|"Israeli Sexual Violence and Aggression... Inherent to the Zionist Settler Colonial Project" According to a London Scholar
|A lecture at the University of Warwick by Dr. Sigrid Vertommen, a researcher at the department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London, has become the center of controversy. Her lecture was hosted by the Warwick for Justice in Palestine on January 17, 2017. Vertommen scholarship concludes that "Zionism’s demographic arithmetic directed at manufacturing a Jewish majority at the expense of Palestinian life". According to her, Israel is engaged in a "reproductive sabotage framework" [of the Palestinians] because it subsidizes multiple fertilization procedures for its citizens “primarily aimed to serve the reproductive rights of its Jewish population at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population."
Vertommen deals primarily with the sexual and reproductive issues of Jewish Israeli and Palestinian women in the context of "settler colonial control and resistance." Yet, according to Vertommen, Israel's military incursions are "particularly gendered and sexualized ones in which discourses of war, sex and reproduction are tightly intertwined. These extremely militarized episodes of Israeli sexual violence and aggression towards Palestinians magnify tendencies that are always present in Palestine/Israel and that are inherent to the Zionist settler colonial project." For Israel, Vertommen continues, Gazan women "deserve to be annihilated simply because of their threatening ability to reproduce the next generation and to assure the continuance of the Palestinian people." Moreover, "While the dominant Israeli discourse is urging the Israeli army to collectively eliminate the Palestinian population in Gaza" pronatalism "represents the intimate connection between war, demography and reproduction in Israel/Palestine and symbolizes the Israeli urge to reproduce the nation through soldiers." Israelis are being encouraged to be fruitful and multiply, while "Gazans and Palestinians in general are being encouraged to die as quickly and massively as possible."
Vertommen also gives a historical brief: "in Historical Palestine that started at the end of the 19th century when Jewish pioneers, inspired by the Zionist ideology and evading European anti-Semitism, immigrated to Palestine and started accumulating indigenous land. This process of territorial expansion was accompanied by a structural dispossession of Palestinian farmers. The Holy Land was to be depopulated from its Palestinian inhabitants and repopulated with Jewish settlers. The raison d’être of the Zionist settler colonial project has been the perpetual de-Palestinization and Judaization of Historical Palestine."
While she details in length the outstanding success of Israel's state-of-the-art stem cell research, she relies on work such as “Palestine, Project Europe and the (un-)making of the new Jew. In memory of Edward Said”, in Edward Said: the legacy of a public intellectual or scholars such as, the British Israeli-born and former Matzpen activist Prof. Nira Yuval-Davis and Dr. Yali Hashash of Tel Aviv University, Hashash's research opened with the statement "Feminist and sociology researchers in Israel over the last two decades have consistently claimed that Israeli reproductive policy has always been, and remains, an expression of the State's nation-building efforts." Within this framework "Israel's reproductive policy primarily aims at winning a 'demographic race' against the Palestinian Arabs."
Stretching this argument, Vertommen discusses the "ongoing Zionist settler colonial project" by focusing on the "Zionist demographic politics which aim to consolidate a Jewish majority in a Jewish state and - by consequence – aim to eliminate the indigenous Palestinian population by symbolically preventing it to be born". Vertommen decided not to "frame the Zionist project in Israel/Palestine as a nationalist project, but rather as settler colonial one where - similar to the United States, Australia or Canada - Europeans have settled in an already populated alien territory and where their descendants have remained politically dominant over the indigenous populations."
Vertommen's scholarship should have been expected. She has written her PhD thesis in Ghent University, Belgium, under the guidance of Sami Zemni, professor in political and social sciences. Zemni's work includes, "Luxemburg on Tahrir Square: reading the Arab Revolutions with Rosa Luxemburg's the mass strike" and "The shaping of Islam and Islamophobia in Belgium", among others. Naturally, Zemni is pro-Palestinian. He co-hosted a conference "Geographies of aid intervention in Palestine" in September 2010 in Birzeit University, sponsored by the Birzeit University Ghent University Vlaamse Interuniversitaire Raad – University Development Cooperation (VLIR-UOS). The conference focused on "the little effectiveness of the aid industry in the 1967 occupied Palestinian territories, and even its complicity in sustaining the Israeli occupation." Similarly to Vertommen's thesis, Zemni also guided the PhD thesis by Omar Jabary Salamanca on "Fabric of life: the infrastructure of settler colonialism and uneven development in Palestine" in 2014, which "represents an attempt to resist and complicate dominant accounts of occupation and development in Palestine but also to make a vital contribution to a broader scholarship in critical urban studies and settler colonialism."
In a newly published research Vertommen repeats her politically-driven and groundless accusations of Israeli fertility and stem cell research aimed at eliminating Palestinians.
Horrified with Vertommen's work, the Jewish community in Britain was fuming over her lecture. Shimon Samuels from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in an interview that Vertommen's charges resemble the “blood libel” historically leveled at Jews. Taking this argument a step further, Vertommen's scholarship actually falls within the category of antisemitism as described by the Working Definition of Antisemitism which the British Government has adopted in December 2016.
Such scholarships should be expected to dominate the social sciences and humanities in Western universities in the years to come due to the large number of scholars coming from Arab and Muslim countries who influence students - aimed at debunking Israel's achievements - to focus on "Zionist colonialism" and the "settler colonial state."
|The Non-Political MESA Hijacked by Palestinian Agenda|
|The Middle East Studies Association (MESA), an ostensibly non-political association which was established in 1966 to foster the study and public understanding of the Middle East, has some 2,700 members and holds annual meetings, the last one was on November 18-21, 2017.
MESA, as reported by IAM, passed a resolution at the 2014 annual business meeting affirming "that calls for institutional boycott, divestment, and/or sanctions are protected free speech and legitimate forms of non-violent political action; it affirms the right of MESA members to engage in open and transparent discussion of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in the context of the Annual Meeting and other forums." Simply put, the non-political association has bent over to help the Palestinians.
This should come in no surprise as over the years, MESA has shown a strong pro-Palestinian bias. For instance, the group became involved with Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) which was established in 1998 to promote Palestinian studies and exchange among scholars interested in Palestinian affairs. PARC boasted that in the latest MESA annual meeting it had 50 fellows and board members who participated 63 times throughout the conference. PARC also sponsored some of the MESA panels.
One observer, Professor Cary Nelson, the former president of the American Association of University Professors, recently wrote his observations after hearing two panels. "MESA is now an academic association deeply compromised by political convictions. Even conference sessions that aimed for evidence-based criticism of the Jewish state were tainted by the organization’s pervasive anti-Zionist political consensus."
Interestingly, in 2005 MESA objected to an academic boycott of Israeli universities. Professor Ali Banuazizi, the then president of MESA wrote "The Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) is writing to express its profound disagreement with the recent decision of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) calling on its members to 'refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, or joint projects' with Haifa University and Bar Ilan University, in Israel. We strongly urge the Association to withdraw or rescind this resolution to boycott these universities and blacklist their faculty at the very earliest opportunity... We find thoroughly objectionable the call of the AUT to refrain from any and all scholarly interaction with the entire professional staff of two universities because of the policies of the state in which they are situated." All this changed in recent years.
But MESA is not alone. Last month IAM reported that USACBI, the U.S. campaign focused on a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions, secretly "took over" the leadership of the American Studies Association (ASA) to impose Israel boycott.
Similarly, in December 2015 IAM reported of an "Unethical Conduct of the AAA Task Force". To recall, in November 2015, the executive board of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) has decided to recommend a boycott of Israeli institutions. The decision was made following the recommendation of a Task Force commissioned in 2014, to investigate the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. To prevent the appearance of bias, Task Force members were expected to be neutral and “no one with publicly identified positions on the issue." The investigation by IAM indicated that the Task Force did not live up to the AAA mandate of neutrality, as three members were known to be pro-Palestinian and some even supportive of BDS prior to their commission as Task Force members
The pattern is clear. Professional associations are taken over by Palestinian activists who maneuver the agenda toward attacking Israel while preventing any serious debate on the troubled Middle East.
|"Freedom of Speech and Higher Education: The Case of the Academic Boycott of Israel" in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
|IAM reported in April on Ronit Lentin, a retired professor of sociology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) who is one of the organizers of the conference "Freedom of Speech and Higher Education: the Case of the Academic Boycott of Israel" that took place in 11-12 September 2017. She is the chairperson of "Academics for Palestine," a group which has been set up to promote the academic boycott of Israel. The call for papers stated that "The conference does not propose to debate the pros and cons of the academic boycott of Israel but rather to make links and draw lessons about the role of the public university in fostering academic freedom, and the freedom to express critical, even if controversial views." Lentin published a letter in support of the academic boycott of Israel in the Irish Times in January.
Steven Salaita, profiled by the IAM's posts was one of the featured speakers at the conference. After an introduction by Lentin, he spoke about the circumstances under which he lost his offer of a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The university argued that his tweets were egregiously anti-Semitic, but Salaita chose to present a different narrative. In his speech posted on YouTube he claimed that many people have lost their jobs for being anti-Zionists. He added that when it comes to Palestine, there is no freedom of speech, because of threats and that "Zionists tell bullshit lies about this world;" (33:15) that "Israel commits ethnic cleansing" (36:27). Salaita actually apologized in his lecture for being so angry in the summer of 2014 and tweeting the tweets against Israel (39:18).
Contrary to the conference assertions about promoting freedom of speech, it was Ze’ev Boker, the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, who was prevented from speaking at the TCD earlier this year by the group Students for Justice in Palestine. TCD provost Patrick Prendergast condemned this incident and said it represented “the antithesis of what Trinity stands for”. Equally important, a number of proposals for alternative views for the conference where turned down although the University issued a statement that "There will be speakers who have opinions both for and against the academic boycott of Israel in attendance and speaking during the event.” Lentin and her cohorts use such events as a propaganda platform against Israel.
The conference attracted little public attention not least because in the international environment is full of real and grave problems. Huge natural disasters, threats of atomic weapons from North Korea, the violence of ISIS, the still active civil war in Syria, the plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, to name just a few.
But to the radical academics, the suffering of millions and millions of people means little because of their singular obsession with Israel. This type of academy cannot regain its moral authority without addressing its moral blindness.
|The Nexus of Scholarship and anti-Israel Activism: The Case of Sussex University UK|
|Last month IAM reported on a petition calling to boycott conferences in the U.S in response to President Trump ban. Among the hundreds of scholars who signed the petition some 150 are from Sussex University in Brighton, UK. One signatory, Jan Selby, professor of International Relations, had organized a workshop which hit the British news. The workshop questioned how to “deal with right-wing attitudes in the classroom”. The University has been accused of undermining free speech, students and staff complained that the institution was revealing its political bias.
Not surprising, Selby is a disciple of Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Communist imprisoned by Mussolini who urged the intellectual elites, notably the academics, to launch a "quiet revolution' by reconfiguring societal values to reflect progressive ideas. Gramsci stipulated that academics need to combine scholarship and political activism in one seamless act. Gramsci's disciples took up this mandate by evolving neo-Marxist, critical scholarship, a paradigm which dominates much of contemporary social science.
Clearly, Selby fits the profile of a neo-Marxist, critical scholar well. In his article "Post-Zionist Perspectives on Contemporary Israel," Selby applied the Gramscian logic to Israel. He stated that in "Gramscian terms," the Labor Settlers Movement was a highly successful 'hegemonic project'." He then went on to note that "there is no necessary reason why the power of the Israeli military could not be acknowledged and analysed within a Gramscian framework." Using his Gramscian toolbox, he concluded "the previously disgraced Ariel Sharon has been rehabilitated as trustworthy guardian of the Israeli national interest" and a new "privatisation programme" implements "repression in the West Bank and Gaza."
Selby also laments the fact that "in the academy, the best-known of the New Historians, Benny Morris, seems to have become an advocate of ethnic cleansing and has given credence to Ehud Barak's frankly racist view that the Palestinians, being not of Judeo-Christian culture, do not understand the concept of truth. More critical voices, like that of Ilan Pappe, have found themselves ostracised within their universities and even threatened with dismissal. The study of Israeli society may have become more heterogeneous and contested, but a postcolonial liberal Israel seems almost as far away as ever."
In another article, "The myth of liberal peace-building," Selby blamed Israel for the failure of the Oslo peace process. In Selby's reading of the historic effort to conclude the bloody conflict, it was the "Israeli economic liberalization," which tripped up negotiations and ironically, led Israel to "outsource the occupation" to the Palestinians who are in charge of the most populated parts of he West Bank.
To bring this type of scholarship into the public arena, Selby is now organizing a conference "The Occupation at 50: Pasts, Presents, Futures" at Sussex University in May. The invitation reads, "2017 marks 50 years for the longest standing military occupation in the world. During that time, the political, demographic, legal, economic and social dimensions of the occupation have changed dramatically, in Israel, in the West Bank and Gaza, in the region, and beyond. The two-state solution has moved from being perceived as a threat to Israel’s existence, to the only possible solution, and now to one that is slowly fading into the realms of an unrealistic prospect. The West Bank and Gaza, once viewed as two parts of one political identity, have taken different trajectories. The international arena has moved from bewilderment, to active engagement, to frustration and perhaps, to apathy. Resistance has taken the form of violent uprising, civic protests and international collaboration. The legal system has been portrayed by some as the final frontier for the protection of Palestinian rights, but is seen by others as one of the main facilitators of the occupation. The terms of economic engagement have changed dramatically, from the incorporation of Palestinian labour and markets into the Israeli economy, to selective disengagement during times of upheaval, to complete removal of non-citizen Palestinians from the Israeli labour market, and to calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions."
This conference features "leading UK and international experts on the occupation", including Israeli neo-Marxist, critical and post-Zionist scholars such as Orna Ben-Naftali, Neve Gordon, Aeyal Gross, Hagar Kotef, Yoni Mendel, Amir Paz-Fuchs, Yoav Peled, Horit Herman Peled, Yael Ronen,and Haim Yacobi.
Unsurprisingly, no alternative perspective will be represented on the panels.
Selby has signed a petition in a paid ad in The Guardian which reads "we will not: • accept invitations to visit Israeli academic institutions; • act as referees in any of their processes; • participate in conferences funded, organised or sponsored by them, or otherwise cooperate with them. We will, however, continue to work with our Israeli colleagues in their individual capacities. We will maintain this position until the State of Israel complies with international law, and respects universal principles of human rights." He also lectured in a protest of students in support of Gaza, organized by Sussex Occupation.
Selby is not the only Gramscian at Sussex University, another conference will be taking place devoted to "Echoes of Fascism in Contemporary Culture, Politics and Society." The invitation starts with a quote "Every age has its own fascism" by Primo Levi, the famous author and Holocaust survivor. The conference organizers go on to state: "Within the past year, we have witnessed a number of alarming social and political developments in the UK but also globally." One could have imagined some fascists movements, but no, "The success of the Brexit campaign in the UK, the election of Donald Trump in the USA and his recent imposition of a travel ban". All these have been "dependent on racially charged ideologies, and accompanied by a notable rise in racist, misogynist, and homophobic attacks in the UK and in other Western countries, as the Far Right mobilises and becomes more legitimated."
Neither Selby nor the "Echoes of Fascism" conference mention the role of Islamist radicalism in creating many of the problems they purport to address. Selby should know that the Oslo process was torpedoed when Hamas and Islamic Jihad, acting on order from Iran, launched a wave of suicide attacks in Israel. The resulting carnage undermined the faith in the Labour government. When Ehud Barak regained power in 1999, he found that Yasser Arafat was too intimidated by the jihadists to go through with the generous deal offered by Israel in Camp David II. Selby is wrong; it was not "economic liberalization," the neo-Marxist boogeyman that sank Oslo, it was Jihad.
But of course, the neo-Marxist, critical paradigm does not have a category for religious extremism of the kind that ISIS has exhibited. As a result, the second conference cannot mention that much of what is going on in Europe is a reaction to the masses of immigrants that have arrived. Tramped in antiquated and obsolete analysis of reality, the "Echoes of Fascism" conference cannot even acknowledge that the murder of innocents in the street in Europe by jihadists, either homegrown followers of ISIS, or terrorists who arrived as refugees, have been a contributing factor to the popular unease.
|Settler Colonialism in Palestine|
|IAM received a call for papers (see below), to be published in the Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (Routledge). The papers would be published in a special issue on the topic of Settler Colonialism in Palestine, based on a Conference on Settler Colonialism in Palestine and Workshop on the Naqab Bedouin at Exeter University that took place in October 2015. The guest editors are the organizers of the conference.
As IAM noted before, the aim of such conferences and the published proceedings, is to rewrite history. This is actually part of a larger trend in liberal arts where the colonial paradigm is very popular. The colonial paradigm is fairly simple to understand. The white race has dominated the world, wrote its history and shaped its culture while oppressing the non-white natives. Thus, it is incumbent upon the descendants of the colonial victims to rewrite the history to fit the colonial paradigm. To placate the protesters, universities introduced new study programs such as Colonial Studies, African-American studies, ethnic studies, and women studies - decreed to be the “honorary victims” of the male, colonial oppressors.
Following the Six Day War, the Palestinians and their academic supporters had become the leading forces of the colonial paradigm, generating a huge wave of historical revisionism. In the process, the history of the 1948 War was totally rewritten to suit the colonial paradigm. Ilan Pappe became the self-appointed manager of the revisionist school known in Israel as New History. As an Israeli he has "privileged knowledge" and, as a Jew, cannot be accused of anti-Semitism. It made no difference that Pappe was caught fabricating a statement by David Ben Gurion, implying that there was a plan to expel the Palestinians during the 1948 war. In spite of an appeal by the group CAMERA, the University of Exeter refused to sanction Pappe.
It is therefore crucial that positivist scholars send in their proposals providing well-documented historical accounts to battle corruption of historical scholarship.
|The "Settler Colonialism in Palestine" Conundrum|
|A short time ago, IAM posted an update on the conference organized by Ilan Pappe from Exeter University . The conference took place last weekend.
The agreement between members of the Jewish community and Sir Steve Smith of Exeter University did not please everyone. As Professor Geoffrey Alderman from the University of Buckingham stated in the article bellow, the agreement amounted to a “cave in” on the part of the Jewish community and, in his opinion, would only serve to legitimize Pappe and his colleagues.
Alderman raises an important issue with regard to the conduct of academic conferences. In the positivist tradition, conferences like classroom discussions were expected to reflect the Humboldian principle of a “marketplace of ideas.” In other words, all the viewpoints were to be represented and debated, so that the students or conference participants could form their own opinion.
The Humboldian pedagogical ideal, however, was discarded when a younger critical, neo-Marxist cohorts took over social sciences. Beholden to the teaching of Antonio Gramsci, the new cohorts viewed the classroom and the conference as an extension of their political agenda. Pappe, a veteran Communist and political activist, was not about to embrace Humboldt on his own accord.
The pressure applied by the Jewish community had forced him to compromise but, as Alderman pointed out, the outcome has its own problematique. A similarity one sided conference at Southampton University was canceled on the ground of security risk. But, as noted, the security argument is a two edged sword which can be used against a pro-Israel event.
The Pappe conference is emblematic of the broader problem in the social sciences in the West. Unfortunately, there are no good answers to the conundrums that they generate.
|Exeter University and Ilan Pappe: Finally Restrained?|
|As discussed in two recent posts, Ilan Pappe has used his position at Exeter University to engage in a virulent campaign against Israel. His latest effort, as noted, is the "Conference on Settler Colonialism in Palestine & Workshop on the Naqab Bedouin". True to his modus operandi, Pappe refused to accept papers which would detract from his life work of “exposing” Israel as a brutal colonial society. Waving the flag of academic freedom, Pappe made sure that the conference is well stocked with speakers who share his views.
Ensconced in his little fiefdom inside the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University, Pappe has been used to flaunting all academic rules. Since assuming the mantle of a New Historian, Pappe has gotten away with exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright falsifications of historical records. In 2012 a complaint by CAMERA's Dexter Van Zile was lodged against Pappe on the ground that he had falsified a key quote from David Ben Gurion’s diary, but the University refused to act.
It must thus have come as a great shock when, acting at the urging of the Jewish community in Great Britain, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Sir Steve Smith decided to intervene in the conference problematique. According to the article below, Pappe would be forced to accept two speakers who do not share his views. Additionally, there would be a follow up conference to discuss the issue brought up by the "Settler Colonialism in Palestine & Workshop on the Naqab Bedouin".
Sir Steven Smith should be congratulated for restoring some credibility to the academic process. More needs to be done, however, with regard to the misuse of the Institute as a platform for compulsive Israel bashing. Getting rid of Pappe and hiring a bone fide scholar who can contribute to the academic excellence of Exeter University would be a good step in this direction.
|An Upcoming one-sided Exeter U conference "Settler Colonialism in Palestine"|
|Ilan Pappe, one of the most bitter critics of Israel, has been amply rewarded for his anti-Israeli position. Since 2010 he is Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University. Under its founder and former head, Professor Tim Nibloc, the Institute received large donations from Arab countries. This largess has continued to date, making Exeter University one of the largest recipients of Arab money in Great Britain.
Unsurprisingly, the Institute has little to say about the collapse of the Arab Spring, the bloody civil war in Syria or the rise of the malevolent Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) which has committed unimaginable atrocities in its quest to create a new Caliphate.
Instead, it is funding Pappe's new conference titled "Conference on Settler Colonialism in Palestine."
According to the outline, the conference will address the following questions: "What is the nature of Israel’s colonisation of Palestine? How does it manifest itself in different political, economic, social, as well as material and ideational arenas? How do settler colonial structures affect different forms of resistance? How are settler colonial narratives articulated (and disarticulated)? How has Israel’s settler colonial project impacted upon Palestine’s social, demographic, political and economic landscapes? How does settler colonialism intersect with global processes such as neo-liberalism, imperialism and war? How does Israeli settler-colonialism relate to the Israeli nation-state building project? How does resistance against the settler colonial regime by the indigenous Palestinian population relate to and articulate itself within/vis-à-vis the Palestinian national struggle?"
Ironically, in 2011 The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) organized a conference titled
Past Is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine which stated that "For over a century, Zionism has subjected Palestine and Palestinians to a structural and violent form of destruction, dispossession, land appropriation, and erasure in the pursuit of a new colonial Israeli society. By unearthing the histories and geographies of the Palestinian experience of settler colonialism, this conference does not only chart possibilities for understanding Palestine within comparative settler colonial analyses. Rather, it also seeks to break open frameworks binding Palestine, re-align the Palestinian movement within a universal history of decolonisation, and imagine new possibilities for Palestinian resistance, solidarity and common struggle."
Here is suggestion for the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter: How about organizing a conference titled "Present is Present" which would discuss current events in the Middle East? Regurgitating colonial grievances is not going to advance our knowledge of some vital contemporary issues.
Here are some suggestions for a conference: How is it that after decades of independence, with the exception of Tunisia, no Arab country has managed to sustain a viable democracy? How is it that, in spite of decades of nation-building, many of the Arab states have devolved into ethno-religious enclaves engaged in bloody warfare? How is it that a group like ISIS can commit some of the most heinous crimes in history, including beheading, burning alive, crucifixion, rape, sexual slavery, among others?
And here is a suggestion for the really intellectually adventuresome at the Institute. How about organizing a conference called "Present is Future" which would try to imagine the political and social conditions of an ISIS led Caliphate?
|Palestinian Right to Return Travels to Venezuela: Expanding the Academic Reach to South America|
|On the 15th of April, the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hosted a conference on the Palestinian Right of Return. This is hardly surprising since Maduro, like his predecessor Hugo Chavez, have spearheaded pro-Palestinian initiatives in South America for decades. The identity of the organizers of the event is scarcely unexpected either Nicola Hadwa Shahram, the Palestinian football couch and the chair of the Chilean Committee on Solidarity with the Palestinians and Fuad Musa, the head of the Center for Islamic Culture in Santiago are known pro-Palestinian activists.
What is more intriguing, however, is the scholarly material that the Right of Return groups have used in their presentations. Elia Zureik, a Palestinian sociologist at the Queens University, Ontario, Canada, is arguably the academic architect of the Palestinian right of return. Zureik, a highly prolific scholar-activist served on the Refugee Working Group (RWG) set up under the auspices of the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference.
Starting in the early 1980s, Zureik tirelessly argued that the right of return should be enshrined in any resolution to the conflict. He and a group of like-minded Palestinian academics including Rashid Khalidi, escalated their pressure on Yasser Arafat during the Camp David II agreement. According to some analysts, the Zureik group had managed to elevate the right of return from a virtual non-issue to a high priority item, making it harder for Arafat to sign the deal.
Since the collapse of the Oslo process, the Palestinian right of return has been embraced by many in the academic community. Not coincidentally, this development coincided with the critical theory critique of realism and neorealism in International Relation (IR). Realists and neorealists consider power to be at the core of IR and thus regard the plight of the Palestinians as outcome of the 1948 war. In other words, the Palestinians were belligerents who rejected the UN Partition resolution, initiated a conflict, and had the bad luck to lose it. Critical theorists, on the other hand, vehemently reject the notion that power considerations should have a place in IR theory or practice. For them, the Palestinians are the quintessential victims of the power of ‘capitalism, imperialism and colonialism’ that deserve the full restoration of their rights.
As the Venezuelan conference initiative takes shape, it can count on the Zureik and his academic followers. For instance, the Journal of Palestine Studies has some 215 articles on the right to return, not to mention scores of books and reports. Last but not least, some Jewish academics have signed on petition for the right for returnand in Israel there are some like Shenhav, and others that embraced the Palestinian's right to return to Israel.
|Southampton U Conference: Organizers Lose Legal Challenge to Reverse Cancellation on Safety Ground|
|On the 14th of April 2015, the High Court in London ruled against the organizers of a conference at Southampton University that promised to ‘reevaluate’ Israel’s right to exist. The university cancelled the event on the grounds of public safety. The High Court agreed with the university authorities that safety may become compromised. As the article below mentions, the Judge said "Permission had been withdrawn because the university decided it was not possible to put in place measures to ensure staff and student safety" and that "There is no evidence the decision was taken otherwise than in good faith with a conscientious application of the duty to protect free speech."
The conference organizers and their supporters have insisted that Southampton University has succumbed to pressure and abrogated their free speech. The situation is ironic to say the least. As IAM noted, pro-Palestinian activists have a long history of violently disputing pro-Israeli events on campus.
Unlike the United States, Great Britain has no First Amendment and restrictions on free speech can be put in place on account of public safety and other considerations. Radical pro-Palestinian activists have no one but themselves to blame for creating an atmosphere of violence and intimidation that makes a fair and balanced debate all but impossible.
|Two conferences on the Palestinian Right of Return to Israel, September 2013|
| Even as the Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, radical academics rushed to put the right of return of Palestinians on the public agenda.
A large conference on the Right of Return was organized in London with the help of Ilan Pappe, formerly of Haifa University, now at Exeter University's Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies. The Center has been a recipient of Arab money in the United Kingdom. Another conference participant is Uri Davis, an Israeli convert to Islam.
The second conference is organized by Zochrot, a group based in Tel Aviv, dedicated to the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees. Adi Ophir, Ariella Azoulay, Gadi Algazi and Yehouda Shenhav were among the first academic supporters of Zochrot. Currently, TAU professors Dan Rabinowitz and Aïm Deüelle Lüski are speakers at this conference.
These seemingly academic gatherings have a very applied political purpose; they serve as a warning to the Palestinian leadership not to compromise on the right to return. It is no coincidence that these and other radical faculty have never accepted the two-state solution; pushing for a full return will virtually assure the collapse of the talks.
|[TAU] Adi Ophir, Ariella Azoulay, [BGU] Lev Grinberg & [HUJ] Merav Amir in a bashing Israel event
|The Lexicon for Political Theory of The Minerva Humanities Center (MHC) at Tel Aviv University is led by Professor Adi Ophir, a veteran political activist and a self described critical philosopher who has turned the Lexicon into an incubator of radical scholarship.
IAM reported that the Lexicon Project has organized a large number of conferences, workshops and meetings abroad. The Workshop on Occupation at Duke University is representative in this respect. Ophir and Azoualy, (on Sabbatical at Brown University) were joined by two additional Israeli faculty, Lev Grinberg (BGU) and Merav Amir (HUJ.) Grinberg is a veteran political activist who accused IDF of committing war crimes, and charged Israel with engaging in "symbolic genocide" of Palestinians. Indeed, according to Grinberg, if it was not for the pressure of the international community, Israel would had carried real genocide. Amir, whose very modest academic output includes commentary on West Bank checkpoints, has supported BDS in a 2012 edited book The Case of Sanctions Against Israel.
|"A night of apartheid" - An intolerant debate by the radical left|
|To coincide with the Israeli Apartheid week which is taking place in various cities around the world, Prof. Amiram Goldblum (HUJ) invited the public to a conference in Van Leer Jerusalem, to debate the "Israeli Apartheid". Goldblum hopes to launch an organization dedicated to fighting "apartheid and racism" in Israel.
As the following article shows, the debate was stacked against would be critics: A professor who dissented was given seven minutes out of the three hours convention to counter the apartheid accusations of BGU Prof. Oren Yiftachel and others.
|[Beit Berl] A Manna; M Amara; [Hebrew U] R Halabi: Reject Palestinian-Jewish actions. Israel fascist, racist & colonialist|
|Workshop: Relations between Palestinians and Jews in Israel
What we see in Israel today is fascism and racism – phenomena that began with the establishment of the State of Israel and has continued to the present day - Professor Muhammad Amara
Dr. Manna discussed three alternative actions that might be taken: rejecting joint Palestinian-Jewish action, building Palestinian social institutions through support of the international community, rather than from the Israeli public.
Dr. Rabah Halabi argued that colonialism is the determining factor in Israel, and the Jewish Left and the Ashkenazim are the ones waving the banner of colonialism.
|Dalit Baum of University of Haifa, Eyal Sivan of Sapir, among others, speak at "Israel Apartheid Week" March 2011|
|Dr. Dalit Baum of University of Haifa and Beit Berl College, who is also the founder of whoprofits.org, is taking part in two different Israel Apartheid Weeks in the United States. Baum spoke on behalf of Code Pink and Global Exchange at a panel of the George Washington University Israel Apartheid Week entitled, “People power and the struggles for freedom in Egypt and Palestine.” According to the Washington Post, Code Pink members protested outside of the AIPAC Policy Conference in 2010, carrying signs stating “G-d hates the Jews,” “You will eat your babies,” as well as signs with an Israeli flag defaced with a swastika. The Code Pink protesters also shouted about supposed “Israeli apartheid” and “Israeli war crimes.” Global Exchange supports BDS against Israel. During this event, which was sponsored by the George Washington University’s Students for Justice in Palestine, Baum spoke about “cooperate accountability to the occupation and how students here can make a difference.” |
|At the Hebrew U and Tel Aviv U, radical activists turn the campuses into platform of anti-Israel activism and disobedience to law. Wed. March 2, 2011|
|In Tel Aviv University, activists from the Sheikh Jarrah struggle and "Solidarity Against Fascism" organize "'Obstracting Check-Points' a screening and discussion on the strength of the non-violent common struggle, on politization of the Police and civic disobedience" With Adv. Leah Zemel and PhD student Avner Inbar from Solidarity Against Fascism Group,
Dr. Amiel Vardi of the Hebrew University is one of the organizers, below also an invitation sent by him for a talk by Buthaina Dabit, an employee of Shatil, which is an initiative of the New Israel Fund, about Illegal building and its demolitions in the city of Lod (Lyd). No representative of the Lod municipality counters her claims. Below also an official paper posted on the Lod municipality website announcing the high court rejection of the court claims made by those families on the 16th of February this year. The Shatil activist represents the families.
|Israeli academics in an anti-Israel SOAS Palestine Society Conference "Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine"|
Gabriel Piterberg – University of California, Los Angeles / Gershon Shafir – University of California, San Diego / Ilan Pappe – University of Exeter / Gish (Gershon) Amit – Ben-Gurion University / As’ad Ghanem - University of Haifa / Eyal Weizman – Goldsmiths College / Shir Hever, son of anti-Israel activist Hannan Hever from Hebrew University.
For over a century, Zionism has subjected Palestine and Palestinians to a structural and violent form of destruction, dispossession, land appropriation, and erasure in the pursuit of a new colonial Israeli society. Too often, this Palestine ‘Question’ has been framed as unique; a national, religious, and/or liberation struggle with little semblance to colonial conflicts elsewhere. The two-day conference, Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine, seeks to reclaim settler colonialism as the central paradigm from which to understand Palestine.
|Haifa U Dalit Baum and TAU Merav Amir: Israel’s Violations of Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law & War Crimes|
|Russell Tribunal on Palestine
The second international session of the RToP will take place in London, on 20, 21 and 22 November 2010. It will examine International corporate complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, and War Crimes.
Dr. Dalit Baum (Israel) and Hugh Lanning (UK) will provide an overview of the issues relating to business practices in relation to settlements and the settlement industry.
Merav Amir (Israel) Will offer an overview of both Israeli and international finance companies and their connection to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Merav Amir and or Dr. Dalit Baum (Israel) will follow with an account of British private security firm G4S .
|TAU Gadi Algazi, Raef Zreik, Neta Ziv, Mahmoud Yazbak, Hunida Ghanem: Discriminatory legal system, political repression, state violence|
|From 7-9 October 2010 Adalah held its 5th Annual Arab Law Students’ Conference at Wahat al-Salaam/Neve Shalom, a camping ground on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Arab students studying law at Israeli colleges and universities, among them Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, came together as a group for a series of legal lectures workshops led by Arab and Jewish academics, lawyers and activists. |
|A joint struggle against Israel: Neve Gordon, Gadi Algazi, Abeer Baker "Before it’s too late: moving from protest to ongoing activity"|
|Thursday 22.07.2010 10:00 – 17:00
The conference calls on Jewish and Arab human rights, protest and peace organizations to make a clear joint appeal and work together to:
* Stop the siege on Gaza
*Stop incitement towards Palestinians in Israel, and the policy of racism towards them.
*Stop the persecution of critics and opponents of - - Government policy.
*Strive for the ending of the occupation in a persistent and effective way.
|In support of Haifa conference for return of Palestinian refugees: Iris Bar, Elia Zomot, Tirtza Tauber, Ilan Pappe, Omar Barghouti, Oren Ben-Dor, Yael Korin|
|Iris Bar, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa
Elia Zomot, Department of Biochemistry, Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem
Tirtza Tauber, Computer Services, The Unit of Medical Education, Tel Aviv University
Omar Barghouti, MA student at Tel Aviv University
We, the undersigned, support the call of the preparatory committee of the 2nd Haifa conference for the return of the Palestinian refugees and for the establishment of a democratic secular state in historic Palestine.
• Stop ethnic cleansing. For the return of the Palestinian refugees to all the areas from which they were expelled.
• Put an end to all forms of occupation, Apartheid, racism, discrimination and oppression. The Palestinian people should re-unite and live as a free nation in their homeland.
• The returning refugees and all the residents of Palestine will live in one democratic state, without discrimination. This state will ensure human rights, equality, prosperity and full participation in building the new society for all its citizens. To ensure these rights, the prospective state will adopt a constitution that will prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, class or any other reason.
We support the call for building an international coalition to achieve these goals.
|Michael Sfard and Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan participate the 'Russell Tribunal on Palestine' to pressure governments to change their policies|
|The recent war waged by the Israeli government and the Israeli army on the Gaza strip, already under a blockade, underlines the particular responsibility of the United States and of the European Union in the perpetuation of the injustice done to the Palestinian people, deprived of its fundamental rights.
It is important to mobilize the international public opinion so that the United Nations and Member States adopt the necessary measures to end the impunity of the Israeli State, and to reach a just and durable solution to this conflict.
Following an appeal from Ken Coates, Nurit Peled, and Leila Shahid, and with the support of over a hundred well-known international personalities, it has been decided to organise a Russell Tribunal on Palestine.
Based on the Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued on the 9th of July 2004 and on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Organisation, this Russell Tribunal on Palestine is a civic initiative promoting international law as the core element of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Further than Israel’s responsibility, it aims to demonstrate the complicity of Third States and International Organisations which, through their passivity or active support, allow Israel to violate the rights of the Palestinian People, and let this situation be continued and aggravated.
The next step will then be to establish how this complicity results in international responsibilities.
|Israeli anti Zionist left parties SOAS debate- [BGU] Ahmad Sadi: Israel "characterized by its racist infrastructures" with Pappe, Shalon-Chetritt, Machover|
|This section focuses on the different anti Zionist personalities or political parties inside Israel, whether Arab Israeli or Jewish. Those very courageous individuals or groups have to confront in their daily activism an Israeli society becoming increasingly intolerant and racist, as suggested by many of the speakers and as observed with the composition of the current Israeli government.
Firstly, Ilan Pappe, an anti Zionist Israeli from Exeter University, and author of the famous book “Palestine: ethnic cleansing”, started speaking about the contradiction in the narrative history of the Zionist left. ...
Ahmad Sadi, from the Ben Gurion University, brought another historic dimension on the troubled legacy between the Israeli Communist Party (ICP) and Zionism, which infuriated Issam Makhloul, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI). He claimed that Communists and Zionists relations are based on a basic common trust for ideological and historical reasons going back to 1948. At this period, the USSR actually supported politically and militarily the creation of a Zionist State, while describing the Palestinian national movement as racist and of being an agent of foreign powers. The PCI ,on its side, accepted the Israeli state, characterized by its racist infrastructures, but wanted to create a notion of class struggle in Palestine against Fascism and they had not in mind a colonial project.
|Arab academics in "Legal Action: Aspects, Goals, and Challenges" on the involvement of Palestinian citizens of Israel in waging the struggle since 1948|
|Dr. Yousef T. Jabareen, lecturer in law at the University of Haifa
Prof. Nadim Rouhana, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Professor Michael Karayanni of the Law Faculty of Hebrew University
Dr. Hala Khoury-Bisharat, of the Tel Aviv University Law Faculty
Dr. Raif Zreik, of the Minerva Center for the Humanities at Tel Aviv University
The workshop was the fifth and last of Mada’s series of workshops in the framework of its Political Participation Research Project. The objective of the project was to study the various tools of political participation, among them the involvement of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and their effectiveness and effects in waging the struggle they have been engaged in since 1948.
|Israeli participants at Israel Apartheid Week: Ilan Pappe, Avi Shlaim, Dr Jamal Zahalka in Oxford and TAU student Shir Hever in Holland|
|Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) is an annual international series of events held in cities and campuses across the globe. The aim of IAW is to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement.
Mark your calendars - the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) will take place across the globe from from the 1st to the 14th of March 2010!
Oxford Arab Cultural Society
amal Zahalka is a Member of the Israeli parliament and Chairman of the National Democratic Assembly (Balad), the largest secular Palestinian party in Israel. He holds a PhD in Pharmacology from the Hebrew University
Speaker: Professor Ilan Pappé Chair: Professor Avi Shlaim
Shir Hever is economic researcher for the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organisation with offices in Jerusalem and Beit Sahour. Shir researches the economic aspects of the Israeli occupation of Palestine
|UK Goldsmiths College hosts a seminar by Adi Ophir & Sari Hanafi "The Power of Inclusive Exclusion". Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian at GMU, March 3rd|
|The seminar, with co-editors and contributors Adi Ophir and Sari Hanafi and chaired by Eyal Weizman will take place on Monday March 1st at Goldsmiths' Research Architecture studio RHB312 (main building, second floor) between 1400-1600.
The Power of Inclusive Exclusion analyzes the Israeli occupation as a rationalized system of political rule. With essays by leading Palestinian and Israeli scholars, a comprehensive chronology, photographs, and original documents, this groundbreaking book address the fundamental and contemporary dimensions of the occupation regime—its unpredictable bureaucratic apparatus, the fragmentation of space and regulation of movement, the intricate tapestry of law and regulations, the discriminatory control over economic flows and the calculated use of military violence. In a time when military occupations are emerging globally, political disasters abound, and protracted control over groups of noncitizens has been normalized, The Power of Inclusive Exclusion provides a new set of categories crucial to our understanding of emergency regimes and identifies what is at stake for an informed and timely opposition.
The Middle East Studies Program will present Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, who will lecture on Wednesday, March 3, at 1 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Third Floor Meeting Room A.
Her topic is “Trapped Bodies and Lives: The Politics of Everydayness in Palestine.”
The protracted historical experience of occupation, annexation and displacement of Jerusalem’s Palestinian inhabitants has shaped relationships between place, space, identity politics, nationality and gender constructions in the city.
Shalhoub-Kevorkian’s presentation will shed light on the ways in which individuals and their families perceive their trapped bodies and lives as lying both “inside” and “outside” the contexts of violence, displacement and eviction.
|Watch a short video with Neve Gordon, Dalit Baum and Omar Barghouti at "United in Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation & Racism"|
|United in Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism
November 06, 2009
The joint Israeli-Palestinian Alternative Information Center presents the International Seminar on Economic Perspectives and Advocacy Struggles: United in Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation, and Racism.
The Seminar was held in Bethlehem, Occupied Palestinian Territories, on October 24th-25th 2009
|[BGU] Neve Gordon: "The Art of Israeli Homeland Security" [TAU] Uri Hadar "Insubordination & Mental Health"on draft-dodging & Anarchists Against the Wall|
|January 5 at 8:00pm
This is the third conference in the framework of the exhibition "Evil to the Core" at the Israeli Center for Digital Art. The exhibition and accompanying conferences seek to raise issues for discussion concerning obedience to authority, conformism, individual and social responsibility, non-compliance, and nonconformism in general, and in Israeli society in particular. This conference asks how utopia is implemented and what tools enable the creation of a utopia in the geographic, political, security and social spheres, according to the model play-written by Herzl and directed by Ben Gurion. Their joint production created a Hebrew speaking country defined by Jewish ethnicity in the territory of the Middle East through the binding establishment of intimidation, the economy, social engineering, planning and construction, to create a harmonized project in which every citizen (and non-citizen) is a partner in a social experiment on the stage of history.
The Art of Israeli Homeland SecurityDr. Neve Gordon is a senior lecturer and head of the Politics and Government Department at Ben Gurion University. His areas of research include political thought, human rights, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
December 8 at 8:00pm
At the Israeli Center for Digital Art, 16 Yirmiyahu Street, HolonThis conference is the second of three conferences accompanying the exhibition "Evil to the Core." The exhibition and conferences seek to discuss issues concerning obedience to authority, conformism, individual and social responsibility, non-compliance, and nonconformism in general, and in Israeli society in particular.Civil disobedience, unlike criminal disobedience, does not lead to anarchy, but moral and conscientious action. Therefore, while the state can suppress criminal disobedience, it should restrain against suppressing civil disobedience. The right to non-compliance is a natural right related to self-respect. With this, the limit of civil disobedience is its use of violence – once it breaks out, it is transformed into criminal disobedience. Another possible distinction is between offensive and defensive non-compliance; the first is done against laws whose violation expresses protest and insurrection against the state, the second involuntarily against laws that impair human dignity. In any case the restriction of violence is key and is what lends legitimation to civil disobedience.The conference will address the boundaries of non-compliance and obedience in the local context of Israel precisely in a period in which this question becomes relevant in light of a new phenomenon of military disobedience. These phenomena, from the right side of the political map, recently made headlines and raised questions about the place of the individual and the military in a democratic society. Despite the phenomenon of refusal on the left as well, it has never managed to produce such resonance. Against this backdrop, the conference will discuss civil disobedience and insubordination.Brief information about the speakers and their lecture topics:Prof. Uri Hadar – Insubordination and Mental HealthProf. Uri Hadar will describe how refuseniks are being released on the basis of psychological maladjustment. A professor of Psychology at Tel Aviv University, a member of the parents’ forum of refuseniks, active in the organisation "Psycho-active. Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights ", Prof. Uri Hadar also teaches a course on the psychology of occupation.
|Yesh Gvul (Campaigning against the occupation by backing soldiers who refuse) associates include Zeev Sternhell, Yossi Dahan, Ilana Hammerman|
|Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prize 2009 - 30/11 , Tel Aviv
Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz - If he were alive, what would he say about operation "Cast Lead", and the ensuing Goldstone report?
Following the Qibya raid in 1953, in which the number of innocent civilians slain was not even a tenth of the number of innocent civilians slain in Gaza ! - Leibowitz shouted out the compelling question:
"Where did we get such youths, who sense no moral impediment to committing the atrocity, when given an internal or external impetus to retaliate?"
Leibowitz is no longer with us, and we cannot determine his reaction to recent events. But in these dark times, we, those who cherish his memory, will commemorate his legacy by awarding the Leibowitz Prize, for public activism in the spirit of his political and philosophical teaching.
The prize committe (Dr. Yossi Dahan, Dr. Ilana Hammerman, Dr. Yehuda Meltzer, Prof. Zeev Sternhell, Mr. Mordechai Zeldon) has awarded the prize to :
Alice Shalvi (educator,recipient of the Israel prize)
Rabbi Arik Ascherman (Director of Rabbis for Human Rights).
We invite you to the awarding ceremony, to take place on Monday, 30/11/09, at 20:30, at Tzavta (Ibn Gvirol street, Tel-Aviv)
|Anti-Israel conference in Gothenberg, Sweden, 07/2010 "Sociology on the move" with two representing Israel: Lev Luis Grinberg and Avishai Ehrlich|
|Session 5: Whither the Israeli-Palestine conflict?
Chair: Michael Burawoy, Universdity of California, USA
Violence and normalcy
Salim Tamari, Birzeit University, Israel
Destruction of communities, trauma and violence: The Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Avishai Ehrlich, Academic College of Tel Aviv Jaffa, Israel
Spacio-cide as a form of a colonial violence
Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Politics and violence in Israel/Palestine, past, present and future
Lev Luis Grinberg, Ben Gurion University, Israel
Violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not exceptional but has dominated the history of the relations between the two nations. In this context the deployment of violence is generally without legitimacy among the targeted populations.
The objective of this panel is to analyze political developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, exploring how ongoing violence constitutes a danger to future mutual recognition and reconciliation. Internal Israeli and Palestinian politics will be examined, showing how they influence the conflict and explaining the central role of military organizations in shaping the relations of each side towards the other.
|Mada Al Carmel (Prof. Nadim Rouhana & Dr. Nedera Shalhoub-Kevorkian) in "Outrage over 'rape' poster that demonises Israel"|
|Prof. Nadim Rouhana
Leader of Geneder Studies Project
The poster publicising the conference, held in Haifa on Monday, shows the hand of an IDF soldier grasping the breast of a woman wearing a traditional Palestinian dress.
The poster reads: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her. The occupation penetrates her life everyday.”
The groups behind the event received NIF funding last year. Mada Al-Carmel was given $100,000 (£59,000), the Arab Forum for Sexuality was given $23,000 (£14,000) and Women Against Violence was given $217,000 (£129,000).
The conference, My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality: Palestinians in the Shadow of the Wall, was part of a campaign in 11 countries highlighting the attack on sexual rights in Muslim societies.
|Neta Ziv, Michael Karayanni, Yousef Tayseer Jabarin, Mahmoud Yazbak, Yousef Rafiq Jabareen, Hala Khoury-Bisharat & Abeer Baker speak in Adalah's anti-israel conference|
|Over three days, from 6-8 October 2009, Adalah held its 4th Annual Arab Law Students Conference at Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salaam. Seventy law students from Israeli colleges and universities and Al Quds University and 25 human rights lawyers, academics and activists participated in the event.
Dr. Neta Ziv, the Director of Legal Clinics at the Faculty of Law Tel Aviv University, proposed a new model that is completely different from the traditional judicial action taken in defense of human rights. This model is based on encouraging private sector, commercial institutions to develop projects that would alleviate the suffering of the people and achieve their rights. Dr. Yousef Tayseer Jabarin, lecturer at Haifa University and Director of the Arab Center "Dirasat" spoke about the political dilemmas of submitting certain petitions to the Supreme Court that concern the Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as Palestinians in the OPT, as well as problems with the states lack of implementation of court judgments. Attorney Hassan Jabareen, Adalahs General Director, asked the students to imagine constitutionalism in Israel in the year 2020, and opined that this future thinking could only be very speculative due to the extreme instability of the political situation and Israels lack of defined borders.
The second panel chaired by Adalah Attorney Fatmeh El-Ajou was entitled State Responsibility, War Crimes and Remedies for the Victims. Attorney El-Ajou spoke about the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, and the recommendations that it issued, as well as the latest developments concerning the Palestinian Authoritys initial withdrawal of the resolution concerning the Goldstone report from consideration by the UN Human Rights Council.
Dr. Hala Khoury-Bisharat, a lecturer in international criminal law and a member of the Board of Directors of Adalah, spoke about international criminal courts, and the basis of their jurisdiction and the statutes that govern their work. Attorney Michael Sfard, a legal consultant to Yesh Din, talked about the possibilities of bringing cases involving war crimes in national courts abroad including tort cases for compensation against Israel.
The third panel focused on land rights and the states expropriation of Palestinian refugees' properties. This panel was chaired by Dr. Mahmoud Yazbak, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Adalah and a senior lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Haifa University. Dr. Yazbak spoke about the states confiscation of Arab-owned land and key historical points in the Arab citizens' struggle against land confiscation since the Nakba to the present. Hana Hamdan, Adalahs Urban and Regional Planner, discussed the various methods used by Israel to expropriate Arab-owned lands. Attorney Awni Banna from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel elaborated on the Absentee Property Law-1950 and its implications for Palestinians, and explained the tactics used by the various authorities to exclude Arab citizens of the state from land distribution. Attorney Osama Halabi introduced the students to the methods used to confiscate the refugees' properties over the years and the legal procedures used to seize these properties, particularly in East Jerusalem. In his presentation, Dr. Yousef Rafiq Jabareen, a senior lecturer at the Technion, emphasized how Israeli land planning policies have worked to erase and/or conceal Palestinian architecture in the country.
|[Ben Gurion U, Politics] Neve Gordon in "United in Struggle against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation, and Racism..." 24-25 October 2009, Bethlehem|
|The seminar is taking place on 24-25 October 2009 in Bethlehem,
Palestine, and gathers Palestinian, international and anti-colonial Israeli activists, researchers, and others interested in advocacy issues toward ending the Israeli occupation and achieving a just peace. The seminar will place a special emphasis on the economic interests behind the occupation and the potential impact that the international campaigns of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) can make in promoting justice for the Palestinian people.
The seminar aims to review, develop, and document the Palestinian advocacy mechanisms locally and internationally, to determine the impact of such efforts so far, in addition to raising the level of cooperation and coordination amongst the various related actions and activities....
12:15-13:45 Session II: The Economy of the Israeli Occupation in
a Global Context.
1. Global Neoliberalism and the Occupation of Palestine:
A Theoretical Overview
Speaker to be announced
From Individual Prosperity to Communal Stagnation:
The Economy as a Form of Social Control
Dr. Neve Gordon, Ben Gurion University of the
|[Tel Aviv U, Psychology] Uri Hadar, and [IDC, Psychology] Nissim Avissar to speak in "Sites of Conflict: Psycho‐Political Resistance in Palestine‐Israel"|
|Uri Hadar is professor of psychology in Tel Aviv University.Our distress, no doubt, was partly the result of the fact that we had personal acquaintances there. Psychoactive includes both Israeli Jewish and Palestinian mental health professionals and maintains extensive connections with colleagues in Gaza and the West Bank, including professional relations, personal-professional encounters through joint activities, and social relations. All these connections occur within the reality of the Jewish - Palestinian/Arab conflict, and the asymmetry of Israel's military occupation of Palestinian lands.
We pictured our colleagues and friends, mental health professionals in Gaza, with whom in recent years we had developed a working relationship, and our friends, Palestinian citizens of Israel who were concerned about the fate of their relatives in Gaza. We believed that progressive processes of dehumanization and objectification of Palestinians had generated the implicit demand, which became widespread in Israeli society, to eliminate empathy for the Gazan people as fellow human beings - relatives, friends, children, women, men. Between our national identifications and our opposition to dehumanization, a serious crack appeared.
The group has set itself the goal of being active in areas of social-political concern, and notably the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. Much of our activity relates to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the ongoing war between Jews and Palestinians, and the psychological consequences of this situation for the occupied and the occupier. We try to set ourselves challenges as regards the accepted notions about the neutrality of the therapist in the mental health professions and to examine how we may suggest a type of practice that engages with the communities in which psychologists live and work, while safeguarding professional standards and ethics. In doing so, we join therapists worldwide who regard their profession as offering tools for engaging with oppression and violence - whether this is in the clinic or in the public space.
|Mary Totry [Oranim College]: The Palestinian minority is in danger of being transferred. Khaled Furani [Tel Aviv U]: Israel's normalization of killing|
|Today, there are 1.4 million Palestinian citizens in Israel. However, since the establishment of the Jewish state 61 years ago, this minority continues to struggle for their civil rights and equal rights as citizens of the self-declared "only democracy in the Middle East." A delegation from The Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, explained the challenges and the triumphs of the Palestinian citizens in Israel.|
|Professors Yousef Jabareen, Manar Hasan, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadim Rouhana participate Palestinian Conference on the future of Jerusalem|
|[University of Haifa] Yousef Jabareen, [Tel-Aviv University] Manar Hasan, [Hebrew University] Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, [Ex-Tel Aviv University] Nadim Rouhana participating a Palestinian conference on Jerusalem "History Of The Future"
Panel 1: The Political Horizon Chair: Samera Esmeir
10:00- 10:20 US policy towards the Middle East Rashid Khalidi
10:20 - 10:40 The Palestinians in Israel and the proposed political solutions for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. Nadim Rouhana
10:40 - 11:00 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: future scenarios
Ahmad Sameh Khalidi
11:00 - 11:30 Discussion
11:30 - 11:45 Coffee Break
Panel 2: The Judaization and Israelization Policy Chair: Suhad Bishara
11:45 - 12:05 Judaizing spaces and places: a feminist critical perspective Nadera Shalhoub- Kevorkian
12:05 - 12:25 The walls of Jerusalem: new and old Manar Hasan 12:25 - 12:45 The state of the Palestinian landscape, 1948 - 2009 Yousef Jabareen
|Radical Leftist Speakers Dominated Bar-Ilan University Conference “Networks of Peace and Security: Gendered Perspectives" |
|The organizers of the conference, which took place in late May—among them Prof. Tova Cohen and Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy—insisted that information about the gathering had been circulated well in advance and maintained that the only responses were from the political left.
The conference invitation identified the speakers as members of the academic community, but omitted their affiliations with radical-Left organizations. For example, Erela Shadmi was presented as a researcher in Beyt Berl, although she has not been connected to that institution for two years, nor does she seem to have any other current academic affiliation. As much to the point, she is an activist in "Nashim BeShachor" ("Women in Black"), and in 2001 she was interviewed about her initiative for a joint activity with Palestinian women.
Reflective of the hostility to Israel and the IDF exhibited at the conference, in several of the presentations the establishment of the State was referred to as a “catastrophe,” and terms like the “Nakba” and "Occupation" were repeatedly used as factual descriptive.
|Arab money sponsors Cambridge 'Arab Jews' conference which is based on denial|
|Dr. Ami Elad-Bouskila, head of the Arabic Department of Beit Berl College.
Prof. Yosef Tobi, Literature, University of Haifa.
Almog Behar, Literature Department, Tel Aviv University.
Prof' Sassoon Somekh, Literature Department, Tel Aviv University.
Yonatan Mendel is a PhD student at Queens' College, Cambridge, currently working in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. His doctoral research deals with Arabic language and security in Israeli society.
The conference has deliberately chosen to focus on Israel, where most Jews of Arab culture have ended up. Its message is clear: Israel has 'de-arabised' Jews from Arab countries. They have been stripped of their Arabic culture. (For good measure, the conference throws in a couple of sessions on Palestinian literature in Israel. No doubt, the conference will also show how Israel has suppressed Palestinian Arab culture.) Conclusion: Jews must re-connect with their 'Arabic roots' and throw off the oppressive Zionist yoke.
Several of the Jewish lecturers are well-known leftists or advocates of Jewish-Muslim coexistence on Arab terms
|Israel academics to play prominent role in York University conference considering one-state or two-state "solution"|
|The purpose of the event, as stated in an official announcement, is to "explore which state models offer promising paths to resolving the Israeli-Palestine conflict...."
The announcement asserts that "despite the diplomatic focus on the two-state model, the continued failure to achieve peace...highlights the necessity of rigorously examining whether the two-state approach is indeed the only way...." There is a "need to explore alternative political futures in the region."
A number of Israeli academics, most identified with the far Left of the political spectrum, are among the scheduled speakers.
|Building Palestinian Civil Society within Challenging Realities
Mr. Jafar Farrah, Dr. Mary Totry and Dr. Khaled Furani from the Mossawa Center.|
|Today, there are 1.4 million Palestinian citizens in Israel. However, since the establishment of the Jewish state 61 years ago, this minority continues to struggle for their civil rights and equal rights as citizens of the self-declared "only democracy in the Middle East." A delegation from The Mossawa Center, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, explained the challenges and the triumphs of the Palestinian citizens in Israel.|
|Bar-Ilan University Blasted for Conference ‘Befitting Bir Zeit’|
|A two day conference at Bar-Ilan University on “Gender and Security” is causing an uproar in Zionist and religious circles. The two-day conference that ends Wednesday evening features a slew of anti-Zionist and radical leftist lecturers and appears to hint that IDF soldiers are comparable with Nazi soldiers. The critics charge that none of the lectures “balance out” the anti-Israeli slant or offer a pro-IDF angle, in what is supposed to be a non-political academic conference.
Orna Sasson-Levy of Bar-Ilan University was to speak about “The Military as an Over-Gendered Institution.” Israel Academia Monitor, a watchdog site that follows extreme leftist academics, lists her as a signatory of a petition calling for the release of Tali Fahima, who was convicted and jailed for aiding terrorists.
...Nimrod Shavit and Tamar Katriel of Haifa University were to speak about the “discourse” used by “Breaking Silence” – an organization that encourages soldiers to give damning testimony regarding alleged IDF misdeeds in Judea and Samaria and which conducts left-wing “tours” of Hevron. Israel Academia Monitor dubs Katriel and her husband Jakob (a prominent communist activist) “the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg of Israel.” ...
Merav Amir and Hagar Kotef of Tel-Aviv University would focus on the activity of anti-IDF group “Machsom Watch” in a lecture called “Mothers, Mistresses and Whores: When Resistance Collapses into Gender – The Case of Machsom Watch.”
Dr. Erella Shadmi of Beit Berl Academic College was to address the idea of “The Gift Economy” – a concept often linked with an ideology called anarcho-communism.
|[Tel Aviv U] Rachel Giora, [Haifa U] Dalia Sachs, [Haifa U] Dalit Baum and [Tel Aviv U] Merav Amir "Free Gaza: 10 Days Against the Siege 5-14.6"|
| Everything you always wanted to know (and never dared to ask) about the campaign for BDS (Rachel Giora)
Corporate Responsibility on the Israeli Occupation (Dalit Baum and Merav Amir)
Closing Session: Feminist Networks of Action and Knowledge
|Omar Barghouti, Michael Sfard, Merav Amir, and Dalit Baum speak for "Bil’in Village Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall and Settlements"|
|In the wake of the Israeli atrocities in Gaza it is vital that we continue to resist against the Israeli occupation. This February has marked the fourth anniversary of the weekly non-violent protests against the construction of the Apartheid Wall in Bil’in.
Bil’in has become a symbol both of the theft of land across Palestine and of the power of non-violent grassroots movements in building local and international resistance to Occupation.
We invite you to participate in the fourth Bil’in conference on grassroots popular resistance in April 2009.
The International Conference will be held on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of April...
The BDS movement: challenges and perspectives
Coordinated by: Lubna Hammad (Adalah-NY), Muhammad Jaradat (Badil), Omar Barghouti (PACBI)
Legal Accountability for War Crimes
Coordinated by: Shawan Jabarin, General Director, Al-Haq, Michael Sfard, Israeli legal counsel to Bil’in Village Council, Merrav Amir/Dalit Baum, Project Coordinators, Who Profits? Exposing the Israeli Occupation Industry
|The growing belief of Israeli academics in a one-state solution, says Palestinian analyst|
|even if two states are established, Israel cannot continue to be a state that privileges its Jewish citizens over its non-Jewish citizens. So either one or two states would mean the end of a Jewish state - although not of the state of Israel...
Omar Barghouti [Tel Aviv U, Phd candidate], As'ad Ghanem [U of Haifa, Political Science], Ori (Oren) Ben-Dor [Law, Southampton U], Gabriel Piterberg [History UCLA], Smadar Lavie [International Studies, Macalester College], Ilan Pappe [History, U of Exeter], Dr. Meron Benvenisti, Nadim Rouhana [Law and Diplomacy, Tufts U]
|Anat Biletzki, Gabriel Piterberg and Meron Benvenisti provide information to a Palestinian symposium for Gaza|
|The second annual Gaza symposium, this year jointly organized by MIT and Harvard, will host a series of panels on the role of U.S. and international actors, as well as human rights and international humanitarian law in the wake of recent events in Gaza. Bringing together experts in the fields of human rights, history, political science, U.S. foreign policy and law, the two-day symposium will include a range of views from US, Israeli, Palestinian and UN/NGO perspectives.
International Law & Human Rights
Moderator: Susan Akram, Clinical Professor at Boston University School of Law
Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Anat Biletzki, Former chairperson of B’Tselem—Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and Professor of Philosophy at Tel Aviv University
Craig Mokhiber, Deputy Director of the New York Office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
|Israeli academics to participate a Palestinian conference 'One State for Palestine / Israel: A Country for All Its Citizens?' |
|Dr Meron Benvenisti, Prof' Oren Ben-Dor, Professor Gabriel Piterberg, Professor Nadim Rouhana, Professor As’ad Ghanem, Professor Smadar Lavie, (PhD candidate) Omar Barghouti, Professor Ilan Pappe.
..In recent years, with facts on the ground changing, many scholars and commentators have questioned the feasibility of a truly just and enduring two state solution to the Palestinian Israeli conflict. Increased discrimination against Palestinians in Israel, continued growth in the expansion of settlements in the 1967-occupied territories, the erection of the separation wall, are just a few of the factors making the current two state solution option seem to many no longer a truly tenable offering. Scholars, commentators and citizens have begun to look at other ideas, and most to the idea of the creation of a comprehensive single state as the solution. Over the past year, support for that idea has been growing with conferences held in the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel and the West Bank. Still, this alternative is left firmly off of the official agendas. Yet in the months following the November 2007 Annapolis meetings, the Israeli Government announced tenders for the construction of thousands of new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, suggesting it has no intention of releasing its hold on the territories.
|Canada Conference Plans Israel’s Demise|
|One of the perks of being Israeli is that people in far-off places seem to take an interest in your problems. For instance, Queen’s University and York University of Canada are planning a conference for June 1, 2009, on “Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace.”
There’s already a website that’s issuing a call for papers and setting forth the “vision” of the conference.
“The purpose of this conference,” the “Welcome” to the website
informs us, “is to explore which state model would be the best to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” It refers to the recent “failure” of the “two-state model” to “bring peace to the region” and says: “The conference seeks to systematically measure the two-state model against the promise of alternatives; very specifically the potential in the model of a single binational state.”.....
That’s not to say, of course, that the Advisory Committee isn’t
“balanced”—in addition to the ex-Israeli Dorit Namaan it has four
currently-Israeli members: left-wing author and journalist Meron
Benvenisti, left-wing research associate Daphna Golan-Agnon of Hebrew University, left-wing law professor David Kretzmer of Hebrew University, and left-wing sociology professor Sammy Smooha of the University of Haifa.
|London U. event likens Gaza to Ghetto
|The situation in Gaza will be compared to that in the Warsaw Ghetto under the Nazis, at a prestigious London university next week.|