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Tel Aviv University
Brown University M.E. Center Seeks Post-Zionist Academics: Gadi Algazi TAU Medievalist Researches Israel's First Decade

Editorial note

Beshara Doumani, the Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University, has expanded it to include a Center for Palestinians Studies, which was inaugurated in 2014. Like many such outlets, its sole mission seems to be a radical critique of Israel to present it as a colonial state which subjugates the native population. Needless to say, the colonial paradigm, normally applied to the study of European colonialism in Africa and Asia, does not recognize the historical link between the Jews and the Holy Land.

But Doumani, well versed in the anti-Israel discourse, understands that recruiting Israeli scholars would make the colonial paradigm more credible while avoiding charges of anti-Semitism.   Doumani has been hosting well known critics of Israel as Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir.  

Professor Gadi Algazi, a scholar of late medieval and early modern social and cultural history at Tel Aviv University is another guest at the Center.  After receiving tenure, Algazi, a life-long political activist, switched from his appointed subject, to writing political work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a colonial perspective, something that in the exact sciences is unheard of.

While at Brown, earlier this year Algazi took part of a panel titled "Archives, Diaries, and Colonial Appropriation." His paper, "Profits of Military Rule" promised to analyze colonialism and "profit-generating mechanisms" between 1948–1958.   In particular, he focused on the "appropriation and of the social groups who owe their wealth to the military rule imposed on Palestinians in Israel". 

To show how far he had traveled from his original training as a medievalist, the paper is bristled with neo-Marxist, critical jargon such as "class formation under settler colonialism" and other phrases beloved by scholars eager to show their neo-Marxist bona fide.  The paper begins with "oral accounts of Bedouin deportation and dispossession, originally encountered in the context of my political work" and ends with the goal of establishing the "legacy of past colonial violence and unequal access to modes of transmission."  

Turning his activism into academics, Algazi finds audiences to his theory. He also spoke at the Colgate University Center for Peace and Conflict on "Making Them Pay: Israel and the Political Economy of Military Rule, 1948-1958" detailing the "intersection of military rule and political economy in Israel." More recently he spoke on the subject of "What do we do against colonialism?" at a conference organized by the platform of Balad party, the group which opposes the idea of Israel as a Jewish state, and favors binational state.

Algazi was never shy of admitting his activist credentials.  In a lengthy interview Algazi spoke about growing up in a activist home and his decision to refuse military service while being a student at Tel Aviv University in 1980. He also mentioned his "dear friend" Leon Sheleff from Tel Aviv University's Law School who defended him in court on charges of refusal.  Joining the academy was the next logical step, where, as noted, activist faculty could launch a career in political polemics supported by the tax payers.   It is this path that led him to the lush campus of Brown University.

It would be interesting to know whether Algazi is familiar with the encampment of the Pokanoket Nation, a native American tribe, which has been protesting the theft of its land by Brown.  So far, the Ivy League school has offered a vague promise to study the charges.   Even if he is familiar, he probably would not elaborate on the subject and neither would his host Doumani who served as a discussant at the "Archives, Diaries, and Colonial Appropriation" panel. After all, it doesn't serve their political agenda.  

This is not academically sound. For the sake of proper academic conduct Tel Aviv University should have reined in its staff's penchant for political activism.

17 August at 19:00–23:00

במת בל?ד מזמינה אתכם לדיון בנושא - אתגרים ואלטרנטיבות מול מציאות של דיכוי והקצנה 
במטה בל?ד ביפו - רחוב יפת 220 

מנחה: עבד אבו שחאדה - חבר המועצה האסלאמית ביפו ופעיל בל?ד 

אורלי נוי - עיתונאית, מתרגמת ופעילה פוליטית: ?לדבר על דמוקרטיה במרחב קולוניאלי, מדינת כל אזרחיה כאינטרס הציבור היהודי?. 

גדי אלגזי - פעיל בתנועת התחברות - תראבוט, השותפה בחד?ש ותומכת ברשימה המשותפת: ?מה עושים מול הקולוניאליזם?. 

ד?ר מטאנס שחאדה - מזכ?ל מפלגת בל?ד: ?השסעים הפוליטיים בחברה הישראלית בעידן הימין הקיצוני?.


                                           Inline image 1


Gadi Algazi is a historian and social activist. He is professor of medieval history at the Department of History at Tel Aviv University, and associate research fellow at the International Research on the history of labor in its global context at Humboldt University, Berlin.  He is member of the editorial board of Past & Present and previously served as senior editor of the journal History & Memory (2001–2012). He was fellow at the Max Planck Institute of History (Göttingen), the Max Planck Institute of the History of Science (Berlin) and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and visiting professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris) and the Free University (Berlin). Research interests include late medieval and early modern social and cultural history; historical anthropology; the history and theory of the social sciences; settler colonialism and frontier societies.
Tentative title: Profits of Military Rule
No analysis of colonialism can dispense with the issues of the division of the spoils and its specific profit-generating mechanisms. The complex questions involved have seldom been addressed in Israel’s case. The paper focuses on Israel’s first decade (1948–1958) and, given the current state of research, offers a preliminary sketch of some mechanisms of enrichment and appropriation and of the social groups who owe their wealth to the military rule imposed on Palestinians in Israel. It is based on my current research on dispossession, eviction and resettlement in the early 1950s, studied at the local level; I shall use examples from the Beer Sheba district, and offer some glimpses of analogous processes in the Galilee and the Triangle. This has significant implications, I believe, for our understanding of class formation under settler colonialism, and at the time, of the conditions of Palestinian survival within the newly established state.
In terms of the production of evidence, the paper began with oral accounts of Bedouin deportation and dispossession, originally encountered in the context of my political work. It led, however, to Israel’s military archive, state archive, the archives of the Supreme Court and several kibbutzim. Their intricate articulation of these heterogeneous sites and the specific constraints on the production of historical knowledge arise in this case not simply from the legacy of past colonial violence and unequal access to modes of transmission, but from the fact that this is very much not history as passé, a finished story, but part of the present.



Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street, Providence, RI 02912


Thursday, Mar. 2
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Critical Conversations Panel “Palestine-Israel in the Trump Era”
with Rashid Khalidi, Sherene Seikaly,  and Brown Faculty J. Brian Atwood and Omer Bartov. Moderator: Beshara Doumani

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street

7:45 p.m.               
Dinner for Critical Conversations panel speakers and workshop presenters at Brown Faculty Club

9:30 P.M.
Shuttle Faculty Club to Biltmore hotel, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence


Friday, March 3
8:15 and 8:25 a.m.
Transfers for presenters from Biltmore hotel to Watson Institute

8:30-9:00 a.m.
Registration and continental breakfast

9:00–9:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks 

9:30 -11:15 a.m.  
Panel 1: Archival Landscapes

Salim Tamari: The 1948 War: New Trends in Palestinian Historiography

Vincent Lemire: Opening Jerusalem’s Memories : for a Transnational, Open and Bottom-up Database of Primary Archives of the Holy City (1840-1940)

Sherene Seikaly: Autobiography, the Archive, and the Question of Palestine

Commentator: Rashid Khalidi

11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Coffee Break 

11:30 a.m.–1:15 p.m. 
Panel 2: Archives, Diaries, and Colonial Appropriation

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury:  Memory, Settler Colonial Archive and the Representation of Palestinian Villages

Alex Winder: Police Diaries/Personal Diaries: Using the Notebooks of a Mandate-Era Policeman to Write Palestinian History

Gadi al-GaziProfits of Military Rule

Commentator: Caroline Elkins

1:15 – 2:45 p.m. Lunch for workshop presenters at the Sharpe Refectory

2:30-2:45 p.m.
Group photograph Sharpe Refectory Steps

3:00 – 4:45 p.m.: 
Panel 3: Literature, the Body, and the Politics of Memory

Ibtisam Azem: “The Book of Disappearance”: The Memory of Place and Its Oral History

Diana AllenWhat bodies remember: Sensorium as historical counterpoint in the Nakba archive

Sinan AntoonAbsence, Memory, and Return in Darwish’s Work

Commentator: Emily Drumsta

4:45 – 5:00 p.m.  Coffee Break 

5:00-6:00 p.m. Open Discussion

6:00-6:15 p.m.    Walk to the Pembroke Center172 Meeting Street, Providence, RI 02912

6:15 p.m.      Opening reception for Exhibition
Curated by Issam Nassar and Ariella Azoulay
Time Machine: Stereoscopic Views from Palestine 1900

7:35 and 7:45 p.m.      
Transfers for workshop presenters to Biltmore hotel, 11 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI

8:15-10:00 p.m.
Private dinner for workshop presenters at Biltmore Hotel 11 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI

Saturday, March 4

8:25 and 8:35 a.m. Transfers for presenters from hotel to Watson Institute

8:45-9:15 a.m. Continental breakfast 

9:15-11:00 a.m.   
Panel 4: Oral history and the Politics of Decolonization

Yara Hawari and Francesco Amoruso:  Including Palestine in Indigenous Studies: Oral History and its Relevance for Decolonisation

Hana Sleiman and Kaoukab Chebaro (presented by Sleiman)The Palestinian Oral History Archive at AUB

Abdel Razzaq Takriti Digital Histories of the Underground: Teaching the Palestinian Revolution

Commentator: Marianne Hirsch

11:00-11:15 a.m. Coffee break 

11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m: 
Panel 5: Rethinking Archives

Ann StolerOn archiving as dissensus

Ariella Azoulay:  No Archival Turn

Brinkley MessickSharīʿa, Property, Nakba

Commentator: Beshara Doumani

1:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Working lunch for presenters

End of Formal Program and Departures

2:45 p.m. Transfers for presenters from workshop venue to hotel



Making Them Pay: Israel and the Political Economy of Military Rule, 1948-1958

Professor Gadi Algazi of Tel-Aviv University Department of History will speak on the intersection of military rule and political economy in Israel.  


Google English translation

Gadi Algazi

Until the end of the 1980s, human rights activism in Israel was a field of activity for less marginalized activists. Most of them were attributed to the left spectrum. Gadi Algazi (* 1961), whose parents belonged to the Israeli League of Human Rights, was politically socialized in this environment. In 1980, he denied the war service because of criticism of the Israeli occupation policy. The case caused a lot of concern. During the 1980s he was active in Arab-Jewish initiatives in Israel and the occupied territories. In the course of the Second Intifada, the Palestinians and Israelis hardened from the end of 2000, and once again took the initiative with activists from both parts of the country, who were active against segregation and equal rights: Ta'ayush (2000) and Tarabut (2007).


The two-hour talk with Prof. Dr. Gadi Algazi took place in his living room on 6 September 2016. The questions were asked by Prof. Dr. José Brunner, who teaches the history of ideas and science at Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Daniel Stahl, Scientific Secretary of the Working Group on Human Rights in the 20th Century. Professor Brunner had arranged the appointment with Professor Algazi, who was also teaching at Tel Aviv University. The interview was conducted in German, a language that the interviewee is well-versed in. It was in the context of two other interviews conducted by the working group with Raja Shehadeh and Bassem Eid on human rights activism in Israel.

Mr. Algazi, you are a professor of medieval history, on the other hand one of the best-known Israeli civil rights activists. At the beginning of our conversation, I would like to know how political issues played a role in your parental home.

They played a big part. My parents were both politically active. My mother comes from Belgrade and escaped to Budapest during the war. My father is from Alexandria. Both lived in the fifties in Kibbuzim, but then either were excluded or left the kibbutz themselves. They were active in the Communist Party. This was the only political organization in which Palestinians and Israelis had worked together. An important, complicated story, not necessarily a successful experiment, in such a highly separate society. But this gave me the possibility, firstly, of explicit, political or moral messages to grow up with Arabs. One did not necessarily see it in everyday life, but I knew there were Arab friends and could get to know Arab society within Israel a bit better than other Jewish children. Secondly, my parents told me that a history of suffering and persecution does not give you any privileges, but challenges you to solidify. In 1976, when I was fifteen, I visited the refugee camps in Gaza for the first time together with my father. It was one of the most instructive days in my life. My mother, who had not come, had said to me beforehand, "Do not forget that we too have been refugees."

Her parents were also refugees?

My mother, with her sister, was the only one in the family to survive the Second World War - because unknown people risked her life as a child. For my mother these experiences were enormously important during the Holocaust. She then came to Israel with the ship exodus, where she was about fourteen years old.

My father came in 1953 as a 15-year-old from Alexandria. Three years later he already participated in Israel's forgotten war of 1956, led with Great Britain and France against Egypt. At the end of the war, he was a nurse in Sinai in a military base. There were also Egyptian war prisoners, young men of his age, who could simply have grown up in another street of Alexandria.

In the next war of 1967 - that is how Israeli history is still being told - my father was already a political man. When he was ordered to take part in the great hunt for Egyptian soldiers, he decided to shoot himself. With this secret he lived for forty years. He has become a journalist. Immediately after 1967 he traveled as one of very few to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; In the communist press he published reports on the Israeli occupation, which were not to be published in the mainstream press at all.

In 1971 or 1972, he became Secretary of the Israeli League for Human Rights.1 At the end of the sixties, this was the only human rights organization in Israel to be interested in the situation of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, Felicia Langer, a lawyer for Palestinians, was Israel Shahak, a very original biochemist who was a Holocaust survivor, and Channa Nakara, a Palestinian lawyer from Akko, whose engagement many Palestinians had in the fifties Israeli security services were systematically tortured.

What is the difference between the league and other organizations? 

The Israeli Civil Rights Association was established only in 1972, and the establishment at that time was much , Much closer than you can imagine today. The occupied territories were not their business at first. The League reported that Palestinian prisoners were being tortured in the occupied territories. In the first half of the seventies, the liberal Israeli public refused to believe that the Palestinians were actively tortured in the occupied territories as the League claimed them.

I had forgotten the Human Rights League until you mentioned it. But it was really beyond the Israeli discourse at the time. 

Yes, that's true. Not even known critical voices could have imagined in the early 1970s that the Israeli security services systematically used torture. In the middle of the seventies this changed slowly, because our occupation was still a bit bigger and feisty. This was the time when Amnesty International also tried to address torture globally for the first time. 

Was there international cooperation with Israeli activists? 

To judge this, I am too young. But I read already at the end of the sixties reports of torture in Vietnam - a rather difficult reading for a child. And then, after 1976, I got to know people in Israel who came from Argentina or Chile and reported the systematic use of torture in the Latin dictatorships.

What experiences as a youth shaped you the most for your future work? They mentioned earlier a trip to the Gaza Strip with their father ... 

Yes, which was 1976 and enormously important. But I would also call the year before the Yom Kippur War. In London, a small left-wing organization issued the Israeli Imperial News, and in 1971 the Black Panthers, who knew my mother and father, came into Jerusalem. In 1972, the first attempts were made in Israel to refuse military service. And in 1972 the great scandal of Pit'hat Rafiach, a place at the north-east end of the Sinai Peninsula, flew: Ariel Sharon, 3 crowned general with high ambitions, defeated the armed resistance in Gaza and designed his first settlement project including a new one City south of the Gaza Strip for 150,000 immigrants, with nuclear power plant and all the trimmings. For this purpose thousands of bedouins were secretly expelled. The scandal was enormously important for Israel's political history. Kibbuzim in the area initiated a campaign for the rescue of the Bedouins, revealing the great plan: many Israelis only became aware of the connection between settlement politics and expulsion. I realized that this conflict was not about security, but about colonization and its consequences. 

Was the settlement policy interpreted by your parents and you as colonial? 

The Zionist movement has proudly defined itself as a project of colonization in the twenties and thirties, trying to distinguish between colonialism and colonization. To me today, colonization is only a form of colonialism, with both one and the other being found in Israel. But colonialism really describes a tangible process beyond the differences in opinion. It was not an absurdity for my parents to describe the Israeli policy in the occupied territories as a colonial policy.

Where did you grow up in the first place? 

In a small neighborhood of Ramat Gan in the Tel Aviv area. My parents have lived very modestly, we had about one and a half rooms. 

Were you in the Communist Youth League? 

Yes, later I became a member. As a student, I was active mainly in an autonomous left-wing youth group. This was our own playground. At some point, I realized that this dose of political dissociation kept me from becoming a "good child." I was a very good student. Who knows where I would have landed. All doors were already open. It is a very efficient system that can also track talent well. I am grateful for the opportunity to have seen this society differently than almost every Israeli Jew of my generation. The small rebellions against the parents seemed to me quite simply relative to the big.

That brings us to the military service. In the beginning of the seventies there were attempts to refuse the military service at least selectively, that is, not in the occupied territories. I realized that I would not do military service in the occupied areas either. At that time, we were concerned with this issue in the left-wing circles, and I suggested that we act individually, but also sign a refusal. So we made the refusal public. A risky decision. Have you been recruited? 

Yes, 1980. I got something like a special treatment, because there was probably the instruction to deal with me pretty hard, correct but hard, with the result that I had six or seven times to Nablus And was refused again and again. A disciplinary procedure took place. In the end, the then General Staff decided to escalate the conflict and put me before the military court to make an example. This has given the affair a great response. Many people mistakenly believe that I am the first refuse, which is not true ... In fact, the Israeli process started a serious political discussion about the refusal of service, partly because the judge's attitude was ambivalent: he was almost right , At the same time he did what the superiors expected - and that was a year of imprisonment. You were the first to put it into action, Algazi, and three others were drafted in front of me, but after two or three relatively short stays in the military prison they gave up. I have remained stubborn.

You knew so before, it will not be easy.

The military is a great machine; It all looks a bit funny when you get this attitude when you know the conflict lurks behind the corner. There you can understand a lot of theatrically staged as ridiculous. That was also my attitude. You have also called me so in the training time: Algazi Ha-Zochek, "the laughing Algazi". When you start laughing, all of you burst out laughing, including the commander, who is still a child, maybe 19 or 20 years old. 

Did they know why the others had given up in military service? And I also have full understanding of this. So to give up was to be certified to be unsuited to health. But I knew I could be stubborn. The international solidarity as well as the great sympathies for my case were really astonishing.

"Freedom for Gadi Algazi" was a well-known graffiti slogan.

Man has to imagine that I was not attacked at all in the mainstream press. This came after my premature release. Ultimately, I was released after four more months. This happens once in a lifetime that one sits, and someone comes with the message: Pack your things quickly, you are free. Then further attempts were made to send me to the occupied territories with threats. When a prison sentence is shortened, it automatically becomes a punishment, but I am gradually confronted with the fact that the military could not allow itself to take it all over again. I was eventually declared unsuitable for the military service, and was then apparently the only soldier in Israel who was found to be unsuitable for the regular military service, and who nevertheless served as a reserve service. This was an emergency on the other side. So I could start with 20 my real life, with the almost illusionary feeling that one can occasionally also win. 

 is that when a young man is so much in the focus of media publicity? Do you remember that as a difficult one? Or rather than an exciting spectacle that you were a part of? 

This was not a spectacle. One must imagine the Israeli media landscape at that time: a single television channel and a press, which is basically regimental on the left, right, liberal, illiberal. After 1973 it was admittedly somewhat more critical of the occupation, but it did not change until 1982 with the Lebanon war. But I have received letters and solidarity from people I have never known, also signs of the respect of Palestinians. Nowadays prisoners in Israel have access to television and regularly call at home. A military jail in Israel in the 1970s meant total foreclosure so I could Was already glad when prison guards smuggled books for me.The student protests in the early eighties were a way to get a political dialogue with the Palestinian students on the same level.

When you came out of jail, did you start studying?

From 1981 to 1985 I studied in Tel Aviv. Initially law - the attempt to find a middle path between scientific interest and practical considerations. Completely failed; That was not for me. Then I concentrated on European history and Arabic literature. I then engaged in the Israeli Solidarity Committee with the University of Birzeit. Birzeit, which is located just north of Ramallah, was at that time the most important Palestinian university. The university was closed several times by the military authorities, although it was not known for the armed struggle, but for student protests. In Tel Aviv, for example, a solidarity committee was set up. It was very important for us to cross the lines and engage in a political dialogue with Palestinian students. My Arabic was much better at the time; It was a unique experience. The first joint demonstrations were held in the West Bank, in Ramallah, in Hebron, in Bethlehem ... The demos were usually very short: you could then simply go by bus; After five minutes, the tear gas came, escaped, and went home again, except when someone was arrested. But for the history of the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians, these demonstrations have already been groundbreaking.

has already played the concept of human rights in the subjects that you have already pointed out so far? 

absolutely, also in other areas, whereby not only in The individualistic or classical liberal definition, but beyond. It was also about structural violence. What if politics produces more than punctual violations of human rights but collective? When this story of Pit'chat Rafiach came up in 1972, the well-known formula in the press was that it was an exceptional case, with a high officer behind it, whose name should not be mentioned - Ariel Sharon. The reasoning which led me to decide for the refusal was to say that this way of looking at such crimes as an absolute exception misunderstands the systematic context. I did editorial work for the League of Human Rights, edited the texts of my mother, researched My father or alone. Around 1983, we heard rumors of a new Palestinian prison camp where prisoners were severely abused - Far'a. I really do not know how we published the call to testify, but in the end we contacted a reservist. With him, we were sitting in the middle of Tel Aviv, and he told about Far'a. In 1982 the war came in Lebanon. I really have that in my mind. The worst things happen in such wars at the very beginning and in the last hours. In the beginning, because no one knows what is going on, and towards the end, because one is trying to achieve something very quickly. Most of the prisoners from Lebanon were interned in Megiddo. This was exactly the military prison in which I had been a year before. It was transformed and I helped to edit a report of the League of Human Rights on human rights violations in Lebanon and the torture of prisoners in the same place. 

The League still existed in the 1980s, in the 1980s the right-wingist, fascist current in Israeli politics became loud. For this, Meir Kahane, who stylized himself as a rabbi. He came from Brooklyn to Israel and settled in Hebron. He was the first to be open to this explosive mixture of radical nationalist missionary policy and violence. He founded a small organization, the Jewish Self Defense League. In 1983 he tried to start a real hate campaign against Arabs in Nazareth Illit. Nazareth Illit was founded as a purely Jewish city, actually as a counterbalance to the Arab Nazareth. But because the demographic pressure and the housing conditions in the Arab Nazareth had become so bad, more and more Muslims and Christians, especially young couples, moved to Nazareth Illit. The Jewish Self Defense League wanted to raid Nazareth Illit again and the League of Human Rights organized a small vigil against racism in Nazareth Illit itself. We were maybe twenty, about five of us were over 60 or 70. We stood there with our protest- Describe. Today I would not do that. The police officer on site has a We Made a bottle of cognac with us, that we would not get away safely. He has lost, but he was so nice to offer us a ride: In the vehicle for transporting Nazareth Illit back to the bus station in the city of Nazareth! While you were talking about several people over sixty, how to get the League of Human Rights and its composition 

It was an NGO without NGO money. 

I am amazed that they were able to mobilize at least twenty protesters. 

It was even more than twenty. But that was not their strength. That was somewhere else: the reports with which one went public were in fact well underpinned. Few people, all working voluntarily, with a very small budget to occasionally print a leaflet or hold a press conference. Several of them were human rights prosecutors. The members of the Human Rights League understood themselves as non-Zionists. 

Are they all close to the Communist Party or did they have very different political backgrounds? 

The Communist parties have established human rights in the fifties. But in that case, a minority was associated with the party. The others were independent but all understood themselves as non-Zionists. That is, they were critical of state ideology. Professor Israel Shahak, for example, was a mind-boggling head. He warned early on that the Jewish fanatics who want to rebuild the temple are serious about it. He demanded to take their absurd plans seriously. Nobody wanted to listen to him, I did not even.

was just ahead of his time.Steve Have you already critically discussed human rights activism or the human rights concept? 

On the one hand I have seen that human rights as a legal concept have their limits. The concept of human rights also does not go far as a tool for the explanation of processes and contexts. At the same time, it is absolutely necessary and it has also helped me to understand that there are dimensions also in the Israeli reality, which one as an Israeli citizen accepts unquestionably. A small example: That the state assumed itself in the fifties, Where you have to live. That is, citizens had to stay at the place where they were sent. This has nothing to do with democracy. One can not believe what that meant - not only for Arabs, but also for Jews, for example, that you stay here on the Lebanese border, you should not leave the place, and if you do, the police come and bring You back. Thus the periphery was colonized mainly with Jews of Oriental origin, which is the other side of settlement politics. This is obviously incompatible with basic freedoms, but this is not explained. There is a tragic relationship between privileges for one and expulsion for others. At the same time, migrants of the second or third class are "tied to the land", so that they really become settlers. With the conceptualization of human rights, I can draw attention to many aspects. But when it comes to an explanation, to get connections, I'll need a lot more. 

Dafür, the human rights movement has often been criticized for simplifying things with the keyword of human rights violations. It was less important in the 1980s than in the nineties. Vijay Prashad says that the great hour of human rights discourse came only after 1989, after many hopes of social change had failed in the world, when it was the only remaining semantics with which people could describe injustice.Then we were in the late eighties Years.

This was a time when new, important human rights organizations emerged. We owe this to the Intifada. Apart from B'Tselem4, I would particularly emphasize in this context three organizations that exist today: Physicians for Human Rights5 and Kav LaOved6. The ones began with questions of health, but they deal with everything that concerns the well-being of people. And the others were concerned with the rights of workers, local workers, Palestinian workers from Gaza and the West Bank who work in Israel, and later, especially since 1993, with migrant workers from all over the world , The third is that a small organization has to be named: HaMoked LeHaganat HaPrat, translated as "the Center for the Defense of Individual Rights" .7 Not a successful name, but they were often the first to deal with specific topics B'Tselem and the Israeli Association of Civil Liberties.8 But HaMoKed was one of the most critical critical voices in Israel because they were concerned with the concrete life of people from the West Bank - with administrative detention, checkpoints, and the prevention of family conflicts. If you read their reports about the everyday life of the nineties, you get closer to reality than all the media in Israel had portrayed.

Are you active in these groups? 

From 1986 to 1991 I studied in Göttingen and when we came back we had small children. To be honest, although I am one of the few who have been critical of the Oslo process9, I was also satisfied and glad that you no longer had to commit yourself. The Oslo agreement gave the Palestinians an apparent autonomy, with Israel holding the supremacy. Rabin's formula read, "Without Bagaz [the Israeli Supreme Court] and without B'Tselem." As a human rights activist or as a critically active citizen in Israel in the 1990s, there was a strange situation because there was this illusion of the peace process. If it were to the taste of the Israeli government, all Israeli human rights activists would have to face only Saudi Arabia or the Soviet Union concerned. The real challenge, however, was local.

 in the 1990s, conflicts also played a role in other world regions, where human rights violations were also committed. It is actually very typical, for example, for human rights activism in the US and Europe, that one also looks at other countries. Have you looked into other conflict regions in the groups in which you were active? If so, what is it? 

This is complicated because if it were to the taste of the Israeli government, all Israeli human rights activists would have cared only about Saudi Arabia or the Soviet Union. To choose a topic or some country - that was out of the question for me. The real challenge was local. On the other hand, the discussion about the violation of human rights in the Soviet bloc was decisive for me - also Wolf Biermann, whose songs I only got to know in 1979. This ultimately led me and others from my generation to see the defense of human rights as an indispensable part of whatever political system they were living in. In the 1990s Yugoslavia was very important to me personally for biographical reasons. For my mother, this was a second tragedy because her family originally came from Belgrade, during the Second World War she escaped to Budapest with her mother and sister. It is hard to believe how little foreign space news is given in the Israeli media. Perhaps this is now a bit fluffy said: One has no patience for the suffering of others. This obscures the view for the connections. Because it is not about distant countries, but about how we are dealing here with torture and repression. Now, there is a small campaign by Israeli citizens who have lived the dictatorship or lost their relatives in Chile. They are now asking the government for information about Israeli cooperation with Pinochet. It is the first time that something is ever tried, because there are other examples, such as Israel's close cooperation with the apartheid regime in South Africa. My dear friend, Leon Shelef, who defended me before the military court as a lawyer (he died in 2003 unfortunately), came from South Africa and told me about it when he visited me in prison. For him life in South Africa had become intolerable. Africa is not far away. To date, Israel is not publicly discussing Israeli weapons in Africa, on cooperation with Idi Amin, 10 one of the worst dictators. It looks as if Israeli security forces were the ones who brought him to power. 

Have you tried to address such matters as the Israeli armed forces exporting to Guatemala or the South African countries? 

 I can remember the ANC campaigns.11 But I say this: I am not a Zionist, but I love this place, and I find that we have to deal with the problems we are directly involved in as an Israeli citizen , Thus with the occupation policy. It is partly also a question of the working economy as an activist. You only have one life and three children - you have to make decisions. 

After this period with small children, did you find yourself back to activism? 

It had to be, because after these years of great illusion came the eclat. There have also been warnings, such as the open letter of a group of prominent Palestinians at the beginning of 2000.12 

From whom was the letter? 

I have just talked to Amira Hass about this, she wrote the people who wrote the text have interviewed. Very interesting people who know Israel very well. In October 2000, the illusions of peace were at stake.13 The Oslo process14 was deeply ambivalent, ultimately bringing nothing but the modernization of the Israeli occupation. All sides were disappointed. Very quickly it became bloody. Above all, faith in peace was gone, and hope. Therefore it was necessary, but enormously difficult to restart after October 2000. That is, to convince people on both sides of the green line that there are people on the other side. Our idea was to organize actions on the ground to make Israelis aware of a reality that had become invisible through the checkpoint system and the exclusion of the Palestinian workers from the Israeli labor market. Through the blockade lock, the West Bank has become a different planet and even today is so. Actually, it was clear that after the outbreak of the Second Intifada, a collapse of the Palestinian economy would occur very quickly, that the pressure was enormous that entire villages were worried about their existence because they had been cut off. The good Europeans also quickly disappeared with their beautiful water systems and development projects. All projects were withdrawn within weeks, because the insurance, so I was told by a development officer who would not pay anymore. For the Palestinians meant the lack of water, food shortages. We decided to act by providing material aid, not as an NGO, and never as an intermediary between international organizations and local misery. We were on the streets of Tel Aviv, for example, and asked who would donate 100 shekels so we could buy pasta or rice or baby food and then take them to the sealed villages in the West Bank. We were not well-meaning Jewish Israelis on the way Of the West Bank, but acted as an Arab-Jewish group, a citizen of the occupying power.

What did you create this idea? AlgaziAt the beginning with five, seven people from Tel Aviv and Kafr Qasim, Israeli Jews and Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. We were not well-meaning Jewish Israelis on the road in the West Bank, but acted as an Arab-Jewish group, a citizen of the occupying power. It was not a symbolic action - rice and pasta had to arrive. Therefore, the people who participated in these actions were determined to overcome barriers. No games, no pompous. At the same time it was an action with a symbolic dimension. We had no infrastructure, so everything was organized via e-mails and the Internet. For three years we have brought food to the Palestinian territories. The number of participants has been increasing, also because in the first two years of the Intifada the Israelis were not clear whether prosperity, intifada and oppression could be at the same time. Unfortunately, it has been shown that there can be economic growth and oppression at the same time.

Which generational groups were represented? 

Some of us, "the ancients," around 40, combined these actions with earlier contacts and traditions, but the majority existed From younger people, but not quite young, so 25 and older. One could also see when the old activists had children.

After the three years they stopped, 

Yes, clearly. As far as life is concerned, this time was already crazy, because it demanded a total commitment. This is also a form of action that can not be compared with nonviolent resistance in the Southern States of America. In the first two years, the territories to which we were driving were still war regions, in which armed groups and militaries stood together. For Israelis and Palestinians there was also no common religion or codes, nor even songs that united the two sides. Together, we had to deal directly with the deadly violence, which increased, with the policy of fear and with the fear itself. Our meetings were about assassinations that had been seen and which had to be processed. We were not allowed to see the soldiers as the enemy, but had to put them under pressure. They had to realize that it was morally illegitimate to totally suppress or thwart our actions. In this way we almost always managed to cross the checkpoints on foot or in other ways. On occasion, soldiers gave us even small tips. They themselves were not finished with the role they had to play there. The culmination of our work was between the end of 2001 and the beginning of 2003. At that time, Palestinians and Israelis were gradually clarifying that military operations did not take place inn more. The Israeli army had conquered the West Bank in April 2002. In the occupied territories there was a kind of vacuum in which grassroots campaigns also had a chance on the Palestinian side. We were committed to a group of Palestinians living in the hills south of Hebron, in the region of Susya, and usually referred to as Bedouins. They were deported three times by settlers and army. In October 2001 we helped with a human chain to their return. They are still there, but under very harsh conditions, surrounded by settlers, archaeologists and the military. However, babies grow there. The boy I met at the time when he was abducted by soldiers and had to walk without shoes for hours to Susya - has become father and B'Tselem activist. South of Nablus, there is a tiny Palestinian village with twelve or thirteen families, Khirbet Yanun. The inhabitants were systematically terrorized by settlers and left the village in September 2002. In October 2002, we organized a group of activists, who spent two weeks there, day by day, as a shield against the settlers, so that the inhabitants could return to their village. Then we stopped, because it was not about an alternative But to raise awareness among the public for the creeping transfer. We wanted to make people aware that expulsion is not just a dramatic action, as we read in the history books. It is a long, creeping process in which a society loses youth, its economic vitality and places are abandoned under the constant pressure of settlers and the military. And we wanted to make it clear to the Palestinian civil society that this village and many villages are in danger in this situation and need to be defended.

What was your group called? 

Ta'ayush. The Arabic word means living together. The fact that Ta'ayush was founded by people from Tel Aviv and Kafr Qasim has its importance because Kafr Qasim stands for one of the biggest state crimes in Israel's history: In 1956, 49 Arab Israelis were murdered in Kafr Qasim. And not just from a distance, but from Israeli policemen. They talked to the people, they identified them, they knew they were workers who wanted to go home. Women and children were there and they murdered her. A massacre whose exact circumstances have never been clarified. Every Palestinian, even outside Palestine, knows what Kafr Qasim stands for. The fact that after the start of the second intifada we were not just as well-meaning Jewish Israelis, but with Palestinian activists from Kafr Qasim to the West Bank, we could be trusted. In Israel, colonization and colonialism are not history but life reality .

At the beginning of the conversation you talked about the expulsion of Bedouins by Arik Sharon. 

This brings us back to the main question - to colonization. Colonization has tragic dimensions. For the colonized it is said, expulsion or such a deep, forced change of the bases of life, of the landscape, that it becomes enormously difficult to get something done. For the colonists it is said that they themselves become instruments of this destructive process, often they are profiteers, but also potential victims. In the case of Israel, we also see how ideological settlers have been supplemented by poor settlers and migrants. This is tragic from my point of view. I wonder how this can be stopped and what I could do so we can find a way out to live here. In Israel, colonization and colonialism are not history, but life reality. There are so many organs in Israel that are responsible for carrying on the process of colonization: the army has a settlement department, the Zionist World Congress (WCO) 15 also has a powerful department for colonization; In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture, of course the Jewish National Fund. It is a powerful coalition of state, semi-public institutions, and political movements that drive the colonization process. This raises big questions as to the future of this society. I want people in Israel to rest, to look around who the neighbors are to live together. As long as we are a society that has not freed itself from the process of colonization, which is still involved in this tragic process, we will not have any real peace either. I am still active in the West Bank, but much less. It has become more difficult, firstly, by the new relations Which have been created by the separation fence since 2002, secondly by the brutal repression of nonviolent actions, and thirdly by internal disputes among the Palestinians. It continues, but on a small flame.For six years ago, I decided, together with a group of activists, to shift the focus of our work to Israel and to make in Israel itself something against processes of colonization, expropriation or gentrification. We gave ourselves the Arabic name Tarabut, which in Hebrew means "bringing together". It is a matter of helping to ensure that excluded, discriminated groups, which are being played out against each other, are being fought together. Among them are the Bedouins, which are officially nominated as nomads, although they are none, because they have been farming for a long time. They are considered to be the weakest and poorest population group in Israel, and since the early 1950s they have been struggling for a small fraction of what they possessed before the founding of the state. Before 1948, the Zionist movement purchased land from Bedouin. After 1948, no more land was bought; It was simply expropriated or worse still, it was negated that they had ever land rights at all. This can be easily compared with other indigenous peoples in the world.

How do you go with your organization? 

We support the Bedouins in their struggle for the recognition of their rights, especially for land. But it is also about education, equality, democratic development, for the expropriation, and this is not new, as a development policy legitimates. Officially, the primitives, who are not sedentary, must be crowded into townships to experience the happiness of modernity. This is the state policy since the mid-sixties. Some of the Bedouins have refused to go to these townships because they have realized that if they want to defend their land rights against the state, they simply have to stay. One calls the villages not recognized in Israel, comparable to the denotified communities in India. This means that the citizens are recognized, but not the settlement in which they live. There is no water, no electricity, no health care. 

We are there, for example, during the evacuation of a village, and with the people passively resist, organize solidarity actions , In Al-Araqib, a village about 10 km north of Beersheva, has been demolished more than a hundred times. Since 2010, we try to help people, of course not always with success. We were often told that bulldozers and special units of the police were obviously trying to demolish the improvised huts. At 4 o'clock in the morning, small groups of activists tried to sneak into the village before the entire area was sealed off. The special units used bats, tear gas, and sponge balls against the people of Al-Araqib. For us, such solidarity campaigns sometimes ended with imprisonment. But by doing this, we have led a few thousand people here to understand what is going on and what the matter looks like. This means that both local networks of solidarity, as well as political work, are aimed at awareness. Israelis do not know Bedouins have a story. It always seems as though they had come out of nothing and suddenly became very numerous. Added to this is crime as a companion of poverty and exclusion, not to mention racism. This also has consequences for other Arab citizens within Israel, because Bedouins are often also discriminated against by the Arab side.

You said you do not see yourself as a peace activist today. Why not? 

For peace today, I believe, almost nobody would speak in Israel. This is an export product for those who wish us something good but do not live up to the depths of the conflict. Human rights remain important as a reference framework, but I believe that over time I see other dimensions of human rights that the question of the link between collective discrimination and individual experience has become more important and complicated. Many of the hopes during the nineties, for example for Arab citizens, were based on an individualistic view of human rights. It was believed that certain forms of social inequality could be solved by trial. This has been little achieved for Palestinian society within Israel. It is about the power structures that are still there.For me is the dialogue with young lawyers People who are interested in human rights are very important because I can provide a different experience, one which is not necessarily to be summed up in legal terms. This makes us much more realistic about courts, about their borders, about human rights. When it comes to land, resources, the basis for the development opportunities of people - we can only grasp this concept with the concept of human rights. As far as their implementation is concerned, there seems to be very limited possibilities. I am now sitting very often in the courtroom at Beer-Sheva, because the Bedouins sooner or later land in court when they build a hut in their country, if they persistently insist on little justice. For the Israeli state, however, they are considered invaders. So I sit there very often in the court and I experience the everyday, self-evident racism: judges who do not even try to pronounce the name of the Arab lawyer, and who, in their total ignorance of the Bedouin's history, merely formally consider whether anyone is against the directive Of a policeman. What the background is, what it all means socially - the judges just do not see. 
Stahl Thanks for the interview.
Legal-historical interview with Gadi Algazi, 6.09.2016, in: Sources on the history of human rights, published by the workgroup Human rights in the 20th century, 




יום האדמה: תמונות נסראללה ומורנייה בסכנין
אלפים התכנסו בעיר הגלילית כדי להזכיר את אירועי 1976, וקראו קריאות בגנות שר הביטחון. היה גם מי שהניף תמונות של מורנייה ונסראללה. פרופ' אלגזי מאוניברסיטת ת"א נאם. ליד גדר ההפרדה דיווחו מפגינים שנפגעו מכדורי גומי. ח"כ ברכה: "אחרי האדמה, הממשלה רוצה לקחת לנו גם את התודעה"
שרון רופא-אופירפורסם:  30.03.10 , 14:02

ליהודים זה חג, לערבים זהו יום האדמה. אלפי בני אדם התכנסו בצהריים (יום ג') בסכנין שבגליל לעצרת המרכזית במלאת 34 שנים לאירועי יום האדמה. משתתפים נשאו דגלי פלסטין ודגלים שחורים וקראו בין היתר "ברק ברק, שר הביטחון, כמה ילדים רצחת עד היום". בין התמונות שהונפו גם אלו של מנהיג חיזבאללה, חסן נסראללה, ובכיר הארגון שחוסל, עימאד מורנייה.
במסגדים בסכנין קראו לכל התושבים לצאת וליטול חלק בעצרת. גם הכנסיות הפעילו את הפעמונים לאות אבל על מותם של שישה מפגינים על הפקעת קרקעות ב-30 במרס 1976. במקביל, בכמה מקומות נוספים בארץ ובשטחים נערכו עצרות - ובכפר בודרוס שמצפון למודיעין דיווחו מפגינים שנפצעו מכדורי גומי של צה"ל.

תמונות מזכ"ל חיזבאללה בעצרת בסכנין (צילום: AP)
גם הפעם עומד יום האדמה בסימן של הקצנה ומתח. בהנהגה הערבית חשים כי מדיניות הממשלה מבקשת להדיר את רגליו של האזרח הערבי מאדמתו, תוך שהיא מחוקקת חוקים מפלים וגזעניים ורודפת את מנהיגיו. "אנחנו לא מתכוונים לכבד את חוק הנכבה, חוק הנאמנות והחוק הקובע שמדינת ישראל היא מדינה יהודית", אמר בעצרת יו"ר ועדת המעקב העליונה של ערביי ישראל, מוחמד זיידאן.
זיידאן טען כי אירועי יום האדמה לא החלו ב-1976 אלא כבר ב-1948, כשנהרסו 530 כפרים. מוקדם יותר אמר ל-ynet כי "גם היום אנו מתמודדים עם הריסות הבתים והפקעת קרקעות. אנו עדים לכך בנגב, במשולש ובגליל. אם אשווה בין אזור משגב לסכנין הרי שבשני הישובים מתגוררים כ-30 אלף תושבים. ההבדל הוא שתחום השיפוט של עיריית סכנין הוא עשרת אלפים דונם, ושל מועצת משגב הוא 186 אלף. אני חושב שזה מלמד על הכל".
בעצרת נאם ראש העיר סכנין, מאזן גנאים, שקרא לאחדות הפלגים בין פתח לחמאס - וגם פרופ' גדי אלגזי מאוניברסיטת תל אביב, שבדבריו התייחס למדיניות הממשלה: "מדינה שמפלה בין חינוך לחינוך ובין אזרח לאזרח, מדינה שמעבירה אדמות מופקעות מאפוטרופוס לאפוטרופוס". 

תמונת מורנייה מככבת בסכנין (צילום: שי וקנין)
"ישראל השתמשה בדמוקרטיה לשדוד את אדמתנו"
יו"ר חד"ש, חבר הכנסת מוחמד ברכה, אמר ש"יום האדמה מזמן הפסיק להיות היום של גרגירי העפר, הוא מבטא את המלחמה על הקיום והחיים". לטענתו, "אחרי שלקחו ועדין לוקחים לנו את האדמה, מבקשת הממשלה הנוכחית לקחת לנו גם את התודעה". 
אחרי שנאם בשבת בקלקיליה, ראש הממשלה הפלסטיני סלאם פיאד הצטרף ל-200 מפגינים בכפר קראוות בני חסן. הם מעבדים את האדמות בשטח C אליהן לטענתם נמנעת כניסתם על-ידי צה"ל והמתנחלים. פיאד קרא לסיום הכיבוש ומחה על מניעת הגישה לאדמות.
הפגנה נוספת נערכה בבודרוס שמערבית לרמאללה, שם סיפרו המפגינים ש-300 בני אדם פוזרו על-ידי כוח צה"ל. שלושה מהם אמרו שנפצעו אחרי שביקשו לטענתם לשתול עצי זית על תוואי גדר ההפרדה. לפי הצבא, היו בבודרוס 70 איש שיידו אבנים, והכוחות השתמשו באמצעים לפיזור הפגנות.

פיצוץ רימון הלם ליד מפגין בבודרוס (צילום: רויטרס)
אחר הצהריים מתוכננת עצרת מחאה מטעם ועדת המעקב גם בנגב. במקביל התקיימו גם עצרות במקומות שונים בעולם, כך גם ברשות הפלשתינית, יו"ר בל"ד, ח"כ ג'מאל זחאלקה, שב אתמול מאחת העצרות שהתקיימו בפריז. "אמרתי שם ואני אומר היום שישראל השתמשה בדמוקרטיה כדי לשדוד את אדמתנו", סיפר.

 "ישראל היא בית ספר להפקעת קרקעות, ומאז 76' המצב רק הולך ונעשה גרוע יותר. הזיקה בין אדם לקרקע שהופקעה ממנו לא מתבטלת לעולם, נמשיך לדרוש את החזרת הקרקע שנשדדה מאתנו".
ח"כ אחמד טיבי הדגיש ש"נושא הקרקע הוא עדיין סלע המחלוקה העיקרי בין המדינה למיעוט הערבי. האווירה הכללית, הרגשת הגזל והיחס האדונותי כלפי האזרח הערבי היו קיימים בשנת 76' והם קיימים ביתר שאת גם כיום. בעבר אפילו היה יותר שיח אזרחי ויותר אלמנטים של אימפתיה. אז היו גזענים בודדים ברחוב, היום הם סגני ראש ממשלה ושרים".

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