A short note announcing the 20th anniversary of the BGU Department of Politics and Government was posted by the Academia-IL Network. It was followed by an invitation to a two days conference titled "Are Politics Still Possible?" taking place on June 19-20, 2018. The forum offered a platform for triumphalism and self-congratulation.
In reality, however, the Department had a checkered history; it faced numerous criticism for its failure to offer a proper political science curriculum and employ mainstream political scientists. It was even threatened of closure.
As well known, in 2011 an evaluation report commissioned by the Council for Higher Education (CHE) found in the department excess focus on community activism. Similar observation was given in an earlier report by left-wing political scientist Zeev Maoz who already in 2002 noted the lack of core teaching.
The Evaluation Report expressed concerns that “the Department is too weak in its core discipline of political science in terms of number of faculty, curriculum, and research. The committee believes that this situation needs to be changed immediately and that the Department should institute major changes toward strengthening its disciplinary and methodological core through both hiring more faculty and altering its study programs.” Prof. Ellen Immergut and Prof. Thomas Risse, members of the committee, also commented that, "The Department’s response of October 2011 mentions that the plan for new recruitments “will focus on the core areas of the discipline, such as international relations, comparative politics, political thought, quantitative methods,” for which they asked "What fields will now be represented by the actual faculty being recruited?"
The evaluation committee recommended closing the department, but the CHE did not act on the recommendation because it was intimidated by the international campaign which the faculty mobilized. As a face saving device the Department promised to hire more mainstream faculty and add quantitative methods.
Evidently, the Department still prioritizes activism. For instance, an official announcement of the Department, "The Graduates Award of the Department of Politics and Government for meaningful social action 2018 is underway," appeared online on to May 23, 2018, inviting former students to apply. "The award is intended for the graduates of the department who have been active in promoting social change and justice. Please attach a curriculum vitae and a brief description of the relevant activity."
The excess of social activism is also apparent in the number of representatives of NGOs who were invited to speak at the Roundtable 1: Is there Room for Politics of Change? such as, Coexistence Forum; Rahat Youth Center; Center for International Migration and Integration; ‘Tsaad Kadima’; ‘Gvanim’ project and a Meretz Party Candidate; Earth’s Promise; The Feidel Organisation; "Israel Hofsheet- be free Israel”; Negev Center for Refugees; The Democratic Workers’ Organisation. All are former students at the Department.
An examination of the current 16 faculty and teaching fellows, and the Department’s research clusters, not much has changed. Therefore, some of the cutting-edge subjects which are routinely offered in comparable departments do not exist.
As before, faculty and graduates promote radical political views:
Prof. Ahmad H. Sa'di has played a key role in creating a Palestinian narrative. Sa'di has co-authored the book Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, with Lila Abu-Lughod, professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, in 2007. In an interview she explains the course of events: Her father, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, the former professor of political science at Northwestern University, was a 1948 Palestinian refugee and active politically and intellectually. In 1992, he moved back to Palestine where he died in 2001. "At his funeral, his close friend Edward Said introduced me to Ahmad Sa’di as 'a brilliant young Palestinian sociologist.' He and Edward had started talking about the silence around the Palestinian “nakba”  (catastrophe) and had decided to get people to write about the expulsion, as a counter-narrative to the dominant story of the birth of Israel that overshadowed ours. When Edward passed away, just a couple of years later, Ahmad asked if I would work on the book with him [And I agreed]. This was a way for me to connect to the place, through scholarship, my métier, rather than activism." Lughod explained the rationale behind writing the book with Sa'di, "I see Nakba as a contribution to the field of cultural memory studies, whose key texts have come from scholars working on the Holocaust." The contributors to the book "are all critical of Zionist narratives and the violent politics they justify... We share the understanding that “the occupation” (by which people usually mean the Israeli take-over of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967) is not the central problem in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. Nothing will be resolved until the injustice of the foundational events of 1948 is recognized. As Ahmad Sa’di, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, explains in the Afterword, it is a matter of moral responsibility. We focus on the past but the book is meant to intervene in the present." While helping to promote the Palestinian narrative, Sa'di has been teaching at the Department an MA course "The Colonial Encounter: how Colonialism Affected colonial and colonized societies."
One PhD student and a speaker in the conference is Israeli refusenik Omri Evron, who wrote "I, Omri Evron, refuse to serve in the army because I am faithful to the moral principles in which I believe. My refusal to enlist is a protest against the longstanding military occupation of the Palestinian people, an occupation that deepens and entrenches the hatred and terror between peoples. I oppose participation in the cruel war for the control over the occupied territories, a war waged in order to protect the Israeli settlements and to maintain the "Greater Israel" ideology." He explained that "I refuse against the apartheid and racist regime."
Conference speaker Dr. Yiftah Elazar formerly a member of the Princeton Committee on Palestine wrote in an article on Machsom Watch in 2008 "Counterpoint: A frozen life, "Whether this systematic and institutionalized discrimination should be called “apartheid,” we leave to the reader. The pictures in “Endless Checkpoints” were taken by Israelis, not only because some of us care about the human rights of Palestinians, but also because some of us worry about the effect of occupation and oppression on our own society. "
Last month, the student and a speaker at the conference Arnon Peleg was quoted "For far too long, the Occupation has been looked upon as an issue that is present in the background, as if it is since ever and forever. We have the obligation to be the generation that will end the Occupation and break the cycle of wars," speaking on behalf of the organization IfNotNow, an American Jewish progressive activist group opposing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
A student and speaker at the conference Aya Shoshan was interviewed by the BBC in 2013, when she gave up her right to vote in the elections. As described by the BBC, her political concerns "made her doubt Israel's very idea of democracy". She said, "I believe that that the act of voting is far less important than that of creating public awareness...There are almost four million Palestinians living under Israeli rule with no civil rights and in a state of shocking inequality."
IAM has repeatedly argued that the social sciences in Israel have failed to update their offerings to reflect twenty first century trends. This state of affairs is quite evident when the global academic rankings are considered. It robs graduates of skills necessary in the modern workplace. In particular, the Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University is a full-fledged incubator for radial political activists at the taxpayers expense.
Are Politics Still Possible?
Conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Department of Politics and Government
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
W.A. Minkoff Senate Hall & Sara Tadmor Auditorium Marcus Family Campus
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva
Organizing Committee: Dr. Gal Ariely, Prof. Dani Filc, Prof. Sharon Pardo, Prof. Lynn Schler
Sarah Tadmor Conference Room, Community Action Building
15:10-15:30- Coffee Break
15:30-16:00- The Vova Glochov Prize Ceremony
16:00-18:00- Roundtable 3: Are Politics Still Possible?
Chair: Dr. Becky Kook, Department of Politics and Government
Prof. Alex Mintz, Vice President for Academic Affairs, IDC Herzliya
Prof. Margaret Levi, Stanford University, USA
Prof. Natalia Chaban, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Dr. Doron Navot, University of Haifa
Dr. Yiftah Elazar, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. Yitzhak Galnoor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. Dani Filc, Department of Politics and Government
* The panel will be held in English
Senate Conference Room, Senate Building, Marcus Family Campus
9:15-9:30 Greetings, Prof. Chaim Hames, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
9:30-11:00 Roundtable 1: Is there Room for Politics of Change?
Chair: Prof. Lynn Schler, Department of Politics and Government
Prof. Neve Gordon, Department of Politics and Government
Arnon Peleg, Field Coordinator and Communications, Coexistence Forum
Atwa Abu Frieh, Director, Rahat Youth Center
Jean-Marc Liling, Center for International Migration and Integration
Majed al Kamalat, Co-founder of the Periphery Movement and Director of ‘Tsaad Kadima’
Avi Davush, Coordinator of the ‘Gvanim’ project and Meretz Party Candidate
Itai Dinar, Representative of Earth’s Promise
Yosef Mangistu, Director, The Feidel Organisation
Uri Keidar, CEO, "Israel Hofsheet- be free Israel”
Moran Mekamel, Coordinator, Negev Center for Refugees
Martin Villar, Education Coordinator, The Democratic Workers’ Organisation
* The panel will be held in Hebrew
11:00-11:30- Coffee Break
11:30-13:00 Roundtable 2: How do we Understand Politics? A Conversation with Research Students and Faculty
Chair: Prof. Ahmad Sa’di, Department of Politics and Government
Dr. Jennifer Oser, Department of Politics and Government
Dr. Michal Givoni, Department of Politics and Government
Aya Shoshan, Department of Politics and Government
Dr. Chen Misgav, Department of Politics and Government
Carmit Wolberg, Department of Politics and Government
Yair Yassan, Department of Politics and Government
Omri Evron, Department of Politics and Government
* The panel will be held in Hebrew
14:00-15:00 Keynote Address: Politics in the Interest of Others
Chair: Prof. Guy Ben-Porat, Department of Politics and Government
Speaker: Prof. Margaret Levi, Stanford University, USA
* The panel will be held in English
The Department of Politics and Government specializes in interdisciplinary research of political phenomena in all of their various manifestations. The department offers two unique M.A. programs – a research track, and a theoretical track – and a PhD program. By providing a structured and broad knowledge base in a range of relevant fields as well as a variety of research skills, the department strives to train researchers capable of making an original contribution to the various areas of political studies.
The department’s research clusters enable students to deepen their knowledge of their areas of research through joint work and interaction with a select group of colleagues and peers of similar interests. The topics of the department’s current research clusters are the following:
For more information, and to schedule an appointment, please contact: Dr. Gal Ariel, Chair of the M.A. Admissions Committee Anat Segal, Student Affairs Coordinator, 08-6477777
Space and Human Rights
Senior researchers: Prof. David Newman, Prof. Neve Gordon, Dr. Haim Yacobi
The Space and Human Rights research cluster explores both aspects of the relation between space and human rights: how the planning and organization of space promote or violate human rights, and how human rights establish and shape the space.
At the core of the group’s work is the claim that a reciprocal relation holds between the creation of space, on the one hand, and the violation or promotion of human rights as well as the undermining or empowering of communities on the other. By its nature, the research cluster is interdisciplinary, drawing together researchers and graduate students from such fields as political philosophy, international relations, geography, urban planning, sociology, anthropology and architecture. The studies conducted as part of the work of this research cluster are grounded both in theoretical bodies of knowledge such as post-colonial and post-structuralist theories, legal geography, constructivism, and institutional sociology, and in empirical studies carried out in cities, neighborhoods and non-urban settlements in Israel and abroad.
The Study of Memory, Identity and Commemoration
Senior researchers: Prof. Renée Poznanski, Dr. Becky Kook, Dr. Gal Ariely
This research cluster focuses on the study of collective identities and their commemoration in space, politics, and culture.
Identity and memory have become key concepts in both local and global politics in recent decades. The phenomenon of collective identity lies at the heart of important political controversies regarding such issues as minority rights, the place of religion in the public sphere, and the profound dilemmas that arise in the state’s interactions with different groups of immigrants. One of the fascinating avenues of identity research concerns the ways in which identity is reflected in collective memory. The study of memory and of the commemoration of the past in shared memory allows for an alternative reading of the political self-perception of societies and states, and highlights the centrality of the boundaries that define our political communities and affiliations. This field of study invites an integration of research from within a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, geography, politics, and law.
Senior researcher: Dr. Lynn Schler
The Africa Studies research cluster is based on an interdisciplinary approach to the study of past and present African societies and cultures. Its goal is to provide students with innovative knowledge and tools for understanding historical, political-social, and economic processes related to Africa, as well as the skills required to carry out high-level research in these areas.
This research cluster regards the study of Africa as research that contributes significantly to the shaping of most of the academic disciplines in the humanities: this research not only adds to our empirical knowledge of the world but also redefines notions of universality in nearly all the academic disciplines and enhances our awareness of the ways in which knowledge in all of its forms is produced and organized.
The Africa Center at BGU provides support for fieldwork and research in Africa by students who participate in the Africa Studies research cluster.
The Study of European Politics and Society
Senior researcher: Dr. Sharon Pardo, Jean Monnet Chair in European Studies
The influence of Europe and the EU on global affairs is rising steadily. The processes of democratization, expansion and integration, the economic processes and the ongoing development of a common foreign and security policy – all these afford Europe and the EU a status in global diplomacy and affairs that matches their political and commercial power. The European Union now counts some 500 million citizens from 27 member countries, making it the world’s third-largest population bloc and its largest commerce entity. The research cluster for the Study of European Politics and Society explores the political, social, economic, cultural, legal, and other aspects of the European integration project, including an in-depth study of the European regime and its relations with Israel and other non-EU countries and placing particular emphasis on the transformation of this political bloc from a community into a union.
Contemporary Political Theory
Senior researchers: Prof. Dani Filc, Prof. Neve Gordon, Dr. Michal Givoni
Based on the insights of post-Marxist political theory, continental philosophy, and post-structuralism, this research cluster seeks to submit to a critical examination a series of basic concepts related to politics and the political in the present era. Its aim is to encourage original studies that combine political thought and political praxis: studies that analyze political institutions, actions, norms and innovations using the toolkit of contemporary political theory in its many varied forms, but which also seek through these analyses to contribute to a more nuanced theoretical understanding of political phenomena. The studies conducted as part of this research cluster place particular emphasis on the historical conditions of possibility and the changing configurations of governmental power as well as of political action.
Citizenship and Democracy
Senior researchers: Dr. Gal Ariely, Dr. Jennifer Oser
The research cluster on citizenship and democracy investigates different aspects of citizenship, and different dimensions of democracy that are expressed by citizens in a variety of countries, including in Israel. The research that is conducted in this cluster focuses on the individual, including the different ways that citizens understand citizenship and democracy, as well as the actions they take to advance citizenship and democracy. These studies examine different aspects of political and civic behavior, including democratic norms and values, political implications of national identity, and attitudes toward different societal groups. Most of these studies incorporate a variety of data and information, including the analysis of cross-national public opinion studies and advanced data analysis techniques.
International Relashionship and the Middle East
Senior researchers: Prof. Neve Gordon, Dr. Mansour Nasasra
The research cluster "International Relationship and the Middle East” examines different political phenomena in the Arab world. We deal with issues such as colonial history in the Middle East, empires, minorities and conflicts surrounding border areas. In addition, the cluster examines the "Arab Spring" and issues regarding democratization, political Islam and recent developments in the Persian Gulf. Another set of researches that takes place is an inter-disciplinary research of the Negev Arabs and Beduin tribes in the Middle East, and of Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Dr. Ariel Handel
Ariel Handel is the director of the Lexicon for Political Theory project, and the codirector of the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University. Published numerous journal papers and book chapters on issues of space, politics, power and violence. Handel is the editor-in-chief of The Political Lexicon of the Social Protest (Hakibutz Hameuchad, 2012), and the co-editor of Normalizing Occupation: Making of the Jewish Settlements in the West Bank (Indiana University Press, 2017), and of a special issue of Theory and Crticism, presenting new researches on the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
"Israelis study the occupation: an introduction" (with Ruthie Ginsburg; Critical Inquiry, 2018
"Multilayered surveillance in Israel/Palestine: dialectics of inclusive exclusion(with Hilla Dayan; Surveillance and Society, 2017
"Distance matters: mobilities and the politics of distance" Mobilities, 2017
"Wine-washing: colonization, normalization, and the geopolitics of terroir in the West Bank wineries" (with Galit Rand and Marco Allegra; Environment and Planning A, 2015
"Gated/gating community: the settlements complex in the West Bank" (Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2014
Dr. Chen Misgav
Chen is a town planner and geographer. His work focuses on social and cultural geographies, working with communities, qualitative methodologies, spatial activism and social movements, feminist and queer geographies and identity politics. Chen graduated his MSc in the Town and Regional planning program at the Technion where he wrote his thesis on the perceptions and needs of LGBT people in the urban space of Tel-Aviv. He wrote his PhD in the department of Geography and Human environment and the PECLAB (Planning with Communities for the Environment) at Tel-Aviv University, Israel and his PhD research titled "Spatial Activism: Perspectives of Body, Identity and Memory" was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Tovi Fenster. Chen published some journal papers and book chapters in Hebrew, Italian and English and co-edited special issue of Hagar - Studies in Culture, Polity and Identities on gender and geography. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the department of Politics and Government in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Research Fellow in Minerva center for the Humanities in Tel-Aviv University.
"Dirty dancing: The (non)fluid geographies of a queer night club in Tel Aviv", Social & Cultural Geography (2014), 15(7): 730-746
"Memory and place in Participatory Planning”, Journal of Planning Theory and Practice (2014) Vol. 15, Issue 3: 349-369.
"The Protest within the Protest? Political Spaces of Feminism and Ethnicities in the 2011 Israeli Protest Movement", Women's Studies International Forum (2015), 52: 20-29.
Dr. Dan Tamir
Dan Tamir is a lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. He is a Research Fellow at Richard Koebner Minerva Center for German History at the Hebrew University and at the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Zürich. Tamir completed his B.A. studies in Islam and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University, his M.Sc. at the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Zürich and his Ph.D. at the university's History Department. Tamir specialises in political and environmental history. His fields of research include fascism and movements of the extreme right, the role of the environment in violent conflicts, introduction of species, peak oil and the collapse of complex societies.
Tamir has been a reporter and an editor at the foreign news desk of the daily newspaper Haaretz; he is one of the founders of the Israeli Humanities Network and serves today as one of its co-editors.
Dr. Iddo Nevo
Dr. Iddo Nevo serves as a Senior Teacher in the Department of Administration and Public Policy in Sapir College. He also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University, in the Department of Political Science at the The Hebrew University and in the Wingate Institute.
Dr. Itay Snir
Dr. Itay Snir wrote his dissertation at the Department of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University. His main areas of interest are political theory, philosophy of education and history of ideas. He is a member of the "Lexicon Group" at The Minerva Humanities Center, Tel Aviv University, and co-editor of Mafte'akh: Lexical Review of Political Thought. He teaches at the Departments of Politics and Government and the Department of Education at Ben-Gurion University, The Open University, The Interdisciplinary Center and The Faculty of Arts at Beit-Berl College (Ha'Midrasha).
Dr. Menachem Ratson
Dr. Menachem Ratson acquired his education in political science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on Jewish political thought in relation to its influence on modern Western political thought (Political Hebraism). Dr. Ratson focuses on the major Jewish thinkers such as Maimonides, Isaac Abravanel, Abraham Ibn Ezra and more. Central theme of Jewish political thought relates to the question what is the appropriate form of government: monarchy, or a theocracy which means freedom, anarchy and rejection of human government. His research shows that the basic principles such as the sanctity of liberty and "Natural Law" as a universal moral system that restricts any regime, principles that are the foundations of Western liberal democracy, rooted in Jewish sources, particularly the Bible. This is especially evident in the writings of the social contract theorists Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.
Dr. Shani Bar-On
Dr. Shani Bar-On studies the social history of labour in mandatory Palestine and the Israeli state. Her work sheds light on the emergence of labour relations, the labour market, and the labour process, alongside workers’ struggles and strikes. Her book Weaving Community: Labour in Ofakim, 1955-1981 (Eshkolot Library, Magnes, 2013) explores the way in which geography, class, and ethnicity became interrelated in Israeli society as a result of the planning, populating, and industrializing of the New Towns. The book describes the experiences of workers in the labour market, the workplace, and the local community.
Dr. Yair Seltenreich
Senior lecturer in Ben Gurion University and Tel Hai College, where he has until recently been head of the department of education. Dr. Seltenreich studied for BA and MA degrees in Tel Aviv University and for PhD in Université de Nantes in France.
Dr. Seltenreich specializes in aspects cultural history, particularly in cultural encounters, from a diversity of angles such as masculinity, narratives or history of emotions. In the last years he focused on influences of European cultures, and particularly in the educational domain, on Hebrew and Arab societies in pre-state Israel. He actually leads a research about individuals in Hebrew mobilized society in pre-state Israel. His book People from here: education and educators in Galilee moshavot (1882-1939) is due to appear soon in Yad Ben Zvi. He has recently finished another book: Secularism, Education, and Emotions: Cultural Tensions in Hebrew Palestine (1882-1926).
Dr. Yossi Amitay
Major fields of interest: Political and social history of modern Middle East; Modern Egypt (1798 and on): politics, culture and society; Left-wing movements in the Arab World; Left-wing movements in Israel; The Arab-Israeli conflict (focusing on the Palestinian issue); Marxism and Neo-Marxism: ideology, methodology and praxis.
An article of mine, Al-Mubtassaroon (The Premature Ones), review of a critical book regarding the New-Left-oriented student revolt in Egypt, 1972, and how that protest was contained by the Sadat regime, was published in 2000 in Jama'a journal, issued by the Chaim Herzog Center at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Dr. Arie Krampf
Dr. Arie Krampf is a senior lecturer in international relations and political economy at the School of Government and Society at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo. His research and teaching areas include political economy of Israel, political economy of the European monetary integration, and the formation of international monetary and financial regimes. Dr. Krampf was a research fellow at the KFG the Transformative Power of Europe at the Frei Universitaet Berln, at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and at the Davis Institute for International Relations , Hebrew University. He is an active board member a t the Israeli Association for Study of European Integration and a board member of the Israeli Association for International Studies.
Krampf, Arie. 2018. The Israeli Path to Neoliberalism: The State, Continuity and Change. Routledge.
Krampf, Arie. 2016. “From Transparency to Ambiguity: The Impact of the ECB's Unconventional Policies on the EMU." Journal of European Integration 38 (4):455–71.
Krampf, Arie. 2015. “Perhaps This Time It's Different: Ideas and Interests in Shaping International Responses to Financial Crises." Contemporary Politics 21 (2):179–200. https://doi.org/10.1080/13569775.2015.1030170..
Krampf, Arie, and Barbara Fritz. 2015. “Coping with Financial Crises: Explaining Variety in Regional Arrangements." Contemporary Politics 21 (2):117–26.
Liraz Yaffe is an M.A graduate student in the department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University. Her M.A study focus on the collective memory of the Holocaust from a gender theory perspective, and focuses on the ways in which heroism was defined in the national collective memory of the state of Israel during the 1950s. Liraz is the lecturer and Supervisor of the political internship program in collaboration with the Department of Politics and Government.
פרס תא בוגרים\ות של המחלקה לפוליטיקה וממשל לעשייה חברתית משמעותית 2018 יוצא לדרך.
הפרס מיועד לבוגרי\ות המחלקה לדורותיהם\ן שפעלו ופועלים\ות לקידום של שינוי וצדק חברתי.
נא לצרף קורות חיים ותיאור קצר של הפעילות הרלוונטית ולשלוח לבקי קוק firstname.lastname@example.org וענת סגל email@example.com
ניתן להגיש מועמדות עד ל 30/5.
בוגרי\ות המחלקה מוזמנים\ות להציע את עצמם\ן או את חבריהם\חברותיהן!
הפרס יינתן במעמד הענקת תארים ב 13/6
Counterpoint: A frozen life
The most shocking thing about the photo exhibition “Endless Checkpoints” is the realization it provokes: that the violence, humiliation and despair captured in these candid snapshots are completely normal. For Palestinians living in the West Bank, standing in line in a military checkpoint for hours on the way from one Palestinian village to another is an everyday reality. Being humiliated by young, frustrated soldiers is often a part of the drill. Even dying in an ambulance held at a checkpoint on its way to the hospital is not unusual. The Israeli women working for the volunteer organization “Machsom Watch” do not aim to show that Palestinians are good and Israelis are evil; their photos demonstrate what happens when one people tries to dominate the life of another through the control and obstruction of movement. In fact, checkpoints began in the early ’90s in connection with the Oslo Agreements and before the Second Intifada. They arose largely as part of a new policy of separating Israelis and Palestinians in preparation for eventual Palestinian independence. The Second Intifada precipitated a new security regime, instituting hundreds of checkpoints between Palestinians and Palestinians. It created a permanent state of what the Israeli army calls “closureinfo-icon.” The closure regime allows the army to control the pace of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories. It provides the army with a magic button. Press it, and life goes by in slow motion so that soldiers can scrutinize each individual. Press it again, and you achieve a state of “frozen life” — an expression actually used by the Israeli army. The price, however, is insufferable to anyone who believes in the equal worth and dignity of human beings. Millions of Palestinians, including those who are yet to be born, are sentenced, without trial, to live in a state of permanent captivity. They are prisoners in their own homes and villages. In the Occupied Territories, the rights of human beings are determined by their religion and ethnicity. Both law and policy prioritize the security and welfare of illegal Israeli settlers. This includes roads exclusively for the use of settlers, and unequal distribution of drinking water and other resources. Whether this systematic and institutionalized discrimination should be called “apartheid,” we leave to the reader. The pictures in “Endless Checkpoints” were taken by Israelis, not only because some of us care about the human rights of Palestinians, but also because some of us worry about the effect of occupation and oppression on our own society. Control mechanisms and human rights violations do not stop at the border. They seep into the dominating society, undermining democracy and corrupting humanity. Our only way to survive is to find a sustainable solution to the conflict. The reign of fear does not increase our security; it causes us to drift away from it, one humiliation at a time. Yael Berda and Yiftah Elazar are members of the Princeton Committee on Palestine. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Arnon Peleg, Ben-Gurion University: "For far too long, the Occupation has been looked upon as an issue that is present in the background, as if it is since ever and forever. We have the obligation to be the generation that will end the Occupation and break the cycle of wars."
"יותר מדי זמן הכיבוש הוא נושא שנמצא ברקע ומלווה את הקיום שלנו, כאילו תמיד היה ותמיד
יהיה, ולא חולי שצריך לפתור. יש לנו החובה להיות הדור שיסיים את הכיבוש וישתחרר