Associates of the Iranian Regime Target Prof. Jeffrey Ullman the 2020 Turing Award Winner for his Pro-Israel Views

08.06.21

Editorial Note

Jeffrey David Ullman, an emeritus professor at Stanford University, the co-recipient of the 2020 Turing Award, has been harassed by Iranian activists for holding pro-Israel views.

The A.M. Turing Award by the Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) is the equivalent of the “Nobel Prize” of computing. It recognizes the profound impact on computer science and awards a $1 million prize annually. For the year 2020, ACM awarded Stanford University’s Jeffrey David Ullman, shared with his long-time collaborator Alfred Vaino Aho of Columbia University.  The award recognizes their seminal work in compilers and algorithms for their nine co-authored textbooks dating back to the early 1970s, including 1974 The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms, and 1977 Principles of Compiler Design. These books became required reading for millions of computer scientists, and the catalog of standard techniques “divide and conquer” became the core of computer science theory. ACM has announced the selection of Ullman and Aho in late March.

Ullman, who is supportive of Israel and Zionism, has been harassed for his views during two dacades.  In October 2001, Ullman published on his webpage polemics section “Some Thoughts on the Bombings of Sept. 11.”  He stated that Islamic fundamentalists had used spectacular terror to confront the West. In 2002 he urged the Palestinians to forsake terror and “build better lives for themselves and a better relationship with their Israeli neighbors.” He noted that Israel, a country with about 1.5% of the US population, then suffered from severe terrorist attacks every 3 months; “Somehow the world largely failed to notice or care.” 

Following these and other postings, Ullman started receiving many malicious emails.  One comment stated: “if any one believes in what you said, I will call him the most arrogant idiot ignorant Zionist extremist, and racist I have ever seen.” Another declared: “You are a Zionist pig, and how dare you say all those nasty things about Yasser Arafat et al.”

Ullman has been targeted by Iranian students who sent him emails requesting his help in admission to Stanford University, some asking him political questions such as, “Why did the US shoot down an Iranian airliner/take land from Native Americans/Depose Mossadegh, etc. etc.?”, or “How do I justify ‘Zionist crimes’, etc.?”

In 2011, the President of Stanford University was asked to censure Ullman for “racially discriminatory and inflammatory” comments because Ullman responded to an email from a student at Sharif University in Tehran who asked him about admission to Stanford University, that he could not help the student gain admission since he has no involvement in the admissions process. Ullman also wrote that “If Iranians want the benefits of Stanford and other institutions in the U.S., they have to respect the values we hold in the U.S., including freedom of religion and respect for human rights.” As a result, he was accused of “bigotry and xenophobia.”

Not coincidently, Ullman has a long connection to Israel. He wrote that he lived in Jerusalem in 1984. Also, he has been working with Israeli universities for many years. In 2006, the Chair in Computer Sciences at Ben Gurion University 

announced on his webpage that “Professor Jeffrey (Stanford University, CA) and Holly Ullman, in consultation with Professor Shlomi Dolev (BGU), recently established the Martha and Solomon Scharf Prize for Developing Excellence in Computer, Communications and Information Sciences, supporting excellent students. In addition, they will support research activity in the computer science disciplines.”

Likewise, The Hebrew University Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering reported that “Prof. Ullman is also a generous benefactor to our department, and his help is instrumental in providing student stipends, and supporting the Data and Computing Center.”

In 2016, the Ben Gurion University Board of Governors awarded Ullman an Honorary Doctorate for his achievements and held a seminar in honor of Ullman.

Ullman has also been fighting against anti-Semitism. Last month he signed a petition, “Opposing Antisemitism, Supporting IHRA,” organized by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), which recently circulated a letter supporting the Working Definition of Antisemitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The letter garnered more than 300 signatures from leading scholars, intellectuals, and professionals.  

His Iranian detractors went into high gear after the ACM made the 2020 Turing Award public.  A recent petition organized by Iranians was published online, collecting international signatures, accusing “Ullman’s Repeated Discrimination against Iranian Students,” and charging that Ullman’s webpage “contains discriminatory and inflammatory statements regarding Iranians.” 

ACM has read the complaint and responded that it will not change the selection: “As part of the Awards process, ACM routinely checks whether we have received any complaints about award nominees with respect to ACM’s Code of Ethics or other policies. In this case, we determined that no complaints had ever been filed against Jeffrey Ullman. ACM also relied on the submitted nomination package and carefully evaluated the letters provided by the nominator and the endorsers to assess the candidate’s worthiness for an award. No red flags were raised in the nomination package.”

Not satisfied with ACM response, a recent article by Mahdi Cheraghchi, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, published on the pages of Stanford Daily, accused Ullman of “rants of hate and bigotry against Iranians.” He requested the ACM, to “ensure that a clear precedent is set today by ACM that would not give a free pass to any future abusers of academic freedom,” and that “ACM needs to do better and bring back trust and hope to the community.”

Much of the agitation against Ullman was organized by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), known as a front for the Iranian regime’s propaganda work in America.  Dr. Fredun Hojabri, the former vice-chancellor of the Sharif University of Technology in Iran, wrote Stanford University in 2011 to complain about Ullman.  For decades now, Sharif University has carried many projects for the Revolutionary Guards, including its nuclear weapons program. 

The Iranian involvement in anti-Israel activity on American campuses is worrying.  With its long-lasting support of Palestinian causes, the regime sends people to harass those who support the Jewish state. 

https://awards.acm.org/about/2020-turing

ACM Turing Award Honors Innovators Who Shaped the Foundations of Programming Language Compilers and Algorithms

Columbia’s Aho and Stanford’s Ullman Developed Tools and Fundamental Textbooks Used by Millions of Software Programmers around the World

ACM named Alfred Vaino Aho and Jeffrey David Ullman recipients of the 2020 ACM A.M. Turing Award for fundamental algorithms and theory underlying programming language implementation and for synthesizing these results and those of others in their highly influential books, which educated generations of computer scientists. Aho is the Lawrence Gussman Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Columbia University. Ullman is the Stanford W. Ascherman Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University.

Computer software powers almost every piece of technology with which we interact. Virtually every program running our world—from those on our phones or in our cars to programs running on giant server farms inside big web companies—is written by humans in a higher-level programming language and then compiled into lower-level code for execution. Much of the technology for doing this translation for modern programming languages owes its beginnings to Aho and Ullman.

Beginning with their collaboration at Bell Labs in 1967 and continuing for several decades, Aho and Ullman have shaped the foundations of programming language theory and implementation, as well as algorithm design and analysis. They made broad and fundamental contributions to the field of programming language compilers through their technical contributions and influential textbooks. Their early joint work in algorithm design and analysis techniques contributed crucial approaches to the theoretical core of computer science that emerged during this period.

“The practice of computer programming and the development of increasingly advanced software systems underpin almost all of the technological transformations we have experienced in society over the last five decades,” explains ACM President Gabriele Kotsis. “While countless researchers and practitioners have contributed to these technologies, the work of Aho and Ullman has been especially influential. They have helped us to understand the theoretical foundations of algorithms and to chart the course for research and practice in compilers and programming language design. Aho and Ullman have been thought leaders since the early 1970s, and their work has guided generations of programmers and researchers up to the present day.”

“Aho and Ullman established bedrock ideas about algorithms, formal languages, compilers and databases, which were instrumental in the development of today’s programming and software landscape,” added Jeff Dean, Google Senior Fellow and SVP, Google AI. “They have also illustrated how these various disciplines are closely interconnected. Aho and Ullman introduced key technical concepts, including specific algorithms, that have been essential. In terms of computer science education, their textbooks have been the gold standard for training students, researchers, and practitioners.”

A Longstanding Collaboration

Aho and Ullman both earned their PhD degrees at Princeton University before joining Bell Labs, where they worked together from 1967 to 1969. During their time at Bell Labs, their early efforts included developing efficient algorithms for analyzing and translating programming languages.

In 1969, Ullman began a career in academia, ultimately joining the faculty at Stanford University, while Aho remained at Bell Labs for 30 years before joining the faculty at Columbia University. Despite working at different institutions, Aho and Ullman continued their collaboration for several decades, during which they co-authored books and papers and introduced novel techniques for algorithms, programming languages, compilers and software systems.

Influential Textbooks

Aho and Ullman co-authored nine influential books (including first and subsequent editions). Two of their most widely celebrated books include:

The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms (1974)
Co-authored by Aho, Ullman, and John Hopcroft, this book is considered a classic in the field and was one of the most cited books in computer science research for more than a decade. It became the standard textbook for algorithms courses throughout the world when computer science was still an emerging field. In addition to incorporating their own research contributions to algorithms, The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms introduced the random access machine (RAM) as the basic model for analyzing the time and space complexity of computer algorithms using recurrence relations. The RAM model also codified disparate individual algorithms into general design methods. The RAM model and general algorithm design techniques introduced in this book now form an integral part of the standard computer science curriculum.

Principles of Compiler Design (1977)
Co-authored by Aho and Ullman, this definitive book on compiler technology integrated formal language theory and syntax-directed translation techniques into the compiler design process. Often called the “Dragon Book” because of its cover design, it lucidly lays out the phases in translating a high-level programming language to machine code, modularizing the entire enterprise of compiler construction. It includes algorithmic contributions that the authors made to efficient techniques for lexical analysis, syntax analysis techniques, and code generation. The current edition of this book, Compilers: Principles, Techniques and Tools (co-authored with Ravi Sethi and Monica Lam), was published in 2007 and remains the standard textbook on compiler design.

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https://csforinclusion.wordpress.com

Statement on the Selection of Jeffrey Ullman for a Turing Award

Update: A copy of this letter listing 1,079 signatories (and 89 anonymous) was sent to the ACM administration on April 16, 2021, and ACM has acknowledged receipt. On April 19, 2021, ACM published a response to this letter.
We continue to accept new signatures.

An Open Letter to Committee of the ACM A.M. Turing Award and ACM:

Professor Jeffrey D. Ullman of Stanford University has been chosen to receive the 2020 ACM A. M. Turing Award, generally regarded as the highest distinction in computing.

While we agree that the technical and educational contributions of Professor Ullman could meet the bar for a “Nobel Prize of Computing”, we condemn the selection as one that directly goes against the Diversity and Inclusion (D & I) values that the Computer Science community, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) in particular, aim to uphold. While we recognize Professor Ullman’s freedom of speech and freedom to hold and express his political views, we are concerned by his sustained discriminatory behavior against students and by ACM bestowing upon such a person an award named after Alan Turing, someone who suffered much discrimination in his tragic life [1].

ACM defines its mission as follows: “ACM is a global scientific and educational organization dedicated to advancing the art, science, engineering, and application of computing, serving both professional and public interests by fostering the open exchange of information and by promoting the highest professional and ethical standards.” Furthermore, ACM explicitly defines “Diversity and Inclusion” as one of its four core values [2].

We assert, based on documented evidence, that not only has Professor Ullman willfully violated the “highest professional and ethical standards” that ACM has the mission to uphold, but also that he has demonstrated a pattern of actively turning against the values of D & I for decades. History may judge this award as an indelible blot on the entire computing profession.

Ullman’s Repeated Discrimination against Iranian Students

Among the existing evidence is a web page maintained by Professor Ullman that contains discriminatory and inflammatory statements regarding Iranians [3]. According to the data on the Internet Archive [4], he maintained this web page from as early as 2006 until late 2020, when he removed it following years of public outcry and pushback [5]. In 2011, the National Iranian American Council issued a formal complaint to Stanford University centered on his webpage [6–12], with no action taken by Stanford, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education [9], and seemingly no impact on Professor Ullman’s views or behavior.

There are indeed numerous documented instances of him corresponding, over the years, many to aspiring young Iranian students, with anti-Iranian sentiments as well as explicit discrimination based on presumptions on their political views [3,6–12,13]. In one instance, among countless others, Professor Ullman responded to an email from an Iranian student who had inquired about admission at Stanford saying [6–12]: “And even if I were in a position to help, I will not help Iranian students until Iran recognizes and respects Israel as the land of the Jewish people. I know that you may not hold the same insane position as the mullahs that run your country, but it is a matter of principle. If Iranians want the benefits of Stanford and other institutions in the US, they have to respect the values we hold in the US, including freedom of religion and respect for human rights.”

As another example of his correspondence, in support of the University of Massachusetts’s soon-to-be-reverted decision to ban Iranian students from certain engineering programs, Professor Ullman wrote in 2015 [13]: “I think we need to distinguish between Americans of Iranian descent, who have chosen to cast their lot with the United States, and Iranians who did not leave Iran when the religious fanatics took over, and who may well be sympathetic to Iran’s desires to build a nuclear weapon and to Iran’s support for terrorists throughout the world. While I’m sure there are some students living in Iran, who would like nothing better than to leave that country for as long as it is run by Islamic fundamentalists, can we afford to take that risk of educating them and then having them turn that education against us? Especially, can we afford the risk given all the bright students from other countries that share US values who would love to be accepted to a US school?

Thus, Professor Ullman has explicitly advocated to distinguish between Iranians who left Iran before the 1979 revolution and those who did not. It is worthwhile to reflect that many of today’s key academic players of Iranian descent were once aspiring students in Iran. Perhaps the most prominent example is the late Maryam Mirzakhani, Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University and the only woman to ever win the Fields medal, who studied in Iran before pursuing graduate studies in the US. Professor Ullman is simply calling for a categorical ban against such talents. That said, we emphasize that people should not need to have exceptional talents or make significant academic contributions to be treated with dignity and respect.

Ullman’s Rationalization of Crimes Against Native Americans

Professor Ullman’s insensitive opinions extend beyond individuals of a specific national origin. For example, he rationalizes the taking away of land from Native Americans, which included several acts recognized by scholars as genocide against such populations [14], as “Technologically more advanced civilizations replace less advanced civilizations” [3].

Bigger Picture on the Implications of ACM’s Action and Silence

At a time when the tremendous costs of discriminatory and inhumane behavior against minority groups, such as African Americans and Asians, among others, is being broadly recognized in the computing community and beyond, ACM should not ignore such explicit and repeated xenophobic language and behavior by the person they are bestowing their highest award upon. Furthermore, discrimination against students based on their national origin and their presumed political views is in direct violation of the academic and D & I values that ACM aims to uphold as a core value. Generations to come may see this action by ACM and their silence on how this award negatively impacts D & I in computing as defiling the very respectability of the Turing Award and as an insult to the memory of Alan Turing himself.

We ask ACM, and particularly the ACM A.M. Turing Award Committee, the following:

  1. Report on the specifics surrounding this nomination, especially the extent of checks and balances that are in place to ensure that the process of awarding the highest distinction in computing is protected against violations of the ACM mission and its core values.
  2. Clarity from ACM on establishing compliance with its core values, particularly on D & I standards, as an explicit criterion for receiving this award. If not, transparently state that behaviors that directly damage inclusivity and diversity in the computing field are not relevant in the criteria listed by ACM for this award.

Signed by 1,304 (including 275 anonymous)

Last update: May 20, 2021.

Some Notable Statistics (according to the disclosed data, updated periodically):

  • 1 ACM Turing Award Laureate
  • 1 Abel Prize Laureate
  • 4 Nevanlinna Prize Laureates
  • 4 MacArthur Fellows
  • 21 ACM Fellows
  • 16 ACM Distinguished Members
  • 23 ACM Senior Members
  • 479 ACM Members (including Student/Professional)

To add your name to the list of signatories below, please follow these instructions:

  1. Either submit this Google Form (https://b.link/csforinclusion-sign) or email your name and affiliation, and optionally job title and role, as well as your ACM membership level (if any), from your institutional email address, to: dei.matters.acm@gmail.com.
  2. An institutional email address is requested to ensure the authenticity of signatures. If you do not have one, or otherwise cannot use your institutional email address, please add a comment to justify the use of personal email address.
  3. An option for anonymous signatures is provided. By default, we encourage non-anonymous signatures. However, you may choose to be anonymous in the public domain only, or both in the public domain and on the copy of the letter that will be sent to ACM. Identity information will still be gathered to ensure the authenticity of the signatures. Your anonymity will be fully protected, and if you have any special requests for anonymity, please leave a comment.
  4. Please also send any enquiries or report any inaccuracies to the email address above, with the subject line “enquiry”.

Disclaimer: Signing the letter is a personal statement and does not necessarily reflect that of the employers of the signatories.

#CSForInclusion #HoldACMAccountable

References:

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/world/europe/alan-turing-enigma-code-breaker-and-computer-pioneer-wins-royal-pardon.html
[2] https://www.acm.org/about-acm/mission-vision-values-goals
[3] https://web.archive.org/web/20200129080549/http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/pub/iranian.html
[4] https://web.archive.org/web/2020*/http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/pub/iranian.html
[5] https://twitter.com/2plus2make5/status/1377720193913356289
[6] https://web.archive.org/web/20110124051512/http://www.niacouncil.org/site/DocServer/Stanford_Discrimination_Letter.pdf
[7] https://web.archive.org/web/20140809043733/http://www.paaia.org/CMS/stanford-university-president-responds-directly-to-paaia-over-retired-professors-anti-iranian-remarks.aspx
[8] https://www.stanforddaily.com/2011/01/10/professor-comes-under-fire-for-alleged-anti-iranian-e-mail/
[9] https://www.chronicle.com/article/iranian-american-group-calls-on-stanford-to-censure-professor/
[10] https://web.archive.org/web/20140727205645/http://www.lobelog.com/niac-calls-out-anti-iranian-stanford-professor/
[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jeffrey_Ullman&oldid=1015653392
[12] http://b.link/ullman-email
[13] https://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/gplus/20150212-VDYSkY69tGe.html
[14] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/19/us/newsom-native-american-apology.html

Current List of Signatories (alphabetical):

– Academia: Faculty / Staff / PostDoc:

  1. A. Aldo Faisal, Professor of AI & Neuroscience, Imperial College London
  2. A. Nicki Washington, Professor of the Practice, Duke University, Duke University
  3. Aaron Clauset, Professor of Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  4. Aaron Gember-Jacobson, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Colgate Unviersity
  5. Aaron Keen, Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering, California Polytechnic State University
  6. Aaron Quigley, Professor of Computer Science, University of New South Wales
  7. Abigale Stangl, Accessibility Researcher, CI-Fellow, University of Washington, HCDE
  8. Abolfazl Asudeh, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
  9. Adam Blank, Assistant Teaching Professor, Caltech
  10. Adam Perer, Assistant Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  11. Adrian Sampson, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Cornell University
  12. Afshin Nikzad, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Southern California
  13. Ahmad Lashkaripour, Assistant Professor, Indiana University
  14. Alastair Donaldson, Professor of Computer Science, ACM Senior Member, Imperial College London
  15. Aleksander Madry, Professor, MIT
  16. Alessandro Treves, Interested in neural computation, SISSA
  17. Alex Bredariol Grilo, Researcher, CNRS, LIP6, Sorbonne Université
  18. Alexandra Ion, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  19. Alexandra Papoutsaki, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Pomona College
  20. Alexandra To, Assistant Professor of Art + Design and Computer Science, Northeastern University
  21. Ali Darvish, Lecturer of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
  22. Ali Diba, Researcher, KU Leuven
  23. Ali Jadbabaie, Professor of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  24. Ali Khaledi Nasab, Neuroscientist, Stanford University
  25. Ali Tajer, Associate Professor of ECSE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  26. Alireza Khatami, Assistant Professor, Ryerson university
  27. Alireza Qaiumzadeh, Researcher, Deprtment of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  28. Álvaro Cárdenas, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz
  29. Amin Adibi, Disease Modeller, University of British Columbia
  30. Amin Gohari, Tehran Institute for Advanced Studies
  31. Amin Karbasi, Associate Professor, Yale University
  32. Amin Milani Fard, Assistant Professor, New York Institute of Technology – Vancouver
  33. Amin Saberi, Professor, Stanford University
  34. Amin Sayedi, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, University of Washington
  35. Amin Shokrollahi, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Mathematics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  36. Amir Akbari, Assistant Professor, Ontario Tech University
  37. Amir H. Payberah, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  38. Amir Kafshdar Goharshady, IST Austria
  39. Amir Kamil, Lecturer of Computer Science, University of Michigan
  40. Amir Nayyeri, Associate Professor, Oregon State University
  41. Amir Rahmati, Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University
  42. Amir Shaikhha, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh
  43. Amir-massoud Farahmand, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Toronto
  44. Amirbehshad Shahrasbi, Computing Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoctoral Fellow
  45. Amirmohammad Ziaei, Research Assistant, Aalto University
  46. Amy Csizmar Dalal, Professor of Computer Science, Carleton College
  47. Amy J. Ko, Professor, University of Washington
  48. Amy Pavel, Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University
  49. Amy Zhang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Washington Allen School
  50. Andrea Forte, Assoc. Professor, Drexel University
  51. Andrea Thomer, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Information
  52. Andres Marin Lopez, Associate Professor, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  53. Andrew Berry, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington
  54. Andrew Miller, Assistant Professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  55. Andrew Miller, Assistant professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  56. Angelika Strohmayer, PhD, Northumbria University
  57. Anil Madhavapeddy, University Lecturer, University of Cambridge
  58. Anind K. Dey, Dean and Professor, Information School, University of Washington
  59. Anne Condon, Professor, University of British Columbia
  60. Annu Prabhakar, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati
  61. Arash Khosravifar, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Portland State University
  62. Arash Massoudieh, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Catholic University of America
  63. Arash Termehchy, Associate Professor, Oregon State University
  64. Arian Maleki, Associate Professor of Statistics, Columbia University
  65. Arman Noroozian, Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Amsterdam / Delft University of Technology
  66. Arun Kumar, Assistant Professor of CSE and HDSI, UC San Diego
  67. Arvind Satyanarayan, Assistant Professor, MIT CSAIL
  68. Arya Mazumdar, Associate Professor, University of California San Diego
  69. Ashia Wilson, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, MIT
  70. Ashkan Khakzar, Research Scientist / Lecturer, Technical University of Munich (TUM)
  71. Ashwin Machanavajjhala, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Duke University
  72. Atilla Elçi, Professor of Software Engineering, Hasan Kalyoncu University, Turkey
  73. Atri Rudra, Professor, University at Buffalo
  74. Audrey Girouard, Associate Professor, Carleton University
  75. Augusto Esteves, Professor of Computer Science, IST, ULisbon
  76. Austin Toombs, Assistant Professor of Computer Graphics Technology, Purdue University
  77. Avi Wigderson, Professor, Nevanlinna and Abel prize laureate, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
  78. Azadeh Yadollahi, Scientist, University Health Network
  79. Azalea Raad, Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Computer Science, Imperial College London
  80. Babak Salimi, Assistant Professor, University of California San Diego
  81. Bahar Behzadnezhad, RF Engineer, UW-Madison
  82. Barna Saha, Associate Professor, University of California Berkeley
  83. Behrouz Touri, Dr., University of California San Diego
  84. Ben Glocler, Reader (eq. Associate Professor), Imperial College London
  85. Ben Green, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Michigan
  86. Benedict R. Gaster, Associate Professor in Physical Computing, University of West of England
  87. Benjamin Gorman, Lecturer in Computer Science, Bournemouth University, UK
  88. Benjamin Pittman-Polletta, Research Assistant Professor, Boston University
  89. Beta Ziliani, Professor of computer science, FAMAF, Universidad nacional de Córdoba
  90. Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Professor of ECE, USC
  91. Birgit Penzenstadler, Associate Professor, Chalmers University of Technology
  92. Birna van Riemsdijk, Associate Professor Intimate Computing, University of Twente
  93. Blase Ur, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago
  94. Boaz Barak, Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University
  95. Bogdana Rakova, Guest Editor, Springer International Journal of Community Wellbeing, Guest Editor, Springer International Journal of Community Wellbeing
  96. Brett Stalbaum, Teaching Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego
  97. Brian Brubach, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Wellesley College
  98. Briana B. Morrison, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Nebraska Omaha
  99. Briane Paul Samson, Assistant Professor, De La Salle University
  100. Brianna Posadas, Postdoc, Virginia Tech
  101. Bruce Kapron, Professor of Computer Science, University of Victoria
  102. Bruce Weide, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University
  103. Bruno Grenet, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Université de Montpellier
  104. Camille Cobb, Carnegie Mellon University
  105. Carlos Gustavo Lopez Pombo, Professor of Computer Science, Department of Computing, School of Science, Universidad de Buenos Aires
  106. Carlos Scheidegger, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Arizona
  107. Casey Fiesler, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
  108. Catherine Cronquist Browning, Assistant Dean, Academic Programs, Equity & Inclusion, University of California, Berkeley, School of Information
  109. Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor of Urban Science & Planning, MIT
  110. Cécilia Lancien, Researcher in Mathematics, Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse & CNRS
  111. Celine Latulipe, Professor of Computer Science, University of Manitoba
  112. Ceren Budak, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  113. Charles Sutton, University of Edinburgh
  114. Charlotte Lee, Associate Professor, University of Washington
  115. Christian Kaestner, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  116. Christina Chung, Assistant Professor, Indiana University
  117. Christine Alvarado, Teaching Professor, University of California, San Diego
  118. Christoph Becker, Associate Professor, University of Toronto
  119. Christopher Stewart, Associate Professor and Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Computer Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University
  120. Claudio Gutierrez, Professor, Computer Science Department, Universidad de Chile
  121. Cliff Lampe, Professor, University of Michigan
  122. Colin M. Gray, Assistant Professor, Purdue University
  123. Colin S. Gordon, Assistant Professor, Drexel University
  124. Conor Thomas McBride, Reader, University of Strathclyde
  125. Constantinos Daskalakis, Nevanlinna Prize, Professor of Computer Science, MIT
  126. Cristopher Moore, Professor, Santa Fe Institute
  127. D. Paul Ralph, Professor, Dalhousie University
  128. Dan Garcia, Teaching Professor, Teaching Professor
  129. Danica Sutherland, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of British Columbia
  130. Daniel A. Spielman, MacArthur Fellow, Nevanlinna Prize, Sterling Professor of Computer Science, Yale University
  131. Daniel D. Sleator, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  132. Daniel Epstein, Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine
  133. Daniel Freund, Assistant Professor, MIT
  134. Daniel Hsu, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University
  135. Daniel Kane, University of California, San Diego
  136. Daniel M. Romero, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
  137. Daniel Zappala, Professor of Computer Science, Brigham Young University
  138. Dante R Chialvo, Head & Professor of Medical Physics, American Physical Society Fellow, U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Universidad Nacional de San Martin (Argentina)
  139. Danupon Nanongkai, University of Copenhagen
  140. David Ham, Reader in Computational Mathematics, Imperial College London
  141. David IW Levin, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
  142. David Jorjani, Sessional Lecturer, University of Toronto
  143. David Lindlbauer, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  144. David Miller, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Central Florida
  145. David Mohaisen, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Central Florida
  146. Davood Rafiei, Professor of Computer Science, University of Alberta
  147. Delaram Yazdansepas, Assistant Professor, Loyola Marymount University
  148. Djamé Seddah, Maitre de conférence en informatique
  149. Djordje Jevdjic, Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore
  150. Douglas Urner, Teacher, Software Developer, South Kitsap School District
  151. Dr. Lee Nelson, Professor of Nursing, Riverside City College
  152. Drew Paine, Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  153. Earlence Fernandes, Professor of Computer Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  154. Ebrahim Bagheri, Associate Professor, Ryerson University
  155. Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Oregon State University
  156. Eiad Yafi, Assistant Professor, Universiti Kuala Lumpur
  157. Eleftherios Kokoris Kogias, Assistant Professor, IST Austria & Facebook
  158. Elham Mousavidin, Associate Professor of Management and Marketing, University of St. Thomas
  159. Elias Castegren, Postdoctoral Associate, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  160. Elijah Joseph Weber-Han, Researcher, Cornell University
  161. Elizabeth Patitsas, Assistant professor, McGill University
  162. Emiliano De Cristofaro, Professor, University College London & Alan Turing Institute
  163. Emily Philippsen, Assistant Professor, Riverside City College
  164. Emma Pierson, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
  165. Emma Tosch, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Vermont
  166. Eric Gilbert, John Derby Evans Associate Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan
  167. Eric Paulos, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley
  168. Eric Walkingshaw, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University
  169. Erin Brady, Assistant Professor of Human Centered Computing, Indiana University
  170. Eureka Foong, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tokyo
  171. Eva Hornecker, Professor of HCI, ACM Senior Member, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
  172. Evan Anderson, Research Coordinator, Northwestern University
  173. Evan M Peck, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Bucknell University
  174. Evangelos Milios, Professor, Dalhousie University
  175. Eytan Adar, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
  176. Fang Song, Assistant Professor, Portland State University
  177. Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Colorado Denver
  178. Farshad Ghanei, Assistant Professor of Teaching, University at Buffalo
  179. Fatemeh Navidi, Principal Researcher, University of Chicago
  180. Fernando Pérez, Associate Professor in Statistics. Recipient of the 2017 ACM Software System Award (Project Jupyter), UC Berkeley
  181. Florian Echtler, Associate professor of computer science, Aalborg University
  182. Foaad Khosmood, Associate Professor of Computer Science, California Polytechnic State University
  183. Fredo Durand, Amar Bose Professor of Computing., MIT
  184. Garreth Tigwell, Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
  185. Genoveva Vargas-Solar, Principal Scientist, Databases, CNRS, LIRIS, France
  186. Geoff Kuenning, Professor of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College
  187. Gian Maria Campedelli, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Trento, Italy
  188. Gillian Smith, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  189. Glencora Borradaile, Oregon State University
  190. Greg Durrett, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
  191. Gregory D. Hager, Mandell Bellmore Professor of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
  192. Gregory Gay, Assistant Professor, Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg
  193. Guido Wirtz, Full Professor of Computer Science, University of Bamberg
  194. Hadi Hemmati, Associate Professor, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  195. Hamed Haddadi, Imperial College London
  196. Hamed Hatami, Professor of Computer Science, McGill University
  197. Hamed Niknam, Post-doctoral Researcher, McGill University
  198. Hamed Zamani, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  199. Hamid Eghbalzadeh, Postdoc, Johannes Kepler University, Austria
  200. Hamid R. Arabnia, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, University of Georgia
  201. Harley Eades, Associate Professor, Augusta University
  202. Harry Hochheiser, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh
  203. Hasti Seifi, Assistant Professorin Computer Science, University of Copenhagen
  204. Hazhir Rahmandad, Associate professor of system dynamics, Massachusetts institute of technology
  205. Helen, Professor Emerita of Human Computer Interaction, Department of Computer Science, University of York
  206. Henry Yuen, Assistant Professor, Columbia University
  207. Hernan Ponce de Leon, Postdoctoral Researcher, Universität der Bundeswehr München
  208. Hessam Mahdavifar, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  209. Hessameddin Akhlaghpour, Postdoctoral Fellow, The Rockefeller University
  210. Himan Abdollahpouri, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University
  211. Holly Rushmeier, Professor, Yale University
  212. Hossein Hojjat, Assistant Professor, TeIAS
  213. Houssam Abbas, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University
  214. Hung Le, Assistant Professor Computer Science, UMass Amherst
  215. Ilya Sergey, Associate Professor, Yale-NUS College and National University of Singapore
  216. Irene Veronica Pasquetto, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  217. J Khadijah Abdurahman, Director of We Be Imagining, We Be Imagining, Columbia University
  218. Jafar Haadi Haadi Jafarian, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Colorado Denver
  219. Jalal Kazempour, Associate Professor, Technical University of Denmark
  220. James A. Landay, Professor of Computer Science, ACM Fellow, Member of ACM SIGCHI Academy, Stanford University
  221. James Fogarty, Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
  222. James R. Wallace, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo
  223. Jamileh, Assistant Professor, Cape Breton University
  224. Jan Van den Bergh, Hasselt University
  225. Jan Vondrak, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Stanford University
  226. Jana Giceva, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, TU Munich
  227. Janet Davis, Associate Professor and Microsoft Chair of Computer Science, Whitman College
  228. Jason Hartline, Professor of Computer Science, Northwestern U
  229. Jason Lewis, University Research Chair for Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary, Concordia University
  230. Jason Yip, Assistant professor, University of Washington
  231. Jean Hardy, Assistant Professor of Media & Information, Michigan State University
  232. Jeanna Neefe Matthews, Professor of Computer Science, current ACM Council member (https://www.acm.org/about-acm/acm-council), Clarkson University
  233. Jeehoon Kang, Assistant Professor, KAIST
  234. Jeffrey Bigham, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  235. Jeffrey Heer, Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle
  236. Jelani Nelson, Professor, Department of EECS, UC Berkeley
  237. Jelena Golubovic, Simon Fraser University
  238. Jennifer Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Technology and Computer Science, University of California Santa Barbara
  239. Jennifer Mankoff, Richard E. Ladner Professor, CHI Academy, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering
  240. Jeroen Zuiddam, Simons Junior Fellow, New York University
  241. Jesse Thomason, University of Southern California
  242. Jessica Hammer, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  243. Jia-Bin Huang, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech
  244. Jie Qi, Project assistant professor, Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Law School, University of Tokyo
  245. Jim Dowling, Associate Professor, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology
  246. Joanne M. Atlee, Professor, University of Waterloo
  247. Jodi Julian, Professor
  248. Joel Sommers, Professor, Colgate University
  249. John Regehr, professor, University of Utah, USA
  250. John S. Seberger, Postdoctoral Fellow, Indiana University
  251. John Sarracino, Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University
  252. John Wickerson, Lecturer, Imperial College London
  253. Jon E. Froehlich, Associate Professor, Allen School, University of Washington
  254. Jonathan Aldrich, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  255. Jonathan Crowcroft, Professor, University of Cambridge
  256. Jose Antonio Ruiperez Valiente, Research Fellow, University of Murcia
  257. Joseph Seering, Postdoctoral Scholar in Computer Science, Stanford University
  258. Joshua A. Grochow, Assistant Professor, Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Colorado Boulder
  259. Joshua Cooper, Professor of Mathematics, University of South Carolina
  260. Joshua Quicksall, Communications Specialist, Institute for Software Research, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
  261. Joss Wright, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
  262. Juan Wang, Professor of political science, McGill
  263. Julie Hui, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  264. Julie J Lee, University College London
  265. Julie Kientz, Professor, University of Washington
  266. Kaave Hosseini, Postdoctoral Associate, Carnegie Mellon University
  267. Kaivan Kamali, Computational Scientist, Penn State University
  268. Kamiar Rahnama Rad, Assistant Professor, Baruch College, City University New York
  269. Kamyar Khodamoradi, Postdoc in Computer Science, University of Würzburg
  270. Karen Boyd, University of Michigan
  271. Karen Fisher, Professor, University of Washington
  272. Kate Starbird, Associate Professor, University of Washington
  273. Katharina Reinecke, Associate Professor, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington
  274. Katie Siek, Professor and Chair, Indiana University
  275. Katta Spiel, Hertha-Firnberg Scholar, TU Wien
  276. Katy E. Pearce, Associate professor, University of Washington
  277. Kay Connelly, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Informatics, Indiana University
  278. Kelly Lyons, Professor, Faculty of Information and Department of CS, University of Toronto
  279. Kendra Albert, Clinical Instructor, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
  280. Kenneth Holstein, Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon University
  281. Kentaro Toyama, Professor, University of Michigan
  282. Kevin Skadron, Professor of Computer Science, FACM, University of Virginia
  283. Kia Bazargan, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
  284. Kiran Garimella, Michael Hammer Postdoc, MIT
  285. Kolina Koltai, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington
  286. Kyle Fox, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Dallas
  287. Kyle Thayer, Assistant Teaching Professor, University of Washington
  288. Lance Eaton, Educator
  289. Lara Letaw, Faculty, Oregon State University
  290. Laura Alonso Alemany, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba
  291. Laura Forlano, Associate Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology
  292. Lauren Wilcox, Associate Professor, Interactive Computing, College of Computing, Georgia Tech
  293. Lawrence H. Moulton, Professor of International Health and (joint) Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  294. Lawrence Kim, Postdoc, Stanford University
  295. Lefteris Manassakis, Research engineer, FORTH-ICS
  296. Lena Fanya Aeschbach, University of Basel
  297. Leo Ducas, Senior Researcher in Cryptology, Centrum Wiskunde & Informaticas
  298. Liang Huang, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Oregon State University
  299. Libby Hemphill, University of Michigan
  300. Lilly Irani, Associate Professor, 2021 Program Co-Chair ACM FAccT, UC San Diego, Communication and Computer Science (Affiliate Faculty)
  301. Lindsay Jamieson, Associate Professor of Computer Science, St.Mary’s College of Maryland
  302. Lindsey Kuper, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, UC Santa Cruz
  303. LJean Camp, Fellow of the IEEE; Fellow of the AAAS, Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Informatics, Indiana University
  304. Loren Terveen, Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, The University of Minnesota
  305. Lorenzo Cavallaro, Professor of Computer Science, Chair in Cybersecurity (Systems Security), King’s College London
  306. Loris D’Antoni, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  307. Lorrie Cranor, Bosch Distinguished Professor and FORE Systems Professor, Carnegie Mellon University; ACM, IEEE, AAAS Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University
  308. Louigi Addario-Berry, Professor, Fellow of the Institute for Matthematical Statistics, Fellow of the Canadian Matthematical Society, Simons Fellow., McGill University
  309. Luca Trevisan, Professor of Computer Science, Bocconi University
  310. Lucy Bernholz, Sr. Research Scholar, Stanford University
  311. LuEttaMae Lawrence, Postdoc Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University
  312. Lukas Daniel Klausner, Researcher, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences
  313. Lynn S. Dombrowski, Assistant Professor, IUPUI
  314. Mahdi Cheraghchi, Assistant Professor of CSE, ACM Senior Member, University of Michigan
  315. Mahdi Mirhoseini, Professor of Information Systems, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University
  316. Mahmood Shafeie Zargar, Assistant Professor of Innovation Management, VU Amsterdam
  317. Maneesh Agrawala, Professor of Computer Science, Director Brown Institute for Media Innovation, MacArthur Fellow, Stanford University
  318. Mar Hicks, Associate Professor of History of Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology
  319. Maral Dehghani, Faculty, School of Computing & Academic Studies, British Columbia Institute of Technology
  320. Marc Deisenroth, Professor, University College London
  321. Marjan Farahbod, Simon Fraser University
  322. Martin Joel Strauss, Professor of Mathematics, University of Michigan
  323. Maryam Elahi, Assistant Professor, Mount Royal University
  324. Maryam Siahbani, Assistant Prof., University of the Fraser Valley
  325. Mason Kortz, Clinical Instructor, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
  326. Masoud Hamedi, Adjunct Professor, Masters in Telecommunications Program, Adjunct Professor
  327. Matin Bagherpour, Associate Professor of Energy Systems, University of Oslo
  328. Matt Windsor, Research Associate, University of York
  329. Matteo Maffei, Professor for Security and Privacy, TU Wien
  330. Matthew Bietz, Lecturer, University of California, Irvine
  331. Matthew Kay, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Communication Studies, Northwestern University
  332. Maxime Turgeon, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Manitoba
  333. Maziar Goudarzi, Associate Professor, Sharif University of Technology
  334. Mehdi Javanmard, Associate Professor, Rutgers University
  335. Mehdi Kargar, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University
  336. mehdi shajari, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University
  337. Mehdi Tahoori, Professor and Chair of Computer Science, IEEE Fellow, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  338. Melanie Mitchell, Professor, Computer Science, Portland State University
  339. Michael Ann DeVito, Postdoctoral Computing Innovation Fellow, University of Colorado Boulder
  340. Michael Bernstein, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University
  341. Michael Cook, Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London
  342. Michael Nebeling, Assistant Professor of Information & CSE, University of Michigan
  343. Michael P. Kim, Miller Institute, UC Berkeley
  344. Michael Winikoff, Professor and Head of School, Victoria University of Wellington
  345. Michel Steuwer, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh
  346. Mike Rosulek, Associate Professor, Oregon State University
  347. Milind Kulkarni, Associate Professor, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
  348. Mohamed Sarwat, Professor of Computer Science, Arizona State University
  349. Mohammad Akbarpour, Professor of Economics and (by courtesy) Computer Science, Stanford University
  350. Mohammad Hajiabadi, Assistant Professor of CSE, Pennsylvania State University, Assistant Professor of CSE, Pennsylvania State University
  351. Mohammad Hajiesmaili, UMass Amherst
  352. Mohammad Heydari, Dr., Research Fellow
  353. Mohammad Javad Abdolhosseini Qomi, Assistant Professor, UC Irvine
  354. Mohammad Javad Amiri, Postdoc Researcher, University of Pennsylvania
  355. Mohammad Mahmoody, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Virginia
  356. Mohammad Malekzadeh, Postdoctoral Researcher, Imperial College London
  357. Mohammad Sadoghi, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, University of California, Davis
  358. Mohammad Saleh Zarepour, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Birmingham
  359. Mohammad Shahrad, Lecturer in Computer Science, Princeton University
  360. Mohammad T. Hajiaghayi, ACM Fellow, Minker Professor of Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park
  361. Mohsen Heidari, Postdoc, Purdue University
  362. Mojtaba Azadi, Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University
  363. Molly H. Olson, Mathematics and Coding teacher, Ely Memorial School
  364. Mona Azadkia, Postdoc, ETH
  365. Morteza Dehghani, Associate Professor of Psychology and Computer Science, University of Southern California
  366. Morteza Rezanejad, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
  367. Moslem Habibi, Assistant Professor at Sharif University, Assistant Professor at Sharif University of Technology
  368. Mostafa Milani, Assistant Professor, The University of Western Ontario
  369. Motahhare Eslami, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Mellon University
  370. Munmun De Choudhury, Associate Professor of Interactive Computing; 2021 ACM-W Awardee, Georgia Institute of Technology
  371. Murat Demirbas, Professor of Computer Science, University at Buffalo, SUNY
  372. Muthuramakrishnan Venkitasubramaniam, Associate Professor, University of Rochester
  373. Myounghoon Jeon, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech
  374. Nachiket Kapre, University of Aaterloo
  375. Nader Sehatbakhsh, Assistant Professor, UCLA
  376. Naeem Khademi, Assoc. Prof., University of Stavanger
  377. Nael Abu-Ghazaleh, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Riverside
  378. Nancy Smith, Assistant Professor, School of Information, Pratt Institute
  379. Nanette Veilleux, Professor, Simmons University
  380. Naomi Nishimura, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo
  381. Nauman Chaudhry, Instructor, Oregon State University
  382. Navid Hashemi, Assistant Professor, College of Charleston
  383. Nazanin Andalibi, Assistant Professor of Information, University of Michigan, School of Information
  384. Nicholas Spooner, Postdoctoral Scholar, Boston University
  385. Nicole Ellison, Karl E. Weick Collegiate Professor of Information, University of Michigan School of Information
  386. Nikhil Garg, Postdoc, UC Berkeley
  387. Nikhil Srivastava, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley
  388. Niklas Elmqvist, Professor of Information Studies and Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park
  389. Niloufar Salehi, Assistant professor, UC, Berkeley
  390. Nima Haghpanah, Assistant Professor of Economics, Pennsylvania State University
  391. Noah Stephens-Davidowitz, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Cornell University
  392. Nova Ahmed, Associate Professor, North South University, Bangladesh
  393. Odest Chadwicke Jenkins, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan
  394. Oliver Haimson, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  395. Om Damani, Professor of Computer Science, IIT Bombay
  396. Omid Rohanian, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Oxford
  397. Panos Parpas, Reader, Imperial College London
  398. Parisa Rashidi, Associate Professor, University of Florida
  399. Patricia Arias Cabarcos, Postdoctoral Researcher, KIT
  400. Patricia Garcia, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  401. Paul Dourish, ACM Fellow, Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics, University of California, Irvine
  402. Paul H J Kelly, Professor of Software Technology, Imperial College London
  403. Pejman Lotfi-Kamran, Associate Professor of Computer Science, IPM
  404. Pernille Bjorn, Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  405. Peter Shor, Professor of Mathematics, MacArthur Fellow, Nevanlinna Prize, ACM Fellow, MIT
  406. Peyman Mohajerin Esfahani, Assistant Professor, TU Delft
  407. Piper Jackson, Assistant Professor of Computing Science, Thompson Rivers University
  408. Pooya Hatami, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Ohio State University
  409. Pooyan Jamshidi, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of South Carolina
  410. Priya Kumar, University of Maryland, College Park
  411. R. Benjamin Shapiro, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  412. Rachit Agarwal, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Cornell University
  413. Rad Niazadeh, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  414. Rada Mihalcea, Janice M. Jenkins Collegiate Professor of Computer Science, University of Michigan
  415. Rafael Oliveira, University of waterloo
  416. Ramtin Pedarsani, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
  417. Rasit Eskicioglu, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Manitoba
  418. Rasoul Etesami, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  419. Rebecca Wright, Druckenmiller Professor of Computer Science, Barnard College
  420. Rediet Abebe, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, UC Berkeley / Harvard Society of Fellows
  421. Reem Talhouk, Vice chancellor research fellow, Northumbria University
  422. Reihaneh Rabbany, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, McGill University
  423. Reva Freedman, Department of Computer Science, Northern Illinois University
  424. Reyhaneh Jabbarvand, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  425. Reza Babanezhad Harikandeh, Research Scientist, Research Scientist
  426. Reza Djeddi, Research Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Univeristy of Tennessee, Knoxville
  427. Reza Rawassizadeh, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Boston University
  428. Reza Sameni, Associate Professor, Emory University
  429. Reza Zadeh, Adjunct Professor, Stanford and Matroid
  430. Ricardo Baeza-Yates, ACM Fellow, Professor, Northeastern University
  431. Richmond Wong, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Berkeley
  432. Rob Comber, Associate Professor, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
  433. Robert Soden, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
  434. Roberto Minelli, Ph.D., Software Institute – USI, Lugano, Switzerland
  435. Robin Brewer, University of Michigan, School of Information
  436. Roderic N. Crooks, Assistant Professor of Informatics, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine., Assistant Professor, UC Irvine Informatics.
  437. Roei Tell, Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT
  438. Ron Eglash, Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan
  439. Ron Wakkary, Professor (Former Editor-in-Chief ACM interactions 2010-16), Simon Fraser University
  440. Ross Tate, Cornell University
  441. Roya Ensafi, Assistant professor, University of Michigan
  442. Rubén Salvador Perea, CentraleSupélec, IETR Lab
  443. Ryan Cotterell, Assistant Professor, ETH Zürich
  444. Sadegh Aliakbary, Faculty member as an assistant professor, Shahid Beheshti University
  445. Sadegh Dalvandi, Research Fellow, University of Surrey
  446. Sajin Koroth, Postdoctoral Fellow, Simon Fraser University
  447. Salman Beigi, Associate Professor, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM)
  448. Sam Malek, Professor, University of California, Irvine
  449. Saman Zonouz, Professor, 2019 PECASE Awardee, Rutgers University
  450. Samantha Breslin, Assistant Professor, University of Copenhagen
  451. Sameer Singh, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Irvine
  452. Samin Aref, Computer Scientist and Former Lecturer, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
  453. Sandeep Kumar Shukla, Professor Of computer science, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
  454. Sara Sartoli, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of North Georgia
  455. Sarah Fox, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  456. Sarita Adve, Richard T. Cheng Professor of Computer Science, Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, recipient of ACM/IEEE CS Ken Kennedy award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  457. Sarita Schoenebeck, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
  458. Saugata Ghose, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
  459. Sauvik Das, Assistant Professor of Interactive Computing, Cybersecurity & Privacy, Georgia Institute of Technology
  460. Scott David Dexter, Professor of Computer Science, Alma College
  461. Sean Farley, Researcher, Argonne National Lab
  462. Sean Munson, Associate Professor, University of Washington
  463. Sean Murthy, Associate Professor of Instruction, University of Texas at Dallas
  464. Sebastian Diaz, Cheif Geek, Berkman Klein Center at Harvard Univeristy
  465. Sebastian Schelter, University of Amsterdam
  466. Sepehr Nezami, Postdoctoral researcher, Caltech
  467. Shahin Kamali, Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Manitoba
  468. Shahrooz Faghihroohi, Senior Research Scientist
  469. Shaowen Bardzell, Professor, Penn State University
  470. Shayan Oveis Gharan, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington
  471. Shideh Dashti, Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
  472. Shimon Edelman, Professor, Cornell University
  473. Shirin Boroushaki, Assistant Professor, Thompson Rivers University
  474. Shiva Nejati, Associate Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa
  475. Siamak F. Shahandashti, Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK
  476. Sibin Mohan, Research Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  477. Siddharth Garg, Associate Professor of ECE, New York University
  478. Sihem Amer-Yahia, Research Director, CNRS, Univ. Grenoble Alpes
  479. Silvia Lindtner, Associate Professor of Information and Computer Sciences, Associate Director of the Center for Ethics, Society, and Computing, University of Michigan
  480. Simina Branzei, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Purdue University
  481. Sina Fazelpour, Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University
  482. Sina Tafazoli, Postdoctoral research associate, Princeton University
  483. Soheil Mohajer, Associatie Professor, University of Minnesota
  484. Sourav S Bhowmick, Associate Professor in Computer Science, Nanyang Technological University
  485. Stacey Scott, Professor of Computer Science, University of Guelph
  486. Stephen A Cook, ACM Turing Award, University Emeritus, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
  487. Stephen B Gilbert, Director of Human Computer Interaction and Assoc Prof, Iowa State University
  488. Stephen Ramsey, Associate Professor, Oregon State University
  489. Steve Easterbrook, Professor of Computer Science, University of Toronto
  490. Subramanian Ramamoorthy, Professor of Robot Learning and Autonomy, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
  491. Supratik Chakraborty, Professor, I.I.T. Bombay
  492. Suvrit Sra, Associate Professor, MIT
  493. Suzanne Rivoire, Professor of Computer Science, Sonoma State University
  494. Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
  495. Taha Yasseri, Associate Professor, Former Turing Fellow, University College Dublin
  496. Talayeh Aledavood, Lecturer in CS, Aalto University
  497. Tara Javidi, Professor of ECE, University of California, San Diego
  498. Tariq, Professors of Computer Sciences, University College of Technology Sarawak
  499. Tawanna Dillahunt, Associate Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan
  500. Tevfik Kosar, Professor, University at Buffalo
  501. Thomas G. Dietterich, Distinguished Professor (Emeritus), Oregon State University
  502. Tiago Ferreira, Research Assistant, University College London
  503. Tiffany Veinot, Professor of Information and of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan
  504. Timothy M. Pinkston, Ph.D., Professor of ECE, ACM Fellow, University of Southern California
  505. Timur Friedman, Sorbonne Université
  506. Tugkan Batu, Assistant Professor, London School of Economics
  507. Valerie Barr, Professor of Computer Science, Mount Holyoke College
  508. Vasco T. Vasconcelos, Professor of Computer Science, University of Lisbon
  509. Vasiliki Kalavri, Assistant Professor, Boston University
  510. Vijay Chidambaram, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin
  511. Vikram S. Adve, Donald B. Gillies Professor of Computer Science; ACM Fellow, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  512. Virginia de Sa, Professora, UC San Diego
  513. Wanda Pratt, Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Information School, University of Washington
  514. Wayne Heym, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University
  515. Wendy Norris, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Nazareth College
  516. Yadollah Yaghoobzadeh, Professor of computer science, University of Tehran
  517. Yan Chen, Professor of Information, University of Michigan
  518. Yashar Ganjali, Professor of Computer Science, University of Toronto
  519. Yasser Roudi, Professor, winner of Eric Kandel Young Neuroscientist Award 2015, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, NTNU
  520. Yavar Taheri Yeganeh, Senior Research Assistant, Shahid Beheshti University
  521. Yifan Sun, Assistant Professor, William & Mary
  522. Yvonne Coady, Professor of Computer Science, University of Victoria
  523. Ziawasch Abedjan, Professor of Computer Science, Leibniz Universität Hannover
  524. Zubair Shafiq, Associate Professor, University of California, Davis

– Academia: Students:

  1. Aakash Gautam, PhD student, Virginia Tech
  2. Abbas K. Rizi, PhD Candidate in CS, PhD Candidate
  3. Abdallah Anees AbuHashem, Master’s Student at Stanford University, Master’s Student at Stanford University
  4. Abduvosid Malikov, Student at MSc Business Analytics, CEU, Student
  5. Abraham Mhaidli, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  6. Abrar Rahman Protyasha, Undergraduate student, University of Rochester
  7. Abtin Afshar, Phd student, Phd student
  8. Adam Suhl, PhD student, UC San Diego
  9. Afsoon Afzal, PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University
  10. Agata Foryciarz, PhD Student, Stanford University
  11. Ahmed Frikha, PhD student, LMU Munich and Siemens
  12. Ahmed, Student, Penn State
  13. Aidin Shiri, Computer Engineer, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  14. Aishwarya Mandyam, PhD Student, Princeton University
  15. Akshay Gopalakrishnan, MSc Thesis
  16. Alejandro Flores-Velazco, PhD Student, University of Maryland, College Park
  17. Alen K. Sabu, Doctoral candidate in Computer Science, National University of Singapore
  18. Alexander Gamero-Garrido, PhD Candidate in Computer Science, UC San Diego
  19. Alexander Hicks, University College London
  20. Ali Farzanehfar, PhD candidate, Imperial College London
  21. Ali Gorji, M.Sc. student, ETH Zurich
  22. Ali Hajiabdi, PhD student, National University of Singapore
  23. Ali Sharafat, PhD Student, Stanford University
  24. Ali Varamesh, PhD cadidate, KU Leuven
  25. Alicia DeVos, PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  26. Alireza Sanaee, Mr., Queen Mary University of London
  27. Alyssa Wang, UCLA
  28. Amber Horvath, Graduate Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  29. Amin Jabini, PhD student at USC, PhD Student at USC
  30. Amir Khordadi, PhD Student, University of Edinburgh
  31. Amir Shahatit, Software engineer, UC Berkeley
  32. Amirhossein Ghafari, Research Assistant, Student
  33. Amirhossein Rajabi, PhD Candidate in CS, Technical University of Denmark
  34. Anagha Zach, Computer science engineer, Student
  35. Andi Peng, PhD Candidate in CS, MIT
  36. Andrew Hu, PhD Student, Michigan State University
  37. Ángel Alexander Cabrera, PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  38. Anja Kalaba, Princeton University
  39. Ankit Pensia, PhD Student, UW-Madison
  40. Anna Fang, PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  41. Anna Karanika, PhD student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  42. Anna Kawakami, Undergraduate student, Wellesley College
  43. Anne Spencer Ross, PhD Candidate, University of Washington
  44. Antares Chen, PhD Student, University of Chicago
  45. Arash Pourhabibi, PhD Candidate, EPFL
  46. Arezou Fatemi, SFU
  47. Argyris Mouzakis, PhD Student, University of Waterloo
  48. Arjun Subramonian, Computer Science Student, University of California, Los Angeles
  49. Artem Pelenitsyn, Northeastern University
  50. Ashkan Kazemi, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  51. Ashkan YekrangSafakar, Electrical Engineering, Louisiana State University
  52. Ashwin Rajadesingan, PhD student, University of Michigan School of Information
  53. Ashwin Singh, IIIT Delhi
  54. Atefe Khodadadi, Student, Sharif University of Technology
  55. Atia Hamidizadeh, M.Sc. student in Computer Science, Simon Fraser University
  56. Bandar Al-Dhalaan, (none), University of Michigan
  57. Behnam Rahdari, PhD Student, University of Pittsburgh
  58. Behrad Moniri, Student of Electrical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology
  59. Ben Pullman, PhD Candidate, UC San Diego
  60. Benjamin Elizalde, PhD student
  61. Bharat Prakash, PhD Research Assistant, UMBC
  62. Brandon Thai Tran, PhD Student, University of Southern California
  63. Brian Zimmerman, Software Engineer, Graduate Student, Myself
  64. Bryan Wang, PhD student, University of Toronto
  65. Buzz Rankouhi, PhD candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  66. Calvin Liang, University of Washington
  67. Cella Monet Sum, Incoming PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  68. Chloe Kliman-Silver, Postgrad Researcher, Northumbria University
  69. Christian Seitz, PhD student, UCSD
  70. Conlon Novak, DC, SCS ’20
  71. Dana Afazeli, Data scientist, Cs student at sharif university of technology
  72. Daniel Delmonaco, PhD Student, University of Michigan School of Information
  73. Darya Kaviani, Undergraduate, UC Berkeley EECS
  74. David Gray Widder, PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University
  75. Dimitris Karakostas, PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh
  76. Divine Maloney, PhD candidate, inaugural Ada Lovelace fellow, Clemson University
  77. Divyansh Kaushik, PhD student, Carnegie Mellon University
  78. Dmitrii Ustiugov, PhD Student, University of Edinburgh
  79. Earl W. Huff Jr., Ph.D. Candidate, Clemson University
  80. Eliot W. Robson, PhD Student, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  81. Elizabeth Resor, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley School of Information
  82. Emad Heydari Beni, PhD candidate, KU Leuven
  83. Emilia Gan, PhD Student, University of Washington
  84. Emily Tseng, PhD Student, Cornell University
  85. Emma Lurie, PhD Student, UC Berkeley School of Information
  86. Emma McDonnell, University of Washington
  87. Emma McKay, PhD student, McGill University
  88. Emmy Cao, UCLA
  89. Evangelia Gergatsouli, PhD Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  90. Evanjelin Mahmoodi, Computer Science and Mathematics Undergraduate Student, University of California, Santa Cruz
  91. Farhad Vadiee, PhD student, University of Bergen
  92. Farzin Soleymani, Grad student, Technical University of Munich
  93. Felix Neutatz, PhD student, TU Berlin
  94. Gabriel Grill, PhD Student, University of Michigan
  95. Hafez Ghaemi, Graduate Student, Polytechnic University of Turin
  96. Hamed Javidi, Computer science, Gradute Student
  97. Harjasleen Gulati, CS Student at Oregon State University
  98. Henry Zhu, Ph.D. Student, Stanford University
  99. Hossein Golestani, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  100. Hossein Maleki, Ph.D. Student, Georgia Institute of Technology
  101. Hossein Moghaddas, Student, Sharif University of Technology
  102. Hünkar Tunç, University of Konstanz
  103. Hye Sun Yun, PhD student, Northeastern University
  104. Ian Haliburton, UCLA
  105. Ihudiya Finda Williams, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  106. Ilir Kola, PhD Candidate in Artificial Intelligence, Delft University of Technology
  107. J Weston Hughes, PhD Student, Computer Science, Stanford University
  108. Jacob McLemore, PhD Student, The University of Tennessee
  109. Jacob Ritchie, PhD Student, Stanford University
  110. Jan-Oliver Kaiser, MPI-SWS
  111. Jane Im, PhD student, University of Michigan Information & Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan
  112. Javad Rahimikollu, Graduate Student, Graduate Student
  113. Jeffrey Gleason, Incoming PhD Student, Northeastern
  114. Jessy Ceha, Student, University of Waterloo
  115. Jip J. Dekker, PhD Candidate, Monash University
  116. João Ribeiro, Imperial College London
  117. Jonathan Lu, Medical Student, Goldwater Scholar, Stanford University School of Medicine
  118. Jose Guaro, Undergraduate, University of California, San Diego
  119. Josephine Hoy, Graduate Student, Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington
  120. Julia Cervantes-Espinoza, Educator Advocating CS for All, LAUSD Educator, Advocate of CS for All, EdTech Coach
  121. Julia Len, PhD Student, Cornell University
  122. Julien Gamba, PhD student, IMDEA Networks Institute
  123. Justine Zhang, PhD Student, Cornell University
  124. K.A. Garrett, Ph.D. Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University
  125. Kamen Brestnichki, Machine Learning Scientist, University College London
  126. Kat Roemmich, PhD student, University of Michigan School of Information
  127. Katherine Song, PhD student, UC Berkeley
  128. Katie Z. Gach, PhD Candidate, ATLAS Institute, CU Boulder
  129. Kazem Cheshmi, PhD student, University of Toronto
  130. Kentrell Owens, PhD Student, University of Washington
  131. Khalil Mrini, PhD Student in Computer Science, University of California San Diego
  132. Konstantin Aal, PhD Student, University of Siegen
  133. Konstantinos Kallas, PhD student, PhD student
  134. Kyle Liang, PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  135. Leo Chen, PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  136. Léo Stefanesco, PhD student, Collège de France
  137. Lindsay Popowski, Undergraduate, Harvey Mudd College
  138. Linghui Luo, PhD Candidate, Paderborn University
  139. Liz B. Marquis, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan School of Information
  140. Lucy Li, PhD Student, University of California, Berkeley
  141. Luke Swanson, PhD Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  142. Lydia Burger, Undergraduate Student, University of Oklahoma
  143. Lydia Stamato, PhD Student, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  144. M. Hammad Mazhar, University of Iowa
  145. Mahdi Belbasi, PhD candidate
  146. Mahdi Sedaghat, PhD student of Cryptography in Cosic, Ku Leuven
  147. Mahsa Alimardani, PhD Student, University of Oxford
  148. Majid Rasouli, Ph.D. Student, University of Utah
  149. Mania Abdi, Northeastern university
  150. María Virginia Sabando, PhD student, Departemnt of Computer Sciences and Engineering, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina
  151. Mark Schultz, PhD Student, UC San Diego
  152. Maroussia Lévesque, Attorney; doctoral candidate, Harvard Law School
  153. Mary Anne Smart, PhD student, UC San Diego
  154. Maryam Akbari-Moghaddam, Computer Science, McMaster University
  155. Masoud Mokhtari, Machine Learning Graduate Student, University of British Columbia
  156. Masoumeh Abolfathi, PhD Candidate, University of Colorado Denver
  157. Matin Yarmand, PhD Student, UC San Diego
  158. Matthew Jörke, PhD Student, Stanford University, PhD Student
  159. Maximilian Berens, PhD Student, TU Dortmund University
  160. Mayowa Oke, Princeton University
  161. Mazda Moayeri, University of Maryland
  162. Maziar Hafezi, Mr, University of Toronto alumni
  163. Mehran Shakerinava, McGill University
  164. Mehri mehrnia, PhD candidate, Illinois institute of technology
  165. MG Hirsch, University of Maryland
  166. Michael Levet, PhD Student, University of Colorado Boulder- Department of Computer Science
  167. Michael Rivera, PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University
  168. Michael Schröder, PhD Student, TU Wien
  169. Michelle Lam, PhD Student, Stanford University
  170. Michelle Lin, Student
  171. Mihir Mongia, PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  172. Mohamed Elgaar, PhD Student of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  173. Mohammad Amin Charusaie, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
  174. Mohammad Bakhshalipour, PhD Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Mellon University
  175. Mohammad Chegini, Student of Electrical Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University
  176. Mohammad Dehghan, Graduate Student, University of Waterloo
  177. Mohammad Hossein Rimaz, Computer Science Student
  178. Mohammad M. Ahmadpanah, Ph.D. Student, Chalmers University of Technology
  179. MohammadHossein AskariHemmat, PhD Student, Polytechnique Montreal
  180. Mollie Shichman, University of Maryland, College Park
  181. Molly Jane Nicholas, Graduate Student Researcher, University of California, Berkeley
  182. Morgan Wofford, PhD Student, University of Michigan
  183. Mostafa Touny, Software Engineering Student, 6th of October for Modern Sciences and Arts (MSA)
  184. Nadia Karizat, Master of Health Informatics, Candidate, University of Michigan School of Information
  185. Naji Shajarisales, Graduate Research Assistant, Carnegie Mellon University
  186. Nalini Singh, Graduate Student, MIT
  187. Nava Haghighi, Stanford University
  188. Navid Rahimi, M.Sc. in Computer Science, Simon Fraser University
  189. Navid Salehnamadi, Software Engineering, Graduate Student, University of California, Irvine
  190. Negar Arabzadeh, Computer science graduate student, University of Waterloo
  191. Negar Ghorbani, PhD Candidate in Software Engineering, University of California, Irvine
  192. Negar Khojasteh, PhD Candidate, Cornell University
  193. Negin Alimohammadi, PhD student, University of Washington
  194. Neilly Tan, PhD Student, University of Washington
  195. Neophytos Charalambides, PhD candidate, EECS Department, University of Michigan
  196. Nishant Rodrigues, PhD Candidate, University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign
  197. Omid Heravi, UC Berkeley
  198. Orfeas Stefanos Thyfronitis Litos, PhD Student, University of Edinburgh
  199. Panayiotis Smeros, PhD Student, EPFL
  200. Pang Wei Koh, PhD Student, Stanford University
  201. Pashootan Vaezipoor, University of Toronto
  202. Patrick Lin, PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  203. Patrick Naughton, PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  204. Pedram Daee, Aalto University
  205. Pedram Safi, Graduate Student of Computer Science, University of Southern California
  206. Peyman Momeni, Computer Science Graduate Student, University of Waterloo
  207. Pooja Ravi Kulkarni, PhD student at UIUC, UIUC
  208. Psi Vesely, UCSD
  209. Qiaosi Wang, PhD Student, Georgia Institute of Technology
  210. Raiyan Abdul Baten, PhD Student in Engineering, University of Rochester
  211. Ramin Mousavi, PhD candidate, University of Alberta
  212. Ramy Shahin, PhD Student, University of Toronto
  213. Rëza Habibi, PhD Student, University of California, Santa Cruz
  214. Ria Stevens, McGill University
  215. Rina R. Wehbe, PhD Computer Science, UWaterloo
  216. Rob Fitzgerald, PhD Candidate in Computer Science, GAANN Fellow, University of Colorado Denver
  217. Robert Andrews, PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  218. Robert P Gauthier, PhD Student, University of Waterloo
  219. Rolando Garcia, PhD Student, UC Berkeley
  220. Rose Kunkel, Ph.D. student, University of California, San Diego
  221. Roshni Sahoo, Stanford University
  222. Roya Sabbagh Novin, Research assistant, University of Utah
  223. Rucha Ravi Kulkarni, PhD candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  224. Saber Sheybani, PhD candidate in Intelligent Systems Engineering, Indiana University Bloomington
  225. Saeed Rashidi, PhD Student, Georgia Institute of Technology
  226. Saeedreza Shehnepoor, PhD Student, The University of Western Australia
  227. Saeid Amiri, PhD candidate, SUNY Binghamton
  228. Sahand Mozaffari, Research Assistant, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  229. Sam McGuire, UCSD
  230. Samantha Robertson, PhD Student, UC, Berkeley
  231. Samira Abnar, University of Amsterdam
  232. Sarah Pearman, PhD student in Societal Computing, Institute for Software Research, Carnegie Mellon University
  233. Sarah Perou Hermans, Fourth year medical student, Tulane University
  234. Sarah Sterman, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley
  235. Saransh Gupta, PhD Candidate, UC San Diego
  236. Sayyed Ata Naghedifar, Computer Science Student, Sharif University of Technology
  237. sepideh maleki, PhD candidate, The University of Texas at Austin
  238. Seyed Mohammed Sadegh Mahdavi, Student in Computer Engineering, Sharif University of Technology
  239. Shabnam Nazmi, Machine learning research assistant, North Carolina A&T State University
  240. Shaghayegh Esmaeili, Ph.D. Student, University of Florida
  241. Shahriar Shayesteh, M.Sc. student, University of Ottawa
  242. Shahriar Talebi, PhD student, University of Washington
  243. Shawheen Y Naderi, Student
  244. Shayan Hosseini, MSc Student, UBC
  245. Shiva Ketabi, University of Toronto
  246. Soheil Changizi, Computer Science Master Student, University of Manitoba
  247. Sohil Vaidya, Graduate Student of Computer Science, University of Colorado Denver
  248. Sophie Huiberts, PhD Candidate, CWI
  249. Steven Rick, PhD Candidate, UC San Diego
  250. Talia Ringer, PhD Student, University of Washington
  251. Tanvi Bajpai, Student, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  252. Tobby Lie, Student of Computer Science, University of Colorado Denver
  253. Tom Darin, Graduate Student, UCLA
  254. Udayan Tandon, PhD Student, University of California, San Diego
  255. Václav Rozhoň, PhD Student, ETH Zurich
  256. Vahid Mafi, PhD Candidate, IT Manager, Modares University
  257. Vahid shahrivari, SUT
  258. vasilis gavrielatos, PhD student computer science
  259. Victoria Dean, PhD Student, Carnegie Mellon University
  260. Vishvajeet N, PhD candidate, Rutgers University
  261. Weena Naowaprateep, CSEd Ph.D. Candidate, Mahidol University
  262. Yaghoubi, Neuroscience student, PhD student at McGill University
  263. Yasaman Sefidgar, PhD Student, University of Washington
  264. Yasamin Nazari, PhD student, Johns Hopkins University
  265. Yaser Souri, Ph.D. Student, University of Bonn
  266. Yixin Zou, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  267. Yousof Azizi, PhD Candidate & Lecturer, Virginia Tech School of Public & International Affairs
  268. Yuhao Zhang, PhD Student, UC San Diego
  269. Zahra Tarkhani, University of Cambridge
  270. Zaid Qureshi, Research Assistant, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  271. Zeerak Waseem, PhD student, University of Sheffield

– Industry and More:

  1. Aakar Gupta, Research Scientist, Facebook Reality Labs Resarch
  2. Adel Ahanin, Risk Researcher, BAM
  3. Afsaneh Rigot, Researcher, ARTICLE 19 and Harvard
  4. Afshin Oroojlooyjadid, Machine Learning Developer, SAS Institute
  5. Ahmad Beirami, Research Scientist, Facebook AI
  6. Alan Jeffrey, Software Engineer
  7. Alex Hanna, Senior Research Scientist, Google Research
  8. Ali Alkhatib, Director, Center for Applied Data Ethics
  9. Ali Parsai, Research Engineer, PhD Computer Science from UAntwerpen, Belgium, Flanders Make
  10. Alice Yeh, Technical Program Manager
  11. Amanda Stent, NLP Architect, Bloomberg
  12. Amer Diwan, Distinguished engineer, Google
  13. Amin Dahesh, Engineering manager at Facebook
  14. Amin Jorati, Applied Scientist
  15. Amir Abdi, Research Engineer, BorealisAi
  16. Amir H Gholamipour, Senior Firmware Engineer, SpaceX
  17. Amir Hossein Ghamarian, Phd
  18. Amir Kiani, Product Manager, Google Inc.
  19. Amir Maleki, Software Engineer, Ansys Inc
  20. Amirhossein Aleyasen, Research Scientist, Datometry
  21. Amirsina Eskandarifar, Data Scientist, Analytics group
  22. Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Principal research scientist
  23. Andrew Hill, Data Analyst, National Jewish Health
  24. Anoush Najarian, Software Engineering Manager, Chair of AI Track, GHC (Grace Hopper Celebration), NeurIPS Meetup Chair, MathWorks
  25. Aram Hamidi, Data Scientist, Caltech affiliate via JPL
  26. Arash Iranzad, AI team lead, Ciena
  27. Arash Vahdat, Senior Research Scientist, NVIDIA
  28. Armin Salimi, Ph.D., Natural Resources Canada
  29. Arsham Mostaani, Nokia Bell Labs
  30. Arsia Takeh, Director of Data Science, 1health
  31. Ashkan Balouchi, Vice President, Finance
  32. Asif Hussain Shahid, Software engineer
  33. Azadeh Keivani, Co-founder and CEO, Digital Age Academy
  34. Babak Salamat, Staff Software Engineer, Google
  35. Backsun Sim, Software developer, Job seeker
  36. Bahram Fallah, Compliance Manager, IT Global Environmental Compliance
  37. Bahram Rushenas, Solution Architect
  38. Bashir Sadjad, Senior Software Engineer, Google Canada
  39. Behdad Esfahbod, Software Engineer, –
  40. Behjat Siddiquie, Research Scientist, Amazon
  41. Behnam Anjomruz, Software Engineer
  42. Behnam Neyshabur, Staff Research Scientist, Google
  43. Behnaz Edalat, Software Engineer
  44. Ben Carterette, ACM SIGIR Chair, Research Manager, Affiliated Associate Professor, Spotify / University of Delaware
  45. Bijan azodi, IT manager, IT
  46. Boshra Nabaei, Software engineer, User Testing
  47. Brent Miller, Software Engineer
  48. Burak Emir, Alchemist of Happiness, Google
  49. Carlo Curino, Principal Scientist Manager, Microsoft GSL
  50. Charles C Earl, Data Scientist, Automattic.com
  51. Chetan Ganjihal, AI Architect
  52. Christina Calio, Consultant, Code.org
  53. Cyrus Safaie, Director, Research Science
  54. Cyrus Safaie, Director, Research Science, Convoy
  55. Danial Ehyaie, Entrepreneur and university of Michigan Alumni, PhD University of Michigan
  56. Daniel Khashabi, Young Investigator, Allen Institute for AI
  57. David A. Shamma, ACM Distinguished Member, IEEE Senior Member
  58. David M Neto, Senior Staff Software Developer, Google Canada
  59. David Qorashi, Senior Software Engineer
  60. Dawn Sheirzad, Product Manager
  61. Dean Jansen, Executive Director, Participatory Culture Foundation
  62. Deborah Katz, Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University
  63. Dr. Matthias J. Sax, Software Engineer, Confluent Inc.
  64. Dr. Nima Kaviani, Principal Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services
  65. Dustin Frazier, IT Professional
  66. Ebrahim Songhori, Software Engineer, PhD, Google Inc
  67. Ehsan Amid, Computer Science, PhD
  68. Ehsan Behnam, Applied Scientist, Amazon Inc
  69. Ehsan Iranmanesh, Research Scientist, 1QBit
  70. Ehsan Jahangiri, Sr. Research Engineer, Apple Inc.
  71. Ehsan Kazemi, Research software engineer, Google
  72. Ehsan Keramati, Automation Engineer
  73. Ehsan M. Kermani, Applied Scientist, Amazon Web Services
  74. Ehsan Mirsaeedi, Senior Software Engineer
  75. Ehsan Vahedi, Senior Data Scientist, Microsoft
  76. Erfan Sadeqi Azer, PhD of computer science, Indiana University
  77. Etienne Obriot, Technical project manager
  78. Fardin Abdi, Sr. ML Engineer, Pinterest
  79. Fariba Armanfard, Electrical and computer engineer
  80. Farkhan Jamalzadeh, Wireless Network Specialist, Iver Sweden
  81. Fernando Diaz, Research Scientist, Google
  82. Frédéric Dubut, Principal PM Manager, Microsoft
  83. Gary Walker, Client Success Manager
  84. Gelareh Manghebati, Barrister & Solicitor, Memorial University of Newfoundland (alumni), University of Manitoba (alumni)
  85. Hadi Partovi, CEO and co-founder, Code.org
  86. Hadi Zarkoob, Senior Data Scientist, Senior Data Scientist
  87. Hamdan Azhar, Data Scientist
  88. Hamed Alemohammad, Chief Data Scientist, Radiant Earth Foundation, Radiant Earth Foundation
  89. Hamed Noori, CEO at SenseNet Inc., University of British Columbia
  90. Homayun Afrabandpey, Senior scientist, Nokia Tech.
  91. Hossein Hamooni, Research Data Scientist, Facebook
  92. Houman Kamali, Software Engineer, Rivian
  93. Ibrahim Alabdulmohsin, Research Scientist, Google Research
  94. Iman Rahmatizadeh, Engineering Manager, Google
  95. James Armontrout, Psychiatrist, Department of veterans affairs / Stanford affiliate faculty appointment
  96. James Davies, Softer Engineer, Imperial College London
  97. Jared Weakly, SWE/SRE
  98. Jeffrey Mogul, Principal Software Engineer, Google
  99. Jennifer Pierre, User Experience Researcher, Google
  100. Jesse Hall, Software Engineer, Google, LLC
  101. Jill Dimond, PhD, Sassafras Tech Collective
  102. Jill Susan Boon, VP, People
  103. Joanne Ma, Graduate Student, UC Berkeley School of Information
  104. Jofish Kaye, ACM Senior Member
  105. John Tang, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
  106. Jonas Manuel, Software Engineer
  107. Joshua Muskovitz, Software Engineer
  108. Joyojeet Pal, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
  109. Jude Nelson, Research Scientist, Stacks Open Internet Foundation
  110. Karthik Ramakrishnan, Director Alexa AI
  111. Kaveh Shahabi, Software Engineer, Google Inc.
  112. Kevin Dean, Software Developer
  113. Kianoosh Mokhtarian, Senior Software Engineer, Google
  114. Kiko Fernandez-Reyes, Software Engineer, Klarna
  115. Lauren Chambers, Staff Technologist, ACLU of Massachusetts
  116. Leigh Yeh, AI Engineer, Beyond Limits
  117. Mahtab Sabet, Software Engineer, Amazon
  118. Manohar Swaminathan, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
  119. Mariam Asad, PhD, Georgia Tech
  120. Mary L. Gray, Senior Principal Researcher, Professor of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, MacArthur Fellow, Microsoft Research and Indiana University
  121. Masoud Loghmani, Product Manager
  122. Masoud Tavazoei, Software Engineer, Stanford Alumni
  123. Masrour Zoghi, Software Engineer, Google Research
  124. Matias Bonaventura, Computer Science PostDoc, UBA-CONICET
  125. Matt Nobar, Product leader
  126. Matthew Reynolds, Computer Scientist, Industry professional
  127. Meghan Combs, Product Manager
  128. Mehdi Aghagolzadeh, Research scientist
  129. Mehdi Noroozi, Researcher, Bosch Center for AI
  130. Mehran Mohtasham, Engineer, Education/Community College
  131. Mehrdad Farajtabar, Research Scientist, Google DeepMind
  132. Mehrtash Babadi, Associate Director of Machine Learning, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  133. Michael Madaio, Postdoctoral researcher, Microsoft Research
  134. Michael Muller, ACM Distinguished Scientist, (a technology company)
  135. Michael Norrish, Research Scientist, CSIRO, Australia
  136. Mike Fulton, IBM Distinguished Engineer, IBM Canada
  137. Mikhail Jacob, Researcher, Microsoft Research
  138. Milad Naseri, Software Engineer, Google
  139. Mina Sedaghat, Senior researcher, Ericsson research, Senior researcher, Ericsson research
  140. Moein Hosseini, Software Engineer
  141. Mohammad Hossein Bateni, Staff Research Scientist, Google
  142. Mohammad Hossein Sedighi Gilani, Data Engineer
  143. Mohammad Mahdian, Senior Staff Research Scientist, Google Research
  144. Mohammad moghadamfalahi, Head of machine learning and algorithms, Liminal sciences
  145. Mohammad Nick, Software Engineer, Zalando SE
  146. Mohammad Norouzi, Research Scientist, Google
  147. Mohammad Saber Golanbari, System Engineer, Robert Bosch GmbH
  148. Mohammad Soltani, Director of AI, AI R&D devision
  149. Mohammadali Ghodrat, Software Engineer
  150. Mohammadhasan Owlia, Software Engineer, Ezra AI
  151. Mohsen Hejrati, Director of Engineering, Genentech
  152. Momin M. Malik, PhD, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
  153. Mona Sergi, Software Engineer, Google
  154. Muhammad Nabeel, Robotician, EDVON
  155. Muminat Budishcheva, Mgr in Journalism
  156. Nam-phuong Nguyen, Bioinformatic principal scientist, Boundless Bio, INC
  157. Nancy Baym, Sr Principal Research Manager, Microsoft Research
  158. Naser Peiravian, Machine Learning Engineer
  159. Nastaran Bassamzadeh, Data scientist, Amazon
  160. Nicolas Le Roux, Research scientist, Google
  161. Nicole Immorlica, Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
  162. Nishant Subramani, Predoctoral Resident, Intel Labs
  163. Nithya Sambasivan, Staff researcher, Google Research
  164. Oktie Hassanzadeh, Research Scientist, IBM Research
  165. Paige Lowe, Software Engineer, ACM-W NA
  166. Parastoo Geranmayeh, Software Engineer
  167. Parham Pashaei, PhD Candidate. Curriculum Development Lead, Diversifying Talent in Quantum Computing, The University of British Columbia
  168. Parisa Taheri, Product Manager, Microsoft
  169. Parviz Rushenas, Principal engineer
  170. Payam Siyari, Senior Data Scientist, Aurora Innovation, Inc.
  171. Paymon Rokni, Sr. Software Development Manager, Amazon
  172. Pedram, Automation Engineer
  173. Pooya Esfandiar, Software Engineering Manager, UBC CS alumnus
  174. pouriya jahanbakhsh, Software Developer, Software developer
  175. Pratyay Mukherjee, Researcher, Visa Research
  176. Rad Akefirad, Software Engineer
  177. Ram Shankar S Siva Kumar, Principal Program Manager, Microsoft, Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University
  178. Ramis Movassagh, Research Staff Member, IBM Research
  179. Razieh Behjati, Senior Software Engineer, PhD, Google
  180. Reza Arbabi, Director of Software Engineering
  181. Reza Fathzadeh, Software Engineer, Data Analyst
  182. Robert McKeon Aloe Ph.D., Engineering Manager, Apple Engineer
  183. Robert V. Welland, Software Architect, Worked at Commodore, Apple, Microsoft, etc.
  184. Roberto Bifulco, Manager and researcher, NEC Laboratories Europe
  185. Rohini Jayanthi, Data & Applied Scientist, Microsoft
  186. Rohit Kumar, Consultant, VoiceThesis LLC
  187. Roozbeh Ebrahimi, Senior Staff Software Engineer, Google
  188. Rose Kue, Designer, ADP
  189. Roshanak Akram, Data Scientist, Pilot Company
  190. Roya Pakzad, Researcher in Technology and Human Rights, Taraaz
  191. Saeid Ghafouri, Vice President, Sales Operations, Work at Alphawave IP Inc.
  192. Saeid Rezaei Baghbidi, Software Engineer
  193. Saeid Rezaei, Hardware Engineer
  194. Sahand Akbari, Data Scientist, Unity Technologies
  195. Sam Harris, High School Computer Science Teacher, Montclair Kimberley Academy
  196. Sara Ahmadian, senior research scientist, google research
  197. Sasan Tavakkol, Software Engineer, Google Research
  198. Satnam Singh, Software Engineer, Google Research
  199. Seyed Alaie, Research Scientist, Research Scientist
  200. Seyed Hossein Mortazavi, Ph.D in Computer Science, University of Toronto
  201. Seyed Mohammad Hossein Hamidi
  202. Shaban Shakoori, Broker, Professional
  203. Shahab Kamali, Researcher, Google Research
  204. Shahab Tajik, Software Engineer
  205. Shahab Yassemi, Software Engineer, Amazon
  206. Shanthi Sekaran, Author
  207. Shervin Minaee, Machine Learning Lead, Snap Inc
  208. Shirin Sohrabi Araghi, Research Scientist, Research Manager, IBM Research
  209. Shohreh Shaghaghian, Senior Research Scientist, Thomson Reuters Labs
  210. Siavash Khallaghi, Machine Learning Engineer, DarkVision Technologies
  211. Sina Mobasher Moghaddam, Hardware Engineer, PhD, Apple
  212. Skyler Wharton, Software Engineer
  213. Soheil Baharian, Senior Data Scientist, PhD in physics (UIUC), Bank of Canada
  214. Somayeh Khiyabani, Staff Engineer, Qualcomm
  215. Soroosh Yazdani, Software Engineer, Google
  216. Stephanie Chan, Research Scientist, DeepMind
  217. Su Lin Blodgett, Postdoctoral researcher, Microsoft Research
  218. Surush Cyrus, Software Engineer
  219. Tahereh Javaheri, PhD, Boston University, visiting researcher
  220. Tim Prince, Software Engineer
  221. Timnit Gebru, Dr. Researcher
  222. Vahab Mirrokni, Distinguished Scientist, Google Research
  223. Vahid Arbab, Data Scientist, Hulu
  224. Vahid Ettehadi, Machine learning scientist
  225. Vahid Hashemian, Software Engineer
  226. Vahid Hejazi, Senior Scientist
  227. Vasundhara Gautam, Speech Recognition Engineer, Dialpad, Inc.
  228. Victor Zakhary, PhD, Senior Member of technical staff, Oracle
  229. Virginia Grande, PhD candidate, Uppsala University
  230. Wayne W Zachary, PhD, Managing Parter and CEO, Starship Health Technologies LLC
  231. Yasaman Sedaghat, Software Engineer
  232. Yue Feng, Software Engineer
  233. Zahra Nazari, Research Scientist, Spotify
  234. Zahra Shamsi, Software Engineer, Google Research

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https://www.cs.huji.ac.il/item/news/6803

The Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering at the Hebrew University
Congratulations to Prof. Jeffrey Ullman from Stanford University on winning the Turing prize

6/4/21

Congratulations to Prof. Jeffrey Ullman from Stanford University on winning the Turing prize (joint with Alfred Aho)!
Prof. Ullman received this award, often called the Nobel prize of CS, for his work on fundamental algorithms and theory underlying programming language implementation and for synthesizing these results and others in highly influential books, which educated generations of computer scientists.
Prof. Ullman is also a generous benefactor to our department, and his help is instrumental in providing student stipends, and supporting the Data and Computing Center.

Our heartiest Mazal Tov!  

==================================================
https://www.chronicle.com/article/iranian-american-group-calls-on-stanford-to-censure-professor/

Iranian-American Group Calls on Stanford to Censure Professor

By Josh KellerJANUARY 5, 2011

An Iranian-American group has asked Stanford University to censure a professor for what it calls “racially discriminatory and inflammatory” comments to an Iranian student who was asking him about admission to Stanford.

The professor, Jeffrey D. Ullman, wrote in an e-mail to a student at Sharif University in Tehran that he could not help the student gain admission to Stanford. “And even if I were in a position to help, I will not help Iranian students until Iran recognizes and respects Israel as the land of the Jewish people,” Mr. Ullman wrote.

The e-mail continued, “If Iranians want the benefits of Stanford and other institutions in the U.S., they have to respect the values we hold in the U.S., including freedom of religion and respect for human rights.”

The group, the National Iranian American Council, cited the e-mail in a letter to Stanford’s president on Monday. In the letter, the group calls on the university to distance itself from the comments and take disciplinary action against the professor. It also objects to a document about Iran and Israel that Mr. Ullman has posted on his faculty Web site.

“Racial and political discrimination such as this surely cannot be compatible with Stanford University’s values,” wrote the group’s policy director, Jamal Abdi. “Does the university not frown on professors making and communicating arbitrary policy decisions reflecting their own politics—and using university-hosted forums to do so?”

A Stanford spokeswoman said on Wednesday that Mr. Ullman has no involvement in the admissions process and that he does not represent Stanford. “He’s expressing his personal opinion and that’s his prerogative,” said the spokeswoman, Lisa Lapin. “We don’t have anything further to say about it.”

In an interview, Mr. Ullman acknowledged writing the e-mail but called the group’s claims “so freaking ridiculous.” He said he was expressing a political view about the actions of the Iranian government, and that Iranians need to know that “nobody’s going to treat them very kindly if the country behaves the way it does.”

  He said he should have made it clearer in his e-mail that he was expressing his own view, not an official Stanford policy. “But it should be pretty obvious that I’m not a Stanford admissions officer,” he said.===============================================================================
https://web.archive.org/web/20061030080448/http:/infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/pub/iranian.html

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Answers to All Questions Iranian

Every few weeks I get an email from someone claiming to live in Iran. They usually have a Hotmail account or Yahoo mail account; some even managed to get a gmail account. They have a question for me, ranging from technical (“Is it true that all grammars can be put in an unambiguous form?”, “Is there a theory that information can be neither created nor destroyed?”) to the political (“Why did the US shoot down an Iranian airliner/take land from Native Americans/Depose Mossadegh, etc. etc.?”, or “How do I justify ‘Zionist crimes’, etc.?”).

I’m not sure why I get these, or whether other academics get them as well. I have a theory that there is a concerted attempt by some Iranian group to probe for friends in the US or elsewhere. I would be interested to know if others have experienced the same sort of email-writing campaign that I have. Possibly, the Article on Fundamentalism that I wrote is circulated in Iran. One correspondent commented “It is well known that I hate Iranians,” even though the article doesn’t mention Iran explicitly, and I actually have no such feelings. I do believe that the fundamentalist government of Iran is a huge problem, both to its own people and to the world. But the people are just fine, when allowed to participate in a free society.

So in order to save everybody a lot of time, I’m going to write down the answers to representative questions.

Question: Can I get into Stanford?

Answer: Probably not. At least I can’t help you. Admissions for undergraduates are not handled by faculty at Stanford or any US school. For graduate work, a committee of faculty and students selects admittees. The process is honest and fair; no faculty member can or would influence the process. See More on the Subject.

Question: Why did the US shoot down an Iranian airliner?

Answer: Did you know that at the time, Iran was threatening US shipping in the Persian Gulf? Were you told that the airliner was not carrying a transponder to identify it, and had taken off from a military airport? When a country such as Iran takes warlike actions, unfortunately mistakes happen. Had you been in command of the American ship involved, you could not have risked a sneak attack and would have done exactly the same thing.

Question: Why did the US take land from the Native Americans?

Answer: Because that’s the way things happen and always have happened. Technologically more advanced civilizations replace less advanced civilizations. I have a question of my own, which none of my Iranian correspondents was willing or able to answer. About 2500 years ago, there was a great Persian civilization. I have a suspicion that the people of Cyrus, Darius, and the other famous Persian kings were not living in Persia from the time of Homo Habilis. Where did the Persians come from, and whom did they replace? And why didn’t they respect the rights of the weaker civilization that was living on the land that is now Iran?

It is striking that Iranians have no trouble pointing to questionable actions of America and the rest of the free world, yet they give themselves, and Islamic terrorists in general, a free pass for much more heinous crimes. As a start, look at the first act of the fundamentalists in Iran: holding hostage the US diplomatic corps. Contrast that blatant violation of international law and tradition with the way America treated Japanese diplomats after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Diplomats were permitted to return home, as we were obliged in 1941 to do, and as Iran was obliged in 1979 to do. To make the contrast more extreme — the Japanese ambassador had been instructed by his government to present a declaration of war an hour before the Pearl-Harbor attack. But he neglected to do so!

Even more telling is the Iranian ranting over the fact that in the recent conflict between Israel and the Iranian-sponsored Hizbollah militia, Israel accidentally killed some civilians that Hizbollah was using as human shields. Yet at the same time, Iran provided missles whose sole purpose was to kill civilians. I think it is time that Iran looked into its own sense of ethics, and cleaned up its own act before presuming to tell the rest of the world about right and wrong.

Question: Why did the CIA depose Mossadegh in 1953?

Answer: As I understand it, Mossadegh nationalized the oil resources that had been developed by US and other Western oil companies. It is an interesting question whether natural resources should belong to the people who accidentally built homes on top of it, or to the people whose technology made it possible to extract those resources. I suspect that in 1953 the answer was clearly the latter, but as time went on, political philosophy went toward the former. Thus, seeing the events of 1953 through modern eyes, it looks different from what it was in its time. Regardless, if a country wants to import technology, as every developing nation should, it has to acknowledge the rule of law and respect its agreements with the companies that supply the technology. The penalty for not doing so is that the country will not have access to technology, and it appears that Iran is suffering from exactly that problem today.

Question: Why didn’t the US stop the Rwandan genocide (or other similar events)?

Answer: Curiously, Iran and many countries object to the US playing “policeman” for the world. Yet alone among countries, the US sometimes uses its resources to help countries when there is no benefit to us whatsoever. There are examples ranging from the Marshall plan in Europe after WW-II, to Kuwait and Kosovo. Where was Iran? Where is everybody now, when Arabs are killing and raping in Darfur?

Question: What do I think of Zionist crimes (sic)?

Answer: If you are referring to the actions of the state of Israel, I don’t see Israel as acting in a criminal way, given the circumstances. Rather, the criminals are Hamas, Hizbollah, and all the other Islamic terrorist groups that intentionally target innocent civilians rather than welcoming Israel into their midst. They could be having the benefits of a neighbor that is adept at modern, Western technology and is generous enough to share its advantages with friendly neighbors. It is not a crime for Israel, or any other country, to defend itself to the maximum extent possible from those sworn to kill its citizens.

I think that Iranians, from their president on down, could use a history lesson. Here are the relevant facts:

  • Jews have lived in the land that is now Israel for the past 3000 years. However, the Jewish population started to increase in the 1800’s, when Jews bought the land from its owners under Ottoman law. Nothing was stolen, and the influx of Jews was not a result of the Balfour declaration in 1917 or actions of the European powers. In fact, Great Britain acted to keep Jews out of the land of Israel prior to 1948. So when your president rants that the Holocaust was imaginary, tell him that, not only is he wrong, but it doesn’t matter. That is not why Israel exists.
  • Israel was formed by vote of the UN and has all the legitimacy of any other member of the UN. The notion that Arabs were pushed out of the land of Israel is nonsense. There was an exchange of populations similar to what had happened the year before when India and Pakistan were partitioned. In each case, I am sure that people on both sides chose to move because they preferred to be with their coreligionists. It may be that some of the 700,000 Jews who left Arab lands feared for their safety had they stayed, and it may be that some of the 600,000 Arabs who left Israel believed that they would be harmed if they stayed there. However, it is ridiculous to imagine that the motivations were different for these Arabs from what they were for the Moslems who left India for Pakistan (foolishly, it turns out — a secular, democratic state takes care of its people much better than a theocratic state), or the Hindus who left Pakistan, or the Jews who left Arab lands. The bottom line: there is neither precedent for, nor justification for, the “right of return” of Palestinians to the homes they chose to abandon for foolish reasons.
  • Immediately after its creation, Israel was attacked by Arab armies from countries 150 times its size. These Arab armies were crushed, and Arab land was lost, resulting in the “1967 borders.”
  • Although Arabs could have had the 1967 borders any time up to 1967, simply by making peace with Israel, they did not do so. Rather, they kept up terror attacks from wherever they could launch them, and many Israelis were killed by Nobel Laureate Yasser Arafat and his crew. It is important to bear this fact in mind, when you hear apologists for terror saying that it is justified by the fact that Israel won’t return to its 1967 borders. The real reason for the terror is that Islamic fundamentalists cannot accept a non-Moslem state in territory they fantacize belongs to them.
  • After 1967, Arabs attacked again in 1973 and were again beaten back. Over the past 20 years terrorist groups have launched several campaigns against Israel, and have had to be beaten back by attacking where they live. Like the cowards of Hizbollah, they hide behind their own children and their neighbors’ children in order to make it appear that it is the Israelis who are committing crimes. However, if you think about it, there is no other possible response to terrorists who hide among civilians (negotiating with terrorists just guarantees that the more vicious and irresponsible a group behaves, the more power it has to influence events). It is the responsibility of those around them to round them up and control them. If not, one should never blame the victim of terror for fighting back in the only way victims of this “asymmetric warfare” can.

So instead of crying about “Zionist crimes,” I strongly recommend that our Iranian friends look into the crimes of the Islamists among them and the Islamists that Iran sponsors.

Question: Why won’t Israel compromise?

Answer: I never did find out what sort of compromise this questioner had in mind, but the answer is that of course Israel will compromise. In the year 2000, Israel offered to give back 98% of what the Arabs had lost in 1967. However, the compromise should take into account the three generations of hostility that has come from Israel’s neighbors, and the fact that Israel has been victorious in all these actions. The proper comparison is what happened after World Wars I and II (or any other major war, I would imagine). The victor gets to determine the compromise. Look at what happened to Germany. They shrunk after WW-I and again after WW-II. But what remains is a prosperous, proud country. Look what happened to Japan after WW-II. They lost territory too, but came to be a dominant economic power.

I cannot speak for Israel, but I strongly believe that if the Arabs would offer a settlement that gave Israel a little extra land in compensation for the repeated aggressions of Arabs, and if the Islamic community would sincerely agree to drop the idea that there is something wrong with a democratic, non-Moslem state in the Middle East, then I think the rewards would actually flow to the Arab neighbors. Germany and Japan are excellent examples of what could happen. But while Germany and Japan had their own technology base on which to build after WW-II, in the case of Israel and its neighbors, the Israeli technology base would prove an added benefit to the Arabs. One of the great shames of Islamic fundamentalism is that it neglects to develop a technologically capable population. In the modern world, the benefits of “keeping up” are enormous. Israel could help its neighbors catch up with all the third-world countries that are now beginning to grow modern economies. But the choice is with the Moslem world: continue to wallow in self-pity, while patting yourselves on the back for your “piety,” or realize that the world today is not the world of Mohammed, and you need to throw off the yoke of religious extremism and get to work.

Question: Do I think Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons?

Answer: Of course. The proof is that oil-fired power plants are much safer than nuclear plants, as we saw at Chernobl, just to mention the most devastating case. Iran has plenty of oil and does not need to take the risk of developing nuclear power plants.

Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons puts into clear focus the foolishness of the mullahs who rule the country. When the Shah was calling the shots, he spent oil money to send Iran’s best and brightest to the US for a technical education. As soon as the mullahs took over, that all stopped, and Iran has done nothing to build a modern technology-based economy the way so many countries have done with a boost from US education. Unlike many of these countries, which are not blessed with copious oil revenue by the way, Iran has spent its money on incredibly stupid projects. Every Iranian must realize that should they ever build and use a nuclear weapon, the country would be obliterated in the next hour. So nuclear weapons will not enable you to be taken seriously on the world stage; only a strong technology base and an inventive people who contribute solutions to the great problems of the day can do that.

Perhaps worse, what money you are not spending on nuclear-weapons development is being spent equally unwisely. Recall the Chinese proverb about “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach him to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What you are doing is definitely giving out fish. As mentioned above, you are failing to invest in the best available education for your brightest citizens. Worse, look at how you spend your money in Lebanon, and to an extent Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. You hand out charity to let Islamic fundamentalist parties gain supporters, but you never do anything to educate these people or help make them self-sufficient. You give them expensive missles to commit murder. Then, when their nonsense backfires (and even Nasrallah has admitted he made a big mistake), you throw more money at them to clean up the destruction, all the time claiming it is Israel’s fault for defending itself. No; it is your fault for choosing to start trouble with the very money that could have meant a better life for the poor of Iran or — should you choose to donate some of the money — poor people in places like Lebanon.

===================================https://www.acm.org/response-to-letter

Response to the Open Letter from CSForInclusion to the Committee of the ACM A.M. Turing Award and ACM

ACM promotes the exchange of ideas and freedom of thought and expression as central to the aims and goals of ACM. Achieving these goals requires an environment that recognizes the inherent worth of every person and every group. ACM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is explicit in ACM’s Core Values statement, in the efforts of the ACM Diversity and Inclusion Council, and in the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Even with the best of intentions, however, the processes in place may not always guarantee we explicitly consider these goals in every step or action ACM takes. When we become aware of the need to improve processes, we do it. The Statement on the Selection of Jeffrey Ullman for a Turing Award affords such an opportunity by raising two important issues for ACM regarding our commitment to core values and ethical and professional behavior in the ACM awards program. We address these issues below.

  1. Report on the specifics surrounding this nomination, especially the extent of checks and balances that are in place to ensure that the process of awarding the highest distinction in computing is protected against violations of the ACM mission and its core values.

    Response: ACM, the ACM Awards Committee Co-Chairs, and the ACM Turing committee members first became aware of the statements of Jeffrey Ullman when the social media discussion began after the 2020 A. M. Turing Award was announced. As part of the Awards process, ACM routinely checks whether we have received any complaints about award nominees with respect to ACM’s Code of Ethics or other policies. In this case, we determined that no complaints had ever been filed against Jeffrey Ullman. ACM also relied on the submitted nomination package and carefully evaluated the letters provided by the nominator and the endorsers to assess the candidate’s worthiness for an award. No red flags were raised in the nomination package.
  2. Clarity from ACM on establishing compliance with its core values, particularly on D & I standards, as an explicit criterion for receiving this award. If not, transparently state that behaviors that directly damage inclusivity and diversity in the computing field are not relevant in the criteria listed by ACM for this award.

    Response: The Selection Criteria  for the A.M. Turing Award emphasize technical achievement and lasting impact. ACM has already begun to design a process that explicitly takes ACM values into account in all award decisions. We will continue to check into the professional background of award nominees. Recognizing that ACM might not have access to all such information, we will enhance the nomination form beginning with the next ACM awards cycle later this year. Award Nominators and Endorsers will be required to indicate whether they know of any ACM Code of Ethics violations or behavior inconsistent with ACM values, and any positive responses will initiate further examination of the suitability of the candidate for the award. We will publish full details about this process for ACM awards before the next award cycle begins.

====================================================https://web.archive.org/web/20200208113853/http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/niac2.html

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 About this captureIf you are reading my pages with an eye to engaging in the NIAC vendetta, please be advised that I will not read your email, but I will archive it in case I decide later that I need to take legal action or turn the matter over to the police.

Also, please read the document carefully, and do not take Mr. Hojabri’s bizarre interpretation seriously. In particular, I have been accused of “racism” on the basis of my document, which is an absurd conclusion. Rather, as my email mentioned by Hojabri stated, I would (hypothetically) elect not to help a student from Iran gain admission to Stanford ahead of more qualified students, were such a thing possible (which it is not). It is my choice, after all, and my reasons are purely political. I suspect that many NIAC members boycott Israeli products, regardless of whether the manufacturer supports the present Israeli government (and they act in the real world, not my hypothetical world). Are they guilty of racism?

To make Mr. Hojabri’s misreading of my article even more ridiculous, the end of the second paragraph clearly states my admiration for Iranian students I have known at Stanford. Stanford policy, as well as my own ethics, dictates that all Stanford students in my classes or who come in contact with me in any way are treated in a uniform matter. In fact, when I grade my class, I do so from a spreadsheet that omits names, leaving only scores. That protects me from inadvertently downgrading a student for any reason (e.g., they’ve been obnoxious in class), not just their race, gender, or ethnicity.=============================================
https://web.archive.org/web/20200213142924/http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/niac.html

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 About this captureThere is apparently a group on Facebook, the redundantly named “National Iranian-American Council” (NIAC), that has started a vendetta against me. I’m not on Facebook, so I can’t see for certain, but here’s an excerpt from my Wikipedia page as of 5:39PM Tuesday the 5th of January, 2011. There is apparently one of these little wars in cyberspace going on, where part of NIAC’s game is to edit in ridiculous accusations about what I said or believe, so if you view the page, you might get something entirely different. The following was apparently written by a member of a group that endeavors to monitor the activities of NIAC, and I appreciate their support.

In 2011, Ullman has come under fire for making allegedly discriminatory, anti-Iranian remarks through email correspondence and web postings, as was the opinion of the bullying group NIAC (National Iranian American Council).

In one email to an Iranian graduate student, the professor responded to an inquiry about admission to his department saying, “Even if I were in a position to help, I will not help Iranian students until Iran recognizes and respects Israel as the land of the Jewish people.” The professor went on to write, “If Iranians want the benefits of Stanford and other institutions in the US, they have to respect the values we hold in the US.” (See http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/pub/iranian.html)

The professor’s courageous public Stanford website includes a page entitled “Answers to All Questions Iranian,” in which he expresses his political views on questions such as why the US shot down an Iranian airliner in the 1988 or why the CIA deposed Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. The page, written as a series of questions from Iranians with answers from the professor that he receives repeatedly via email, also includes the question, “Can I get into Stanford?” with the honest response, “Probably not. At least I can’t help you. Admissions for undergraduates are not handled by faculty at Stanford or any US school. For graduate work, a committee of faculty and students selects admittees. The process is honest and fair; no faculty member can or would influence the process.”

Iranian Americans, notably Dr. Fredun Hojabri, the former Professor and Academic-Vice Chancellor of Sharif university of Technology, have raised the situation with Stanford in public without discussing this with Ullman first in a bullying campaign. NIAC condemned the allegedly “racially discriminatory and inflammatory public communications” in a letter to Stanford’s president in public. The National Iranian American Council called for Stanford, which is home to a large population of Iranian and Iranian-American students, to clarify the university’s position regarding the remarks and to take disciplinary measures, without first talking to Ullman.

Apparently much of the fuss has centered around the possibility that I was, in the quoted email about “If Iranians want the benefits…,” speaking for Stanford. It is an absurd conclusion, given that I also comment on “all US institutions,” and surely no one believes I speak for the entire academic community. However, I probably should have prefixed the comment with “in my opinion.” Emails are written quickly, and it is incredibly silly for the NIAC people to react this way without even asking what I meant.

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https://web.archive.org/web/20061030075847/http://infolab.stanford.edu/~ullman/pub/fundamentalism.html

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 About this capture

Some Thoughts on the Bombings of Sept. 11

Jeffrey D. Ullman — 10/30/01; later additions

Like everyone, I’ve been quite affected by the attacks apparently perpetrated by fundamentalists on 9/11/01. I’d like to set down a few thoughts, none of which are remarkable or original, but I’ll feel better putting them in print. Feel free to email me with your own point of view on the various subjects covered below. However, be warned that I reserve the right to make your email available on the Web, link to it, and comment upon it.

1. Fundamentalism

Just prior to the millenium, I was polled by a magazine about a number of questions I really couldn’t answer, like what will the world be like in 1000 years? The one question to which I felt I could respond was “What is the greatest danger in the world today?” My answer: Fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism is a belief that the world is not complex, but really simple if you follow the simplistic ideas of the group at hand. Many religions foster a fundamentalist offshoot; it’s not an Islamic thing. In fact, it’s not always a religious thing, and we see fundamentalism in various guises. It is always characterized, as the name implies, by a set of assumptions that are not open to debate and that trump all other concerns. The most insidious of these assumptions is that there is a supreme being who believes and wishes exactly what the fundamentalist group in question believes. You can’t argue with them, you can’t reason with them, and if you disagree with them, they have a “big brother” who will beat you up.

Right now, the Islamic fundamentalists have center stage. But we should never forget that there are other fundamentalist groups out there, such as the Christian fundamentalists in the US or the ultra-orthodox Jewish fundamentalists. And while they differ on their fundamental, nonnegotiable views of the world, they each claim a right to impose their simplistic view on the general population, without the normal constraints, such as respect for life, that apply to people without an imagined mandate from some god. Notice that the anti-abortion fundamentalists share with the perpetrators of the bombings of Sept. 11 a willingness to kill and to bomb, e.g., abortion clinics. Yes, I know that in each case, it is only a small minority of the adherents who kill. But in each case the fundamental assumptions, and the assumed undeniability of those assumptions, are used to justify murder.

In fact, the second most disgusting story of the week of Sept. 11 was Jerry Falwell announcing that the bombings were really a punishment from his god for our tolerance of people or positions he disagrees with, such as feminism or homosexuality. Nice going, Jerry. Thanks for reminding us that the healthy feeling of unity and solidarity among all kinds of Americans doesn’t apply to people who don’t meet your Procrustean standard of permissible behavior.

Even those fundamentalists who do not consider murder an appropriate method of carrying out their god’s wishes commit a crime of a more subtle nature. They limit the options their children have to create their own lives and to choose their own futures. (Thanks to my wife Holly for pointing out what should have been obvious to me.) The Taliban makes sure that women receive no useful education; so do the Jewish ultra-orthodox. Christian fundamentalists are big on “home-schooling,” to make sure their children are not exposed to ideas with which they disagree. To be honest, I am uncertain how one goes about assuring that children have opportunities. There are great dangers in having a state decide the set of ideas to which children need to be exposed. However, I also believe that the only long-term solution to the scourge of fundamentalism is broad educational opportunities and exposure of all children everywhere to the mix of possible ways to view a complex world.

Added 8/2/04: It’s been almost 3 years, and our President has evidently not yet seen the contradiction of fighting Islamic fundamentalism on one hand and leaping into bed with Christian fundamentalists on the other. In addition to muddling the war on terrorism, he has continued to support the Christian-fundamentalist agenda against abortion, gay marriage, and most ludicrously against stem-cell research. His lack of thought and reasoning points up another common property of fundamentalisms: they are frequently based on an interpretation of ancient text written by someone who could not possibly understand modern issues. Moreover, this interpretation is often the work of a modern “thinker” with an ax to grind. Ask yourself realistically: what would Moses have thought of stem-cell research? Did Jesus think that cold callers could enter the kingdom of heaven? What part of a spammer’s anatomy would Mohammed have advised cutting off? The answer, of course, is that none of these guys had any clue about these or other issues that have surfaced since they wrote. Unfortunately, we have in the United States today a leadership that fantacizes answers to these questions based on the writings of people who had no clue about the questions, let alone the answers.

2. Recommended Reading

A few weeks ago, we were cleaning house and a book called Big Trouble by Dave Barry surfaced. Barry’s books are very funny, so I read it. As soon as I finished, I learned that it was about to be released as a movie. But it’s never going to play in theaters, at least not for quite a while. However, I recommend the book highly, even if it does include episodes such as bad guys taking a nuclear weapon through an airport security check by waiting while all the guards converge on a businessman carrying a laptop.

Added 4/12/02: The movie has reemerged, although I have not seen it. I’m willing to bet that they redid it to soft-peddle Barry’s satire of the foolish security guards that concentrate on people that are obviously not the problem.

3. The Palestinians

Will the Palestinians finally forsake terror as a political approach and start building both better lives for themselves and a better relationship with their Israeli neighbors? We should not forget that Israel, a country with about 1.5% of the US population, suffers due to terrorist attacks a proportional World-Trade-Center bombing every 3 months. Somehow the world largely failed to notice or care, or equated random acts against civilians with carefully targeted military action. Suddenly the world comprehends that the Israeli approach to fighting terror is not a defect of character but is the only possible response other than surrender.

Let’s remember that the last attempt to build a peace fell apart when, after being given essentially everything they want short of the dismantling of the Jewish state, the Palestinian side suddenly demanded that millions of their number be allowed to live in Israel itself. A few historical facts and comparisons:

  • The Palestinian refugees fled Israel in 1948 as the result of a war imposed on Israel by six or seven Arab neighbors, with 150 times the population. The Arabs at that time not only failed to drive the Jews out, but they lost ground, and the “refugees” voluntarily fled from the ground they lost. Arabs have chosen to keep these people in camps as a festering sore.
  • At the same time, a roughly equal number of Jews fled from Arab lands to Israel. In contrast, these refugees were welcomed and integrated into the new state. No Arab state has offered any compensation for the property they lost.
  • Additional territory was lost in 1967, when Egypt blockaded the Israeli port of Eilat and Syria bombarded Israel from the Golan Heights, leading to an Israeli response that put an end to both these aggressions.
  • Compare the situation when India and Pakistan were divided. There, 40,000,000 people moved across the border to the side they preferred. All were accommodated on “their” side and not used as hostages by their own people to support territorial claims on the other side.
  • Added 5/11/02: Another interesting comparison is with what happened between Greece and Turkey in 1922. The Greeks suddenly had to resettle 1.5 million people, and did so without using them as hostages for political gain. An old friend has written an Account of the Events as told to him by his Mother, who was one of those relocated. Added 4/2/05: I received an email from Okan Kolak, a student at U. Maryland, who points out that there were also half a million refugees from Greek lands who suddenly had to resettle in Turkey. It was never my intent to suggest that the problem was one-sided. My informant tells me that the Turkish refugees were also “assimilated into the general population over time.” Again, there was no notion of “right of return,” a concept that seems unique to the Palestinians, among all historially known resettlements of refugees.
  • Added 9/16/02: I was reading The Middle East by Bernard Lewis (Simon and Schuster, 1995), and he tells what happened in the early days of the Islamic Jihad. The conquering Arabs took the land all over the Middle East from its rightful owners. They also took the women, and largely bred out of existence the indigenous populations. This is the land that Palestinians now protest so vehemently belongs to them, rather than the people their ancestors took it from.
  • Mr. bin Laden and other pro-Arab polemicists would have you believe that the land of Israel is really “Islamic territory” stolen by the Jews. The fact is that in the mid 19th century, the land was essentially unpopulated desert. Of the people living there, a substantial portion were Jews, as had been the case throughout recorded history with a few brief periods when Jews were evicted by the Babylonians, and then the Romans. In mid 19th century, European Jews, bringing the best agricultural technology of the day bought land from its rightful owners, and proceeded to reforest the land and to create agricultural settlements. These developments brought an influx of Moslems into the land, especially after the famine of 1905. It is mostly the descendants of these immigrants who are portrayed by the anti-Israel forces as the “original inhabitants of the land.” It ain’t so.

So here’s what I hope could happen:

  1. Mr. Arafat gets serious about controlling the criminals in his own country, and prevents them from attacking another. He rearrests the known terrorists whom he let out of jail to further his chosen brand of “warfare.”
  2. He accepts the consequences of two generations of mismanagement of the refugees and of the Arab relationship with Israel, and does not expect more than other states have gotten in similar circumstances.
  3. The quarter of a billion dollars under the control of Mr. bin Laden is identified and turned over to the Palestinians, to start building a new life for these unfortunates. Build a few chip plants. Or how about a few universities that compare to the Israeli schools, to create a population that sustains a prosperous country? And how about big contributions from the Saudis and other oil kingdoms, and from all the Arab countries that allowed the Palestinians to fester in their “refugee camps,” both before and after they fell under Israeli control?

4. Avoid a Two-Front War

I predict that the “war on drugs” is going to get in the way of the war on terrorism. For a simple example, the first time I traveled to Israel, I was surprised when check-in included a search of my bags. It was explained that they were not looking for drugs or import violations, and even if they found such, they would not report it or make note of it. They did, however, demand to search for the sole purposes of security.

For another example: poppies are a principal crop of Afghanistan. If we want the friendship of the typical Afghani — and I hope our leaders realize that we can’t possibly win the war without winning friends — we can’t also try to eradicate a major source of their wealth. We can deal with the problem at the consumption end if we must, but let’s not get confused where our real interests lie. Aside Re DrugsAdded 4/12/02: Well the war in Afghanistan turned out better than I would have expected. The city folks, at least, seemed genuinely happy to be rid of the fundamentalist regime. But wouldn’t you know it — with all the other problems the Karzai government is facing, they have to start arresting the poppy farmers. I suspect US pressure is behind it; Hamid Karzai comes across as a pretty sensible guy. I have an idea. Leave the Afghani farmers alone, let them earn a little hard currency, and start arresting tobacco farmers in North Carolina instead. They sell a substance that is far more deadly, and they export their trouble around the world. (Thanks to Stu Reges for making me see the contradiction between how we treat the tobacco industry and the “drug” industry.)

The new issue is with the obvious need for integrating information sources of all kinds, such as credit-card and bank transactions, phone calls, enrollments in flight schools, purchases of crop-dusting equipment and a million things I can’t think of that, in the hands of a skilled analyst, could pinpoint a terror plot. However, in order to justify this step as a war measure, we need to make sure it is never used to track drug dealers, or develop evidence of infidelity, embezzlement, or any other crime that is not an act of war against this or another country. Apparently the Israelis have managed to keep the two separate, and we can too, if we have the will to do so. Added 5/14/02: It’s as bad as I feared. Dionne Warwick was busted at a security checkpoint for carrying marijuana in a lipstick case (note to self: find out why her “psychic-friends” network didn’t warn her). And a guy carrying grass was caught and claimed (falsely) that he had a knife. So what do our defenders of public safety and morality do? They shut down the terminal for three hours and rescreened everyone. “Procedures,” apparently.

Modern technology has given criminals and terrorists many new and deadly options. Just about the only defensive weapon to come out of the developments of the past 50 years is information technology: our ability to learn electronically what evils are being planned. If we use it wisely, we can keep our personal freedom, yet use information effectively against its enemies.

5. Battle of the Nephews

Added 4/12/02: I heard the following story after writing the original article. It’s hard to know what to make of it, but it is sufficiently weird I think it’s worth telling.

I have a nephew who went to a toney eastern college. He somehow got in with a bad crowd — conservatives who are as foolish for trying to steal our freedom to act as the liberal “political correctness” gang is for trying to control what we are permitted to say or think. Anyway, my Nephew wrote an article for the campus conservative magazine several years ago, advocating the profiling of Arab men at airport security checks.

This article caused a great hue and cry on campus. So great was the righteous indignation that the campus administrators did the only thing a politically correct campus administration could do: they closed down the conservative magazine.

Now here’s the funny part. Who was the leader of the voices raised against my Nephew’s improper thought? Ans.: One of the many nephews of Osama bin Laden.

6. Definition of Terrorism

Added 4/13/02: I received a number of emails arguing that US bombing in Afghanistan, which had the unfortunate effect of sometimes accidentally hitting civilians, or what Israel does to root out terrorists in the Palestinian territories, again sometimes killing civilians among which the terrorists hide, were themselves forms of terrorism. Nope; it ain’t, but the difference is remarkably subtle. Here’s my theory why the killers of 9/11, or the Palestinian suicide/homicide bombers, are different.

First, while it is far from obvious, organized (i.e., nonterrorist) warfare has a peculiar benefit. While our attention gets fixed on the times when nations go to war and on all the stupid devastation that results, we don’t notice the times that the “warfare process” causes a resolution of disputes without bloodshed. That is, there must be far more times when diplomats looked at what the capabilities of the other side were and decided not to go to war, but to resolve the question in the favor of the side that would have won anyway. Curiously, “lesser” species seem to have a better grasp of this idea than we do. It is quite normal for, say, two moose to resolve a dispute by batting horns, and the loser winds up with a headache, instead of dead, as they would if the combat continued to its natural conclusion.

Humans do a certain amount of this demonstrating as well. The USSR was fond of parading its missiles through Moscow, not because everyone loves a parade, but because it reminded other nations of the outcome of attack. The tragedies come when one side does not see the logical outcome of war, which is why making capabilities clear saves lives.

The great flaw of terrorism is that by its nature there can be no posturing, no demonstration of capabilities, no opportunity for two states to consider who could perform the most violent terrorist acts against the other. For example, you may have many suicide/homicide bombers already brainwashed and ready for action. But you can’t parade them through Ramallah. Anybody could dress up carrying real explosives around their waist pretending to be willing to carry out an act of terrorism, but you wouldn’t believe they represented a threat until the threat was carried out.

Thus, while conventional warfare gives the sides an option of reasoning out what the result of war would be, terrorism leaves the combatants with only one option: go at it until one is wiped out. Notice what happened in Israel when the Palestinians demonstrated their misunderstanding of this point. They caused the deaths of many innocent victims, and at the present time they are learning what the only outcome can be: tit-for-tat killings. I wish the Palestinian leaders had been able to think clearly about the inevitable outcome of their choice, and taken the very generous deal that Barak offered them almost two years ago. But I can only grieve for the innocents who never had the opportunity to tell Mr. Arafat not to kill in their name, and who became the victims of the inevitable reprisals caused by terrorism.

7. Report on a Year’s Worth of Comments

Added 9/16/02: I received a number of emails from people who read this article during the first year. Not surprisingly, they were, as far as I can tell, all from Computer Scientists, since no one else would have found it. (Google still lists no links to this document other than from my home page.) The responses generally fell into three categories:

  1. All fundamentalists except my kind of fundamentalist are wrong, so you should change your article to exempt my group.
  2. You are a Zionist pig, and how dare you say all those nasty things about Yasser Arafat et al.
  3. How dare you criticize anti-abortionists.

The first group were typically Jewish ultra-orthodox. For example, one said of my comments that fundamentalists share a common disrespect for the lives of those who disagree with them: “you can’t find any quote or action of any ultra-orthodox person ever suggesting that anybody’s life should be taken in different circumstances than (sic.) the circumstances in which secular individuals would generally justify it.” Well it is true that the Islamic fundamentalists are in a class by themselves in this matter, but I recall living in Jerusalem in 1984, when the ultra-orthodox were throwing rocks through the windshields of cars that drove on the sabbath. They didn’t appear to concern themselves whether they caused an accident that killed the driver, or perhaps some innocent child.

In the second category, the following remark, edited only to correct grammar and spelling, stands out for its subtlety: “if any one believes in what you said, I will call him the most arrogant idiot ignorant Zionist extremist, and racist I have ever seen.” The gentleman was at least polite enough to allow me the “out” of admitting that I didn’t really mean anything I said in this article. This same fellow admonished me to (again, grammar and spelling edited) “Stop using your university resources to impose your political opinions because it is against the constitution to do so.” Apparently this fellow was in the US for some time and was teaching a course at a university, but a few basic concepts of how a democracy works had eluded him.

My favorite of the third category was a fellow who tried to resurrect the old argument that I think was due to Pascal (who when he wasn’t busy inventing programming languages, tried to prove the existence of God). It says basically, that if you follow what he perceives as God’s law — in this case, outlawing abortion — then your downside is limited: a few women have to deal with children they don’t want (his view, not mine). But if you flout God’s law, then the risk is infinite. In Pascal’s terms it was eternal damnation, while in the terms of my correspondent, it was the loss of millions of the souls of fetuses. The fallacy in this sort of argument is that it can apply to absolutely any idea. If God turns out to be a giant chicken, then I would impair my immortal soul to eat at KFC. Are you willing to risk it? As always, its people with these unalterable and undebatable ideas that want you to consider their theology as special and unique.

And curiously, no one was willing to put their arguments in a document that I could link to, although several wanted me to add their thoughts to my own document, which I ain’t gonna do.

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

https://www.cs.bgu.ac.il/~dolev/scharf.html

October 2006

Prof. Jeffrey and Holly Ullman,
decided to support our Computer Science Department

Professor Jeffrey (Stanford University, CA) and Holly Ullman,
in consultation with Professor Shlomi Dolev (BGU),
recently established the Martha and Solomon Scharf Prize
for Developing Excellence in Computer, Communications and
Information Sciences, supporting excellent students.
In addition they will support research activity in the computer science disciplines.

Israeli Academics Sign Petition Calling for the Boycott of Israel

03.06.21

Editorial Note

A new petition by international scholars deserves attention. It states that “In the classroom and on campus, we commit to Pressuring our academic institutions and organizations to respect the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel by instating measures that remove complicity and partnership with military, academic, and legal institutions involved in entrenching Israel’s policies.”

The scholars who signed this petition affirm that the Palestinian struggle is an “indigenous liberation movement” that confronts a “settler colonial state” that enacts “policies of apartheid” with a “territorial theft” and “the racial supremacy of Jewish-Zionist nationals.”  This petition argues that Israel is once again “conducting a large-scale aerial bombing campaign against the fourteen-year besieged Gaza Strip, killing scores of Palestinians and making thousands more homeless.”  Any talks about the Hamas rockets reflect the “thorough dehumanization of Palestinians and the abject disregard for Israeli military aggression.”  The scholars promise to “Support community efforts and legislation to pressure our governments to end funding Israeli military aggression.”

The petition states that, since Palestinian scholars work “under the threat of settler colonial erasure and imposition of exile, it is understood that their ideas and experiences are inextricably bound to the intellectual project and tradition that is Palestinian studies.” However, “research and writing are not enough,” having only “Scholarship without action normalizes the status quo and reinforces Israel’s impunity.” Critical theory must be backed with deeds. Therefore, they “affirm that it is no longer acceptable to conduct research in Palestine or on Palestinians without a clear component of political commitment…It is no longer acceptable to speak over Palestinians, or publish without citation of Palestinian scholars.”  

Among the hundreds of signatories are some renowned leaders of the anti-Israel front. They include Noura Erakat; Richard Falk; Haim Bresheeth-Zabner; Moshe Machover; David Lloyd; David Palumbo-Liu; Mark LeVine; Nick Riemer; Ilana Feldman; Adi M. Ophir; Ariella Aisha Azoulay; Beshara Doumani; Ilan Pappe; Nahla Abdo; Ophira Gamliel; Yael Politi; Noa Shaindlinger.

The Israeli signatories from Israeli institutions are Noga Wolff, The College of Management Academic Studies; Ilana Hairston, Tel Hai Academic College; Lama Midlej, Tel Aviv University; Nadeem Karkabi, University of Haifa; Maha El-Taji Daghash, University of Haifa. 

The petition was widely circulated. It reached Jadaliyya, a journal published by the Arab Studies Institute, based in Washington DC and Beirut. It is a non-profit organization that “produces knowledge on matters related to the Arab world and its relations.”

In Ireland, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union and the Trinity College Dublin BDS campaign group have called their academics to sign this pledge. “A Google Form where staff members can sign the pledge has been sent to all heads of Trinity’s schools,” as reported by the University Times in Ireland. In the US, Newsweek reported that “Hundreds of Princeton Faculty, Students Sign Letter Opposing Israel’s ‘Jewish Supremacy.'”

Surprisingly, however, this petition has even reached the National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. Their CHCI-Global Humanities Institute on Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context has published this call on their website. This institute is dealing mainly with the international migrations that changed contemporary 21st-century societies, producing cases of massive displaced and precarious lives that impacted local communities.

Once again, the pro-Palestinian activists show their profound bias.  They refuse to acknowledge that Israel has the right to respond, as per international war conventions, to the barrage of missiles that Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched from Gaza. Equally important, the petition advocates for Palestinian supremacy.

The Israeli academics who signed the petition raise another issue. Advocating for BDS is illegal in Israel since the Knesset passed the Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott, in 2011. Israeli academics are openly involved with BDS without any reaction from the authorities.  Like any other breach of law, their action deserves scrutiny.   

https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/42753

Open Letter and Call to Action – Palestine and Praxis: Scholars for Palestinian FreedomBy : Jadaliyya Reports

This is an open call for action issued by the Palestine and Praxis organization. Sign in solidarity here. As scholars, we affirm the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous liberation movement confronting a settler colonial state. The pitched battle in Sheikh Jarrah is the most recent flashpoint in the ongoing Nakba that is the Palestinian condition. Israel has expanded and entrenched its settler sovereignty through warfare, expulsion, tenuous residency rights, and discriminatory planning policies. The ostensible peace process has perpetuated its land grabs and violent displacement under the fictions of temporality and military necessity. Together these policies constitute apartheid, bolstered by a brute force that enshrines territorial theft and the racial supremacy of Jewish-Zionist nationals. And now, as has been the case for over a century, Palestinians continue to resist their removal and erasure.

Palestinian resistance to this eliminatory violence in Sheikh Jarrah and the raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque have catalyzed protests across a violently separated landscape. Palestinians in Lydd, Nazareth, Acre, Haifa and elsewhere have raised Palestinian flags in mass protest affirming the national and singular character of the Palestinian people and their collective call for liberation. Israel is once again conducting a large-scale aerial bombing campaign against the fourteen-year besieged Gaza Strip, killing scores of Palestinians and making thousands more homeless. 

Meanwhile, in the United States, Palestinian death is treated as a byproduct of Israeli vulnerability.  The attempts to transform the conversation on Israeli state violence to a series of stale talking points about Hamas rockets reflect the thorough dehumanization of Palestinians and the abject disregard for Israeli military aggression. For decades, Palestinians have been subjects of academic research that scholars use to understand the functions of settler colonial state power. Yet in moments of crisis, we are humbly reminded that research and writing are not enough. 

As Palestinian scholars write under the threat of settler colonial erasure and imposition of exile, it is understood that their ideas and experiences are inextricably bound to the intellectual project and tradition that is Palestinian studies. Living within a political context that challenges their very existence, it is imperative that we not enact their replacement and erasure within our own scholarship, as Palestinians are barred from the academy. Approaching Palestine as a field of knowledge, rather than a case study or site of theoretical extraction, demands engaging with the intellectual labor of its people as a genealogy of subjugated knowledge in praxis. Resisting their erasure from the historical record requires a citational practice that both names Palestinians as intellectual subjects and challenges the very intellectual discourse that relegates them to the margins.

We recognize our role and responsibility as scholars to theorize, read, and write on the very issues unfolding in Palestine and among all oppressed nations today. Scholarship without action normalizes the status quo and reinforces Israel’s impunity. 

Scholarship must also be ethical by centering decolonization and raising the voices of Palestinian scholars, as well as other interlocutors, so that they remain sources of authority and not merely objects of study. We believe that the critical theory we generate in our literature and in our classrooms must be backed in deed. Therefore, we affirm that it is no longer acceptable to conduct research in Palestine or on Palestinians without a clear component of political commitment. It is no longer acceptable to study one fragment of Palestine, and claim knowledge of the whole. It is no longer acceptable to speak over Palestinians, or publish without citation of Palestinians scholars. Simply put, it is no longer acceptable to treat Palestine as a playground for intellectual curiosity while its fragmented nation continues to struggle for liberation. 

Therefore, we affirm our commitment to the following actions, and we call on our colleagues to join us in our affirmation of the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people and foundational principles of academic integrity. 

  • In the classroom and on campus, we commit to 
    • Pressuring our academic institutions and organizations to respect the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel by instating measures that remove complicity and partnership with military, academic, and legal institutions involved in entrenching Israel’s policies. 
    • Supporting student activism on campus, including, but not limited to sponsoring joint events and holding our universities’ accountable for violations of academic freedom. 
    • Highlighting Palestinian scholarship on Palestine in syllabi, our writing, and through invitation of  Palestinian scholars and community members to speak at departmental and university events. 
    • Extending the above approach to any and all indigenous scholars within the university, and any Indigenous communities within the vicinity.
    • Centering Indigenous analyses in teaching and drawing links to intersectional oppression and transnational liberation movements. 
  • In our research, we will actively 
    • Include Palestine as a space and place worthy of substantive and historical integration into critical theory, not only as a case in a list of colonial examples. 
    • Work to engage methods which highlight and elevate the voices and experiences of the places and moments we study over our own positions. 
  • In places where we reside, we will 
    • Support community efforts and legislation to pressure our governments to end funding Israeli military aggression.

===============================================
National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan     

https://ghi2020.web.nctu.edu.tw/palestine-praxis-open-call-and-letter-to-action/
CHCI-GLOBAL HUMANITIES INSTITUTE 2020-2021
Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context

PALESTINE & PRAXIS – Open Call and Letter to Action
2021 年 5 月 24 日 by 0589709 0589709zz1

==============================================
https://palestineandpraxis.weebly.com/

Open Letter and Call to Action
Palestine and Praxis: Open Letter and Call to Action

PALESTINE & PRAXIS

SCHOLARS FOR PALESTINIAN FREEDOM

As scholars, we affirm the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous liberation movement confronting a settler colonial state. The pitched battle in Sheikh Jarrah is the most recent flashpoint in the ongoing Nakba that is the Palestinian condition. Israel has expanded and entrenched its settler sovereignty through warfare, expulsion, tenuous residency rights, and discriminatory planning policies. The ostensible peace process has perpetuated its land grabs and violent displacement under the fictions of temporality and military necessity. Together these policies constitute apartheid, bolstered by a brute force that enshrines territorial theft and the racial supremacy of Jewish-Zionist nationals. And now, as has been the case for over a century, Palestinians continue to resist their removal and erasure.

Palestinian resistance to this eliminatory violence in Sheikh Jarrah and the raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque have catalyzed protests across a violently separated landscape. Palestinians in Lydd, Nazareth, Acre, Haifa and elsewhere have raised Palestinian flags in mass protest affirming the national and singular character of the Palestinian people and their collective call for liberation. Israel is once again conducting a large-scale aerial bombing campaign against the fourteen-year besieged Gaza Strip, killing scores of Palestinians and making thousands more homeless.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Palestinian death is treated as a byproduct of Israeli vulnerability.  The attempts to transform the conversation on Israeli state violence to a series of stale talking points about Hamas rockets reflect the thorough dehumanization of Palestinians and the abject disregard for Israeli military aggression. For decades, Palestinians have been subjects of academic research that scholars use to understand the functions of settler colonial state power. Yet in moments of crisis, we are humbly reminded that research and writing are not enough.

As Palestinian scholars write under the threat of settler colonial erasure and imposition of exile, it is understood that their ideas and experiences are inextricably bound to the intellectual project and tradition that is Palestinian studies. Living within a political context that challenges their very existence, it is imperative that we not enact their replacement and erasure within our own scholarship, as Palestinians are barred from the academy. Approaching Palestine as a field of knowledge, rather than a case study or site of theoretical extraction, demands engaging with the intellectual labor of its people as a genealogy of subjugated knowledge in praxis. Resisting their erasure from the historical record requires a citational practice that both names Palestinians as intellectual subjects and challenges the very intellectual discourse that relegates them to the margins.

We recognize our role and responsibility as scholars to theorize, read, and write on the very issues unfolding in Palestine and among all oppressed nations today. Scholarship without action normalizes the status quo and reinforces Israel’s impunity.

Scholarship must also be ethical by centering decolonization and raising the voices of Palestinian scholars, as well as other interlocutors, so that they remain sources of authority and not merely objects of study. We believe that the critical theory we generate in our literature and in our classrooms must be backed in deed. Therefore, we affirm that it is no longer acceptable to conduct research in Palestine or on Palestinians without a clear component of political commitment. It is no longer acceptable to study one fragment of Palestine, and claim knowledge of the whole. It is no longer acceptable to speak over Palestinians, or publish without citation of Palestinians scholars. Simply put, it is no longer acceptable to treat Palestine as a playground for intellectual curiosity while its fragmented nation continues to struggle for liberation.

Therefore, we affirm our commitment to the following actions, and we call on our colleagues to join us in our affirmation of the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people and foundational principles of academic integrity.

In the classroom and on campus, we commit to

Pressuring our academic institutions and organizations to respect the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel by instating measures that remove complicity and partnership with military, academic, and legal institutions involved in entrenching Israel’s policies.
Supporting student activism on campus, including, but not limited to sponsoring joint events and holding our universities’ accountable for violations of academic freedom.
Highlighting Palestinian scholarship on Palestine in syllabi, our writing, and through invitation of  Palestinian scholars and community members to speak at departmental and university events.
Extending the above approach to any and all indigenous scholars within the university, and any Indigenous communities within the vicinity.
Centering Indigenous analyses in teaching and drawing links to intersectional oppression and transnational liberation movements.

In our research, we will actively

Include Palestine as a space and place worthy of substantive and historical integration into critical theory, not only as a case in a list of colonial examples.
Work to engage methods which highlight and elevate the voices and experiences of the places and moments we study over our own positions.

In places where we reside, we will

Support community efforts and legislation to pressure our governments to end funding Israeli military aggression.

Signatories Affiliation/Institution Department   Noura Erakat Rutgers University Africana Studies Sherene Seikaly University of California, Santa Barbara History Nour Joudah University of California, Los Angeles Geography Randa M. Wahbe Harvard University Anthropology Tareq Radi New York University American Studies Mezna Qato University of Cambridge History Dina Omar Yale University Anthropology Samer Anabtawi George Washington University Political Science Lana Tatour University of South Wales School of Social Sciences Basma Hajir University of Cambridge Faculty of Education Samee Sulaiman Brown University Anthropology Rahim Kurwa University of Illinois, Chicago Criminology, Law, and Justice Robin D.G. Kelley UCLA History J. Kēhaulani Kauanui Wesleyan University American Studies and Anthropology Tamar Ghabin New York University American Studies Hesham Sallam Stanford University Omar Jabary Salamanca Free University of Brussels (ULB) Political Science Lisa Hajjar University of California – Santa Barbara Sociology Maya Mikdashi Rutgers University Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Nasser Abourahme New York University Paola Rivetti Dublin City University Law and Government Isis Nusair Denison University Women’s and Gender Studies & International Studies Samia Errazzouki University of California, Davis History Rosie Bsheer Harvard University History Abdel Razzaq Takriti University of Houston History Alex Winder Brown University Middle East Studies Dean Itsuji Saranillio New York University Social and Cultural Analysis Sara Awartani Harvard University Charles Warren Center Ebony Coletu Pennsylvania State University African American Studies Marwa Daoudy Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies C. Māhealani Ahia University of Hawai’i Mānoa English Kahala Johnson University of Hawai’i Mānoa Political Science Fida Adely Georgetown University Arab Studies, School of Foreign Service George Bisharat UC Hastings College of the Law Law Anthony Alessandrini City University of New York English & Middle Eastern Studies Gina Athena Ulysse University of California, Santa Cruz Feminist Studies Marwa Daoudy Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies Francesca Biancani Bologna University Dept of Political and Social Sciences Susan Slyomovics University of California, Los Angeles Anthropology Jemima Pierre UCLA African American Studies & Anthropology Sa’ed Atshan Swarthmore College Peace and Conflict Studies Anny Gaul University of Maryland Arabic Studies Cynthia Franklin U. of Hawai’i English Miriam R Lowi The College of New Jersey Political Science Adel Iskandar Simon Fraser University School of Communication Jenny Kelly University of California, Santa Cruz Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Andrew Ross New York University Social and Cultural Analysis Hadeel Assali Columbia University Anthropology Nada Moumtaz University of Toronto Study of Religion Thuy Linh Nguyễn Tu New York University SCA Aisha Mershani Gettysburg College Interdisciplinary Studies David Kanbergs New York University Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Maryam Griffin University of Washington Bothell School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Gina Velasco Gettysburg College Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Simone Kolysb Hood College Sociology Jennifer Mogannam University of California, Davis Omnia El Shakry University of California, Davis History Stacy D Fahrenthold University of California Davis History Maritza Geronimo University of California, Los Angeles Geography Loubna Qutami UCLA Asian American Studies Kimberly Miranda UCLA Chicana/o and Central American Studies Hanna Alshaikh Harvard University History/Center for Middle Eastern Studies John Smolenski University of California, Davis History Sherine Hamdy University of California, Irvine Anthropology Bayan Abusneineh University of California, San Diego Ethnic Studies Marya Hannun Georgetown University Arabic and Islamic Studies Esmat Elhalaby UC Davis History Samer Alatout University of Wisconsin, Madison Community and Environmental Sociology Kristian E Vasquez UC Santa Barbara Department of Chican@ Studies Ben Weinger UCLA Geography Candace Fujikane University of Hawai’i English Joy L Enomoto University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Pacific Islands Studies Zakia Salime Rutgers University Women’s Studies Rosalie Rubio George Washington University Political Science Sarah Ihmoud The College of the Holy Cross Sociology and Anthropology Osama Tanous Emory University Public Health Anjali Nath UC Davis Stephen Sheehi William & Mary Decolonizing Humanities Project Qais Assali Vanderbilt University Lara Sheehi George Washington University Clinical Psychology Lieba Faier University of California, Los Angeles Geography Michael Taussig Columbia University Anthropology Osama Abi-Mershed Georgetown University History Rochelle Davis Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies Seleeke Flingai Vera Institute of Justice Jeff Jacobs Columbia University Political Science Dina Al-Kassim University of British Columbia Institute for Social Justice Sunaina Maira UC Davis Asian American Studies Adrien Zakar Stanford University History Aamer Ibraheem Columbia University Anthropology Keith Feldman UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Adam Moore UCLA Geography Charles Hirschkind UC Berkeley Anthropology Sima Shakhsari UMN GWSS Ruba Salih SOAS, University  of London Anthropology and Sociology Ernest Tjia The Pennsylvania State University English/Literary and Cultural Studies Noura Alkhalili Lund University Human Ecology/ Human Geography Rami Salameh Birzeit University Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies Nadeem Karkabi University of Haifa Anthropology Ziad Abu-Rish Bard College Human Rights and the Arts Adam Hanieh University of Exeter Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies Hana Sleiman University of Cambridge History Nesreen Hussein Middlesex University, London Performing Arts Laura Adwan Bethlehem University Department of Humanities Chrystel Oloukoi Harvard University Black Studies / Anthropology Bill V. 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Relations John Michael O’Brien University of Sydney, Australia Work and Organisational Studies Zeynep Kevser Şerefoğlu Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf Ünv Türkish Literatüre Harris Kornstein NYU Media, Culture & Communication Mina Baginova Charles University Prague Faculty of Social Sciences Nayera Soliman Freie Universitat Berlin Political Sciences Omar Elkharouf University of Sydney Government & International Relations Rhys Machold University of Glasgow Politics and International Relations Gabriela Saldanha University of Birmingham Translation 3 Anisa Hosseinnezhad Temple University Film and media arts Pedro Zubieta Funes Bolivian Catholic University Political Economy Emil Hammar Royal Academy of Fine Arts Visual Design Ross Frank UC San Diego Ethnic Studies Roel Frakking KITLV Leiden History Shana Almeida Ryerson University School of Professional Communication Asma Abbas Bard College at Simon’s Rock Politics and Philosophy Yasmeen Narayan Birkbeck College, University of London 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of Johannesburg Graduate School of Architecture Helena Lindholm University of Gothenburg School of Global Studies Yusuf Dasdemir University of Jyväskylä Philosophy Khalid Wasim Hasan Central University of Kashmir School of Social Sciences Katja Krebs University of Bristol Theatre Khaled Mattawa University of Michigan English Language and Literature Jeremy Pilcher NYU London Law Rhon Teruelle Purdue University Northwest Department of Communication and Creative Arts Nupur Asher Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi Linguistics Nadine El-Enany Birkbeck College, University of London Law Milli Lake LSE International Relations Smarika Lulz Humboldt University Berlin Legal Studies Andreas Bjorklund University of Oxford Anthropology Cristiana Strava Leiden University Anthropology, Institute for Area Studies Francesco Saverio Leopardi Ca’ Foscari University of Venice Department of Asian and North Africa Studies V’cenza Cirefice National University of Ireland, Galway Geography Tom Arnold-Forster 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English Literatures Tanya Serisier Birkbeck College, University of London Criminology Sorcha Thomson Roskilde University International Studies Craig Larkin King’s College London Middle East Politics Shireen Abu-Eid University of Exeter Social Sciences and International Studies Khaled Albateni Kuwait University History/ American history Okky Madasari National University of Singapore Department of Malay Studies Elizabeth Boyle Maynooth University Celtic Studies Helen Davey SOAS, University of London Anthropology and Sociology Dudi Iskandar Budi Luhur University Communication Science Rahul Rao SOAS University of London Department of Politics and International Studies Alejandro De Coss Corzo University of Bath Sociology Christopher Iacovetti University of Chicago Religion and Literature (PhD Student) Mai Taha Goldsmiths, University of London Law Noura Kamal Institute for Social Anthropology/ÖAW Social Anthropology Muhammad Muhdi Attaufiq Universitas Negeri Manado Architecture Yusdiandra Alfarishy Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University Faculty of Sharia and Law/Ilmu Syari’ah Taratia Panggayuh Karahayon Airlangga University Robotics and Artificial intelligence Sahar Ghumkhor University of Melbourne School of Social and Political Sciences Chenchen Zhang Queen’s University Belfast Politics and International Relations Meera Tiwari University of  East London Global Development, School of Education and Communication Pebri Ernanda University of Lambung Mangkurat Magister of Development Rauhatul Farhani Sebelas Maret University English Department Thomas van der Merwe University of Cape Town Law Elizabeth Elliott University of Aberdeen English Dede Aji Mardani STAI Tasikmalaya Islamic Economie Lib Taylor Reading University, UK Film, Theatre & TV/Theatre Davide Bertelli VID Specialized University Centre for Migration and Global Studies Mücahid Keskinoğlu Ibn Haldun University Political Science and International Relations Tania Saeed Lahore University of Management Sciences Sociology ElSayed Mahmoud ElSehamy University of Manchester Socail Anthropology Muhyidin Abd Gandi Bana UIN Dakwah Faculty Elian Weizman London South Bank University Division of Social Sciences, School of Law and Social Sciences V Vroon University of Amsterdam Anthropology Sunny Singh London Metropolitan University Creative Writing and English Literature Chris Hebdon Yale University Environmental Anthropology Ayang Utriza Yakin UCLouvain Belgium & Sciences-Po Bordeaux France RSCS Yael Politi Technische Universität Dresden BCUBE center for molecular bioengineering Adam Haupt University of Cape Town  (South Africa) Centre for Film & Media Studies Katie Stone Birkbeck College, University of London Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing Seamus Campbell Ulster University School of Law Philippa Lovatt University of St Andrews Film Studies Katie Natanel University of Exeter Institute of Arab & Islamic Studies Polly Pallister-Wilkins University of Amsterdam Politics Irene Sotiropoulou University of Hull Energy & Environment Institute Kirsty Sedgman University of Bristol Department of Theatre Rizal Yaya Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta Accounting Carlota McAllister York University Anthropology Anye Nyamnjoh University of Cambridge Politics and International Studies Laura Elisabete Figueiredo Brito Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra Post-colonialism and global citizenship Kirsty Sedgman University of Bristol Theatre Anthony Leaker University of Brighton Humanities Aya Nassar Durham University Geography Suhaib Ahmad Jamia Millia Islamia MBA David Mond University of Warwick Mathematics Simon Dawes University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines IECI (Cultural and International Studies) Dadi Hidayat Maskar Sahid University Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Food Technology & Health John Munro University of Birmingham History Kerem Nisancioglu SOAS, University of London Politics and International Studies Freddy Foks University of Cambridge History Hani Abo-Leyah University of Dundee School of Medicine Fatima Khan Manchester Metropolitan University Sociology Ana Louback Lopes Universidade de Coimbra Centro de Estudos Sociais Ophira Gamliel University of Glasgow Religious Studies Yunie Nurhayati Rahmat Institut Teknologi Bandung Urban and Regional Planning Icha Farihah Deniyati Faratisha Universtas Brawijaya Medicine Kristen D. Scott Adams State University English Professor Amreen Shaikh Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Goa Computer Science Ayham Dalal Vassar College Urban Studies Tirna Chatterjee Jawaharlal Nehru University School of Arts and Aesthetics Esma Nur Topcu Marmara University Public Law Muhammad Yousuf University of California San Diego Ethnic Studies Amira Abdelhamid University of Sussex International Relations Jan Hoogland Radboud University Middle East Studies Dilip M Menon University of Witwatersrand Centre for Indian Studies in Africa Rahma Muhammad Mian Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan Social Science and Liberal Arts Yousra Rahmouni Elidrissi Utrecht School of Governance/Utrecht University Law, economics and Governance/Organizations Studies Emma Sheppard Coventry University Sociology Carolina Alves Girton College, University of Cambridge Economics Lama Midlej Tel Aviv University English Literature and American Studies/Education Alexandra Campbell University of Glasgow English Literature Magnus Skytterholm Egan UiT – The Arctic University of Norway Philosophy Parvathi Menon Erik Castren Institute of International Law Faculty of Law Naelati Tubastuvi Universitas Muhammadiyah Purwokerto Management Dena Qaddumi University of Cambridge Architecture Yazan Badran Vrije Universiteit Brussel Communication Studies Muhammad Taufiq Thahir Community College of Manufacturing Industry, Bantaeng Chemical Analysis Ishtiaque Ahmed Levin Jawaharlal Nehru University Centre for the Study of Social Systems Adi ilcham Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Yogyakarta Chemical Engineering Anastasia Murney University of New South Wales Art History & Theory Zikra Fadilla Universitas Indonesia Magister Management Mike Cushman LSE (rtd) Management Subir Sinha SOAS, London Development Studies Michael Pierse Queen’s University Belfast School of Arts, English and Languages Kjersti G. 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Departamento de Lingüística Abdalaziz Bahgat Cairo University Urban Design Ruth Fletcher Queen Mary University of London Law Leia John Union Theological Seminary Theology and Social Ethics Il’ia Karagulin Yale University Slavic Languages & Literature Nick Thoburn University of Manchester Sociology Mahmoud Hosny Roshdy University of Southern California Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture Owen Holland University College London Dept. of English Literature Paola Baez-Perez University of Maryland Library Information Science Rebecca Glade Columbia University Department of History Majd Abu Zaghlan Jordan University Social Science Rachel Jekanowski Memorial University English Olivier Germain Université du Québec à Montréal Management Evelyn Alsultany University of Southern California American Studies and Ethnicity Rebecca Tarlau Pennsylvania State University Education Saffo Papantonopoulou University of Arizona Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies Duaa Al Maani Applied Science University Architecture Molly Seremet Mary Baldwin University Theatre Idiris Abdi University of Toronto Social Sciences Amira Benali Copenhagen Business School Management Saajidha Sader University of KwaZulu-Natal Education Mazen Masri City, University of London The City Law School Priya Kandaswamy Mills College Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Eslam Ashraf Alameldin Menofia University Computer Science Jeff Fort Univesity of California, Davis French Lindsay Thomas University of Miami English Rebecca Abby Whiting University of Glasgow History Hussein Mohsen Pharos University in Alexandria Applied Medical Sciences Robyn Taylor-Neu UC Berkeley Anthropology Almudena Cabezas Universidad Complutense de Madrid Political Geography/ Political Sciences Elena M.Ragragio University of the Philippines Manila Biology Sara Musaifer University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Comparative and International Development Education (CIDE) Ica Sadagat California Insitute of the Arts Creative Writing Basma Ahmed Alexandria University Egypt Computer Engineering Hong-An Truong University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Department of Art & Art History Lies Van Nieuwenhove Ghent University Veterinary Science Samer Barakat Texas State University Accounting Allison Mickel Lehigh University Sociology & Anthropology Itxaso Domínguez De Olazábal Universidad Carlos III de Madrid International Relations Claudia Arteaga Scripps College Spanish Yahya El Sayed University of Arizona Middle Eastern and North African Studies Youssef Ramez Boktor The Graduate Center – CUNY Anthropology Melissa Scott University of California, Berkeley Ethnomusicology Juliana Canedo TU-Berlin Habitat Unit Mònica Rius-Piniés Universitat de Barcelona Literature & Gender Studies Shilpi Srivastava Institute of Development Studies, UK Resource Politics and Environmental Change Hosna Shewly Fulda University of Applied Sciences Social and Cultural Sciences Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins Bard College Anthropology Sahar D. Sattarzadeh DePauw University Education Studies Roger A. Sneed Furman University Religion Nerisa Kawira Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Construction Management Heather Hughes University of Pennsylvania Libraries Hosam Elkashab Cairo University Computer Science Menna Alaa Menoufia Faculty Of Medicine Medicine Eli Friedman Cornell University International and Comparative Labor Noura Kamal Institute for Social Anthropology / ÖAW Anthropology Stuart Chen-Hayes City University of New York/Lehman College Counselor Education: School and Mental Health Counseling Stephen Leberstein City College – CUNY (Retired) History/Center for Worker Education Elif Ceylan Özsoy. University of Exeter Law Jocelyn Hermoso San Francisco State University Social Work Luis Melián OPEMAM Political Science Odetta Pizzingrilli Luiss Guido Carli International Relations Fadi Amer University of Cambridge Development Studies Md.kadaruzzaman Jagannath University Theatre María López University of Deusto International Law & Human Rights Atalia Omer The University of Notre Dame Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Keough School of Global Affairs Alanna Thain McGill University English Alex Boodrookas Brandeis University Middle East Studies Daniel Masterson University of California, Santa Barbara Political Science Michael Neocosmos Rhodes University (Emeritus Professor) Humanities Navtej Purewal SOAS University of London Development Studies Marianne Madoré City University of New York (CUNY) Sociology Waleed Saleh Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Estudios Árabes e Islámicos Iain Ferguson University of the West of Scotland Social Work and Social Policy Fernando Domínguez Rubio University of California, San Diego Communication Paola Bacchetta University of California, Berkeley Department of Gender and Women’s Studies Rajini Srikanth University of Massachusetts Boston English Melissa Gatter University of Sheffield International Development Sarah Hayes-Skelton University of Massachusetts Boston Psychology Rami Salameh Birzeit University Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies Joel Mehic-Parker Washington State University Political Science Elis Mendoza Princeton University Architecture History and Theory Mahmut Olgac Istanbul University History Tomaso Ferrando University of Antwerp Law Ibrahim Alhouti University College London Institute of Education Education Practice & Society Vasiliki D Touhouliotis Oregon State University Anthropology Laura Goffman University of Arizona Middle East Studies Helen Scott University of Vermont English Reima Ana Maglajlic University of Sussex Department of Social Work and Social Care Vincent M. Artman Wayne State University Peace and Conflict Studies Ferran Izquierdo-Brichs Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona International Relations Julio Huato CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice Economics Mohammed-Amine Chekkouri Paris Dauphine University Management Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi University of California, Los Angeles Asian American Studies Artemida Tesho CUNY College of Staten Island History Matiangai Sirleaf University of Maryland School of Law Law Anna G Ramberg University of Sussex Law Mona El-Ghobashy New York University Liberal Studies Lauren Kaminsky Harvard University History and Literature Arash Davari Whitman College Politics Patricia Martins University of California San Diego History Alvaro Jarrin College of the Holy Cross Sociology and Anthropology Rebecca Johnson Northwestern University English/Middle East & North African Studies Anthony Palafox University of California Berkeley Sociology Anwesha Ghosh National Law School of India University History Samantha Hinnenkamp Ball State University Counseling Paychology Hilary Malson University of California Los Angeles Urban Planning Verónica Maria Pascoal Sousa University of Lisbon Anthropology/Institute of Social Sciences Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Princeton University African American Studies Yasmina Price Yale University African American Studies and Film & Media Studies Luz Gómez Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Departamento de Estudios Árabes e Islámicos Khaoula Belghit University of Brighton Humanities Misagh Parsa Dartmouth College Sociology Ibrahim Natil Dublin City University Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction Ali Sakti Paramadina University Islamic Economics Yuliar Masna UIN Ar-Raniry English Language Education Usep Suhendar Pakuan University Pharmacy Zaynab El Bernoussi International University of Rabat International Politics Muchammad Agung Miftahuddin Univ Muhammadiyah Purwokerto Economy and Business Muhamed Riyaz Chenganakkattil Indian Institute of Technology Delhi Humanities and Social Sciences Aji Purba Universitas Brawijaya Economics Jack Cinamon SOAS, University of London Development Studies Wendy Matsumura University of California San Diego History Astrid Jamar SOAS, University of London Development Studies Aliya Amin King’s College London Women and Children’s Health Nilna Amal Lambung Mangkurat University Civil and Environmental Engineering Mustafa Gök İstanbul Medeniyet University International Relations Endi Rekarti Mercu Buana University Management Science Sean Leatherbury University College Dublin Art History Sarah Ahmad Mahmoud Okour University of Petra Media and Political Public Relations Francesca Stevens Falmouth University Music Penelope Anthias Durham University Geography Khursheed Beg London Southbank University School of Law and Social Sciences – Education Rachel Adams Human Sciences Research Council South Africa Social Science Francisco Gonzalez The New School Sociology Rini Dokumen State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta Accounting Megan Williams University  of Sydney Public Health Catherine Fox The University of Hong Kong Comparative Literature Ed Emery SOAS, University of London CMDS Richard Jackson University of Otago, New Zealand Peace and Conflict Studies John Bunzl Austrian Institute for international Affairs Middle Eastern Studies Aya Elwageeh Ain Shams University Urban Planning and Design Supriya Kumar Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi Centre for the Study of Social Systems, M.A. in Sociology Marina Assis Pinheiro Federal university of Pernambuco Psychology Rita Sakr Maynooth University English Saiful Akmal Universitas Islam.Negeri Ar-Raniry Banda Aceh, Indonesia Language and Culture Salamah Wahyuni Universitas Sebelas Maret Management Nina Köll University College Utrecht Media Studies Erna Rochmawati UMY Nursing Ramadoni Syahputra Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta Electrical Engineering Arni Surwanti UMY Master of Management Abdullah Turab University College London Education Sumithra Sankaran ETH Zurich Health Geography and Environmental Policy Ferlin Setiadi Indonesian Open University Management Gargi Bhattacharyya University of East London Institute for Connected Communities Patrick Hart Bilkent University, Ankara English Language & Literature Patrick Hart Bilkent University, Ankara English Language & Literature Julia Damphouse Humboldt Universität Berlin MA European History Sebastian Rose University of Greenwich History, PhD student S. 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Hasso Duke University Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies Lisa Stampnitzky University of Sheffield Politics and International Relations Lúcia Arruda Coimbra University Human Rights in the Contemporary Societies Paul Beaumont Norwegian Institute of International Affairs International Relations Sofia Rehman Independent Scholar Islamic Studies Stephanie Reist Post-Doctoral Researcher UFRRJ Education Elizabeth Hicks Leiden University Archaeology Daniel Jiménez-Franco University of Zaragoza Sociology Suraiya Zubair Banu SOAS Gender Studies Nour Alrabie VU AMSTERDAM Management and organizations Rahmat Febrianto Andalas University Accounting Edi Susilo Universitas Islam Nahdlatul Ulama Jepara Islamic Economics Frances Grahl London College of Fashion CHS, Cultural Studies Tarik Aougab Haverford College Mathematics Mariam Durrani Hamilton College Anthropology Taimi Castle James Madison University Justice Studies Linda Marie Richards Oregon State University School of History, Philosophy and Religion, History of Science Irene Calis American University Critical Race, Gender & Culture Studies Samer Mahdy Ali University of Michigan Middle East Studies Lilly Irani University of California San Diego Communication Dolma Ombadykow Yale University American Studies Andrew Spieldenner California State University – San Marcos Communication Mirna Pedalo Royal College of Art School of Architecture Nick Estes University of New Mexico American Studies Sian Hawthorne SOAS, University of London History, Religions, and Philosophies Eileen  Moran Professional Staff Congress-City University of NY Sociology Samira Farwaneh University of Arizona Middle Eastern Studies/Linguistics Carolina Ramirez Cabrera Universidad de Chile/COES Sociología Ángeles Diez Complutense University of Madrid, Spain Sociology Michael Giannetti Columbia University Oral History Ioana Cerasella Chis University of Birmingham Political Science Febriandi Prima Putra Andalas University-Indonesia Economics Anne Gray London South Bank University Social science Neema Begum University of Manchester Politics Marcy Knopf-Newman Independent scholar English and American Studies Karen Briand St. Francis Xavier University Nursing Esra Oskay Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Painting Dror Dayan Liverpool John Moores University Media Production Norman Ajari Villanova University Philosophy Zennul Mubarrok Gadjah Mada University Indonesia Master of Accounting Nurizal Ismail Institut Agama Islam Tazkia Islamic Economics Amy M. Smith University of Southern Maine History Karen Kadra Law school Paris Saumya Pandey CMI, Norway and University of Ghent, Belgium Social Sciences Marcos González Bartolomé Georgetown University School of Foreign Service Anas Hijazi Soka University Environmental Engineering for Symbiosis Pooja Rangan Amherst College English, Film and Media Studies Jo Tomkinson SOAS University of London Department of Politics Maria Adriana Deiana Queen’s University Belfast Centre for Gender in Politics MJ Encarnacion Newcastle University Speech and Language Therapy Patrick Doyle University of Limerick Politics and Public Administration Alana Duggan York University Art History & Visual Culture Angus McNelly SOAS Economics Jens Lerche SOAS University of London Development Studies Julia Corwin LSE Geography and Environment Martín Alejandro Martinelli Universidad Nacional de Luján – Co-coord. 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Hensley Georgetown University English Mehmet Volkan Kaşıkçı Independent Scholar History Malcolm Sawyer University of Leeds, UK Economics Adi Saleem Bharat University of Michigan Romance Languages and Literatures Myriam Amri Harvard University Anthropology Su’ad Abdul Khabeer University of Michigan American Culture Morgan Ballard-Wheeler University of Hartford Music Sari Lenggogeni Universitas Andalas Economics Matthew Stein Temple University Political Science Sugeng Hari Wisudo IPB University Fisheries Resources Utilization Muneira Hoballah University of California Irvine Anthropology Stan Thangaraj City College of New York Anthropology Alejandra Campos University of Notre Dame Political Science Dzenana Vucic University of Glasgow English literature Zeynep Kevser Şerefoğlu Danış Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University Turkish Literature Heath Cabot University of Pittsburgh Anthropology Heath Cabot University of Pittsburgh Anthropology Mehmet Yaşar Ertaş Sakarya University History Mary Mullen Villanova University English Eleanor Steele University of Waterloo Philosophy Kiron Ward University of Copenhagen English, German, and Romance Studies Elsa Bengtsson Meuller Goldsmiths University of London Politics and International Relations Akhmad Solihin iPB University fisheries resource utilization, fisheries governance Roopika Risam Salem State University Education and English Nicole Legnani Princeton University Spanish and Portuguese Kalpana Wilson Birkbeck, University of London Geography Asad Askari A. 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Baldwin Trinity College (CT) American Studies Rima Afifi University of Iowa Public Health Hannah Parsons Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter Centre for Islamic Archaeology Laura Camargo Fernández Universitat de les Illes Balears Departament de Filologia Espanyola, Moderna i Clàssica Megan Lewis Digital Hammurabi Assyriology Jo Kelcey Lebanese American University Education Ramisa Maliat Ahmed Goldsmiths Psychology Haneen Shubib University of Leeds English Zoltan Gluck Northeastern University Sociology and Anthropology Kirsten Ainley Australian National University International relations Iin Solihin IPB University Fisheries Resources Utilization Maia Almeida-Amir Newcastle University PhD student. School of Arts and Cultures Jeanne Theoharis Brooklyn College Political Science Bruno Meeus KU Leuven Anthropology Nicole Anderson McDaniel College Budapest Art History Anna Storti Dartmouth College Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Asian American Studies Khatib A. 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Harold Hart Shaw University Humanities, Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies Lina Sukanti Universitas Islam Syekh Yusuf Tangerang Indonesia The Science Administration Graduate Shouleh Vatanabadi New York University Liberal Studies Robert Clines Western Carolina University History and International Studies Anne Savage McMaster University English and Cultural Studies Stacey Sexton SageFox Consulting Group Research and Evaluation Pris Nasrat University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication Sufia Singlee University of Cape Town/Durham University Law Miriam Cooke Duke University Arab Cultural Studies Eman Abdelhadi University of Chicago Comparative Human Development Gale Franklin Carleton University Indigenous and Canadian Studies Elyse Yost Kalamazoo College History Tazreena Sajjad American University SIS Ana Aparicio Northwestern University Anthropology Elaine LaFay Rutgers University History Jeroen Gunning King’s College London Department of Political Economy Ali Kassem University of Sussex Sociology Soha Bayoumi Harvard University History of Science Margaux L Kristjansson Williams College American Studies Thomas Marois SOAS University of London Development Studies Geoff Jordan Leicester University Education Department /MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL Jay L. 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Haldane Quinnipiac University Anthropology Valerie Francisco-Menchavez San Francisco State University Sociology Fadi Ennab Instructor/University of Winnipeg Urban and Inner-City Studies Hannah Bargawi SOAS University of London Economics Arturo Hartmann Pacheco GECI-PUC-SP International Relations Vivian Solana Sociology and Anthropology Sociology and Anthropology Sailaja Krishnamurti Saint Mary’s University Religious Studies Juliana Hu Pegues University of Minnesota American Indian Studies Luke Johnson Princeton University Anthropology Selma Dabbagh Goldsmiths University, London English and Creative Writing (PhD Programme) Writer and lawyer. 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Noor NTU History Conor McCarthy Maynooth University, Ireland Department of English Deanna Shoemaker Monmouth University Communication Maureen O’Connor University College Cork English Nicole Allen Utah State University Communication Studies Christina Smith Clark College English Tadhg Foley National University of Ireland, Galway English Alison Reed Old Dominion University Department of English Seth Umbaugh University of Wisconsin-Madison English Literature Monika Kukolova Independent scholar Film studies Millery Polyne New York University History Bindhulakshmi Pattadath Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai Women’s Studies Burc Kostem McGill University Communication Studies Ayşe Uzun Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University İslamic Studies Enrique Klaus Galatasaray University Faculty of Communication Manuel Schwab American University in Cairo Anthropology Owen MacDonald UIUC History Fatemeh shams University of Pennsylvania Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Toni Calasanti Virginia Tech Sociology Samira I. 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Moore Harvard Divinity School Religion and Public Life Sheryl Nestel Independent Scholar Sociology Judith E Tucker Georgetown University Department of History M Constantine Columbia University Anthropology Nicola Pratt University of Warwick Politics & International Studies Wendy McMahon University of East Anglia American Studies Serhat Demirel Sakarya Üniversitesi Türk Dili Serhat Demirel Sakarya Üniversitesi Türk Dili Tarek Anous University of Amsterdam Institute of Physics/Theoretical Physics/Physics Sylvia Chan-Malik Rutgers University American Studies/WGSS Max Weiss Princeton University History and Near Eastern Studies Esra Aslan Yok Ekonomi Soe Tjen Marching SOAS University Southeast Asia Shinhea Lee University of the Fraser Valley Media Studies RJ Boutelle UNCG English Aldri Cela University of Cambridge History Dilem Can Ankara University Sufism Adam Hussain University of Huddersfield Dance, Drama and Performance (PhD) Ida Thibeh OISE/University of Toronto Social Justice Education Maru Pabón Yale University Comparative Literature Kevin Lin Chinese University of Hong Kong Sociology Christine Hong UC Santa Cruz Critical Race and Ethnic Studies JA Meaney University of Edinburgh Informatics Luke Wilkinson Cambridge History Clement Hawes University of Michigan English and History Kjersti G. 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Michelsen Institute, Norway History Gayatri Chatterjee Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts Film Studies Shuting Ling University of Zurich Political Science Stephen Marmura St. Francis Xavier University Sociology Yousuf Al-Bulushi University of California, Irvine Global and International Studies Stefanie Felsberger Cambridge University, Darwin College Gender Studies Vino Kanapathipillai SOAS, University of London International Relations Max Grear Columbia University Anthropology Mayte Green-Mercado Rutgers University-Newark History Emily Fitzell university of cambridge phd student, faculty of modern languages Seçil Doğuç Ergin Galatasaray University Sociology Jonathan Galton SOAS Anthropology Samuel Lawrence Bickley Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Jason Hart University of Bath SPS Luis Martín-Cabrera UC, San Diego Latín American Studies, Director Bill Yousman Sacred Heart University Media Arts Samira Musleh University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Communication Studies Andrea Gadberry New York University (Gallatin + FAS) comparative literature Ellen McLarney Duke University Asian and Middle East Studies Morgan Duplessis Independant Sociology Paloma Yañez Serrano Unevwrsity of Manchester Anthropology Ahmad Aqel Qatar University Mechanical Engineering Bruce Bennett Lawrence Duke University Religious Studies Carol Arcos Herrera University of California San Diego Literature Martha Copp East Tennessee State University Sociology Nadia Yaqub UNC Chapel Hill Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Ramazan Aras Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul Sociology Lucas Wilson Mount Holyoke College Economics, Africana Studies James A. 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Horton Brandeis University Anthropology Kate Cronin-Furman University College London Political Science Madison Akindele University of Hawaii Education Preeti Sharma CSU Long Beach American Studies Linda Dittmar University of Massachusetts Boston English Dianne Ramdeholl SUNY Empire State College Education Margaret Cerullo Hampshire College Sociology Joe Cleary Yale University English Maya Barak University of Michigan Dearborn Criminology and Criminal Justice Kwabena Edusei Michigan State University Philosophy Asmarany Biantari University of Silesia Biotechnology Kevin Bischoping University of Kansas General Administration/Business Sharad Chari UC Berkeley Geography Ali Yaycioglu Stanford University History Neda University of La Verne in California Psychology Naseeha Hussain University of Southern California Religion Chase Gregory Bucknell University English Federica Frabetti University of Roehampton (UK) Media and Cultural Studies Tamara Abu-Ramadan University of Wyoming Psychology Sabrina Alimahomed California State University, Long Beach Sociology Emily El-Oqlah University of Memphis Counseling Psychology Lina Khraise University of Manchester Global Development Institute Sanjog Rupakheti College of the Holy Cross History Stephanie Gorman The Australian National University National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health Chloe Ahmann Cornell University Anthropology Ayşe Şanlı Brown University Anthropology Faten Shelbayeh Phoenix University Healthcare Administration Bethany Whitlock Brown University Anthroplogy Sobhi Samour Al-Quds Bard College Economics Amnah Almukhtar Columbia University History Ebru Kongar Dickinson College Economics Salma Shash UC Santa Barbara History Shereen Ramadan William Paterson University History Tara Egnatios UCLA UCLA Law Patricia Morton University of California, Riverside Media and Cultural Studies Department Nilmini Fernando Griffith University Social and Cultural Research David C. Gorman University of Massachusetts Boston Psychology Josh Cohen Harvard University Religion Willow Dalehite Princeton University Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Omaris Z. Zamora Rutgers University-New Brunswick Latino and Caribbean Studies/Africana Studies/Literature Radia Awal Trisha University of Rajshahi Anthropology Rania Masri Lebanese American University Communications Lara Saguisag CUNY College of Staten Island English Laura Ottaviani-Jaede East Asia Art History Institute Heidelberg East Asia Art History Halima Haque University of Tuebingen Social and Cultural Anthropology Andrea Wright Harvard University Anthropology Sahar Al-Shoubaki Indiana University of Pennsylvania English Department Burhan Ghanayem National Institutes of Health Biomedical Scientist (Retired) Swapna Kona Nayudu Harvard University History Heba Ghannam American University Anthropology Magda Campo UC Santa Barbara Religious Studies Shereen Naser Cleveland State University Psychology/School Psychology Cassia Mosdell Rutgers University Psychology Vivian Solana Carleton University Anthropology Genevieve Clutario Wellesley College American Studies Neda Maghbouleh University of Toronto Sociology Genta Nishku University of Michigan Comparative Literature Carly Bryant Bard College at Simon’s Rock Black Studies Karlynne Ejercito University of Southern California American Studies and Ethnicity Marley Russell University of New Mexico Psychology Ivy Schweitzer Dartmouth College English and Creative Writing/Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Ping-Ann Addo University of Massachusetts Boston Anthropology Natalie Ng University of California, Santa Cruz Anthropology Vinicius Navarro Emerson College Media Studies Emily Yang University of Michigan Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering Agnieszka Paczynska George Mason University Peace and Conflict Resolution Tatiana Meza-Cervera Virginia Tech Developmental Science Erika Rappaport University of California, Santa Barbara History Paul Spickard UC Santa Barbara History Giuliana Perrone University of California Santa Barbara History Benjamin Koerber Rutgers University African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literature Emma Saperstein University of Aarhus Curatorial Studies CD Eskilson University of Arkansas English, Creative Writing Sky Croeser Curtin University Internet Studies Amy C Finnegan University of St. Thomas Justice & Peace Studies Praveen K Chaudhry State University of New York / FIT Social Sciences Jessica Guo University of Illinois at Chicago Sociology Julia Blok University of Michigan Public Policy Qusay Mahmoud Ontario Tech University Software Engineering Yasmine Bensidi-Slimane Palo Alto University Clinical Neuropsychology Alyssa Mazer UC Santa Cruz Politics Angela Penaredondo CSU San Bernardino English/Creative Writing Nur Sabrina Qistina Binti Mohd Yusoff University of British Columbia History and Geography Prem Kumar Rajaram Central European University Sociology & Social Anthropology Karl Blanchet University of Geneva Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies Leti Volpp UC Berkeley Law Charmaine Willis University at Albany Political Science Hannah Kagan-Moore University of California Santa Barbara History of Art and Architecture Mariz Kelada Brown University Anthropology Laila Shereen Sakr UC Santa Barbara Film and Media Studies Torti Sorbonne Paris Cité English Ghassan M Aburqayeq UC Santa Barbara Comparative Literature Usuf Chikte University of Stellenbosch Division of Health Systems and Public Health, Department of Publuc Health Mashail Almutairi University College London Leadership & Learning Simone Rapisarda Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts Sarah Cheikhali UC Santa Cruz Politics Anthony Greco University of California Santa Barbara History Kaitlyn Mitsuru Wilkin University of Ottawa International Development & Global Studies Nadav Wall Cornell University Anthropology Liting Ding Cornell University Anthropology Caroline de Costa James Cook University, Cairns, Australia Medicine David Naguib Pellow UC Santa Barbara Environmental Studies Mariah Wade University of Texas at Austin Anthropology/Archaeology Mariam Said Matar The New School Philosophy Zaki Haidar Carleton College Middle Eastern Languages Laura U. Marks Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts Maryam Monalisa Gharavi Northeastern University English Louisa Brain SOAS Development Studies Rosemary Rich University of Brighton History Jane Lehr California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO) Ethnic Studies; Women’s, Gender & Queer Studies Andrew Block Harvard University American Studies Andy Knott University of Brighton Politics Timothy LaRock Northeastern University Network Science Institute Kate McDonald University of California, Santa Barbara History Maria Pantsidou Lancaster University Languages and Cultures Lisette Balabarca-Fataccioli Siena College Modern Languages and Classics – Spanish Lara Choksey University of Exeter English Jabrane Labidi Université de Paris, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris CNRS, Geochemistry Rosemary James Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies Medicine Salina Khatoon University of Sheffield European public health Kate Katafiasz Newman Drama Kevin Ha Northeastern University Sociology Lauren Michele Jackson Northwestern University English Angela Miller Washington University American Studies Sarah-Jane Phelan University of Sussex International Development Nina Cornyetz New York University Gallatin/Interdisciplinary Studies Zahra Bayati Gothenburg University Education science Samuel Dolbee Harvard University History and Literature Sean Gordon University of Massachusetts Amherst American Studies Othman Althawadi Qatar University Marketing Su Ming Khoo NUI Galway Political Science and Sociology Sinéad Murphy King’s College London Comparative Literature Daniela Dorfman UNSAM, Argentina Latin American Literatures Deirdre McDonald Texas A&M University-San Antonio Research Services, Library Kahina Meziant Northumbria University Political Geography João Costa Vargas UC Riverside Anthropology Giuseppe Vicinanza New School for Social Research Philosophy, PhD Student Isabelle Johnston Dawson College Humanities Danilo Barbosa Garrido Alves University of Oxford Faculty of Law Brittney Laleh Banaei University of Colorado Boulder MFA Dance Quiahuitl Sanchez Segura UNAM Literature Outi Lahtinen University of Helsinki Theatre research Miranda Melson Northeastern University Sociology Lois Rudnick University of Massachusetts Boston American Studies Felix Fernandez Madrid Wayne State University Internal Medicine Rani Bashiti Michigan State University Radiology/Medicine Khury Petersen-Smith Institute for Policy Studies Geography Sarah Fox Carnegie Mellon University Human-Computer Interaction Jennifer Derr University of California, Santa Cruz History Mary Nolan NYU History Roxana Pessoa Cavalcanti University of Brighton Humanities and Social Sciences Luisa Enria London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Global Health & Development Lorenz Fuchs Cardiff University Biosciences Katherine Maddox University of Texas at Austin Department of Anthropology Kyle Benedict Craig Northwestern University Anthropology Anitta Kynsilehto Tampere University Peace Research Institute Nicola Melis University of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) Political and Social Sciences Lesley Powell Nelson Mandela University Education Saskia Bigg SOAS, University of London Migration and Diaspora Studies Christopher Harker University College London Institute for Global Prosperity Salma Said Abutaleb Universität Leipzig Anthropology Aamna Pasha University College London Education Lameze Abrahams University of the Western Cape Psychiatry and Mental Health N. Vittal University College London Economics Francesco Sani De Montfort University Institute of Drama, Dance and Performance Studies Alanoud Alsharhan University College London Center for Translation Studies Anandi Ramamurthy Sheffield Hallam University Media Arts and Communication Gerry Kearns Maynooth University Geography Natalie Kimball College of Staten Island, City University of New York History Chandana Mathur National University of Ireland, Maynooth Anthropology Sarah Fielding Birkbeck and RADA Text and Performance Tausif Noor UC Berkeley History of Art Helene Abiraad University of Brighton Humanities Penny Rosenwasser City College of San Francisco Interdisciplinary Studies Tiina Vaittinen Tampere University Global Health and Social Policy Laura Fracalanza Universidade de Lisboa (Flul) Centre for Comparative Studies Pål E. Martinussen Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Sociology and Political Science Charlie Ely University of Leeds School of English Iain Michael Chambers Università di Napoli, Orientale Social and Human Sciences Eleanor Knight University of Brighton Humanities/Creative Writing Ilaria Tucci Tampere University Peace and Conflict Studies Asher Rospigliosis University of Brighton Brighton School of Business and Law Kathleen Lynch University College Dublin Social Justice Hossam Sultan Uppsala University Social Anthropology Georgia Xekalaki University of Liverpool Egyptology (alumna) Elzbieta Buslowska University of the Arts, London Art and Film James Pfeiffer University of Washington, Seattle Global Health and Anthropology Julie Billaud Graduate Institute in Geneva Anthropology Cheryl Potgieter Durban University of Technology Gender Justice,Health and Human Development Federico Picerni Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; Heidelberg University Asian Studies (Chinese Studies) James Cummings Newcastle University Geography, Politics, and Sociology Michael Richardson Newcastle University Geography, Politics and Sociology Katie Maher University of South Australia Pedagogies for Justice Anne Mulhall University College Dublin Centre for Gender, Feminism & Sexualities Evyn Kropf University of Michigan University Library Salim Vally University of Johannesburg Education Elaine Chase UCL Institute of Education Education Practice and Society Eleanor Roberts University of Roehampton Drama, Theatre & Performance Mervat Alhaffar London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Epidemiology and Population Health Kit Ashton Goldsmiths Music Emil Øversveen Norweigan University of Science and Technology Sociology Kyle Anderson SUNY Old Westbury History Christina Hansen Malmö University Global Political Studies Doaa Hammoudeh University of Oxford Social Policy Gabriela Loureiro Queen Mary University of London Geography Sarah Campbell Newcastle University History Laura Ottaviani-Jaede East Asia Art History Institute Heidelberg East Asia Art History Aidan Mosselson University of Edinburgh School of Architecture David Comedi National University of Tucumán and CONICET, Argentina Physics James Chiriyankandath University of London Commonwealth Studies Weeam Hammoudeh Birzeit University Institute of Community and Public Health Brendan Coolsaet Lille Catholic University Environmental Politics Andrew Law Newcastle University Architecture, Planning and Landscape Augustine J  Kposowa University of California Riverside Sociology Michael Hamilton University of Sussex International Relations Charles A Barrow Brighton University Law Amy Brainer University of Michigan – Dearborn Women’s and Gender Studies Lory J. Dance University of Nebraska-Lincoln Sociology and Ethnic Studies Hanna Järvinen Uniarts Helsinki Performing Arts Research Centre Dr Yoga Nathan University of Limerick School of Medicine Lisa Walshe National University of Ireland, Galway Political Science and Sociology Dr. Jeff Handmaker Erasmus University Rotterdam Legal Sociology Bethan Prosser University of Brighton Applied Social Sciences Lionel Pilkington NUI Galway English Lauren Churchwell University of Cambridge Archaeology Sawsan Abdulrahim American University of Beirut Public Health Nevine elnossery University of Wisconsin, Madison French and Italian.  
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https://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-princeton-faculty-students-sign-letter-opposing-israels-jewish-supremacy-1593293
Hundreds of Princeton Faculty, Students Sign Letter Opposing Israel’s ‘Jewish Supremacy’BY MATTHEW IMPELLI ON 5/20/21 AT 10:08 AM EDT

Hundreds of faculty members and students from Princeton University signed an open letter condemning the continued attacks by Israeli armed forces against Palestinian people in Gaza and expressed opposition to “Jewish supremacy.”

The letter, which appeared in the independent student newspaper, the Daily Princetonian, was titled “Princeton University community statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

As of Thursday, the letter had received signatures from over 60 staff and faculty members, as well as hundreds from Princeton alumni, undergraduate and graduate students.

The letter began by saying, “We, members of the Princeton University community, condemn the ongoing attacks on the Palestinian people in Gaza by the Israeli armed forces…We condemn the displacement of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.”

As the letter continued, the writers, who are only identified in the Daily Princetonian as “guest contributors,” said that they “stand by” assessments from Human Rights Watch and the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which both referred to the situation in Israel as an “apartheid.”

“The brutal system that controls Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is ideologically founded upon Jewish supremacy, rules over the lives of Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel alike, and is practically committed to territorial theft from Palestinians who continue to resist physical removal and existential erasure,” the letter said.

The authors of the letter also expressed support for a “Palestine and Praxis” open letter that was signed by hundreds of scholars from universities across the globe, calling on academic institutions to “respect the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel by instating measures that remove complicity and partnership with military, academic, and legal institutions involved in entrenching Israel’s policies.”

The publication of the letter in the Daily Princetonian comes amid escalated violence between Israeli military forces and the Gaza-based Palestinian group known as Hamas.======================================
http://www.universitytimes.ie/2021/05/tcdsu-tcd-bds-call-on-college-researchers-to-boycott-israeli-academia/
MAY 18, 2021
TCDSU, TCD BDS Call on College Researchers to Boycott Israeli AcademiaOver 200 Palestinians have died over the past week due to Israeli airstrikes.Jody DruceSENIOR STAFF WRITER

Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and the TCD BDS campaign group have called on College academics to sign a pledge to boycott Israeli academia.

A Google Form where staff members can sign the pledge has been sent to all heads of Trinity’s schools.

The pledge, which is part of an open letter written by Scholars for Palestinian Freedom, calls for an “institutional academic boycott” until “Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights”.

The letter states: “In the classroom and on campus, we commit to pressuring our academic institutions and organizations to respect the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel by instating measures that remove complicity and partnership with military, academic, and legal institutions involved in entrenching Israel’s policies.”

It also includes a pledge to support “student activism on campus, including, but not limited to sponsoring joint events and holding our universities’ accountable for violations of academic freedom” and a pledge to highlight “Palestinian scholarship on Palestine in syllabi, our writing, and through invitation of Palestinian scholars and community members to speak at departmental and university events.”

Signatories of the letter also commit to actively including Palestine as “a space and place worthy of substantive and historical integration into critical theory, not only as a case in a list of colonial examples”.

The letter also includes a commitment to “support community efforts and legislation to pressure our governments to end funding Israeli military aggression”.

TCD BDS is also holding a protest today in solidarity with Palestinians who are engaging in a general strike.

The description of the event on Facebook states: “Palestinians across Historic Palestine are observing tomorrow a General Strike to protest Israel’s massacres in Gaza and settler-colonial and apartheid repression and ethnic cleansing against Palestinian communities everywhere.”

“A call has gone out from families in Sheikh Jarrah, from Palestinians inside the Apartheid State of Israel, and from the occupied West Bank for solidarity actions across the globe!”, it added.

The groups are urging protesters to wear masks and to maintain social distancing protocols.

Conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas continues to rage, despite US President Joe Biden’s calls for a ceasefire.

Israel airstrikes continued to bombard Gaza this morning, according to the Washington Post. Hamas’s rocket attacks have slowed, as Israeli airstrikes close off the group’s underground tunnels and disable its launch sites.

Some 212 Palestinians have died in Gaza due to Israeli airstrikes, while the death toll in Israel stands at 10.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to end international support for Israel in the context of the country’s treatment of Palestinians.

In 2018, students voted for Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) to support the BDS campaign.

Correction: May 20th, 2021
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the open letter had been circulated by the Irish Academics for Palestine. In fact, it had been circulated by Scholars for Palestinian Freedom.

Jewish Studies and Israel Studies Scholars Write Against Israel

27.05.21

Editorial Note

Scholars of Jewish Studies and Israel Studies published a declaration on Israel/Palestine, in May 2021.  

They “condemn the state violence that the Israeli government and its security forces have been carrying out in Gaza; their evictions of Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah and other neighborhoods of East Jerusalem; and their suppression of civilian protests in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Jewish-Arab cities, and Palestinian towns and villages in Israel.” Their views on the right of Jews to the land is equally twisted: “We also acknowledge that the Zionist movement… was and is still shaped by settler colonial paradigms.” Moreover, they claim that “the Zionist movement and the state of Israel in twentieth-century Palestine, have contributed to unjust, enduring, and unsustainable systems of Jewish supremacy, ethnonational segregation, discrimination, and violence against Palestinians.” They argue that Israeli Jews “continue to unfold on land whose majority Palestinian population the state displaced, whose lands it confiscated, and whose return it prevented during and after the 1948 war, and on lands that it has occupied and settled since 1967.” That Israel should challenge and limit “applying a settler colonial paradigm to the Zionist case, the unique historical Jewish connection to and presence in the Land of Israel, and the modern desperation and victimization that has propelled Jewish and Zionist settlement.” 

Interestingly, they “affirm the pain, fear, and anger of Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel who have lost loved ones and homes to unjustifiable and indiscriminate Hamas rockets.” Yet, they did not condemn the Hamas rockets.

They conclude by stating that “we assert our commitment to upholding student and faculty free speech and academic freedom. This includes our colleagues’ right, if they choose to do so, to respond to ongoing events through non-violent protest, including in the form of boycott or other organized economic pressure on Israel.”  

Israeli academics abroad, some teaching in prestigious American and British universities, are known for espousing anti-Israel ideas. For example, Uriel Abulof, Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs, a fellow at Princeton University, was interviewed by an Ithaca newspaper last week. Questioned about the two-state solution, he said: “I think at that point and in many ways even today, the very existence of a Jewish polity, no matter at what territory, is considered almost an immoral abomination, a form of colonialism.” He said that most of his students have liberal political opinions that clash with nationalism spread by Benjamin Netanyahu. “They find it very troubling,” he said. 

Abulof said that Netanyahu stocks fear among Jews around the world by pushing an anti-Palestinian narrative. “People like Netanyahu manage to leverage the fear, the anxiety of many Jews in order to sustain the occupation, in order to include elements that are purely racist into the Israeli parliament.” He added: “This has been tearing apart the Jewish communities worldwide.” Abulof believes that “One way to resolve the issues is to say no negotiating, Palestinian state tomorrow… If Biden tomorrow morning said to Israel, you know what, forget about the American veto in the Security Council, the day after, the Security Council approves Palestine as an independent state.”

Ironically, the Israeli Embassy in Washington lists Abulof in their Speakers Guide.  

The hypocrisy of these and other detractors of Israel did not go unnoticed. 

Jarrod Tanny, a Jewish History Professor in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, responded in an article, “Jewish studies — you have failed.” Tanny argued that in response to current threats and violence against Jews, these Jewish Studies academics decided to blame Israel for all that has ensued. Tanny accused the scholars of hypocrisy and political selectivity because “they only respond when white supremacists attack Jews.” If the assailants are wearing Palestinian keffiyehs, they get a pass.  When diaspora Jews are attacked by “Palestinian freedom fighters,” there was no single word from these Jewish Studies academics, collectively speaking. Tanny then noted: “You have stood up publicly for literally everybody. Except for the Jews.”    

By the same token, a recent article by Phyllis Chesler, Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), titled “Academics Use Propaganda, Not Expertise, to Bash Israel,” makes similar observations. She notes that feminist academics of gender studies and similar fields have not had much to say about the fact that “Under Hamas’s theocratic reign, women in Gaza cannot travel without consent from a male guardian.” She discussed the fact that just days before Hamas started the recent war, a female reporter in Gaza was beaten for daring to be outside without her head covered. Gaza is also known as one of the world’s most dangerous places for gays and lesbians. Why are academics silent about that? She asks. “How is it possible for academic feminists to be more concerned with the so-called occupation and colonization of a country that has never existed than with the occupation of real women’s bodies in that very region?” She concludes by stating that “it constitutes the death of Enlightenment values and the degradation of independent thought. It is certainly the death of real feminism.”

Tanny and Chesler have a point. By adopting a selective and hypocritical approach to the day’s major issues, social sciences have lost most of their credibility.  

https://israelpalestinejs.weebly.com/

ISRAEL/PALESTINE

Statement on Israel/Palestine
by Scholars of Jewish Studies and Israel Studies

May 2021

As scholars of Jewish Studies and Israel Studies based in various universities, departments, and disciplines, we condemn the state violence that the Israeli government and its security forces have been carrying out in Gaza; their evictions of Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah and other neighborhoods of East Jerusalem; and their suppression of civilian protests in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Jewish-Arab cities, and Palestinian towns and villages in Israel. We express profound sadness at the recurrence of intercommunal violence between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel and anger at the impunity enjoyed by most Jewish attackers.

We share and hold the pain of Gazans, who have lost and are losing family members, homes, property, businesses, cultural institutions, medical facilities, and civilian infrastructure to Israeli bombings and of Palestinians in the West Bank who have lost loved ones in shootings by security forces. We affirm the pain, fear, and anger of Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel who have lost loved ones and homes to unjustifiable and indiscriminate Hamas rockets.

As such, we stand with our Israeli, Palestinian, American (including Jewish American), and international colleagues who are working towards a process of structural change that would bring equality and justice in Israel/Palestine, a systemically unequal space that, nonetheless and inescapably, has a common history and future. We also denounce expressions of antisemitism or islamophobia in connection with ongoing events in Israel/Palestine.

We are committed to scholarship, teaching, and learning about Jewish history, Zionism, and Israel in their global contexts and as shaped by historical and ongoing ideological trends, economic pressures, and waves of antisemitism. We also understand the State of Israel as a site of substantial Jewish diversity, ideological contention, and cultural flourishing, including among Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, immigrants from the former USSR, Ethiopian Jews, and Jews displaced by the Holocaust and the violent spasms of modern nationalism. We value the work of our fellow Jewish Studies colleagues who are breaking new ground in the study of these topics and we understand how profoundly personal and emotion-laden these topics are for many Jews.

We also acknowledge that the Zionist movement, a diverse set of linked ethnonationalist ideologies, also was and is still shaped by settler colonial paradigms that saw land settlement as a virtuous means of solving political, economic, or cultural problems, as well as modern European Enlightenment discourses that assumed a hierarchy of civilizations and adopted the premise that technological progress and development of an ‘underdeveloped’ territory would be an unqualified good. These paradigms, as implemented by the Zionist movement and the state of Israel in twentieth-century Palestine, have contributed to unjust, enduring, and unsustainable systems of Jewish supremacy, ethnonational segregation, discrimination, and violence against Palestinians that have been forcefully condemned, including by Jews, Israeli citizens, and Israeli human rights groups such as B’Tselem. Israeli culture, society, and politics, moreover, continue to unfold on land whose majority Palestinian population the state displaced, whose lands it confiscated, and whose return it prevented during and after the 1948 war, and on lands that it has occupied and settled since 1967.

Israel is not the only state that must reckon with a history of land settlement and its enduring structural impacts on native or racialized populations. However, Israel, and those who study it or care about it, must do so even while recalling the challenges and limitations of applying a settler colonial paradigm to the Zionist case, the unique historical Jewish connection to and presence in the Land of Israel, and the modern desperation and victimization that has propelled Jewish and Zionist settlement.

We commit to exploring and engaging critically with these realities in our scholarly practice. As people who, by virtue of the work we do, focus on Jews and their experiences, we hold it imperative to listen to, amplify, and support our Palestinian and other colleagues whose scholarship details aspects of these histories and links Palestinians within Israel/Palestine to a broader Palestinian diaspora, to the Arab world, to Israeli and global Jewish communities, and to a variety of international communities. We understand the importance of continuing to reflect on the place of Palestine in Jewish Studies more broadly.

Recent events have reminded us that Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian residents of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, who have a variety of different legal statuses, are neither disconnected from one another nor external to the ongoing history of Israel. They, alongside the country’s many Jewish communities, have been, are, and will continue to be integral to the political, cultural, social, and economic history of Israel/Palestine. They deserve to have their full human rights and collective rights acknowledged and respected, as do all Jews, all Palestinians, and all people.

We recognize the diverse communities invested in these interlinked stories, and the asymmetries of power and influence not only between but also within ethnic, national, and religious communities, including the Jewish community. Finally, we assert our commitment to upholding student and faculty free speech and academic freedom. This includes our colleagues’ right, if they choose to do so, to respond to ongoing events through non-violent protest, including in the form of boycott or other organized economic pressure on Israel. We are committed to continuing our engaged conversation and collaboration around these questions with our colleagues in multiple departments and programs as well as with members of the public.

https://israelpalestinejs.weebly.com/signatories.htmlISRAEL/PALESTINE

STATEMENT SIGNATORIES ADD YOUR NAME

Signatories

Any referenced titles or affiliations are included for identification purposes only. Signing this statement reflects personal views; we are not speaking for or in the name of any university, department, or program.

Shir Alon, Assistant professor, University of Minnesota
Yaakov Ariel, Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Karen Auerbach, Associate Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Arash Azizi, PhD candidate in History, New York University
Lauren Banko, Research Associate, University of Manchester
Orit Bashkin, University of Chicago
Moshe Behar, Arabic & Middle Eatern Studies, U of Manchester, UK
Elissa Bemporad, Professor of History, Queens College and The Graduate Center – CUNY
Smadar Ben-Natan, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington
Nimrod Ben-Zeev, Polonsky Academy Fellow, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Tova Benjamin, PhD Candidate, New York University
Rina Benmayor, Professor Emerita, California State University Monterey Bay
Beth Berkowitz, Barnard College
Lila Corwin Berman, Professor of History, Temple University
Richard Bodek, Professor of History, College of Charleston
Ra’anan Boustan, Research Scholar, Program in Judaic Studies, Princeton University
Samuel Hayim Brody, Associate Professor, University of Kansas
Vincent Calvetti, Ph.D. student, University of Washington
Michelle Campos, Associate Professor, Penn State
Marc Caplan, Brownstone Visiting Professor, Dartmouth College
Jessica L. Carr, Associate Professor and Berman Scholar of Jewish Studies, Lafayette College
Geoffrey Claussen, Associate Professor, Elon University
Aryeh Cohen, Professor, American Jewish University
Netta Cohen, University of Oxford
Alon Confino, PenTishkach Chair of Holocaust Studies, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, UMass Amherst
Andrea Cooper, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D.
Evelyn Dean-Olmstead, Independent Scholar, Linguistic Anthropology, Latin American Jewish Studies
Rachel Deblinger, UCLA
Hasia Diner, Professor of American and Jewish History,  New York University
Sultan Doughan, Postdoctoral Associate, Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies, Boston University
Jennifer Dowling, University of Sydney
Arie M. Dubnov, Max Ticktin Professor of Israel Studies, The George Washington University
Gordon Dueck, Assistant Professor, Jewish Studies, Queen’s University
Susan L. Einbinder, Professor, Hebrew and Judaic Studies, University of Connecticut
Ayala Fader, Professor of Anthropology and Jewish Studies, Fordham University
Rachel Feldman, Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies/Religious Studies, Franklin and Marshall College
Emily Filler, Assistant Professor, Washington and Lee University
Louis Fishman, Associate Professor, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University
ChaeRan Y. Freeze, Professor, Brandeis University
Michal Friedman, Assistant Teaching Professor & Jack Buncher Professor of Jewish Studies, Dept. of History, Carnegie Mellon University
Libby Garland, Associate Professor of History, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
Olga Gershenson, Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, UMass Amherst  
Shai Ginsburg, Associate Professor, Duke University
Jennifer Glaser, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati
Amos Goldberg, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Evan Goldstein, PhD Candidate in Religion & Modernity, Yale University
Pratima Gopalakrishnan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Duke University
Maxwell Greenberg, Graduate Student, UCLA
Liora R. Halperin, Associate Professor, University of Washington
Shay Hazkani, Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies University of Maryland, College Park
Alma Heckman, Assistant Professor, UC Santa Cruz
Elizabeth Heineman, Professor, University of Iowa
Roni Henig, Assistant Professor, New York University
Rachel Herman, USC Shoah Foundation
Faith Hillis, Associate Professor, University of Chicago
Dana Hollander, McMaster University
John Huddlestun, Associate Professor, College of Charleston
Mostafa Hussein, University of Michigan
Curtis Hutt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Sarah Imhoff, Associate Professor, Indiana University
Mara W. Cohen Ioannides, Missouri State University
Gregory Irwin, USC Shoah Foundation
Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Endowed Chair of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Keene State College
Robert Johnston, Professor of History, University of Illinois Chicago
Hilary Kalisman, Assistant Professor of History, Endowed Professor of Israel/Palestine Studies in the Program for Jewish Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
Amy Kaminsky, Professor Emerita, University of Minnesota
Eileen Kane, Associate Professor of History, Connecticut College
Philip Keisman, PhD candidate, CUNY Graduate Center
Nancy Ko, PhD student, Columbia University
Anna Koch, University of Leeds
Ofri Krischer, Ph.D. student, George Washington University
Tally Kritzman-Amir, Visiting Associate Professor Harvard University
Jacob Ari Labendz, Assistant Professor, Youngstown State University
Jenny Labendz, Assistant Professor of Religious studies, St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, NY
Tim Langille, Senior Lecturer, Arizona State University
Nitzan Lebovic, Professor of History and Jewish Studies, Lehigh University
Geoff Levin, Emory University
Laura Levitt, Professor, Temple University
Lital Levy, Associate Professor, Princeton University
Miriam Libicki, Instructor, Emily Carr University / Graphic Novelist
Yaakov Lipsker, PhD student, Jewish Theological Seminary
Raphael Magarik, Assistant Professor of English, University of Illinois at Chicago
Shaul Magid, Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
Jessica Marglin, University of Southern California
Arturo Marzano, Associate Professor, University of Pisa
Daniel May, Hebrew Union College
Devi Mays, Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and History, University of Michigan
Charles McDonald, Sava Ranisvljevic Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University
David Mednicoff, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy, UMass Amherst
Shaul Mitelpunkt, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, The University of York
Leslie Morris, Professor of German, University of Minnesota
Eva Mroczek, University of California, Davis
Harriet Murav, Center for Advanced Studies Professor / University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Dorit Naaman, Professor, Queen’s University, Canada
Devin E. Naar, Associate Professor, University of Washington
Rachel Rafael Neis, Associate Professor, University of Michigan
Tamar Novick, Senior Research Scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Atalia Omer, Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
Ranen Omer-Sherman, Endowed Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Louisville
Craig Perry, Assistant Professor, Emory University
Riv-Ellen Prell, Professor Emerita, American Studies and Center for Jewish Studies University of Minnesota
Vadim Putzu, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Missouri State University
Shari Rabin, Assistant Professor, Oberlin College
Moriel Ram, Lecturer in Politics of the Global South, Newcastle University
Ben Ratskoff, Ph.D. student, UCLA
Elliot Ratzman, Earlham College
Maryanne Rhett, Professor, Monmouth University
Cara Rock-Singer, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Na’ama Rokem, University of Chicago
Michael Rom, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cape Town
Sven-Erik Rose, Associate Professor, University of California, Davis
Kate Rosenblatt, Assistant Professor, Religion and Jewish Studies, Emory University
Bruce Rosenstock, Professor, University of illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Noga Rotem, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Washington
Michael Rothberg, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, & Holocaust Studies, UCLA
Nora L. Rubel, Associate Professor of Religion, University of Rochester
Joshua A. Sabih, Senior Researcher, Roskilde University and University of Copenhagen
Brent E. Sasley, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Arlington
Allison Schachter, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University
Suzanne Schneider, Deputy Director & Core Faculty, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
Abby Schrader, Professor of History, Franklin and Marshall College
Benjamin Schreier, Professor of English and Jewish Studies, Pennsylvania State University
Jonathan Sciarcon, Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies, University of Denver
Raz Segal, Associate Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Stockton University
Naomi Seidman, Professor, University of Toronto
Sasha Senderovich, Assistant Professor, University of Washington
Yossi Shabo, Ph.D. student, University of California, Santa Cruz
Joshua Shanes, Associate Professor, College of Charleston
Adam Shear, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pittsburgh
Sam Shuman, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
Tamir Sorek, Pennsylvania State University
Neta Stahl, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Ronit Y. Stahl, Assistant Professor of History/University of California, Berkeley
Charlie Steinman, Ph.D. student, Department of History, Columbia University
Lior B. Sternfeld, Associate Professor, Penn State
Mira Sucharov, Professor of Political Science, Carleton University
Carol Symes, Associate Professor of History, Classics, and Medieval Studies, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Sheera Talpaz, Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Comparative Literature, Oberlin College
Frances Tanzer, Assistant Professor of History, Clark University
Irene Tucker, Professor of English, University of California, Irvine
Alana M. Vincent, Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Religion and Imagination, University of Chester
Mark S. Wagner, Professor of Arabic, Louisiana State University
Steven Wagner, Lecturer in International Security, Brunel University London
Yair Wallach, Senior Lecturer in Israel Studies, SOAS, University of London
Avery Weinman, Ph.D. student, UCLA
Sarah S. Willen, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Connecticut
Diane L. Wolf, Professor, University of California, Davis
Mir Yarfitz, Director of Jewish Studies, Associate Professor, Wake Forest University
Orian Zakai, Assistant Professor of Hebrew, George Washington University
Saul Zaritt, Associate Professor, Harvard University
Sarah Ellen Zarrow, Endowed Professor of Jewish History/Assistant Professor, Western Washington University
Ran Zwigenberg, Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Jewish Studies, Penn State

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https://www.investigativeproject.org/8868/academics-use-propaganda-not-expertise-to-bash

Academics Use Propaganda, Not Expertise, to Bash Israel

by Phyllis Chesler
IPT News
May 24, 2021

Men wearing Palestinian keffiyas have been running around beating up Jews in the streets of America and Europe. Israel was envisioned as the safe haven for persecuted Jews living in exile, and now Jews living in the diaspora are being attacked because Israel not only exists, but dares to defend itself against Islamist terrorist aggression.

In addition, interfaith do-gooders, feminist academics, and scholars in general are issuing statements of support for Palestine, but not for Israel, which has been under the most profound siege.

A group calling itself the Palestinian Feminist Collective launched “A Love Letter to our People in Palestine,” which states that “once again, Palestinians from the far north to the far south of our homeland are defying settler colonialism’s attempts to partition the land and the people….” Buzz words such as “settler violence” and “ethnic cleansing,” are employed and understood as “part of the ongoing Nakba [catastrophe] that has spanned Palestinian time and space since 1948.”

The Collective’s feminism is one in which “gendered violence is core to settler colonial practice. We stand with you (as you) resist this masculinized and militarized colonization.”

Its language is communist revolutionary language and is a throwback to the West’s romance with Che Guevara, Mao, Stalin, and the American Black Panthers.

Subsequently, academic feminists, issued a statement “In Solidarity With Palestinian Feminist Collective,” which links to non-scholarly boilerplate propaganda, none of which is concerned with the Islamic gender apartheid that afflicts Arab Palestinian women in Israel, Gaza, and on the West Bank. They focus on “evictions in East Jerusalem” without understanding the history, legality, or nature of this dispute.

The statement itself is problematic, but worse, it lists entire departments at dozens of universities. This was done without the knowledge or approval of some, if not many, of the faculty members who work in them.

The gender studies people link to facts about the “humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip,” which fail to acknowledge that Israel left Gaza in 2005. Whatever the situation there may be, it is due to Hamas’s greed, corruption, and terrorist goals.

Dear God: How is it possible to claim that “Palestine is a feminist issue,” which they do, without even mentioning forced child marriage, forced veiling, and honor killing – which are indigenous customs – not caused by the alleged Israeli occupation?

Under Hamas’s theocratic reign, women in Gaza cannot travel without consent from a male guardian. Days before Hamas started the latest war, a female reporter in Gaza was beaten for daring to be outside with her head uncovered. Gaza is among the world’s most dangerous places for gays and lesbians. The gender studies and feminist academics have not had much to say about these issues.

How is it possible for academic feminists to be more concerned with the so-called occupation and colonization of a country that has never existed than with the occupation of real women’s bodies in that very region?

Those who care so much about trigger warnings and micro-aggressions seem not to care about the trauma of having to get to a bomb shelter within 15 seconds or in no more than a minute in Israel; the trauma of having to live and sleep in a bomb shelter; the trauma of rockets overhead. This is Israel’s reality – and only became reality for Gazans after Hamas attacked Israel in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2019, and in 2021.

These feminist professors have not signed their individual names because their entire departments have signed on to this statement. This includes: Amherst, Barnard, nine California universities, Georgetown, Georgia State, Rutgers, Stanford, University of Hawaii, Washington State, Yale, as well as nine Canadian universities – McMaster University, Mount Royal University, Queens University, Saint Mary’s University, St. Francis Xavier University, University of British Columbia, University of Regina, University of Waterloo, and York University.

I randomly sampled the publications of one professor at each of 10 gender, women’s studies, and sexuality departments. Their specialties include the study of testosterone, and the “reciprocal relations between science and the social hierarchies of gender, sexuality and race”; transnational feminist and Caribbean Studies, the Black Radical Tradition, and Guyana; Queer Kinship in Taiwanrace and technology, white supremacy and racial liberalism; Queer, Race, and Queers of Colorobesity, IVF failures, and endurance sports such as marathon swimming; Feminist Performance, Cultural Criticism, Theories of Race; Sexuality, psychoanalytic, postcolonial, queer and trans theories.

Only one professor at the University of California, Berkeley Law School has addressed the issue of honor killing – but mainly to attack President Trump and Ayaan Hirsi Ali for misguidedly stigmatizing an entire people for crimes that allegedly also occur in the non-Muslim West.

Perhaps this is what is now considered “feminist” work. But none of these randomly chosen 10 have an advanced degree in the history and nature of the Middle East, the Arab World, Islam, Judaism, or Israel. None are teaching courses in such areas as experts. They are merely using their expert credentials to support propaganda.

The feminist academics are not alone. Another statement, “Palestine and Praxis: Scholars for Palestinian Freedom,” features 70 pages of signatories with about 45 names on each page. This amounts to approximately 3,150 signatures and counting. These professors teach all over the United States, including at Ivy League schools, Canada, France, Holland, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Australia, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, South Africa, and Turkey.

“As scholars, we affirm the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous liberation movement confronting a settler colonial state,” the statement says. “Israel is once again conducting a large-scale aerial bombing campaign… Palestinian scholars write under the threat of settler colonial erasure and imposition of exile… it is imperative that we not enact their replacement and erasure within our own scholarship… Scholarship without action normalizes the status quo and reinforces Israel’s impunity…”

What is “praxis?” It means “practice,” or “action.” Do these professors believe that the very use of the word “praxis” constitutes an action of some kind? If so, toward what end? They tell us.

“Scholarship without action normalizes the status quo and reinforces Israel’s impunity… scholarship must also be ethical by centering decolonization and raising the voices of Palestinian scholars so that they remain sources of authority and not merely objects of study.”

Thus, the professors call on scholars to commit to BDS – boycott campaigns – and to anti-Israel campus activism and to “pressure (their) government to end funding Israeli military aggression.”

This statement is, quite simply, a declaration of war on the Jewish state.

Guess what? Only 11 of the first 450 signatories teach in Middle East, Palestine, and Arabic Studies.

Both the feminist academics and the “scholars” are recycling Palestinian Islamist propaganda and trying to pass it off as scholarly opinion. Do not fall for it. What both statements say can be heard on Fridays in the most fundamentalist of mosques throughout the Middle East and among the statements of Muslim Brotherhood outposts such as the Muslim Student Association and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

To them, “Palestine” symbolizes the most sacred oppression and the most important indigenous resistance.

When presumed scholars pontificate on issues beyond their expertise on issues as complex as these, it constitutes the death of Enlightenment values and the degradation of independent thought. It is certainly the death of real feminism.

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), and the author of 20 books, including Women and Madness, and A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killings. She is a Senior IPT Fellow, and a Fellow at MEF and ISGAP.

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https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/jewish-studies-you-have-failed/
Jewish studies — you have failed Jarrod Tanny  
MAY 22, 2021, 6:44 AM

2017 – Charlottesville: an outpouring of anger and grief from Jewish studies faculty

2018 – Tree of Life: : an outpouring of anger and grief from Jewish studies faculty

2021: Threats and violence in the diaspora against Jews because of what Israel is (allegedly) doing. The response – a collective letter blaming Israel for all that has ensued.

Jewish studies – you have failed

I have been saying this for three years, that the left only cares about attacks against Jews when it comes from white supremacists. And now we know with the utmost certainty that this is also true of Jewish studies scholar-activists.

Jewish studies – you have failed.

If the assailants are brown, if they are wearing Palestinian keffiyehs, or if they are holding BLM signs, they get a pass. Jews in America and Europe are fair game, because in the hierarchy of “structural racism” we “white Jews” are the oppressors.

You may claim that this is about Israel. And you are free to issue your virtue signaling one-sided documents blaming the Jewish state for a complicated conflict in the middle east.

But guess what? Not only will that not solve the conflict, it actually endangers diaspora Jews. And we have seen this concretely this week.

All that said, this isn’t the worst of it. No, the worst of it is the utter silence when diaspora Jews are actually attacked by “Palestinian freedom fighters”.

There have been more Jewish casualties in the diaspora this week than Charlottesville and Tree of Life, and there has not been a single word from you, collectively speaking. Not one word from the signers of this one-sided statement.

Sure, nobody has died. But is cold-blooded murder the threshold for you to speak out? A cursory glance at inter-War Europe, even Nazi Germany in its early years, amply demonstrates that vandalism, bullying, and physical assaults precede murder. But they still constitute hate crimes.

All you had to do – at a bare minimum – was to insert a paragraph into your condemnatory statement of Israel that “attacks against diaspora Jews are inexcusable.” That’s it.

But even that, apparently, is too much to ask.

Why is it so much to ask, when you, committed scholar-activists, have issued countless statements over the past 5 years, standing up for Muslims, Black people, Latinx, Asian Americans. You have stood up publicly for literally everybody. Except for the Jews. Or rather, except for the Jews, when the perpetrators are not white supremacists.

Why? Perhaps David Hirsh is correct that this is the price of admission into Woke circles – you have to demonstrates that left-wing antisemitism is kosher. Well, you have done that. Congratulations.

Or maybe you are in fact self-hating Jews, as I argued – with reluctance to use the term – in an op-ed I wrote.

You have betrayed your community, you have betrayed your students, and you have made a mockery of our field in the academe, because there exists no other field that is so disdainful of the community is studies.

And one last time – when I say you betrayed your “community” I don’t mean Israelis, though of course your abandonment of Israel is clear and has been clear for quite some time.

No, I mean your community in the diaspora. The Jews who walk among you are being forced to take the “Palestine litmus test” for their worthiness. Of course, many who have been attacked this week were not even interrogated. It was just assumed that they failed the anti-Zionist litmus test because they were visibly Jewish.

I had intended to write an op-ed painstakingly deconstructing all that is wrong with the condemnatory statement of Israel, how blaming Israel while ignoring Hamas’s rockets of terror is not only immoral but speaks of a deep historical ignorance.

But I concluded that was pointless, because your failure to stand by Israel pales in comparison to your failure at home.

So I will say it one last time.

As a collective, Jewish studies, you have failed.

*****

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jarrod Tanny is an Associate Professor and Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History in the Department of History, University of North Carolina Wilmington.
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https://www.weny.com/story/43894915/free-palestine-ithaca-speaks-out-against-the-israel-palestine-conflict

“Free Palestine”: Ithaca Speaks Out Against the Israel Palestine Conflict

Monday, May 17th 2021, 7:33 PM EDT
By Cody Taylor

ITHACA, N.Y.(WENY)– Around 100 people attended a protest on May 16th on the Ithaca Commons to show opposition to the killing of Palestinians by the Israeli Government.

There is not much that is new about this conflict, as it has been going on for over 70 years; what is new is the number of protests and attention this issue has received within the United States.

Malak Abuhashim, a Cornell student who is Palestinian but grew up in Cleveland Ohio said she started spreading the word about the oppression of her people at a very young age after she noticed that Americans had little interest in the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

“I switched to the public schools and I was like wait, people here do not know about Palestine,” said Abuhashim. “ I was in second grade and I was going around in my little class being like hey guys, support Palestine and it just shows I have always had to speak out about the oppression my people face at such a young age.”

Abuhashim’s family originated from Yibna Palestine and fled during the 1940s because of the conflict.

“ Our family lived there for generations, we had houses there, farms and everything and we was forced to flee,” said Abuhashim.

The experience that Abuhashim is describing, the 1940s, is when an increasing number of Jews were arriving in Palestine, after fleeing persecution in Europe and seeking a homeland following the Holocaust of World War 2. Prior to this Britain took control of the area known as Palestine after the Ottoman Empire was defeated during World War 1. Tensions between the Jews and the Palestinians were growing during the 1920s to the 1940s  as Britain was tasked with establishing a home for the Jewish people.

Like Abuhashim’s family, many others had considered Palestine home for decades, but on the other hand, the Jews said it was their ancestral home.

Tensions between Jews and Arabs eventually turned into violence, from 1920 to 1948 there were an estimated 20,600 lives taken.

A popular solution that has been discussed many times throughout this 73-year conflict has been a two-state solution, which envisions an independent state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.

The first time this was tried was in 1937, The Peel Commission Plan, which was a recommendation by the British Government to split the state into a Jewish state and an Arab state. This plan would have allocated a large majority of Israel to the Palestinians and was ultimately rejected by the Arabs.

Uriel Abulof, Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs said looking back at that decision from 1937 says a lot.

“I think at that point and in many ways even today, the very existence of a Jewish polity, no matter at what territory, is considered almost an immoral abomination, a form of colonialism,” said Abulof.

This two-state solution was tried again in 1947 and was rejected by the Arabs, which ultimately led to British rulers leaving and the state of Palestine being declared the state of Israel.

War followed the creation of the state of Israel and led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, like Abuhashim’s grandparents, being forced out of their homes in what is known as the Catastrophe. Most Palestinians who fled ended up living in the Gaza strip and the West Bank, two areas that have received aerial bombardments from Israel airstrikes in the past few days.

“I have cousins I have never met, I have uncles and aunts I probably never will be able to see, everything that is happening [with the bombings and the conflict] is happening to them and around them,” said Abuhashim.

Abulof said through speaking to students about this conflict he found that the majority of his Jewish students agree that Palestinians should have their own state. He also feels that the majority of his students have a liberal political view system, that is clashing with Nationalism spread by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.  

“They find it very troubling because they see themselves as part of the Jewish people, in principle, that the Jewish people have a right to have their own state,” said Abulof.  “It has been increasingly hard for Liberal Jews to say ok, we support a Jewish state, what does it mean to support a Jewish state, do you support people like [Benjamin Netanyahu]?.”

Abulof said Netanyahu stocks the fear of Jewish people around the world by pushing an anti-Palestinian narrative, a narrative that would proceed the Jewish state, leaving only Palestine where “Jews will at best be able to survive”.

“People like Netanyahu manage to leverage the fear, the anxiety of many Jews in order to sustain the occupation, in order to include elements that are purely racist into the Israeli parliament,” said Abulof. “This has been tearing apart the Jewish communities worldwide. “

Abulof said in his two years of being in the U.S., he had hope of bringing people from both sides of the conflict together.

“To see if there is any possibility here, you know, so far away from where the violence is to try and come together, to grieve together, to mourn together the deaths,” said Abulof. “ To somehow build some bridges, but… there was no willingness for that.”

Abulof argues that the concentration should not be about where this conflict started or who is right and who is wrong but instead on the fact that this has become an existential conflict.

 “It’s the belief that the world, the land, whatever is not big enough for the both of us and so it’s either us or them,” said Abulof.

Abulof does not think that the Israeli’s or the Palestinians will solve the problem on their own.

“ The solution lies within mitigating the radical veto, to stop the radical veto one way or another,” said Abulof.

Abulof believes there are two ways to do that, one is the top-down method, which establishes a Palestinian state before a negotiation for peace happens.  

“ So far what we have done is negotiated the establishment of a Palestinian state,” said Abulof. “ One way to resolve the issues is to say no negotiating, Palestinian state tomorrow. “

In order for this top-down method to happen the Biden administration would need to take out its own veto right in the Security Council.

“ If Biden tomorrow morning said to Israel, you know what, forget about the American veto in the Security Council, the day after, the Security Council approves Palestine as an independent state,” said Abulof.

The other possibility is the bottom-up method or as Abulof calls it, “the Double Referendum.” This method would require both Palestinians and Israelis to go to the ballot to say yes or no to a very basic outline of the two-state solution.

“The Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem will go to Palestine, the Jewish to Israel,” said Abulof. “ The Palestinians will take 100% of the land and if there are parts that will remain in Israel, there will be a territorial exchange in a rate of 1 to 1.”

BGU Oren Yiftachel’s Apartheid Analogy Serves to Harm Israel

19.05.21

Editorial Note

IAM reported recently how Oren Yiftachel, a BGU Professor of Geography, co-authored the Bt’selem report that found Israel to be an apartheid state.  Shortly after, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) found Israel to be an apartheid state. The HRW report relies heavily on Bt’selem.  

The HRW has demonstrated considerable anti-Israeli bias. For example, the report states that “Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.”  

As has been the case with other anti-Israeli writings, the HRW has not bothered to contextualize its claims, let alone mention the role of Palestinian terrorism in the region’s history. 

As a result of the apartheid accusations, hundreds of academics around the globe have recently circulated on social media the following statement: “I am an academic and I call for a free Palestine and an end to the Israeli state’s apartheid. This is integral to both my moral world view and my scholarship. Pass it on.”

The current escalation of war by Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinians elsewhere against Israel has prompted radical Israeli academics to take the Palestinian side. For example, some faculty in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design have published a petition supporting their Palestinian students who went on strike upon the request of the Palestinian Authority as a Day of Rage. The petition states, “We wish express our sympathy with your struggle for the home and freedom in light of the police and settler violence, the fruits of the government policies, expressed in the current events in Sheikh Jarrah, the Damascus Gate, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, we understand full-well the difficulty of studying at institutes of the occupying and oppressive people, and all the more so at this time.”

Responding to these charges, Yuval Elbashan, a Law Professor at the Ono Academic College, asked why anyone who sees Israel as an oppressor would earn a salary from her academic institutions? He wrote, “it is clear there is freedom of expression and academic freedom, and it is also clear that Bezalel lecturers are allowed to hold such opinions,” still, anyone who agrees to earn a salary from an institution he believes that represents occupation and oppression, “sells his soul” to injustice. “If you think that Israel is a country born of sin… you should act like Malcolm X and refuse to give it legitimacy by receiving income from it. Otherwise, you have no integrity, no courage, and you are far from being a role model.”  

Oren Yiftachel responded to Elbashan: “Yuval, as a lawyer and leftist do you despise people who seek to protect human rights? Precisely as employees in a public institution, it is their duty (not just their right) to express sympathy with the victims and support their rights (I would add opposition to harming civilians). The state is indeed occupying and oppressive. This is a truth that is not related to the source of income of the protesters. Precisely the silence in the face of the events by most lecturers is more disturbing. I will not despise those who are silent like you but putting a mirror in front of them shows their cowardice.”

Even Jewish academics in the US are often recruited to lead the anti-Israel trend. For example, The Professor Is In (TPII), a popular website run by Dr. Karen Kelsky, who writes guidance on Ph.D. to thousands of researchers, including the Israeli Bashaar-Academia-IL Network, has dropped her professional façade and wrote in support of the Palestinians. “We at TPII condemn the latest wave of Israeli violence against Palestinians. I am Jewish and I have no sympathy for this Israeli state terrorism. We are thinking of our Palestinian readers and clients.” She took it even further and added, “Israel-apologists and ‘both side’-ers have been and will continue to be deleted and banned.”  When asked by Rachel Harris, Professor of Jewish Literature and Culture, “What does that even mean? I’m literally a professor who wrote books on this subject. Am I not welcome to share my professional expertise?” TPII answered her: “No.” Clearly, according to Kelsky, only the Palestinians have rights.

For two decades, Yiftachel and many academic activists have espoused anti-Israel rhetoric, and the Western academy picked this up. They have been pushing for the delegitimization of Israel at the request of their Palestinian and pro-Palestinian peers. They twisted the truth about Israel’s motives and actions while staying silent about the lack of quality of Palestinian life in the West Bank and Gaza under Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which both use the population as human shields to hide their military assets.  Hamas has spent untold millions of dollars donated to the Palestinians and tons of cement to build an elaborate network of tunnels for the militants and their equipment.  Using the same funds, Hamas and PIJ had bought or manufactured thousands of missiles and rockets to terrorize Israeli cities.   

Yiftachel and other architects of the theory that Israel is an apartheid state understood that the apartheid analogy would be a catchy way to push the delegitimization of Israel in the larger academic community and international public opinion.  Needless to say, the apartheid analogy would never allow an honest discussion of the miseries which the Palestinian authorities, and especially Hamas, inflict on their own population. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/bashaaracil/permalink/3859091950886460/https://www.facebook.com/yuval.elbashan/posts/10224039262786031
Yubal Elbashan:

אז ברור שיש חופש ביטוי וחופש אקדמי וברור גם שמותר למרצים ולמרצות בבצלאל לאחוז בדעות מהסוג הזה ולתמוך במאבק תלמידיהם הפלסטינים וברור אפילו שמותר להם לעשות זאת גם אם בדבריהם הם פוגעים בסטודנטים אחרים (שאני מניח שגם הם נמצאים במוסד וחשים כעת מופקרים בביתם האקדמי). זה ברור ולכן אין להטיל עליהם שום סנקציה. נקודה. לפגוע בהם אסור אבל ברמה האישית מותר לבוז לעליבות המוסרית של מי שמסכים לשרת ולהתפרנס ממוסד שמייצג בעיניו ו”ביתר שאת בנסיבות הנוכחיות” (של מאבק דמים בגבולות 48 ולא רק 67. בלוד ולא באיתמר) “עם כובש ומדכא”. שום אקרובטיקה רטורית (מהסוג המביך של rebellious teaching, או “אי הפקרת הזירה” ודומיו) לא תסתיר את העובדה שאותו/ה מרצה מוכר את נשמתו למי שבעיניו מייצג עוול. אם אתה חושב שישראל היא מדינה שנולדה בחטא (כאמור בערי 48) אתה אמור לנהוג כמו מלקולם איקס ולסרב לתת לה לגיטימציה בעצם קבלת השכר ממנה. אחרת אין לך יושרה, אין לך אומץ ואתה רחוק מלהיות מודל לחיקוי מוסרי.
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https://www.facebook.com/groups/bashaaracil/permalink/3859091950886460/?comment_id=3859236014205387
Oren Yiftachel

יובל, בתור משפטן ואיש שמאל אתה בז לאנשים שמבקשים להגן על זכויות אדם? דווקא בתור עובדים במוסד ציבורי חובתם (לא רק זכותם) להביע הזדהות עם המותקפים ותמיכה בזכויות (הייתי מוסיף התנגדות לםגיעה באזרחים). המדינה אכן כובשת ומדכאת, זאת אמת שלא קשורה במקור המשכורת של המוחים. דווקא השתיקה מול האירועים בה לוקים מרבית המרצים יותר ומטרידה. לא אבוז לשותקים כמוך, אך אציב מולם מראה לפחדנותם..

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Professor Fleming@alwaystheself·5hIamanacademicandIcallforafreePalestineandanendtotheIsraelistate’sapartheid. Thisisintegraltobothmymoralworld view andmy scholarship. Pass it on.Quote Tweet

#PettyPendergrass@ashoncrawley · 5hI am an academic and I call for a free Palestine and an end to the Israeli state’s apartheid. This is integral to both my moral world view and my scholarship. Pass it on.

Marc Lamont Hill  @marclamonthill May 17 IamanacademicandIcallforafreePalestineandanendtotheIsraelistate’sapartheid
. Thisisintegraltobothmymoralworld view andmy scholarship. Pass it on.Quote Tweet

Heba Gowayed هبة جويد@hebagowayed · May 16I am an academic and I call for a free Palestine and an end to the Israeli state’s apartheid. This is integral to both my moral world view and my scholarship. Pass it on. twitter.com/sdfahrenthold/
İlkay ERDOĞAN ORHAN@ilkay_E_ORHAN·May 16Defalarca söyledim,bir kez daha söylemekten onur duyuyorum #Palestine”I’ve told many times and again say that “IamanacademicandIcallforafreePalestineandanendtotheIsraelistate’sapartheid. Thisisintegraltobothmymoralworld view andmy scholarship.”Pass it on

Ahsan Fuzail@AhsanFuzail·May 16It’s quite simple. I am just starting out on the journey of being anacademic, but there is no doubt in my mind when IcallforafreePalestineandanendtotheIsraelistate’sapartheid. Thisisintegraltobothmymoralworld view andmy scholarship. Pass it on.
https://twitter.com/cjvhenderson/status/1393452746012037120
Christian Henderson@CjvHendersonPolitical economy, political ecology and Middle East and North Africa. Assistant professor @unileiden
Christian Henderson@CjvHenderson·May 15I am an academic and I call for a free Palestine and an end to the Israeli state’s apartheid. This is integral to both my moral world view and my scholarship.

Carl Gibson@carl_al_ajnabee Researcher in Terrorism Studies and Palestinian politics | Assistant Professor @Nottspolitics Nablus, Palestine/ LondonJoined April 2009806 Following598 Followers
Carl Gibson@carl_al_ajnabee·May 16I am an academic and I call for a free Palestine and an end to the Israeli state’s apartheid. This is integral to both my moral world view and my scholarship

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The Professor Is In.

15 May at 21:09  · We at TPII condemn the latest wave of Israeli violence against Palestinians. I am Jewish and I have no sympathy for this Israeli state terrorism. We are thinking of our Palestinian readers and clients. I’d be grateful for suggestions where to donate to support Palestinian victims. We will do another matching donation like we did for India last week (raised $610 in total).(Sorry for delay in posting on this; I was out of office most of last with another family situation–it’s been a year).

https://apnews.com/…/israel-west-bank-gaza-middle-east…

AuthorThe Professor Is In.Israel-apologists and “both side”-ers have been and will continue to be deleted and banned.
https://www.facebook.com/TheProfessorIsIn/posts/4055418051171378?comment_id=4056722731040910
AuthorThe Professor Is In.Again: all Israel apologists and “both-side”-ers will be immediately deleted and banned.

Rachel HarrisThe Professor Is In. What does that even mean? I’m literally a professor who wrote books on this subject. Am I not welcome to share my professional expertise?

AuthorThe Professor Is In.Rachel Harris No.

================================================================  https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/palestinians-stage-nation-wide-general-strike

Palestinians to stage nationwide general strike as air raids pummel Gaza

Strike will be held across occupied Palestinian territories as well as Palestinian towns inside Israel on Tuesday, as intense Israeli bombing shows no signs of abatingBy Shatha Hammad in Occupied West BankPublished date: 17 May 2021 19:56 UTC | Last update: 10 hours 35 mins ago

Palestinians across the political divide have said a nationwide general strike will commence on Tuesday to protest Israel’s continuing bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The strike, which will see the disruption of all economic and commercial establishments in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, Gaza and Palestinian communities inside Israel, comes as more than 200 people, including 61 children, have been killed in intense Israeli attacks on the besieged enclave of two million people.

The strike also comes amid plans to forcibly displace residents of the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and days of attacks at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. 

News of the initiative was welcomed by Palestinian political parties, unions, syndicates and institutions, which published statements confirming their commitment. Residents of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights have also declared that they would partake. 

When the masses call, the establishment heeds

Unlike previous calls for general strikes, which have historically been made by political parties, unions or federations, Tuesday’s strike was organised and pushed for by ordinary Palestinians. 

The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel said in a statement that it had taken a decision to include all sectors in the strike, with private education being the only exclusion. 

For its part, the Fatah Central Committee called for Palestinians across the West Bank to adhere to the general strike, and referred to it as a popular “day of rage.”

The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces coalition also released a statement in support of the strike and urged mobilisations to take place at various places, including Israeli-manned checkpoints.

Palestinian prisoners also announced they would participate and said they would not communicate with Israeli prison administrators.

General strikes as a tool of popular resistance 

The Palestinians have long used general strikes as a tool to express their rejection of Israeli practices.

The planned strike is reminiscent of a famous six-month strike that took place in 1936, which involved the whole country and was aimed at pressuring Britain to end policies that paved the way for the creation of Israel.

A general strike also took place during what is termed the “rocks intifada” of 1987-1993, when Palestinians responded to Israeli attacks by paralysing the economy and refusing to deal with the Israeli establishment in charge of affairs in the West Bank and Gaza, prior to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

During that intifada, Palestinians adhered to a general strike every week on Tuesday.

Sari Orabi, a Palestinian journalist and analyst, told Middle East Eye that strikes are a method of popular protest and rejection.

“Palestinians have a deep-rooted memory of popular struggle using strikes, since the British colonisation of Palestine, and in particular the famous strike of 1936,” Orabi said.  

He explained that during the rocks intifada, strikes were “an act of civil disobedience” against Israeli forces who maintained a presence in city centres and towns through their civil administration, a body answerable to the Israeli military, which controlled Palestinian civil affairs at the time.

“The occupation was attempting to end the strike by trying to force Palestinians to open their stores. Those who continued to adhere to the strike were punished by having their store doors destroyed,” Orabi said.

Are strikes still effective?

Historically, general strikes were used to mobilise the masses, and unify merchants, workers and students. However, a significant shift was noticed after the arrival of the PA and the Oslo Accords.

“The arrival of the PA meant the presence of a local authority that manages the affairs of the Palestinians, both civil and security. The Israelis left the densely populated areas and there was no longer direct friction, which led to a decline in the effectiveness and impact of strikes,” said Orabi. 

While the impact of strikes has diminished, they continue to hold moral value in uniting Palestinians in a single expression of protest and rejection.

Orabi said he believes the upcoming strike would be successful if it comes as part of a new national context and acts as a prelude to a new form of struggle that encompasses all Palestinians. 

Strikes as a milestone 

Political analyst Bilal Shweiki told MEE that the measurable and material impact of the strike will be inside the 1948-occupied territories. By disrupting daily life and putting pressure on Israeli authorities, the impact will be stronger and clearer than in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“Despite the weak impact of strikes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, this does not negate their importance,” he continued, explaining that during this political phase, they have a large moral effect. 

Shweiki said the moral effect of the strike is represented by overcoming colonial divisions imposed on Palestine, including those stemming from the Oslo Accords.

“In this strike, Palestinians are emerging unified, regardless of the colonial space that they are permitted to exist in.

“The idea of a unified strike constitutes a lever for joint Palestinian national action. It is also a declaration of rejection against all agreements that divide the land.”

The strike, he continued, constitutes a shift in unified political action, especially in the occupied territories, where the struggle for civil rights is transformed into a national struggle against settler colonialism.

“We are witnessing a turning point in Palestinian history, and this strike will constitute a turning point in our history.”

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https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/05/14/lecturers-at-jerusalem-academy-side-with-palestinians-in-conflict-angering-students/

Bezalel lecturers side with Palestinians in conflict, angering students

In response to letter to Arab students of Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jewish students sign petition blasting the lecturers’ “condemnation of a large portion of students, and even blatant support for terrorism.”

 By  Noam Dvir  Published on  05-14-2021 12:49 Last modified: 05-14-2021 13:24

Lecturers at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design caused an uproar when they expressed support for the ongoing struggle against Israel by Palestinians in Gaza and east Jerusalem.

In an email sent to the academy’s Arab Israeli students, the lecturers wrote:

“We ask to express our deep identification with your struggle for a home [and] freedom in light of the police and settler violence, the fruits of government policies expressed in the events in recent days in Sheikh Jarrah, the Damascus Gate [in Jerusalem’s Old City], and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We understand full-well the difficulty of studying at institutes of the occupying and oppressive people, and all the more so at this time.”

The email sparked anger among Jewish students at the academy, who signed a petition in protest of the lecturers’ email.

“We students feel our situation is being completely ignored, and we are hurt by the lecturers’ decision to pick a side at this time. We are all having difficulty, and the reality impacts both sides of the aisle. Thus, a letter addressed to one side of the population constitutes the taking of political sides, divisive means, the condemnation of a large portion of students, and even blatant support for terrorism.

The petition continued: “The letter sent by many of our lecturers bolsters the sense that the academy has a view that embraces opinion on a specific side of the political spectrum while other opinions, even if they are not radical, are erased and unaccepted.”

In response, the academy said, “This is not the position of the Bezalel academy.  At the academy, lecturers and students … hold a variety of opinions. At the academy, which advocates for freedom of expression and creativity, there is room for voicing protest and personal opinions from all directions and spaces.”

In addition to the letter, one lecturer announced she would not hold her usual Wednesday class in a message many students saw as comparing recent events to the Holocaust.

In her message, the lecturer wrote: As a Jewish woman from the Diaspora, the sight of stun grenades being thrown at a house of worship on a holy day brings up difficult memories that made us say, ‘Never again.’

“In every class, there are students from different socio-economic or other backgrounds, but in a civilized society, they are equal before the law. Education in ‘safe spaces’ does not protect those who are scared to walk the street or those who cannot prepare their homework because their computer has been vandalized,” the lecturer wrote.

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https://www.ynetnews.com/article/Bklu7iyKd

Fatah to West Bank Palestinians: Confront Israeli security forces

Palestinian faction, formerly known as PLO, also calls on the public to declare a general strike on Tuesday in an effort to exhaust Israel on three fronts in apparent protest of the continued fighting in Gaza

Elior Levy, Yoav Zitun

Published: 05.17.21 , 11:47
Fatah, formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, called on Palestinians in the West Bank to declare a general strike on Tuesday and “confront” the Israeli security forces in protest of continued fighting in the Gaza Strip.The current round of fighting entered its second week on Monday and there appeared to be no sign of any imminent end to the most serious hostilities in years between Israel and Palestinian militants despite mounting international calls for a ceasefire.The idea behind the call appears to be to create greater strife for Israel on three fronts: Gaza, the West Bank and within Israel through continued protests of Israeli Arabs. It is unclear, however, if the public will respond to the call.On Sunday, nine Palestinians were killed in clashes with the IDF throughout the West Bank. Palestinians also claimed a man was shot in the head during a brawl with Jewish settlers in a village south of Hebron, and died of his wounds at the hospital.Hamas since the start of this round of fighting has also been calling on Palestinians in the West Bank to take to the streets and clash with Israeli security forces.

BGU Gal Ariely Promotes Analogies of Israel with Apartheid and Holocaust Reductionism

13.05.21

Editorial Note

Much of the delegitimization of Israel comes from the same old Department of Politics and Government at Ben Gurion University, which is notorious for espousing anti-Israel radicalism. Recently, Dr. Gal Ariely, a senior lecturer there, has published a book titled Israel’s Regime Untangled: Between Democracy and Apartheidwhich the Department launched in Zoom last month.

The book discusses various descriptions of the Israeli political sphere. It begins with a tale on how a tourist who visits Israel will be shocked by the status of the population living in Area C in the West Bank, the Oslo II accord administrative division of the West Bank outside Areas A and B. He wrote, “our visitor will likely find it very difficult to decide whether Israel is a democracy or not.” If the visitor is a political scientist, he will wonder “whether democracy is a relevant concept for analyzing the Israeli regime.” This political scientist might even question where exactly Israel is, or “is the Israeli regime limited only to the territory over which it holds formal sovereignty or does it include the entire territory under its various forms of control and influence?… in light of these contradictory elements and how to decide on the borders of the Israel regime.” 

In an interview with Dr. Dov Waxman, the director of the Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at UCLA, Ariely said, “the claim that Israel is apartheid is a very, very strong argument in the case of the political implications of the situation in Israel.”  

Ariely should note that Israel is not an apartheid. Clearly, apartheid refers to racial segregation which is not the case here. Second, the Palestinian Territories in the West Bank and Gaza are at war with Israel since its founding. Third, the Palestinian Territories are not democratic while some of their population lives in areas that are intertwined with Israeli population. The parties signed the Oslo Accord II agreement in response to this unique case.

Ariely is also a part of the growing group of scholars who promotes Holocaust reductionism, minimizing the scale of the catastrophe of the Holocaust by equating it to other political crimes. Ariely is using it to discuss the plight of African asylum seekers in Israel.    

His article “Historical analogies under dispute: Reactions of Israeli Jews to analogies between the Holocaust and the plight of African asylum seekers in Israel” is a case in point. Ariely discusses some “historical analogies,” where he analyzes responses by Israeli Jews to comparisons between the “situation of African asylum seekers” in Israel and Holocaust Jewish victims. For this, Ariely quotes a letter written in 2018 by some Holocaust survivors against the proposed forced deportation of asylum seekers.

Ariely conducted a “population-based survey” during the Holocaust Remembrance Days to evaluate whether attitudes toward the expulsion of asylum seekers were affected by the analogy.” He found that “Respondents who identity [sic] with the right wing and hold nationalist views who believe in Israel’s superiority over other nations were less likely to accept an historical comparison with the Holocaust. They rejected the idea that the Jewish experience of the Holocaust requires Israel to include asylum seekers. In fact, their responses to the historical analogy implied that it created a backlash among them, as it challenged their belief in the uniqueness of the Holocaust.”

He then moves on to describe the “African asylum seekers and the mobilization of Holocaust analogies.”  He suggests that “The fundamental logic behind Israel’s immigration and asylum policy is to include Jews and exclude non-Jews from the possibility of settling in Israel.” In the 2000s, Israel faced an influx of asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan through the Egyptian border.  According to Ariely, the “Israeli policy regarding asylum is to prevent the entry of individuals who threaten the Jewish identity and Jewish character of the state. Israel is, therefore, committed to preventing the recognition of those people who crossed into the country from Egypt as refugees… Most of the asylum seekers have not been treated as individuals in need of protection but defined as ‘infiltrators,’ dangerous citizens of an ‘enemy state’ who should be arrested, detained, and deported.”   

Ariely proceeds to promote the so-called “counter-discourse,” which “endeavors to draw a parallel between the suffering of the refugees and that of the Jews during the Holocaust and to deconstruct the economic threat of this migration. Asylum seekers as well as NGOs have used the Holocaust narrative to create a welcoming environment for African refugees living in Israel, employing a discourse based on the ‘kinship of genocide.’” They use slogans such as “We are all refugees” and “The never again is here again,” comparing the plight of the Eritreans and Sudanese to Jews escaping from the Holocaust.   The Israeli government’s proposed forced deportation of African asylum seekers in 2018 intensified the ways in which Holocaust analogies were used in public discourse to challenge the policy, even to the point of breaking the law and hiding asylum seekers from the authorities.” 

Ariely is also a member of the group “Democratic Erosion,” claiming that “Recent years have witnessed a deluge of commentary warning of imminent threats to democracy in the US, the West and the world. In the US, this rhetoric has become especially heated with the rise of Donald Trump. Is American democracy really under threat? What about democracy in the West, or the world more generally? If democracy is under threat, what can we do about it? And if it’s not under threat, why are so many of us so worried that it is? The Democratic Erosion consortium aims to help answer these questions through a combination of teaching, research, and civic and policy engagement.”

Ariely joined the Politics and Government Department in 2012, exactly when the Department promised to hire bona fide political scientists, unlike the “activists” that populated the Department and brought it to the brink of academic bankruptcy.  Judging by his writings, he has faithfully continued the radical activist tradition of the Department. 

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Gal Ariely <galariel@bgu.ac.il>
Date: Wed, Mar 31, 2021 at 12:11 PM
‪Subject: [Politics] הזמנה לאירוע השקת הספר “המשטר הישראלי בין דמוקרטיה ואפרטהייד” , אפריל 11‬
To: Politics@listserver.cc.huji.ac.il <politics@listserver.cc.huji.ac.il>

 ספרו של גל אריאלי “המשטר הישראלי בין דמוקרטיה ואפרטהייד” יושק באירוע מקוון  ביום ראשון 11/4/21 1400-1600. האירוע בהנחיית פרופ’ אילת הראל-שליו ובהשתתפות אורית קדר, פרופ’ דוד לוי-פאור ופרופ’ תמר הרמן. פרטים נוספים ופלייר לרכישת הנחה בצרופות.

לרישום לאירוע
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https://assets.cambridge.org/97811088/45250/excerpt/9781108845250_excerpt.pdf
Cambridge University Press
978-1-108-84525-0 — Israel’s Regime Untangled
Gal Ariely
Excerpt
More Information
© in this web service Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
Introduction
A tourist arriving in 2018 to Jerusalem – the declared but internationally
unrecognized capital of Israel – might visit the Knesset, the Israeli
parliament. Here, the tourist might encounter Member of Knesset
(MK), Hanin Zouabi, an Arab-Palestinian citizen of Israel who has
represented the Arab party Balad for almost a decade. As a member of
this party – many of whose members openly declare their sympathy
with those Israeli Jews perceive to be Israel’s most intransigent
enemies – Zouabi participated in the 2010 Marmara Flotilla that
sought to defy the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza
Strip. Accused by Jewish MKs of being a traitor, numerous attempts
were made to oust her from the Knesset and prevent her and the Balad
party from reelection. These efforts were blocked by the Supreme
Court and Zouabi was reelected in both 2013 and 2015. Her political
activities are not, however, limited to the conflict, and her feminist
agenda challenges the exclusive authority over personal status held by
the religious (Jewish and Islamist) courts that undermines gender
equality. Despite her strong political commitment, Zouabi did not
run in the April 2019 elections, but her Balad party continued to take
part in the elections.
Continuing eastward from the Knesset, our visitor enters East
Jerusalem, a territory Israel occupied from Jordan in 1967 and subsequently
annexed – an area that is also designated as the future capital
of the Palestinian state. At present, the majority of East Jerusalem
Palestinians – around 37 percent of the city’s population – are not
Israeli citizens. Just over one-third of the residents of the self proclaimed
“united capital” of Israel are thus excluded from citizenship,
lacking the right to vote for the Israeli parliament which is located
in their city. Wandering around East Jerusalem, the tourist will pass by
areas with a strong visible presence of the Israeli state and neighborhoods
beyond fences and walls with scant manifestation of the state.
Proceeding on the tour, our visitor then reaches territory that
1
challenges the definition of Israel as a democracy even more significantly:
the West Bank. Occupied in 1967, about 40 percent of this
region has been under the (partial and limited) control of the
Palestinian Authority since the 1990s, while the remaining 60 percent
continues to be directly governed by Israel, albeit not formally annexed
like East Jerusalem. In the West Bank, there is a dual legal system: one
for Jewish settlers as Israeli citizens and another for Palestinians as
subjects, challenging the classification of Israel as a democracy yet
more. However, while strolling around the West Bank and passing
through Israeli checkpoints and meeting the Palestinian Authority
police, the visitor might find it hard to understand where Israel begins
and where it exactly ends.
What is our tourist to make of these circumstances? On the one
hand, the reactions to Zouabi’s views and actions demonstrate just
how far short Israel falls with respect to one of the fundamental
requirements of established liberal democracies, namely, political tolerance.
On the other hand, despite efforts to disqualify her, Zouabi
was twice reelected and her party is still part of the Knesset. Although
framed as a traitor and constantly struggling for her seat in the
Knesset, she remains within the Israeli parliamentary system. Her
citizenship enables her to be elected to the Knesset, while the
Palestinians in Jerusalem are denied this right and the Palestinians in
the West Bank are denied both civil and political rights. Having
traveled the country, our visitor will likely find it very difficult to
decide whether Israel is a democracy or not, given that the regions
visited, the people met, and the institutions and practices encountered
provide evidence of diverse types of regimes with inherent
contradictions.
If a political scientist, our visitor might wonder what can explain
such a close intertwining of democratic and undemocratic, liberal and
illiberal elements, and possibly even ponder whether democracy is a
relevant concept for analyzing the Israeli regime at all. This political
scientist might even question where exactly Israel is, noticing that the
state lies beyond the regular constitutional or juridical order in which
there is a political entity with clear borders. Is the Israeli regime limited
only to the territory over which it holds formal sovereignty or does it
include the entire territory under its various forms of control and
influence? The visitor’s first challenge in the attempt to make sense of
what is seen in this tour has two components: how to classify the Israeli

regime in light of these contradictory elements and how to decide on
the borders of the Israel regime. If the visitor stays in Israel for a longer
period, questions might also emerge concerning what factors shape the
regime and how, despite the inherent tensions and contradictions, the
regime remains fairly stable.
This book is an attempt to address such wonderings by focusing on
three questions:
1. How can the Israeli regime be classified?
2. What are the borders of the Israeli regime?
3. What are the key factors that shape the regime and support its
relative stability?
The question of how the Israeli regime can be classified is not new.
There are various conflicting classifications of Israel. While it is frequently
regarded and analyzed as a democracy (Lijphart 1984;
Sprinzak and Diamond 1993), it is also classified as undemocratic
(Jeenah 2018), an “ethnocracy” (Yiftachel 2006), a “herrenvolk democracy”
(Benvenisti 1988), or an “apartheid regime” (Greenstein
2012). Between these extremes, it is variously labeled as a limited type
of democracy, an “ethnic” (Smooha 1990) or “illiberal” democracy
(Peleg 2007). This book is not looking to suggest the correct classification
of the Israeli regime; instead, I argue that the Israel case illustrates
the analytical weakness of the concept of democracy in the context of
disputed regimes. There is an inherent challenge in the classification of
a regime as a whole in cases that deviate from the model of established
liberal democracies or rigid authoritarianism, which undermines the
efficacy of the concept of democracy as an analytical tool for studying
regimes.
Using the Israeli case to illustrate this, I follow the approach that
calls for disaggregating democracy into specific dimensions (Coppedge
et al. 2011). The term “democraticness” is the pivot for this approach;
neither a typology nor a classification of a specific form of regime,
democraticness describes a continuum along which are situated more
and less democratic systems of government. By looking at diverse
aspects of the Israeli regime, it seeks to determine the level of
democraticness exhibited rather than classifying the regime as a whole.
This shift of focus from a “closed” definition of democracy to the
disaggregated examination of levels of democraticness across different
dimensions provides better analytical leverage, allowing an
3
exploration of both the thin minimalist components and the more
extensive thick elements of democracy. These are analyzed across three
dimensions: (1) political contestation – the procedural and institutionalized
arrangements for political competition for power; (2) protection
– the defense of citizens against arbitrary state activity; and (3)
coverage – the extent to which the entire population can participate in
political processes and enjoy protection from the state without segmentation
or sectorization. The levels of democraticness of these dimensions
are used to sketch the Israel regime, offering a disaggregated view
of the regime that also illustrates a novel perspective on the third
question, namely, the key factors shaping the regime and supporting
its stability.
The question regarding the borders of the Israeli regime is also not
new. The bulk of the existing scholarly literature has addressed what is
termed Israel proper – a unit that does not include the Occupied
Territories (Sasley and Waller 2017). This approach is also in line with
the classifications of Israel in cross-national regime indexes. Though
less common, the Israel/Palestine definition is offered as a critical
alternative to the focus on Israel proper (Azoulay and Ophir 2012;
Ghanem et al. 1998). The location of Israel’s borders defines the unit of
analysis, and that definition determines how the regime is classified; in
other words, determining the unit of analysis as Israel proper or as
Israel/Palestine establishes the nature of the regime as a democracy/
diminished democracy or a type of non-democracy, respectively.
I argue that the justifications advanced for the choice of borders are
rather limited. This flawed approach can be rectified by a conceptual
discussion on the notions of state and regime – a discussion that will
lead to an alternative classification of the unit of analysis. A conceptual
elaboration shows that the units of Israel proper or Israel/Palestine
cannot be used to define the borders of the regime. I propose instead a
spatial analysis that divides the Israeli regime into different zones of
control at different time periods.
The first two questions focus on the question of the classification of
the Israeli regime, namely, what is the appropriate notion for describing
the regime. Much less attention has been given in the existing
literature to the third question. Most studies that focus explicitly on
the Israeli regime have overlooked this question of the key factors
shaping the regime and supporting its stability, while comparative
studies of regimes rarely include the case of Israel. I suggest moving

away from just debating regime classification, i.e., naming the dependent
variable, toward examining independent variables that shape the
regime and explain its stability.
There are dozens of potential explanations of the Israeli regime. The
major distinction between such explanations in the literature is
between actors and macro factors (see Linz and Stepan 1996). Actors
in the case of Israel could be institutions like the military and the
Supreme Court or politicians like David Ben-Gurion or Benjamin
Netanyahu. Macro factors could be economic development, political
culture, geostrategic environment, and others. This book does not
offer a complete account of all the factors that shape the Israeli regime;
a comprehensive inspection would require several books. Instead,
I focus on just two key contextual factors: the conflict and state
capacity. I illustrate how the Arab–Israeli conflict shapes the regime
in order to demonstrate how the disaggregated view offers new
insights for the link between the conflict and the regime – insights
overlooked by previous accounts that analyzed the regime as a
whole. I suggest that the relative stability of the regime as well as
some changes in the levels of democraticness and zones of control
can be explained by state capacity and offer an outline of how the
ability of the state to “get things done” via coercive and administrative
capabilities sustains the regime’s stability despite the various
challenges.
This book thus provides a comprehensive account of the Israeli
regime according to a comparative politics framework on regimes. It
contributes to the field by providing a better understanding of the
Israeli case, its inherent contradictions notwithstanding. Beyond the
specific Israeli case, it also illustrates the pros and cons of this framework
for analyzing disputed regimes.
A Note on the Method
In order to answer the aforementioned three questions, this book
adopts a comprehensive outlook which is based primarily on previous
studies on regime and on Israel. The book does not explore new
archival sources, interview key actors, or generate any novel data.
The answers to the three questions are instead grounded on the theoretical
framework, and the conceptual discussion is based on reviews of
previous accounts of the regime.
A Note on the Method 5
Cambridge University Press
978-1-108-84525-0 — Israel’s Regime Untangled
Gal Ariely
Excerpt
More Information
© in this web service Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
The answer to the question concerning the classification of the Israeli
regime follows an overview of what can be termed the local debate on
the topic. It shows that very few studies have provided explicit descriptions
of the assumptions and premises on which their arguments rely.
In addition, the majority of studies have made rather limited use of the
literature on regime conceptualization and classification, and their
primary goal appears to have been determining whether or not Israel
is a democracy. Beyond the local debate, I show how cross-national
regime indexes, the benchmark for studying regimes, cannot be used to
circumvent the challenges of Israel’s classification. Once challenges to
the definition of democracy are taken into account, the debate of the
general classification of the Israeli regime can never be conclusively
resolved. Instead, conflicting interpretations of the Israeli regime can be
bypassed by following the current trend in studies of regimes: disaggregated
analyses of different levels of democraticness across different
dimensions. The conceptual discussion is therefore used here to offer
an alternative outlook on the Israeli regime.
In a similar way, the question of the unit of analysis, namely,
borders, is based on a discussion about the concept of state and regime.
This conceptual elaboration shows that the units of Israel proper or
Israel/Palestine cannot be used to define the borders of the regime;
instead, a spatial analysis is required, which divides the Israeli regime
into different zones of control at different time periods. The description
of the regime, the discussion of the impact of the conflict, and the
elaboration of state capacity as key explanations for the regime’s
relative stability are all based on ideas gathered from previous studies
conducted by prominent scholars of Israel. My added value here is the
integration of these perspectives into a general discussion of the regime
through theoretical lenses.
The discussion of the key factors which shape the regime also
follows the theoretical framework from the existing literature on
regimes and democratization. Its inherent limitations should therefore
be clear from the outset. Explanations for democraticness are limited.
Despite the fact that political regimes have been studied for decades, it
is clear that the knowledge in this field is “partial, probabilistic, conditional
and forever, and always provisional” (Coppedge 2012: 326).
The only thing that is clear by now is that there is no general theory for
regimes and that even the most common explanations, like economic
development, are subject to debate (Morlino 2012). Furthermore, part
6 of the debate on the explanations of democratization is caused by the
challenges to defining and measuring democracy that are emphasized
when discussing the Israeli case. Therefore, it should be understood
that any attempts to offer definitive explanations of the Israeli regime’s
levels of democraticness are limited.
A Note on the Israeli Case
One glance at the academic literature on the Israeli regime and our
wandering tourist might be even more confused. Not only can the
regime be classified along an extensive spectrum that is anchored by
liberal democracy on one end and proceeds through different types of
partial or diminished democracy before reaching the opposite end of
the spectrum that is occupied by non-democracy, but there are different
frameworks for understanding Israel from the very start.
According to one approach, Israel should be analyzed as a so-called
normal state that doesn’t differ much from countries elsewhere. Put
differently, there is no need for a special framework to analyze Israel,
and issues like the place of the Palestinian citizens of Israel in the state
can be analyzed from the perspective of general majority–minority
relations that can be found across many countries. This approach is
common among many Israeli scholars and can be found in journals
like Israel Studies as well as key publications by political scientists
(see, for example, Lijphart 1984; Sprinzak and Diamond 1993). Not
surprisingly, this approach tends to view Israel as a democracy.
A completely different approach proposes that the colonial/postcolonial
framework is a more suitable way of studying Israel and
Palestine. Israel should be understood as a settler colonial society
(Busbridge 2018), and therefore the Palestinian citizens of Israel
should not be analyzed from the perspective of majority–minority
relations but as part of an ongoing colonial situation. This approach
can be found mainly among Palestinian and Arab scholars (see, e.g.,
Rouhana and Huneidi 2017) and in journals such as Settler Colonial
Studies and Journal of Palestine Studies. According to this approach,
only wide-scale decolonization can transform the Israeli nondemocratic
apartheid regime into a democracy. These two perspectives
differ fundamentally and are subject to methodological and
epistemological polemics across various disciplines (see, e.g.,
Ghanim 2018; Peled 2017; Sternberg 2016; Zureik 2016). Beyond
7
such debates, however, they don’t usually engage with one another as
they exist in isolated academic circles.
These opposing perspectives are not just manifestations of a theoretical
debate; after all, the classification of the regime has broad political
implications. A country’s definition as a democracy or non-democracy
can have far-reaching effects on its internal and external legitimization.
Regime classification has thus evolved into a highly politicized discussion
(Munck 2009), and for countries that are neither clearly democratic
nor authoritarian, this issue is fiercely contested. Israel’s
categorization as a democracy could therefore be viewed as promoting
the legitimization of its regime; defining it as a non-democracy, on the
other hand, may call its legitimacy into question while indicating the
need for a radical regime change. Categorization as a democracy is
beneficial to many states but for Israel it is especially crucial given its
alliance with the United States and its use of “the only democracy in
the Middle East” slogan for international legitimization.
This book has chosen to follow insights from previous studies
regardless of whether their framework is based on the assumption that
Israel is a normal state or a settler colonial society. I have used a tight
conceptual discussion following studies from both approaches to provide
a comprehensive account of the Israeli case. I do not advance any
claims about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the Israeli regime, preferring
to use theoretical lenses for a better understanding of the three
overarching questions. Nor do I have any claims about the social
groups mentioned in the analysis. For example, Palestinian citizens of
Israel, Palestinian subjects, and the Jewish settler movement are all
framed as potential challenges to the stability of the Israeli regime in
the discussion on state capacity. Combining these three groups is not
based on any normative argument about their actions and motivations
nor is there any implicit assumption that they should be viewed on a
parallel level; they are simply used to emphasize the functions of
state capacity.
Outline of the Book
The attempt to answer the question about the classification of the
Israeli regime starts with a comprehensive review of previous
classifications. Chapter 1 reviews these classifications while focusing
on two fundamental questions: the definition of democracy and the

parameters of the unit of analysis. It provides a detailed description of
the local dispute among students of Israel and examines the way in
which Israel is categorized in cross-national regime indexes. It thus
exposes the limits of attempts to classify the Israel regime, arguing that
this debate can never be conclusively resolved.
An attempt to bypass the inherent limitations in the debate about
classification takes place in Chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 2 maintains that
the way in which the concept of democracy is usually employed limits its
potential analytical leverage and argues for the need to shift the focus
from classification to a multidimensional understanding of democraticness
with three proposed dimensions. It demonstrates that the use of
disaggregated regime dimensions to classify different types of democracies
overcomes the inherent limits of the whole-regime classifications that
have been used in former analyses of Israel and other disputed cases.
A comparative analysis demonstrates that only regimes whose levels of
democracy are not contested can be classified in toto. Chapter 3 moves to
the question of the unit borders, arguing for the need for a spatial analysis
of the Israeli regime across diverse zones of control. It reviews the
answers given to the question of the Israeli regime’s borders to date and
points to their flaws in analyzing the Israeli regime. The changes that have
occurred since the 1990s also challenge clear divisions, especially when
distinguishing between control and influence. Rather than examining
Israel proper or Israel/Palestine, Chapter 3 proposes three spatial zones:
the 1949 borders (1949–2019), Israel and the Occupied Territories from
the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea (1967–1994), and Israel and
parts of the Occupied Territories (1994–2019). Chapter 4 provides a
comprehensive description of the regime across the three regime dimensions
and zones of control via a short historical overview combined with
several indexes that reflect different components of the regime. It shows
that in Israel proper the highest levels of democraticness are in political
contestation followed by protection,while the levels of coverage are much
more limited. The regime in Israel proper is, overall, fairly stable despite
some increase in democraticness after state consolidation and some more
recent signs of possible decline in protection and coverage. In the
Occupied Territories, on the other hand, the levels of democraticness
are minimal in the dimension of political contestation and coverage and
highly limited in the area of protection. The regime in the Occupied
Territories is not as stable as the regime in Israel proper due to changes
in the zones of control.
Outline of the Book 9
Cambridge University Press
978-1-108-84525-0 — Israel’s Regime Untangled
Gal Ariely
Excerpt
More Information
© in this web service Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org
Chapters 1 to 4 are thus the attempts to offer an alternative perspective
on the classification and borders of the Israeli regime. This perspective
is subsequently used to discuss the key factors which shape the
regime in Chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 5 explains the function of the
conflict in shaping the regime’s democraticness across different dimensions
and the ways it influences the regime’s zones of control via a
review of the main theoretical frameworks for understanding conflicts
and regimes. As this specific conflict has external and internal dimensions,
I inspect both, before outlining the main elements of the conflict,
explaining how these dimensions are interlinked and offering an
explanation of how the conflict has shaped the regime. Despite the
conflict and the potential for instability, the regime is, by and large,
quite stable. Changes in the levels of democraticness have been fairly
modest, and the gaps between the different dimensions of democracy
are also quite stable; the major change in the regime has been in its
zones of control. Chapter 6 outlines state capacity as a possible explanation
for this general stability and emphasizes the importance of the
state in explaining the regime. After clarifying the concept of state
capacity and its relationship with regime stability and reviewing the
historical origins of the Israeli state capacity, it discusses the ways that
state capacity sustains the regime despite the various challenges. Three
such challenges are discussed: the internal aspect of the conflict, the
challenge to state authority from political tensions among Jews, and
the ways that the zones of control shifted under the limited ability of
state capacity to ensure direct control of the entire Occupied
Territories. In the conclusion, I highlight the book’s contribution to
understanding Israel as well as other disputed cases, including a discussion
on the implications of the key arguments.
10 Introduction

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

https://www.international.ucla.edu/israel/articletranscript/237873

Transcript of Israel In Depth podcast

Host: Dov Waxman

Guest: Gal Ariely

Dov Waxman: Welcome to Israel in Depth, where scholars, policymakers, and leading experts come to discuss topics about Israel in depth. You’re listening to a podcast by the Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at UCLA. I’m Dov Waxman, the director of the Nazarian Center and the host of this podcast. Joining me for this episode of Israel in Depth is Gal Ariely. He’s a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics and Government at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. And his new book, Israel’s Regime Untangled: Between Democracy and Apartheid, has just been published by Cambridge University Press. Welcome to Israel in Depth. So let me begin by asking you, why did you write this book? What was your motivation for writing this book?

Gal Ariely: I like this question. I think that — when you look at the case of Israel as someone who is engaged in Israel, or as a scholar or who is interested in the Israeli case, or someone like me who lives in Israel and who is deeply influenced by her politics in many spheres of life. It’s sort of a puzzle. It’s sort of a puzzle because when you look at Israel, there are many questions that you don’t — at least I don’t have very clear answers to them. And I wanted to use my knowledge as a political scientist who works in the field of comparative politics and studies of regime and to see to what extent, or in what way, I can use this knowledge in order to better understand the Israeli case. Not only the classification of the regime, but also to what extent the knowledge that we have in political science about the nature of regimes. Their stabilities, their changes in regimes can better help us to clarify the Israeli case. This was my original motivation in trying to write this book. And I have to admit that although I just published it a two weeks ago, it’s still a positive case. I’m not sure that I revealed most of the of the puzzle, but at least I tried to shed light on some aspects on the Israeli regime.

Waxman: So in your book, I think what it seems that you’re trying to do is to is to reframe the the current debate that’s been going on both in Israel and overseas, including within academia, the debate over whether Israel is in fact, a democracy. I mean, there’s this ongoing debate over Israel’s democratic status, a debate that has flared up in the news recently, following the recent report by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, which I’m sure, you know, which came out and said that Israel is essentially an apartheid regime. Now, how does your book try to reframe this debate? Or what in your view is wrong with the way the debate over whether Israel’s a democracy is currently held?

Ariely: Well, as you clarify, the debate or the way to classify the Israeli regime is not new. It’s going on in the literature for more than I know — like 30 years. There are very different classifications. Go all the way from a democracy, illiberal democracy, or some diminished type of democracy, and all the way up to different versions of non-democracy regimes like an apartheid regime. And I think that when you look on all these classifications, and you go just through the literature, and different ways scholars have tried to address the Israeli case, you can find that in most cases — not all cases, of course, but in most cases — it seems that the way the regime is classified is a little bit detached from political science literature’s about how we classify regime from the first place. And when you try to connect the debate for the current understanding of the regime classification in comparative politics literature, you find that in many ways, the attempt to offer an overall definition of a regime is problematic by itself. It’s problematic by itself because, in many ways, the concept of democracy by itself. Again, it’s the most important concept in political science, probably was one of the most important concepts in political science. But it also it has some inherent weaknesses, at least analytical weaknesses, because in the political science literature, regardless of the Israeli case, there is a very long debate about how we should classify democracy from the first place. And I’ve tried in the book to show that any attempt to offer a definite definition of the regime overlooks the ways, the current standing of regimes, the current standing of democracy in political science. So in a sense, I’m not trying to offer a correct definition of the regime, because I don’t think that there is a possibility for a methodological point of view. Instead, I offer to look at it in different ways or in different framing of the debate from the beginning – from the outset.

Waxman: Right. So if I’m understanding the question that’s often asked, you know, is Israel a democracy or not? This can be framed in either-or terms…is the wrong kind of question. Instead of trying to make a decision, yes, Israel is a democracy. No, it isn’t. We should really be asking, in what respects is Israel a democracy? Or how democratic is Israel, rather than whether or not. And so your book is focusing on on the degrees of Israel’s democracy, or its dimensions of democracy rather than a kind of either or proposition. It is or isn’t that democratic. Is that is that correct?

Ariely: Yeah, because, again, from a political point of view — and when you look on from a normative point of view, from a political point of view — it’s very reasonable to ask if a country is a democracy or not, because it has a lot of political normative implications. But if you want to analyze the regime, not just to give it a name, not just to use the name, in order to justify or condemn the regime. If you want to understand the regime, the either note — perceptions or the attempt to offer a unique name to the Israeli case — have limits. I don’t think it’s wrong. I don’t think it’s wrong to offer classification of the regime. Again, the literature on the different classification have, of the Israeli regime, have a lot of merits. But in a way, the ability to use it in order to explain an aspect of the regime, is a bit limited. So what I propose is, instead of a clear definition of the regime, I propose to look on the level of ‘democraticness’ of the regime. The level of extent it is a democracy across different dimensions of democracy. Across different spheres of democracy. Across different aspects of democracy. And also across different zones of control. Because one of the debate, which is very clear in the Israeli case, is a question what exactly is the border of the regime? There are different answers to the question. And, of course, different answers lead to different classification of the regime from the outset. So I propose just to disentangle, disaggregate the perceptions of the old regime to different spheres, different level of ‘democraticness’ lists, and different zones of control.

Waxman: So I’m just picking up this different zones of control. And I think you’re alluding to the distinction, if you like between the regime within Israel proper or within the green line, and the regime in the occupied territories, in the West Bank, and East Jerusalem and maybe Gaza Strip as well. So do you then distinguish between these as two distinct regimes? The regime within the green line…the one Israel…and the regime, an Israeli regime, but a distinct regime from in the occupied territories?

Ariely: Well, I think that the key to understanding where exactly is the Israeli regime is to offer a very, very delicate distinction from the outset, form control, and influence. If you look on all the entire territory, what the so-called between the Jordan and the sea — Israel/Palestine — you can see that it’s a zone where there is direct control of Israel in what is called Israel proper, in East Jerusalem, and also in most of the part of the “C” zone in the West Bank where Israel has actual direct control. But when it comes to Gaza, and to some extent, also the Palestinian enclaves under the control of the Palestinian Authority, there is a very, very strong Israeli influence. But it’s not direct control. It’s something else. So the level of ‘democraticness’ of the regime is different in Israel proper. It’s different in East Jerusalem and “C” zone. And I think that Gaza is out of the definition of the regime. Again, a lot of influence of the regime, but not direct control. And when it comes to the Palestinian enclave, again, it’s an indirect control. So I’m not sure it’s part of the regime….

Waxman: So in that sense, you would reject the kind of, you know, claim that’s often made today that there’s a one-state reality between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. That effectively, there was only one state. Well, your analysis is kind of looking at this as a range of influence — from direct control to indirect influence.

Ariely: I’m not totally rejecting the idea of one-state reality because it really depends on how you understand the state. Right? It will depend on how you define a state from the outset. If you understand a state is a mechanism of bureaucratic control. So in a sense, Israel has influence also in the some aspects of the Palestinians enclaves, and also, to some extent, also some aspects of the Gaza…in the Gaza Strip, and it’s so much stronger democratic control on East Jerusalem and on “C” zone. But it’s not clear cut because I think that’s describing all the territory Gaza,  Nablus, Bethlehem, East Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and West Jerusalem, as one state. Again, it’s maybe has some important political implications. But from an analytical point of view, it really overlooks differences, which I think, are very relevant to understanding the regime between these spheres of influence and control. So I don’t think there is a clear-cut border that you can say this is Israel proper; this is a regime which is outer. And also there is not a very clear-cut border between a one-state reality in all the territory, including Gaza and the Palestinians enclave as it was before the….

Waxman: So I wonder, I mean, extending this, this analysis to think about, you know, degrees of control and the extent of bureaucratic control. Could you not go even further and say the same holds true even within Israel proper? I mean, you can take certain areas where the ultra-orthodox reside. And we’ve seen over the last number of months in Israel, where the resistance to members of the ultra-orthodox community to some of the regulations and restrictions imposed by the ..battling the COVID pandemic, that even within Israel itself, there are limits to the Israeli state’s bureaucratic control over certain parts.

Ariely: Well, I think that most states control or the ability of states to now commonly described as state capacity. The idea of states to implement policy, not only in Israel, but in many other countries, especially not countries which are in dispute… change between the center and the periphery and between different groups in society. It’s not something which is unique to Israel. But there should be a distinction between the capacity to implement public policy and the level of ‘democraticness’. The level of democraticness’ is the same, by in large, for the ultra-orthodox and for the non-orthodox inside Israel proper and also outside Israel proper in the settlements — the orthodox settlements in the occupied territories. When it comes to ‘democraticness’ in the spheres of political competition instead of limited illiberal rights, some of them exist in Israel. And it’s different from the ability of the state to implement their policy.

Waxman: I see – that’s an important distinction. So in terms of this ‘democraticness,’ in what areas, in what domains do you see, do you think Israel’s democratic is strongest, is most democratic? And in what areas or domains is it weakest?

Ariely: Well, as previous analyses have already shown, and I am not saying anything new here. The stronger aspect of the Israeli democracy it’s in the level of the political competition, in the inclusiveness of the election. Again, I’m talking only on the aspect of the regime, which is allowing people to petition. I’m not including East Jerusalem or zone “C” which are part of the regime. I’m talking only on this first, well, from the outset, there is a possibility of political competition. And this is the strongest aspect of the Israeli democracy. And when you go and look on, for example, on the liberal aspect of the Israeli democracy on the….you explore the defense of citizens against the state. The liberal aspect of democracy. It’s much more weaker. We have for many of course, many aspects. The liberal aspects or the liberal elements of the Israeli democracy are much more limited. And when you look at the extent to which there is coverage ….to what extent the entire population can participate in the political process and enjoy protection from the state without segmentation and securitization. This is the lowest aspect of Israel democracy when it comes to questions of the relation between Jews and Arabs in Israel proper. These are the most lowest levels of democracy. And again, of course, they’re quite stable. There are some changes, but they are quite stable. And again, we have an election next week in Israel, so we can see that there is also some ongoing decline in the liberal aspect of democracy in the last 10 years, 5 years. Depends how you exactly define it. But by and large, these three dimensions there’s a gap between them, but they’re rather stable across the years.

Waxman: So that was – you anticipated my next question. I was…I mean….myself and others have written about a kind of process of democratic backsliding occurring in Israel. A term that political scientists have used to describe developments in places like Hungary and Turkey and Poland, India, even the United States. Do you agree with this? Or are you saying that, actually, you know, Israel, Israeli democracy has always been illiberal in terms of the rights or freedoms of the individual? But really, it’s actually been, it’s actually fairly stable. And these concerns are exaggerated about democratic backsliding.

Ariely: I think it’s a very, very good question. And I’ve a seminar with my students under the title, “Is Israel’s Democracy Backsliding?” And we are debating this question for two years by now. And I think that it’s really depends how you understand backsliding or democratic backsliding from the beginning. As you know, it’s not a solid concept in the literature. And even different definitions or different understanding of what democratic backsliding would lead to different results. So I’m not sure that we can say, yes, there is democratic backsliding in Israel, to the extent that there was in Turkey for sure, or even to the extent that we can locate in Hungary or even in Poland. I’m not sure this is the case. I think it’s much, much more debatable. But from the outset, the concept of democratic backsliding, in a way, assumes liberal democratic forms from the first place. There was some advancements like in the 90s of the last century. And one might wonder if what we see now in Israel in the last few years is a democratic backsliding or just a backlash against the liberal forces that try to reshape the country. So I’m not sure it’s a democratic backsliding, or just a debate between very … some aspects of the Israeli regime.

Waxman: So you mentioned that the upcoming election and one of the claims that that have been made by competitors to (Benjamin) Netanyahu is that, you know, Netanyahu is a threat to Israeli democracy. And that this is you know, not just a competition, a political competition between, you know, different political parties, but between kind of democrats and…in Netanyahu’s case it would be autocrat. Do you think that there…that’s misplaced? That in fact, you know, the 10 years that Netanyahu has been in power haven’t really…he hasn’t really threatened Israeli democracy in the way that his critics suggest he has?

Ariely: I think that there are different ways to understand this question. One way would argue that maybe Netanyahu is a threat to Israel’s democracy, but he’s no different than previous prime ministers, which were by and large — the popular ones (those who hold power for a long time) weren’t, I would say, motivated by democratic reasoning. If you compare some incidents of Netanyahu to (Ariel) Sharon. Even to previous prime ministers, you wouldn’t find that they were motivated by the need to strengthen democracy. You know, it’s a bit funny because these days, there’s a lot of nostalgia to Menachem Begin, who is now portrayed as a big democrat. But when Menachem Begin came to power, the Israeli elites viewed him as a direct threat to democracy. And the perception was that if Begin will rule, Israel democracy, or at least the democratic aspect of Israel (because I’m not trying to say that Israel is a democracy). But the democratic aspects that are in Israel will be ruined by Begin because he’s a populist, and he’s etc, etc. And we know that, at least in these aspects of Israel’s democracy, there was an improvement after Begin’s period. So this is one way to understand that. It’s in a way, a nostalgic view of those who worry that Netanyahu…some believe that they were more democratic than he. Another way to understand it that perhaps Netanyahu is just unmasking the illiberal, undemocratic aspect of the Israeli regime in a much bolder way than previous prime minister or previous political elites. So it’s not Netanyahu itself. It is this regime, which again when someone has a grip on power for a long time, he can advance these aspects which are at the heart of this regime. Like the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, which again, it wasn’t a project of Netanyahu. It was a project that started with Tzipi Livni in Kadima — or Tzipi Livni was one of the advocates for that. So it’s not necessary Netanyahu itself. Another way to think about it, it’s perhaps Netanyahu because of a unique situation and because the allegation he’s facing to, might be the trigger, might be the actor that will enable the forces that don’t like the liberal aspect of Israeli democracy, or the advances that there were in the position in the status of the high court to change these aspects of a regime and to create backsliding — not in the entire regime, but at least in this aspect, and especially when it comes to the status of the court. So I don’t think there is a simple answer to this question.

Waxman: But I think you’re absolutely right that that we shouldn’t really focus exclusively on Netanyahu or see him as somehow a unique threat to Israeli democracy or the great risk to it. That there are deeper forces that play, and there are other groups that certainly, when it comes to the power of the Supreme Court, have long wanted to reduce the Supreme Court’s power. And in some sense, Netanyahu’s legal trouble has provided them an opportunity to try and challenge the court. I want to turn in the time that we have left to maybe a very tricky topic. Also, in your book, the question of apartheid. And as I mentioned in my introduction, this is not a new question that’s been…not a new allegation that’s been leveled against Israel. It’s been leveled for many years by Palestinians and some of their supporters. But in recent months, B’Tselem — an Israeli human rights organization, a prominent organization — has itself made this allegation. Has itself come out and called Israel essentially an apartheid regime, not just the Israeli military rule in the West Bank, but Israel itself. How do you see this claim of apartheid? I mean, what’s your response to this?

Ariely: I think that my attempt to view if the Israeli regime, as I mentioned at the beginning, is to use perspective that I, as a political scientist, adopt to understand reality. And when we classify regime, when we discuss regime, we don’t just use analog. We don’t just say this regime is like that — Israeli is like an apartheid, Israel is like India, Israel is like the U.S., Israel is like the French. Because such comparisons are not the way we try to analyze the reality when we are doing a political science. So in a sense, I’m not engaged with the debate because B’Tselem, it’s one NGO who claim Israeli is apartheid, and someone else who said, okay, but B’Tselem claimed Israel is apartheid, but Freedom House, which is an NGO who classifies regime for a living, don’t claim that Israel is an apartheid. Classify Israel as an illiberal democracy, or something close to illiberal democracy. So why we can take B’Tselem NGO argument as superior on another NGO argument. And so such debate, it’s not, not my interest. And I think that I would say that even more, the claim that Israel is apartheid is a very, very strong argument in the case of the political implications of the situation in Israel, that’s in many ways, it’s very hard to justify what’s going on in the occupied territories…So I’m not saying…I’m not arguing anywhere, that’s the way such claims are wrong. I’m not in any debate with B’Tselem. My motivation is to expand reality, and if I’m claiming, or if someone is claiming that Israel is apartheid, so the way we can use it to explain issues is very limited. For example, again, we have elections next week, and there is a very strong competition for the Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship – electors. There is a very, very strong competition of them. If I’m claiming that Israel is an apartheid regime, so my ability to explain how could it be that there is such a strong competition, a vote of the Palestinian citizens will be very limited. Because if it is an apartheid regime, so maybe they don’t have free will, they cooperate with the regime who marginalize them. So but why do they do that? Why don’t they use other means in order to challenge the Israeli regime? And if my motivation is not to name Israel, but to understand why in front of all the Israeli policies, in front of all the ongoing inequality, why the very strong political participation among Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, So the concept of apartheid will be very limited in his ability to help me explain it. So this is why I will not use the concept of apartheid. And I also don’t use the concept of democracy because claiming that, yeah, because it is democracy is also very limited, because it ignores the zones that Israel controls and the Palestinian people who don’t have a citizenship who don’t take part in the political process. And I have to understand this as well because this is part of the regime.

Waxman: Absolutely. I think that’s very important that these these labels, these terms, may be useful in political and public debate. But when it comes to serving as an analytical tool, or to actually explain what’s happening, they can often obscure more than they illuminate. And that we really need to have a much more fine-tuned in nuanced approach. And I think, you know, in your book — and in this interview —  you really express very clearly what that would look like and how to take a much more nuanced approach to these very contentious topics. I want to thank you for that and for sharing your knowledge and expertise with our audience. And I encourage everyone to find the book — it’s just come out. So congratulations. The title again is Israel’s Regime Untangled: Between Democracy and Apartheid. You’ve been listening to an episode of Israel in Depth, produced by the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Thank you for listening.
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DEMOCRATIC EROSION

a cross-university collaboration

 THE COURSE

SYLLABUS ASSIGNMENTS ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Gal Ariely

Gal Ariely is senior lecturer at the Department of Politics & Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Employing cross-national analysis and experimental survey research, he examines political attitudes and national identity. In addition, his research addresses methodological questions of measurements across different contexts. He’s currently working on a book project Israeli Democracy: Reality or Myth. The book seeks to untangle the conflicting interpretations of the Israeli regime by focusing on the structural factors shaping the regime rather than seeking to classify it. It’s focus is the question: Which factors undermine and which factors support Israel’s levels of “democraticness” across different dimensions and zones of control.

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https://www.democratic-erosion.com/about/
  About

Recent years have witnessed a deluge of commentary warning of imminent threats to democracy in the US, the West and the world. In the US, this rhetoric has become especially heated with the rise of Donald Trump.

Is American democracy really under threat? What about democracy in the West, or the world more generally? If democracy is under threat, what can we do about it? And if it’s not under threat, why are so many of us so worried that it is? The Democratic Erosion consortium aims to help answer these questions through a combination of teaching, research, and civic and policy engagement.

Democratic Erosion is a cross-university collaboration that helps students and faculty evaluate threats to democracy both here and abroad through the lens of theory, history and social science.

Since fall 2017, faculty at over 40 universities have taught from the same shared syllabus on democratic erosion. We have also constructed a unique event dataset capturing the symptoms and precursors of democratic erosion across countries and over time, which we have used to conduct research and prepare reports for our partners in the policy community. Our students collaborate on assignments and are expected to engage not only with their peers, but with the public as well.

Importantly, the consortium is not intended as a partisan critique of Donald Trump, or of any other politician or political party. Our goal is to treat the threat of democratic erosion as an empirical question, rather than merely a political one.  

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https://www.academia.edu/29045066/Remembrance_Day_influence_on_national_sentiments_and_hostility_towards_out_groups_evidence_from_a_panel_study_in_Israel

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Ethnic and Racial Studies
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Remembrance Day influence on national sentiments and hostility towards out-groups: evidence from a panel study in Israel
Gal Ariely
To cite this article: Gal Ariely (2016): Remembrance Day influence on national sentiments and
hostility towards out-groups: evidence from a panel study in Israel, Ethnic and Racial Studies,
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2016.1234629
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2016.1234629
Published online: 10 Oct 2016.
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Remembrance Day influence on national sentiments
and hostility towards out-groups: evidence from a
panel study in Israel
Gal Ariely
The Department of Politics & Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva,
Israel
ABSTRACT
While scholars have long emphasized the significant impact of national days on
the masses, the actual impact of national days on people’s national sentiments
have been ignored. This study set out to examine the ways in which exposure to
Remembrance Day impacts national sentiments and hostility towards outgroups.
Unlike previous cross-sectional-design studies, it adopted longitudinal
design in order to explore the actual impact of exposure to Remembrance
Day amongst Israeli Jews. While exposure to Remembrance Day increased the
respondents’ sense of nationalism, neither their level of national identification
and hostility towards out-groups nor the magnitude of the positive link
between nationalism and hostility towards out-groups changed significantly.
While national identification was unrelated to hostility prior to Remembrance
Day, it became negatively related to it on Remembrance Day itself. The
findings shed new light on the prevalent assumption regarding the impact
national days have on public sentiment.
ARTICLE HISTORY Received 20 October 2015; Accepted 31 August 2016
KEYWORDS National identity; nationalism; collective memory; xenophobia; national days; panel design;
Israel
Introduction
More than a century after Memorial Day was officially established, the US Congress
passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act that instituted “a
symbolic act of unity” marking a “National Moment of Remembrance to
honor the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of
freedom and peace.”1 The rationale adduced for this move was that
“greater strides must be made to demonstrate appreciation for those loyal
people of the United States whose values, represented by their sacrifices,
are critical to the future of the United States”.
Such acts are common practice in the life of nations, elites making specific
moments part of the national calendar. Remembrance Day is one of a wider
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
CONTACT Gal Ariely galariel@bgu.ac.il
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES, 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2016.1234629
repertoire of “nationhood performances” that includes national holidays and
the use of national symbols (Woods and Tsang 2014). Congress’s claim that
remembering the fallen is imperative to the nation’s future echoes Anthony
Smith’s assertion that “ceremonial and symbolism help to assure the continuity
of an abstract community of history and destiny” (1991, 78). It is thus no
wonder that scholars have long drawn attention to the significant affect
national days have upon national identity and the construction of a sense
of nationhood (McCrone and McPherson 2009; Elgenius 2011). To date,
however, the majority of studies have focused on the top-down production
of national days by elites (Roy 2006; Hemple 2012; Zuev and Virchow 2014).
This approach is based on the assumption that national days wield a profound
impact on the national identity of the masses, increasing citizen identification
with the nation. This premise rarely being subject to critical investigation,
however, the actual ways in which national days impact people have been
relatively ignored (Fox 2006; Fox and Miller-Idriss 2008). As Jon Fox observes:
“While the scholarship on nationalism has convincingly demonstrated how
national holidays can generate national attachments, they have not shown
how they do generate such attachments” (2014, 38 [original italics]).
Using large-scale surveys, recent studies have focused on national days
themselves and the way in which they are linked to public attitudes and behaviours.
2 While these suggest that national days are related to some aspects of
people’s national identity and out-group attitudes (Meuleman and Lubbers
2013; Fozdar, Spittles, and Hartley 2015; Coopmans, Lubbers, and Meuleman
2015), their cross-sectional design has precluded them from directly examining
the influence exerted by exposure to national days.
Taking Israel as a test case, this study focused on the impact of exposure to
Remembrance Day upon national sentiment, hostility towards asylumseekers,
and attitudes towards the Israeli-Arab conflict. It employed a longitudinal
design to examine the actual impact of Israeli Jews’ exposure to Remembrance
Day. A three-wave panel survey measured national sentiment (national
identification and nationalism), hostility towards asylum seekers, and attitudes
towards the Israeli-Arab conflict several weeks prior to Remembrance Day, on
Remembrance Day itself, and eight weeks later.
The results demonstrate that nearly all Israeli Jews participated in Remembrance
day-related behaviours. Despite the extent of Israeli Jewish exposure
to Remembrance Day, the influence appears to be more limited than
expected. National identification, hostility towards out-groups and attitudes
towards the conflict did not change significantly across time, the magnitude
of the positive link between nationalism and hostility towards out-groups also
remaining the same. Remembrance Day did, however, increase a sense of
nationalism. While national identification was unrelated to hostility towards
out-groups prior to Remembrance Day, it became negatively related to
these feelings on Remembrance Day itself.
2 G. ARIELY
This study contributes not only to an understanding of the influence
exerted by national days in general and Remembrance Day in particular but
also to the study of nationhood. One of the central debates in the nationhood
literature relates to the primordial vs. modernist view of the nation. The latter
adopts a top-down approach that highlights the role elites play in nation
building via such nationhood performances as Remembrance Day. The
former emphasizes the role of the masses in bottom-up processes (Woods
and Tsang 2014). Much of this debate has taken the influence exerted by
national days for granted, failing to adduce any empirical support. The few
recent studies that have looked empirically at the impact of national identity
have been cross-sectional. They were thus unable to estimate the actual effect
of exposure to national holidays. This study explores the impact of Remembrance
Day – a “meeting point” between national subjects and the imagined
collective coordinated by the state via a longitudinal design. The same
respondents from heterogeneous sample of Israeli Jews answered a survey
some weeks prior to Remembrance Day, on Remembrance Day itself, and
eight weeks later. This allowed me to assess the actual influence on Remembrance
Day on their sense of national identification, nationalism, hostility
towards asylum seekers and attitudes towards the Israeli-Arab conflict.
National days, remembrance day, and national identity
National days are specific moments in time a nation holds in celebration or
commemoration of formative events in its history. Rather than constituting
part of the “banal” repertoire of a nation’s everyday reflections (Billig 1995),
they frequently take the form of a nationwide day off from work whose significance
is explicated and reinforced by extensive media commentary, thus
synchronizing – at least temporarily – with citizens’ memories (McCrone
and McPherson 2009; Elgenius 2011; Woods and Tsang 2014). National days
constitute part of the rituals and symbols performed at a specific moment
in the national calendar.
Remembrance Day forms an important part of the repertoire of national
days modern nation-states have evolved. State expansion has led to the institution
of national days of remembrance for those who have died on behalf of
the country as part of its symbolic framework. Specifically, the state’s role in
war commemoration has been heightened by an increase in mass-mobilization
and citizen conscription, the two world wars and enormous sacrifice
they entailed leading directly to the institution of memorial days in many
countries (Mosse 1991). The member-states of the Commonwealth, for
example, observe Remembrance Day every November on the anniversary of
the end of the First World War with official ceremonies and a minute of
silence in honour of the fallen. In the USA, the origins of Memorial Day – a
federal holiday – lie in the civil war.
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 3
Remembrance Day commemorates the ultimate sacrifice the nation
demands from its citizens – the laying down of their lives in the service of
their country. This patriotic act attributes not only significance but even a
degree of sanctity to Remembrance Day (Young 1993). The collective commemoration
of those who died on behalf of their nation engages citizens
with the national past, highlighting the deeds of those who gave their lives
in its defence. This differentiates Remembrance Day from other types of
national days or daily symbols and national representations – such as the
flag – which fall into the category of “banal nationalism” (Billig 1995). Remembrance
Days are designed by state elites to promote national identity amongst
their citizens, providing the cognitive and emotional knowledge upon which
the legitimacy of the nation rests and thereby enabling citizens to identify
with fellow co-nationals in a shared experience. They thus serve an important
role in strengthening a sense of national identity (Smith 1981).
Like Remembrance Day, national rituals afford opportunities for the visual
and audible realization of symbolic attachment to the nation, prompting citizens
to remember, re-enact, and re-redefine the national past and enhancing
their emotional attachment to the nation-state. Through the choreographed
exhibition and collective performance of national symbols, those in attendance
are united in a transitory awareness of heightened national cohesion
and solidarity (Smith 1981; Fox and Miller-Idriss 2008). National days are commonly
assumed to wield a profound impact on the national identity of the
masses, increasing citizen identification with the nation and sometimes
strengthening the distinction between members of the nation and outgroups
(Woods and Tsang 2014).
Few studies have examined how national days are related to public sentiment.
One cross-sectional-survey study in Perth, Australia, looked at flagwaving
behaviours on Australia Day, national sentiment, and out-group attitudes
(Fozdar, Spittles, and Hartley 2015). Flag wavers ranked higher on
both the patriotism and nationalism scales, also holding more negative
views towards Muslims and asylum seekers. While the findings from Australia
display significant differences in all aspect of national identity and out-group
attitudes, in the Netherlands one study (Meuleman and Lubbers 2013) found
less clear constructs. This large cross-sectional-survey study investigated the
way in which nationalist attitudes and perceived ethnic threats are related
to national behaviours such as listening to domestic music, voting for farright
parties, and participation in national celebrations and commemorations.
While those who participated in national celebrations and commemorations
were more likely to be proud of their nation, they did not differ with
respect to their feelings of national superiority or perception of cultural/
ethnic threats. Another study in the Netherlands found that participation in
various types of national days – Remembrance Day, Liberation Day, and
Queen’s Day – correlated diversely with feelings of national belonging
4 G. ARIELY
(Coopmans, Lubbers, and Meuleman 2015). Participation in Queen’s Day was
related more strongly to national belonging than Remembrance Day and
Liberation Day – a finding explained by the higher visibility of Queen’s Day.
Overall, these three studies imply that exposure to national days appears to
be related to some aspects of national identity. Their cross-sectional design
precluded them from directly examining the influence exerted by exposure
to national days, however. As Coopmans and her colleagues observe:
…as the current results are based on cross-sectional data, we must be careful
with drawing conclusions that suggest causality. Experimental or longitudinal
data are therefore needed to be able to make more firm conclusions regarding
the direction of the relationship between national day participation and feelings
of national belonging. (2015, 12)
In light of this observation, the current study employed a longitudinal design.
While the impact of national days has been largely neglected to date,
several studies have adopted social-psychology experimental approaches in
order to analyse the casual effects of exposure to national symbols – principally
the flag (Butz 2009). One American study, in which the participants completed
a survey questionnaire in the presence or absence of the American flag,
indicated that the flag increased nationalism but not patriotism (Kemmelmeier
and Winter 2008). Exposure to the Austrian flag increased national pride
and, to a limited extent, nationalism (Gangl, Torgler, and Kirchler 2015). In
India, exposure to the flag increased national identification and a sense of solidarity
(Charnysh, Lucas, and Singh 2015). In contrast, a study in Germany
found that exposure to the German flag did not impact nationalism but did
increase out-group prejudice amongst highly nationalistic respondents
(Becker et al. 2015). Other studies also found that exposure to the flag in
Israel or the USA affected out-group attitudes (Butz, Plant, and Doerr 2007;
Hassin et al. 2007). While these studies evince that exposure to the national
flag indeed impacts some aspects of national identity, they ignored national
days.3
The studies of flag exposure and national holidays conducted to date have
generally overlooked the fundamental distinction between national identification
(sometimes labelled as patriotism) and nationalism (often labelled as
chauvinism). National identification pertains to the level of attachment one
feels with regard to one’s national community. Nationalism is defined as
the feeling that one’s nation is superior to others (Kosterman and Feshbach
1989; Blank and Schmidt 2003; Roccas, Klar, and Liviatan 2006). While
related, the findings indicate that these two dimensions shape attitudes
towards out-groups and other issues in divergent ways. Nationalism is inherently
related to out-group devaluation. While national identification is positively
related to one’s own national group, however, it does not necessarily
involve out-group devaluation (De Figueiredo and Elkins 2003; Raijman
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 5
et al. 2008). A longitudinal study in Germany (Wagner et al. 2012) that enabled
the establishment of causality demonstrates that nationalism may increase
out-group devaluation but that out-group devaluation does not increase
nationalism. National-identity negative effect on out-group devaluation was
only evident when nationalism was controlled. In light of these findings,
one may wonder what sort of effect Remembrance Day – a unique type of
national symbol – may exert on national identification and nationalism and
the correlation of these sentiments with attitudes towards out-groups and
towards the conflict in Israel.
National identity and Israeli remembrance day
As in other countries, national identity and collective memory has a profound
impact on attitudes towards out-groups and on the Israeli-Arab conflict in
Israel. Studies evince that nationalism is positively related to hostility
towards various types of out-groups (Canetti-Nisim and Pedahzur 2003;
Raijman et al. 2008; Raijman & Hochman, 2011). Remembering the Holocaust
was found to be associated with increased support for inter-group violence,
being mediated by higher levels of national identification and reducing
support for compromises designed to bring about peace (Canetti et al.
under review).
It is therefore no wonder that the Remembrance Day plays a key role in
moulding Israel national identity. Since its establishment, Israel’s day of commemoration
for those who have died on its behalf has formed a central
element of Israeli civic religion (Liebman and Don-Yih ya 1983). Known as
“Israel’s Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror Attacks”,
it takes place according to law between Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance
Day and Independence Day, in close proximity to the Passover feast
that establishes the fundamental, mythical pattern of Jewish history as a
recurring cycle of persecution and redemption. The Holocaust and Heroism
Remembrance Day observed a week earlier commemorates the worst catastrophe
ever to befall the Jewish people. Remembrance Day and Independence
Day mark the fact that a Jewish state willing to go to war to defend
itself is the only viable answer to the persecution of the Jewish people (Handelman
2004).
During Remembrance Day, places of entertainment and restaurants are
closed by law. On its eve, a one-minute siren sounds, a two-minute silence
during another siren being observed at 11:00 on the day itself, people stopping
whatever they are doing and standing in honour of the fallen. Memorial
ceremonies are held across the country at cemeteries, schools, and universities,
radio and TV broadcasting programmes all being dedicated to the
topic throughout the day (Ben-Amos 2003). As the results of the survey indicate,
exposure to Remembrance day-related rituals is widespread.
6 G. ARIELY
Remembrance Day is particularly poignant because of the on-going conflict
in which the country is embroiled, which sees new names added to the
list of casualties each year. Several months before this study was conducted,
for example, Israel was involved in intense conflictual violence in Gaza. Many
studies evincing that increased threat stimulates identification with the nation
and hostility towards out-groups (Huddy et al. 2003; Riek, Mania, and Gaertner
2006), it is reasonable to expect that as occasions on which national conflicts
are remembered Remembrance Days are likely to magnify awareness of
threats to the nation, thereby further heightening their effect. The country’s
involvement in protracted conflict shaping it in the socio-political sphere
(Bar-Tal 2013), exposure to Remembrance Day may be expected to exert a
profound influence upon respondents.
Over all, the expectations are that:
H1: Exposure to Remembrance Day will increase national identification and
nationalism.
H2: Exposure to Remembrance Day will heighten hostility towards out-groups
and attitudes towards the conflict.
H3: Exposure to Remembrance Day will magnify the link between nationalism,
hostility towards out-groups and attitudes towards the conflict.
RQ1: In light of the dissimilarity between the effects of nationalism and national
identification on out-group hostility (Wagner et al. 2012), I will also inspect how
exposure to Remembrance Day affects the link between national identification,
hostility towards out-groups, and attitudes toward the conflict.
Method
Procedure
A three-wave panel design in which the same participants answered identical
questions at three time points via an online questionnaire was employed. T1
was March 2015, five weeks prior to Remembrance Day. Eight hundred and
sixty-seven respondents completed the questionnaire, sixty-seven of whom
were excluded due to an instructional manipulation checks (IMC) failure
(Oppenheimer, Meyvis, and Davidenko 2009) indicating lack of sufficient
attention to the survey questions. T2 was Remembrance Day (22 April
2015). The 800 respondents from T1 were emailed at 11:10, immediately following
the siren. Day beginning at nightfall in Israel, Independence Day formally
begins at 20:00. Data were thus collected up until 19:00 in order to
ensure that T2 data related exclusively to Remembrance Day. T2 consisted
of 535 participants, ten of whom were excluded due to IMC failure.
While T2 was during the Remembrance Day itself the design also allowed
for the possibility of longer impact. The third wave was thus implemented
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 7
eight weeks later. Although this interval is rather short, it adopted in order to
isolate the impact of Remembrance Day exposure from other possible events
– for example, conflict-related events common in the Israeli setting – that
might influence the respondents’ national sentiments, attitudes towards
asylum seekers, and opinion of the conflict. During the eight-week interval
(22 April 2015 to 23–25 June 2015) no noteworthy conflict event occurred
that might have impacted the respondents.
T3 consisted of 525 respondents who were invited to participate in the
survey again. Ten respondents dropped out. Ninety-two respondents who
failed the IMC test were not included in the analysis. Five respondents who
indicated no exposure to Remembrance Day practices were also excluded.
The total sample of the three waves I analysed thus consisted of 418 respondents.
The overall panel attrition from T1 to T3 was 52 per cent. The dropout
was unrelated to gender, education, or religiosity.4
Data collection and participants
Studies of national-symbols effects have adopted social-psychology experimental
approaches (Butz 2009) that involve sampling students in labs. The
current study seeking to examine non-lab conditions and a more diverse
sample, the participants were recruited via an online panel, completing an
online questionnaire in exchange for a sum approximating $2. Online
panels conduct web-based surveys amongst respondents who form the
pooled sample. While the sample was heterogeneous (47.5 per cent
women; mean age 43; 15 per cent born outside Israel; 59 per cent secular;
30 per cent high-school education or less; 44 per cent under-average family
income; 21 per cent political left-wing identification), it is not a probability
sample; nor should it be regarded as a representative sample of Jews in Israel.
These limitations notwithstanding, online panels possess two advantages.
Firstly, the evidence indicates that despite demographic differences online
panel and population-based survey experiments yield similar findings (Weinberg,
Freese, and McElhattan 2014; Revilla et al. 2015).5 Likewise, attention
levels and socially desirable response differ only minimally in lab and online
settings (Clifford and Jerit 2014). Secondly, and more importantly, the
online survey allowed collection of data on Remembrance Day itself across
a broad set of participants, respondents being able to use their mobile
phones to answer the questionnaire.6
Exposure to remembrance day
To examine exposure to Remembrance Day, several questions were posed at
T2, pertaining exclusively to behavioural acts related to Remembrance Day in
order to capture participation in its practices. Overall, 79 per cent reported
8 G. ARIELY
watching Remembrance Day-related TV programmes, 81 per cent exposure to
such content on the internet, and 88 per cent discussion of Remembrance Day
with family or friends. More than half of the respondents (51 per cent) participated
in Remembrance Day ceremonies, nearly all (97 per cent) affirming that
they stood during the sirens. These results clearly demonstrate the extraordinary
level of exposure to Remembrance Day practices amongst Israeli Jews.
While they might be biased by socially desirable responding, their accuracy
is suggested by the fact that more than a million and half people – one out
of every five Israeli Jews – visited an army cemetery before or on Remembrance
Day.7
Measures
National identification was measured by four items (adopted from Roccas, Klar,
and Liviatan 2006): “I identify with Israel”; “Israel is an important part of my
identity”; “Israeli identity is more important to me than other types of identity”;
and “It is not important for me to see myself as Israeli” (reserved item).8
Nationalism was also measured by four items (adopted from Roccas, Klar,
and Liviatan 2006; Davidov 2009): “The world would be a better place if
people from other countries were more like Israelis”; “Generally speaking,
Israel is a better country than most other countries”; “In comparison with
other nations, Israel is very moral nation”; and “Other countries can learn a
lot from Israel.”
In line with previous studies, national identification and nationalism were
strongly positively correlated (T1 r = .46; T2 r = .49; T3 r = .52). The scales
were found to be distinct in an EFA analysis, however, and possessed of sufficient
internal reliability (T1 α = .80; T2 α = .85; T3 α = .82. Nationalism: T1 α
= .86; T2 α = .88; T3 α = .89). To further validate the measures, the divergent
validity between nationalism and national identification was examined by
comparing models in which the eight items were loaded on one or two
factors. Model comparison at T1 ΔAIC was 400. At T2, ΔAIC was 446. At T3,
the ΔAIC was 356. At the three time points, the one-factor model was far
from any acceptable-model fit (CFI < .8; RMSEA > .2). CFA across the three
time points (Little 2013) was also used to examine for measurement invariance
over time. Model fits (ΔCFI < .003; ΔRMSEA < .005) are in line with
Chen’s (2007) criteria for mean comparisons.9
Hostility towards out-groups was measured by the endorsement of the exclusion
of asylum seekers scale via four items: “Israel should deport asylum
seekers”; “Asylum seekers must be held in camps while their requests are
being processed”; “Israel should not consider asylum seekers’ requests for
asylum”; and “Israel should be generous towards asylum seekers” (reserved
item). This scale measures public sentiment towards the asylum seekers
who have arrived in Israel in recent years, commonly defined in the official
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 9
discourse as “infiltrators” seeking jobs in Israel – a representation that promotes
exclusionist attitudes (Duman 2015; Hochman 2015). The scale’s
internal reliability was sufficient (T1 α = .86; T2 α = .88; T3 α = .87).
Basic attitudes towards the conflict (labelled conflictual attitudes) were
measured via four items partially adopted from Halperin et al. (2011): “I
support territorial compromises with the Palestinians based on the 1967
borders” (reserved item); “I support the partition of Jerusalem for peace”
(reserved item); “Israel has no choice but to attack Iranian nuclear sites”;
and “There will never be peace with the Arabs.” The scale’s internal reliability
was sufficient (T1 α = .82; T2 α = .81; T3 α = .83). A strong positive correlation
existed between conflictual attitudes and endorsement of the exclusion of
asylum seekers (T1 r = .52; T2 r = .54; T3 r = .50).10
Controls for education, gender, and religiosity were included in the
regression models. Remembrance Day being a personal as well as collective
experience, the regression models also controlled for potential personal
effect, respondents being asked if they had relatives or friends amongst the
losses.11
Results
To test the first hypothesis – that Remembrance Day exposure increases
national sentiments – I examined the means across the three time points
(see Table 1). While national-identification levels rose slightly (Δ = .041)
between T1 and T2, the change in national-identification was insignificant
(F[1.92, 802] = .824, p = .43). Nationalism levels, in contrast, altered significantly
(F[2, 834] = 15.37, p < 000), rising (Δ = .117) on Remembrance Day
itself and between T2 and T3 (Δ = .099). Overall, between T1 and T3 they
increased by approximately 3 per cent. These results provide partial
support for H1. While exposure to Remembrance Day heightened a sense
of nationalism – the same effect also existing later – national identification
remained unchanged, despite its strong positive correlation with
nationalism.
Table 1. National sentiments and hostile attitudes towards out-groups means across
time.
T1 T2 T3
National sentiments
National identification 5.87 (1.18) 5.91 (1.16) 5.86 (1.13)
Nationalism 5.02 (1.28) 5.14 (1.24) 5.24 (1.27)
Hostile attitudes towards out-groups
Endorsing asylum seekers exclusion 4.14 (1.68) 4.07 (1.75) 4.11 (1.67)
Conflictual attitudes 4.57 (1.69) 4.59 (1.65) 4.63 (1.67)
Notes: N = 418. Unstandardized coefficients and SE (in parentheses). T1 five weeks before the Remembrance
Day, T2 the Remembrance Day itself, T3 eight weeks after the Remembrance Day.
10 G. ARIELY
The second hypothesis – that Remembrance Day would affect hostile attitudes
towards out-groups – was tested in a similar fashion. No significant
differences obtained across the three time points for exclusionary attitudes
towards asylum seekers (F[1.20, 504] = 1.78, p = .18). Similarly, no significant
differences across time obtained for conflictual attitudes (F[1.93, 807] = 1.35,
p = .25). Overall, H2 was thus refuted, exposure to Remembrance Day not
changing hostility towards out-groups.
The second part of the analysis examined the third hypothesis – that
exposure to Remembrance Day would magnify the link between nationalism,
hostility towards out-groups and attitudes towards the conflict. In addition, it
examines the impact on national identification magnitude in line with RQ1.
Here, I conducted ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions models for the
three time points to discover whether national identification and nationalism
predicted hostility towards asylum seekers and conflictual attitudes. Table 2
presents the results of the models for the exclusion of asylum seekers. Nationalism
is strongly related to exclusionary attitudes towards asylum seekers
across the three time points. No meaningful change occurred in the magnitude
of these relations across time. With respect to national identification,
however, a clear shift occurred in the magnitude of the relations. While the
relation between national identification and exclusionary attitudes towards
asylum seekers was not significant at T1 or T3, a negative relation obtained
at T2. In other words, on Remembrance Day itself, higher levels of national
identification were negatively related to exclusionary attitudes. This negative
relation dissipated after eight weeks, however.
Table 3 presents the similar results for conflictual attitudes towards the
conflict. While no meaningful change in the close relation between nationalism
and these attitudes across the three time points occurred, an insignificant
relation did obtain between national identification and conflictual attitudes at
T1. These relations became negative in T2. In contrast to attitudes towards
asylum seekers, however, this remained negative at a similar magnitude at
T3. Another analysis controlling for personal exposure to Remembrance Day
Table 2. Predicting endorsing asylum seekers exclusion across time.
T1 T2 T3
Gender (female) −0.20 (0.15) −0.31 (0.15)* −0.33 (0.15)*
Education −0.07 (0.03)* −0.06 (0.03) −0.07 (0.03)*
Religiosity 0.49 (0.16)** 0.62 (0.17)** 0.50 (0.16)**
National identification −0.04 (0.07) −0.15 (0.08)* −0.08 (0.08)
Nationalism 0.43 (0.07)*** 0.47 (0.08)*** 0.41 (0.07)***
R2 .16 .17 .15
Notes: N = 418. Unstandardized coefficients and SE (in parentheses). T1 five weeks before the Remembrance
Day, T2 the Remembrance Day itself, T3 eight weeks after the Remembrance Day.
*p < .05.
**p < .01.
***p < .001.
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 11
did not alter the results. Overall, H3 was thus refuted, the relation between
nationalism, hostility towards out-groups and conflictual attitudes not increasing.
Under the impact of Remembrance Day, national identification in fact
became negatively related to hostility towards out-groups.
Discussion
In his classic 1882 essay “What is a Nation,” Ernest Renan identified two
elements that constitute the nation as “a soul, a spiritual principle. One lies
in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich
legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live
together…” (Renan [1882] 1990, 19). Remembrance Day, which forms part
of the “nationhood’s performance” repertoire of national days, constitutes a
unique meeting point between past and present, between the nation as symbolic
entity and the individual. Its uniqueness and importance has led scholars
to emphasize its impact upon national sentiment amongst individuals and
thus upon the construction of the nation as a shared subjective meaning
amongst its citizens. As, Gabriella Elgenius argues in her comprehensive
account of national days, however, “It is difficult to appropriately assess individual
sentiments associated with national days…in the absence of adequate
or comparative qualitative or quantitative data” (2011, 25).
The impact of national days on national sentiments having rarely been subjected
to empirical examination, this study sought to examine the affect of
Remembrance Day in Israel on Jewish national sentiments and hostility
towards out-groups. The expectations were that exposure to Remembrance
Day would increase national sentiment and hostility towards out-groups
and strengthen the link between nationalism and such hostility. Via a threewave
panel survey of Israeli Jews, I analysed the respondents’ levels of
national sentiment and hostility towards out-groups five weeks prior to
Remembrance Day, on Remembrance Day itself, and eight weeks later. The
proximity between Remembrance and Independence Day makes it difficult
Table 3. Predicting conflictual attitudes towards the Israeli Arab conflict across time.
T1 T2 T3
Gender (female) 0.34 (0.13)* 0.20 (0.13) 0.09 (0.13)
Education −0.08 (0.03)** −0.05 (0.03) −0.09 (0.03)**
Religiosity 1.05 (0.15)*** 0.97 (0.15)*** 0.97 (0.15)***
National identification −0.09 (0.07) −0.19 (0.07)** −0.19 (0.07)**
Nationalism 0.48 (0.06)*** 0.52 (0.07)*** 0.53 (0.07)***
R2 .31 .29 .30
Notes: N = 418. Unstandardized coefficients and SE (in parentheses). T1 five weeks before the Remembrance
Day, T2 the Remembrance Day itself, T3 eight weeks after the Remembrance Day.
*p < .05.
**p < .01.
***p < .001.
12 G. ARIELY
to isolate the effect of Remembrance Day from that of the broader “national
period”. While this study focused on Remembrance Day, collecting data solely
on this day, no clear distinction between its effect and the overall effect of
Holocaust and Independence Days, which create a unique period within the
national calendar, could thus be adduced. The study findings can therefore
only point to the impact of Remembrance Day as part of the overall influence
of this “national time”.
Before discussing the results vis-à-vis the expectations, the levels of
exposure to Remembrance Day must be noted. The results demonstrate
that nearly all Israeli Jews participated in Remembrance Day-related behaviours.
In fact, only five people from the sample claimed that they did not
perform any behavioural act such as standing in silence during the siren.
The majority of the respondents participated in more than one Remembrance
Day-related ritual. These findings indicate a far greater magnitude of personal
involvement in the national construction of Remembrance Day than that
found in Australia (Fozdar, Spittles, and Hartley 2015) or the Netherlands
(Coopmans, Lubbers, and Meuleman 2015). While these findings are not surprising
in light of the role Remembrance Day plays in Israeli civil religion
(Liebman and Don-Yih ya 1983), they highlight the need for a comparative
examination of the impact of national days in order to account for crossnational
differences.
Despite the extensive Israeli Jewish exposure to Remembrance Day, the
influence of the latter appears to be more limited than expected. Exposure
to Remembrance Day increased a sense of nationalism, an effect also found
eight weeks later. Despite its strong positive correlation with nationalism,
however, national identification remained unchanged during this period. Hostility
towards out-groups – in the form of supporting the exclusion of asylum
seekers and conflictual attitudes towards the conflict – also remained
unchanged. The magnitude of the positive link between nationalism and hostility
towards out-groups also did not change across time. While national
identification was unrelated to hostility towards out-groups prior to Remembrance
Day, it became negatively related to these attitudes on Remembrance
Day itself, however. This negative relation continued after Remembrance Day
with respect to conflictual attitudes towards the conflict but not in relation to
exclusionary attitudes towards asylum seekers. In other words, exposure to
Remembrance Day changed the function of national-identification relevance
in shaping hostility towards out-groups. No difference existed between
respondents with a personal connection to Remembrance Day (in the form
of family/acquaintance casualties) and other responders. The impact of
Remembrance Day therefore appears to be more collective than personal.
These results shed new light on the prevalent assumption regarding the
impact of national days, opening up new avenues for fruitful research questions.
Firstly, they provide clear evidence that exposure to “national time”
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 13
alters national sentiments with respect to nationalism, the average levels of
the latter increasing significantly and holding for eight weeks. In light of the
longstanding scholarly debate over whether nations are constructed by
elites or represent embedded public sentiments (Woods and Tsang 2014),
the findings also indicate that a top-down process of dedicating specific
moments in time to national rituals impacts the masses. Such “meeting
points” between national subjects and the imagined collective nation coordinated
by the state thus appear to be significant. This result being based on
exposure to Remembrance Day and a short period afterwards, the question
of long-term effects remains open. Future studies into long-term impact
must therefore be conducted.
Remembrance Day in Israel forming part of a “national time” that includes
Holocaust Remembrance Day and Independence Day, other studies in other
national settings must also be conducted in order to isolate the effect of
Remembrance Day from “national time”. As Coopmans, Lubbers, and Meuleman
(2015) pointed out in their Netherlands study, the impact of other
national days must be examined. The fact that exposure to “national time”
in Israel impacts nationalism but not national identification may reflect the
“hot” nature of Israeli national identity – represented by the high levels of
national identification and nationalism. Although this further highlights the
need for comparative studies, the stability of nationalism in shaping prejudice
was also found in Germany (Wagner et al. 2012). Although the longitudinal
design of this study was based on the assumption that self-reported behaviours
indicate exposure to Remembrance Day practices, I did not examine
the meaning people attribute to Remembrance Day. Future studies employing
tools such as in-depth interviews are required to explore such perceptions
beyond the limitations imposed by survey research.
Secondly, the results suggest that the impact of exposure to the Remembrance
Day is complex. I expected that exposure to Remembrance Day
would increase national identification, hostility towards out-groups and conflictual
attitudes rather than nationalism alone, especially in the light of Israel’s
“hot” form of nationalism. In line with Fox’s (2006) observations regarding the
varied meanings attributed to national holidays in Eastern Europe, additional
studies examining this factor are required.
Another explanation may lie in the divergence between nationalism and
national identification. Previous studies have found that national identification
and nationalism are related diversely to attitudes towards out-groups
(De Figueiredo and Elkins 2003; Roccas, Klar, and Liviatan 2006; Kemmelmeier
and Winter 2008; Wagner et al. 2012). While nationalism is associated with
negative attitudes towards out-groups, national identification is not always
related to this perspective, in some contexts being related negatively to xenophobic
attitudes. In the context of Remembrance Day, some reaction to the
symbolic meaning of this period that impacts national identification relations
14 G. ARIELY
with out-group hostility may thus exist. Recollection of all the sacrifices made
for the country in conflicts may trigger a longing for a nation and national
identity that stands for peace rather than increasing hostility. The psychological
concept of inclusive and exclusive victim consciousness (Vollhardt and
Bilali 2015) may be helpful in developing such explanation. Remembrance
Day being an event that makes group victimhood salient, it is plausible to
impact inclusive and exclusive victim consciousness. This possibility must
be tested empirically by future studies.
The findings also indicate that the pattern changes according to the issue
discussed. The link between national identification and support for the exclusion
of asylum seekers became insignificant after “national time”, the negative
link with conflictual attitudes towards the conflict remaining. While exposure
to Remembrance Day clearly impacted national identification, the precise
nature of this impact requires further research employing various methods
to examine the ways in which citizens understand Remembrance Day. The
uniqueness of the Israeli setting similarly requires the adoption of a comparative
design to explore the variations in the influence Remembrance Day
exerts. Future studies might also follow insights from recent studies demonstrating
that national rituals do not simply function as mechanisms reproducing
the nation-state structure but also challenge the hegemonic
representation of the state and national memory (Lomsky-Feder 2011; Zembylas
2013).
In conclusion, the findings evince support for the premise behind the
American National Moment of Remembrance Act (2000) and other state
mechanisms designed to shape national sentiment. The impact of the specific
moment at which the individual and nation are supposed to meet is more
complicated than previously assumed, however. In light of the seminal role
national sentiment plays in shaping attitudes and behaviours, future studies
must examine such meeting points in depth.
Notes
1. 106th Congress Public Law 579, 28 December 2000.
2. Other types of studies have focused primarily on national rituals themselves
(e.g., Lomsky-Feder 2011; Zembylas 2013).
3. A recent study in the US looking at 9/11 commemoration found that standard
commemorations promote hawkish attitudes towards Iran (Adams and Hakim
2016).
4. Of the 800 respondents at T1, the missing values were lower than 0.005 per cent.
At T2, after excluding respondents due to an IMC failure, the missing data
were 0.002 per cent. At T3, there was no missing data after excluding respondents
due to an IMC failure. This proportion of missing data falls far below the
recommended full information maximum likelihood threshold (Schafer and
Graham 2002) and Multiple Imputation (Enders 2010). Missing value treatment
was therefore not used.
ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 15
5. Such validation studies have not been conducted in Israel, concern for the data
quality remaining an open question.
6. The participants were recruited by the Midgam Project, a leading online survey
research firm with a pool of over 30,000 potential respondents. They were
informed that participation was anonymous, given contact details in case of
queries, and filled out a consent form.
7. Y. Offer, Remembrance Day 2015. NRG news website: http://www.nrg.co.il/
online/1/ART2/689/501.html.
8. All items were measured on a 7-point Likert-type scale (7 = strongly agree, 1 =
strongly disagree). The item order for all the scales was randomized.
9. The factor loadings were rather similar, justifying use of plain means for the
scales.
10. The four measures were found to be extremely stable, the correlations between
the three time points being higher than .7. Measurement invariance across time
was also acceptable for mean comparisons using maximum likelihood
estimation.
11. Twenty-six per cent of the respondents reported that an extended-family
member had been a war/terror casualty, 52 per cent an acquaintance.
Acknowledgements
I would like to thank the participants of the 4th Annual Conference on Migration and
Diversity, WZB, Berlin for their comments.
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.
Funding
This research was supported by the German–Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research
and Development [grant number I-2312-1036.4/2012].
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ETHNIC AND RACIAL STUDIES 19

Committee of University Heads’ Complexities with Ariel University

06.05.21

Editorial Note

The Committee of University Heads in Israel (VERA), has advised and liaised on university matters since the 1960s.  It has been recently debating whether to admit Ariel University to its ranks. Ariel has been upgraded from college status to University in 2012 and recently opened a new Faculty of Medicine named after Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, its prime donors.   The new faculty is expected to alleviate the acute shortage of professionals in the field of medicine.

VERA consists of a plenum of university heads, including the presidents, rectors, and CEOs of the seven research universities. The Open University has an “observer” status.  VERA convenes several times a year when needed.  The office of VERA deals with the administrative and logistical coordination, monitoring, and implementation of the VERA decisions in the various forums and bringing a variety of issues to the VERA table. VERA’s office is responsible for the relations between VERA and the various regulatory bodies such as the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education (VATAT-MALAG), Knesset committees, government ministries, requests from student unions, the public, and others.

The political activism of some academics is deeply rooted. Some in the academic echelon see Ariel as part of the right-wing government that cannot be trusted. Worse, as part of the “Illegal Occupation.”  They wish to influence VERA’s decisions. 

For example, Prof. David Levi-Faur, a political scientist at the Hebrew University and the founder of the email list service to the academic community Academia-IL-Bashaar network, has recently written an email to the academic community.  Titled “Protest over the intention to include Ariel to the Committee of University Heads,” he disseminated it last week. He stated, “I read with great sorrow the article by Or Kashti in Haaretz about the intention of VERA to add Ariel University to their ranks. I call on the presidents of the institutions to refrain from this move. Certainly not without putting pressure and not without having something in return. Ariel University is not a barrier to peace right now, it is a positive project that expands wisdom and research, and certainly, there will be a solution when a peace-loving Palestinian state is established. Furthermore, Ariel University is still part of another People’s occupation and humiliation project. Therefore, there is no intention to boycott it or its faculty. But to keep it in a special status as a semi-foreign institution to the system. There is room for political considerations at the activities of VERA, but, at the moment, there is no place for the inclusion of Ariel at VERA. Certainly not on an equal footing. The Open University waited many years for its acceptance as a full member. (Too many years I understand) Ariel will wait for peace to come and the end of the occupation.”

Professor Amiram Goldblum, a longtime radical political activist, continued Levi-Faur’s string of thoughts: “Perhaps the presidents of the universities in Israel are jealous of Ariel and want their students to also receive academic credit for participating in the activities of the settlement’s youth. Maybe even advance the activities of Lehava and La Familia – for example, if Smotrich or Ben-Gvir or Orit Struck or Avi Maoz will be education minister, clearly their fear takes over – they mustn’t confront the education minister. The fact that university presidents did not unequivocally announce a “NO” morally justified by the monstrosity of the occupation and apartheid that Ariel is one of its anchors, which clarifies who and what they are. “I have seen you again doing nothing”?? Not at all, I have seen you again with no heart, truth and morality,” he wrote.

Professor Asher Yahalom from Ariel University responded: “Anyone who supports Arab colonialism and imperialism, and the lies of the Palestinian people should not let the word “morality” slip through their lips.”

The Haaretz article reported that anonymous senior officials at academic institutions explained this month that the readiness to include Ariel University in VERA is proactive.  Allegedly, the group fears pressure from the next education minister, who may come from a right-wing government or a petition to the Supreme Court. “The fight against Ariel is an old battle,” said one president.” One of his colleagues added that “we are one petition away from which we would have had to accept Ariel. We had to decide whether to disperse or allow Ariel to enter. We preferred to take the initiative and not wait for the next minister or a supreme court verdict.”

There is another possible explanation.  In 2012, when the Ben Gurion University Department of Politics and Government was under the threat of closure because of low standards of its core studies, some Israeli scholars appealed to the international academic community to intervene. After a deluge of petitions and “open letters,” the Israeli Council for Higher education succumbed to the pressure and decided to keep the department open for fear of the damages to the Israeli academy. In a similar vein, VERA is possibly worried about the easily swept pro-Palestinian international academic community, which seeks to see Ariel University shun from any academic platform.

Facing headwinds from all sides, VERA postponed this decision to a future date.

———- הודעה שהועברה ———
מאת: David Levi-Faur
תאריך: יום ו׳, 9 באפר׳ 2021 ב-13:17
נושא: [Academia-IL-Bashaar] מחאה על הכוונה לצרף את אריאל לועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות
אל: Academia Network <academia-il@listserver.huji.ac.il>

שלום רב
קראתי בצער רב את הכתבה של אור קשתי בהארץ על הכוונה של ור”ה לצרף את אונ’ אריאל לשורותיהם.  אני קורא לנשיאי המוסדות להימנע מצעד זה. בוודאי ובוודאי ללא שהופעלה עליהם לחוץ ובלי שניתה תמורה נאותה.  אונ’ אריאל אינה מחסום לשלום, כרגע. היא פרויקט חיובי ככל שהיא מרבה דעת ומחקר ובוודאי שיימצא לה פיתרון כשתוקם מדינה פלשתינית שוחרת שלום. אם זאת ועדיין אונ’ אריאל היא חלק ממפעל הכיבוש, הביזוי וההשפלה של עם אחר.  כיוון שכך אין להחרים להבנתי את המוסד או את הסגלים שבו. אלא לשמור על מעמדו המיוחד כמוסד זר למחצה למערכת. 
יש מקום לשיקולים פוליטיים בפעילות ור”ה אבל ברגע זה אין מקום לצירוף של ור”ה למוסד. בוודאי ובוודאי לא במעמד שווה.  האונ’ הפתוחה המתינה שנים רבות לקבלתה כחברה מלאה.  (יותר מידי שנים להבנתי)  תמתין אריאל לבוא השלום ולסיום הכיבוש. 
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ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות דחה את הדיון על צירוף אריאל לשורותיו

 אור קשתי לפני 6 ימים


ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות דחה את ההחלטה בעניין צירוף אוניברסיטת אריאל לגוף היוקרתי למועד לא ידוע. בדיון שהתקיים בשבוע שעבר התברר כי כמה מנשיאי האוניברסיטאות מעדיפים שלא לקבל כעת החלטה בנושא. הוועד החליט לאחרונה על צירוף האוניברסיטה לשורותיו בתום מאבק בן עשור, שכלל גם עתירה לבג”ץ, ודיון בנושא תוכנן לשבוע הבא.

מקורות הבקיאים בפרטי הדיון אמרו כי עם הגורמים לדחייה נמנים מחאה שהביעו אנשי סגל באוניברסיטאות השונות, לצד חשש שהמהלך יצטייר כתמיכה עקיפה בשר החינוך יואב גלנט. לאחרונה השתמש גלנט בקריאתו של פרופ’ עודד גולדרייך שלא לשתף פעולה עם אריאל כסיבה לעכב את זכייתו בפרס ישראל, בניסיון לבטלה.

בכירים במוסדות האקדמיים הסבירו החודש את הנכונות לצרף את אוניברסיטת אריאל לוועד בחשש מלחץ של שר החינוך הבא, שעשוי לבוא משורות הימין, או מעתירה לבג”ץ. “המאבק נגד אריאל הוא המלחמה הקודמת”, אמר אחד הנשיאים, “קשה להמשיך ולהתנגד לה מבחינה משפטית”. אחד מעמיתיו הוסיף כי “אנחנו מרחק עתירה אחת שבעקבותיה היינו נאלצים לקבל את אריאל. היינו צריכים להחליט אם להתפזר או לאפשר לה להיכנס. העדפנו לנקוט יוזמה ולא לחכות לשר הבא או לפסק דין”.

ואולם, התוכניות המוקדמות לנקוט יוזמה ולא להצטייר כמי ש”נכנעים” ללחץ חיצוני – פוליטי או משפטי – השתנו במידה רבה בעקבות סירוב גלנט לקבל את המלצת ועדת השופטים ולהעניק את פרס ישראל בתחום המתמטיקה ומדעי המחשב לפרופ’ גולדרייך. בתשובה לעתירה לבג”ץ שהגישה ועדת השופטים, ולאחר ששורה של טענות נגד גולדרייך הועלו והוסרו, ביקש גלנט מהשופטים ארכה של חודש כדי לבדוק אם חתימתו של פרופ’ גולדרייך על עצומה שקראה לאיחוד האירופי שלא לשתף פעולה עם המוסד מהווה הפרה של “חוק החרם” – ויכולה לשמש כעילה לפסול אותו מלקבל את הפרס. השופטים יצחק עמית, נעם סולברג ויעל וילנר קיבלו את הבקשה, שמשמעותה המעשית היתה מניעת מתן הפרס לגולדרייך בטקס שנערך ביום העצמאות.

החלטת גלנט חייבה את ראשי האוניברסיטאות לנקוט עמדה ברורה. בהודעה משותפת לשבעה מתוך שמונת נשיאי האוניברסיטאות (מלבד בר אילן) נכתב כי התנהלותו של שר החינוך “חוטאת לרעיון שביסוד קיומו של פרס ישראל ומהווה פגיעה חמורה בחופש הביטוי ובחופש המחשבה”. במקביל, כתבו חברי סגל לנשיאיהם כי הם מתנגדים לצירוף אריאל לוועד – ומצפים כי יפעלו באופן דומה.

הדיון בוור”ה נערך ביום חמישי שעבר. לדברי מקור הבקיא בפרטי הדיון, “ראשי האוניברסיטאות לא רצו להצטייר כמי שנותנים ‘פרס’ למי שמשתמש באריאל ככלי במשחק הפוליטי”. מקור נוסף אמר כי יו”ר הוועד, נשיא האוניברסיטה העברית פרופ’ אשר כהן, ביקש לדון בצירוף אריאל, בעוד שנשיאים אחרים “חשבו שזה לא נכון לקבל עכשיו החלטה, אלא לדחות אותה למועד לא ידוע. זה שינוי מהותי מההסכמה הרחבה, שהיתה שבועיים-שלושה קודם לכן, על המהלך”. לדברי גורם אחר, “הנשיאים הביעו את דעתם בצורה חדה על גולדרייך, אך כל החלטה על אריאל היתה נצבעת מיד בצבעים פוליטיים. במצב כזה עדיף לא להחליט”.

ככל הנראה, פרסום ב”הארץ” בשבוע שעבר, שלפיו במשרד היועץ המשפטי לממשלה ובמועצה להשכלה גבוהה בודקים את החלטת אוניברסיטת אריאל להעניק נקודות זכות אקדמיות עבור התנדבות במאחזים בלתי חוקיים, לא הקל על תומכי צירוף המוסד שבשטחים.

מוועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות נמסר בתגובה כי “הדיון בנושא טרם מוצה, ולכן לא התקבלה החלטה. ייקבע דיון המשך”.

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———- Forwarded message ———
From: Amiram Goldblum
Date: Thu, Apr 29, 2021 at 5:25 PM
‪Subject: Re: [Academia-IL-Bashaar] ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות דחה את הדיון על צירוף אריאל לשורותיו‬
To: Academia Network <academia-il@listserver.huji.ac.il>

אולי נשיאי האוניברסיטאות בישראל מתקנאים באריאל ורוצים שגם הסטודנטים שלהם יקבלו נקודות זכות אקדמיות על השתתפות בפעילות של נוער הגבעות.. ואולי גם יתקדמו לפעילות של להב”ה ולה פאמיליה – למשל, אם סמוטריץ’ או בן גביר או אורית סטרוק או אבי מעוז יהיו שר החינוך, הלא הפחד אוכל אותם –  חלילה להם מלהתנגש עם שר חינוך. העובדה שנשיאי האוניברסיטאות לא הודיעו “נייט” חד משמעי, מנומק מוסרית במפלצתיות של הכיבוש והאפרטהייד שאריאל היא אחד מעוגניו, מבהירה מיהם ומהם. “ראיתיכם שוב בקוצר ידכם” ?? לא ולא. ראיתיכם שוב בקוצר הלב, האמת והמוסר.

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From: Prof. Asher Yahalom
Date: Sun, May 2, 2021 at 7:51 PM
‪Subject: Re: [Academia-IL-Bashaar] ועד ראשי האוניברסיטאות דחה את הדיון על צירוף אריאל לשורותיו‬
To: Academia Network <academia-il@listserver.huji.ac.il>

מי שתומך בקולוניאליזם והאימפריאליזם הערבי ובשקר העם הפלסטיני אל יהין לעלות את המילה “מוסר” על דל שפתיו.

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https://jfjfp.com/in-about-face-israeli-university-heads-decide-to-admit-settlement-university-to-joint-body/

In about-face, Israeli university heads decide to admit settlement university

April 15, 2021
REPORT
JFJFP

After a nearly decade-long dispute, Association of University Heads admits Ariel University located in West Bank settlement

Ariel University

Or Kashti reports in Haaretz on 10 April 2021:

After almost a decade’s struggle and a petition to the High Court of Justice, Israel’s Association of University Heads decided to admit Ariel University to its ranks.

One of the main reasons for the move was the university heads’ fear of heavy pressure by the next education minister, who will most likely come from the right. Should they wait until then, the move would be seen as a surrender on their part, they said.  “We are one High Court petition away from being forced to accept Ariel,” one university president said. “We had to decide whether to disperse or let it in. We preferred to take the initiative rather than wait for the next minister or wait for a court verdict.”

According to informed sources, the decision is expected to be passed without opposition at the association’s next meeting in two weeks.  Until now the association had objected to accepting the university in the West Bank to its ranks and in recent years the issue was a source of constant tension between the university heads and rightist ministers, who exerted heavy pressure in favor of Ariel University.

The association, consisting of seven research university presidents and the Open University as an observer, is a voluntary body. It represents the universities before ministries, the Council for Higher Education, the Planning and Financing Committee and others. Since it isn’t statutory, rightist ministers like Naftali Bennett and Zeev Elkin couldn’t force it to admit Ariel University, which they hold dear for political reasons.

The struggle included open threats like stopping the cooperation with the association and covert threats regarding issues that are important to the universities.  A senior university official told Haaretz that “the struggle against Ariel is the previous war. We fought and lost. Even though I’m convinced it was born in sin and there are doubts as to its academic quality, it’s hard to continue to object to it on a legal basis.”

One of his colleagues said the decision being drafted stems also from the desire “not to give a prize to the next education minister.”

In this regard, association members cite the High Court of Justice’s decision on Thursday. The court permitted Education Minister Yoav Gallant to examine whether a petition signed by Professor Oded Goldreich of the Weizmann Institute, which called on the European Union not to cooperate with Ariel University, could deprive him of the Israel Prize for mathematics and computer science.

Another source said that as long as Ariel’s status as a university was “based on the Judea and Samaria council of higher education’s decision, which was ratified by the army’s Central Command, there was no justification to accept it to the association.”  However, he added that the situation changed fundamentally after the Judea and Samaria council of higher education was abolished in February, 2018, when the Knesset voted to put Ariel University under the control of the same accreditation body as other Israeli colleges and universities. “Formally Ariel is an Israeli university and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said the source.  Another official added: “We expected an international outcry would be raised. It didn’t happen.”

The main implication of accepting Ariel to the association is that its decisions will probably not be unanimous anymore, a source said.

Other officials slammed the decision and its timing. Professor Nir Gov of the Weizmann Institute said that in the last two to three years previous university heads, who “experienced firsthand the ugly process in which the Likud government’s education ministers did all they could to upgrade Ariel’s status, have been replaced. The new generation treats it like an Israeli university to all intents and purposes. Ariel is the clearest symbol of the higher education’s politicization. The presidents’ agreeing to it is a badge of shame. For pragmatic reasons, the presidents decided to put their values into deep freeze and toe the line with the ruling power and its demands.”

Gov said he wasn’t sure the university senates will oppose the decision even if “most professors think they should. The government succeeded in instilling in them a fear of expressing that [view].”

Another source said that if the association wants to renounce its principles, it should do it as part of negotiations, not for nothing. “There’s no reason to believe that the next minister will make do with this step. He’ll also try to prove that he subjugated academia,” he said.

In the past decade numerous confrontations took place between the association and Ariel University. In 2012 the university heads petitioned against the decision made by the Judea Samaria council for higher education, which was promoted by then education minister Gideon Sa’ar, to turn the Ariel college into a university. According to the petition, serious flaws were made in the three major considerations – academic, planning and budgetary – to recognize the college as a university.

The High Court denied the petition, saying that even after the recognition, the Judea and Samaria council for higher education would still have to consult with the Planning and Budgeting Committee.

But the obligation to consult with the committee gradually lost its meaning after it became another tool in the political game.

This article is reproduced in its entirety

BGU Oren Yiftachel’s Two Decades of Apartheid Analogy

29.04.21

Editorial Note

Oren Yiftachel, a professor of Geography at Ben Gurion University, is presenting two seminars on his new book Land and Power: from Ethnocracy and Creeping Apartheid in Israel/Palestine, in Hebrew. 

Yiftachel explains in a Haaretz article, that the “process I’ve referred to in my research as ‘creeping apartheid’ that gradually reinforces the principles of Jewish supremacy and ‘separate and unequal’ in all areas of life between the Jordan and the sea. In such settings, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas only control the areas of life that Israel isn’t interested in controlling, and as such they too become (reluctant) servants of the apartheid order.”

Yiftachel has been a political activist for several decades.  He was one of the pioneers of the notion that Israel is an apartheid state.  Over time, Yiftachel has fiddled with the concept to fit the South African reality.  For instance, he states that Israel, with a “consistent process of violent and putatively legal colonization on both sides of the Green Line, a hierarchy of citizenships has crystallized, reminiscent of the former South African system of “whites” (full citizens), “coloureds” (partial citizens) and “blacks” (subjects without citizenship). Their counterparts in Israel/Palestine are Jews (full citizens throughout the territory), Palestinian Arabs in Israel (partial citizenship) and Palestinian subjects with no citizenship in the occupied territories.”

YIftachel’s methodology is absurd in the extreme and hardly deserves commentary. One example suffices. According to his definition, the Ethiopian Jews, who are full Israeli citizens, are “white,” but the Palestinian Arabs (in Israel) are not white.  He never bothered to explain why a “white colonial government” would bring African blacks as immigrants to Israel and even proceed to make them “white,” that is, give them full citizenship.  The real explanation would blow his apartheid theory to pieces, so it is not mentioned.   This is not unusual for Yiftachel and his ideological peers.  Reality is often ignored, truth falsified, and logic twisted beyond comprehension.  

Still, Yiftachel seems to be quite happy with his performance.  He mentioned a report published by the Israeli human rights group B’tselem, which he refers to as the “apartheid document.”  Yiftachel, a board member of B’tselem, co-authored this report and seemed to be alluding to the fact that it played a part in the decision of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into alleged human rights crimes in Gaza. 

Yitachel noted that “the apartheid argument has already been raised for some time in academic circles.” This is correct. Since 2002 Yiftachel has been espousing the idea that Israel is an apartheid state as part of his scholarship. 

Throughout his activist-academic career, Yiftachel has discussed his apartheid analogy on the pages of the anti-Israel media outlets, including in 2009, the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).

Yiftachel has been attacking Israel from other angles as well. Recently, Yiftachel collaborated with the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR), an independent research center based in Ramallah, specializing in “Israeli affairs.” Yiftachel provided MADAR with an article in Arabic, very similar to his “Welcome to the era of Coronialism,” claiming that under the guise of “emergency,” states, such as Israel, are using COVID-19 to “consolidate power, prop up the neoliberal order, and clamp down on the disenfranchised,” termed “Coronialism.” Yiftachel warns that if we fail to struggle against it, “regressive forces will recolonize society, notably in Israel-Palestine.” The article was published one year ago, but the claims are breathtakingly false.  Israel has become an internationally recognized leader in fighting the pandemic, which was recognized worldwide.

Yiftachel’s apartheid analogy began in 2002. The Guardian newspaper detailed how an academic paper submitted by Yifachel and a colleague to a British journal was returned unopened with a note saying they did not accept papers from Israelis. After negotiations with David Slater, one of the editors, Yiftachel agreed to insert comparisons of Israel with apartheid South Africa. As stated by the Guardian: “In this report we referred to the treatment of a paper written by Professor Oren Yiftachel of Ben Gurion University and Dr Asad Ghanem of Haifa University, which was submitted to the journal Political Geography. We reported that Professor Yiftachel had, after a protracted dispute, agreed to revise the paper according to suggestions made by Political Geography, including the insertion of a comparison of Israel and apartheid South Africa, and that on this basis the paper had been accepted for publication.”   The Guardian detailed the pressure on Yiftachel by Slater, a geography professor at Loughborough University, and a “prominent British supporter of Palestinian causes.” Slater responded to the Guardian by saying, “But I was familiar with some of the author’s previous work… I was not sure to what extent he had been critical of Israel.” Slater said he hesitated what to do with Yiftachel’s paper, “for a while.” After some long months, “Yiftachel agreed. He still sounds slightly puzzled at how he ran into such difficulties with an apparent political kindred spirit like David Slater. Slater maintains that Political Geography is not officially hostile to contributions from Israel. But then, almost in passing, he mentions something interesting. At some point last spring or summer, while he was pondering Yiftachel’s paper, Slater signed a petition calling for an academic boycott of Israel.” Eventually, Yiftachel’s article was published in 2004.

Clearly, Yiftachel mishandled the incident. Right from the start, he could have contacted the academic leadership of Ben Gurion University to seek advice, and they should have contacted the journal for clarifications.

However, the Palestinian-Israeli dispute is century-long. In 1948 the Palestinians with their Arab allies tried to destroy the nascent Jewish state but were unsuccessful. Israel fought back and won several wars since. The fighting continues to this day. It is easy to see that Yiftachel’s apartheid analogy is not scientific. In fact, he abused his scholarship to promote his political agenda.

אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגבהשקת ספרו של אורן יפתחאל: עוצמה ואדמה

השקת ספרו של אורן יפתחאל: עוצמה ואדמה

28 אפר’ 2021 18:00הדפסה

​מרכז חיים הרצוג לחקר המזרח התיכון והדיפלומטיה, המחלקה לגיאוגרפיה ופיתוח סביבתי
מזמינים אתכם להשקת ספרו של אורן יפתחאל: עוצמה ואדמה : מאתנוקרטיה לאפרטהייד זוחל בישראל/פלסטין

כריכת הספר

ברכות:
דוד וטשטיין, דיקן הפקולטה למדעי הרוח והחברה, אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב
חיה במבג’י-סספורטס, מרכז חיים הרצוג, אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב​

דוברים:
נורית אלפסי, המחלקה לגיאוגרפיה ופיתוח סביבתי, אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב
ראיף זריק, מרכז מינרבה למדעי הרוח, אוניברסיטת תל-אביב, מכון ון-ליר בירושלים
דניאל דה-מלאך, המחלקה למנהל ומדיניות ציבורית, המכללה האקדמית ספיר

מגיב:
אורן יפתחאל, המחלקה לגיאוגרפיה ופיתוח סביבתי, אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב

מנחה:
ארז צפדיה, המחלקה למנהל ומדיניות ציבורית, המכללה האקדמית ספיר

קישור למפגש ב-zoom »

Meeting ID: 849 5166 6800
Passcode: 896401

לפרטים: 08-6472538 hercen@bgu.ac.il​

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https://in.bgu.ac.il/humsos/soc-ant/pages/events/seminar-26-05-2021.aspx
  אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב   
 המחלקה לסוציולוגיה ואנתרופולוגיה26 מאי 2021 12:15 – 13:45

אורן יפתחאל
 “לדובב את המרחב – הערות על אפרטהייד זוחל” 
דיון לאור פרסום ספרו “עוצמה ואדמה – מאתנוקרטיה לאפרטהייד זוחל בישראל/פלסטין” (רסלינג, 2021)תקציר:מה הקשר בין עצמה ואדמה? מה ההשפעות ההדדיות של יחסים חברתיים ופוליטיים על המרחב, ולהפך? כיצד ניתן להבין את המרחב היהודי פלסטיני בארץ? איך התעצבה האתנוקרטיה הישראלית? וכיצד השתנו היחסים בין הקבוצות באוכלוסייה כך שהאתנוקרטיה הפכה לאפרטהייד.בהתבסס על סדרת מחקרים ביקורתיים פורצי דרך, הספר מציע זוויות מבט מגוונות על תהליך היווצרותו של משטר האפרטהייד דרך הקולוניזציה המרחבית, הכלכלית, הפוליטיות וכו’.
פרופ’ אורן יפתחאל  חוקר ומלמד גיאוגרפיה פוליטית ומשפטית ותכנון עירוני באוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בבאר שבע; פעיל חברתי ופוליטי בארגוני שלום, צדק חברתי וזכויות אדם. מבין ספריו “תכנונו של אזור מעורב: ערבים ויהודים בגליל” (הוצאת אייברי, 1992); “שומרים על הכרם – מג’ד אלכרום כמשל” (ון-ליר, 1997); “סְפָר ופריפריה אתנית” (עם אבינועם מאיר, הוצאת ווסטוויו, 1998); “כוחו של תכנון” (עורך, הוצאת קוולר); “אתנוקרטיה – קרקע, זהות ופוליטיקה בישראל/פלסטין” (הוצאת אוניברסיטת פנסילבניה, 2006); “אי-צדק ילידי” (עם אחמד אמארה ואסמעיל אבו-סעד, הוצאת הרווארד, 2013); “אדמה מרוקנת: הגיאוגרפיה המשפטית של הבדווים בנגב” (עם סנדי קדר ואחמד אמארה, הוצאת סטנפורד, 2018).
יפתחאל הוא מהחוקרים הביקורתיים הבולטים בישראל ובעל שם עולמי.
https://in.bgu.ac.il/humsos/soc-ant/DocLib/Pages/events/seminar-26-05-2021/%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%A1%D7%98%D7%A8%20%D7%A1%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%A0%D7%A8%20%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%A6%D7%99%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%92%D7%99%D7%94%20%D7%95%D7%90%D7%A0%D7%AA%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%A4%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%92%D7%99%D7%94-26-05-2021.pdf

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Israel’s apartheid debate: smash the mirror or fix reality?

Oren Yiftachel writes in Haaretz on 5 March 2021:

B’Tselem’s “apartheid document,” published in January, and the International Criminal Court’s decision soon after to investigate Israel’s potential war crimes in the occupied territories have stirred much debate on the nature of the Israeli regime. The subject was also the focus of the online Haaretz Conference on Democracy on Wednesday.

However, despite this important debate, a majority of Jewish-Israeli reactions preferred to smash the mirror rather than think about fixing the reality. With the election coming up, this reality should be confronted head-on, leading to the question “What next?” to which I turn below.

Notably, the apartheid argument has already been raised for some time in academic circles. The B’Tselem report marks the first time a local civil society organization has published a systematic analysis of the regime covering the entire area under Israel’s control – between the Jordan River and the sea. Of course, the only way to characterize an entity is to include all of its parts, although most organizations and leaders have refrained from doing so for decades. After five decades of colonial rule and permanent settlement, the excuse of “temporary occupation” has become meaningless.

The facts are beyond any doubt: Israel is the direct sovereign power in 90 percent of the territory between the Jordan River and the sea (the ’67 borders plus Area C). It also indirectly but quite tightly controls the remaining 10 percent in which 5 million Palestinians are forcefully concentrated in controlled enclaves. Applicable to all this area are laws, regulations or government practices that implement the principle of Jewish supremacy.

B’Tselem’s report demonstrates how, via a consistent process of violent and putatively legal colonization on both sides of the Green Line, a hierarchy of citizenships has crystallized, reminiscent of the former South African system of “whites” (full citizens), “coloureds” (partial citizens) and “blacks” (subjects without citizenship). Their counterparts in Israel/Palestine are Jews (full citizens throughout the territory), Palestinian Arabs in Israel (partial citizenship) and Palestinian subjects with no citizenship in the occupied territories.

Importantly though, in the international political and legal discourse, apartheid has come to mean a general type of regime and not necessarily an exact copy of South Africa. Indeed, there are also key differences between the two cases: In South Africa, the whites amounted to only 20 percent of the population, while here the Jews are about half. Unlike in South Africa, in Israel/Palestine there are two internationally recognized national movements, and two future states under international law.

B’Tselem’s argument can certainly be challenged and debated. Notably, many pertinent reactions have come from different places around the globe. Most importantly, it has won the support of many Palestinian civil society organizations, something not to be taken for granted in this time of deep separation and boycott.

Yet, in Jewish circles, the responses from the center-right have largely been Pavlovian, notably Education Minister Yoav Gallant’s hysterical reaction in banning B’Tselem representatives from schools. This was echoed by Netanyahu’s equally hysterical response accusing the court in The Hague of “pure antisemitism.”

The responses by right-wing columnists like Nave Dromi in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition, and leading columnists like Ari Shavit, Ben-Dror Yemini and Irit Linor in other newspapers have been dominated by a flood of curses and derogatory comments accusing B’Tselem of hatred, hypocrisy, antisemitism and anti-Zionism, while also blaming Palestinians for the Israeli colonial policies. These politicians and commentators would rather smash the mirror than be alarmed by the reflection.

On the center-left, the main reaction has been to look away from the mirror. In that vein, pieces in Haaretz by Zvi Bar’el, Israel Shrenzel and Shaul Arieli, as well as statements by Labor’s Merav Michaeli and Meretz’s Nitzan Horowitz at the Democracy Conference have stuck to the worn-out formula of “democracy here, a temporary occupation there.” But what about the fact that in nine of the past 11 elections, it was the West Bank’s settlers’ votes that crowned the colonialist right to rule Israel? Apparently, “democracy” now includes the Jews in the occupied territories but not the disenfranchised Palestinians. In other words, this democracy isn’t a democracy.

The selective right to vote is of course just one aspect of the increasingly deepening connection between Jewish Israel and the Palestinian territories in a process I’ve referred to in my research as “creeping apartheid” that gradually reinforces the principles of Jewish supremacy and “separate and unequal” in all areas of life between the Jordan and the sea. In such settings, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas only control the areas of life that Israel isn’t interested in controlling, and as such they too become (reluctant) servants of the apartheid order.

The most important question following the debate is “Where to now?” The B’Tselem report serves as a flashing warning sign. It aims to motivate all parties concerned with democracy and human rights to recognize what is reflected in the mirror so clearly, and to begin struggling harder than ever to halt the apartheid and decolonize Jewish-Palestinian relations.

Importantly, the end to apartheid does not necessarily lead to a one-state solution, as the international debate usually puts it. Such a solution would encounter profound difficulties given the recognized right of the Palestinians and Israelis to self-determination, a collective right no people is likely to ever give up.

There are several other possibilities, like the establishment of two separate independent states (which failed repeatedly for 80 years), or what I believe are more appropriate models of confederation and federation that would allow for sovereignty and self-determination for both peoples, while permitting freedom of movement, a united capital and an integrated economy in the shared homeland. The joint Israeli-Palestinian peace movement A Land for All has been promoting this path for several years, with modest but growing support.

But first, of course, the election is around the corner, so it’s vital to firmly oppose the broad spectrum of parties, from Kahol Lavan and Likud to the religious parties, that promote all shades of apartheid. Changing the momentum begins with supporting the (very few) parties that promote real democracy and equal collective and personal rights for all inhabitants of our land.

Beyond voting, much can be done in all walks of policy and daily life to break the racist separation between Jews and Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. Hence, the big challenge posed by B’Tselem’s report is to resist the urge to smash the mirror or turn away from it. Instead it urges all concerned to bravely look at the unpleasant view reflected in the mirror and begin its transformation – the earlier the better.

Prof. Oren Yiftachel is a co-author of the B’Tselem report mentioned in this piece. He is a founding member of the A Land for All peace movement.

This article is reproduced in its entirety
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https://www.972mag.com/welcome-to-the-era-of-coronialism/

Welcome to the era of Coronialism

Under the guise of ’emergency,’ states are using COVID-19 to consolidate power, prop up the neoliberal order, and clamp down on the disenfranchised. If we fail to struggle for a new order, regressive forces will recolonize society, notably in Israel-Palestine.
By Oren Yiftachel April 30, 2020

The spread of COVID-19 has wrought massive changes over the last two months in the realms of politics, economy, and geography across the world. Basic norms have changed, emergency legislation has been passed, massive economies have ground to a halt, and simple daily human contact has been reduced to a minimum.

Although the crisis will undoubtedly ease, it is unlikely that things will return to “business as usual.” Substantial social and political changes are afoot, signaling the onset of a new era we may now term “coronialism,” most notably in Israel-Palestine.

The term coronialism echoes, of course, “colonialism,” but it operates under different circumstances. In coronialism, the relatively stable fabric of life is undermined by a dangerous invasion of an external force. The invasion transforms society in ways not envisaged by the local population, with structural changes spawning short and long-term transformations. The health crisis of the coronavirus may only be the tip of the coronialism iceberg, the consequences of which will be mainly social, economic, and political.

Coronialism, like its predecessor, attempts to conquer the minds of those under its rule. It would be impossible to understand how, against the spread of what currently remains a medium-scale disease, billions of people have come to accept draconian closures, political disempowerment, and economic ruin with little protest or disobedience. This is made possible by an atmosphere of fear, which provides governments and the media cover to bombard us with an avalanche of details of the impending “disaster.”

In Israel, one cannot explain the decision by Benny Gantz, who claimed to represent the anti-Netanyahu opposition, to betray his voters and join Netanyahu’s government without resorting to coronialist rhetoric. Gantz has now agreed to play second fiddle in a coronial “emergency government,” which will save Netanyahu (for the time being) from his corruption trial, while emboldening the prime minister to make constitutional changes that further bolster governmental power.

To be sure, the global coronial order is still in the making. In the short and medium term, the regime is building the foundations of a new “emergency routine” based on a number of new realities. For one, the failure of market forces has been resounding, shedding new light on the inability of neoliberal capitalism to deal with lesser crises, such as rising housing prices or the decline in quality of education.

Meanwhile, globalization has been slowing down considerably while the putatively weakened nation-state is returning to center stage. Governments are quickly falling back to their old habits of inciting against migrants, imposing harsh border controls, forcing strict limits on movement, introducing intrusive surveillance measures, and putting into motion the rapid centralization of powers. Spatially, life is being reformatted, with new patterns of social distancing and digital communication changing our everyday reality.

Yet, when it comes to the long term, matters are far less clear, which is precisely why we must treat coronialism as an opportunity for struggle. After all, hegemonic forces have been quick to change the rules of the game in their favor.

Politically, this has included the bypassing of democratic institutions, the bolstering of unchecked executive powers, and new emergency regulations. When it comes to the economy, governments around the world have launched unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimuli directed primarily at supporting financial markets. It is already clear that most of these new arrangements will mostly go to helping prop up corporations and industries, while leaving behind the marginalized who are now even weaker, stripped of their jobs, and dispossessed of social services. These policies will particularly affect labor migrants, temporary workers, small business owners, and the newly unemployed.

On the other hand, now that decades of “small government” and “neoliberal” policies have been exposed for their irresponsible neglect, we have begun to witness a new hunger for alternatives that will ensure public (state, urban, communal) provision of essential services. This applies, first and foremost, to health, but also to transportation, housing, the environment, and education. The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the fundamental problem of privatizing and distributing these services according to profit, while giving us a glimpse of how unequipped capitalist societies are to deal with nightmare scenarios such as climate change or a potential world war.

In this light, the link between coronialism and colonialism goes beyond phonetics. History warns us against oppressive forces exploiting “emergencies” for the purpose of seizing power and resources. In Israel-Palestine, this has already become a reality, with business elites and the Finance Ministry already pushing for “painful cuts” (in other words: the transfer of resources from poor to rich, from the public sphere to private hands, and from minorities to the majority). At the same time, the state is “importing” severe measures used against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in order to govern Jewish citizens inside Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel’s far-right pro-apartheid bloc, which has ruled Israeli politics in its current composition for the past five years, hopes to use the new “emergency government” as a vessel for unilateral annexation of large parts of the West Bank. Such measures will turn Israel into an official apartheid state, with open contempt for Palestinian rights and international law. Here the coronial and the colonial merge, creating a dangerous change in direction for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Democratic forces must realize that the period ahead will be a long and bitter struggle to shape the nature of the coronialist order. We must be aware of both the dangers and potential for positive change in this fragile time. We should learn from the failures of previous campaigns, most notably the Second Intifada and the 2011 social protests, neither of which established a multi-group movement for progressive change in Israel-Palestine. We must work to unite the interests of many sectors and groups that can rally against apartheid and privatization, and for equality, accessibility, and democracy.

The long path to building those alliances begins with genuine and equal partnership between Jews and Arabs inside Israel, as well as with Palestinians in the occupied territories, while remembering that we all live under the same regime, whether directly or indirectly. These partnerships will expose the real goal of the current regime, which is to strip millions of their political and social rights and establish an undeclared apartheid regime under the guise of an “emergency.”

We must find new spheres — in neighborhoods, towns, and cities on both sides of the Green Line — where we can work together to build a just society. A society based on such principles would be more stable and resilient for future health, environmental, political, and economic crises that are inevitable in the post-coronial period ahead.
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https://merip.org/2009/12/creeping-apartheid-in-israel-palestine/

“Creeping Apartheid” in Israel-Palestine

Oren YiftachelIn: 253 (Winter 2009)

On July 5, 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, said something that had many rubbing their eyes in disbelief. Reviewing his government’s first 100 days, he pronounced, “We have managed to create a national agreement about the concept of ‘two states for two peoples.’” Can it be that the hardline leader of the Likud, known for opposing almost every withdrawal from occupied territory Israel has ever undertaken, now believes in a peaceful two-state solution?

On the surface, it is hard to tell. On the one hand, Netanyahu is hardly the first Zionist leader to declare support for peace through Palestinian statehood accompanied by Israeli territorial withdrawals. On the other hand, he is solidly within the Zionist consensus behind colonial and oppressive practices that work to further “Judaize” contested space and deny Palestinians — on both sides of the Green Line marking off Israel proper from occupied Palestine — their legitimate rights.

But the prime minister is not schizophrenic, and there is no contradiction between these two positions, which in fact crystallize the latest phase in the changing political geography of Zionist-Palestinian conflict: a phase of neither two states nor one. In place of movement toward two states or one, there is a process of “creeping apartheid” — undeclared, yet structural — reordering the politics and geography of the country between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The colonized West Bank, the besieged Gaza Strip and Israel proper, each with its own official set of rules, are in fact merging into one regime system, ultimately controlled by the Jewish state, which increasingly appears to bear the characteristics of apartheid, and inhabited by people with citizenship status akin to “blacks,” “coloreds” and “whites.” Repeated statements by Israeli leaders in support of Palestinian statehood have thus far functioned to lend this process legitimacy, rather than lead to the end of colonial settlement, military occupation, minority oppression and resolution of the conflict.

The Israeli regime system has long been “ethnocratic,” that is to say, an overall logic of Judaization prevails in all regions under Israeli control despite the differences in their legal and political circumstances. Over time, however, the contradictions of ethnocracy have led to a deepening of the “separate and unequal” conditions in Israel-Palestine. Jews enjoy a relatively even and privileged political and legal position, while Palestinians are divided into several proto-groups, each having a differently inferior set of rights and capabilities. Under the process of creeping apartheid, Palestinians are increasingly confined to a series of what may be called “black” and “colored” ghettoes, while Jews reside in relatively open localities, both in Israel and in the Judaized West Bank.

Crossing the Rubicon?

A new political geographic phase has prevailed since the early 1990s, leading to a sea change in the discourse of Israeli leaders toward the Palestinians. Under the new approach, Israeli leaders are gradually recognizing Palestinian collective rights, although in vague terms and with perpetual delays in implementation. The shift came after decades of intransigent denial of the Palestinian right to self-determination and statehood, combined with support of Jewish expansion into the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Palestinian regions inside Israel.

A notable early turn into the new discourse was taken by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was willing to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization and “Palestinian national political rights” as enshrined in the Oslo accords of 1993. Another premier from the Labor Party, Ehud Barak, negotiated at Camp David in 2000 and at Taba in 2001 over the shape of a Palestinian state, and ordered withdrawal of the Israeli army from Lebanon. The Labor Party’s reputation, if not its policies or actions, had been moderate for some time, so the change in discourse became much more conspicuous when right-wing nationalist leaders such as Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu began to use it. These men had built their careers on advancing Zionist colonization and advocating violence in order to achieve strategic defeat of Palestinian nationalism, what Baruch Kimmerling aptly termed the “politicide” of the Palestinians. [1]

The transformation was starkest in Sharon, justly regarded as the father of the settlement project in the West Bank and a long-time champion of the idea that Israel’s security required a Greater Israel stretching from the river to the sea. In 2002, Sharon rejected the idea of leaving even the most isolated outposts in Gaza: “Under my leadership there will be no empty concessions to the Palestinians. The fate of Netzarim and Kfar Darom is the same as Tel Aviv.” Just over one year later, the aging premier reversed himself: “It is impossible to continue keeping 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation. Yes, it is occupation, and it is bad for Israel.” Moreover, unlike other Israeli leaders who had expressed comparable sentiments, Sharon turned his words into action, carrying out a unilateral military withdrawal and evacuation of 25 Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank in 2005. It was the first time that Israel had willingly vacated areas it considers to be the Jewish homeland, that is, the biblical Land of Israel.

Before he slipped into a coma in early 2006, Sharon also led a coterie of ideological confreres out of Likud and formed a new party, Kadima, whose raison d’etre was to complete similar withdrawals, or “disengagements,” from more of the West Bank. His successor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert of Kadima, actively sought to effect this withdrawal and, failing that, to negotiate a two-state agreement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In a rare burst of frankness, Olmert later declared: “Failure to reach a peace agreement and create a viable Palestinian state could plunge Israel into a South African-style apartheid struggle.” If that happens, he said, “the state of Israel is finished.” He was backed in the spirit of these comments by his foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, now leader of Kadima, whose 2009 election campaign was heavily focused on the two-state horizon.

Does this transformation signal the crossing of the peace Rubicon? It appears not. While the Greater Israel agenda is all but dead, its replacement is unlikely to be either a viable Palestinian state alongside democratic Israel or one democratic state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. Rather, its replacement will probably be peace-seeking rhetoric masking a reality of apartheid. In other words, the Israeli ethnocratic project is changing its character, from horizontal to vertical, and its main goal, from expansion to enhancement of ethno-national privilege. Jews, wherever they live, will be at the top of the ladder, and the Palestinians varying numbers of rungs below them.

This outcome is not inevitable. Concerted and determined international pressure, led by the United States, could still bring about a viable and fully sovereign Palestinian state, with international law implemented, Palestinian rights respected, legitimate Israeli rights protected and the region stabilized. Yet such a peaceful trajectory would require both Jews and Palestinians, and especially the former, to deal honestly with the core issues shaping the conflict, such as the consequences of 1948 war, the plight of Palestinian refugees, Jerusalem, borders and the future of Palestinians inside Israel. It appears unlikely that any political force, including Israel’s American patron, will have the wherewithal or the willpower to compel Israel to halt the process of creeping apartheid.

Aggression and Conciliation

The contours of the contemporary phase in Israel-Palestine’s political geography are complex, including measured readjustment and some shrinkage of the Zionist territorial project, mixed with new forms of domination over Palestine and Palestinians. The new phase follows decades of unabated Zionist demographic and spatial expansion, characterized by Jewish-only immigration, tight military control, construction of some 800 Jewish settlements in Israel proper and over 200 in the Occupied Territories, massive land confiscation and uncompromising attempts to Judaize all of the country.

Transition to the current phase occurred gradually, as a response to a range of events demonstrating that the previous colonial momentum could not be sustained. Chief among these events were the two intifadas beginning in 1987 and 2000, the Palestinian resort to suicide terror against Israeli civilians, the rise of Hamas and its rocket campaign from Gaza, and growing pressure against Israel’s illegal settlements from an increasingly antagonistic world community. Israeli elites began to realize that further expansion and direct oppression bear high security, economic and social costs, which run counter to the increasingly popular agendas of globalization and liberalization.

In the absence of a genuine wish for reconciliation with the Palestinians according to binding international decisions, however, Israel sought to rearrange control over Israel-Palestine so as to minimize these costs. The overall strategy was unilateral separation, which saw the creation of parallel geographies for Palestinians and Jews in the West Bank, with concrete walls and high fences penning in Palestinian towns and villages, and asphalt highways easing settler travel, as well as the evacuation of Gaza and the maintenance of uneven segregation inside Israel.

Beyond the thrust for separation, Israel’s moves were often confused. On the one hand, it allowed settlers to build new “outpost” settlements wedged between Palestinian population centers; accelerated the expansion of existing settlements; mounted a series of “anti-terror” offensives using state terror against civilians; constructed the massive illegal separation barrier in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; tightened the years-long siege of Gaza; and launched highly destructive invasions of the coastal strip as well as southern Lebanon. These moves found echoes in new discriminatory policies toward Palestinian citizens of Israel, whose political and civil status within the Jewish state was further compromised. [2]

On the other hand, Israel also made gestures toward Palestinian rights: It recognized the PLO, allowed the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and declared its support for Palestinian statehood, which only a decade previously was anathema to over 90 percent of Israeli Jews. Israel also retreated from the main Palestinian towns and cities, southern Lebanon and the entire Gaza Strip; evacuated settlements; enshrined previously denied Palestinian rights to purchase Israeli state land; and recognized ten (out of 45) previously “illegal” Bedouin villages in the Naqab desert. In surveys, a steady majority of Jews agrees, in theory, at least, that Palestinian citizens should have equal individual rights in Israel proper, and that Israel should conclude a peace with a newly established Palestinian state encompassing the majority of the Occupied Territories.

And yet — barring intense international pressure — these gestures do not provide a sufficient foundation for peace, because they are tactical and utilitarian, rather than strategic. They are evidence of conflict management, rather than a drive for reconciliation. Zionism remains a deeply ethnocratic movement, premised on a self-constructing narrative of an historical “right” to the entire Promised Land and the associated dispossession of Palestinians who object to the exclusivity of that right. Most Israeli Jews are accordingly unable to think productively about the core issues of the conflict, chiefly Israel’s role in the 1948 nakba. Denial of the nakba, as the Palestinians term their defeat in the 1948 war, the loss of their would-be state and the flight of refugees, has become a core Zionist value. Most Jews — officials, scholars and ordinary citizens — simply refuse to enter a discussion on the nakba, or alternatively justify it as “necessary,” thereby legitimizing the 1948 ethnic cleansing and the subsequent destruction of over 400 Palestinian villages and towns, and endorsing the continued “right” of Jews to colonize Palestine.

Thus blinded to the past, Israeli Jews cannot or will not look objectively at the present and future, whether regarding the Palestinian refugees, East Jerusalem, borders or the status of the Palestinians inside Israel. This avoidance is wrapped into Zionist discourse by continuous public invocation of (often genuine) communal fears in the face of anti-Jewish violence and the more radical, at times anti-Semitic, communiqués of Hamas and its allied organizations. These fears feed on ambient memories of the Holocaust, as well as distortion of Arab intentions toward Israel. In the end, avoidance and denial are what bestirred Israel to make both its sets of unilateral moves, the aggressive and the conciliatory, toward Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.

Ethnocracy and Democracy

Apartheid conditions always develop on the basis of existing political and cultural foundations. In Israel, these foundations are the state’s long-standing ethnocratic regime and the associated racist treatment of Palestinians who stand in the way of the state’s program of Judaization.

Ethnocratic regimes are commonly found in contested territories in which a dominant ethnic nation appropriates the state apparatus to further its expansionist aspirations. Significantly, such regimes tend to keep in place democratic procedures that can be selectively applied to groups under their control. Being able to portray the regime as democratic is important for the legitimacy of the ethnocratic project in the eyes of the majority group as well as international circles. The democratic frame also allows minorities to mobilize politically and to enjoy substantial (if not equal) civil and political rights.

But despite their democratic features, ethnocratic states such as Israel are typified by ongoing subjection and exploitation of weakened groups, who invariably resist the order, often violently. This asymmetry tends to produce closely held identities and polarize the polity. Examples of ethnocratic regimes include Serbia, Estonia, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, apartheid South Africa and nineteenth-century Australia. [3]

Despite its history of eviction, conquest and occupation, Israel is still considered democratic by politicians and the public, even in countries where Israel is routinely criticized. Even scholars critical of Israel use the term “Israeli democracy,” though often with qualifiers such as “imagined,” “ethnic” or “deeply flawed.” This tendency draws on the continuing illusion that Israel is an entity neatly contained within the Green Line, even though this very entity settles hundreds of thousands of Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and separates them legally and spatially from local Arabs.

The political system in Israel proper does maintain key democratic practices, such as periodic (though not universal or free) elections and protection of important civil rights such as freedom of speech, movement and association, relative (though far from complete) gender equality and homosexual rights. Israel boasts a strong, quite independent judiciary and relatively open media. Further, since the early 1990s, Israeli society has undergone significant liberalization, privatization and globalization, with greater exposure to international standards and influx of foreign investment. These processes have allowed Israelis greater economic and cultural freedoms, and enabled them to portray the nation as Western, free and progressive. [4] It is mainly Jews, however, who have benefited from these processes, while Palestinians remain either on the margins or locked out. In addition, the democratizing changes have not modified the most oppressive facets of the Israeli regime, such as the ongoing Judaization of land, the disenfranchisement of nearly 4 million Palestinians, the central role of the military and security forces, the Jewish-only immigration policies and the marginality of the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens.

Phases of Colonization

The historical momentum of Israel’s ethnocratic-colonial system is particularly important for the making of apartheid-type relations and requires some elaboration. The Zionist colonization of geographic Palestine has taken place in five main stages. The first, lasting from the late nineteenth century until 1947, can be termed the “colonialism of survival.” Most Jews who came to Palestine in these years were fleeing as refugees, from Eastern European pogroms, the mortal threat of Nazism and, then, the Holocaust. In Palestine, organized by Zionist groups and ideas, they expanded their area of settlement by purchasing land, often from absentee Arab owners, while forming proto-national institutions and armed forces, as foundations for a future state.

The second stage, during the 1947-1949 war, was characterized by ethnic cleansing. It saw the establishment of the state of Israel following the Arabs’ rejection of the UN partition plan and attack on the nascent Israeli polity. The war ended with Palestine conquered by Israel, Jordan and Egypt and the majority of Palestinians rendered homeless and stateless. 1948 was the watershed year shaping the Israeli regime, which is built to protect the military and demographic achievements of the 1948 war for Zionism, such as the seizure of Palestinian territory beyond the allocation of the UN partition plan, the expulsion of most of the land’s Arabs and the Judaization of vast tracts of land. Israel was accepted as a member state of the UN. The Palestinians became a fragmented and defeated nation, dispersed among six countries, unable to contest the Judaization of their homeland.

The third phase, from 1949 to 1967, was typified by “internal colonialism”: Most Palestinian villages now within Israel were destroyed, and the return of Palestinian refugees prohibited. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Jews, mainly refugees or forced migrants from Europe and the Middle East, settled in hundreds of new Jewish settlements, some erected on the previously Arab lands. The Jewish settlement project was centrally planned with modern methods, not only to de-Arabize Palestine, but also to build the Zionist nation. Israel established a formal democracy, although its Palestinian citizens were concentrated in enclaves and placed under military administration until 1966.

The fourth phase from 1967 to 1993 was marked by external, expansionist colonialism. It followed Israeli conquest of Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and saw a huge project of state-sponsored colonization. Over 100 Jewish settlements that today host nearly half a million Jews were built in breach of international law. The illicit settlements include those built in occupied Arab Jerusalem, which was partly and illegally annexed to Israel. Religious themes became central to the narratives of both nations, helping to justify the escalating violence. Much of the Jewish settlement was driven by the desire to “return to sacred sites” and Palestinians increasingly used Islamic rhetoric to fire their resistance. Within Israel proper, Judaization continued through the construction of dozens of semi-suburban Jewish housing tracts in predominantly Arab regions, with concomitant restrictions on building by Arabs.

The fifth and present stage, beginning with the 1993 Oslo accords, can be characterized as “oppressive consolidation” and marks the effective end of significant Zionist expansionism. Settlements are still being built in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, but the vast majority of Jewish population increase in the West Bank occurs in settlements of long standing. At the same time, bypass roads connect the existing settlements ever more closely to Israel proper, further “Israelizing” Jewish colonies. The wall-and-fence complex that has replaced the Green Line as the de facto border between Israel proper and the West Bank and the enormous terminals that have replaced checkpoints outside most Palestinian cities cast a mighty shadow over both Palestinian daily life, but in strategic terms, they are management techniques of the overall stalemate. Maximal separation (in Hebrew, hafrada) is the new logic. Both nations, not surprisingly, have become more polarized, and radical factions have risen. Hamas won the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections and violently took over Gaza in 2007. In Israel, two hardline Likud governments were elected, first in 2001 and then in 2009, and Orthodox Jews have become more influential in the country’s leadership and in the army.

And so it is not accidental that the term “apartheid” has entered the discourse about Israel-Palestine. The momentum of straightforward colonization — the conquest of Arab lands and expansion of Jewish settlements — has slowed, but the resulting stalemate is hardly acceptable to Palestinians, who resist in various ways. From the Israeli side, the attempt is to reduce the costs of its control while maintaining political and military superiority. It has chosen an undeclared system that resembles apartheid, a system of rule that aims to cement separate and unequal ethnic relations.

Master Types

But the definition of the Israeli regime is complicated by several factors, not least the mismatch between the territory under the state’s control and that within its internationally recognized borders. Creeping apartheid in Israel-Palestine is thus best described as a process, rather than a well-delineated system of government. The occupation of the West Bank and discrimination against the Palestinians there are considered by Israel, and to some extent by international law, as temporary conditions subject to the self-defined security needs of the occupier. At this point, with the occupation over 40 years old and the settlements being consolidated, these conditions are in total breach of international law. While Israeli elites and their apologists still resort to such manipulations, their legal and political power is waning.

For example, Jewish settlements in the West Bank — outside the state’s recognized sovereign territory — are both civilian and permanent. They cannot be understood as part of a temporary military occupation, as Israel still claims in legal forums. Why would Sharon and Netanyahu press for the “natural growth” of towns they view as ephemeral? The progress of the settlement project in the Palestinians’ midst shows that the indigenous residents have been unwillingly and unwittingly incorporated as third-class subjects of the regime. Israel’s ongoing interest in representing this situation as “temporary” derives from its “need” to avoid endowing West Bank Palestinians with full civil rights.

Further, in the fifth stage of ethnocratic colonization, apartheid practices are creeping back into Israel proper, albeit with lesser severity than in the first and second phases. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, as documented by Mossawa, Adalah and other human rights organizations in Israel, the state has promulgated a series of new restrictions upon the movements, personal freedoms, employment, land ownership and political rights of Palestinian citizens. There is openly racist talk of “punishing the Arab enemy,” redrawing borders for the purpose of “population exchange” (a code name for annexing settlements and, “in return,” excluding Arab towns near the West Bank border from Israel), and stripping Palestinians in Israel of their citizenship.

The creep of apartheid is most apparent to Bedouin Palestinians in the Naqab region, who struggle against constant threats to their localities on their ancestors’ land. As part of withholding recognition of land and residency rights, the state denies the Bedouin basic services such as water, electricity, roads and schooling. The state also refuses to recognize the Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages, elected by the Bedouin as a regional leadership. State violence is commonly used against the Bedouin, with 604 demolitions of unauthorized homes from 2001 to 2008. In some important respects, the plight of Bedouin in the unrecognized villages is worse than that of most of their brethren in the West Bank and Gaza.

The vagueness of the adjective “creeping” captures another definitional difficulty: the existence of legal and political differences between the various Arab areas under Israeli control. The West Bank is officially designated as under “belligerent occupation” and the Gaza Strip as “hostile territory,” while Israel proper is commonly called a formal democracy, where Palestinians hold equal individual rights under the law. But Israel itself ruptured the boundaries between these regions and hence undermined the fine distinctions of legal-political status. It has imposed Israeli law in the Jewish settlements whose jurisdiction now covers around 40 percent of the West Bank — an act of de facto annexation. Israel continues to control nearly all key components of sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza, such as immigration, population registration, imports and exports, water management, transportation infrastructure, land and planning policies, foreign relations and investment. Simultaneously, Arabs inside Israel have become second-class citizens, de facto and de jure.

It is no longer possible to distinguish between different “regimes” in Israel-Palestine, as the entire space is ultimately controlled by the Jewish state. There are, however, gradations in rights and capabilities between Jews and Palestinians, and among various groups of Palestinians, which bring the process of creeping apartheid into focus. Israel officially ranks Palestinian groups and awards each a separate status according to a combination of ethnicity and location, while Jews, differences of class, color and religiosity notwithstanding, remain everywhere equal in civil status. Palestinians are classified as follows, in descending order of legal status: the Druze, many of whom serve in the army; Palestinians in the Galilee and “triangle” regions; Bedouin in the Naqab, the most under-privileged citizens; East Jerusalem Palestinians, non-citizen permanent residents who have yellow Israeli plates on their cars because they live in a city that Israel has partially annexed; Palestinians in the West Bank; Gazans; and refugees located outside Israeli-controlled territory who are denied their claims of residency and property rights by the regime.

The logic of Judaization underpins Israeli policies toward all these groups in unique ways, though the groups fall into two broad categories of citizens and non-citizens. The variations in legal standing and exposure to oppression and violence make a significant difference in Palestinians’ life opportunities, economic standing and ability to exercise rights.

To borrow the language of apartheid South Africa, Israel appears to have created three master types of civil status in the areas under its control: “white” (Jewish), “colored” (Palestinians with Israeli citizenship) and “black” (Palestinians in the Occupied Territories). Two brief examples will illustrate the point. Take, first, socio-economic status: The per capita gross domestic product of Israeli Jews in 2006 was about 15 times higher than that of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, but also twice as high as that of the Palestinians in Israel. Unemployment in the Occupied Territories reached 50-60 percent, while hovering around 12-15 percent among Palestinians in Israel, and around half that figure among Jews. About three quarters of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories live in poverty, as compared to some 53 percent of the Palestinians in Israel and 17 percent of the Jews.

Second, take the issue of planning and construction. In Area C of the West Bank, the territory that remains under direct Israeli administration by the terms of the Oslo agreement, only one of the 149 Palestinian villages has an approved outline plan, enabling the residents to build legally. Consequently, 1,626 houses were demolished from 2000 to 2008 and an additional 4,820 were served demolition orders. At the same time, half the Palestinian localities in Israel lack an approved plan and they, too, are constantly subject to house demolition. In 2000, according to an inter-ministerial committee headed by Shlomo Gazit, there were 22,000 unauthorized buildings in Palestinian localities in Israel’s central and northern regions and 16,000 in their Jewish counterparts. Arabs had suffered over 800 demolitions in the preceding decade, as opposed to only 24 for Jews. This disparity was also vivid in the Naqab, where Jews built 62 family farms with no planning approval. Despite the appeals of several human rights and environmental groups, all were retroactively legalized in 2009. At the same time, Bedouins in the Naqab who reside on their ancestors’ land suffered 604 home demolitions between 2000 and 2008.

Ghettoes…

Geography is vital because the creeping apartheid process relies heavily on a range of skewed settlement, land, development and boundary demarcation policies and regulations. Palestinians amount to 48 percent of the population between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, but control only 15 percent of the land, while Jewish groups and authorities, including the army, control the rest, including most parks, expanses of wilderness and natural resources. Inside the Green Line the inequality is even starker: Palestinians amount to 18 percent of the population but control less than 3 percent of the land. In 1947, Jewish individuals and institutions controlled only 5 percent of historical Palestine or 7 percent of what became Israel.

As a result, the Palestinians have been enclosed in “rough space” — an archipelago of ghettoes with their settlement system remaining nearly frozen since 1948. At the same time, Jews greatly expanded their living space and enjoy freedom of habitation, settlement and travel in the vast majority of the land. In its management of space, too, Israel-Palestine has been divided into three master types — “black,” “colored” and “white.” “Black” ghettoes, mainly in Gaza and the West Bank, are harshly policed, the residents confined by walls, checkpoints and periodic curfews. Physical and legal barriers also cut off the “black” ghettoes from each other, according to the desiderata of Jewish settlements and the military.

“Colored” ghettoes, where Palestinian citizens of Israel and most Palestinians of East Jerusalem reside, have more porous boundaries but also have major restrictions on land rights and development for the inhabitants. For example, Palestinians in Israel struggle to move out of their ghettoes due to limitations on their ability to purchase land and lack of educational, cultural and religious facilities elsewhere. The Arab areas are not only inferior in status to Jewish areas, but Israel also strives to prevent mixing of “black” and “colored,” as with the 2008 restriction on marriage between Palestinians from the Occupied Territories and those from Israel. Most boundaries, not least the Green Line, apply to Palestinians only.

In contrast, the “white spaces” where most Jews reside come in a variety of shapes and forms. Importantly, though, they are all situated within contiguous, “smooth” Jewish territory precisely because the state effectively Judaizes all spaces where Jews settle. They enjoy freedom of movement and similar rights. It is the uniform legal and geographical status of Jewish space between the river and the sea that effectively connects the variegated Arab spaces under the one regime. Jewish localities generate their boundaries from within, mainly for preventing the entry of Palestinians and, in some cases, “undesirable” Jews, such as working-class Mizrahim or the ultra-Orthodox. By law and practice, and with the backing of the army, Jews can reside and purchase land nearly anywhere in Israel-Palestine. This geography is the backdrop against which statements in support of Palestinian statehood appear particularly empty.

…and Beyond

In theory, the change of the political discourse to support Palestinian statehood has potential to move the political geography of Israel-Palestine toward peace and reconciliation. Close examination, however, reveals that Israel has so far acted to lend legitimacy to its strategy of consolidating control over the Palestinians. Jewish expansion appears to be ending, but in its place the confinement of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line in ghettoes proceeds. The ensemble of new discourses and regulations has combined to create an order best described as creeping apartheid. This highly oppressive and internationally illegal order is, needless to say, replete with suffering and prone to outbursts of violence.

This predicament necessitates new thinking. How long, for example, can Israel stick to its legal argument that the occupation is “temporary,” without being declared an apartheid regime by the international community? This question is paramount.

There is a need as well to investigate the various types of apartheid regimes that deviate in detail, but not in principle, from what obtained in South Africa. It appears that the creeping apartheid in Israel-Palestine is based on ethnic, national and religious, but not “racial,” or skin color, categories. What political and moral difference does this entail? Does Israel resemble a Serbian model of apartheid more than the multi-racial South African one? And what difference does the existence of the state of Israel with its legitimate UN standing make for resolution of the conflict?

In addition, the intersection of identity and class is critical: What is the connection between apartheid-like forced separation and accelerating privatization and globalization of the economy in Israel-Palestine? What roles do the US and European economies and military industries play in this process? What are the consequences of Israel’s systematic import of foreign labor to replace Palestinians? How does the apartheid process feed on rapid accumulation of capital among small national elites? And, finally, is the ghettoization of the Palestinians effecting a parallel economic and political ghettoization of Israel itself in the Middle East?

One can imagine several visions that might resolve the predicament. The best appears to be an old one that was abandoned far too easily — socially progressive binationalism. There could be an Israeli-Palestinian confederation (based on two sovereign spaces, possibly leading to a federation) with an integrated economy, a joint capital city, open borders and fair accommodation of the Palestinian refugees. Discussions about these options have already begun in several arenas and are likely to pick up steam. They may sow the intellectual and political seeds of a genuinely just and peaceful future for this strife-torn land.

Endnotes

[1] Baruch Kimmerling, Politicide: Israel’s Policy Toward the Palestinians (London: Zed, 2005).
[2] See Oren Yiftachel, “The Shrinking Space of Ethnocratic Citizenship” in Joel Beinin and Rebecca L. Stein, eds., The Struggle for Sovereignty (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006); and Oren Yiftachel, “Voting for Apartheid: The 2009 Israeli Elections,” Journal of Palestine Studies 38/3 (Spring 2009).
[3] See Oren Yiftachel and Asad Ghanem, “Understanding Ethnocratic Regimes: The Politics of Seizing Contested Territories,” Political Geography 23/6 (August 2004).
[4] See Uri Ram, The Globalization of Israel (Tel Aviv: Resling, 2008).

====================================================
https://www.academia.edu/20095222/Understanding_ethnocratic_regimes_the_politics_of_seizing_contested_territories

Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
www.politicalgeography.com
Understanding ‘ethnocratic’regimes:
the politics of seizing contested territories
Oren Yiftachel a, , As’ad Ghanem b
a Department of Geography, Ben-Gurion University, 84105 Beer-Sheva, Israel
b Department of Political Science, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
Abstract
The paper proposes a preliminary political-geographical theory of ‘ethnocratic’regimes. It
identifies such regimes as a distinct type, neither democratic, nor authoritarian. The paper
defines and illustrates the evolution and characteristics of ethnocratic states, and examines
their impact on ethnic relations and political stability. While these regimes represent themselves
as democratic, their main project promotes the ethnicization of contested territory
and power apparatus. Their logic, structure, features and trajectories are articulated and generalized,
especially as regards key dimensions such as: democracy, minorities, ‘ethno-classes’,
ethno-nationalism and religion.
Three examples of ethnocratic regimes—in Sri Lanka, Israel and Estonia—are briefly
described, analyzed and compared. On this basis, the paper constructs a tentative model,
identifying six ‘regime bases’as constituting a hegemonic regime core, including: immigration
and citizenship, land and settlement, the role of the armed forces, the legal system,
the flow of capital and public culture. These ‘bases’largely determine the character of
‘regime features’, such as party politics, elections, gender relations and the media. But the
hegemonic status of these bases is frequently challenged by groups marginalized by the
expansion and control of the dominant ethnos. These groups attempt to exploit the ‘cracks’
emanating from the state’s self-representation as democratic. The ceaseless ethnocraticdemocratic
tension typically results in chronic instability and prolonged ethnic conflict.
# 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Democracy; Ethnicity; Regime; Sri Lanka; Estonia; Israel; Palestine
Corresponding author. Tel.: +9728-6472011; fax: +9728-6472821.
E-mail address: yiftach@bgu.ac.il (O. Yiftachel).
0962-6298/$ – see front matter # 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2004.04.003
Introduction
The rapid transformation in the world political order during the last decade and
half has generated active debate on regime types in general, and democratization in
particular (see: Bermeo, 1997; Diamond, 2002; Harris, 2001; Huntington, 1997;
Linz & Stephan, 1996; Keating & McGarry, 2001). Yet, the academic discourse has
been unduly constrained by a binary democracy–non-democracy framework of
analysis. The emphasis by most western scholars on a formal–procedural definition
of democracy, on free markets and on various forms of constitutionalism, caused
many to overlook the persistence of an ethno-national ‘engine’of political change.
This has obscured the on-going existence, and recent proliferation; of a regime type
we term here—‘ethnocracy’.1
In this paper, we aim to address the deficiency by focusing on this type of
regime. We will define and illustrate a model of what we term ‘open ethnocratic’
regimes, and examine its impact on ethnic relations and political stability. Our
theoretical argument centers on the mechanisms of the regime, which explain both
the persistent patterns of ethnic dominance and its chronic instability. A related
theoretical contribution is the existence of ethnocratic regimes as a distinct identifiable
type, which promotes a central (political-geographical) project of ethnicizing
contested territories and power structures.
We contend that the logic, structure, features and trajectories of open ethnocratic
regime can be articulated and generalized, and that the model we proposed
below can frame a new understanding of politics and geography in many states
embroiled in protracted ethnic conflicts. Such understanding forms a necessary step
in managing the typically volatile inter-group relations of ethnocratic societies. In
this vein, the paper attempts to make a theoretical, conceptual and practical contribution
to the understanding of deeply divided societies, and to illustrate the
dynamics of ethnocratic regimes, by briefly comparing the relevant cases of Sri
Lanka, Israel and Estonia.
Scholarly settings
Our discussion focuses on regimes, which we define as frameworks determining
the distribution of power, values and resources. A regime reflects the identity,
goals, and practical priorities of a political community. The state is the main
vehicle for the regime, providing institutions, mechanisms, laws and legitimized
forms of violence to implement the projects articulated by the regime.
Ethnocratic regimes may emerge in a variety of forms, including cases of ethnic
dictatorships or regimes implementing violent strategies of ethnic cleansing, as
occurred in Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo by means of control and exclusion as
1 The term ‘ethnocracy’has appeared in previous literature (see Linz & Stephan, 1996; Little, 1994);
However, as far as we are aware, it was generally used as a derogatory term, with very little discussion,
or development into a theoretical model or concept, as formulated here.
648 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
happened in Sudan, pre-2003 Iraq or pre-1994 South Africa (Mann, 2000). In this
paper, however, we are interested in ethnocratic regimes, which represent themselves
as democratic, and uphold several formal democratic mechanisms, although
they still facilitate a disproportional and undemocratic expansion of the dominant
ethno-nation. They can thus be described as ‘open ethnocracies’. Examples of such
regimes at present include states such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Estonia, Latvia,
Serbia, and Israel, as well as past cases such as 19th Century Australia or Canada
until the 1960s.
Our analysis of ethnocratic regimes ‘converses’with a range of scholarly debates
and a number of disciplinary fields. We present below a combined political geography
and political science perspective, which seeks to contribute to debates on key
concepts such as nationalism (for key texts, see Brubaker, 1996; Hechter, 2000);
ethnicity (see Connor, 1994; Conversi, 2002), political regimes (Collier & Levitski,
1997; Linz & Stephan, 1996); political stability (Lustick, 1993; McGarry &
O’Leary, 1993, 1995), multi-cultural citizenship and the postcolonial condition
(Benhabib, 2002; Kymlicka, 2001). The knowledge accumulated in these fields
forms an important basis for our new formulations.
Ethnocracies: key components
We define ethnocracy as a regime facilitating the expansion, ethnicization and
control of contested territory and state by a dominant ethnic nation. ‘Open ethnocracies’,
on which we focus here, exercises selective openness: they possess a range
of partial democratic features, most notably political competition, free media and
significant civil rights; although these fail to be universal or comprehensive, and are
typically applied to the extent they do not interfere with the ethnicization project.
Given this selective and partial openness, open ethnocratic regimes cannot be
classified as democratic (as elaborated below). Neither they can be classified as
authoritarian, given their extent of political freedoms and openings, which far
exceeds the typical range characterizing such regimes (see Linz & Stephan, 1996).
The most striking differences between open ethnocracies and autocracies are:
(a) the real possibility of government change in most ethnocratic regimes, as
opposed to long-term dominance of one ruler or party typifying autocracies; (b)
the strong emphasis on ethnic loyalties as a foundation of politics, not found in
most autocracies.
The combination of democratic and ethnocratic features makes open ethnocracies
a particularly interesting, and not uncommon, case during the current age of
‘superficial democratization’( Zakaria, 1997). Instability is typically generated by
marginalized and oppressed minorities, who often use the partial openings granted
by the state to resist, mobilize and challenge the regime. But at the same time,
regime legitimacy is augmented by the introduction of democratic features, which
possess an appeasing effect on restive minorities. The ethnocratic–democratic tensions
in open ethnocracies thereby creates a high level of regime dynamism and
O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676 649
instability, found neither in more oppressive ‘closed’ethnocra cies, such as pre-2003
Iraq or Sudan; or in liberal democracies, such as Denmark or Sweden.
Structure
As elaborated elsewhere (see Yiftachel, 1999) ethnocratic states emerge from the
time–space fusion of three main historical-political forces: (a) settler-colonialism,
which may be external (into another state or continent) or internal (within a state)
(Lustick, 1993; McGarry, 1998); (b) ethno-nationalism, which draws on the international
legitimacy to national self-determination to buttress the political and territorial
expansionist goals of the dominant ethno-nation (Connor, 1994; Mann,
1999); and (c) a conspicuous ‘ethnic logic’of capital, which tends to stratify ethnic
groups through uneven processes of capital mobility, immigration and economic
globalization (Sassen, 1998; Soysal, 1994). These settings mean that ethnocratic
regime reflect, and at the same time reproduce, patterns of ethnic stratification and
discrimination. The parallel workings of these structural forces have shaped several
key regime characteristics—all enhancing the process of ethnicizing contested territory.
These are2:
. Ethnicity, and not citizenship, forms the main basis for resource and power
allocation; only partial rights and capabilities are extended to minorities; there is
a constant ethnocratic-civil tension.
. The dominant ethnic nation appropriates the state apparatus and shapes the
political system, public institutions, geography, economy and culture, so as to
expand and deepen its control over state and territory.
. Political boundaries are vague, often privileging co-ethnic of the dominant group
in the Diaspora, over minority citizens; there is no clearly identified ‘demos’.
. Politics are ethnicized, as the ethnic logic of power distribution polarizes the
body politic and party system.
. Rigid forms of ethnic segregation and socioeconomic stratification are maintained,
despite countervailing legal and market forces.
A central point is that in ethnocratic regimes, the notion of the ‘demos’ is
crucially ruptured. That is, the community of equal resident-citizens (the demos)
does not feature high in the country’s policies, agenda, imagination, symbols or
resource distribution, and is therefore not nurtured or facilitated. But the ‘demos’
forms the necessary basis for the establishment of democracy (‘demos-cracy’), and
as a foundation for the most stable and legitimate form of governance known
to human society. Needless to say, the concept of the demos is open to many
interpretations, as evidenced by the variety of federal, multi-cultural or unitary
state structures. Yet, the structural diminution of the demos by ethnocratic regimes
2 The characteristics are worded as assertions which may be subject to further theoretical and
empirical validation.
650 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
highlights their qualitative difference from the norms and practices of democratic
governance.
Notably, the ethnocratic model presented here is dynamic, depicting and interpreting
processes, rather than fixed reality, most notably ethnic expansion, and the
challenges and resistance it faces. One of our main arguments is the inherent instability
of open ethnocratic regimes, born out of the dynamism of societies embroiled
in ethnic territorial conflicts. Let us now explore further the structure of ethnocratic
regimes by elaborating on additional key dimensions, regarding territory,
religion and class.
Territory
Ethnocracies are driven, first and foremost, by a concerted collective project of
exerting ethno-national control over a territory perceived as the nation’s (exclusive)
homeland. The regime is thus propelled by a sense of collective entitlement
among the majority group to control ‘its’state, and ‘its’homela nd, as part and
parcel of what is conceived as a ‘natural’right for self-determination. But given the
perennial existence of multi-ethnic and multi-national territories, the imposition of
ethnic control over a mixed territory (and at times beyond) is likely to cause bitter
and protracted conflicts generated by rival claims for the same territory made by
other groups, typically those controlling the areas in different historical periods (see
Hakli, 2001; Murphy, 2002; Yiftachel; 2002).
While geographers and political scientists have compiled many studies of ethnic
politics and geographies (see Boal, 1987; Eyles, 1990; Peach, 1996), there has been
a relative paucity of studies linking questions of power, identity and ethnic conflict
to the dynamics of spatial expansion. Yet, the last years have seen several important
beginnings, with recent geographical studies beginning the task of systematically
describing, theorizing and offering critical evaluation of ethnocratic spatial
practices.
Penrose (2000a,b), for example, shows how the very structure of modern nationstates
(termed ‘nationalist democracies’) spawns societal projects, which ghettoize
and marginalize minority groups, and at the same time attempts to forcefully
assimilate them into the mainstream. Penrose theoretically and empirically exposes
the embedded contradiction between the claims of such states to be democracies,
and their systematic oppression of part of their citizenry
. . .systemic inequalities arise when the application of democratic principles is
constrained by the more fundamental need to demonstrate that the state represents
a single, coterminous nation. Accordingly. . . efforts to improve democracies
must begin with the assumption that the spaces and places in which this
ideology operates are not neutral. Instead, I suggest that [under the nationalist
order—OY] the context in which democratic principles are applied, and their
interpretation challenged, both produces and reflects ongoing, structural
unequal, power relations. (Penrose, 2000a,b: p. 35).
O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676 651
Likewise, geographers Paasi (1999, 2000), Herb and Kaplan (1999) and Murphy
(2002) provide detailed accounts on the historical evolution of the close nexus
between identity and territory as a fundamental basis for the existing dominant
political order. This nexus provides the normative ‘ideal’, and the political basis for
mobilization, which stand behind the making of the global nation-state order. Notwithstanding
recent processes of globalization and localization, which erode their
power, national states remain the main repository of political, violent and economic
power, especially as regards minorities.
Paasi (2000) elaborates on the principles and methods of state building, which
invariably include a quiet, hegemonic, process of ‘spatial socialization’, whereby
cultural norms, official cartography, military activity and education infuse the
taken-for-granted link of people to their exclusive ethno-national homeland. Sibley
(1996) and Sack (1993) address the phenomenon of territoriality, with Sibley adding
a critical psychological-spatial dimension by introducing the concept of ‘pure
space’, as a social desire apparent on all scales. This often contradicts with the dictates
of global capitalism, creating a spatial politics of difference, manifested perversely
and often brutally, in the planning and making of the built environment:
The built environment assumes symbolic importance, reinforcing a desire for
order and conformity. . . space is implicated in the construction of otherness and
deviancy. ‘Pure space’exp oses difference and facilitates the policing of
boundaries. . . This xenophobia is based. . . on a purified national identity; (it)
sits uneasily with the flows and cultural fusions, which are generated by global
capitalism. But the contradiction between a racist nationalism and the imperatives
of capitalist economies is denied. . . The myth of cultural homogeneity
is needed to sustain the nation-state. . . It is convenient to have an alien other
hovering on the margins (Sibley, 1996: pp. 106–108).
Based on these theoretical foundations, we can proceed to observe the process of
ethnicizing contested territory as involving several key steps: (a) structural segregation,
without which the expansion of the majority group would not be possible;
(b) the construction of minorities as a ‘threat’or ‘enemies’to the project of ‘purifying’ethnic
spatial control, embedded in the model of the national state, from
which ethnocratic regimes receive their ultimate internal, and at times international,
legitimacy; (c) the formulation of public policies and practices, in the field
of land, development and planning, which enhance ethnocratic spatial control; (d)
the structural, and hence enduring, discrimination of minorities in the fields of land
control, planning rights, development and access to decision-making powers.
The manipulation of ethnic political geographies is hence one of the most central
pillars of all ethnocratic regimes; that is, the ethnicization of political space. The
legal, political, cultural and demographic ‘bases’of the regime, as elaborated
below, all facilitate this collective goal. But the geographical process in which
ethnocratic regimes are enmeshed, also expose their long-term weakness: as shown
by the recent work of social and political scientists such as Brubaker (1996),
Gurr (2000), Mann (2000), McGarry (1998) and Hechter (2000), the process of
652 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
state-led ethnic territorial expansion may and marginalize minorities to such an
extent, that their resistance often generates serious threats to the regime, most commonly
on a regional or transnational scale. The remaking of ethnic geography is
also closely related to another key component of most ethnocratic regime—the
reigning of religion to advance the ethnic project.
Religion
While the main mobilizers of politics in ethnocratic states is definitely ethnonationalism,
in most cases, the ‘national’que stion is intimately involved with an
institutionalized and politicized religion, because the religion held by the dominant
majority is often an ‘ethnic religion’. This creates reciprocal relations, where religion
is influenced by contemporary ethnic and national struggles, while the nature of
the ethno-national struggle is, in turn, shaped by religious motives. The expansive
type of ethno-nationalism typical to ethnocracies is thus able to develop resilient
forms of internal legitimations, based on the mutual reinforcement of nationalism
and religion.
Examples of the intimate connection between religion and ethno-national segregation
are rife in ethnocratic states, and are evident in the cases of Sri Lanka (with
a major Buddhist–Hindu division), Israel/Palestine (Jewish–Muslim), Serbia (Eastern
Orthodox–Catholic), Northern Ireland (Protestant–Catholic), Estonia
(Lutheran–Russian Orthodox) and Malaysia (Muslim–Confutes). Yet, our analysis
of the ethnocratic model still points to the general subordination of religion vis-avis
ethno-nationalism. This is the reason our terminology and explanation stress
the ethnic and national ‘engines’of mobilization, through which religion assumes
its contemporary political and cultural potency.
Significantly, religious narratives, norms and practices enhance in most ethnocratic
societies the project of ethnic spatial expansion. This is mainly due to the
sanctification of space, common in areas of ethnic and religious conflict. This process
sees religious texts and norms reinterpreted so as to make the exclusive claim
to territory a matter of divine truth. This gives rise to a range of religio-spatial
practices on all major scales. On the urban level, as well illustrated by Shilhav
(1991), and Kong (2001) religious discourses constantly inform the making of
‘sacred urban spaces’. These may include neighborhoods and quarters where
enough religious people congregate, so as to elevated their religious customs to the
level of public norm. This relates to customs such as dress, eating, gender mixing,
content of signs and billboards, the aesthetic, vocal and physical prominence of
places of worship.
On regional and national scales too, religious practices, such as the demarcation
and celebration of sacred sites, the association of certain areas with religious miracles
or major mythical events, movements or wars, are coupled with ethnic claims
for that region or state as a homeland. These tend to effectively fuel the struggle
for exclusive territorial control. As shown by Stump (2000) and Akenson (1992),
religious narratives and goals in conflict situations are inherently spatial, with constant
mobilization to widen influence and control.
O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676 653
Winichakul (1994) and Smith (2002a,b) elaborate further on the impact of religion
on the national scale, by noting that the ‘layered’and ‘selective’hist orical interpretations
of many modern nations is commonly based on popular religious myths,
which emphasize ‘our’control over the land. Such selective collective memories are
then extrapolated into present day political territorial claims. Hence, the present
(often tacit) coalescence of religious leaders and discourses with the national framework
creates a process of sanctification of the entire state territory, which becomes
a complete and holy ‘geobody’, embodying, symbolizing and mobilizing the nation.
Hence, despite the putatively secular foundation of nationalism (Anderson,
1991), the histories, identities and boundaries of the dominant groups in ethnocratic
societies are never very far from their religious affiliation. The religious logic
is instrumental for most ethnocratic regimes by generating an essentializing discourse
of rigid political and social boundaries. The existence of such boundaries is
commonly justified in public opinion, in politics and the media as stemming from
divine or ancient roots, and is thus portrayed as ascriptive and insurmountable
(Smith, 1995).
The reinforcement of boundaries by nationalism and religion thus assists the
dominant and expanding ethnic nation to segregate and marginalize peripheral
minorities. Moreover, since ethno-nationalism is enmeshed in the definition of the
state, and since it often has clear religious undertones, the entry of marginalized
minorities to a ‘common good’de fined by the state is extremely difficult. The
regime can also use religion to create formal and informal differentiation between
citizens, where ‘objective’or ‘god-given’ religious criteria function as a basis
for discriminatory policies; in the allocation of resources, power and prestige
(Akenson, 1992).
But—significantly—the close association between ethnocratic regimes and
religious institutions is never totally congruent, because at a structural level, religion
and nationalism advance competing hegemonic projects. The first is structurally
bound to the state, and regards its development and power as a goal in itself. The
latter (religious institutions), however, promotes a competing regime of truth and
power, which holds a global or international ‘redemptive’vision, often ‘in waiting’
for the right historical circumstances. For religious movements, particularly of the
fundamentalist kind, control of state territory is never an end-state goal, but rather
a stepping stone towards a grander vision of broader salvation and control, which
may make the nation-state redundant (see Lustick, 2002; Stump, 2000).
Hence, religions such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity—
found in most ethnocratic societies—also commonly hold uneasy relations
with their state governments. As shown below, in cases such as Sri Lanka and
Israel, the bands holding together the Statist and religious projects has been under
increasing strain, with religious forces, buoyed by the past support of the ethnic
state, now threaten to undermine their territorial, social and political stability.
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Ethno-classes
The power of religion and ethnic struggle tend to overshadow class politics in
ethnocratic societies, although socioeconomic considerations are still central in the
shaping of political struggle over resources. Typically, such considerations are
expressed indirectly by the politics of religion and ethnicity, with a general association
between poverty, religion and nationalism. But as noted above, ‘the ethnic
logic of capital’operate s constantly in ethnocratic societies, and puts in train
mechanisms, which generally result in persisting ethnic stratification. These
mechanisms include the ‘cultural division of labor’(Hechter, 2000), the flow of
international and domestic capital, which tends to favor the more educated groups,
the uneven pattern of urban and industrial development, the typically skewed distribution
of governmental assistance and incentives, and the tendency of capital to
avoid risks. All these combine to create a socioeconomic map, which tends to separate
ethnic groups, thereby fueling inter-ethnic tensions.
Consequently, we observe that politics in ethnocratic states operates on two
main and distinguishable levels: ethno-nations and ethno-classes (for a fuller discussion,
see Yiftachel, 1998). This begins with an ethnic logic of politics, which is
generated by the national struggle, where ‘our’e thnic nation is routinely elevated,
while rival groups are demoted (Connor, 1994). This logic is often diffused into
both majority and minority communities, bestowing legitimacy for the use of hierarchical
ethnicity as a political and distributive category, and causing various
forms of ethno-class divisions. Hence, ethnocratic regimes do not only promote the
dominance of a specific ethnicity, but also the general dominance of ethnicity as a
political and socioeconomic category.
The two levels of ethnicity operate with different social effects. Typically, the
ethno-national discourse attempts to unite the various groups in the nation (as
defined by the dominant group, barring ‘external’of ‘foreign’minor ities); while the
ethno-class logic tends to fragment groups within the nations according to their
socioeconomic status and/or regional locations (see Hechter, 2000). Needless to
say, there is never a clear-cut division between ethno-national and ethno-class stratifications,
but the analytical distinction helps us trace the central role of ethnicity
in both national and economic lines of demarcation, and account for its various
manifestations in the ‘thick’political struggles prevalent in ethnocratic societies.
Consequently, the contours of political mobilization and organization within
each ethnic nation often combines ethnic, religious and class affiliation. The patterns
of ethno-class stratification typical to ethnocracies has been explained and
elaborated elsewhere (see Stasiulis & Yuval-Davis, 1995). Its importance for the
present discussion is the inherent tension it exposes between the parallel projects of
nation- and state building, and the attention it draws to the material aspects of ethnic
struggle, frequently overlooked in recent scholarship on politics memory and
identities.
The tension between the use of ethnic and civil categories is highly evident during
the process of nation-building, which usually entails an active exclusion of groups
who are constructed as ‘external’by the prevailing discourse of the dominant
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nation, a status reified by a combination of legal measures, public policies and cultural
norms. The excluded are usually indigenous peoples or peripheral minorities,
but also collectivities marked as ‘enemies’or ‘foreigners’. Yet, at the same time,
these groups are incorporated (often coercively) into the project of state building.
The crises emanating from the process of ‘incorporation without legitimation’
(Mann, 1999; Soysal, 2000) is at the heart of the chronic instability experienced by
ethnocratic regimes, to be discussed further below.
The making of ethnocratic regimes: three illustrations
The following section will briefly illustrate the process of ethnicization in three
representative states—Sri Lanka, Estonia and Israel. The common politicalgeographical
elements emerging from these three examples will then assist to create
a more robust and refined model of the ethnocratic regimes, to which the following
sections are devoted.
As in all comparative analyses, there are obvious differences between the three
states, in history, economy, culture and geography. However, the main commonality,
which makes these cases comparable, is the institutionalization of an ethnocratic
project ‘within’a self-declared democratic setting. Hence, several important
democratic characteristics, such as separation of powers and elections, exist alongside
a state project of deepening ethnic control. This combination sets ‘open’ethnocratic
states, including the three following cases, apart from most other nationstates.
This point requires some elaboration. It is often claimed that most nation-states
advance a project of ethnic domination (see Brubaker, 1996), thereby diminishing
the distinctiveness of the ethnocratic type (see Smooha, 2002a,b). However, we
claim that there exists a qualitative difference between what Brubaker terms ‘nationalizing
states’, and between ethnocratic regimes. This difference lies in the deliberate
undermining of the political demos. As elaborated below, ethnocratic regimes
work ceaselessly to prevent the making of an inclusive demos—a community of
equal citizens within a definable territory. Instead—they use a rhetoric of the
nation-state, but do not allow minorities any feasible path of inclusion. Indeed, the
ethnocratic project is often constructed specifically against these minorities. There
is no attempt to assimilate ‘external’co mmunities of citizens, quite the contrary—
their identity is well demarcated and structurally marginalized.
Put differently, contrary to most nation-states, ethnocratic regimes actually work
against the project of universal citizenship. The universal project is of course
incomplete in most nation-state, and often involves oppressive policies and practices,
such as forced assimilation, discrimination or state-led economic stratification,
the state framework, de-jure, still leaves members of minority communities
an option of integration.
Ethnocracies, on the other hand, annul this inclusionary option. The state is constructed
so as to prevent the integration of minorities, typically through the rejection
of citizenship, limiting personal laws, restriction on immigration and land rights or
656 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
denial of accessibility to decision-making powers. This is a significant structural difference,
which sets ethnocratic regimes apart from most ‘normal’nation-st ates.
Hence, one may point to the zone on a continuum between actively exclusionary
and inclusionary regimes, as the ‘tipping zone’between democracy with an ethnic
bias, to ethnocracy. It is analytically difficult to sharply define this zone which may
concurrently contain contradictory movements towards democracy and ethnocracy,
as evident by the Israeli case below. However, when the political demos has been
fundamentally undermined by the state’s ethnocratic laws, policies and institutions,
the regime can be said to have crossed the ethnocratic threshold, as evident in Sri
Lanka. Estonia, on the other hand, appears to be moving across the tipping zone in
the other direction, from ethnocracy to democracy. The three brief cases outlined in
the following pages were selected to demonstrate the above processes.
The three cases were also chosen because of the different potential trajectories of
the ethnocratic project they display—from deterioration into an open ethnic war,
to the possibility of peaceful democratization. In Sri Lanka, deepening oppression
and intensifying minority resistance have led to a virtual collapse of state into a
protracted civil war. In Estonia, the opposite process of non-violent democratization
and gradual inclusion of the Russian minority has been gathering pace; while
Israel is caught between the conflicting logics of ethnicization and democratization.
Its relative openness and high standard of living, as well as the weakness of the
Palestinian-Arab minority, have so far halted the eruption of open ethnic conflict,
but it is positioned at a historical juncture of delicate fragility.
The different trajectories of political development are highlighted by the political
and cultural freedom index data, compiled by the Freedom House project
(www.freedomhouse.org). Estonia scores low on political and cultural freedoms
during the early 1990s (3 on both assessment, on a scale of 1–7, with 1 being most
free). But it significantly improves in the last few years, scoring 1 and 2, respectively
in 2003. On the other hand, Sri Lanka scored relatively well during the 1970s
with 2 on political freedom and 3 on cultural. The situation deteriorates during the
1990s, when Sri Lanka scores a very low pair of 4 and 5, only to improve slightly
during 2003, scores of 2 and 3. Israel remains relatively stable since the 1970s, scoring
around 2 on each count for the entire three decades. These three cases then
illustrate a wide spectrum of development possibilities apparent under ethnocratic
regimes.
Finally, it should be emphasized that we see the development of ethnic relations
and regime structure as dialectical. That is, state actions and majority politics in
ethnocratic states are informed and fueled by minority activity and mobilization.
While the dialectics are commonly asymmetrical (with the state having far more
power than marginalized minorities), the evolution of these regime cannot be
understood without acknowledging the role of minority mobilization, especially as
regards the use of violence and terror, and the articulation of dissenting, often
threatening, collective narratives.
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Sri Lanka: from biethnic democracy to Sinhalese ethnocracy
The island state of Sri Lanka (previously Ceylon) is composed of two main
ethno-national groups. Sinhalese, who are mainly Buddhist, make up 75% of
the state’s 19 million inhabitants. Tamils, who are mainly Hindu, make up 18%.
Sri Lanka gained its independence from Britain in 1948, after an anti-colonial
struggle dominated by the Sinhalese groups, but shared by Tamils, as well as other
small ethnic groups on the island. However, in the decade following independence,
the state gradually turned towards a Sinhalization strategy. This orientation intensified
due to Tamil resistance and an ensuing process of ethnic polarization.
Sri Lanka was formed as a democratic state, with formal institutions and
governing procedures following, initially, the Westminster model (Little, 1994). But
in later years, the Sri Lankan state was gradually appropriated by the Sinhalese
community, mainly due to its demographic advantage and strong sense of ethnonationalism
(de Silva, 1996; Uyangoda, 1994). The Sinhalese used their dominance
in the legislative, judiciary and executive arms of government to advance an
explicit Sinhalization process. As declared in 1983 by the Sri Lankan development
minister (Nissan, 1996: p. 176):
Sri Lanka is inherently and rightfully a Sinhalese state. . . this must be accepted
as a fact and not a matter of opinion to be debated. By attempting to challenge
this premise, Tamils have brought the wrath of the Sinhalese on their own
heads; they have themselves to blame.
This approach found expression in several key policies and programs, beginning
in the 1950s with the adoption of religious Buddhist state symbols, which denote,
in the Sri Lankan context, a purely Sinhalese affiliation. Another major step was
taken in 1956 when Sinhalese was declared the only official state language. The
state’s official culture was also developed around a series of Buddhist ‘‘invented’’
histories, symbols and values, glorifying the link between Buddha and the Sinhalese
‘guardians’of ‘his’ island (Little, 1994), and glorifying the images of the Sinhala
nation as the indigenous ‘sons of the earth’, and hence the only rightful
owners and controllers of the state (Uyangoda, 1994).
A further aspect of the Sinhalization strategy was evident in Sri Lanka’s
citizenship policies. Over a million long-term Tamil residents who migrated to the
island during the period of British rule, mainly as plantation workers, have been
denied citizenship as part of the Sinhalization approach, by being officially classified
as ‘Indian Tamils’. This forced large sections of this community to leave the
island and settle in India during the 1950s and 1960s. Many from this group who
remained on the island have remained to date. The Sinhalese majority has thus
managed to contain the size of the Tamil community, and reinforce geographical
and political intra-Tamil cleavage between ‘Indian’an d ‘Sri Lankan’Tam ils. Geographically,
Indian Tamils mainly reside in the central heights, while Sri Lankan
Tamils inhabit the island’s northern and eastern regions. Politically,
the disenfranchised Indian Tamils became totally dependent on the Sinhalese
regime for basic rights and services, and hence remained politically immobilized.
658 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
Consequently, Indian Tamils have rarely participated or assisted in the militant
resistance staged by Sri Lankan Tamils against the Sinhalizing state.
The island’s ethnic geography has also been the main cause of another notable
ethnocratic policy—the Sinhalization of contested space. The British rulers had
already encouraged the Tamils to immigrate into Sinhalese areas, breaking a centuries-
long tradition of (mainly voluntary) spatial separation. Likewise, the
Sri Lankan government encouraged Sinhalese to settle in the island’s central and
eastern regions, which previously were dominated and claimed by Tamils as part of
their ‘own’regions .
This has been most evident in the large-scale Mahaweli irrigation and settlement
project carried out predominantly during the 1970s and 1980s (Roded, 1999). The
project opened up large tracts of agricultural land in the island’s central and northeastern
regions, which were offered mostly to landless or impoverished farmers. By
1993, 1.1 million people (the vast majority Sinhalese) were resettled in these
regions, creating a new Sinhalese regional lower-class collectivity and exacerbating
the conflict with the Tamils, who considered the region as part of their historical
‘Elam’homela nd (Peiris, 1996).
Subsequently, the regions in question became a destination for large-scale (and
mainly unauthorized) Tamil counter-settlement. As the two populations increasingly
intermingled in competitive settings (largely as a result of settlement initiatives
like the Mahaweli project), antagonism and discrimination against the
minority deepened, intensifying the breakdown of social and political order since
the early 1980s.
The civil (ethnic) war, which has dominated the Sri Lankan state since the early
1980s, has brought to the fore the military as a major agent in the Sinhalization of
contested space, and the reinforcement of Sinhalese dominance in Sri Lankan politics.
The army gradually extended state (that is, Sinhalese) control north and eastwards,
confining the resisting Tamil groups to the Jaffna Peninsula, at the state’s
northeastern end. It has also caused a major internal refugee problem, with some
550,000 residents losing their homes during the fighting, 78% of them Tamils (de
Silva, 1996). During the same time, a series of emergency and ‘security’legi slation
reduced the protection of Tamil citizens against arbitrary state oppression
(Uyangoda, 1994). A parallel constitutional move increased the powers of a popularly
elected president at the expense of the previously powerful legislature. Finally,
in 1978, several Tamil parliamentarians were disqualified on the basis of ‘acting
against the Sinhalese state’, reducing the already limited Tamil political power
(Little, 1994).
The accumulating alienation of Tamils from the Sri Lankan state drove many of
them to boycott the political process altogether. From 1978 until 2001, the
majority of Tamils boycotted the Sri Lankan elections and only rarely participated
in other state affairs. The state, on its part, did little to induce the Tamils back into
the political arena until 1987, when further constitutional reforms attempted to
ease ethnic tensions by decentralizing state authority and granting autonomy to
regional authorities. However, the Tamils did not accept the plan that was prepared
without their participation, claiming that: (a) it compromised their drive for
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self-determination, and (b) it legitimized the ‘unlawful’Sinhale se domination of the
eastern regions (Nissan, 1996). Further, the state maintained ultimate control by
classifying ‘national projects’that could bypass the proposed decentralized forms
of decision-making (Gunasekara, 1996).
The Sinhalization strategy generated widespread Tamil resistance. The Tamils
initially struggled for territorial-political autonomy within the Sri Lankan state,
but following the state’s ethnocratic policies, began a campaign to reinstate their
vision of Tamil Elam—an independent Tamil state. Tamil disengagement from the
state further polarized the two groups, culminating in increasing inter-communal
mistrust, Tamil withdrawal from state politics and eventually the breakout of a
civil war. The fighting, which had been fluctuating since 1982, reached a peak of
widespread inter-ethnic violence during the mid-1990s, and exacted a toll of 70–
80,000 casualties, most of them civilians.
Only in 2002 was a ceasefire declared, when the Tamil leadership agreed to
return to negotiations after the Sinhalese promised serious constitutional amendments
and made a more genuine attempt to include the Tamils in devising a new,
highly devolved state structure. However, during late 2003 and early 2004, following
serious negotiations between the government and the LTTE for substantial
Tamil autonomy, Sri Lanka was thrown into a deep political crisis. The ensuing
elections of April 2004 returned to power the United People’s Freedom Alliance,
traditionally opposed to a federated Sri Lankan state. At the same time, a major
split occurred in the LTTE. These developments appear to usher another period of
political instability and ethnic conflict.
The case of Sri Lanka illustrates well the emergence of ethnocracy and
the inherent tensions between formal democratic procedures and a parallel state
project of ethnicizing contested spaces and political institutions. It also demonstrates
the inability of an ethnocracy to be sustained for the long term, and its need
to structurally reform in order to survive as a state.
Estonia: from communism to (democratizing?) ethnocracy
The independent Estonian state re-emerged during the collapse of the Soviet
Union in the 1989–1992 period. It is situated on the Baltic Coast, and has a population
of 1.5 million, of whom 65% are ethnic Estonians, 14% Russians with citizenship
and 25% non-citizen residents (mainly Russian speaking) (EHDR, 2000).
The new polity was formed as a result of an anti-Soviet (and by implication anti-
Russian) struggle, which followed five decades of often-brutal Soviet rule. It has
since adopted an explicit program of Estonization (de-Russification), designed to
reinstate the ethnic and national situation existing during a previous period of
independence 1918–1939). During that period, ethnic Estonians dominated the
state—politically, demographically, economically and culturally. The Soviet Union
subsequently promoted a process of Russification and encouraged Russian immigration
to Estonia, thereby threatening Estonian demographic and cultural dominance
in their homeland.
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Since official independence was declared in 1992, state building has assumed ethnocratic
characteristics. For example, in 1992, the Estonian parliament (Riigikogu)
decided not to grant citizenship to ‘non-ethnic’Estonia ns. It classified them as
‘aliens’, thus excluding them from the 1992 referendum on a new constitution.
Estonian state policies in the 1989–2000 period clearly aimed to ensure the political,
territorial and cultural dominance of ethnic Estonians by focusing on
citizenship, culture, language and land.
In 1992, Estonia adopted the new Constitution, according to which the bearers
of the supreme power are ‘the people’(that is, the citizens; art. 1). The constitutional
preamble contains a clause obliging the state to ensure the preservation
of the (ethnic) Estonian nation and culture. Courts have actively referred to this
preamble in a variety of rulings on citizenship and property matters.
Hence, the new Constitution includes special clauses concerning the priority of
ethnic Estonians, Estonian culture and language (Ruutsoo, 1998: p. 176). Every
Estonian is entitled to preserve his/her national identity, but no special minority
rights are recognized by the Constitution. Some state symbols are of purely ethnic
character (e.g. flag, anthem, stamps and official letterheads). The state holidays
include Protestant sacred days, not Russian Orthodox. There is no State Church in
Estonia, but the majority of ethnic Estonians are (Protestant) Lutheran, and Estonian
nationalism is widely associated with a Lutheran way of life, as an antithesis
to the Orthodox Russian influence. During the Communist years, the population
became largely secular, but since the return of Estonian nationalism as a legitimate
ideology, the church has increased markedly its public profile (www.estonica.org).
The issue or citizenship (and by association culture and language) has been most
central to the Estonization project. The Citizenship Law of 1992 (amended 1995)
granted citizenship to all pre-1940 citizens and their descendants and prohibited
dual citizenship. Because in 1940, the state was 92% ethnic Estonians, this law
actually granted superior citizenship rights to ethnic Estonians (in and outside the
state) over the state’s own Russian residents.
The law sets a difficult path for acquisition of citizenship by non-Estonians,
including long-term state residents who previously had full (Soviet) citizenship
rights and are now considered ‘aliens’. Such ‘aliens’ are required to reside in Estonia
for at least five years, pass demanding language tests, prove command of the
Estonian constitution, have a steady income, establish permanent residency and
pledge allegiance to the state and its (ethnic) character (The Aliens Law, 1989;
2000; Human Rights Watch, 2000).
The ethnicization strategy is also evident in Estonia’s language policies, which
have reinforced the imposed dominance of the Estonian language in most spheres
of life, including education, street signs and government services. This dominance
was deepened by a new language law, introduced in 1989 (and amended in 1995,
1999 and 2000), which demoted Russian to the status of a ‘foreign’languag e,
similar to dozens of other languages used by immigrants and minorities. The
requirements of the new law severely restricts the public usage of any language
except Estonian. For example, ‘foreign’language s are prohibited in all street and
commercial signs, and all TV broadcasts must have Estonian subtitles. Estonian is
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the compulsory language in the parliament and local councils, for state employees
and for government dealings in both public and private sectors. The only exception
is minority language usage in territories where they form a majority, but this is
implemented in a very restrictive manner.
In 1993, the Riigikogu enacted a new law for Cultural Autonomy of National
Minorities (Estonian Government, RT 1993, 71,1000). But the law defined a minority
as consisting of citizens only. Thus, the state did not recognize special rights
of the vast majority of the non-Estonian population. Previously, the Soviet Law on
National Rights allowed minorities full enjoyment of certain rights obtainable
through special autonomous organs and under the supervision of the State.
Ethnicization has also been prominent on the political level. After 1992, rightwing
nationalist parties have dominated the Riigikogu. A process of ethnic political
polarization has seen electoral competition revolving around the intensity of the
Estonization (and de-Russification) process. Changes of government during the
1990s did not result in any significant change in Estonia’s policies toward its Russian
minority. Russians have suffered persistent political under-representation: in the
1992 Parliament, there were no ethnic Russians, while in 1995 and in 1999, their
numbers rose to only six members (out of 100). In the Riigikogu, Russians have
always belonged to the opposition and have had no significant influence on the
decision-making process.
Ethnic Estonian dominance is also expressed in denial of state recognition of the
local Orthodox Church under its pre-war name (Estonian Apostolic Orthodox
Church; see Theile, 1999). That means the deprivation of the church pre-war property
in the process of property restitution, as noted below. In 1993, the Government
registered the EAOC an ‘exile’entit y whose legitimacy is highly disputable.
As expected, and as planned by Estonian policymakers, the laws created considerable
difficulties for non-ethnic Estonians to acquire citizenship, and have caused substantial
emigration, mainly into Russia, with some 133,000 Russians leaving Estonia
during the 1990s (Statistical Office of Estonia, 2000). By 1999, only about 38% of
this group received Estonian citizenship, while 19% have retained foreign (mainly
Russian) citizenship, and 43% have remained stateless. Non-citizens are excluded
from many political and economic arenas in Estonian life, and are prohibited from
voting or being elected at a national level. The Russians have voting rights for local
elections, but cannot stand for mayorship (EHDR, 1999; Hallik, 1998).
The discrepancy between citizenry and the residential composition of Estonian is
highlighted by the following figures: in 1999, ethnic Estonians constituted 81% of
the citizenry, but only 65% of the population. Likewise, Russians were 28% of the
residents, but only 14% of the citizenry. However, due to pressure from the
European Union, into which Estonia seeks to integrate, and from international
human rights organizations, Estonia introduced in the beginning of the 2000s several
measures which open a path of naturalization for the Russians, evolving
mainly around language acquisition, military service or contribution to the Estonian
public (Berg, 2002; Pettai & Hallik, 2002).
The Estonian government also attempted to reinforce ethnic land control, by resurrecting
the traditional ‘indigenous’Estonia n system of family farms to replace
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the Kolchoz and Sobchov Soviet system of collective cultivation. This was aided by
the Law for Land Reform (1992), the Law of Agrarian Reform (1994) and a complex
system of financial incentives designed to assist the restitution and privatization
of land, while at the same time restrict the benefits of this process chiefly to
ethnic Estonians (Anderson, 1999).
In sum, like Sri Lanka, but within different historical and geographical settings,
Estonia demonstrates the deep logic of ethnicization behind ethnocratic structure
and policies. Estonia adopted a structure of an ‘open’formal democracy, but at
another level has set into motion an ethnic transformation of the state from a Russified
communist republic into an ethnic Estonian state. The new state structurally
discriminates against most of its long-term Russian residents, and actively facilitates
the Estonization of institutions, politics, culture and territory. However,
unlike Sri Lanka, the ethnicization process has not been violent, and appears to be
waning, mainly due to the influence of the European Union and the globalization
of ethnic politics (Berg, 2002). Hence, Estonia appears to be an ethnocracy undergoing
a gradual process of democratization.
Israel: an ethnocratic settler-state
Following half a century of Jewish colonization of (mainly Arab) Palestine,
tacitly supported by the British rulers, Israel gained its independence in 1948. This
followed a failed UN partition attempt, rejected by the Arabs, and a Palestinian–
Jewish war, in which some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out of their
homeland. Israel seized control over 78% of Mandatory Palestine, about 40% larger
than the territory allocated to it by the UN plan. This area—known as ‘Israel
Proper’(the sovereign state within its pre-1967 borders)—is the focus of our analysis
here, not including the occupied Palestinian territories. We do acknowledge, of
course, that the occupation and on-going Jewish settlement in Palestinian territories
have had an immense impact on ethnic relations, but for comparative and
methodological reasons, ‘Israel Proper’—where Israeli sovereignty is internationally
recognized—is a more appropriate scale of analysis. This, without
diminishing the significance of the increasingly oppressive regime imposed by Israel
in the Palestinian occupied territories for nearly four decades, and the waves of
mutual violence it generated.
In 1949, only 160,000 Palestinian-Arabs remained in Israel, and received state
citizenship. In the next five decades, Israel absorbed some 2.7 million Jewish refugees
and immigrants, and prevented the return of the Palestinian refugees, who
remained chiefly in surrounding Middle-Eastern states. In the year 2002, Palestinian-
Arabs have become 18% of Israel’s population of 6.3 million.
Both ethno-national groups claim to have historical rights over the country. The
Palestinian-Arabs claim continuous residence as indigenous people, and a natural
right for self-determination in a national homeland. The Jewish-Zionist justification
rests on the existence of ancient Israelite kingdoms on the land before
the Jews were forcefully exiled, and on sacred Jewish texts, which promise the land
to the Israelite ‘chosen people’. The Zionist movement claims that Jews maintained
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in their diasporas a continuous bond with the ‘promised land’, and that following
the eruption of genocidal European anti-Semitism, the Land of Israel (Palestine)
became the rightful and natural site in which to build a safe, independent, Jewish
state (Kimmerling, 2001).
On a formal level, Israel formed a democratic regime in 1948, but in parallel
initiated a concerted project of Judaizing the land and the polity. Israel’s Declaration
of Independence, for example, stresses the Jewish connection to an ancient
homeland, and its expression as political control over this contested land:
In the Land of Yisrael the Jewish people was created. Here its spiritual, religious
and political identity was shaped. . . the people kept faith with it throughout
their dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return. . . According
to our natural and historical right. . . we are hereby declaring the establishment
of a Jewish state in this Land of Israel. . .
The Judaization project, which turned Israel into a ‘frontier state’( Shafir &
Peled, 2002) was significantly aided by Jewish diaspora, which not only funded
many Israeli projects, but also circumvented the state apparatus by forming and
maintaining Jewish organizations, which operate in Israel officially as ethnic arms
of the states. These organizations—notably the Jewish National Fund and/or the
Jewish Agency—enabled the implementation of ethnocratic ‘Jews only’
policies in the allocation of key resources, powers and land, thereby structurally
undermining the notion of equal citizenship (Rouhana, 1997; Kretzmer, 2002).
Until 1966, Israel’s Arabs citizens were placed under military rule. In the following
decades, and against the on-going conflict with their Palestinian brethren,
Israel’s enacted a series of laws, which enshrine the legal, institutional and political
dominance of Jewish goals and interests. Despite small advances in the last decade,
discrimination against Israel’s Arab citizens has remained rampant, leading a
recent comprehensive study as to label the minority as ‘citizens without citizenship’
(MADA, 2003).
Judaization took many substantive forms, including the mass expropriation of
Arab land in Israel (Kedar, 1998), the building of over 700 Jewish settlements,
often on the sites of the hundreds of Arab villages destroyed after the 1948 war (see
Falah, 1996, 2003), the Hebraization of the landscape and erasure of its Palestinian
Arab past (Benvenisti, 2001), and the establishment of a highly centralized economy
and political systems in which the Arab minority was marginalized and weakened.
Expansion of Jewish control continued after the 1967 war, with the conquest
and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza, but also in Israel’s own outlying
regions, mainly the northern Galilee and southern Negev, where hundreds of thousands
of Jews were settled in close proximity to Arab towns and villages. This was
facilitated by the Israeli land and planning systems which have worked consistently
for the transfer of spatial control from Arab to Jewish hands, and have legitimized,
planned and funded large-scale projects of Jewish settlement (see Benvenisti, 2001;
Yiftachel & Kedar, 2000; Yacobi and Yiftachel, 2003).
664 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
Notably, then, despite the formal appearance of the Israeli regime as democratic,
the state has advanced an ethnocratic strategy in key bases of the regime. For
example, immigration policies, governed by the Jewish Law of Return, allow any Jew
and his/her immediate family to enter Israel and receive citizenship. At the same
time, the immigration and naturalization of non-Jews, those born on the land or
married to an Arab Israeli has been made extremely difficult (Kretzmer, 1990).
Other building blocks of Israel’s Judaization strategy are manifest in the state’s
development policies, which have consistently privileged Jewish capital and localities
over their Arab counterparts. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), too, is in
essence a Jewish army, and military service is a prerequisite for substantial benefits
in employment, education, land allocation, and access to the state’s centers of
power. Jewish-Israeli Hebrew culture is the dominant force in shaping Israel’s public
spaces. While Arabic is an official state language, it is virtually impossible to
deal with the Israeli bureaucracy, legal system, arms of government or national
media in Arabic (Ghanem, 1998; Rouhana, 1997).
The state culture also reflects a deep connection with the Jewish religion: Jewish
holidays and the Sabbath are Israel’s main rest days, no public transport or free
commerce is available on these holidays, and all public (and most private) food
outlets observe Jewish dietary laws. Personal matters are run according to religious
laws, giving the Arab citizen a measure of religious autonomy. Arabic is also an
official language, used in the separate Arab education stream. But despite these
measures, Jews control decision-making in most educational and religious arenas,
meaning that communal autonomy is severely restricted. The above measures are
hence often interpreted as preserving institutional communal segregation between
Jews and Arabs (Shafir & Peled, 2002).
In addition, while Israel lacks a formal constitution, the state’s legal system has
reinforced its Jewish character, with legislation privileging Jewish interests and goals.
According to a recent study, 18 laws explicitly discriminate against Israel’s Palestinian-
Arab citizens, rupturing the notion of the ‘demos’as a political community of
equals. This despite concerted legal activity, especially through appeals to the Israeli
High Court, which have managed to outlaw or contain several legal obstacles to
Arab civil equality (Adala, 1998, 2003). It is worth noting that even the 1992 new
and putatively liberal basic Laws—hailed as signaling a ‘civil revolution’( Barak,
1998)—still ambiguously declare the state’s character as Jewish and democratic.
Israeli-Jewish culture fostered an exclusive Jewish bond to the land, and for
many years denied, delegitimized and ignored the existence of Palestinian nationalism,
and hence the minority’s collective territorial or political rights. Following the
1993 Oslo agreement and the mutual recognition of Jewish and Palestinian
‘national rights’, the rhetoric has somewhat changed, although Jewish settlement
and expansion of land control has continued in parallel to contraction in several
heavily populated Palestinian areas.
Like in Sri Lanka, oppression has met with increasing minority resistance. This
has been expressed by continuing waves of large-scale protest against state policies,
which reached a notable height in October 2000, when 12 Arab citizens were killed
by state forces during mass demonstrations in support of the Palestinian al-Aqsa
O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676 665
Intifada. Political polarization has also deepened between the two ethnic groups,
with increasing votes going to non-Zionist Arab parties, reaching 70% in 1999, and
an all time high of 81% in the 2003 elections. In the special Prime Ministerial elections
of 2001, and following the killing of 12 Arab demonstrators, 82% of
Arab citizens boycotted the vote, signaling again the intensifying process of polarization.
3
As we can see, although Israel managed to project a democratic image, mainly
because of a competitive electoral system and relatively independent judiciary and
media, in effect it became a state dedicated to the expansion and control of one
ethnic group, at the expense of a homeland minority community, and with significant
undermining of basic democratic principles (see Ghanem, et al., 1998).4 To
date, the Judaization strategy had remained a main foundation of the Israeli ethnocratic
regime.
Ethnocracy and regime components
The foregoing accounts of Sri Lanka, Israel and Estonia highlighted the changing
ethnic relations in states undergoing a planned process of ‘ethnicization’. The
three illustrative cases facilitate the next step of our exploration: a discussion of the
relationships between ethnocracy and key regime components—namely, democracy,
minority status and political stability.
Ethnocracy and democracy5
The ‘open’e thnocratic regimes studied here combine partial elements of both
authoritarian and democratic systems. But regardless of the formal political
system, they enhance a rule by, and for, a specific ethnos. As such, they cannot be
classified as democracies in a substantive sense, as they structurally privilege one
group of citizens over all others, and strive to maintain that privilege.
Ethnocracies are, therefore, neither democratic, nor authoritarian (or ‘Herrenvolk’)
systems of government. The lack of democracy, as noted above, rests on the
rupture of the concept of the ‘demos’, on their unequal citizenship, and on their laws
and policies that enable the seizure of the state by one ethno-national group. They
are not authoritarian, as they extend significant (though partial) political rights to
ethnic minorities.
3 While most Arabs (62%) returned to vote in the 2003 elections, the Arab turnout was the lowest
among all ethnic groups in the country and the second lowest in history after 2001.
4 It should be noted, however, that Israel’s electoral system has not been universal since the 1970s,
given the voting rights granted to Jewish settlers (who reside outside the state’s sovereign area), and the
denial of such rights from all Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The settlers have determined the
outcome of several key elections and are over-represented in Israel’s government apparatus. This clearly
breaks the concept of universal suffrage, which calls for an overlap of territory, citizenship and voting
power, and has further marginalized the Arab citizens politically. In addition, Israel’s electoral laws prohibit
any party opposed to Zionism from contesting the elections, placing another serious breach of the
concept of universal and free elections.
5 The following two sections are summarized from Yiftachel (2000).
666 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
Importantly, we do not treat the term ‘democracy’uncritical ly, recognizing that
it is a contested concept, widely abused, particularly in multi-ethnic states (see
Mann, 1999). This is not the place to delve deeply into democratic theory. Suffice is
to note that several key principles have emerged as foundations for achieving the
main tenets of democracy—equality and liberty. These principles include equal citizenship,
protection of individuals and minorities against the tyranny of states,
majorities or churches, and a range of civil, political and economic rights (Held,
1990). A stable constitution, periodic and universal elections and free media generally
ensure the attainment of these rights (Dahl, 1995). In multi-ethnic or multinational
polities, as illustrated by the seminal works of Lijphart (1977), Kymlicka
(1995) and Rawls (1999), a certain parity, recognition and proportionality between
the ethnic collectivities is a pre-requisite for democratic legitimacy and stability.
While no state ever implements these principles fully, ethnocratic regimes are conspicuous
in breaching the spirit, purpose and major tenets of the democracy ideal.
Generally, ethnocratic regimes emphasize the procedural aspects of their selfdefined
democracy, but attempt to draw attention away from substantive matters,
such as privileges for the dominant group in the allocation of resources, political
representation, territorial control or preference by the law. The emphasis on procedural
aspects also diverts attention from the substantive limitations placed on
minority rights and capabilities, and from the lack of equal treatment by state policies,
laws and institutions.
To further fathom the workings of ‘open’ethnocra cies, and drawing on Gramscian-
informed analysis, we differentiate analytically between regime features and
structure. As noted in Fig. 1, ethnocracies demonstrate ‘visible’democ ratic features,
such as periodic elections, free media and autonomous judiciary that protects,
and (some) human rights legislation. But these tend to work on a ‘surface
level’, while the deeper structure of such regimes it undermines key democratic
principles, such as civil and legal equality within agreed state boundaries, protection
of minorities, maintenance of equality and a measure of proportionality
between the state’s main ethnic groups.
The analytical differentiation between ‘features’and ‘structure’highli ghts the
selective and often hollow use of the term ‘democracy’by the dominant ethnic
group. The democratic discourse, partial as it is, often has the effect of legitimizing
the regime, especially in the eyes of the majority, as evident so vividly in Sri Lanka,
Israel and Estonia.6
A hallmark of the ethnocratic hegemony is the common waging of political
struggles around the ‘shallower’state features, while relatively few battles are
fought over the ‘deeper’ethn ic (and class) hegemony, which is painted as ‘natural’
6 The distinction between ‘features’and ‘structure’is, needless to say, never overt or stable, with a
constant flow of reciprocal influences. However, during the intense process of state building, the ethnocratic
logic of the regime structure generally dictates the terms of much of what transpires in the more
visible arenas of political features.
O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676 667
and universal. As powerfully argued by Antonio Gramsci (1971); as synthesized by
Sasoon (1987: p. 232), a ‘moment’of hegemony is marked by:
. . .the unquestioned dominance of a certain way of life. . . when a single concept
of reality informs society’s tastes, morality, customs, religious and political
principles. . .’ (Sasoon, 1987: p. 232).
Drawing on the cases of Sri Lanka, Israel and Estonia discussed above, we have
identified several structural ‘bases’, which constitute the foundation of ethnocratic
regimes. These are key components of the dominant hegemony, which are generally
protected by the boundaries of public discourse and political discussion. Let us
emphasize again that we see the structural bases of the regime as dynamic, evolving
over time in an effort to maintain their ‘natural’and popularly accepted status. But
as part of the conflict-riddled ethnocratic regime, they are never sustainable in the
long term. The main regime bases thus include:
Fig. 1. Ethnocratic regime: structure and features a conceptual framework.
668 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
. Demography: rights of entry and membership into the political community define
the all important boundaries of political (and by implication social) power. In
ethnocracies immigration and citizenship are chiefly determined by affiliation
with the dominant ethnic-nation.
. Land and settlement: territorial control is central for ethno-national politics. As
such, the ownership, use and development of land, as well as planning and settlement
policies are shaped by the state’s project of extending ethno-national control
over its (multi-ethnic) territory.
. Armed forces: violent force is critical in assisting the state to maintain (oppressive)
ethno-national control over contested regions and resisting groups. To that
end, the armed forces (the military, the police), which bear the name of the
entire state, are predominantly affiliated with the leading ethnic nation.
. Capital flow: while the flow of capital and development is deeply influenced by
an ‘ethnic logic’, privileging the dominant ethno-classes; notably, these market
mechanisms are often represented as ‘free’or ‘neutral’an d hence beyond challenge.
. The Constitutional System: legalism often depoliticizes and legitimizes patterns of
ethnic control. Such controls are often premised on redundant, absurd, non-existent
or only partially functional constitutional settings. This is often presented
as ‘the law of the land’, and subsequently placed outside the realm of legitimately
contested issues.
. Publicc ulture: the ethnocratic public culture is formulated around a set of symbols,
representations, traditions and practices, which tend to reinforce the narratives
of the dominant ethno-national group; while silencing, degrading or
ridiculing contesting cultures or perspectives.
Genuine open debates on these ‘taken-for-granted’issue s are generally absent
from the public discourse, especially among the dominant majority. When these
issues are questioned by resisting groups (say, in the parliament, or through the
media) they are usually silenced, ridiculed or represented as ‘state enemies’. But the
dominance of regime ‘truths’is of course never absolute, and may be exposed and
resisted by political entrepreneurs exploiting the tensions between the declared
‘democracy’and its substantive discriminatory manifestation. In such settings,
destabilizing cracks are likely to appear in the ethnocratic structure.
Ethnocracy and minorities
Central to the ethnocratic regime is its ability to maintain the dominance of the
leading ethno-national group while marginalizing and/or excluding indigenous or
national minorities. But not all minorities are treated equally, with some incorporated
as ‘internal’whi le others are constructed as ‘external’. A critical difference
exists between those considered part of the ‘historical’of even ‘genetic’ nation, and
others whose presence is portrayed as mere historical coincidence, or as a ‘danger’
to the security and integrity of the dominant ethnos. These discourses strip
O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676 669
‘external’minor ities from means of inclusion into the meaningful sites of ‘the
nation’( Penrose, 2000a,b).
Ethnocracies are generally driven by a sense of collective entitlement among the
majority group to control ‘its’homela nd—that is, the state—as part and parcel of
what is conceived as a universal right for self-determination. Thus, belonging to
the dominant ethno-nation (and to its leading ethno-classes) is the key to mobility
among peripheral groups. This is the strategy adopted by most immigrant minorities,
who thereby distance themselves from indigenous or other ‘external’minorities.
As such, ethnocratic societies continuously maintain an ‘ethnic project’,
which similarly to the ‘racial project’iden tified by Omi and Winant (1994),
attempts to build an informal public image of ‘separate and unequal’.
The leading ethno-classes (also often termed ‘the ‘charter’or ‘titular’ groups) can
thus play a dual game, vis-a-vis peripheral minorities. On the one hand, they
articulate a discourse of belonging, which incorporates immigrant and peripheral
groups not associated with any ‘external’or ‘rival’ nation. These groups are ‘invited’to
assimilate into the moral community of the dominant ethno-nation. But on
the other hand, the dominant groups use this very discourse of inclusion and
belonging to conceal the uneven effects of its strategies, which often marginalize the
immigrants economically, culturally and geographically. It would be a mistake,
however, to treat this as a conspiracy; it is rather an expression of broad social
interest, generally unarticulated, privileging social circles that are closest to the
ethno-national core. This ‘natural’process tends to broadly reproduce—though
never replicate—patterns of social stratification.
In contrast, the strategy towards indigenous and/or national (homeland) minorities
is generally more openly oppressive. They are represented and treated, at
best, as ‘external’to the ethno-national project, or, at worst, as a subversive threat.
The examples of Sri Lanka, Estonia and Israel show that the tenets of self-determination
are used only selectively, pertaining to ethnicity and not to an inclusive
geographical unit, as required by the basic principles of democratic statehood.
Oppressive policies are often ‘wrapped’in a discourse of modernity, progress and
democracy, but the political and material reality is unmistakable, entailing
minority dispossession and exclusion.
However, the self-representation of most ethnocracies as democratic creates
structural tensions, because it requires the state to go beyond lip service and
empower external minorities with some (though less than equal) formal political
powers. The tensions between the claims of democracy and the denial of minority
equality create spaces of struggle and ‘‘cracks’’ in the hegemonic order. These often
fuel minority resistance and inter-ethnic conflict typical to ethnocratic states (see
Mann, 1999).
Ethnocracy and political instability
One of our main theoretical arguments relates to the instability of ethnocratic
regimes. We do not have the space to enter here the diverse and rich discussion
670 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
over the definition and measurement of political stability beyond noting that we
accept the main parameters offered by the likes of Lane and Ersson (1991) or
McGarry and O’Leary (1995). They see political instability as strongly related to
regime illegitimacy among minorities, which results in a combination of social disorder
and breakdown of regime functions. This is often followed by the bypassing
of the regime by disgruntled minorities, by increasing forms of political polarization,
and by intensifying waves of anti-governmental protest and violence.
In this sense, the ethnocratic model builds on, and critiques, the ‘control’mod el
of political stability, first offered by Lustick (1979, 1993) and later used by geographers
such as Taylor (1995) and Rumley (1999). Lustick’s argument pointed
usefully to the ability of regimes to maintain stability through a range of control
mechanisms, including the construction of hegemonic discourses and institutions,
and the cooptation and fragmentation of oppositional elements. But our observation
is that in ethnocratic regimes, such controls are only viable for the short
term, leading in the long term to a destabilizing momentum.
The chronic instability of the ‘open’ethnocra tic regimes stems from a combination
of two of their main attributes: (a) the long-term impact of the spatial,
political and economic expansion of the dominant majority, and the associated
control mechanisms exerted over ethnic and national minorities, and (b) the democratic
self-representation of the regime.
The first factor is quite clear: ethnocratic regimes often reflect and exacerbate
ethnic tensions and conflicts, because they structurally privilege one ethnic nation,
both within the state and among its diasporas over the state’s resident minorities.
As clearly shown in the cases of Sri Lanka, Estonia and Israel, the dominant group
then uses the state apparatus, and the international legitimacy accorded to state
sovereignty, to expand its power, resources and prestige, often at the expense of
minorities. In this sense, ethnocratic regimes tend to generate constant tensions
between minorities and majorities.
However, minority resistance to control and discrimination is necessary, but not
sufficient, to destabilize the regime. It is the semi-open nature of ethnocratic
regimes, their partial democratization, and the limited rights extended to minorities,
which combine to develop, in a complex process, the situation of structural
instability. In the short-term, we have often seen that partial democratization, and
especially the extension of mere procedural measures (such as ‘representation without
influence’, commonly allowed for minorities in ethnic regimes) may actually
prolong the control of the dominant group.
At the same time, the self-representation of the state as democratic, despite its
violation of democratic principles on most substantive arenas of state operation,
does enable the development of minority consciousness and political mobilization.
Such mobilization will typically rally around the contradictions and tensions
embedded in the coterminous existence of limited democratic institutions and
procedures, and entrenched patterns of ethnic dominance.
It also draws on the growing importance of human and minority rights in the
international political discourse, and on the growing institutionalization of democratic
norms among the international community. Due to the strengthening links
O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676 671
between international politics and economy, these new arenas can, and do, influence
majority–minority relations traditionally perceived as ‘internal’( Soysal, 2000).
The effectiveness of minority mobilization, however, is generally limited, as it
encounters insurmountable cultural, political, economic and geographical obstacles
to full integration and/or equality within their states. Within such settings, minorities
have several options, which include assimilation (unlikely in ethnocracies), the
intensification of their protest to escalating levels of violence, or the establishment
of competing frameworks of governance and resource allocation accompanied by
disengagement from the state.
The last two courses of action tend to reinforce one another and undermine the
political stability of divided states and regions. They have been evident in the cases
of Sri Lanka and Israel Palestine, but not in Estonia as yet. The difference may lie
in the short time period since the establishment of the ethnocratic Estonian state,
and the hope among the Russian minority to improve their situation by political
means (Hallik, 1998). This hope has totally been abandoned by Tamils in Sri
Lanka (de Silva, 1996), and is quickly fading for Palestinian-Arabs in Israel (see
Ghanem, 2000).
The susceptibility of such regimes to the surfacing of open ethnic conflict, and
their chronic instability, are powerful engines of political change. Yet, this change
may take varying, and at times contrasting, directions. We find a number of ethnocratic
states which have responded to the pressures and contradictions of ethnic
dominance with a series of democratization steps, such as Canada, Belgium, Spain,
Greece, and most recently South Africa and Northern Ireland.
At the same time, other ethnocracies have reacted to the grievances of marginalized
minorities by tightening the control over minorities and by deepening the
state’s undemocratic ethnic structure. Several other states—such as Israel, Estonia
and Slovakia—have oscillated between the two options, attempting to keep afloat
both their links with the western democratic world, with the democratization this
entails, and concurrently preserve the control of the dominant ethnic group.
The dynamics of ethnocratic regimes should thus be understood as moving along
a continuum, between the poles of democratization and ethnicization. Quite often,
no clear direction prevails for long periods, and the state policy agenda may be driven
by crises rather than design. A thorough discussion of the possible transition
of regimes from ethnocracy to democracy remains outside the scope of this paper,
but clearly, it is one of the most urgent challenges facing such regimes. As already
mentioned, such an analysis is currently being developed by the authors.
A concluding note
The paper presented a framework for understanding ethnocratic regimes. It
showed that in certain geographical and historical circumstances, various forces
combine to create such regimes, and associated processes of ethnicization and
stratification. The paper focused on ‘open’ethnocra cies, where the state represents
itself as democratic, while simultaneously facilitating the seizure of a contested territory
and power by a dominant ethnic nation. It outlined the characteristics of
672 O. Yiftachel, A. Ghanem / Political Geography 23 (2004) 647–676
such regimes, showed their distinctiveness from the ‘normal’nation-st ate model,
and analyzed their ability to maintain ethnic dominance. The paper also discussed
the relation of ethnocratic regimes with minorities, democracy and political instability,
and explored the tensions and contradictions which generate their decline
and transformation.
Our framework here is both broad and preliminary. It needs to be tested, challenged
and expanded, in order to gain depth, validity and robustness. This undertaking
can advance in various directions, the most obvious are: (a) comparative
research which would test, calibrate and modify the assertions made above; (b) indepth
case studies, which would study the more detailed and subtle form of ethnocratic
expansion and hegemony, as well as the forms of resistance and challenge to
the system; (c) theoretical explorations and modifications, especially vis-a-vis new
structural forces influencing the nation-state, such as the increasingly globalizing
world economy, and/or the growing force and influence of the discourse of human
rights and multi-culturalism. Efforts in these directions have begun by the authors,
but much further research is needed to enrich our understanding of ethnocratic
states, and their volatile ethnic relations.
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https://www.theguardian.com/education/2002/dec/12/highereducation.uk
‘It’s water on stone – in the end the stone wears out’This summer, a little-known Manchester academic caused an international storm when she sacked two Israeli scholars from the editorial board of her journal. But was it an isolated freelance protest – or the first skirmish in a wider academic boycott?Andy BeckettThu 12 Dec 2002 11.57 GMT

Until a few months ago, Dr Oren Yiftachel was the kind of Israeli dissident that foreign critics of his country found admirable. He was born on a socialist kibbutz half a century ago. During his 20s and 30s, as that strain of cosmopolitan idealism began to lose its influence on Israel, he went abroad to live and travel. In 1994, he returned to Israel to work in the geography department at Ben Gurion University in the arid south of the country, where the particular proximity of Palestinian settlements and the challenges of desert life in general had made collaboration with Palestinian academics a local tradition.

Over the next eight years, with his open-necked shirt and his open, inquisitive face, Yiftachel became a familiar irritant to Israeli rightwingers. He made a point of working with Palestinians whenever possible. He published books and articles about his government’s illicit appetite for Palestinian land. He told Israeli newspapers that, “Israel is almost the most segregated society in the world.” He set up an Arab-Israeli journal that so enraged some Israeli conservatives that they campaigned to have it banned.

Given these radical credentials, Yiftachel did not anticipate any problems when, last spring, he submitted a paper to a left-leaning periodical called Political Geography. He had written for the respected British journal before. It specialised in the same probings of territory and power as he did. This time Yiftachel’s paper, co-written with a Palestinian academic, Dr Asad Ghanem of Haifa University, described Israel as “a state dedicated to the expansion and control of one ethnic group”; the paper concluded that such societies “cannot be classified as democracies in a substantive sense”.

Yet when Yiftachel heard back from Political Geography, he got a shock. The precise details of what happened are disputed but, according to Yiftachel, the paper was returned unopened. An explanatory note had been attached, he says, stating that Political Geography could not accept a submission from Israel.

“I hadn’t read the paper,” says David Slater, one of the periodical’s editors, who is also a geography professor at Loughborough University and a prominent British supporter of Palestinian causes. “But I was familiar with some of the author’s previous work… I was not sure to what extent he had been critical of Israel.” Slater says he hesitated about what to do with the paper, “for a while”.

“I protested,” Yiftachel says. Through the summer and autumn, it is agreed by both sides, there was a tense exchange of email. Among the editors of the periodical, Slater admits, there was “a slight disagreement” over how to proceed: his colleagues were keener on the paper than he was. Eventually, Yiftachel says, Political Geography was “forced” to consider his work; but between May and November, whenever he asked if it was actually going to be published, the journal simply responded that the paper was “under consideration”.

Finally, in mid-November, between six and eight months after Yiftachel first submitted his paper, depending on whose account you believe, Political Geography informed him that it would publish his article as long as he made “substantial revisions”. Yiftachel was asked to include a comparison between his homeland and apartheid South Africa.

Yiftachel agreed. Yet he still sounds slightly puzzled at how he ran into such difficulties with an apparent political kindred spirit like David Slater. Slater maintains that Political Geography is not officially hostile to contributions from Israel. But then, almost in passing, he mentions something interesting. At some point last spring or summer, while he was pondering Yiftachel’s paper, Slater signed a petition calling for an academic boycott of Israel.

The idea first surfaced as a polite, almost diffident letter to this newspaper on April 6. “Despite widespread international condemnation for its policy of violent repression against the Palestinian people, the Israeli government appears impervious,” the letter began, somewhat predictably. Yet then it proposed a novel solution: “Many national and European cultural and research institutions regard Israel as a European state for the purposes of awarding grants and contracts. Would it not therefore be timely if a moratorium was called upon any further such support unless and until Israel abides by UN resolutions and opens serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians… “

The letter had been written by two British academics: Steven Rose, professor of biology at the Open University, and his wife, Hilary, professor of social policy at Bradford University. Besides their signatures, the letter listed 123 other academics as supporters, mostly European but a few from the US and Israel.

All this did not come completely out of the blue. Nine months earlier, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign had called for a British boycott of Israeli agricultural produce, with some success. Other boycotts of Israeli tourist resorts, Israeli-manufactured goods and Israeli investment opportunities had been long been mooted on the internet. In liberal British academic and literary circles, which for years had contained critics of Israel, there had been renewed stirrings of protest against the Israeli government during 2001 and early 2002: circular letters of support for Palestinian writers, collective statements of outrage at Israeli military tactics, and occasional flashes of public anger, such as the poet Tom Paulin’s repeated comparisons of Israeli nationalists to Nazis. Finally, in the fortnight before the Roses published their letter, there were the daily television and newspaper images from Israel and the Palestinian territories. As invading Israeli tanks ground parts of Jenin to dust and Palestinians bombed chattering cafes in Tel Aviv and civilians on both sides were killed in greater numbers than for decades, it was hard for the politically conscious in Britain and elsewhere not to take sides. “There was this cumulative frustration,” says Steven, “that European governments were not doing more to stop things.”

However, what seemed straightforward in April now seems less so. The original, quite limited, boycott proposed then has grown into something larger and less well-defined. As the Roses’ petition has acquired hundreds more signatures, other, more radical calls for academic boycotts of Israel have been launched from Britain and abroad. Rival counter-petitions condemning the boycotts have been set in motion. And around all this has swirled a vast and ferocious debate about Israel and the Palestinians, about anti-semitism, about academic freedom, about boycotts in general. International political figures have been drawn in: from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who issued a statement supporting the Roses and comparing their protest to the struggle against apartheid, to Tony Blair, who last month reportedly told Britain’s chief rabbi that he was “appalled” at the academic boycott and would “do anything necessary” to stop it.

One obvious but significant feature of a political dispute involving academics is that they tend to relish arguments. They have access to the internet. They have international contacts and horizons. And since April, as the violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories has continued almost unabated, universities in both places have been directly affected. Israeli campus buildings have been bombed; Palestinian universities have been blockaded by Israeli troops. Whatever your view of the academic boycott, it has become increasingly difficult to dismiss it as pure ivory tower politics.

Yet the extent to which an actual academic boycott of Israel exists, beneath all the rhetoric for and against, has remained mysterious. In April, the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education voted for “all UK institutions of higher and gurther education… to review – with a view to severing any academic links they may have with Israel”. In May, the Association of University Teachers voted for a funding boycott of Israeli universities. But when I rang both unions almost six months later to ask what concrete effect these resolutions had had, a Natfhe press officer said, “I’m unaware of any action being taken so far. Given the size and complexity of higher education institutions, implementing a boycott will take a long time… We’ve asked our branches to engage in a discussion as to what an academic boycott should be.” At the AUT, no one even seemed able to remember what boycott they had agreed.

There have been instances of individual British academics boycotting Israel. In June, two Israeli professors were removed from advisory positions on a pair of small academic journals put out by a Manchester publishing firm called St Jerome. The editor of the journals and the co-owner of St Jerome, Mona Baker, was and is – for the time being at least – a professor of translation studies at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (Umist). She briefly became the most infamous academic in Britain and is currently subject to an investigation by Umist, the limits of which have remained ominously unstated. The inquiry is expected to conclude within weeks.

In April, an English lecturer at Birmingham University called Sue Blackwell removed the links to Israeli institutions from her personal website. A dispute about her underlying attitude to Israel has flickered intermittently since, between her and the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Blackwell’s website has been scrutinised by Birmingham University; last month it was cleared of alleged breaches of university regulations. As with Baker, the very length of the controversy generated by what originally seemed a small political gesture suggests that openly boycotting Israel may be a hard and lonely road to take.

More discreet withdrawals of cooperation, however, may be another matter. As Yiftachel discovered, the workings of academic journals and academia in general, with its intricate, stop-start machinery of international collaborations, research grants and references, paper submissions and promotions and assessments – much of this screened from outsiders by traditions of confidentiality, and by anxiety about damaging careers – provides plenty of opportunities for boycotts and semi-boycotts and temporary boycotts that never declare themselves as such. At some Israeli and British universities, and in some Jewish pressure groups, there are persistent and growing murmurs about boycott-related discrimination. Some cases are minor but revealing. “I am concerned about my return to England at the end of the academic year,” a British lecturer at an Israeli university writes to a friend in London. “English friends have made me feel like a settler for being here.” Other cases are more substantial – a thesis supervisor at a British university, it is alleged, is currently refusing to support an Israeli student’s work due to the student’s nationality – but impossible to prove without the breaking of professional confidences. Other cases are verifiable but add little to the overall picture: St Jerome Publishing recently refused to fulfil an order for a single book placed by Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

On British campuses, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) claims that anti-Israeli posters and pamphlets and stickers are appearing and anti-Israeli meetings are being held with increasing frequency. Alleged hostility to Jewish student societies and Jewish individuals is also on the rise. “Students are incredibly worried,”says Michael Phillips, the campaigns director of the UJS. “The boycott may have started with reasonably legitimate aims, but it’s a very different thing now.”

In Israel, it is starting to have an effect on everyday academic life. “Every year we send most of our research papers abroad for refereeing,” says Professor Paul Zinger, the outgoing head of the Israel Science Foundation. “We send out about 7,000 papers a year. This year, for the first time, we had people writing back – about 25 of them – saying, ‘We refuse to look at these.'” At the Academic Study Group on Israel and the Middle East, a fund for joint projects between Israeli and British universities, the number of people applying for grants has fallen by a third. “There is a palpable slowing down of academic activity,” says John Levy, who helps run the fund. “We’re not even attempting to set up [joint] workshops. What we’re encountering is very many people who are saying, ‘Can we simply delay matters?'”

Not all of this change, Levy says, is directly because of the boycott. Anxiety about visiting Israel amid the current violence is putting off foreign academics, too. But security concerns can be a useful cover for people who want to withdraw cooperation without causing a fuss. “Since the intifada began we’ve had conferences that people have said they would come to but haven’t,” says Frank Schuldenfrei of the British Council in Tel Aviv. “If someone looks you in the face and says, ‘I’m not coming over because my wife doesn’t want me to come,’ who can say if that’s the reason? There is no doubt that in certain circles Israel has become less popular in the last six months.”

In one of the curious symmetries of politics, strong supporters of the boycott offer the same sort of vague-but-potent anecdotes about its impact as the boycott’s opponents. “We’ve had specific instances of people reporting in, as it were, saying they’ve cancelled such and such a project with Israeli colleagues,” says Steven Rose.

Colin Blakemore, an Oxford University professor of physiology who was one of the original signatories of the Rose letter, says with certainty, “I do not know of any British academic who has been to a conference in Israel in the last six months.”

This matters more to Israel than you might imagine. Academic activity, and particularly science, are areas in which the country excels. “In physiology and neuroscience, physics and computer science, the Israelis certainly punch above their weight,” says Blakemore. Schuldenfrei calls Israel “a very important player in the academic marketplace”. For a small nation without abundant natural resources, this has had obvious benefits. From agriculture to arms manufacturing, Israel has become more technology-driven and successful than comparable nations.

At the same time, though, the nature of Israel’s academic pre-eminence makes it vulnerable to a boycott. “We are top of the world league with Switzerland and, I think, Sweden for the proportion of research projects that are international collaborations,” says Zinger. “Close to 40% of papers published in Israel involve cooperation abroad.” For complicated and expensive scientific research, there is often no alternative; yet for the weightiest historical and political reasons, campus links between Israel and its Arab neighbours have always been limited. Instead, Israel has developed academic connections with the west, and Europe in particular – which has its own equally weighty historical reasons, notably the holocaust, to treat it generously. Israel receives subsidies from EU funds for scientific research, the only non-member state to do so. “In the most recent four-year framework programme, we paid in €150m,” says Zinger, “and we got research grants of €165m.”

Back in April, when Steven and Hilary Rose composed their letter, targeting this cashflow seemed clever politics. “We both had an academic-political interest in EU science policy,” says Hilary, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. “We tried out the letter on a few friends, and they said it was a goer.” There is a pause. Then her husband says: “It’s not the first time we’ve done something like this.”

The Roses are sitting side by side, sharp-eyed and slouching confidently in their casual, donnish clothes, on a low sofa in their living room in north London. Together and separately, they have been involved in left-wing political causes for decades. They speak in long, fluently argued paragraphs.Since April, the Roses have written newspaper letters and articles defending the boycott and the right of people such as Mona Baker to interpret it in their own way. In August, Steven Rose, who is Jewish, publicly renounced his entitlement to Israeli residence and citizenship. At times, he and Hilary can make the boycott sound almost beyond criticism. It has generated important debates, they say. It has put pressure on an unjust government. It has Palestinian support: “It is rather touching,” says Hilary, “to have the chancellor of Bir Zeit [the main Palestinian university] write to you.” Finally, the boycott has reasserted the important right of people to challenge Israel without being anti-semitic. Steven Rose gets up from the sofa and disappears upstairs to fetch a piece of paper. It is a copy of a letter from Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt and dozens of other prominent Jews to the New York Times in 1948, condemning the then brand-new state of Israel for containing extreme Jewish nationalists of a “fascist” nature, who had recently carried out a “massacre” of Palestinian villagers. The boycott, the Roses say, is in this tradition of constructive criticism.

Yet occasionally an unease slows their rhetoric. “Our initiative has produced a certain number of would-be supporters,” says Steven, choosing his words carefully, “who are pathologically anti-Jewish.” He produces another letter, this time with a recent date and a plastic folder around it as if it were poisonous.

“Dear Professor Rose,” it begins, “I write to congratulate you on the campaign to boycott Israel which I believe you and your husband are sponsoring. The problem is that it does not go far enough. We need to set up a boycott of all Jewish businesses, organizations and individuals. Hit the Zionist Yids where it hurts them – in their pockets… ” The typed letter ends with a shaky blue signature and an address in south London. “We called the commission for racial equality,” says Hilary crisply.”We are keeping the letter in plastic so we can give it to the police.”

Since April, the boycott has awakened other ugly impulses. The Roses’ email addresses, like those of many people drawn into the debate have been flooded daily with abusive messages. “Become a suicide bomber and blow yourself up… if you died the world would be a better place… what you are doing is worse than what the Nazis did… you sonderkommando [concentration camp collaborator] scum… ” From the day the first boycott petition appeared, what you could call a counter-boycott has been organised against the Roses and their allies. Like the boycott itself, this campaign has its moderates and extremists, its public gestures and undeclared initiatives, its concrete steps and carefully directed threats.

In June, Patrick Bateson, a professor of animal behaviour and provost of King’s College, Cambridge, who had signed the Rose letter, became involved in a correspondence with Henry Gee, a senior editor at the science magazine Nature. Gee made clear his objections “as a Jew” to the academic boycott. Then he continued: “I would not, of course, do anything as crass as ‘boycott’ papers from you and your colleagues that might happen to pass across my desk at Nature, though I would get much less pleasure in reading them… knowing what I do of your attitudes… [These] confirm my view… that Cambridge, and particularly the university, would be an uncomfortable place for me to visit.”

“The implicit threat was plain,” Bateson says. When contacted recently, Gee declined to discuss their correspondence further. Bateson says he will continue sending articles to Nature: “It may be an interesting test case.”

Colin Blakemore’s experience since he signed the Roses’ petition has been more bruising. “I was contacted by Steven just two days before it was submitted,” he says. “I was a bit hesitant about signing, because I saw a lack of balance. I asked for a sentence condemning Palestinian terrorism. But there was not enough time – the letter was about to be sent out.”

So he signed it anyway. Shortly afterwards, a French translation of the petition began circulating, which was significantly more aggressive than the original, with Blakemore and the other initial signatories’ names attached.

“I found myself being sucked in,” he says. Over the summer, although he still had links with Israeli academia Blakemore found himself facing a public campaign. He was, and is, president of the Physiological Society. Without naming him, a motion was proposed by a Jewish member for the society’s annual general meeting stating that, by supporting the boycott, Blakemore was breaking an important international convention on academic freedom, statute five of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). Since the 30s, the Physiological Society and other ICSU members had agreed to behave “without any discrimination on the basis of… citizenship, religion, creed, political stance, ethnic origin, race, colour, language, age or sex”. For many opponents of the academic boycott, this is a clinching argument.

In the end, Blakemore never faced a hostile annual general meeting. “My train was late.” The motion was withdrawn, he says, “after a lot of talk”. But he remains anxious about the consequences of his involvement in the boycott and how his stance became distorted: “I am deeply concerned for relations with my Jewish colleagues. The misrepresentation sticks. You can’t explain your personal position to everyone.”

In truth, boycotts are blunt weapons. Even the most apparently straightforward and justified ones, on closer inspection, have their controversies and injustices. Since the academic boycott of Israel began, both its supporters and its opponents have frequently cited the cutting of campus links with apartheid South Africa as an example of a less contentious action. But the South African boycott did not necessarily seem like that at the time.

The first calls for a general boycott of South Africa came in the 50s. Yet it was not until 1980 that the UN passed a resolution urging “all academic and cultural institutions to terminate all links with South Africa”. Opposition to this boycott persisted throughout the 80s: conservatives around the world disliked such anti-apartheid initiatives; campus libertarians perceived a loss of academic freedom; and some liberal South Africans argued that their universities, as centres of resistance to apartheid, made precisely the wrong targets.

Then, as now over Israel, some boycott participants seemed to become infamous almost by accident. In 1985, it was Professor Peter Ucko of Southampton University, who reluctantly banned South Africans, including personal friends, from an archaeological convention. This time, the boycott’s anti-heroes have been Mona Baker and her husband Ken.

Unlike the Roses, and many of their petition’s signatories, the Bakers are not prominent or politically connected academics. They now move in a lurid new world of death threats, feverish messages of support, conspiracy theories about Zionist networks, and computer viruses sent almost monthly to sabotage their business. For critics of the Bakers, they have received support from some awkward quarters. The leftwing, anti-Zionist Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe, is in regular, approving contact; Ken describes him as “fabulous”. In Israel, Pappe’s career has been regularly threatened by right-wingers who disapprove of his pro-Palestinian views. Like the harassment of Palestinian students by the Israeli army, this is a tricky fact to take on board for those who oppose the academic boycott on the grounds that it threatens campus freedoms in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

So far, the boycott feels less substantial than the issues around it. “It is annoying but there is no damage,” says Paul Zinger of the Israel Science Foundation. “It doesn’t seem that it has gathered any momentum.” The Roses insist it is too early to judge the boycott’s effectiveness. “Boycotts are slow,” says Hilary. “We didn’t eat South African oranges for about 1,000 years.” Steven adds: “It’s water on stone – eventually water on stone wears away.”

There are signs that the turbulent experiences of some of the boycott signatories have made them more, not less militant. At the Physiological Society, Colin Blakemore has set up a study group to examine when conventions about academic freedom should give way to boycotts. Its conclusions, he hints, are not likely to be favourable to Israel. More broadly, he has come to question whether academia should be insulated from politics at all: “Is it really true that scientific research is such a special activity that it should be last on the list when it comes to boycotts?” Steven Rose goes further: “Academic freedom I find a completely spurious argument in a world in which science is so bound up with military and corporate funding.”

Even Oren Yiftachel, for all his difficulties with Political Geography, agrees that academia cannot and should not function in a vaccuum. Yet that does not mean he has become a convert to the academic boycott of Israel. His objections are not just personal or philosophical, but tactical. Recently, he went to America with a Palestinian colleague to speak about Israel. “In all our lectures, we would talk about roadblocks, terrorists, a colonial situation. Everyone in the crowd would ask about whether the boycott was anti-semitic.”

In this report we referred to the treatment of a paper written by Professor Oren Yiftachel of Ben Gurion University and Dr Asad Ghanem of Haifa University, which was submitted to the journal Political Geography. We reported that Professor Yiftachel had, after a protracted dispute, agreed to revise the paper according to suggestions made by Political Geography, including the insertion of a comparison of Israel and apartheid South Africa, and that on this basis the paper had been accepted for publication. We now understand that the paper’s acceptance for publication has not been guaranteed, and that agreement has not been reached between Professor Yiftachel and Dr Ghanem and Political Geography over all the changes the journal suggested – in particular the comparison of Israel and South Africa. Professor Yiftachel and Dr Ghanem have received a list of comments and suggestions from three academic referees appointed by Political Geography, and they are considering what revisions are most appropriate for the paper, purely on scholarly grounds. Whatever revisions are finally made, the paper will then be refereed again. Professor Yiftachel, as we reported, has consistently opposed the academic boycott, and he remains committed to his position, as well as to the ending of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and Clarifications column, Wednesday January 15 2003

In this article, we quoted from correspondence between Patrick Bateson of King’s College Cambridge and Henry Gee, a senior editor of the science magazine, Nature. Dr Gee, has asked us to make it clear that the correspondence was quoted without his agreement or permission.

The Nexus of Army Refusal and Israeli Academics

21.04.21

Editorial Note

With the country mourning its fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, it is time to reflect on conscription refusal and reserve duty evasion. The fallen soldiers, estimated at 23,928, fought in numerous wars, some of which presented an existential threat to the State of Israel.  Because of their sacrifice and the resolve of their brethren, Israel’s existence is now more secure. 

Israel, like other democracies, has a liberal approach to service refusal.  In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that conscientious objection is legal, based on “principled pacifism.”  However, selective refusal, frequently associated with service in the Palestinian territories, is not.  

There is little doubt that academic activists who have driven much of the Israeli refusal movement are not “principled pacifists.” If they were, they would have renounced all violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

One of the earliest posts by IAM was a 2002 petition by academics supporting their students who “refuse to serve as soldiers in the occupied territories,” which garnered 360 signatures from all Israeli institutions of higher learning. The nexus of faculty and refusal is evident in the long list of anti-conscription activities. It includes Yishai Rosen-Tzvi, Idan Landau, Yigal Bronner, to name a few. Some glaring examples are listed below. 

In 2004 Prof. Gadi Algazi, Israel’s first conscript objector, wrote a chapter praising draft dodging. Radio Netherlands program “Vox Humana” interviewed Algazi, who “At the age of 12, he had already decided that he would refuse the inevitable military service in the occupied territories that would eventually be expected of him. And at 18, when he became the first Israeli to publicly refuse to serve there, he was used as an example by the establishment. For years, every time he was called up for service and refused, he was imprisoned.”

TAU Philosopher Dr. Anat Matar, an early promoter of BDS, is the mother of conscript evader Haggai Matar. As she wrote in 2004, “Haggai, my elder son, served time in the civilian prison in Ramie, having been convicted by the Israeli military court for refusing to enlist in an army of occupation and oppression,” when he called from prison and said “Mom. prison is not a place for human beings,” she said, “My heart sank. We thought we knew a bit of what lay ahead of us, what prison was like.” 

In 2014 a group of young Israeli reservists wrote a petition against serving as reservists in the Israeli Army that reached the Washington Post. They wrote, “We are more than 50 Israelis who were once soldiers and now declare our refusal to be part of the reserves. We oppose the Israeli Army and the conscription law.” Because “The central place of the military in Israeli society, and this ideal image it creates, work together to erase the cultures and struggles of the Mizrahi, Ethiopians, Palestinians, Russians, Druze, the Ultra-Orthodox, Bedouins, and women.”   In the protest “against attacks on those who resist conscription, we support the resisters.” In Israel, “war is not merely politics by other means — it replaces politics. Israel is no longer able to think about a solution to a political conflict except in terms of physical might; no wonder it is prone to never-ending cycles of mortal violence. And when the cannons fire, no criticism may be heard… there is a reason to oppose combat operations in Gaza, there is also a reason to oppose the Israeli military apparatus as a whole… We were soldiers in a wide variety of units and positions in the Israeli military—a fact we now regret, because, in our service, we found that troops who operate in the occupied territories aren’t the only ones enforcing the mechanisms of control over Palestinian lives. In truth, the entire military is implicated. For that reason, we now refuse to participate in our reserve duties, and we support all those who resist being called to service.”   The petition was signed by academics such as Efrat Even Tzur, Ofri Ilany, Dalit Baum, Yotam Gidron, Uri Gordon, Diana Dolev, Ariel Handel, Chen Misgav, Tom Pessah, Eyal Rozenberg, among others.

There are several organizations supporting and encouraging army refusal.  On February 21, 2021, Shatil, the action arm of the New Israel Fund, helped to publish a part-time paid position for a coordinator offered by the network of Mesarvot.  Mesarvot (Refusing) is a political refusal network that started five years ago as an “activist initiative which accompanies refusers in the public struggle against the occupation and militarism. It helps them to formulate and publish their positions, organize public actions, guidance, accompany and support of prison inmates, maintain contact with the families, and with other organizations and refusal groups that are participating in this network.”  

The contact person is Tair Kaminer, an army draft refuser from an activist family. Her late grandfather, Reuven Kaminer, previously Vice Provost of the School for Overseas Students at the Hebrew University, is considered by Joel Beinin, emeritus professor at Stanford University, “the godfather of Israel’s radical left.” Her late uncle Noam Kaminer, whose Ph.D. dissertation is from the University of California, began his political activities at the Communist Party of Jerusalem in the 1960s, participated in the “Black Panthers” demonstrations in Jerusalem in the early 1970s, was one of the founders of the Jewish-Arab group Campus (Students for Political Involvement) movement at the Hebrew University. He refused to participate as a reservist in the first Lebanon war in June 1982. As a result, he was sentenced several times to a military prison and contributed significantly to establishing “Yesh Gvul.” He worked within the framework of the Israeli socialist left, one of the components of the Hadash party.  Noam’s son, Tair’s cousin, is Matan Kaminer, an army refuser, is currently a Buber fellow at the Hebrew University and postdoctoral researcher in Anthropology at the University of Haifa.

Refuser Solidarity Network, which “educates the American public about the efforts by refusers and conscientious objectors to achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,” is run by Shimri Zameret, the conscription objector. He also lectures at the International Institute University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Since 2004, Refuser Solidarity Network “provides crucial support to Israel’s military refusers in the toughest of political circumstances. We provide funds for demonstrations outside prison, for legal fees, for media campaigns that tell conscientious objector’s stories to the general public, for education programs for Israeli and American audiences about their important resistance to the occupation. Refusers work to end the Israeli occupation and create a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis, and Refuser Solidarity Network is here for them.”

Like other political activists, academics who promote refusal turned their political work into a scholarship. For example, Prof. Tamar Katriel dedicated a chapter in her 2020 book Proclaiming Dissent. She historicizes and analyzes public resisters’ letters as they evolved in the Israeli culture to become the “emblem of open dissent” and a “mobilizing force.” She explores proclamations as they pertain to military service by considering the public letters over the past five decades. These public letters “mark them as political acts rather than private acts of conscience. Forming affinity groups grounded in a shared moral vision, the public letters’ signatories engage in a self-politicizing move by expressing ‘selective refusal,’ that is, refusal to serve in a particular region or in a particular war, rather than by rejecting the military system as such. Taken as criticism from within, these letters are analyzed as employing a double gesture of dissent which is comprised of a complex stance-taking act that gives voice to dissenters’ protest even while affirming their commitment to the country and to its security needs.” 

Prof. Idith Zertal dedicated her 2018 book to Refusal: Conscientious Objection in Israel. The book was supported by The Foundation of Middle East Peace, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy in Israel. Zertal thanks Yishai Menuhin, Yesh Gvul refusal network spokesperson, and Adv. Michael Sfard, who represents army refusers in court.  The book launch was held at Tel Aviv University. Among the participants, Prof. Adi Ophir; Adv. Michael Sfard; Prof. Gadi Algazi; Meretz MK Zehava Galon; Prof. Amal Jamal; Prof. Idith Zertal; and Yonatan Shapira, former air force pilot refuser.   As IAM reported in the past, radical scholars, whether supporting refusal or advocating BDS, found cushy positions in some activist departments in Western universities which use Israelis to hide their anti-Israel bias.

It is hardly surprising that the anti-draft scholars blame Israel alone for the continuation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  While support for draft dodging is marginal within the Israeli society, the numbers are high in Israeli institutions of higher learning, where many of the advocates target their susceptible young students, mostly reservists and former soldiers, who populate their classrooms.

https://ii.umich.edu/ii/people/all/z/zameret.html

International Institute University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  Shimri Zameret  

Research Area Specialist Intermediate, Donia Human Rights Center; Adjunct LEO Lecturer, Winter 2021 term, Program in International & Comparative Studies zameret@umich.edu

Office Information:

Weiser Hall, 500 Church St., Suite 300
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042

Donia Human Rights CenterDHRC StaffProgram in International and Comparative StudiesPICS Faculty

Education/Degree:MSc in Global Politics, London School of Economics

About

Areas of Interest

International Organizations; Global Civil Society; Civil Disobedience; Climate Change; Financial Crisis and Regulation; Wars and Human Rights; Democracy Promotion.

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https://www.guidestar.org/profile/75-3103052

REFUSER SOLIDARITY NETWORK INC

New York, NY   |  www.refuser.org

Mission

THE REFUSER SOLIDARITY NETWORK EDUCATES THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ABOUT THE EFFORTS BY REFUSERS AND CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS TO ACHIEVE A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION TO THE CONFLICT BETWEEN ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS

Ruling year info

2003

Principal Officer

Shimri Zameret

Main address

244 Fifth Avenue Suite F39

New York, NY 10001 USA

EIN

75-3103052

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization’s current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

REFUSERS

RSN SPONSORS EVENTS, SUPPORTS TOURS OF REFUSERS, PUBLISHES NEWSLETTERS, MAINTAINS A WEBSITE (WWW REFUSER ORG), AND RAISES FUNDS TO SUPPORT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS BY THE REFUSER ORGANIZATIONS INSIDE ISRAELPopulation(s) ServedBudget   $22,100
https://www.refuser.org/

Refuser Solidarity Network

Refuser Solidarity Network provides an international base of support for those who refuse to serve the Israeli occupation.  

Who We Are

Since 2004, Refuser Solidarity Network provides crucial support to Israel’s military refusers in the toughest of political circumstances. We provide funds for for demonstrations outside prison, for legal fees, for media campaigns that tell conscientious objector’s stories to the general public, for education programs for Israeli and American audiences about their important resistance to the occupation. Refusers work to end the Israeli occupation and create a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis, and Refuser Solidarity Network is here for them.

We are a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax deductible in the US.

Ending the occupation, one soldier at a time.

Military refusers come from all segments of Israeli society. They are Mizrahi and Ashkenazi; they are religious and secular; they are Druze, Bedouin, and Russian, they are people of all gender identities, from the large cities and from the small towns. As refusers are standing up against endless war in the most difficult time and climate to do so, we work to support their activities.

You can Help us to support the refusers by making a donation today!  

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https://www.shatil.org.il/advertisingajobadvertisement/23718

Home Page

רשת מסרבות מחפשת רכז/ת חדש.ה!
21.2.2021

מסרבות- רשת סרבנות פוליטית היא יוזמה אקטיביסטית בת חמש שנים, המלווה סרבניות וסרבני גיוס למאבק ציבורי נגד הכיבוש והמיליטריזם, לניסוח של עמדותיהם ופרסומן, ארגון פעולות ציבוריות, הדרכה, ליווי ותמיכה בכלואות/ים, שמירה על קשר עם משפחות הסרבנים/ות ועם ארגונים וקבוצות סירוב אחרות השותפות ברשת.

המשרה מתאימה לאקטיביסטית בעלת יוזמה עם אהבה לפעילות שטח ויכולת מנהיגות.

דרישות התפקיד:

  1. יכולות ניהול, ריכוז והנעת א.נשים
  2. אחריות, ארגון, יוזמה ומשמעת עצמית
  3. ניסיון בהדרכת נוער- יתרון
  4. קשר למאבקים אחרים בכיבוש ותנועת הסירוב- יתרון
  5. קשרי אנוש מעולים, עם בני נוער ומבוגרים: פעילות, סרבניות, אנשי תקשורת, פוליטיקאים והורים
  6. גמישות בשעות העבודה
  7. יכולות טכנולוגיות בסיסיות בהפעלת מייל, פייסבוק, וואטסאפ
  8. מחויבות לטווח ארוך- יתרון

יש להגיש קורות חיים עד 1/3/2021 למייל: info.mesarvot@gmail.com

היקף: חצי משרה. התפקיד מוצע לשנה, אפשרות להארכה.

תחילת עבודה מיידית.

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https://kotar.cet.ac.il/KotarApp/Index/Book.aspx?nBookID=105482521

סירוב : חובת הציות וזכות המצפון : מסה

מחבר: עדית זרטל שנת ההוצאה:  2018 מילות מפתח: סרבנות גיוס ושירות צבאי; סרבנות מטעמי מצפון; סרבני גיוס מטעמי מצפון; סרבני מלחמה; סרבנות פוליטית מה קורה לאדם שנוף מולדתו הושחת ונגזל ממנו, שמדינתו וחוקיה השתעבדו לאי־חוקיות ולאי־צדק? האם עליו לציית אוטומטית לתביעות המדינה או לדבוק בחופש המצפון וכבוד־האדם שלו ולסרב, מכוח אהבת המולדת שלו? סירוב מצפוני הוא אירוע נדיר שמעטים מסוגלים לו. כיצד נעשה אדם לסרבן? מהם התנאים האינדיווידואליים, החברתיים והפוליטיים, שבהם מבשיל אירוע כזה ומתחולל? איך מהדהד הסירוב במרחב הציבורי ומה הוא מעיד עליו? זיקתו של הסירוב המצפוני למדינה הדמוקרטית ברורה ויכולה לשמש תו־תקן לעצם מהותה הדמוקרטית של מדינה. אולם הדמוקרטיה הישראלית רודפת את סרבני המצפון שלה, במיוחד מאז היו הכיבוש ומלחמותיו למניעיהם העיקריים. שעה שמצב הכיבוש מוכחש או נחשב לנורמטיבי הצבא, בגיבּוּיָן של המערכות הפוליטית והמשפטית, מגדיר את סרבני המצפון כאיום ביטחוני קיומי, סכנה לדמוקרטיה ולשלטון החוק, ומענישם בהתאם: צעירים וצעירות ישראלים, חיילי מילואים או סרבני־חִיּוּל טרם גיוס, המסרבים לשרת בצבא כובש, משוגרים זה חצי מאה לפרקי זמן ממושכים בכלא הצבאי. ציות וסירוב; מַחְשֶׁבֶת הסירוב והזכות – והחובה – של אזרחים לומר “לא” לשלטון ולחוק; הרקע האינטלקטואלי, הפוליטי והתרבותי של סרבנות המצפון; המניעים הקונקרטיים, המעוגנים בזמן ובמקום, של סרבנות המצפון ואופני הפעולה שלה, תכליותיה, והתנגשויותיה עם מוסדות המדינה ועם מיתוסֵי היסוד שלה; והפולמוס המתמשך המתנהל סביב הסירוב במרחב הציבורי – בצבא, בבתי המשפט, בתקשורת ובאקדמיה – הם נושאי הדיון בספר מעמיק, סוחף וחיוני זה. אל הספרנושא/נושאים: , שלטון וממשלפוליטיקה וממשלתוכן הספר:

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http://video.tau.ac.il/events/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=category&id=1614:refusal&Itemid=552

Tel Aviv University
סירוב -  חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון

תאריך: 6.1.19

דברי ברכה

דברי ברכה

  • Lecturer(s) יו”ר: אורי לנדסברג, מרכז מינרבה למדעי רוח, אוניברסיטת תל אביב
  • Location אולם רוזנברג
  • Date Sunday, 06 January 2019

Published in סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון     מרכז מינרבה

עדי אופיר

עדי אופירLecturer(s) עדי אופיר, מכון קוגוט למדעי הרוח, אוניברסיטת בראון

חגית גור זיוLecturer(s) חגית גור זיו, המחלקה לחינוך לגיל הרך, מכללת סמינר הקיבוצים

מיכאל ספרד

מיכאל ספרדLecturer(s) מיכאל ספרד, עורך דין

מושב א’ – דיון

מושב א' - דיון

יונתן שפירא

גדי אלגזיLecturer(s) גדי אלגזי, החוג להיסטוריה כללית, אוניברסיטת תל אביב

זהבה גלאוןLecturer(s) זהבה גלאון, יו”ר מרצ לשעבר

אמל ג'מאלLecturer(s) אמל ג’מאל, בית הספר למדע המדינה, ממשל ויחסים בינלואמיים, אוניברסיטת תל אביב

עדית זרטל

עדית זרטלLecturer(s) עדית זרטל, מחברת הספר “סירוב – חובת הציות וזכות המצפון”

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https://www.972mag.com/dozens-protest-outside-idf-base-in-support-of-conscientious-objector/

Dozens protest in support of Israeli conscientious objector

By Haggai Matar January 10, 2016

Tair Kaminer is expected to be sentenced to a month in military jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF. Kaminer: ‘Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.’

Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer is greeted by supporters outside the Tel Hashomer induction base, Ramat Gan, Israel, January 10, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Approximately 40 demonstrators accompanied Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer to the Tel Hashomer induction base on Sunday, where she is expected to be sentenced for her refusal to enlist in the Israeli army.

The demonstrators held signs chanted against the occupation at the entrance to the base. Some of them organized a short performance, in which they wore IDF uniforms and pledged their loyalty to the state while their eyes, ears, and mouths were covered.

Kaminer, 19, recently finished a year of national service with the Israeli Scouts (“Tzofim”) in the southern development town of Sderot. There she volunteered with children who suffer from trauma due to multiple wars in Gaza and continual rocket fire on the city. “The children I worked with grew up in the heart of the conflict and have had extremely difficult experiences from a young age, experiences that caused them to feel hatred, which can be understood, especially when it comes from young children,” Kaminer wrote in a statement several days ago.

“Like them, many children who grow up in Gaza or in the West Bank, in an even more difficult environment, learn to hate the other side,” she continues. “They, too, cannot be blamed. When I look at all of these children, and the next generation on both sides and the reality in which they grow up, I see only more trauma and pain. And I say enough! That is why I refuse: so that I do not take an active part in the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the injustices that the Palestinian people face under occupation, so that I do not take part in this circle of hate in Gaza and Sderot.”

Demonstrators organize a performance in support of Tair Kaminer, a 19-year-old Israeli conscientious objector, at the Tel Hashomer induction base, Ramat Gan, Israel, January 10, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Kaminer also writes that she aspires to peace, equality, democracy, and security for all people who live in Israel/Palestine, emphasizing the security of those whose security tends to be forgotten — Palestinians and Israeli residents of the western Negev Desert. “They convince us that the army has nothing to do with politics, but serving in the army is a political decision. Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.”

The protest, which was organized by a new group called “Mesarvot” (“Refusers” in Hebrew), included anti-occupation activists, Druze conscientious objectors, anarchists, communists, and others. Participants also included members of the Kaminer family, including Tair’s cousin, Matan Kaminer, who served two years in military prison for his refusal to enlist 13 years ago (full disclosure: I served in prison alongside Matan and a number of other friends for refusing to enlist in the military. Matan and I remain friends until this day).

Kaminer is expected to be sentenced to a month in military jail. (Update, 10 p.m.: Kaminer was sentenced to 20 days.) She will then be released and return to the induction base where she will be required to enlist once again. Should she refuse, she will be sentenced to another month in jail. This process repeats itself ad nauseam until the army decides to officially discharge her. Over the past few years, a number of conscientious objectors have been sentenced up to 10 times in this vicious cycle.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here

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Haggai Matar is an award-winning Israeli journalist and political activist, in addition to serving as the executive director of “972 – Advancement of Citizen Journalism,” the nonprofit that publishes +972 Magazine.

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https://www.juancole.com/2014/08/mideast-democracy-dissent.html

Refusal from Within the Army

“We support anyone who refuses,” said Yotam Gidron, a 24-year-old Israeli reservist who co-organized and signed an open letter published in late July, along with over 50 other reservists, declaring their refusal to serve due to ethical objections to the military’s actions. Despite a climate in which opponents of war are “regarded as traitors,” Gidron explained to Common Dreams that an even greater number of reservists are quietly dodging their service through “grey” refusal… “If you oppose the war now you are regarded as a traitor,” said Gidron. “It has been like that every time Israel went to war, but it is worse this time.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/07/23/we-are-israeli-reservists-we-refuse-to-serve/
We are Israeli reservists. We refuse to serve.A petition.By Yael Even Or July 23, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

Whenever the Israeli army drafts the reserves — which are made up of ex-soldiers — there are dissenters, resisters, and AWOLers among the troops called to war. Now that Israel has sent troops to Gaza again and reserves are being summoned to service, dozens are refusing to take part.

We are more than 50 Israelis who were once soldiers and now declare our refusal to be part of the reserves. We oppose the Israeli Army and the conscription law. Partly, that’s because we revile the current military operation. But most of the signers below are women and would not have fought in combat. For us, the army is flawed for reasons far broader than “Operation Protective Edge,” or even the occupation. We rue the militarization of Israel and the army’s discriminatory policies. One example is the way women are often relegated to low-ranking secretarial positions. Another is the screening system that discriminates against Mizrachi (Jews whose families originate in Arab countries) by keeping them from being fairly represented inside the army’s most prestigious units. In Israeli society, one’s unit and position determines much of one’s professional path in the civilian afterlife.

To us, the current military operation and the way militarization affects Israeli society are inseparable. In Israel, war is not merely politics by other means — it replaces politics. Israel is no longer able to think about a solution to a political conflict except in terms of physical might; no wonder it is prone to never-ending cycles of mortal violence. And when the cannons fire, no criticism may be heard.

This petition, long in the making, has a special urgency because of the brutal military operation now taking place in our name. And although combat soldiers are generally the ones prosecuting today’s war, their work would not be possible without the many administrative roles in which most of us served. So if there is a reason to oppose combat operations in Gaza, there is also a reason to oppose the Israeli military apparatus as a whole. That is the message of this petition:

We were soldiers in a wide variety of units and positions in the Israeli military—a fact we now regret, because, in our service, we found that troops who operate in the occupied territories aren’t the only ones enforcing the mechanisms of control over Palestinian lives. In truth, the entire military is implicated. For that reason, we now refuse to participate in our reserve duties, and we support all those who resist being called to service.

The Israeli Army, a fundamental part of Israelis’ lives, is also the power that rules over the Palestinians living in the territories occupied in 1967. As long as it exists in its current structure, its language and mindset control us: We divide the world into good and evil according to the military’s categories; the military serves as the leading authority on who is valued more and who less in society — who is more responsible for the occupation, who is allowed to vocalize their resistance to it and who isn’t, and how they are allowed to do it. The military plays a central role in every action plan and proposal discussed in the national conversation, which explains the absence of any real argument about non-military solutions to the conflicts Israel has been locked in with its neighbors.

The Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are deprived of civil rights and human rights. They live under a different legal system from their Jewish neighbors. This is not exclusively the fault of soldiers who operate in these territories. Those troops are, therefore, not the only ones obligated to refuse. Many of us served in logistical and bureaucratic support roles; there, we found that the entire military helps implement the oppression of the Palestinians.

Many soldiers who serve in non-combat roles decline to resist because they believe their actions, often routine and banal, are remote from the violent results elsewhere. And actions that aren’t banal — for example, decisions about the life or death of Palestinians made in offices many kilometers away from the West Bank — are classified, and so it’s difficult to have a public debate about them. Unfortunately, we did not always refuse to perform the tasks we were charged with, and in that way we, too, contributed to the violent actions of the military.

During our time in the army, we witnessed (or participated in) the military’s discriminatory behavior: the structural discrimination against women, which begins with the initial screening and assignment of roles; the sexual harassment that was a daily reality for some of us; the immigration absorption centers that depend on uniformed military assistance. Some of us also saw firsthand how the bureaucracy deliberately funnels technical students into technical positions, without giving them the opportunity to serve in other roles. We were placed into training courses among people who looked and sounded like us, rather than the mixing and socializing that the army claims to do.

The military tries to present itself as an institution that enables social mobility — a stepping-stone into Israeli society. In reality, it perpetuates segregation. We believe it is not accidental that those who come from middle- and high- income families land in elite intelligence units, and from there often go to work for high-paying technology companies. We think it is not accidental that when soldiers from a firearm maintenance or quartermaster unit desert or leave the military, often driven by the need to financially support their families, they are called “draft-dodgers.” The military enshrines an image of the “good Israeli,” who in reality derives his power by subjugating others. The central place of the military in Israeli society, and this ideal image it creates, work together to erase the cultures and struggles of the Mizrachi, Ethiopians, Palestinians, Russians, Druze, the Ultra-Orthodox, Bedouins, and women.

We all participated, on one level or another, in this ideology and took part in the game of “the good Israeli” that serves the military loyally. Mostly our service did advance our positions in universities and the labor market. We made connections and benefited from the warm embrace of the Israeli consensus. But for the above reasons, these benefits were not worth the costs.

By law, some of us are still registered as part of the reserved forces (others have managed to win exemptions or have been granted them upon their release), and the military keeps our names and personal information, as well as the legal option to order us to “service.” But we will not participate — in any way.

There are many reasons people refuse to serve in the Israeli Army. Even we have differences in background and motivation about why we’ve written this letter. Nevertheless, against attacks on those who resist conscription, we support the resisters: the high school students who wrote a refusal declaration letter, the Ultra orthodox protesting the new conscription law, the Druze refusers, and all those whose conscience, personal situation, or economic well-being do not allow them to serve. Under the guise of a conversation about equality, these people are forced to pay the price. No more.The petition for Israeli soldiers and reservists is located at Lo-Meshartot.org.
Efrat Even Tzur, Tal Aberman, Klil Agassi, Ofri Ilany, Eran Efrati, Dalit Baum, Roi Basha, Liat Bolzman, Lior Ben-Eliahu, Peleg Bar-Sapir, Moran Barir, Yotam Gidron, Maya Guttman, Gal Gvili, Namer Golan, Nirith Ben Horin, Uri Gordon, Yonatan N. Gez, Bosmat Gal, Or Glicklich, Erez Garnai, Diana Dolev, Sharon Dolev, Ariel Handel, Shira Hertzanu, Erez Wohl, Imri Havivi, Gal Chen, Shir Cohen, Gal Katz, Menachem Livne, Amir Livne Bar-on, Gilad Liberman, Dafna Lichtman, Yael Meiry, Amit Meyer, Maya Michaeli, Orian Michaeli, Shira Makin, Chen Misgav, Naama Nagar, Inbal Sinai, Kela Sappir, Shachaf Polakow, Avner Fitterman, Tom Pessah, Nadav Frankovitz, Tamar Kedem, Amnon Keren, Eyal Rozenberg, Guy Ron-Gilboa, Noa Shauer, Avi Shavit, Jen Shuka, Chen Tamir.****Yael Even OrYael Even Or is an Israeli journalist and activist who, during her service, evaluated candidates for the recruitment department of the Israeli army. She currently lives in New York City.========================================================

https://www.radionetherlandsarchives.org/a-conversation-with-gadi-algazi/Radio Netherlands

A conversation with Gadi Algazi

Published 10th August 2004Gadi Algazi (© Eric Beauchemin)Audio Player00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

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By profession, Professor Algazi is a historian at Tel Aviv University. By calling, he is a humanist and a passionate human rights advocate. At the age of 12, when his friends would have been engrossed in comic books, he had already decided that he would not do his compulsory military service in the Occupied Territories – Palestinian land seized by Israel in the 1967 war. At the age of 18 he became the first Israeli to publicly refuse to comply with military orders to serve there. He continues to suffer the wrath of the establishment he has taken on: he has been court-martialed, and over the years, has served seven prison sentences.

In 2000, after the second Palestinian uprising began, Professor Algazi witnessed a crumbling of the anti-war and anti-occupation movement in Israel. In response, he and a small band of dedicated activists formed the grassroots movement Living Together. One of their tasks is to try to counter what he calls the “creeping silent transfer” – that is, the government’s attempt to expel the Palestinians without overt force. Villages simply become “unrecognised” by the government. They have full property rights, but no water, schooling, electricity and so forth. Eventually a village that is not recognised as existing, in fact ceases to exist. Professor Algazi discusses the implications of Israel’s security barrier. According to him, the Wall will not only encircle Palestinian communities, it will also separate them from their land, water resources and each other. Even if the government tries at some future stage to change its current policy, he says, some effects may be irreversible. He in no way condones the horrifying trend of suicide bombers, but he understands the despair that drives them to such acts. His final words may well turn out to be the calling of Cassandra: “desperate people don’t become nicer. If you rob people of a political future, what remains is very little.”

Producers: Eric Beauchemin & Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: August 10, 2004

Transcript

Radio Netherlands presents “Vox Humana”. I’m Dheera Sujan. In this edition of the programme we present the highlights of a fascinating and insightful conversation with Gadi Algazi, professor of history at Tel Aviv University. Professor Algazi is also a tireless and eloquent advocate of peace in his country. He’s a man with a calling. At the age of 12, he had already decided that he would refuse the inevitable military service in the occupied territories that would eventually be expected of him. And at 18, when he became the first Israeli to publicly refuse to serve there, he was used as an example by the establishment. For years, every time he was called up for service and refused, he was imprisoned. Professor Algazi talked with Radio Netherlands’ Eric Beauchemin about the increasingly complex and tragic tapestry of his troubled land and why recent events led him to form the movement “Living Together”.

In November 2000, after the 2nd Palestinian uprising broke, several of us had the feeling that something very important was happening and that in Israel itself, no response on the part of the left was there, which went first of all that the Palestinian uprising signalled the end of what in Europe is called the peace process, but which in many ways meant the modernisation of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. That had to end up in a disaster. But this disaster was not simply the uprising in its violence and the victims, but the fact that within Israel, the anti-war and the anti-occupation movement crumbled. People were disappointed by the Palestinians. Within Israel itself, the Israeli police killed 13 Palestinian demonstrators in the early days of the intifada. And again, Palestinian demonstrators found themselves alone facing the police. So our idea was to create a grass-roots movement of Jews and Arabs that does not exhaust its action in protest but tries to pose direct challenges to discrimination and domination within Israel and to the occupation in the occupied territories. So our idea is both to have a sense of what living together might mean beyond the walls and the barbed wire that encircle us here in the Middle East.

EB: Why don’t you give me an example? Well one example within Israel is a camp we organised in a small Palestinian community in the triangle that is more or less half way between Tel Aviv and Haifa. We got 400 volunteers, Jews and Arabs, to turn a dirt road into an asphalt road and to build a playground for the children of the village, all through voluntary work of Arabs and Jews and raising funding from communities. Now that is almost social, almost humanitarian project. But this is an absolutely illegal project because the community in question is one of the so-called unrecognised Palestinian villages. About 150 communities within Israel are villages that are not recognised by the administration. That is, they have full property rights, but no water, electricity, schooling, anything and the state is actually waging a long war against them in the process of Judaising the territory. So this camp was not simply a protest, saying this village exists and it intends to stay. It was an attempt to reinforce it concretely from below to engage hundreds of people in actually building the road, using the bulldozer, the most pertinent symbol of colonisation here into a different symbol of constructive work together. And it also meant that hundreds of people were engaged in stopping the police in hindering us from building something that is quite essential: a road connecting this village to the outer world and a playground for the children. Perhaps our more significant campaign were two attempts in which we tried to stop what we call the creeping silent transfer, that is the attempt to expel Palestinians without guns, without buses, without trucks, simply by undermining the civil and economic infrastructure of communities, bringing them under enormous pressure by settlers and army and forcing people gradually to leave their homes and go away on their own accord. This, for us, is one of the most dangerous processes, that endangers the future both of Israelis and Palestinians, and in two cases, we actually intervened by sending trucks, by bringing hundreds of volunteers to the place, by sleeping there and actually trying to face the army and the settlers when they came, by connecting the villages to international networks of solidarity, and in these two cases – one in the south Hebron hills and another in Khilbert (sp?) Yanun, a small village not far from Nablus, we actually managed to stop the process and to alert public opinion to the process itself. When you encircle and you isolate communities, especially the rural communities, when they are cut off from essential services – medicine, education – when economically, Palestinian peasants and workers cannot reach their fields or the places where they work, when such villages are cut off from the urban centres, what happens is that the social texture is diluted and a village loses its power to stay on the ground. So what you find is not a process of a dramatic moment in which a village vanishes but of people beginning to send their sons and daughters to study elsewhere and not go back. Where those who can still have jobs to not return to a village, knowing that it might take you 6 or 7 hours to come back to a village from a city, if the real distance is let’s say 15 or 10 kilometres away. So they stay away. So a village is left with very few resources. It loses its lands. It loses its economic basis and part of its population. The last stage is that such a village can be abandoned. And when that process continues for 5 or 10 years, Sharon may win his war against the Palestinians in a different way, not through a single, dramatic blow but through an accumulation of local pressure.

You know, this conflict is a colonial one. And as a colonial conflict, it is about very simple things. It’s about land. It’s about water. It’s about orchards and trees and olive trees. It’s about space. Now these are things in which natural justice is very easy to realise if you are willing, and it is decided on the ground by bulldozers and bombs. Very often the perception of this conflict, especially in Europe, is marked by a preference to interpret texts, to think it in diplomatic terms, to look into the details of a big diplomatic gesture: what did Sharon mean in that third sentence? What did Arafat mean when he did that specific declaration? Now, I’m not underestimating texts. I’m a historian. I make my living by interpreting texts. I’m an intellectual, if you want. I exercise the interpretation with students. But I think it’s essential for people outside to understand that the reality we live here is not one of texts and symbols. It’s about land and water. It’s about the construction of the Wall. It’s about peasants reaching their land. It’s a very concrete one. If you look at the future map of the West Bank, as it is now emerging, or if you look at the Gaza Strip, you realise that the so-called disengagement plan in the Gaza Strip means nothing else than home rule for the Palestinians, encircled by Israeli barbed wire, full Israeli control of water, land and sea. And then, you know, Sharon may withdraw from the Gaza Strip and leave Palestinians to the misery that years of occupation have created. And this is more or less the future of the West Bank: creating very small bantustans, sometimes enclaves of 3 to 7 villages, some of them 50,000 people like in the area around Tulkaram, easily disconnected and controlled by Israeli checkpoints on every venue, full fragmentation of the Palestinian territory, which means a very specific sort of system of control in which the occupying force doesn’t have to look after the people it controls because it pretends that they have their autonomy or home rule. The main difference that I must emphasise when we compare this with South African situation is that the apartheid regime, as far as I understand it, was also based on black labour, whereas the Palestinians are even worse off. They have become economically superfluous for Israel.

Since 1993-1995, when the system of checkpoints and closure of the West Bank has been implemented, there were Palestinian migrant workers who used to work within Israel and of course live from it within the West Bank have been barred from entering Israel – reasons of security have been adduced – and have been replaced by migrant labourers from Ghana, from Romania, from Thailand, a process that we know well from Europe. It means that this is worse than a bantustan. They have been robbed of an autonomous economic basis. They cannot rely on access to the Israeli economy to finance themselves. So they are in the very peculiar modern condition that we know from the Third World of people who are not even worthy of being exploited.

EB: What are the implications then for these bantustans, I mean, for the Palestinians living in them? In terms of Sharon’s strategy, as I see it, it’s partly about first of all giving a very serious blow to the Palestinian national movement for 10, 15 years ahead. This is already a time-scale on which most politicians in the United States and Europe would not think, and he’s a farmer by origin. This is his last term in office. He’s thinking in the term of 10, 15 or 20 years ahead. Within this period, his attempt is to demoralise the Palestinians completely, to subject them to a very tight system of control. He will continue the settlement project at the same time. His basic intention has been and remained to see them fading away. That would be the most polite way to say it, either leaving on their own accord or going to Jordan or sending many of them abroad to study and work elsewhere and to see in the West Bank a sort of a series of not even of bantustans or reservations for the remaining Palestinians.

EB: So in the long term Sharon hopes that there will be no Palestinian problem any more. It will solve itself. Yes. I mean, Sharon basically believes in having a greater Israel for the Jews alone. He’s realistic enough in order not to say it nowadays. He’s realistic enough in order to know that he will have to have at least part of the Palestinians still living here. But if they are willing to leave under a regime of tight control of such dimensions, if they’re unable to have any sort of unfragmented contiguous territory, if they are relegated to their own villages and completely dependent on a system of passes and allowing them to move from one place to the other, this, I believe, can be a very effective and demeaning system of control and I think he really believes he can break the will of Palestinians to remain for freedom. This must fail. But we are all going to pay the price. Desperate people do not become nicer. And if you rob people of a political future, what remains is very little. At the moment Sharon’s basic means of doing politics is not declarations or plans, promising a bright future. He never did this. He never promised Israelis peace. What he does is destroy hope, destroy it on the ground through killing, through bombing, through constructing the Wall, through creating cycles of violence that reduce political future to nothing. And all the people are left with is the notion, the fear for personal security, the day after and the next day, the last blow and the next blow. So with this, a reduction of politics to a very short time-span, he gains ascent to his politics not actively because people believe in it but because they lose hope that there is an alternative. Once you rob people of a project of the future, this is largely responsible to processes of barbarisation. The fact that Israeli citizens accept crimes of war in such a way, knowing full well what it’s about, and surely on the Palestinian side, the sense of despair is everywhere. In every village I go to in the West Bank – and few Israelis go now to see and ask people what they think and what they feel in the West Bank – there is an enormous sense of despair, of powerlessness which lies behind that sort of abstract identification with a suicide bomber that takes his or her revenge by annihilating other people and themselves. It’s not an aberration of history. It has nothing to do with Islam, certainly not with our demonisation of Islam that I now found so prevalent in Europe. It’s the disintegration of a political society which is robbed of its hope of shaping the future collectively. And I find people seemingly resigned to it, not liking it, but saying, well, if we cannot live together, at least we die together.

EB: You said that Sharon is serving his last term as prime minister. Can’t some of the things that he is now implementing be reversed when he leaves? Well, some of them surely. But that project of the wall…I mean, when I said that this is a colonial conflict, I meant that the major facts are not texts and if you look at the past 35 years after the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan by Israel, there are 2 or 3 fundamental facts that are shaping our future, in theory reversible, but only reversible in a historian sense. In political terms, they are irreversible in the sense that they leave such deep scars, such deep marks on people’s lives that even if you reverse them, you put an enormous amount of social energy and resources and by this I mean two major facts for which Sharon is personally responsible. One is the construction of the settlements: 200,000 settlers in the West Bank controlling about 45% of the whole West Bank. And the second major fact is the building of the walls, the system of walls, barbed wires, concrete and enclaves that we usually call the apartheid wall, but this is a misleading term because it is a whole system that spans the whole occupied territories. Now the Wall can be demolished, but it is built in an agrarian context. It’s not the Berlin Wall, which means that within three years it can destroy the income and the way of life of village communities. 160 kilometres of the Wall have already been built, and according to estimates, 210,000 Palestinians are directly affected, losing their access to the lands, losing access to water, to water wells, losing the possibility to move about, destroying whole networks of the flow of people and of merchandise. Now, this can be reversed. But if you look at the landscape, if you look at what this Wall looks like, then it would take years and years to repair the damage that has been done. What people call the Wall is still imagined as one piece of concrete or fence separating Israel from the occupied territories. And one really has to look at the maps, and the maps are not usually discussed. Only the words get discussed, but not the topography of the geographical reality. What is called the Wall is actually a whole system – and I have the maps here – of fences, of barbed wire, ditches, surveillance systems, in some cases using concrete walls, very often just a barbed wire fence of some 5 metres ditches and all that surrounds it. And they are built all over the West Bank, not along the border, but surrounding villages and towns from all sides. It’s a system of control. It’s a system of expropriation that is sold or presented as a means to achieve personal security for Israelis. It has nothing to do with it. If you just look at where it is built, enough military experts in Israel from the military establishment have clearly said this is not about improving Israel’s security. Four former heads of the Israeli intelligence have spoken publicly – all four of them in a joint press conference – saying this Wall is a political project of subjecting the Palestinians, and it’s not about security for Israelis. They’re not my friends. They’re not of my opinion. It’s unheard of that they would take such a clear stance against the project. So what Sharon is doing is using the real fears that people have for their own security in order to further a political project that is directly continuing his project of building the settlements. If you take his plan of the settlements from 1978 and you take the present map of the Wall as it is emerging from the ground, you see that one is actually a direct continuation of the other, that wherever the settlements were built, the Wall is also there. And the settlements were built in such a way as to separate major Palestinian population centres from each other.

EB: Is it also designed to increase Israel’s land mass because the Wall is encroaching on Palestinian territory and incorporating this into Israel? The most simple implication of the construction of the Wall is the de facto annexation of parts of the occupied territories. On paper, it looks very minor: between 4 to 10%, but if look at the map – and this is a very small land – you realise that the land already annexed through the construction of the Wall is in many cases the most fertile land in the West Bank. The region between Jenin, Tulkaram and Ramallah produces around 40% of the agricultural produce of the West Bank and it has most of the water wells.

EB: Why aren’t there more protests in Israel against what is happening on the ground? There are several reasons. One that I have to stress is that most Israeli citizens, even nowadays, have no idea about where exactly the Wall is being built. They have a vague sense that it is being built more or less along the border separating the West Bank from Israel. They know that it’s now being constructed in Jerusalem, making whole Palestinian neighbourhoods into small ghettos. I cannot use a different expression. But if you ask how many times did the Israeli press or television publish the map of the Wall, then you will find that two times in the space of four or three years. So first there is a problem of information. The second of course is fear. Fear is a potent force in this story and Sharon has been shrewd enough to exploit people’s fears and promise them security. Now that this security is a death trap in the long run for both peoples is something you don’t really think about. If you live in the present, if you don’t think about the longer term future which is the current state of Israeli public opinion – people are prisoners of the present and feel as if there is no history anymore.

EB: You spoke about ghettos. It’s ironic that Israel should be doing this given what happened during the Second World War. Well of course. Or I would not so easily evoke the Holocaust or the Second World War. I think we sometimes do it too easily. But if you look at the longer term of Jewish life in Western and Eastern Europe in the early modern and the modern period, then of course the reproduction of the experience of the ghetto is one of the most not only ironical but also tragic aspects of this all, and I think the use of the term ghetto is quite justified in this case, if you look at the future for Palestinian communities. I mean, most of the people who came to Israel did not come out of Zionist convictions but as refugees either in post-Second World War Europe or in the whole upheaval of Middle Eastern societies in the decolonization period, that they came to be responsible for the creating of the Palestinian refugee problem and one of the hardest things for Israelis to come to terms with is to take the moral responsibility for creating the refugee problem, and to try and think openly, not about achieving justice. I don’t think justice can be achieved, but at least of recognizing the wrongs and finding partial solutions to the injustice that has been done.

EB: Why is it that the international community isn’t able to exert any pressure on the government regarding some of the steps that it’s taking at the moment? America’s role at the moment in the Middle East is not the role of the good judge or the teacher of democracy. It’s about domination. It’s about oil. It’s about controlling Arab regimes, and it has never been one of implementing justice in the Middle East. And, on the other hand, Israel’s citizens instead of building a future in the Middle East as part of a larger movement of seeing an independent and democratic Middle East, are perceived all around the Middle East as an embodiment of the American interests. This may look like promising security in the short term, but it’s no less dangerous in the future than anything that happens vis-à-vis the Palestinians. But I think we should say something about Islam. It’s a tragedy that enlightened people in Europe would accept Islam as the main enemy. This, I think, is a modern form of racism. It is built on ignorance. One knows simply too little about Islamic history. One does not see differences but one huge block of Islam, not understood within the Judeo-Christian tradition. And it also shows that the historical experience of coming to terms with anti-Semitism is not enough in order to recognise other forms of racism. To put it very easily: people who would say, who would be very careful not to express themselves in very anti-Semitic terms about the Jews would say things about Islam or about Islamic believers or communities that are simply horrible and elsewhere. This I found very tragic. The third question is of anti-Semitism. I do not underestimate the role of anti-Semitic sentiment and tradition in European history. This does not mean that all forms of critique against Israel’s colonial war have to be equated with anti-Semitism. And I think that the Israeli governments make a very cynical use of anti-Semitism, both in order to shield themselves from critique and by endangering the future of Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere by making them the ambassadors of an Israeli politics that is indefensible. The moment this link is created – although it speaks about the danger of anti-Semitism – it creates and reproduces anti-Semitic sentiment and it endangers the future of Jewish citizens of different democracies of the world by reducing them to being members of a trans-local tribe and local representative of a government that is engaged in crimes of war. I can see nothing more dangerous to the future of Jews than Sharon’s policy.

EB: Is there more than foreign countries should be doing to help Israel and the Palestinians solve this conflict? Well one thing that could…should have been done is of course pressure and looking for ways, not only of politely disagreeing, but saying we do not accept it. Very often the diplomatic pressure was based on the simple notion that you have two parties and they have to make decisions and negotiate. These are not two parties to a diplomatic conflict. One of them is the occupying force; the other has been reduced almost to no political power. By asking both Israelis and Palestinians to make concessions – when Israelis have the upper hand politically, economically and militarily – means that Palestinians from a position of weakness have to give up the rest, and they have very little to offer by way of a normal negotiation.

EB: You’ve spoken several times about crimes of war. What types of crimes are you specifically referring to? Well, there is a whole list of them, but the whole project of the settlement, of expropriation and of creating settlement is in clear violation of international conventions. It changes irreversibly the landscape, the demography, the economy of the occupied territory. Then the business of ruling Palestinians means that Israel has accepted the use of what it terms targeted killings. Targeted killings are simply acts of terror in which the state executes people without trial and very often, in the process, it’s also responsible for killing everyone around: children, friends, family, their homes. The numbers speak for themselves. This is an official policy. This is a state that almost officially now takes responsibility for acts of state terrorism. These are crimes of war. There come specific crimes of war, for example, even during Israel’s invasion into Lebanon in 1982, ambulances were free to move, as far as I know, whereas in the West Bank nowadays, Palestinian ambulances during military operation but sometimes in between have been prevented from moving, from supplying essential help to Palestinians. And the whole system of checkpoints is in itself, I think, verges on the criminal in the sense that you take 18, 19-year-old soldiers. The checkpoints are not located between Israel and the West Bank but on the outskirts of major Palestinian settlements and towns. You take those 18, 19-year-olds who do not speak Arabic, who have no idea what it means to have a family, who have no idea how Palestinians live because they do not enter the towns. They’re just controlling movement between one village and the next, and you give them the enormous power to decide over people’s fate. I saw that. I have been there myself. I saw you have old people coming and walking, trying to explain what they are doing, and soldiers may decide whether they are going to let them pass or not. Pregnant women, in more than one case – I think we have at least 12 good, well-documented cases – pregnant women were prevented from reaching the nursery and have given birth to babies on the checkpoints. Some of them died. Old people or the sick come with a bunch of papers and medical documents that the soldiers cannot read and cannot assess. So what this type of occupation, this specific type of control means is that you create an enormous social suffering without even realising what you are doing, and when both parties have actually no communication with each other. These soldiers understand some of…parts of what they are doing. Some of them go back, and they tell what they have witnessed or what they have done. And in Israeli society we’d have to…one of the questions is what are we going to do with this memory of inflicted pain? Now, these are clearly crimes of war.

Professor Gadi Algazi in conversation with Eric Beauchemin. I’m Dheera Sujan and you’ve been listening to Vox Humana on Radio Netherlands.
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גדי אלגזי “הקשיבו לקול הסירוב” (2004)

גדי אלגזי “הקשיבו לקול הסירוב” משפטי הסרבנים (דב חנין, מיכאל ספרד ושרון רוטברד עורכים. בבל, 2004)

הקשיבו לקול הסירוב

ב”בית הירוק” ביפו

יום שלישי בבוקר, 14 באפריל 2003. חמישה צעירים בבית-הדין הצבאי ביפו: חגי מטר, מתן קמינר, שימרי צמרת, אדם מאור, נועם בהט. האשמה: סירוב פקודה. כל החמישה ריצו כבר תקופות מאסר של שלושה עד ארבעה חודשים בגין סירוב חוזר ונשנה לשרת בצבא הכיבוש, ועכשיו החליטו רשויות הצבא להעמיד אותם בפני בית-דין צבאי, שבסמכותו לגזור עליהם עד שלוש שנות מאסר. במהלך החודשים הבאים ישתלב משפטם במשפטו של חברם יוני בן-ארצי, מתנגד הכיבוש ופציפיסט. יוני נימק את התנגדותו העמוקה לשירות הצבאי בהתכתבות ממושכת עם שלטונות הצבא. הוא פנה שוב ושוב לרשויות הצבא – וחזר ונדחה. שבע פעמים סירב ונשפט על סירובו לפני שהובא בפני בית-הדין הצבאי לאחר 200 ימי מאסר. החמישה הם מחותמי מכתב שמיניסטים, שבו הודיעו לראש הממשלה, אריאל שרון: “כשהממשלה הנבחרת רומסת ערכים דמוקרטיים ואת הסיכויים לשלום צודק באזור, אין לנו ברירה אלא לציית לצו מצפוננו ולסרב לקחת חלק במתקפה על העם הפלסטיני.” הם התחייבו “לא לשרת את הכיבוש” וקראו גם לבני גילם לנהוג כמותם. על נוסח המכתב המקורי (אוגוסט 2001) חתמו 62 נערות ונערים. על המכתב המחודש חתמו כבר, כשנה לאחר מכן, כ-300.

החמישה יושבים, מחייכים, על ספסל הנאשמים. אין מקום באולם בית-הדין לכל הקרובים והידידים שבאו לחזק את ידיהם. הקצין מבקש מכל האנשים שבאו, פרט לבני המשפחה, לצאת מן האולם. כולנו משפחה אחת, עונה לו אחד ההורים. זהו משפט ציבורי בעל משמעות פוליטית לכל אזרח, ולכן עלינו להיות כאן, אומרים לו אחרים. אחרי התעקשות, אנו עוברים לחדר אחר. עכשיו אנחנו יושבים בחדר אטום (הניילונים מימי המתקפה האמריקאית בעיראק עוד מודבקים על החלונות), בבית ערבי ביפו כדי לדון בחופש המצפון ובכיבוש.

כל אחד מן הצעירים פנה לוועדה הצבאית, הדנה בפטור משירות צבאי מטעמי מצפון. הוועדה סירבה: הסירוב שלכם הוא פוליטי, טענה, לא מצפוני. לוועדה הצבאית יש השקפה מאוד מגובשת בשאלה, באיזה סרבני מצפון היא מוכנה להכיר. היא משאירה רק סדק צר, שדרכו יכול צעיר לעבור ולהיחשב לסרבן מצפון מוכר. עד כדי כך צר, שבמשך 8 שנים, הכירה בסיבות המצפוניות של שבעה צעירים בלבד שסירבו להתגייס. איזה מצפון מחפשת הוועדה? איך ישיגו הסרבנים כזה מצפון, שיתאים לוועדה הצבאית? אולי יהיה פשוט יותר, אם החיילים יוכלו לקבל מן האפסנאות הצבאית את המצפון הדרוש? כזה שטוב להריסות הבתים ברפיח, שמתאים לעוצר בשכם, מצפון חסין שיתאים לחברון, אולי אפילו לשירות צבאי בג’נין?

הוועדה הצבאית טוענת, שנימוקי הסרבנים הם פוליטיים, לא מצפוניים, ולכן אי-אפשר לפטור אותם משירות צבאי ולאפשר להם לעשות שירות אזרחי כפי שביקשו. הסנגור מקריא מכתב סירוב שנשלח ללשכת הגיוס בשנה שעברה. המכתב אומר: זה שלושים שנה שישראל גוזלת את החירות מן העם הפלסטיני. צה”ל הוא המכשיר של המדיניות הזאת. לא אוכל לתת יד לגזל האדמות, להתנחלויות, לדיכוי, להשפלה. לא אשרת בצבא הכיבוש. הוא מקריא את תשובת הצבא: הנ”ל פטור משירות צבאי מטעמי מצפון. מבוכה ניכרת על פני שופטי בית-הדין הצבאי. של מי המכתב הזה? לא של סרבן גבר, אומר הסנגור, אלא של אשה – הדס גולדמן. נשים בישראל יכולות לקבל פטור משירות צבאי מטעמי דת או מצפון. הנה, אומר הסנגור, המכתב מוכיח שגם הצבא מכיר בכך, שסירוב לשרת בצבא הכיבוש יכול להיחשב סירוב מצפוני. האם יש מצפון אחר לנשים ולגברים? האם טעמי המצפון של גברים אינם ראויים להכרה ממש כמו אלה של נשים? מבוכה בבית-המשפט.

כך התחיל משפט, שנמשך בהפסקות עד ינואר 2004. הוא הסתיים כצפוי – בהרשעתם של כל הששה. ב-4 בינואר נגזר דינם של החמשה: שנת מאסר בפועל. לעומת זאת, בשבועות שלאחר מכן החליטו רשויות הצבא לפטור את חברם יוני בן-ארצי משירות ביטחון­ – לאחר שבית-הדין הצבאי נאלץ להודות בכנותו המצפונית וברצינות טיעוניו. רשויות הצבא העדיפו לפטור אותו מטעמי “אי התאמה”. זמן קצר לאחר מכן, הכריע בית-המשפט בדינו של יוני.

המשפט עורר שאלות עקרוניות. מהו מצפון? מה הם גבולות הציות שבו חייבים אזרחים? אלו דרכי התנגדות לגיטימיות מול הכיבוש? האם השירות בצבא המשליט זה 36 שנים את מרותה של ישראל על הפלסטינים יושבי השטחים הכבושים הוא מוסרי? באיזו אחריות נושאים אזרחים לנעשה בשמם? האם יש סתירה בין סירוב מצפוני לבין ניסיון לעורר את מצפונם של אחרים? אמצעי התקשורת בישראל מיעטו לדווח על הדיונים. הספר הזה מבקש לתקן במידת מה את המעוות. אין צורך להסכים לכל הנאמר בו. חשוב להקשיב לקולם של הסרבנים.

שאלה נעלמה

שוב ושוב עומדת החברה הישראלית מול האתגר שמציבים לה הסרבנים, ובכל פעם, כך נדמה, מעוררת הופעתם הפתעה מחודשת. נראה כאילו מסורת הסירוב נדחקת מן הזיכרון, חוזרת ומופיעה ושבה ונעלמת. הדבר אינו מפליא בחברה מגויסת, בה נשמרה עד עתה רמה גבוהה של ציות והגבולות בין חיילים ואזרחים נותרו מטושטשים. ההיסטוריה הישראלית עדיין נכתבת כרגיל כהיסטוריה של מלחמות, אך יש טעם לחשוב על צד אחר באותו סיפור עצמו – על מסורת ההתנגדות להן והסירוב המצפוני.

עם הקמתו, דחק הצבא הישראלי את מקומם של ארגונים חמושים, שפעלו בקרב הישוב היהודי בארץ, כגון הפלמ”ח והאצ”ל, שהשירות בהם היה התנדבותי. נורמות חדשות של משמעת וציות הושלטו בצבא, אך אלה לא מחקו לחלוטין את המסורת הקודמת, המניחה כי השירות מבוסס על הסכמת המתגייסים למדיניות אותה משרת הכוח הצבאי. הנה דיווח אחד על מקרה נשכח – כמה חיילים, שבמהלך מבצע “מטאטא” (מאי 1948), סירבו לקחת חלק בגירוש פלסטינים מן הגליל המזרחי:

מבצע מטאטא החל רשמית ב-3 במאי, ונמשך עשרה ימים. כיתת מרגמות מהגדוד השלישי [של הפלמ”ח] בפיקודו של גבי ברשי הפגיזה את הכפרים ערב זנגריה, ערב אל-סמכיה, טבחה וערב קודיריה. יגאל אלון כתב: “הגדוד [הראשון] פתח בפעולת טיהור שלמה של השטח המשתרע בין הכנרת לחולה משני עברי הכביש עד לירדן. הפלוגות חצו ברגל את המרחב המבותר ערוצים עמוקים וסלעי מגור, כשהם מטהרים אותו ומשמידים את בסיסי האויב. התנגדות הערבים נשברה והשטח טוהר עד לגבול ממש. אלפי תושבים ובני כנופיות נסו לסוריה.”

[רחבעם] זאבי היה אז בפלוגה ד’. מפקד הפלוגה, ישעיהו גביש, סיפר: “נפרסנו שלוש מחלקות לרוחב הגזרה, עברנו מכפר לכפר וגירשנו את כולם. כביש גינוסר–ראש פינה נשאר ללא כפרים ערביים. ביצענו את הפעולה בקרב אש ותנועה, כמו שלמדנו בקורסים. הערבים לא התנגדו.”

במבצע מטאטא השתרבבה פרשה של סרבנים יהודים, כולל איום להרגם אם לא יבצעו פקודות. אחד מהם כתב לחברו: “הרגשנו כמו רובוטים. הפרידו בין החברים ופיזרו אותנו במחלקות. ביקשנו להישאר יחד והמפקד אמר לנו: אתם עצורים ל-24 שעות. הנשק נלקח מאיתנו. הלכנו בתהלוכה לבית-הסוהר רדופי אספסוף של מאה איש שצעקו: משתמטים! פאשיסטים! פחדנים! כולם לקיר, אינטלגנטים! היו התנפלויות. כמה מאיתנו הופלו והוכו. נשלחנו למעצר מאחורי סורג ובריח ומנעול, זקיף עם רובה וכדור בקנה. אחזתי בסורג. היכה ברובה. אנחנו 16 איש בחדר. החלטתנו נחושה, לעזוב את החטיבה ויהי מה.”[1]

אין פלא, שמקרה אלה ודומים לו נשכחו מלב ולא הפכו חלק מן המסורת הפוליטית המודעת של החברה הישראלית. בשנים הראשונות לקיומה, לא היתה זו רק חברה מגויסת; היתה זו חברה אטאטיסטית, מוכוונת. היתה זו חברה שעוצבה ונשלטה על-ידי מנגנון מדינה, שצמח מתוך היישוב היהודי כפי שהתפתח בשנות המנדט הבריטי. מנגנון המדינה (שהגבולות בינו לבין המפלגה השלטת, מפא”י ההיסטורית על גלגוליה השונים, היו מטושטשים מאוד) ניתב משאבים, יישב מהגרים, הפקיע אדמות, הקים יישובים, פיקח באופן הדוק על כוח העבודה, השליט את מרותו על המיעוט הלאומי הערבי באמצעות מימשל צבאי וכיוון את הדיון הציבורי באמצעות מערכת החינוך וכלי התקשורת. תהליך עיצוב זה הותיר בחברה הישראלית עקבות עמוקים, ובעיקר – חולשה מבנית של המסגרות החברתיות בחברת המהגרים והמתיישבים היהודית אל מול מנגנון המדינה ורפיפותם של קשרי הסולידריות החברתית והקהילתית. מאז, תולדותיה של החברה בישראל הן במידה רבה סיפורו של תהליך ארוך וכאוב של דמוקרטיזציה ופלורליזציה, של הכרה חלקית בניגודים ובריבוי שבתוכה – תהליך שלא הושלם עדיין.

הסירוב מלווה את החברה הישראלית מראשיתה. הוא לא התמצה במקרי סירוב בודדים במלחמת 1948 עצמה, אלא זכה בתחילה להכרה חלקית. חוקת השיפוט תש”ח – ששימשה מסגרת משפטית זמנית לפעולת הצבא עד להשלמת ניסוחו של חוק השיפוט הצבאי – עמדה עדיין בסימן מסורות המחתרות שטרם קום המדינה. החוקה כללה לא רק סעיפים האוסרים למשל על מפקדים לנהוג שררה כלפי פקודיהם, אלא גם סעיף מפורש – סעיף 76 – שאיפשר לשופטים להקל בעונשם של חיילים בגין מעשים שעשו או שנמנעו מלעשות – אם עשו זאת מטעמי מצפון.[2] כפי שניסוחו המפותל של הסעיף מעיד, הוא עצמו היה תוצר פשרה, שכן שניים מחברי הוועדה שנתבקשה לבדוק את חוקת השיפוט לפני התקנתה – יעקב ריפתין (מפ”ם) וקלמן כהנא (פועלי אגודת ישראל) – תבעו לאפשר לפטור חייל לחלוטין מעונש, כאשר מדובר בטעמי מצפון.[3]

באוגוסט 1949, בשלהי הקרבות, החלה הכנסת הראשונה לדון בחוק שירות ביטחון החדש, שנועד להסדיר את שאלת הגיוס לצבא, ובהצעת חוק שיפוט צבאי, שנועד להחליף את חוקת השיפוט תש”ח. שני הדיונים השתרגו זה בזה. הועלו בהם שאלות יסוד, שרבות מהן נותרו עמנו גם כיום. נוסחו הראשון של חוק השיפוט הצבאי נתקל בביקורת חריפה ובסופו של דבר התמשכה חקיקתו על פני כעשר שנים. לא נעלם מחברי הכנסת, כי מן החוק החדש נמחקו יסודות של פיקוח חיילים על התנהגות. החוק החדש עמד בסימן “משמעת, משמעת מופרזת”, אמר אחד מהם.[4] במהלך הדיון בשני החוקים עלתה באופנים שונים גם שאלת הסירוב מטעמי מצפון.

תוצאתו של הדיון בחוק שירות ביטחון ידועה: הזכות לסירוב מטעמי מצפון לא זכתה לעיגון בחוק. לעומת זאת, זכו שרי הביטחון בחופש פעולה מרחיק לכת לגייס אזרחים – ולהימנע מגיוסם – בלי שיחויבו להכפיף את שיקול דעתם לנורמות ברורות. מכוח סמכות זאת – לא זכות מוקנית לאזרחים אלא מעשה חסד מטעמם של השליטים – יכלו שרי הביטחון להימנע מגיוסם של אזרחי ישראל הערבים (ולהשתמש בכך כדי להצדיק את הדרתם מאזרחות מלאה). גם הסדרי הפטור – לגברים יהודים או דרוזים הלומדים לימודי דת – התעצבו מכוח הסדרי מיקוח פוליטיים (כך נכשל כבר ב-1951 נסיונו של חיים שטיינברג, אזרח חרדי, לטעון כי יש לפטור אותו משירות צבאי מטעמי דת ומצפון כשם שפוטרים נשים). אך החוק שהתקבל בסופו של דבר כלל גם פטור משירות צבאי לנשים מטעמי מצפון או דת – עניין נדיר בחקיקה הישראלית.

ברור, כי הפטור לנשים משירות צבאי לנשים דתיות נוצר כפשרה בין המגמה להנהיג חובת גיוס כללית להתנגדותם של חוגים דתיים לגיוס נשים. כבר בדיון זה נחשפה אחת מתבניות היסוד של הפוליטיקה הישראלית – כאשר מישיבה לישיבה הלך ונדחק הדיון העקרוני בזכויות אוניברסליות והתגלגל בניסיון להבטיח את זכויותיהן הפרטיקולריות של קבוצות מתוחמות – במקרה זה, להבטיח כי נשים דתיות לא יגויסו. הדיון בשירותן הצבאי של נשים הבהיר היטב, עד כמה כרוכה האזרחות הישראלית בשירות האומה. הן מצדדי הגיוס והן מתנגדיו עשו שימוש בתרומתן של הנשים לאומה – אלה ביעודן כאמהות המביאות ילדים ואלה בתפקידן כחלוצות ולוחמות בשירות האומה. [5] בכל זאת, בחוק הסופי הוכרו גם טעמי מצפון שלא נמצאו בהצעת החוק המקורית. היו אלה כמה מחברי הכנסת הדתיים שעמדו על כך, שבמקום פטור גורף מכוח חברות בקבוצה – פטור לנשים דתיות – יעמוד החוק על זכותן הכללית של נשים לפטור משירות מטעמי מצפון או דת. המהלך החלקי להשתתת הפטור על בסיס אוניברסלי יותר נעשה ביוזמתם.[6] כך נוספו לחוק “טעמים של מצפון” או “טעמים שבהכרה דתית”.

במהלך הדיון בחוק הגיוס עלו גם חלופות אחרות, שרובן נשכח מלב. כמה מחברי הכנסת תבעו הכרה בפטור משירות צבאי מטעמי מצפון לגברים ונשים גם יחד. בעוד שהזרם השליט בויכוח נימק את חובת השירות הצבאי לנשים בשירותן לאומה, ואת הפטור החלקי (לנשים נשואות, אמהות ודתיות) – בתפקידן כאמהות בשירות האומה, בשירות המשפחה ובהנחלת המסורת הדתית, הציעו אחרים להכיר בזכות כללית לסירוב מצפוני. כך טענה ח”כ רחל כהן מסיעת ויצ”ו, שתמכה בגיוס נשים, אך הוסיפה: “אינני יכולה לא לקבל טעמים מצפוניים – ולאו דווקא דתיים. גם לגברים ישנם טעמים מצפוניים שאינם מרשים לשרת בשירות קרבי. החוק הזה נעשה לא רק בשביל יהודים. ובחוק, כפי שהוגש לנו, חסר סעיף המטפל בנקודה זאת. [אני] סבורה שמותר לאשה להגן גם על זכויותיו של הגבר.” ח”כ משה אונא מן החזית הדתית המאוחדת (שאיגדה את כל הסיעות הדתיות) הצטרף לדרישתה. [7]

בכלל, מנקודת מבט הנטועה בישראל של היום, קשה להאמין עד כמה קרובים היו חלק מחברי הכנסת להכרה בפציפיזם. הם שמעו, כי תנועת סרבני המלחמה בישראל ביקשה להחיל את הפטור המצפוני משירות צבאי על גברים ונשים גם יחד. לא נשכחה מהם עדיין גם המסורת הפציפיסטית הקטנה של הימים שלפני הקמת המדינה, והם מזכירים במפורש את אנשי “ברית שלום”. אחד מהם נזכר, כי גם אנצו סירני היה פציפיסט וסירב לשאת נשק – ורק במהלך מלחמת העולם השניה החליט לאחוז בנשק. [8] אפילו המחמירים שבחברי הכנסת, שסירבו להעניק פטור משירות צבאי מטעמי מצפון, הכירו עדיין בזכותם של פציפיסטים לא לשאת נשק – גם במלחמת הגנה.[9] שניים מהם הציעו לאפשר למי שמסרבים לשאת נשק לשרת ביחידות חלופיות.[10]

חוק שירות ביטחון שנוסח בסופו של דבר נשאר רובו ככולו בתוקף גם כיום. חברי הכנסת של מפא”י טענו כנגד הצעות התיקון, כי “הימנעות גברים משירות בטחון במדינת ישראל לרגל טעמי מצפון טהור” אפשרית “אך במקרים נדירים בלבד”. באלה יכריע שר הביטחון מכוח סמכותו לגייס ולפטור לפי שיקול דעתו: “אין צורך ליצור בחוק קטגוריה ‘מצפונית’ כזאת על-ידי הכנסתה כסעיף מיוחד בחוק.”[11] זהו הביטוי הראשון והמובהק למדיניות ארוכת ימים – הסירוב הרשמי לכל נסיון להכיר בסירוב המצפוני, שאת הדיו ניתן לשמוע בדברי התביעה ובפסק-הדין במשפטיהם של יוני בן-ארצי וחמשת סרבני הכיבוש: לא זכות אזרחית אלא מעשה חסד של הרשויות.

בינתיים המשיכו חברי הכנסת לדון בחוק השיפוט הצבאי שבא להחליף את חוקת השיפוט תש”ח. כאשר הוצגה בפניהם הצעת החוק החדש, באוגוסט 1949, לא נעלם מעיניהם, כי החוק החדש משליט בצבא מבנים הייררכיים מובהקים ומשמעת קפדנית. הם גם התיחסו ללקחי מלחמת 1948. המעשים שנעשו במהלכה הוכיחו לדעת כמה מהם, כי הצבא הישראלי לא עמד בניסיון “במגע עם האוכלוסיה האזרחית, בהתנהגות עם שבויים, בשמירה קפדנית על עקרונות המשפט הבינלאומי והנוהג במלחמה.” לכן הציע אחד מהם, יש להוסיף פרק העוסק ב”משפט החייל ככובש ומשחרר”.[12] אחר הזכיר פשעי מלחמה: “מלחמת השחרור שלנו הוכיחה שאין אנו נקיים בענין זה. […] מקרה דיר-יאסין לא היה מקרה בודד, וכולנו עשינו דברים שאני – ואולי גם הבית כולו – מתביישים בהם.” לכן הציע ח”כ לם להכליל בחוק השיפוט הצבאי את עקרונות המשפט הבינלאומי.[13]

אם לא די בכך, העלו במסגרת הדיון כמה חברי כנסת את האפשרות לעגן בחוק את האפשרות לסרב פקודה מטעמי מצפון. תפקיד מפתח מילאו כאן חברי הכנסת מטעם “החזית הדתית המאוחדת” – משה אונא וזרח ורהפטיג מ”הפועל המזרחי” ובנימין מינץ, איש פועלי אגודת ישראל. נסיונותיהם החוזרים ונשנים לעגן בחוק את האפשרות לסרב לפקודות מטעמי מצפון רלבנטיים גם כיום.

ח”כ ורהפטיג הציע להרחיב את האפשרות המוכרת בחוקת תש”ח להקל בעונשו של חייל שעבר עבירה מטעמי מצפון – ולאפשר מעתה לבתי-הדין הצבאיים לפטור אותו במקרה זה כליל מאחריות לעבירה.[14] ח”כ מינץ הרחיק לכת עוד יותר. הרי איננו רוצים, אמר, “ב’משמעת של כלב’ בצבא-ישראל… אין אנו רוצים שחיילינו יהיו מכונות ללא נשמה וללא לב. […] אין אנו רוצים שעם התגייסותו של אדם מישראל לצבאנו ייסתם מקור נשמתו ומצפונו, יחדל לחשוב ולתת לעצמו דין-וחשבון על מעשיו וייהפך לכלי נטול מחשבה ורגש בידי מפקדיו.” הוא הביע פליאה על כך, שמהצעת החוק החדשה נמחק הסעיף, “אשר לפיו יש לנהוג דין מיוחד בחייל היכול להוכיח כי מעשה שעשה או לא עשה ואשר עליו עמד לדין נעשה מטעמי מצפון”. לכן הציע מינץ תיקון מרחיק לכת עוד יותר:

“חייל הנאשם בעבירת אי-ציות, יזוכה מאשמה, ללא חקירה נוספת, אם יש בידו להוכיח שהיה לו יסוד מספיק להניח שהפקודה שלא ציית לה היא בלתי-חוקית: א) משום שהיא סותרת את חוקת הצבא והוראות המטכ”ל והרבנות הצבאית. ב) משום שהיא סותרת את חוקי היסוד של תורת ישראל. ג) משום שהיא סותרת את יסודות המוסר הישראלי.”[15]

כאשר הובאו התיקונים לחוקת השיפוט תש”ח לדיון נוסף בכנסת, לאחר דיונים בוועדת משנה מיוחדת, מצאו לפניהם חברי הכנסת בנובמבר 1949 הצעה חדשה. הצעתם של מינץ ווהרפטיג לא התקבלה, אך “סעיף המצפון” חזר ונכלל בה בנוסחו המקורי.[16] התנגדותם של חברי הכנסת של החזית הדתית המאוחדת עמדה בעינה. הם חזרו והציעו, כי בתי-הדין הצבאיים יוסמכו לא רק להקל בעונשם של חיילים שעברו עבירות מטעמי מצפון אלא יוכלו לפטור אותם לחלוטין מאחריות פלילית. בהכרזת העצמאות, נימק ח”כ משה אונא, “הודגש העקרון של חופש המצפון, ואני שואל: מתי אפשר יהיה להגשים את העקרון הזה אם לא במקרה שהמצפון מתנגד לחוק, בכל אופן במידה כזאת שתינתן הזכות לבית-הדין להתחשב במצפון. התקנה [שהוצעה] שוללת במפורש אפשרות כזאת, לפיכך אני שואל: באיזה אופן אפשר יהיה להגשים את העקרון היסודי הזה של המדינה? דומני שאם נשאיר את הסעיף ככתבו, הרי נבטל בכך את האפשרות הזאת ונעשה את העקרון פלסתר.”[17]

נציגי הוועדה, מנסחי החוק, לא הסכימו: הדבר “עלול להרוס את המשמעת בצבא.” ממש בדומה לתובע הצבאי במשפטם של החמשה, דרשו להבחין לחלוטין בין סרבני מצפון פציפיסטיים – שיש לאפשר להם שירות ללא נשק – לבין הפרת משמעת בסירוב לפקודות הצבא, שבה אין להכיר. הצעת התיקון נדחתה ברוב זעום.

ח”כ ורהפטיג לא ויתר ועשה ניסיון נוסף באוגוסט 1950, כאשר הובאו בפני הכנסת תיקונים נוספים לחוקת השיפוט תש”ח. ניכר כי הדבר היה בנפשו. בפעם הקודמת, אמר, נעדר מן הדיון ולצערו נדחה התיקון ברוב של קול אחד. אולי הפעם יתוספו הקולות החסרים (“לא נעשינו בעלי מצפון יותר,” זרק לו ח”כ יצחק בן אהרון).[18] על הנוסח הקיים הגן ח”כ מאיר גרבובסקי (ארגוב) ממפא”י, אשר בדיון קודם הזהיר את חברי-הכנסת מנטיות הומניסטיות בשעת חירום (“חכמים היזהרו בהומניזם זה!”). ורהפטיג הדגיש בדבריו עד כמה מתונה הצעתו, שכן אינו מעניק פטור אוטומטי מאחריות אלא מאפשר לבית-הדין לשקול, אם לפטור חיילים מאחריות פלילית למעשיהם, כאשר הם טוענים כי עשו אותם מטעמי מצפון. גרבובסקי התעלם מכך (ואולי לא הבחין בהבדל): “אין ליצור כעת תקדים ולהכניס לחוק אי-בהירות, שתהרוס למעשה כל משמעת בצבא.” התיקון לא התקבל.[19]

כך נכשל הנסיון לעגן בחוק את הסירוב מטעמי מצפון. עם זאת, הודות להתנגדותם של זרח ורהפטיג וחבריו, נשאר “סעיף המצפון” בתוקף (אין בידי לאתר מקרים בהם נעשה בו שימוש). הדיון בו התחדש ב-1954, כאשר הגישה הממשלה לכנסת את הצעת חוק השיפוט הצבאי החדש, שנועד להחליף את חוקת השיפוט תש”ח, על כל התיקונים שהוכנסו בה. הנואם השני בדיון היה ח”כ עו”ד נחום חת, האיש שערך את חוקת השיפוט. כבר בפתח דבריו העיר את תשומת לבם של חברי הכנסת להשמטת “עניין טעמי המצפון” מן החוק החדש.[20] ח”כ יצחק רפאל הבטיח מייד להיאבק על כך, ולמחרת, בישיבה הבאה – לאחר שבירך על שחרורו של סרבן המצפון אמנון זכרוני והציע שירות אזרחי חלופי עבור פציפיסטים – הציע להחזיר את סעיף המצפון הישן ולהרחיב אותו כך שיאפשר לפטור לחלוטין מעונש בשל עבירה שנעברה מטעמי מצפון.[21] אליו הצטרפו בישיבות הבאות גם ח”כ יעקב ריפתין (מפ”ם) וח”כ קלמן כהנא (פועלי אגודת ישראל) – שניהם מיוזמי סעיף 76 של חוקת השיפוט תש”ח.[22] פנחס רוזן, שר המשפטים, ענה להם, כשהוא מצביע על ניסוחו הפתלתל של הסעיף המקורי. הוא סירב להכיר בכל אי-ציון לפקודות מטעמי מצפון, אך שירטט “חזון, שלפיו סרבן, פאציפיסט, יישלח לשירות לאומי מיוחד, אחר, חמור, ואולי מסוכן”. ורהפטיג וריפתין הציעו שניהם לתקן את חוק השיפוט הצבאי ולהכיר בסירוב פקודה מטעמי מצפון. ורהפטיג חזר, תוך שינויים קלים, להצעתו המקורית לפטור חייל מאחריות, “אם המעשה שעשה והמהווה עבירה נעשה בגלל טעמי מצפון מוצדקים”. דווקא חובת הגיוס הכללית שאינה מכירה בפטור משירות מטעמי מצפון, כך טען, מחייבת להתחשב בטעמיהם המצפוניים של חיילים בשירות. אם בדבריו של ורהפטיג גלומה הכרה חשובה במתח בין פלורליזם חברתי לחובת הגיוס הכללית, הרי הצעתו של ריפתין ראויה לציון גם משום שהתבססה על הכרה בכבוד האדם. ריפתין הציע להכיר ב”צידוק מטעמי הגנה על הכבוד והמצפון” על מעשה שביצע חייל “כדי להגן על כבודו האנושי או על חופש מצפונו והשקפותיו.” שתי ההצעות נדחו.[23]

כך נעלם מחוק השיפוט הצבאי הישראלי ב-1955 השריד האחרון לחוקת תש”ח – האפשרות להקל בעונש כאשר נעברה עבירה מטעמי מצפון. בשנים שלאחר מכן ינסו משפטנים ישראלים לבקש הכרה בסירוב המצפוני בדרכים אחרות – באמצעות ניתוח הגדרת הפקודה הבלתי-חוקית, באמצעות הגנת הצורך ובהגנה על כבוד האדם. דברים מבוססים ומפורטים על כך אומרים המשפטנים בפרקים הבאים. אך חשוב לראות, כי היעדר הכרה חוקית מפורשת בזכות לסירוב מצפוני אינו מובן מאליו. הוא פרי דחייה מודעת של מסורות קיימות ושל הצעות חקיקה שהועלו עוד בראשית ימי מדינת ישראל. ההתעלמות המהדהדת מימין ומשמאל בפרלמנט הישראלי הראשון מטיעוניהם של כמה מחברי הכנסת הדתיים שופכת אור על נסיבות עיצובה של החברה הישראלית. לנגד עיניהם של אלה עמדו אומנם, בראש ובראשונה, מעשי סירוב לבצע פקודות הנוגדות את מצוות היהדות, אך בעקביות ראויה לציון ניסחו את הצעותיהם בלשון אוניברסלית, כשהם מצביעים על הצורך להציב גבולות לסמכויות הרשות ולפקודותיה ולהכיר במצפונם של אזרחים. על חזונו של בן-גוריון, לפיו יעצב הצבא את דמות העם (שבו קבע כי רוב העם “אינו עדיין מבחינה יהודית אלא אבק-אדם” ולכן יש “להתיך גלויות ועדות מרוחקות בתרבויותיהן ולעצב מחדש אומה אחידה”),[24] הגיב ח”כ זרח ורהפטיג באומרו, כי הדברים מעוררים בו פחד רב. במובן זה התייצבו הוא וחבריו כמגלמי מסורת, המציבה גבולות וסייגים למרות השלטון. מול מסורת זו ניצבה מדינת ישראל החדשה, שנמנעה מלתחום את גבולותיה הסופיים והעדיפה את הספָר הפרוץ על פני הגבול המוכר. ספר כזה גם הותירה פרוץ נוכח אזרחיה, בהימנעה מהכרה בזכותם לטעון שיש גבול – לשים סייג לצווי הרשות ולסרב מטעמי מצפון.

בתי קרבות

אין גבול – ואין ברירה. מרכיב מרכזי של מה שאפשר לכנות האידיאולוגיה הישראלית – לא אידיאולוגיה מנוסחת, אלא מערכת אמונות יומיומית – ניתן למצות בשתי מלים: אין ברירה. “אין ברירה” הכשיר את מדיניות ממשלות ישראל מאז היווסדן. אי-אפשר לעשות שלום. אי-אפשר להחזיר את הפליטים. אין עם מי לדבר. אין מה לעשות. כלומר: יש מה לעשות – את מה שצריך לעשות: להתכונן למלחמה הבאה, לסיבוב הבא.

הסירוב הוא אתגר לאין ברירה הרשמי. לא רק לכיבוש ולהתנחלות – אלא גם לאתוס המיליטריסטי, שלפיו טוב למות – ולהמית – בעד ארצנו. מבחינה זו, אף שיוני בן-ארצי הגדיר עצמו כפציפיסט ואילו החמשה העמידו במרכז את סירובם להפוך לחיילים של הכיבוש, לא זו בלבד שההתנגדות העקרונית לכיבוש וההתנחלות מאחדת את כל השישה, אלא שהסירוב לגווניו השונים – גם הסירוב הסלקטיבי וסרבנות הכיבוש – תורם לגיבושה של תרבות אזרחית, דמוקרטית ובלתי-אלימה בישראל. מטבע הדברים עוסק הספר רובו ככולו בסרבנות הכיבוש. דווקא משום כך ובגלל הנטייה הרווחת בישראל לפטור עמדות פציפיסטיות כמותרות שנועדו לימים טובים יותר, אין לטשטש את האתגר האנטי-מיליטריסטי הגלום בו.

צבאות – כל הצבאות – מגייסים ילדים. רק המוסכמות התרבותיות שלנו, התיחומים השרירותיים בין ילדים ומבוגרים, מאפשרים לנו להישאר שווי נפש נוכח העובדה, שבני 18 נשלחים להרוג ולהיהרג, ולהניח, כי הם שונים כל כך מאלה הצעירים מהם אך במעט, בני 16 או 14. צבאות העולם סומכים על הצעירים: סומכים עליהם, שלכל היותר יחשבו על המוות המופשט, ולא על הפציעה והנכות; סומכים עליהם (ועל משפחותיהם, ועל בתי-הספר, על מערכות הבניית הזהות המיגדרית, על הגדרות הגבריות הדומיננטיות) שיבקשו מן המדינה והצבא את האישור האולטימטיבי לגבריותם. והצבאות מצדם מוכנים ברצון לנפק אישורים כאלה, בתנאי שיתנו את גופם, את חייהם בתנאי שיסכימו לעשות לאחרים, את מה שאסור לבני-אדם לעשות זה לזה – להרוג, ויתנו לצבא לעשות מהם, מה שצבאות יודעים לעשות מבני-אדם, להפוך אותם לחיילים. קלאוס תֶוֶולַייט הראה, כיצד מתמסרים אנשים לזרועות המוסדות הממונים על ייצורה של אלימות מאורגנת בתקווה שאלה יבנו להם עטיפה יציבה, שריון זהות חלופי, נוקשה במקום העור האנושי הפגיע, החש.[25] בנסיבות כאלה, דרוש אומץ לב כדי לומר בפשטות, כפי שאומר זאת אדם מאור בדבריו בפני בית הדין הצבאי, שאנו ילדים. זהו האומץ להשיל את השריון, שבו עוטף הצבא את הבאים בשעריו. “אנחנו כבר נעשה ממך בן-אדם,” אומר הקצין. “רק תנו לי לטפל בך.” תנו לי לטפל בך – כדי שתלמד לטפל באחרים. איליין סקארי הזכירה, כי אלימות מאורגנת היא דרך אחת בין אחרות כדי ליצור בני-אדם מחדש – על-ידי הריסתם ופירוקם.[26] זהו המעגל שממנו מבקשים הסרבנים לצאת, כשהם מעזים להסיר מעליהם את השריון. יחד עם חברותיהם וחבריהם, הם בודקים את האפשרות להפוך לבני-אדם ללא מדים. וכאן יש משמעות מיוחדת לדבריו של יוני בן-ארצי, שמעז לכפור בעיקר – בהכרח להיות חייל. דבריו של יוני, דווקא כיוון שאינם מנוסחים כמניפסט אלא בלשון פשוטה, כמהלך של הבשלת הכרה והחלטה, הם אתגר חיוני לחברה, שהצבא נעשה לה טבע שני. כשקראתי אותם, חשבתי על הילד בשכונה – בן חמש, אולי שש – שהסביר לי פעם, מה יעשה כשיהיה גדול: “כשאגדל, אלך לבית-ספר. ואחר-כך לצבא, ואחר-כך אני ימות ואחר-כך אני יתחתן ויהיה לי גם אוטו”.

הקשיבו ליוני בן-ארצי מתאר את הרושם שהותיר בו שדה הקטל של ורדן, שם נהרגו מאות אלפים במלחמת העולם הראשונה: “אני יכול לשער שבשביל אנשים שהשתתפו שם בקרב, זו לחימה חשובה. אבל אם מסתכלים על זה מפרספקטיבה של זמן, רואים שזה היה קרב שבו לא זזו במשך שנה. הם ישבו בחפירות, אלה כאן ואלה שם וכתשו אחד את השני.” מה בין שדות הקטל של מלחמת העולם הראשונה לנופי המקום הזה ולמלחמותיו? מן הצד הישראלי, שום מלחמה בשורת המלחמות הארוכה, שאין לה סוף, עדיין לא נראתה כך (המוני קורבנות המלחמה הערבים נשכחו מן התודעה הציבורית בישראל – מי זוכר עוד למשל את ערי התעלה ההרוסות מ”מלחמת ההתשה”, את שיירות הפליטים ממבצע “ענבי זעם”?). ובכל זאת, המבט המרוחק של יוני, מבטו של מי שמגיע לאחר שנים רבות למקום הקטל ומנסה לשאול, על מה נהרגו והרגו אנשים זה את זה, לוכד משהו חשוב. במקום להיעצר במבצע החיסול הקודם או במכת המנע הבאה, הוא מתבונן במכלול כולו – במלחמה המתמשכת, שאין לה סוף, ומציב סימן שאלה לגביה. בארץ הזאת יושבים כבר שנים רבות “אלה כאן ואלה שם” וכותשים אחד את השני. משהו שראה יוני בוורדן אכן תופס לגבי המציאות שבה אנו חיים כאן. וכך אומר פרוטוקול המשפט:

כשבאים לשם רואים גם היום, שמונים שנה אחרי, גבעות מרוטשות שעליהן כבר גדלו צמחים, רואים עדות לפגזים שנפלו, רואים אזור שלם של קילומטרים רבועים רבים של אדמה הפוכה. כל האזור מלא בבתי קרבות מהתקופה ההיא. גם צרפתים וגם גרמנים, עם בית קרבות אחד מרכזי.

טעות ההקלדה תוקנה; ‘בתי הקרבות’ חזרו והפכו ל’בתי קברות’, כיאה וכיאות. אך במציאות, הם עדיין מתגלגלים אלה באלה – לא רק הקרבות ממשיכים למלא את הקברים, גם קברי המתים, במיוחד הקדושים שבהם, ממשיכים לתבוע קרבות וקורבנות חדשים.

מסורת הסירוב

ראשיתה של המסורת הפציפיסטית בתוככי החברה היהודית בארץ בתנועת “ברית שלום”, שנוסדה ב-1925. נתן חופשי, אחד מחבריה הוותיקים, הקים ב-1947 את אגודת סרבני המלחמה מטעמי מצפון בארץ-ישראל. מבין חבריה, מקרה הסירוב הראשון שזכה לתהודה ציבורית רבה היה זה של אמנון זכרוני, אשר סירב ב-1953. לאחר מאסרים חוזרים ונשנים, פתח זכרוני בסוף מאי 1954 בשביתת רעב; כשלושה שבועות לאחר מכן, בעקבות עצומות ומכתבים לשחרורו, קוצר עונשו. הוא שירת כמה חודשים בהג”א ללא מדים עד ששוחרר מן הצבא. סרבני גיוס דרוזים (כגון האני חסונה, ב-1956) וחרדים גילו, כי כאשר פנו לבתי-המשפט, אימצו אלה את הגירסה, לפיה אין זכות לסירוב מצפוני והדברים נתונים לשיקול דעתן של הרשויות. בשנות הששים נתנו פעילים כישעיהו תומא-שי”ק (כמזכיר הסניף הישראלי של התנועה הבינלאומית של סרבני מלחמה (War Resisters International) ועמוס גבירץ לתנועה הקטנה של סרבני המלחמה כיוון פוליטי רדיקלי יותר וקשרו אותה במאבק נגד הכיבוש.

דווקא המלחמות – שאמורות היו לשמש כדבק מלכד לחברה המגויסת – הביאו בעקבותיהן גם משברים פוליטיים, ערעורים על צדקת הדרך ומעשי סירוב. מקרי סירוב בודדים התרחשו במהלך המלחמות ממש. רק מעטים מהם תועדו ורבים מהם מצויים בתחום האפור – התחמקות ממילוי פקודות, ניסיון להשפיע על מהלכן, ויכוח פומבי על הצדקתן ולעתים – החלטת המפקדים המקומיים להרחיק את עושי הצרות מזירת הלחימה. ב”מלחמת סיני”, אותה יזמה ישראל יחד עם בריטניה וצרפת, שביקשו להחזיר לעצמן את השליטה בתעלת סואץ ולהפיל את משטרו של גמאל עבד אל-נאצר, נמצאו חיילים – כמה מהם קצינים – שסירבו להילחם, אך הדבר לא נודע בציבור.[27] ימיה של ‘מלכות ישראל השלישית’ עליה הכריז דוד בן-גוריון לאחר הניצחון, היו קצרים, וישראל נאלצה לסגת מסיני תחת הלחץ הבינלאומי.

המלחמה הביאה עמה גם את הטבח בכפר-קאסם (29 באוקטובר 1956), שבו נטבחו 49 פלסטינים – ילדים, נשים וגברים בלתי-חמושים – על-ידי חיילי משמר הגבול, שנשלחו לאכוף את העוצר שהוטל עם פרוץ המלחמה. [28]בפסק הדין המפורסם בעניין, בית-הדין הצבאי לא רק התיר אלא אף דרש מחיילים לסרב לפקודה בלתי-חוקית בעליל. הגדרת הפקודה הבלתי-חוקית בעליל ככזו שאי-חוקיותה אינה פורמלית בלבד, אלא כזו “הדוקרת את העין ומקוממת את הלב, כאשר העין אינה עיוורת והלב אינו אטום ומושחת”, נתפסה כהכשר להפעיל קריטריונים מוסריים לבחינת חוקיותן של פקודות ולסרב למלאן, כאשר “דגל שחור” מתנוסס עליהן. בית-הדין הצבאי לערעורים קבע, כי המבחן לפקודה בלתי-חוקית בעליל הוא “הרגשת החוקיות הצפונה במעמקי מצפונו של כל אדם באשר הוא אדם” ו”חובה על כל חייל לבחון לפי קול מצפונו את חוקיות הפקודות הניתנות לו”.[29] מצד אחר, הגדרה זו נתפסה בסופו של דבר כהגדרה מצמצמת, המתירה לחיילים לסרב אך ורק לאותן פקודות שאי-חוקיותן ברורה בעליל, בעודם חייבים לציית לפקודות בלתי חוקיות. הדגשת החובה יוצאת-הדופן לציית לפקודות בלתי-חוקיות והגדרתה של הפקודה הבלתי-חוקית בעליל כמעין מצב גבול קיצוני, שחיילים מתקשים להעלות על דעתם כיצד יתממש במציאות, הפכו בפועל את ההנחיה כולה לאות מתה כמעט, שמשמעותה הסמלית ניכרת הרבה יותר מזו המעשית. בצד הזעזוע שעורר המשפט, החנינות להן זכו הרוצחים וחמיקתו של הקצין הבכיר מעונש לא תרמו להתבססות הכרה ציבורית בזכות הסירוב. אותם מפקדים שנמנעו ממילוי הפקודה אשר הובילה לטבח לא סירבו לה במפורש אלא התעלמו ממנה או התחמקו מביצועה.

גם מעשי סירוב אינדיבידואליים ב-1967 התפרסמו רק שנים לאחר מכן. אחד המשמעותיים שבהם התרחש בשעת הנסיון לגרש את תושבי הערים הפלסטיניות קלקיליה וטול-כרם בשלהי המלחמה. הריסת העיר קלקיליה וגירוש תושביה נעצרו לאחר שכבר התחילו. לא היתה זו פקודת הגירוש היחידה. על סירובו לקחת חלק בנסיון לגרש את תושבי טול-כרם וענבתא סיפר רענן לוריא, מפקד פלוגה שמונה ב-7 ביוני 1967 למושל הצבאי של ענבתא, שלושים שנה לאחר מכן לעתונאי גדעון לוי:

“אחרי שנחתם כתב הכניעה [של ענבתא], מספר לוריא, יצא אל הרחוב. התמונה שראה הדהימה אותו: עשרות אוטובוסים של אגד ודן. ‘מוטקה טחן [סגן מפקד הגדוד] ושלמה גונן באו אלי. גונן היה בית”רי, בחור הגון וישר, והם אמרו: ‘אתה צריך להעמיס את כל התושבים על האוטובוסים. מעבירים אותם לצד השני של הירדן’. אני מסתכל מסביב ורואה משפחות שיוצאות עם מזרונים ועם ילדים קטנים, מחכות על המדרכות. אני אומר לטחן: ‘מוטקה, אני לא מסוגל לזה’. מוטקה אומר: ‘אתה צריך להעלות את כולם לאוטובוסים’. שוב חזרתי: ‘מוטקה, אתה לא מבין אותי. אני לא מסוגל לעשות את זה.’ היו לי אז שלושה ילדים קטנים בבית, בדיוק כמו הילדים שעל המדרכות.

מוטקה תופס אותי בכתף, מסיט אותי הצידה ולוחש: ‘רענן, מה שאתה עושה עכשיו זה סירוב פקודה בתנאי קרב.’ התרתחתי. אחרי מה שעברתי בבוקר, בדרך לצומת [ראמין, ליד טול-כרם], אני מקבל הרצאה על סירוב פקודה בתנאי קרב בגלל העמסת ילדים קטנים על אוטובוסים. אמרתי למוטקה: ‘אל תבלבל לי את המוח עם תנאי קרב. אני בהחלט מסרב למלא פקודה’.

כולנו היינו חברים בגדוד. שלמה גונן, שהרגיש שיש כאן דרמה, התקרב ואמר: ‘מה הבעיה, אני אטפל בזה. אני אעלה אותם על האוטובוסים. לרענן יש עיסוקים אחרים כמושל צבאי’.”

רענן לוריא לא נשפט על סירובו וקיבל למחרת צו שחרור. לוריא בירר, מה התרחש באיזור לאחר שעזב. “להערכתו, כ-7,000 מתושבי טול כרם וענבתא כבר הועלו על האוטובוסים. קצתם הורדו על הכביש הראשי, בואכה שכם, אחרים הובאו עד לנהר. ‘הכל היה תלוי במסירותם של נהגי האוטובוסים. אלה שמיהרו לחזור הביתה — הורידו את התושבים בדרך. אלה שלקחו את הג’וב ברצינות נסעו עד לירדן וגם דאגו שהנוסעים יחצו אותו’.”[30]

כאן, כבמקרי סירוב אחרים בשעת מלחמה, ברור כי יכולתם של קצינים לשנות את מהלך הדברים בשעת מעשה גדולה יותר מזו של חיילים פשוטים; הצבא נמנע מהעמדתם לדין ומעביר אותם מתפקידם. מכאן קל למתוח קו ישר אל התנגדותו של אל”מ אלי גבע (ובאופן אחר – של עמרם מצנע) במהלך פלישת ישראל ללבנון ב-1982 לתוכנית לפרוץ למערב ביירות. גבע לא סירב פקודה אלא ביקש לשחררו משירות כמפקד. הוא טען, כי הפריצה תביא לשפיכות דמים מיותרת של אזרחים לבנוניים וחיילים ישראליים, ונראה שהתנגדותו מילאה תפקיד חשוב במניעתה.[31] אלי גבע עצמו סולק מתפקידו ושירותו הצבאי נפסק. כאן, בניגוד למקרים הקודמים, התנגדותם של קצינים לביצוע פקודות נודעה ברבים ומילאה תפקיד מפתח בויכוח הציבורי על הלגיטימיות של הפלישה ללבנון, מלחמת יש ברירה.

בצד מקרי הסירוב הבודדים קיימים מקרים רבים של חיילים, שהיו עדים או השתתפו במעשים שלא ייעשו במהלך לחימה והעידו לאחר מכן על הדברים. ברור שמילוי פקודות המלווה בלבטים ובייסורים לאחר מעשה הפך פעמים רבות לטקס קבוע, להוכחה למצפוניותם של חיילים – המאפשרת להם להימנע מאחריות למעשיהם: יורים ובוכים, מיטהרים וחוזרים. [32] אך אין גם לזלזל בכנותם של חיילים, שמצאו עצמם לוקחים חלק בפשעי מלחמה, נשברו, בכו – ולעתים העידו. כך למשל קרה בשעת גירוש תושבי שלושת הכפרים יאלו, בית נובה ועמואס (ליד לטרון) והרס הכפרים לאחר כיבושם ביוני 1967, שאותו תיאר עמוס קינן:

“מפקד הפלוגה אמר שאת שלושת הכפרים בגיזרה הוחלט לפוצץ, וזאת מסיבות אסטרטגיות, טאקטיות, ביטחוניות. ראשית, ליישר את האצבע של לטרון, שנית להעניש את קיני המרצחים, שלישית, למנוע מהמסתננים בעתיד בסיס. […] נאמר לנו שתפקידנו לסרוק את בתי הכפר, שאם נמצא אנשים לא מזויינים יש לתת להם שהות לאריזת המטלטלים ואחר לומר להם ללכת לבית סורא, כפר לא רחוק. ועוד נאמר לנו, להתייצב במבואות הכפר ולמנוע כניסת תושבים החוזרים ממחבואיהם לאחר ששמעו את קריאתנו ברדיו אליהם, לחזור בשלום אל כפריהם. ההוראה היתה לירות מעל לראשיהם ולומר להם לא להיכנס לכפר. […]

במחי בולדוזר אחד נעקרו הברושים, הזיתים; תוך עשר דקות היה הבית לחורבה, על החפצים והרכוש המועט שבתוכו. לאחר שנהרסו שלושה בתים, הגיעה שיירת הפליטים הראשונה מכיוון רמאללה.

לא ירינו באוויר. נערכנו לחיפוי, ודוברי הערבית ניגשו אליהם למסור להם את ההוראות. היו שם זקנים שהלכו בקושי, זקנות ממלמלות, תינוקות בזרועות אמהותיהם, ילדים קטנים. הילדים בכו והתחננו למים. השיירה הניפה דגלים לבנים. אמרנו להם ללכת לבית סורא. הם אמרו לנו שמכל מקום מגרשים אותם ולאף מקום לא נותנים להם להיכנס, שכבר ארבעה ימים הם הולכים בדרכים בלי אוכל, בלי מים, שכמה מהם מתו. […] הילדים בכו וכמה חיילים שלנו פרצו בבכי.”[33]

בכיים של החיילים הוא גם ביטוי לתחושת חוסר-אונים. לעתים היתרגמה לעדות על המעשים – ולפעמים אלה שהתלבטו והתייסרו בשעת מעשה, הם שסירבו בפעם הבאה (כך למשל בולטת העבודה, שבקרב סרבני האינתיפאדה השנייה שהסבירו את החלטתם, לא מעטים נימקו זאת במה שעברו בעודם צעירים יותר במהלך האינתיפאדה הראשונה). אך מיגבלות האפשרות להשפיע על מהלך הדברים בשעת מעשה היו מניע חשוב בהחלטתם של רבים לפנות לדרך הסירוב הסלקטיבי – לנסיון לקבוע מראש, חרף כל הקשיים הכרוכים בכך – גבולות למעשים שאותם יהיו מוכנים לעשות במסגרת שירותם הצבאי.

ביטויים ראשונים לכך הופיעו בשנות השבעים הראשונות, ככל שהלך והתחוור, כי הכיבוש אינו עניין זמני, כי הוא כרוך בדיכוי מסיבי ומוביל למלחמות נוספות. סירובה העיקש של ממשלת ישראל לוותר על מה שכונה עדיין “השטחים המוחזקים” ולהיענות ליוזמות שלום שעלולות להוביל לנסיגה מהם, הולידו את מכתב השמיניסטים הראשון (28 אפריל 1970). לא בכדי, הפיסקה שעוררה שערוריה במכתבם של שמואל שם-טוב וחבריו היתה זו שבה רמזו לגיוסם הקרוב: “איננו יודעים אם נהיה מסוגלים לבצע את המוטל עלינו בצבא תחת הסיסמה ‘אין ברירה’.”

המכתב עצמו לא הוביל לסירוב, אך הדיון הציבורי בשאלה, האם יש ברירה, נפתח – במיוחד על רקע מעשי הדיכוי ברצועת עזה והנישול ההמוני של עשרות אלפים לצורך בניית ההתנחלויות בפיתחת רפיח. באוגוסט 1971 שלחו ארבעה צעירים מכתב לשר הביטחון שבו הודיעו, כי אינם מוכנים לשרת בצבא כובש. “כיבוש פירושו שלטון זר, שלטון זר פירושו תנועת התנגדות, תנועת התנגדות פירושה דיכוי, דיכוי פירושו טרור וטרור נגדי”, כתבו, כהד לדבריה החותכים של המודעה הידועה נגד הכיבוש, שהתפרסמה בספטמבר 1967, אותה יזמו כמה פעילי מצפן – הארגון הסוציאליסטי הישראלי.[34] גיורא נוימן עמד במריו וסירב להישבע שבועת אמונים לצבא. הוא נכלא למספר תקופות מאסר קצרות, לפני שהועמד למשפט ביוני 1972 ונדון לשמונה חודשי מאסר. לקראת תום השליש השני של מאסרו החלו מגעים להשגת פשרה עם רשויות הצבא. נוימן חתם על שבועת אמונים יוצאת-דופן, שלה נוסף על פי דרישתו הסייג המשמעותי: “לא אשתתף ולא אקח חלק בשום צורה במעשי הכיבוש ובפעולות המלחמה שאותם אני שולל בתוקף ונוגדים את מצפוני.” הוא שוחרר מן הכלא בנובמבר 1972 ושירת בצבא ללא נשק.

בצד הסירוב לשרת בצבא הכיבוש, החלו דיונים בקרב רבים ממתנגדי הכיבוש – במיוחד בקרב פעילי שי”ח (שמאל ישראלי חדש) – בדבר סירוב סלקטיבי: סירוב לשרת בשטחים הכבושים. אליהם הצטרפו פעילי שמאל, חלקם חברי המפלגה הקומוניסטית. כך נאסרו במהלך שנת 1973 לתקופות מאסר קצרות יצחק לאור, יוסי כותן, יוסי חן וגדי גדעון. יצחק לאור, שסירב בינואר 1973 לשרת בסיני, היה עד לנישול 16 משפחות ליד היאחזות נח”ל סיני, ליד אל-עריש. ברקע סירובו של יוסי חן באפריל 1973 עומדים מעשי הזוועה להם היה עד במהלך שירותו הצבאי ברצועת עזה, עליהם פיקד אלוף פיקוד דרום דאז, אריאל שרון.[35]

בתוך כך הלך הצבא וגיבש מעין נוהל משלו כדי להתמודד עם התופעה. במקום להכריז עליה מלחמת חורמה, ניסה להסדיר אותה – ולנטרל את המחאה שבבסיסה. זמן קצר לאחר כיבוש הגדה המערבית, רמת הגולן וסיני החלו חיילים לנסות להימנע משירות בשטחים הכבושים. במקרים לא מועטים הצליחו לעשות זאת בהסכמת דרגי הפיקוד הנמוכים. לעתים פנו לרשויות הצבא העליונות בבקשה לפטור אותם מכך מטעמי מצפון, ובמקרים בודדים נעתר הצבא לבקשתם (במקרהו של דורון וילנר – כבר במרס 1971). עתה, כנראה במענה לאתגר של סרבני הכיבוש, גובש נוהל חדש, שנודע אך למעטים. סרבני כיבוש פנו לרשויות הצבא או למשרד הביטחון בבקשה לפטור אותם משירות צבאי בשטחים הכבושים. לא תמ