Book Review of Mahmood Mamdani’s Neither Settler nor Native[1]

By: Mark Muhannad Ayyash

June 22, 2021

 

*The material below is part of a book manuscript I am currently writing*

 

What Fanon and Césaire required of their own partisans, even during the heat of struggle, was to abandon fixed ideas of settled identity and culturally authorized definition. Become different, they said, in order that your fate as colonized peoples can be different; this is why nationalism, for all its obvious necessity, is also the enemy.

Edward Said, Representing the Colonized: Anthropology’s Interlocutors

 

Mamdani’s masterful analysis of colonial modernity in Neither Settler nor Native, engenders a number of important and difficult questions that the reader cannot shy away from. Among them are, and let me try to pose these in the simplest way possible: what is the path of decolonization? How can we set ourselves on that path? What is the nation-state and what is it meant to accomplish? Does its original or foundational purpose serve those who are struggling for a decolonized world today? How do we frame and make sense of extreme violence – like murderous ethnic cleansing and genocide – and how do we end it? How do we transform political orders from ones that enact extreme violence, to ones that end such violence? Does this transformation need to be simultaneously political, juridical, social, cultural, and economic? Or do we prioritize the political in our decolonial efforts? And how are we to understand this transformation vis-à-vis the victims and the perpetrators? If we shift our understanding of both as survivors, are the victims and perpetrators able to take the same path towards survivor-hood? Will they be walking there from the same positionality? Is the transformation required of each, of the same order and scope?

Let me try to approach some of these questions by first briefly exploring what I think is a constructive theoretical tension between Mamdani’s book and a book also published in 2020 by his colleague at Columbia University, Hamid Dabashi, The Emperor is Naked: On the Inevitable Demise of the Nation-State.

Very briefly, Dabashi argues in that book that the postcolonial state does not hold an organic connection with the people, the nations, over whom it rules. In opposing the violences of the state, Dabashi suggests “a complete decoupling of the nation and the state.” (Dabashi, 2020, p. 17) He argues though in his book that the nation needs to be rescued from the state. As the Palestinian nation teaches, Dabashi argues, the nation is the collectivity of the people who have a shared and layered (as opposed to a univocal and bounded) historical archive, set of lived experiences, interests, identities, struggles, and sense of belonging in the world. Against this nation, the state is “predicated on pure violence” and “with no claim to public sovereignty and/or political legitimacy.” (Dabashi, 2020, pp. 38-40) Dabashi makes the case that national liberation and national consciousness (but not the state-building project of nationalism) are crucial to this struggle, just as Fanon also argued long ago. In Dabashi, the nation is neither held nor secured by the state (as is conventionally asserted), but is rather suppressed, oppressed, and eliminated by the state. In this struggle, nations are striving to achieve “their own stateless sovereignty”: that is, a national sovereignty that both precedes and exceeds the state (Dabashi, 2020, p. 163). The nation, then, is a domain that is sovereign from the state precisely because the state can never fully control it, eradicate it, or saturate its possibilities and fully thwart its revolutionary potential.

Now, like Dabashi, Mamdani calls for a decoupling of the nation and the state, but in Mamdani, it is the state that needs to be rescued from the nation. The problem is not the state state structure itself – as a structure which (re)distributes resources, provides security and protection, builds a social welfare system, produces and enacts laws, etc. – but the problem is the hijacking of this state structure by a majoritarian national identity that then oppresses, exploits, and brutalizes minority nationalities.

To oppose and transform the nation-state, therefore, Mamdani calls for decolonizing the political where: (1) citizenship is granted “on the basis of residence rather than identity”; (2) we “denationalize states” where overarching nonnational federal state structures can enable local autonomy, sovereignty, and help flourish diversity; and (3) we re-educate the public imagination towards a critical reflexivity that accentuates how our identities can be politically remade, “bolstering democracy in place of neoliberal human rights remedies.” (Mamdani, 2020, p. 36)

Now, when we juxtapose Dabashi and Mamdani, we arrive at the agreed assertion that the coupling of the nation and the state produced a monster. But instead of taking a firm position as each of them does on which part of the now decoupled elements can guide us towards a decolonized future, I wonder if we can benefit instead from an agonism between the spheres of the social and the political (beyond their particular configuration in that monstrous coupling of the Euro-American nation-state); so I’m talking here about a constant tension between the social and the political that does not produce a winner, where one side overpowers the other.

So, my first question to Mahmood more specifically is this: is not a decolonization of the social as foundational and necessary as a decolonization of the political? If we understand the social as the space where the social collectivity forms and takes shape: that social bond of the collective “we,” that `asabiyyah that Ibn Khaldûn illuminated many centuries ago; if we understand the social as this space, where colonized people marked for erasure and elimination set themselves on the path of opposing their fragmentation, of asserting and reasserting their humanity, of articulating and rearticulating their collectivity, of reinvigorating their ability to mobilize and wield the power of the “we,” cannot and should not, that social space serve as equally foundational to the project of decolonization? Is that not necessary for a properly decolonial political space? Is not the social more than social justice? Social justice is a concept that is useful in describing specific projects for equity, equality, redistribution of resources, so on. But social justice as a cluster of specific and contextual projects is not to be conflated with the social as such. So, what to do with the social remains a big question for me; decolonizing the social, and the question of whether that is the space where decolonization may indeed gain its vitality, formative structure and direction.

Let me build on my question regarding this tension between the social and the political in addressing the central point from the book. This concerns the core argument that we ought to move beyond the distinction between settler and native. This is the difficult and critical challenge that Mamdani’s body of work has presented and elucidated for us for many years now, and in ways very few scholars have done. And certainly scholars will be debating this challenge for many years still. I also think that this question of settler-native is inescapable and must be tackled in Palestine/Israel.

Mamdani’s case is ground-breaking and is at its strongest in explaining the connections between “the violence of postcolonial modernity” and “the violence of European modernity and colonial direct rule”. His penetrating analysis of postcolonial states like Rwanda and Sudan reveals and convincingly shows in detail those connections. But I still have questions about how the challenge itself – of destroying the native-settler distinction – needs to be posed and articulated in settler colonies like Canada, US, Australia, and Israel. I separate South Africa here as well, because this challenge takes a different shape there, for many reasons, one of which is that the majority was in fact the colonized. When we’re talking majoritarian and minority identities, statistics matter. The dynamics change when the majority are the settler-colonizers (Canada, US, Australia) and when it’s more or less 50-50 in historic Palestine, with the caveat here being that there is an ongoing political project to make it roughly 80-20. Theoretically speaking, the difference is this: in the colonial setting, indirect rule politicized ethnic and racial identities so as to facilitate rule over the native; in the settler colonial setting, a kind of indirect rule politicized ethnic and racial identities so as to facilitate the elimination of the native. And sure elimination appears in the postcolonial setting that comes in the aftermath of colonial indirect rule; but in the settler colony, we’re not in the aftermath, we’re in the thick of the colonial moment. And I think that makes a difference.

And this is why: it is doubtful I think that a strategy to eradicate the Indigenous-settler distinction will yield an improvement in the lived realities of Indigenous peoples in Canada for example, in fact, it would likely do the opposite, and suffocate decolonial Indigenous movements and voices. Certainly, Indigenous activists and scholars would agree that “self-identification is not the same as self-determination,” that Indigenous decolonization is about more than reclaiming cultural identities (Mamdani, 2020, p. 97). Nowhere is the critique of this point more penetrating and harsher than in Indigenous activism and scholarship. The point though that Audra Simpson and many others like Glen Coulthard and Leanne Simpson have emphasized, and in my view rightly so, is that Indigenous identity is in itself part of the regeneration of a decolonial alternative. That their identities are not merely national identities that operate within the logic of the nation-state; but are rather identities that engender a new kind of social and political community: the likes of which Mamdani calls for. Their claim to sovereignty, for instance, does not operate in accordance with the logics of the Euro-American nation-state or Euro-American sovereignty (in fact, Simpson says that the word sovereignty is probably not the right one to describe Indigenous sovereignty). Their claim to sovereignty is more akin to Dabashi’s notion of the sovereignty of the nation, as that which evades the totalizing and eliminatory power of the settler colonial nation-state. Far from standing in the way of decolonization, this element of Indigenous sovereignty is the excess that opposes the completion of an ongoing settler colonial project of elimination. This excess is decolonization.

Let me dig further into Mamdani’s solution to this problem of dissolving the native-settler distinction in the settler colony, and briefly explore how he calls on us to focus on the victims and perpetrators of violence as survivors: this would of course be part of a project of decoupling the nation-state and decolonizing the political (so this is not a liberal equality kind of approach). At the core of this shift of emphasis towards survivors is the effort “not to avenge the dead but to give the living a second chance.” (Mamdani, 2020, p. 195)

In this quote, we find Mamdani’s excellent and timely critique of the criminal violence approach and how it depoliticizes violence. The critique of neoliberal human rights discourses and the legalistic approach to extreme violence is certainly much needed.

Let’s dive into the political approach then. Exemplary of the political approach to extreme violence for Mamdani is the formation of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), which shows how the decolonial moment comes when the enemy would not be the “settlers but the settler state, not whites but white power.” (Mamdani, 2020, p. 176) Similarly in Palestine, the enemy would not be Israeli Jewish settlers but the Israeli settler state, not Jews or Israelis but Israeli Jewish supremacy.

Promising as this path may be in principle and to a limited extent in practice in South Africa, there are three big questions (and let me be clear, these questions are not posed against Mamdani’s argument but with it, and also, pushing back at it). First, many segments of the Palestinian liberation struggle have framed their resistance in precisely those terms, going back 100 years (that the state and Jewish supremacy is the problem and the enemy – not Jews): Palestinian resistance was never launched “because the [Palestinian] natives thought that Jews were evil, but because no natives take kindly to having their territory settled by foreigners” (Said, 1979, p. 29).

And the result has been this: nobody is listening, Israelis walk past us just the same; most Israelis don’t just lack the knowledge about Palestine and Palestinians; they don’t want that knowledge and actively oppose it and/or avoid it and its lessons and consequences. So, the problem for Palestinians is not an epistemological one, at the very least, not primarily that. So what do we do with the power piece of power/knowledge? This is why BDS says pressure, and only pressure, can work: it’s Gandhian style non-cooperation that is meant to deal directly with the problem of power.

Second is the separation of the social-political, where the social is considered home, separated from the political which is the state (this to oppose political modernity’s conflation of state and society; the idea that they must be one). Mamdani writes, “The state is home to no nation. Home is society, where multiple nations with multiple histories can coexist. The statestate, meanwhile, is not a coming together of nations but a coming together of citizens who share a vision for a common future.” (Mamdani, 2020, p. 318)

I’m not quite clear here what it is that then holds together the political? Is it solely a set of laws that determine the rules and shape of the arrangement of individual units? Is the idea of a political community of survivors that would be codified in law as a community, sufficient for holding people together? What is the nature of the connection between the social and the political in this model? If we adopt the idea (and I think this is where the book goes), of the political as the foundation, as the ground, upon which social life then transpires, we still need a connection between them; something needs to play the role of gravity and keep our feet on the ground. So, what does survivor-hood look like on the level of the social? How does survivor-hood become part and parcel of the collectivity?

The third question revolves around the notion of the enemy: of transforming enemies into adversaries, which Mamdani suggests is crucial in the shift of focus towards survivors and survivor-hood. But if identities are ensconced in an ongoing political project of displacement and elimination, then can we talk about sovereign enemies who belong to the same order or structure of sovereignty? Are we presented with a situation in which there exists equally sovereign Palestinian and Israeli selves who are, as it were, the players in a game of enmity? Or, are we presented with a situation where enmity is precisely the outcome of the elimination of Indigenous sovereignty and selfhood? Can you turn into an adversary an identity which is predicated on your elimination? I’m not raising this question to dismiss the necessity of reimagining Israeli and Palestinian identities, but rather to point towards how deep that reimagination needs to go, the uneven nature of that transformation, and establishing the obstacles which stand in the way of that reimagination. What are those obstacles that I’m referring to?

Mamdani makes the point that “racial political identities of the past were not timeless but rather created by political processes” (Mamdani, 2020, p. 149; emphasis added); certainly, but were not these identities more properly speaking, produced and created by violent political processes? And dare I make this proposition, which I actually make in my own book (Ayyash, 2019), where not these identities produced and created by violence itself, where violence, as it were, creates the casing in which the political then comes to take shape? If I’m right about this latter question/proposition, then this has serious consequences for any political process that seeks to take as its starting point a reality that has been constituted as real by violence. Meaning, the very terms of the political process are from the outset determined and guided by violences that have rendered those terms as “real.” So, we must confront and transform that casing of violence, that’s the biggest obstacle for me: if we don’t, we end up with a political process where cultural Zionism, without naming or addressing Zionism as a settler colonial project, sees itself as a form of resistance in the political.

“Become different, they said, in order that your fate as colonized peoples can be different”, to reiterate from that Said quote in the epigraph. We can agree with Mamdani, Said, Césaire, Fanon, and Dabashi that the closed, fixed, univocal and bounded nationalism of Euro-America is the enemy in this decolonial project; but the big question remains: whose path leads us away from settler colonial violence and the violence of the modern nation-state? An inclusive and common path, that’s needed of course, but on whose and what terms is this path imagined and written?

Yes, certainly it is important, as Mamdani argues, to move away from revenge and “give the living a second chance.” But if we only, or primarily, focus on the living and give the living a second chance, then what have we done to the memories of the dead, to what I have previously called (Ayyash, 2019) the voices of the dead? Perhaps far from favouring the living over the dead, we need to listen more closely and carefully to the voices of the dead, not necessarily for avenging the dead, but for fulfilling the promise of their struggle for a justice that both precedes and exceeds codification in law and even in the political; for the remnants, for the excess that they both reveal and leave behind –  that source of vitality and direction that resists representation yes, yet it points us towards the new. And what is decolonial struggle if not the struggle for the new? For that which refuses, opposes, and transforms the terms constituted by and through the violences of the postcolonial and settler colonial nation-state.

 

References:

Ayyash, M.M. (2019). A hermeneutics of violence: A four-dimensional conception. Toronto:

University of Toronto Press.

Dabashi, H. (2020). The emperor is naked: On the inevitable demise of the nation-state. London:

Zed Books.

Mamdani, M. (2020). Neither settler nor native: The making and unmaking of permanent  

minorities. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Said, E. (1979). Zionism from the standpoint of its victims. Social Text, 1 (Winter), 7-58.

 

[1] This material is part of a book manuscript I am currently writing.

 

For the PDF file Click here

Mada has concluded its most recent series of workshops on Zionism and settler colonialism, six sessions of which were convened over the past year and a half. These workshops are run for training and research purposes, primarily for the benefit of Palestinian postgraduate students participating in Mada’s PhD student support program. The main aim of these workshops is to study Zionism as a settler colonial project, and to help the participants to develop and express their own academic ideas and critical writing on the topic. The workshop serves an important function by acting as a space where Palestinian researchers from both sides of the green line can meet, debate, read texts, listen to lectures and produce papers together.

The workshop series is headed up by Professor Nadim Rouhana, a research associate at Mada, and coordinated by Dr. Areen Hawari, who is also the coordinator of the PhD student support program. The first three workshops of this series were conducted face-to-face, but after the introduction of Coronavirus restrictions the remaining sessions were held over Zoom. Mada strove hard to maintain continuity and minimise the disruptions brought by the pandemic.

Prof. Rouhana said of the workshops, “It’s important to remember that this is the third workshop series that we have put on, meaning that we have provided support to a huge number of Palestinian PhD students over the years. We have created a space for critical thinking and writing about Zionism and settler colonialism, and we work to link our intellectual output to wider anticolonial and antiracist scholarship around the world. This kind of discussion on Zionism was considered to be relatively new when we launched the first iteration of the workshop in 2014; today, it seems to be more dominant in academic and intellectual discourse, and even feature in progressive political discussions. We are very happy to have made a contribution, however small, to this development.”

The workshops included lectures on Zionism and colonialism, Israeli society, and modern Palestinian history. These were given by internationally renowned Palestinian academics and researchers from both sides of the green line, including Dr. Areej Sabbagh Khoury, Dr Hunayda Ghanem, Prof. Amnon Raz Krakotzkin, Prof. Nadim Rouhana, the lawyer Suhad Bishara, Dr. Ahmed Amara, Dr. Awad Mansour, Dr. Saleh Abdel-Gawad, Dr. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Dr. Hammamet Zoabi, and Dr. Mohanad Mustafa.

Prof. Rouhana also said that Mada is working in partnership with a section of the workshop participants and guest researchers to publish a book; this will contain new research contributions on different aspects of the study of Zionism and Israel. Students will contribute research that they have previously presented and discussed in the workshops under the supervision of participating academics. The book will be published by the year of this year, and will contain academic articles from a variety of disciplinary approaches, including history, social and political science, anthropology, gender studies and cultural studies. The articles will contain a variety of Palestinian perspectives on Zionism and the colonization of 1948 Palestine, and will also address questions on the effectiveness of the Palestinian national resistance.

The workshop series has clearly had a great effect on the thoughts and ideas of its participants, judging by feedback received. One student, Mai Hammash, commented that “the diverse geographic and academic backgrounds found in the workshop group greatly helped me expand my critical knowledge. I am now better acquainted with the methods and paradigms of Zionist colonization- in ideological terms, as well as in terms of direct violence. It shed light on a lot of ideas and practices for me.

Participant Amir Mershi added that “the workshop brought me together with intellectuals, researchers, and leaders in a single space. It was like being in house of knowledge for me. During the meetings we debated together, exchanged ideas and experiences, and I became acquainted with a range of critical tools and theories that all Palestinians should be acquainted with. This workshop introduces us to ourselves afresh, in order to both preserve and develop our identities as Palestinians working in the academic arena.”

Mada is always striving to further develop its work. Plans for the next series of workshops on Zionism and settler colonialism are already in the pipeline. This series will be entitled “Zionism and the Palestinian national movement: Memoirs of the colonizer and the colonized”. The series will focus on the implications of memoirs published by Zionist and Palestinian intellectual, political and military leaders, taking them as focal points where we can study the nature of the confrontation between colonizer and colonized.

The center will publish more details on the new lecture series in the coming weeks.

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

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

Watch the lecture (in Arabic) here.

Mada’s PhD program hosts third workshop for students on Zionism & settler-colonialism

The third workshop was held from March 18 – 20 in Amman, Jordan and focused on ‘culture and colonialism’. Professor Nadim Rouhana, Mada’s director and workshop leader, opened the workshop, stating that it provided the platform for academics to present their research projects. This was followed by the first lecture which featured Lebanese writer Elias Khoury, who spoke about cultural resistance. Khoury presented the idea of culture as an act of resistance to settler colonialism in Palestine by emphasizing that each culture has an origin and ethical code. He explained that the moral basis of Israeli culture collapsed in the seventies as settler culture evolved. In a broader context, Mr. Khoury argued that the cultural experience of ‘the colonizer’ collapsed in the twentieth century because its moral essence had come to an end.

The second session included participation by PhD student, Maysa Eshkir, and Professor Khaled Furani during the second day of the workshop. Eshkir presented a book review of Frantz Fanon’s ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ and discussed Fanon’s work in the context of colonialism in Palestine. Professor Furani gave a lecture entitled ‘Stations in questioning colonialism from an anthropological biography,’ which addressed the topic of Palestine and Palestinian poetry from an anthropological perspective. Furani presented poetry as a cognitive body in the Arab history and a remnant of Palestinian identity.

Nadim

Mada’s PhD Program hosts second workshop for students on Zionism & settler-colonialism

On December 16th and 17th, Mada al-Carmel hosted a workshop for Palestinian PhD students and postgraduates on “Zionism and Settler Colonialism”. The workshop, held in Ramallah, took place as part of Mada’s PhD Program, a project launched in January 2015 aiming to help develop the next generation of critical Palestinian scholars by creating a space for Palestinian PhD students and postgraduates to share their ideas, advance their work, and receive feedback from experts in their respective fields.

Nadim

On the first day of the workshop, Mada director Nadim Rouhana presented the opening remarks. He noted the resurging importance of the settler-colonial framework, particularly after the failure of the Palestinian statehood project and of efforts to attain equal rights.

The first lecture of the day was given by Mahmoud Yazbak, Professor of Middle Eastern History. He presented a paper dealing with early Palestinian responses to Zionism based on analysis of the Arabic press from 1870-1917. He argued that while various Palestinian newspapers articulated strong critiques of the Zionist movement, there was relatively little organized Palestinian mobilization against Zionism throughout this period. He also sought to consider reasons why this may have been the case.

RanaBarakatThe next lecture was given by Rana Barakat, Professor of History and Archaeology at Birzeit University. Drawing upon her ethnographic research on the Nakba with displaced refugees, she raised the question of whether even critical renditions of Palestinian history end up telling the story of Zionism as opposed to those of Palestinians. Questioning the value of categorizing settler-colonial projects as “successful” (Australia, North America) or “failed” (South Africa, Algeria), she proposed the idea of a continuous Nakba as an alternative framing. She also critiqued the ways in which certain Palestinian narratives demonstrate a need for recognition – to prove that “we were here” prior to 1948. Her lecture sparked discussion on whether it would be desirable or even possible to tell the story of Palestine without focusing strongly on Zionism.

The following lecture was given by Patrick Wolfe, Distinguished Visiting Professor in Colonial Studies at Arizona State University for 2015. Discussing the analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa, he elaborated on the differences between settler-colonialism and other forms of colonialism, proposing that the intent of pure settler-colonialism is to replace the indigenous population with a settler population, rather than to extract surplus from their labor. He remarked that South African delegations to Palestine found conditions in the West Bank worse than at home, because Zionism is based around a logic of elimination rather than one of exploitation. Noting the alignment between individual settlers and the Israeli state, he also argued that no hard-and-fast distinction could be made between civilian and military occupiers in the West Bank.

Patrick

The final lecture of the workshop’s first day was given by Ahmad Amarah, a member of the workshop and a PhD candidate at New York University, who discussed the ongoing reality of settler-colonialism in the Naqab. He argued that the concept of “terra nullius,” or no man’s land, has been used by settler colonialists to claim land at various times. He discussed the state’s use of legal means to facilitate Zionist dispossession of Palestinian Bedouin. He also remarked on the framing of settler-colonialism as a form of development or modernization, in contrast to the alleged primitivity and lawlessness of the Bedouin community.

tahm

VJayThe second day began with a lecture by Vijay Prashad, Professor of International Studies at Trinity College and journalist at Frontline, al-Araby al-Jadeed, and The Hindu. He began by emphasizing the importance of approaching history from the “standpoint of the toilers” – those at the margins of society whose experiences are underrepresented in official records. Discussing the Oslo Accords and their stifling impact on Palestinian resistance, he argued that the Palestinian leadership’s capitulation mirrored the entire third world’s surrender to neoliberalism during the same era. He offered a critique of the dominance of NGOs over the Palestinian liberation movement and of the limiting impact of funders’ agendas. He also argued that international politics is entering a new phase of multipolarity, and that the Israeli state has been quicker to adapt to this change than the Palestinians.

The next lecture was given by Yehouda Shenhav, Professor of Sociology. He began by offering a critique of dominant strains in the Israeli left, which maintain faith in the discourse of peace negotiations and portray the conflict as an issue of inter-religious struggle. He went on to discuss the positionality of Arab Jews in relation to Israeli and Palestinian politics. Presenting the results of linguistic research, he noted that only a tiny fragment of Israeli Jews are fluent in Arabic. He suggested that increased knowledge of Arabic among Israeli Jews could greatly change political realities. A lively debate over this point ensued, with some noting that Israeli Jews in the military and other state institutions learn Arabic to better “know the enemy.”

YehudaRawia

Gadi

The workshop’s final lecture was presented by Gadi Algazi, Professor of History. He proposed that settlers are means within the project of settler-colonialism, noting that trees were planted on top of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages when not enough human capital was available. He noted divergences between “colonial entrepreneurs,” who seek to profit off of indigenous labor, and “pure Zionists,” who seek the elimination of the Palestinian population. He put forth a distinction between imperialism and settler-colonialism, arguing that Israel’s imperial project largely failed whereas its settler-colonial project succeeded. His lecture sparked discussion on the role of indigenous elites in facilitating continued Israeli colonization, as well as on the limitations of legal discourse as a means of attaining liberation.

As part of a series of workshops held by the PhD Program to work through critical readings on Zionism and settler-colonialism, Mada is planning a third workshop to be held in Amman in March 2016. The workshop will focus on culture and colonialism.

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Students in Mada’s PhD Program address Zionism and settler-colonialism in first workshop of series

On 24-25 July 2015, Mada al-Carmel — Arab Center for Applied Social Research hosted an academic workshop on Zionism and settler-colonialism at the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah. This workshop, run by Mada General Director Professor Nadim Rouhana, was the first of six training and research events to be held on Zionism and settler-colonialism for Palestinian graduate students and recent post-doctorates. The workshop took place as part of Mada’s PhD Program, a project launched in January 2015 aiming to help develop the next generation of critical Palestinian scholars by creating a space for Palestinian PhD students and postgraduates to share their ideas, advance their work, and receive feedback from experts in their respective fields.

IMG_1313Professor Nadim Rouhana opened the workshop with a lecture presenting initial questions and observations on Zionism and settler-colonialism. He remarked that the Palestinian national movement viewed the Zionist project as a colonial project on a political and intellectual level from its outset, but at a certain stage, particularly after 1971, the terms of debate gradually shifted from anti-colonial liberation to statehood and sovereignty. The dominant Palestinian leadership, operating in complex circumstances in both the Arab world and internationally, played a role in this shift. However, he added that Palestinians, internationals, and even anti-Zionist Israeli researchers are returning to the framework of settler-colonialism today. Rouhana also offered an explanation of what distinguishes settler-colonialism from colonialism in general. Classical colonialism involves the exercise of economic, political, and military control and improves the geopolitical situation of the colonizer through the subjugation of the colonized, operating remotely through local agents; settler colonialism, on the other hand, aims to create its own political entity and settle the land as its new homeland, maintaining the same standard of living as in the metropole. He noted that while the logic of colonialism depends on subjugation, the logic of settler colonialism depends on the replacement of the indigenous population. Settler-colonialism does not intend to rule the “natives,” but to take their place without recognizing it as the homeland of its indigenous residents. Rouhana then identified various features of settler colonialism, arguing that they are fully consistent with the Zionist project. These features include:

1.       Dispossession of land and space, creation of a new geography and history beginning from the date of the colonizer’s arrival, and receipt of support and legitimacy from the academic sphere.

2.       The elimination of the indigenous population: initially through massacres and later through various other means.

3.       Structural violence – in which violence is not an event, but a continuous process occurring in the political, legal and cultural spheres. However, colonialism does not see itself as violent, but ruthlessly uses violence which is justified as a means of defending its land.

4.       A logic of justification distinct from that of colonialism, which justified its existence by bringing development and urbanization to the colonized. Settler colonialism uses other justifications, such as divine right and arrival into a virgin land.

Rouhana added that each instance of settler-colonialism is accompanied by a permanent state of fear as a result of acts of violence that were committed throughout its history.

Rouhana argued that settler-colonial projects could result in “victory”, through the total or near-total elimination of the indigenous population (as in the cases of Canada and New Zealand), or “defeat”, through either reconciliation (as in the case of South Africa) or expulsion and the return of the settler to his/her country (as in the case of Algeria).

Rouhana then attempted to consider where the Zionist project stands, pointing out three things that distinguish it from other settler-colonial projects:

1.       The Zionist project is ongoing.

2.       The Zionist movement is also a nationalist movement and has succeeded in building a nation.

3.       The Zionist project is grounded in religious justifications that are different from the justifications given for other settler-colonial projects. Religious justifications were not only used during the establishment of the project in its infancy, but remain salient today and are growing in importance.

In the second session, researchers and students discussed Zionism from a settler-colonial perspective. Participants raised a number of questions, including: What is our position as Palestinians in relation to victorious settlement projects? How do we define the Zionist project’s defeat? Would the removal of the state’s colonial nature and its conversion to a state for all its citizens be considered a victory? Participants also discussed the phenomenon of mental or epistemological colonization, debating whether it could be applied to the Palestinian case. Moreover, researchers and students considered the significance of the colonizer’s increasing violence and racism as a manifestation of force or fear, particularly in the Zionist case. They noted the possible role of a joint Palestinian and Mizrahi Jewish movement in resisting the Zionist project. Additional proposals were put forward on the need to consider security and military studies in order to understand the relationship between violence and the colonial project; the production of fear in the colonial project, which is necessary for its survival; and the colonizer’s success in producing forms of Palestinian subjectivity that are not conducive to resisting Zionism.image5

The second lecture was given by Dr. Munir Fakher Eldin, a lecturer at Birzeit University. He reviewed Palestinian historical readings of the Zionist project, considering how the analytical framework of settler-colonialism could be used productively by researchers and historians. During his lecture, he emphasized the importance of reconsidering the study of British colonialism, which established institutions and practices that formed a precursor for Zionism. By examining the case of the Bisan (Beit Shean) valley, however, he argued that the dynamics of the relationship between British colonialism and Zionism are complex, and cannot be reduced to the fact that British colonialism enabled Zionist expropriation through land laws. He ultimately contended that British colonialism should not be reduced solely to an enabler of Zionism. Fakher Eldin added that three explanatory frameworks have been used to consider the history of Palestine—the clash of civilizations (which implies a conflict between Palestinians and Jews); the framework of modern national civil society; and settler-colonialism—arguing that Palestinian academia is in conflict between the first and second paradigms.

The second day began with a lecture by Dr. Abdul Rahim Sheikh of Birzeit University. In this lecture, he presented a critical intervention entitled “Towards a liberal approach in Palestinian cultural studies,” arguing that in the local Palestinian epistemological context, there is no specialized field of “Palestinian cultural studies” situated within the colonial setting, but noting that there have been many attempts to create such a field. Accordingly, his intervention sought to provide a theoretical introduction to the field, its limits and conceptual problems, and the possibilities of using critical contemplation of the experience of the colonized to inaugurate methods that are free from colonial influence, in light of the lapse between the theoretical and the applied as witnessed in Palestine today. The intervention consisted of four segments. In the first segment, Dr. Sheikh presented a series of methodological questions on how cultural studies can serve us in developing better academic approaches to Zionism. In the second segment, he presented a cultural theoretical reading of the emergence of Zionism in a colonial context and the status of the Abrahamic faiths within that context.  In the third segment, he presented a cultural application of the theoretical intervention made in his upcoming book, “The Columbus Syndrome and the Exploration of Palestine: Zionist policies of naming and cultural engineering in Palestinian space,” to be published by the Institute for Palestine Studies at the end of 2015. In the last segment, he presented critical conclusions, a contemplation of the function of criticism, and criticism of criticism itself, noting that criticism can become merely a form of posturing in a post-colonial context.

IMG_1363The second session, entitled “Daily life under settler-colonialism in Palestine,” was opened and moderated by Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, and also involved the participation of doctoral students Rami Salameh and Maysa Eshkirat.

In her remarks, Shalhoub-Kevorkian argued that scholars under colonialism write about their lived experiences rather than theorizing abstractly. She noted that daily Israeli policies of colonialism are structural in nature rather than isolated events, and that these policies are attempts by the settlers to demand for themselves the status of the indigenous. She added that the theorizing of daily practices of intimidation is essential in understanding the Zionist colonial situation. She also spoke about Palestinian practices of maneuvering that challenge the violence of colonialism, such as smuggling the bodies of the dead, using alternative routes to avoid checkpoints and soldiers while going to school and returning home, etc.

Rami Salameh, a doctoral student at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, highlighted colonial policies that limit and restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, force Palestinians to undergo everyday practices of maneuvering in order to pass through checkpoints, and impose different spaces of movement on different groups of Palestinians. He noted that those who have a blue Israeli ID pass through a different checkpoint from those who have West Bank IDs, even in cases where two partners or a father and his children have different IDs. He added that it is difficult to analyze this context based on literature that refers either to hegemony or to resistance, arguing that states of command and control are also productive of subjectivities. This requires a review of space in a colonial context, where the colonial project has succeeded in producing various Palestinian subjectivities, distinguishing between Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel on the basis of their ability to move from place to place, as restrictions on movement are inscribed onto the Palestinian body. He added that civil society also reproduces these colonial contradictions. In his research, Salameh is rewriting the history of colonial space through people’s stories by conducting an ethnographic study to examine and analyze how the colonized Palestinian maneuvers within this system.3

The second intervention was made by Maysa Eshkirat, a doctoral student at SOAS in London. Eshkirat addressed the body and sexuality in light of daily Israeli policies of colonization. She noted that existing research does not adequately address the violence of the Zionist project – a colonial project aiming to expropriate all of historic Palestine and the Golan Heights. Eshkirat claimed that resistance to colonialism at the level of everyday life is absent from existing academic literature and argued that research should be part of the process of liberation in the Palestinian case. Eshkirat added that through her research, she aims to deconstruct or problematize the relationship between knowledge and colonialism. In the Zionist context, she noted that colonialism itself is imprinted onto the body of the Palestinian women in patriarchal terms. She ended her intervention by stating that what distinguishes Zionist colonialism from other cases of settler colonialism is that it faces strong resistance in spite of the fact that it represents the ultimate culmination of the European colonial mentality, delegitimizing the “other” and using quasi-religious justifications for its actions.

In the last session, each of the participants stated their future expectations from the workshop series, and the areas which they were interested in addressing in subsequent workshops. Participants proposed to consider the issue of indigeneity, the distinct articulations of settler colonialism in the 1967 and 1948 regions, and internal violence within the Palestinian community in the context of colonialism. Some participants also suggested inviting Jewish lecturers who oppose Zionist colonial thought.

At the end of the workshop, the group agreed to write research papers on the various issues that will be addressed in coming workshops

The third workshop was held from March 18 – 20 in Amman, Jordan and focused on ‘culture and colonialism’. Professor Nadim Rouhana, Mada’s director and workshop leader, opened the workshop, stating that it provided the platform for academics to present their research projects. This was followed by the first lecture which featured Lebanese writer Elias Khoury, who spoke about cultural resistance. Khoury presented the idea of culture as an act of resistance to settler colonialism in Palestine by emphasizing that each culture has an origin and ethical code. He explained that the moral basis of Israeli culture collapsed in the seventies as settler culture evolved. In a broader context, Mr. Khoury argued that the cultural experience of ‘the colonizer’ collapsed in the twentieth century because its moral essence had come to an end.

The second session included participation by PhD student, Maysa Eshkir, and Professor Khaled Furani during the second day of the workshop. Eshkir presented a book review of Frantz Fanon’s ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ and discussed Fanon’s work in the context of colonialism in Palestine. Professor Furani gave a lecture entitled ‘Stations in questioning colonialism from an anthropological biography,’ which addressed the topic of Palestine and Palestinian poetry from an anthropological perspective. Furani presented poetry as a cognitive body in the Arab history and a remnant of Palestinian identity.

Nadim

The Second International Conference of Gender Studies Program at Mada al-Carmel – Arab Center for Applied Social Research was held in the old city of Acre, on Thursday 14/7/2016, under the title of: The Illusion of Justice in the Settler Colony: Palestinian woman, law and the state.

The conference sought to address the relationship between the three sides of the triangle: The Palestinian woman, law and the state within the settler colonial context. The conference highlighted the women in this triangle; it examined their status, and the impact of this relationship on women all through a three dimensional focus. First, the gender dimension of the relationship’s nature, women being discriminated against by the governing institution on one hand, the Palestinian internal patriarchal society and the Israeli society on the other hand. Second, the ethnic and racial dimension of the state towards Palestinians in general, and the Palestinian woman in particular. Whereas, the third dimension addresses the colonialism of the occupant’s law and the status of Palestinian women in the border zones. The conference also focused on the law’s role as a central approach in the settler colonial system to steal the Palestinian’s woman right to a decent life.

1Dr. Mtanes Shihadeh, director of research programs at Mada al-Carmel and coordinator of the Israeli studies program opened the conference with welcoming words through which he presented the aim of the conference and its significance, saying: “This conference stems from the conviction that the instruments of the settler colonialism system are numerous and they are all recruited to serve the dominance, banishment and the superiority of the colonizer, including the use of the legal system to impose dominance and control under the slogan of democracy or the majority’s will in the Israeli case. In addition to the constructional colonial system, in the recent years we have witnessed lawmaking of a number of laws that aimed to control, repression and suppression of the Palestinian collective awareness and their political positions. In addition to suppressing individual freedom of people and interfering in their right of choice for their life partners, not to mention other practices of colonialism in the Palestinian territories of 67 and especially in Jerusalem. All of that is done under the slogan of the majority’s resolution and security.

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Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, director of gender studies program at Mada al-Carmel, a professor of criminology, started the sessions with a lecture under the title of: “A Feminist Critical Perspective on Palestinian Woman, Law and the Jewish state”, through which she discussed the Zionist settler-colonial project and its impact on the Palestinian woman, saying: “The settler-colonial system, which evolved the moment the state of Israel was born, is in an instant relentless state of emergency which seeks to eliminate Palestinians, the others, the penetrating and the dangerous beings for the sake of the Jewish people’s lives, growth and prosperity. Through the description of the fundamental definition of the Jewish state according to the Zionist ideology represented by the idea of the pure race and establishing a racist citizenship clearly manifested in the law of return of the year 1950, which automatically gives citizenship to any person who can prove to have one Jewish ancestor, whereas in the same time denies the right of return for Palestinians who were born on this land. Through other Israeli laws of citizenship and entrance, we can indicate that Palestinian eviction from the ideological frame of the Jewish state has been activated and that it has been sustained through violence and in some cases in a very slow and light manner, but it’s always a powerful method of eradication. Hence, the inevitable plan of demography lies in the wings of birth. With each Palestinian childbirth, there comes a distinct threat for the Jewish inhabitants. Although the official laws and the ethical codes ban division, and may require neutral medical care supply equally for everybody, the ability of breaking and manipulating laws was achieved, legalized, and overlooked. The illegal becomes flexible and legal, the forbidden becomes official. It’s condemned by many but rarely applied, or investigated into, or made right.

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The first session of the conference was under the title of “Women, state racism and the law” headed by advocate Hadeel Badarneh, with the participation of Cheryl I. Harris, professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, School of law, University of California-Los Angeles, Suhad Bshara, Advocate, director of land and planning unit, Adalah-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Sarab Abu Rabia-Queder, Senior lecturer, Ben Gurion University- Al-Naqab.

Cheryl Harris talked about the American experience in state racism and law, saying: “Although slavery isn’t vivid in law issuing, it still has, until this day, its effect on shaping the political life of the black people in America and abroad, and particularly on the relationship between the black and other citizens, in addition to the issue of granting them the American nationality like other citizens of the country”. In her intervention, she focused on the black woman’s relationship with the state on one hand, and her relationship with the male chauvinist society on the other. Suhad Bishara’s intervention was under the title of “Gendered Spaces in the Formation of the Israeli Settler-Colonialis”, where she discussed the eviction of Um al-Hiran village which was not recognized in al-Nakkab and the way the Israeli authority and institutions dealt with women’s role in this case, to convert it into a women’s space. Suhad fcused on the clear language of gender in the case of Um al-Hiran village, which supports the Colonial Zionist Policy. Sarab Abu Rabia Queder had the last intervention during the first session titled “The Policy of De-Classing the working Palestinian women in Al-Naqab”, where she discussed the settler-colonial logic which is represented in the exclusion of indigenous Palestinians in Al-Nakkab in general, and the professional Palestinian women in particular. The logic of colonialism doesn’t only aim for the weak and pour groups, but it also targets the economically strong stratums which challenge the colonial power. In this context, Abu Rabia Queder says: “The Palestinian working women in Al- Naqab are targeted by the settler-colonial policy, because they own the largest cultural capital in their society, on both economic and educational levels”.

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6The second session was under the title “Gender, Racism and Violence against Women” chaired by Aamer Ibrahim, Masters student. It contained four interventions by local and foreign lecturers. Denise Da Silva, from Queen Mary, University of London had the first intervention titled “Palestinian Women Confronting Racial Violence”, where she discussed the internal conflicts in the concept of justice, which is supposed to be based on equality. The concept of justice does not take in consideration the political interference of the authority involved in violence and gender violations, and which the approach based on law tries to resolve. The second intervention, by Nisreen Massarwi from Kayan – Feminist Organization, was under the title: “The State, the Palestinian Employer, and the Sexual Harassment in Workplace” through which she raised the subject of the constrains the female society lives in, generally, and all that is related to the active participation in the public area whose rules are very powerfully written by the white institution. This is a sharp and accurate statement involving everything concerning the reality a Palestinian woman in Israel lives in, especially the Palestinian working woman- or a woman looking for a job – in front of her Palestinian employer. The third intervention, conducted by Abeer Baker, dvocate, was titled “The Absence of Legal Protection for Palestinian female Prisoners in Israel” where she discussed the struggle of the Palestinian female prisoners which is not different than the struggle of the Palestinian male prisoners in terms of the forms of humiliation and the various methods of illegal interrogation. Except that being women, they may be subjected to additional types of psychological and physical torture, which mainly aims for their bodies and their sanctity. The fourth intervention, carried out by the PhD student Saeda Mogari-Renawi under the title: Between the narration and the decision – “a Critical Analysis of Rape Crimes against Palestinian women as Presented in Israeli Courts” through which she discussed the centralization of Judicial courts to make radical social changes and not only a system for struggle solving. She focused on legal critical theories which reveal that this space represents and reflects power struggles among several groups in the field, where each has its own values and desires, it is considered to be a tool for pressure in the hands of the ruling group in order to suppress the other groups. That is the reason why for more than three decades the female criticism focuses on the Judicial system, which they consider to be the central tool for supporting the logic of equality between men and women, in addition to improving woman’s social status using legal methods that include stopping violence and different types of torture.

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10The third session was headed by Bana Shoughry, advocate, who discussed the topic: “Law, Death, and the Border Zones”, Areen Hawari, PhD student, participated in the session and introduced an intervention under the title of: “Debates on the Personal Status Laws’ Amendment: Discourses and References”. The intervention addressed the initiative for the amendment and legislation of laws that would impact Personal status laws of the Palestinians inside the green line. The Othman doctrine system was the exclusive reference for the family laws until the year of 2001, the same laws used by the British mandate and later on adopted by Israel. In addition to subjecting the paper to discussion about those initiatives which partially resulted into minimizing religious court capacities concerning family laws for Muslims and  Christians and giving more capacity to civil courts.

As for the second intervention, it was under the title of “The State and the Independence of Ecclesiastical Courts: A Colonial Patriarchal Legacy and a Pure Political Decision”, presented by Hala Mousa Dakwar, advocate, who talked about the legal void that resulted from Church independence from the Israeli judicial system, the absence of transparency and foreign judicial monitoring of the verdicts that are made. The third and the last intervention was under the heading of: “Frozen Laws-Frozen Bodies: on the Detained Palestinian Women Corpses” presented by the lecturer Suhad Daher-Nashif, who discussed the detention and freezing of Palestinian women’s corpses in Israeli morgues, which she defined as freezing  Palestinian women’s death in terms of time and space, all through the interaction of three types of legal bases; the international law and the agreements concerning handling corpses in the areas of struggle, the Israeli law and the supreme court’s decision regarding this issue, in addition to the Palestinian law, and social customs.

At the end of the conference, a closing session was held by MK Haneen Zu’bi and Professor Nadera Shalhoub-Kivorkian, who talked about the Palestinian women’s journey of struggle against the Israeli authorities on one hand, and the way the Palestinian society treats women on the other hand.

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Gender Studies Program

Mada al-Carmel –Arab Center for Applied Social Research

Invites you to attend:

The Second International Conference

The Illusion of Justice in the Settler Colony: Palestinian Women, Law and the State

 Thursday, July 14th 2016, Akkotel Hotel, Akka (Acre) Old City, 1 Salah Ad Din Street

Program (PDF):

10:00-10:10:    Welcome and Opening

Mtanes Shihadeh, Director of research programs, Mada al-Carmel

10:10-10:30:    Opening lecture

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Professor of Criminology, Director of Gender Studies Program, Mada al-Carmel

A Feminist Critical Perspective on Palestinian Woman, Law and the Jewish State

10:30 – 11:45 First Session: Women, State Racism, and the Law

Chair: Himmat Zu’bi PhD Student, Ben-Gurion University

Cheryl I. Harris, Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, School of Law, University of California – Los Angeles

The American Experience in State Racism and the Law

Suhad Bishara, Advocate, Director of Land and Planning Unit, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Gendered Spaces in the Formation of the Israeli Settler Colonialism

Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, Senior Lecturer, Ben-Gurion University

The Policy of De-Classing the working Palestinian Women in Al-Naqab

11:45– 12:15    Break

12:15-13:45     Second Session: Gender, Racism and Violence against Women

Chair: Aamer Ibrahim, Masters Student, Tel Aviv University, Assiwar Association-Volunteer

Denise Ferreira da Silva, Professor of Arts, Queen Mary, University of London

Palestinian Women Confronting Racial Violence

Nisreen Massarwi, advocate, Kayan – Feminist Organization

The state, the Palestinian Employer and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Abeer Baker, Human Rights Advocate

The Absence of Legal Protection for Palestinian Prisoner Women in Israel

Saeda Mogari-Renawi, PhD Student, Hebrew University

Critical analysis of Rape Crimes against Palestinian Women as Presented in Israeli Courts

13:45-15:00     Lunch

15:00- 16:15    Third Session: Law, Death, and the Border Zones

Chair: Bana Shoughry Badarne, Advocate, Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the Hebrew University, PhD student of law, Hebrew University

Rosa-Linda Fregoso, Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California Santa Cruz

Mexico’s Living Dead and the Policies of Death

Areen Hawari, PhD Student, Ben-Gurion University and  Mada Al-Carmel

Debates on the Personal Status Laws’ Amendment: Discourses and References

Hala Mousa Dakwar, family affairs Advocate

The State and the independence of Ecclesiastical Courts: A Colonial Patriarchal Legacy and a Pure Political Decision

Suhad Daher-Nashif, Lecturer, Al Qasemi Academic College of Education

Frozen Laws –Frozen Bodies: On the Detained Palestinian Women Corpses

16:15:16:30     Break

16:30-17:00     Discussion and Conclusion

MK Haneen Zu’bi, Joint List, Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Adv. Alhan Nahas-Daoud

 

** The conference will be held in Arabic and English – Interpretation will not be provided.

 

To register or for more information: Mada Al-Carmel, Tel: 04 855 2035, e-mail: mada@mada-research.org

Gender Studies Program

Mada al-Carmel –Arab Center for Applied Social Research

Invites you to attend:

The Second International Conference

The Illusion of Justice in the Settler Colony: Palestinian Women, Law and the State

 Thursday, July 14th 2016, Akkotel Hotel, Akka (Acre) Old City, 1 Salah Ad Din Street

Program (PDF):

10:00-10:10:    Welcome and Opening

Mtanes Shihadeh, Director of research programs, Mada al-Carmel

10:10-10:30:    Opening lecture

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Professor of Criminology, Director of Gender Studies Program, Mada al-Carmel

A Feminist Critical Perspective on Palestinian Woman, Law and the Jewish State

10:30 – 11:45 First Session: Women, State Racism, and the Law

Chair: Himmat Zu’bi PhD Student, Ben-Gurion University

Cheryl I. Harris, Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, School of Law, University of California – Los Angeles

The American Experience in State Racism and the Law

Suhad Bishara, Advocate, Director of Land and Planning Unit, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel

Gendered Spaces in the Formation of the Israeli Settler Colonialism

Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, Senior Lecturer, Ben-Gurion University

The Policy of De-Classing the working Palestinian Women in Al-Naqab

11:45– 12:15    Break

12:15-13:45     Second Session: Gender, Racism and Violence against Women

Chair: Aamer Ibrahim, Masters Student, Tel Aviv University, Assiwar Association-Volunteer

Denise Ferreira da Silva, Professor of Arts, Queen Mary, University of London

Palestinian Women Confronting Racial Violence

Nisreen Massarwi, advocate, Kayan – Feminist Organization

The state, the Palestinian Employer and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Abeer Baker, Human Rights Advocate

The Absence of Legal Protection for Palestinian Prisoner Women in Israel

Saeda Mogari-Renawi, PhD Student, Hebrew University

Critical analysis of Rape Crimes against Palestinian Women as Presented in Israeli Courts

13:45-15:00     Lunch

15:00- 16:15    Third Session: Law, Death, and the Border Zones

Chair: Bana Shoughry Badarne, Advocate, Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the Hebrew University, PhD student of law, Hebrew University

Rosa-Linda Fregoso, Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, University of California Santa Cruz

Mexico’s Living Dead and the Policies of Death

Areen Hawari, PhD Student, Ben-Gurion University and  Mada Al-Carmel

Debates on the Personal Status Laws’ Amendment: Discourses and References

Hala Mousa Dakwar, family affairs Advocate

The State and the independence of Ecclesiastical Courts: A Colonial Patriarchal Legacy and a Pure Political Decision

Suhad Daher-Nashif, Lecturer, Al Qasemi Academic College of Education

Frozen Laws –Frozen Bodies: On the Detained Palestinian Women Corpses

16:15:16:30     Break

16:30-17:00     Discussion and Conclusion

MK Haneen Zu’bi, Joint List, Prof. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian and Adv. Alhan Nahas-Daoud

 

** The conference will be held in Arabic and English – Interpretation will not be provided.

 

To register or for more information: Mada Al-Carmel, Tel: 04 855 2035, e-mail: mada@mada-research.org