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Hebrew University
[Hebrew U, Law] Dr. Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian's study: “Military Occupation, Trauma and the Violence of Exclusion: Trapped bodies and lives.”


The article follows Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian's bio: 

Dr. Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian


Dr. Shalhoub Kevorkian is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Institute of Criminology, and the School of Social Work and Public Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she received her PHD in law.   She also served as a visiting professor in the faculty of law at the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles.   Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is the author of Tribal Justice and its effect on Formal Justice in PalestineFemicide in Palestinian Society, and Militarization and Violence against Women in conflict zones in the Middle East: The Palestinian Case Study


Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is active in a variety of non-governmental organizations.   The Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, an organization that she founded, their mission statement is not just to help out Palestinian women and girls who are victims of domestic and sexual violence.    WCLAC also seeks to “address the needs of women victimized by Israel’s violent military actions in the occupied territories.”   WCLAC works to “expose, locally and internationally, the practices of Israeli occupation violations against women’s rights.”   In accordance with this anti-Israel mission, WCLAC has published a “Voices from the Occupation” series, where WCLAC claims that Israel is a human rights violator for capturing 16-year-old Palestinian boys.   In a report written jointly by WCLAC and other Palestinian non-governmental organizations, Israel is accused of violating the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Civil Rights.   In another WCLAC report, WCLAC claimed that in the year 2009, Israel systematically violated the rights of Palestinian women, where women’s testimonies are used to vilify Israel for building the wall, for instituting checkpoints, for engaging in violence, and for separating Palestinians from their families.   Also in accordance with the anti-Israel mission of WCLAC, the WCLAC signed onto the Palestinian BDS campaign.


Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is involved in and holds an influential position in Gisha.  According to NGO Monitor, Gisha employs apartheid rhetoric, left out important legal facts when it claimed in a 2007 report that Gaza was still occupied, misrepresented international legal terminology when it accused Israel of engaging in collective punishment in Gaza, ignores the fact that the goods that Israel restricts into Gaza can be used for military purposes, and condemned Israel for not allowing a group of Gazan students to travel to Israel to go on Fulbright scholarships to the US, despite the fact that the US rejected most of these students themselves on security grounds.


Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian also is director of the Gender Studies Project at the Mada Al-Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research.   According to NGO Monitor, the Mada Al Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research gender project claims that its objective is to: “critically examine the Zionist colonialist role in the Israeli state in order to expose the policies that maintain and perpetuate the subjugation of Palestinian women in Israel.”    The Mada Al Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research co-authored the Haifa Declaration, which opposes the fact that Israel is a Jewish state and asserts that “Israel exploits the Holocaust at the expense of the Palestinian people.”    Mada Al Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research, along with two other non-governmental organizations, were the Palestinian representatives for the international “One Day Struggle” campaign entitled “My Land, Space, Body, and Sexuality: Palestinians in the Shadow of the Wall” in November 2009.   The publicity for this event included a poster that suggested that Israeli soldiers sexually harass Palestinian women.   At an academic conference sponsored by Mada Al Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research entitled “has the two state solution collapsed?”, several participants objected to the two-state solution on the grounds that it entailed that Israel would still exist. 


Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is involved in other anti-Israel non-governmental organizations, such as Women against Violence.   Although Women against Violence has done commendable work opposing honor crimes, helping to educate men to be more sensitive to women’s issues, and has created a woman’s shelter for women in need, Women against Violence has gotten side-trekked from the good work that they have done by calling Israel a “colonialist racist settler society” in a seminar they co-hosted entitled “Anti-Radicalized Feminism.”   WAV also participated in the “One day Struggle” campaign and wrote to the Norwegian government, encouraging them to divest from the “Israeli occupation.”   Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian is also involved in the Jerusalem Center for Women. Its mission statement includes working to end oppression and human rights violations against all members of Palestinian society and to ending occupation), .  


In May 2010, Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian spoke at the commemoration of the Nakba ceremony in Haifa.  In a youtube video entitled “Women under occupation,” Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian blames Israel and not Palestinian society for the fact that there has been an increase in domestic violence in Palestinian society.   In a 2009 interview that Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian gave to Open Democracy, she blamed Israel for the poor conditions endured by Palestinian women and not their patriarchal society.   She asserted in this interview that Palestinians are living in ghettos, the security barrier was built to deprive Palestinian women the right to an education, that Israeli soldiers sexually harass Palestinian women at checkpoints, and refers to Israel as colonizers.  Also in 2009, Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as asserting that Israel’s colonial policies were the main obstacle to personal and economic freedom for Bedouin women and not patriarchal Bedouin society, cultural barriers, etc.    She spoke at the Seventh Annual International Al Awda Conference, which called for a Palestinian right of return.   And in 2005, Dr. Shalhoub-Kevorkian gave a talk entitled “Palestinian Girls facing the wall” at UCLA where she asserted that Israeli soldiers humiliate Palestinian girls.            



















The YWCA of Palestine Launches New Study on East Jerusalem

The YWCA of Palestine Launches New Study on East Jerusalem

In 2007, Dr. Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian, through World Vision and in coordination with the YWCA of Palestine, published the study “Facing the Wall: Palestinian Children and Adolescents Speak about the Israeli Separation Wall” which showcased the heavy price Palestinian adolescents have to face, both for being Palestinians and also for living in the shadow of the Wall. The recurring words of the Palestinian teenagers in that study were “divider”, “apartheid,” “snake,” “dangerous disease;” all of which were revolved around the symbolic as well as physical reality of the Wall; a nightmare creeping into the dreams of Palestinians.

In Ramallah on October 28, 2010, the YWCA of Palestine, under the Patronage of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, launched Dr. Nadera’s new study (commissioned by the YWCA and funded by Dan Church Aid – DCA) which highlights the challenging, if not unnatural, daily lives of Palestinians living in Jerusalem. The voices heard in Dr. Nadera’s study this time are continuously expressing the sense of feeling strangled and being trapped by internal and external forces. Hence the title of the study: “Military Occupation, Trauma and the Violence of Exclusion: Trapped bodies and lives.”

Representatives from the civil society, women’s organisations, ministries and public sectors eagerly attended Dr. Nadera’s compelling presentation, and intently participated in the discussion that followed, voicing concerns on what is happening to East Jerusalem.

The study has been completed at a very significant time for Jerusalem, and could well serve as crucial documentation for the current distress and grievance of Palestinian Jerusalemites today. In her presentation, as well as throughout the study, Dr. Nadera brings one example after another revealing Palestinians’ day-to-day experiences of military occupation, their methods of surviving and the strategies of coping in the face of psycho-social and economic-political traps and restraints imposed by Israel on Arab Jerusalem. The study also sheds a light on the main hardships that Palestinians encounter when facing Israel’s urban politics, demographic policies, economic, political and social restrictions and political violence. It also makes some suggestions for directions in future research, and a number of policy recommendations for human rights and feminist activists and organisations to consider.

With direct quotations gathered in interviews conducted for the study, young Palestinian voices of men and women from Jerusalem express a strong sense that their bodies, daily movements, and actions are under tight control, or are “trapped.” Dr. Nadera’s theoretical analysis for understanding these quotations require “that we theorise globality and post-coloniality in order to fully comprehend how global forces and conditions – including “the war on terror,” the development of “security justifications,” the politics and industry of fear and proliferating violence – and local forces – internal displacement, geo politics and house demolitions – all of which have shaped the contours of Palestinian daily life in Occupied East Jerusalem.”

One thing is for sure: Dr. Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian could surely get the 65+ participants at the workshop study fully immersed in her moving, yet somewhat frightening presentation. She persistently asks that we all think of the effect of Israeli spatial policy – the geopolitics – which is a way of “controlling our spaces; ghettoising us in small enclaves,” and of the outcomes that happen out of “changing geography in order to change history.” Moreover, she elaborates on the politics of everydayness; penning Michael Foucault’s terminology of biopower and biopolitics (in the application and impact of political power on all aspects of human life), and goes as far as considering how in the midst of this racial discrimination, ideas and practices associated with the economics of life and death – or “necropolitics”, which work through Zionist economics and start to dominate the equations of life and death

Dr. Nadera Shalhoub Kevorkian is the director of the Gender Studies Program at Mada al-Carmel and a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Institute of Criminology and the School of Social Work and Public Welfare at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her study “Military Occupation, Trauma and the Violence of Exclusion: Trapped Bodies and Lives” is available at the YWCA of Palestine.


For more information please visit the YWCA of Palestine website


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