perceptions of Bedouin culture and gender roles can reinforce the state’s oppressive structures.

To download and read the article, please click here.