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Tel Aviv University
[TAU Sociology] Dan Rabinowitz "In the Shadow of Two States: Rural Electrification in the Occupied West Bank"



Dan Rabinowitz's image

 

Dan Rabinowitz, TAU Sociology, E-mail: msdan@post.tau.ac.il

Editorial Note

Dr. Dan Rabinowitz is a senior lecturer in the department of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University.  He also teaches at theCentral European University in Budapest. He is a member of the Gisha Board of Directors.  According to NGO Monitor, Gisha employs “apartheid rhetoric” when discussing Israel.   The head of Gisha, Sari Bashi, has accused the IDF of “enacting policies in order to empty the West Bank of Palestinians because of Israeli territorial claims.”          

Rabinowitz  has a long record of radical activism.   He has come out in favor of supporting boycotts against Israel and of indicting Israeli political leaders for war crimes.”  In October 2008, Rabinowitz spoke at an anti-Israel conference on Jerusalem in the Hague, Netherlands, where he explained how Israelis legitimize “repression” of Palestinians.   That year he also signed the Righteous Jews petition, which commemorates Palestinians who have been “depopulated, dispossessed, humiliated, tortured, and murdered in the name of political Zionism.”   This petition goes on to claim that “from its founding in 1897 the Zionist endeavors to "pump in" Jews and "pump out" Palestinians from this land have been the root cause of bloodshed and conflict. "These racist endeavors have […] been deeply problematic.”    Rabinowitz has also argued that Palestinians are “walled in and subject to a near catastrophic incarceration defined as the inability to take elementary steps towards recuperation and regeneration.   Rabinowitz believes that a substantial number of Palestinian refugees should have the right to return to Israel as part of a peace settlement.  

 

http://www.nomadit.co.uk/easa/easa2012/panels.php5?PanelID=1312

 

EASA2012: Uncertainty and disquiet

Nanterre University, France, 10/07/2012 – 13/07/2012

Uncertain futures: the cultural dynamics of energy transition

 

In the Shadow of Two States: Rural Electrification in the Occupied West Bank

Author: Dan Rabinowitz (Tel Aviv University)  email
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Short Abstract

The paper reviews a recent drive to provide semi-nomadic Palestinian peasants and Bedouin living in the arid hills east of Hebron with solar panels and wind turbine for power generation. Funded by international donations, led by Israeli peace activists and implemented with active participation of members of the community itself, the initiative has so far installed domestic generation systems in more than 200 households. The history of the project, its current state and future projection reflect the promises and pitfalls typical of rural electrification projects globally. The particular complexities of running such a project under occupation affords a glimpse into the contradictions, existential issues and counter-intuitive alliances associated with the occupation.

Long Abstract

The infrastructural disparity between the Western part of Israel/Palestine and the arid belt on the eastern margin of the land condemned Palestinian semi-nomadic and transhumant population in the east to isolation and impoverishment. Consistently harassed by Israel, which sees their presence as a threat to its sovereignty in the occupied territories and a potential obstacle for future Jewish settlement, such communities were soon marginalized by the Palestinian proto-state as well. Lying beyond the reaches of the limited financial and infrastructure capabilities of the Palestinian Authority, their efforts to maintain traditional economic activity and cultural continuity now face major difficulties.

The paper reviews a recent drive to provide hamlets in Masfarat Yata (the desert area south and east of Hebron) with solar panels and wind turbine for power generation. Funded by international donations, led by Israeli peace activists and implemented with active participation of members of the community itself employed by the project, the initiative so far installed small scale renewable energy systems in more than 200 households. Its history, current state and future projection reflect the promises and pitfalls typical of rural electrification projects globally. The complexities of running such a project under occupation provide a prism to the contradictions, existential issues and counter-intuitive alliances engendered by the interface between the Israeli occupation and the survival needs of Palestinians.

 


 

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[TAU Sociology] Dan Rabinowitz in Cambridge U "The Right to Refuse: Abject Theory and the Return of Palestinian Refugees"

University of Cambridge, Alan Macfarlane: Interviews with Anthropologists

 

The following presentation in Cambridge University

 http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1129337

 

MPEG-4 http://downloads.sms.cam.ac.uk/1129337/1129344.mp4

MP3 http://downloads.sms.cam.ac.uk/1129337/1129347.mp3

A lecture by Dan Rabinowitz on 'The Right to Refuse: Abject Theory and the Return of Palestinian Refugees', and an interview. Filmed and interviewed by Alan Macfarlane in Cambridge on 10th November 2006. Generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

Created: 2011-04-12 15:45

 Rabinowitz starts by providing the Palestinians “narrative;”  “Palestinians see themselves as an ancient peaceful nation whose territory was transgressed in the early twentieth century by western colonialism, spearheaded by an opportunistic Jewish contingent.   The result was dispossession and dispersal in 1948 of at least 750,000 persons who along with their descendants make up the largest refugee community.”   He claims that most Palestinians had little or no control over the events that led to their “demise.”  

This prompts Rabinowitz to develop four basic principles for the resolution of the conflict.  The first one is that return is the only way to “rectify” the “gross injustices of 1948” and what Palestinians have suffered in exile since.   The second one is that the original Palestinian refugees and their descendants make up “one monogamous community of entitlement.”   The third one is that Palestinian refugees should be offered a spectrum of options, including a return to their original communities and property, restitution, and resettlement.  And lastly, the choice between these various options should be decided by Palestinians, “both as a collective and as individuals.” 

In the second part of the presentation Rabinowitz seeks to put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the context of philosophical tradition and international law.   He claims that Palestinian idealism regarding pre-1948 Israel, the 1948 war, and the right of return fits well with St. Augustine’s moral-idealistic theology.  On the other hand, he judges Zionism to be most compatible with the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes who viewed international relations as a savage and anarchic context driven by power.   Keeping in line with the idealistic tradition, Rabinowitz outlines a vision for implementing a Palestinian right of return that he believes Israelis could live with while at the same time addressing  Palestinian political desires.  

In the third part, Rabinowitz discusses the role of intellectuals in supporting the Palestinian right of return.    He elaborates: “One of the responsibilities of intellectuals is to make sure that “morally informed” theories are “inserted” in order to avoid scenarios where “might” is considered “right.”    Rabinowitz believes that it is unfortunate that intellectuals let politicians take over during negotiations, for politicians tend to emphasize “pragmatism” over “morality.”  He emphasized that pragmatism cannot “revolutionize the predicament of the disenfranchised party” or “undo the suffering inflicted up them in the past and well as in the present.”   Rabinowitz claims that spin doctors who favor realpolitik tend to take over when intellectuals vanish or chose to vanish from the scene.   While humanitarian thinkers who appeared early on in this process sometimes reappear, later on, it is only to serve as “fig leaves” that “trample human dignity.”   

 

 



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