Prof. Neve Gordon received a Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton for the year 2012-2013.
For more than three decades now Ivy League universities have offered preferential treatment to radical Israeli scholars of very modest academic achievements. In the past, Yehouda Shenahv (TAU) spent a Sabbatical at Princeton University and Hanna Herzog (TAU) spent time at Harvard University. A comparative analysis shows that distinguished scholars who were not ready to bash Israel had to contend with much less prestigious colleges.
Neve Gordon's (BGU) fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton is a real low for this distinguished institution that once housed the likes of Albert Einstein. While merit still counts for securing an appointment in the sciences, the social sciences reflects the political tenor of the day, which, when it comes to Middle East, is a desire to delegitimize Israel.
Gordon's somewhat convoluted proposal makes this point crystal clear. First, there is the obligatory reference to Michel Foucault, the "founding father" of the neo-Marxist, critical scholarship. Then there is the a description of reality that does not exist any more as the vast majority of Palestinians have lived under self-rule for years. In fact, a new economic study concluded that they are ready for statehood, except for the fact that generous international economic aides has weakened its economic base.
The most telling part of Gordon's proposal, however, is his reference to the "legislation that has been introduced" to punish human rights NGOs. The legislation did not pass, but this is not something that Gordon would be ready to disclose. Moreover, as an avid promoter of boycott who got muzzled by the anti-boycott legislation, Gordon will be able to explore the subject under the academic shelter of Princeton.
At a time when the Middle East is undergoing monumental changes that have reshaped the political landscape in the area as well the structure of international relations, offering Gordon a fellowship in Israel bashing is a sad reflection of the priorities of the Institute.
School of Social Science, Einstein Drive, Princeton, New Jersey
of the Negev
West Building Room 3114
The Political Economy of Governance and Resistance: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict as a Case Study
In recent years the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has assumed an increasingly pronounced economic dimension. Flotillas have replaced suicide bombers, underground tunnels have created an informal economy in Gaza, and new Israeli legislation has been introduced to halt funding of human rights organizations as well as to penalize supporters of the boycott campaign. In my research I intend to examine these developments by focusing on what I call the economic apparatuses (i.e., dispositifs) of occupation–that is, forms of governance deployed to harness or arrest the population’s energy so as to achieve a series of social, political, and economic objectives (Foucault 2008; Rose 1999). My initial hypothesis is that the proliferation of these apparatuses signifies a shift in modes of governing and resistance in the Occupied Territories and elsewhere. I then examine whether the accentuation of economic governing apparatuses is tied to the reduction of legal and administrative apparatuses.