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Hebrew University
Political Activist at the Hebrew University: Areej Sabbagh-Khoury as a Case in Point

12.07.17

Editorial Note

     IAM often reports on political activists masquerading as academics.  A young cohort of academic activists is now making a debut. For instance, Hebrew University has recently announced that Areej Sabbagh- Khoury was hired by the department of Sociology, commencing her position in the academic year of 2018-2019.   


       A close look at her CV reveals she mixes academics with political activism: 
"Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is the Inaugural Post-doctoral Research Associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies at Brown University 2016-2017. She is also an associate researcher at Mada al-Carmel – The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. Her current book project, now under contract with Stanford University Press, examines relations between members of leftist Zionists kibbutzim and Palestinian villagers in Northern Palestine within a settler colonial framework. Sabbagh-Khoury completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. She contributed to several book chapters and articles on citizenship, memory, gender and settler colonialism, among them “Palestinian Predicaments: Jewish Immigration and Refugees Repatriation.” She also co-edited two volumes of The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society: the first volume was published in 2011 and the second on December 2016 (both volumes were published in English, Hebrew and Arabic). She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Award year 2015-2016; the 2015 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia University; the Meyers Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Taub Center for Israel Studies at NYU year 2016, the Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Humanities at Tufts year 2017-2018 and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) - Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Social Sciences 2017-2018."   

       Her lecture at the Center of Middle East Studies at the Watson Institute, Brown University in October 2016 showcases her stance "The Zionist Left: Settler Colonial Practices and the Representation of the Palestinian Nakba in Northern Palestine". The invitation to the lecture reads, "inquiring the responsibility of the Zionist settlers and Israeli society on the displacement of refugees and not less important from controlling the Palestinian lands and property and banning the return of Palestinian refugees. Based on a meticulous examination of local Zionist archives of Ha-Shomer Ha-Tza’ir Kibbutzim in Marj Ibn 'Amer, I will track some of the discussions that accompanied the process of expulsion of 1948 and the pillaging of the Palestinian property from neighboring Palestinian villages. Furthermore, I will explore how the politics of remembering by members of Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair kibbutzim reconstructed memories of the colonization practices that preceded 1948 Nakba and their role in the Nakba." 

        This the type of scholarship is advanced at the Middle East Center by Professor Beshara Doumani, a Saudi-born Palestinian who has turned the Center into a platform for anti-Israel activism. He has invited the likes of Ariella Azoulay, Ilan Pappe and Neve Gordon to bash Israel.  In 2014 Doumani was among the 100 Middle East studies scholars and librarians who petitioned to boycott Israeli institutions. In 2015 Doumani succumbed to BDS pressure and backed down from an Adi Ophir conference at Brown because Ophir is an Israeli scholar with ties to Tel Aviv University. 

         Sabbagh-Khoury fits well into the academic-activist milieu; her PhD thesis was co-advised by Yehouda Shenhav (TAU) and Joel Beinin (Stanford), both high profile politically engaged scholars.   Sabbagh-Khoury's scholarship examines Israel's settler colonialism and argues it has "discrete characteristics of the colonization processes, predicated on not only relations of domination but the dispossession of the natives and their replacement by a colonizing population."   She was hailed by the post-Zionist scholar Gabriel Piterberg who found her PhD dissertation "remarkable" because it illustrated the "centrality of the settler-colonial framework". He has noted that Sabbagh-Khoury "contextualized the Nakba" by focusing on the colonization of land. Piterberg also noted she has used a "critical reconstruction of the formation of settler nations by dissenting" it.

        The Hebrew University Sociology Department, like its peers around the country, has been top heavy with scholars who research the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while lacking faculty capable to teach cutting edge subjects in Sociology at large.  A number of evaluation committees of the Council of Higher Education lamented this state of affairs, as IAM repeatedly reported.  In particular, the evaluation committee to the Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University found that the department lacks quantitative training. The committee found data of the MA programs on recent graduates comprising of 16 in Anthropology, 27 in Organizational Studies, 13 in Sociology, and 4 in Demography. Making Organizational Studies the most desirable subject of learning. 

       The committee expressed concerns that since the founding cohort of sociologists and anthropologists were very prominent and the subsequent generation who are now approaching retirement are still an impressive and productive group, "The problem that the department now faces is one of maintaining its excellence and intellectual vigor at a time of transition to a younger set of scholars."  How would recruiting the likes of Sabbagh-Khoury redress the department anomalies? 

       The problem is that Israeli social sciences have compared poorly in international indices, but nothing has been done to remedy the situation.   It is the university authorities who have an obligation to the Israeli tax payer and the elected officials who foot the bill.
 



לכבוד לנו!
ד?ר אריז? סבאע?-ח?ורי Areej Sabbagh-Khoury מצטרפת לסגל המחלקה, החל משנת הלימודים 2018-19. עד אז אריז? מאריכה את תקופת הפוסט-דוקטורט, הפעם באוניברסיטת טאפטס בארה?ב, על מנת להקדיש את מירצה לסיום כתיבת ספר שיראה אור בהוצאת אוניברסיטת סטאנפורד.

מעט על אריז?...
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is the Inaugural Post-doctoral Research Associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies at Brown University 2016-2017. She is also an associate researcher at Mada al-Carmel – The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. Her current book project, now under contract with Stanford University Press, examines relations between members of leftist Zionists kibbutzim and Palestinian villagers in Northern Palestine within a settler colonial framework. Sabbagh-Khoury completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. She contributed to several book chapters and articles on citizenship, memory, gender and settler colonialism, among them “Palestinian Predicaments: Jewish Immigration and Refugees Repatriation.” She also co-edited two volumes of The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society: the first volume was published in 2011 and the second on December 2016 (both volumes were published in English, Hebrew and Arabic). She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Award year 2015-2016; the 2015 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia University; the Meyers Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Taub Center for Israel Studies at NYU year 2016, the Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Humanities at Tufts year 2017-2018 and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) - Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Social Sciences 2017-2018.

====================================================


Areej Sabbagh-Khoury – The Zionist Left: Settler Colonial Practices and the Representation of the Palestinian Nakba in Northern Palestine


Wednesday, October 26, 2016
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
McKinney Conference Room
Please note: Lunches for registered guests will be held until 12:00 noon, then released for those on standby.
Mining the national archives, the post Zionist historian in Israel focused on debunking the Zionist myths while most prominently focusing on the question if there was a master plan to displace Palestinians. Doing so, this kind of questions and similar others, that shed light on the practices of the Zionist establishment and forces distracted the research from  inquiring the responsibility of the Zionist settlers and Israeli society on the displacement of refugees and not less important from controlling the Palestinian lands and property and banning the return of Palestinian refugees. Based on a meticulous examination of local Zionist archives of Ha-Shomer Ha-Tza’ir Kibbutzim in Marj Ibn 'Amer, I will track some of the discussions that accompanied the process of expulsion of 1948 and the pillaging of the Palestinian property from neighboring Palestinian villages. Furthermore, I will explore how the politics of remembering by members of Ha-Shomer Ha-Tzair kibbutzim reconstructed memories of the colonization practices that preceded 1948 Nakba and their role in the Nakba.
Areej Sabbagh-Khoury is the Inaugural Post-doctoral Research Studies Associate in Palestine and Palestinian Studies at Brown University 2016-2017.  She is also an associate researcher at Mada al-Carmel – The Arab Center for Applied Social Research. Her current book project examines relations between members of leftist Zionists kibbutzim and Palestinian villagers in Northern Palestine within a settler colonial framework. Sabbagh-Khoury completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. She contributed to several book chapters and articles on citizenship, memory, gender and settler colonialism, among them “Palestinian Predicaments: Jewish Immigration and Refugees Repatriation.” She also co-edited two volumes of The Palestinians in Israel: A Guide to History, Politics, and Society: the first volume was published in 2011 and the second on December 2015 (both volumes were published in English, Hebrew and Arabic). She has received several awards and grants for her research, among them the PARC fellowship; the Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Award year 2015-2016; the 2015 Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Columbia University.
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