In mid-July 2016, we, a group of scholars, activists, and artists from the United States, Belgium, and Palestine, released a pedagogical project entitled Gaza in Context. The project aims to upend an ahistorical narrative that has cast the Gaza Strip as a national security issue. By emphasizing the role of Hamas and diminishing the question of Palestine, Israel has collapsed conditions in Gaza with asymmetric conflicts, or what has come to be known as the “global war on terror,” thus eliding the consequential distinctions between Palestinians and other non-state actors. This pedagogical project is an attempt to re-frame the issue in order to place greater emphasis on the broader question of Palestine and to explain Israel’s policy towards the Gaza Strip in a settler-colonial framework.
A 20-minute multi-media film that combines lecture, animation, typography, and footage from Palestine is the centerpiece of this project. The short film is also available in four, five-minute parts and each part corresponds to a teaching guide for instructional purposes. Other components of the project include abibliography featuring 110 entries that include books, journal articles, book chapters, essays, films, lectures, and videos as well as a compendium of Jadaliyya articles featured in what we call a JadMag. All of these elements are housed on the project’s own website, which is part of a larger research project on Palestine headed by the Forum on Arab and Muslim Affairs at the Arab Studies Institute. Read more...
The Nakba marks a momentous rupture in the history of Arab connection to the land of Palestine. The forcible, mass removal of native Palestinians in 1948 thus overwhelms the history, literature, activism, and memory regarding the Palestinian Question. To begin in 1948 is to narrate a story of collective loss, one that gives vivid expression to the collusion of state powers, the asymmetric capacities between industrialized and developing nations, the unyielding sway of nationalism, and to the remarkable expendability of certain human life.
While these expressive lessons are particular to Palestine and Palestinians, they are also plainly unexceptional. The question of Palestine is like so many other case studies of settler-colonialism, institutionalized racism, and state-led practices of systematic dehumanization. And so many other case studies are like Palestine in their modalities of repression and technologies of violent domination. If, indeed, there is no Palestinian exception, what does that freedom from anecdotal particularity afford us in the way of understanding the conflict and its possible solutions?
One productive approach is to try to understand how anti-blackness informs the conflict. Here I draw on the work of afro-pessimists who have theorized anti-blackness as an analytical framework with a focus on the afterlife of slavery in the New World.
Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and activist. As of Fall 2014, she is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. She has taught international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University since Spring 2009. Noura is a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya. Read more . . .
I am currently working on a book-length manuscript that narrates the Palestinian-Israel conflict through critical junctures in international law. My research interests include the laws of war, human rights law, humanitarian law, refugee law, national security law, social justice, Palestine, the Palestinian-Israel conflict, and the Middle East in general. Read more . . .
As a co-editor of Jadaliyya, I have the privilege of working with a remarkable team of scholars and analysts who have their hand on the pulse of dynamic change and historical perspective in the Middle East.
Legal Agenda is a Beirut-based NGO established in 2010 dedicated to legal reform throughout the Arab world through civic and judicial empowerment including the interdisciplinary study of law and society.