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Tag Archives: Middle Eastern Politics

Egypt

PUBLIC MEETING ON THE UPRISINGS IN NORTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

The Egyptian and Tunisian governments have already fallen, while those in Yemen and Bahrain are on the brink. Meanwhile Qaddafi is waging war on the Libyan people and mass protests are sparking off from Iran and Iraq to Algeria and Mauritania. Only a few months ago nobody could have predicted the intensity and the dimension of these uprisings, which are challenging hegemonic, culturalist and traditional assumptions about the politics of the region. Nor could anyone have foreseen the resonances that these movements would have across the world.

The uprisings pose far-reaching questions: What are we to make of the confluence of two “youths” united by an absent future, one educated and “middle class”, one banished to the slum periphery? What about the connection between these unemployed youth and the striking workers of Egypt? And what of the women who have played such a central role in these movements?

This meeting will feature speakers from the region with a critical analysis of the uprisings, plus a discussion of the implications of the movements for struggles in the United States, and for our understanding of revolutionary practice in the Twenty-first Century.

Confirmed speakers: Benoît Challand, Amr Ragab, Arya Zahedi. 

Friday March 11th, 7pm

The Commons Brooklyn

388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

See: http://thearabrevolts.info/

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Gaza

THE PUNISHMENT OF GAZA – GIDEON LEVY

THE PUNISHMENT OF GAZA

By GIDEON LEVY

Published AUGUST 2010, VERSO

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LONDON EVENTS:

Sunday 6th March 2011

2pm – Gideon Levy in conversation with Johann Hari. Jewish Book Week 2011.

Booking and more details here: http://www.versobooks.com/events/106-gideon-levy-in-conversation-with-johann-hari

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/is-gideon-levy-the-most-hated-man-in-israel-or-just-the-most-heroic-2087909.html

Monday 7th March 2011

7pm – Israeli Society and the Occupation. Public lecture at LSE Middle East Centre. More details here:  http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2011/20110307t1800vD402.aspx

DUBLIN EVENT

Wednesday 9th March 2011

7pm – Public lecture and book launch organized by Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, at Trinity College, Dublin. More details here: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98949

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Praise for THE PUNISHMENT OF GAZA:

“There are more terrible atrocities in the world than what is being done to the caged prisoners of Gaza, but it is not easy to think of a more cruel and cowardly exhibition of human savagery, fully supported by the US, with Europe trailing politely behind. Gideon Levy’s passionate and revealing account is an eloquent, even desperate, call to bring this shocking tragedy to an end, as can easily be done.” – Noam Chomsky

“The story of Gideon Levy—and the attempt to deride, suppress or deny his words—is the story of Israel distilled. If he loses, Israel itself is lost.” – Johann Hari, INDEPENDENT http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/is-gideon-levy-the-most-hated-man-in-israel-or-just-the-most-heroic-2087909.html

“An Israeli dedicated to saving his country’s honour.” – Nick Lezard, GUARDIAN

“Levy has a way with words that leads him to some brilliant indictments of Israel.” – ELECTRONIC INTIFADA http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11173.shtml 

“Levy has made it his exclusive mission … to document the grim and brutal facts of the occupation, to tell the stories he knows Israelis do not want to hear … To this shiny nation—democratic, prosperous, confident in its righteousness—Levy holds up Gaza like a mirror.” – Ben Ehrenreich, Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/154140/book-amos-gideon-levy 

“Gideon Levy is among a small group of Israeli journalists giving a face and a voice to Palestinians in the world’s most intractable conflict.” – MONTREAL GAZETTE

“Levy … deals with the politically and emotionally charged subject of the hardships of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, and their conflicts with the Israeli military and Jewish settlers.” –rabble.ca: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/amjohal/2010/09/moral-blindness-interview-gideon-levy

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PAST IS PRESENT: SETTLER COLONIALISM MATTERS!

UPDATE 18th FEBRUARY 2011

SOAS Palestine Society Conference Organizing Collective

On 5-6 March 2011, the Palestine Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London will hold its seventh annual conference, “Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine. ” This year’s conference aims to understand Zionism as a settler colonial project which has, for more than a century, subjected Palestine and Palestinians to a structural and violent form of destruction, dispossession, land appropriation and erasure in the pursuit of a new Jewish Israeli society. By organizing this conference, we hope to reclaim and revive the settler colonial paradigm and to outline its potential to inform and guide political strategy and mobilization.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is often described as unique and exceptional with little resemblance to other historical or ongoing colonial conflicts. Yet, for Zionism, like other settler colonial projects such as the British colonization of Ireland or European settlement of North America, South Africa or Australia, the imperative is to control the land and its resources — and to displace the original inhabitants. Indeed, as conference keynote speaker Patrick Wolfe, one of the foremost scholars on settler colonialism and professor at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia, argues, “the logic of this project, a sustained institutional tendency to eliminate the Indigenous population, informs a range of historical practices that might otherwise appear distinct — invasion is a structure not an event.”

Therefore, the classification of the Zionist movement as a settler colonial project, and the Israeli state as its manifestation, is not merely intended as a statement on the historical origins of Israel, nor as a rhetorical or polemical device. Rather, the aim is to highlight Zionism’s structural continuities and the ideology which informs Israeli policies and practices in Palestine and toward Palestinians everywhere. Thus, the Nakba — whether viewed as a spontaneous, violent episode in war, or the implementation of a preconceived master plan — should be understood as both the precondition for the creation of Israel and the logical outcome of Zionist settlement in Palestine.

Moreover, it is this same logic that sustains the continuation of the Nakba today. As remarked by Benny Morris, “had he [David Ben Gurion] carried out full expulsion–rather than partial–he would have stabilised the State of Israel for generations.”[ii] Yet, plagued by an “instability”–defined by the very existence of the Palestinian nation–Israel continues its daily state practices in its quest to fulfil Zionism’s logic to maximize the amount of land under its control with the minimum number of Palestinians on it. These practices take a painful array of manifestations: aerial and maritime bombardment, massacre and invasion, house demolitions, land theft, identity card confiscation, racist laws and loyalty tests, the wall, the siege on Gaza, cultural appropriation, and the dependence on willing (or unwilling) native collaboration and security arrangements, all with the continued support and backing of imperial power.

Despite these enduring practices however, the settler colonial paradigm has largely fallen into disuse. As a paradigm, it once served as a primary ideological and political framework for all Palestinian political factions and trends, and informed the intellectual work of committed academics and revolutionary scholars, both Palestinians and Jews.

The conference thus asks where and why the settler colonial paradigm was lost, both in scholarship on Palestine and in politics; how do current analyses and theoretical trends that have arisen in its place address present and historical realities? While acknowledging the creativity of these new interpretations, we must nonetheless ask: when exactly did Palestinian natives find themselves in a “post-colonial” condition? When did the ongoing struggle over land become a “post-conflict” situation? When did Israel become a “post-Zionist” society? And when did the fortification of Palestinian ghettos and reservations become “state-building”?

Such an alignment would expand the tools available to Palestinians and their solidarity movement, and reconnect the struggle to its own history of anti-colonial internationalism. At its core, this internationalism asserts that the Palestinian struggle against Zionist settler colonialism can only be won when it is embedded within, and empowered by, the broader Arab movement for emancipation and the indigenous, anti-racist and anti-colonial movement-from Arizona to Auckland.

SOAS Palestine Society invites everyone to join us at what promises to be a significant intervention in Palestine activism and scholarship.

For over 30 years, SOAS Palestine Society has heightened awareness and understanding of the Palestinian people, their rights, culture, and struggle for self-determination, amongst students, faculty, staff, and the broader public. SOAS Palestine Society aims to continuously push the frontiers of discourse in an effort to make provocative arguments and to stimulate debate and organizing for justice in Palestine through relevant conferences, and events ranging from the intellectual and political impact of Edward Said’s life and work (2004), international law and the Palestine question (2005), the economy of Palestine and its occupation (2006), the one state (2007), 60 Years of Nakba, 60 Years of Resistance (2009), and most recently, the Left in Palestine (2010).

For more information on the SOAS Palestine Society 7th Annual Conference, Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine: http://www.soaspalsoc.org

SOAS Palestine Society Organizing Collective is a group of committed students that has undertaken to organize annual academic conferences on Palestine since 2003.

First published on: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/661/past-is-present_settler-colonialism-matters
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[i] Patrick Wolfe, Settler Colonialism and the Transformation of Anthropology: The Politics and Poetics of an Ethnographic Event, Cassell, London, p. 163

[ii] Interview with Benny Morris, Survival of the Fittest, Haaretz, 9 – January 2004: http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/php/art.php?aid=5412

 Original Post, Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine (including a detailed programme of the event), 25th January 2011, is at: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/past-is-present-settler-colonialism-in-palestine/

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Gaza

PAST IS PRESENT: SETTLER COLONIALISM IN PALESTINE

7th Annual Conference
5- 6 March | Brunei Gallery | School of Oriental and African Studies – London

Organised by SOAS Palestine Society and hosted by the London Middle East Institute

For over a century, Zionism has subjected Palestine and Palestinians to a structural and violent form of destruction, dispossession, land appropriation, and erasure in the pursuit of a new colonial Israeli society. Too often, this Palestine ‘Question’ has been framed as unique; a national, religious, and/or liberation struggle with little semblance to colonial conflicts elsewhere. The two-day conference, Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine, seeks to reclaim settler colonialism as the central paradigm from which to understand Palestine. It asks: what are the socio-political, economic and spatial processes and mechanisms of settler colonialism in Palestine, and what are the logics underpinning it? By unearthing the histories and geographies of the Palestinian experience of settler colonialism, this conference does not only chart possibilities for understanding Palestine within comparative settler colonial analyses. Rather, it also seeks to break open frameworks binding Palestine, re-align the Palestinian movement within a universal history of decolonisation, and imagine new possibilities for Palestinian resistance, solidarity and common struggle.

Day One: Saturday, 5th March 2011

Registration and Refreshments: 9.00-9.30

Opening and Keynote: 9.30-10.15
Hassan Hakimian – London Middle East Institute

Not Another Racism: Zionism, a Logic of Elimination
Patrick Wolfe – La Trobe University

Session One – Empire, Settler Colonialism and Zionism: 10.45-12.15

Chair: Nelida Fuccaro – School of Oriental and African Studies

Playing the Zionist Card: The British Empire and the Middle East
John Newsinger – Bath Spa University

Literature of Settler Societies: Albert Camus, S. Yizhar, and Amos Oz
Gabriel Piterberg – University of California, Los Angeles

The Settler Colonialism Paradigm and its History in Revolutionary Palestinian Resistance Literature: Poetry and Politics
Naseer Aruri – University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Refreshments: 12.15-12.30

Session Two – Zionism Destroys to Replace: 12.30-14.00

Chair: Laleh Khalili – School of Oriental and African Studies

The Palestinian Labour Market and the Politics of Zionist Settler Colonialism
Gershon Shafir – University of California, San Diego

The Erasure of the Native
Ilan Pappe – University of Exeter

The Second Phase of the Settler Colonial Conquest of Palestine: The 1967 Allon Plan and the Search for a Zionist ‘Settlement’
Gilbert Achcar – School of Oriental and African Studies

Lunch: 14.00-14.45

Session Three – Zionism Controls the Native: 14.45-16.15

Chair: Ruba Salih – School of Oriental and African Studies

Chronicles of a Cultural Destruction: The Appropriation of Palestinian Knowledge during the 1948 War
Gish Amit – Ben-Gurion University

Indigenous Citizens and the Contradictions of Status amongst Palestinians in Israel
As’ad Ghanem – Ibn Khaldun, The Arab Association for Research and Development

Frontier Wars and Robotic Colonisation
Eyal Weizman – Goldsmiths College

Refreshments: 16.15-16.30

Session Four – A Political Economy of Settler Colonialism: 16.30-18.00

Chair: Elisa van Waeyenberge – School of Oriental and African Studies

A ‘Bad Lot’? Palestinian Businessmen and the British Colonial State
Sherene Seikaly – American University of Cairo

The Exploitation of the Palestinian Economy by Israel
Shir Hever – Alternative Information Center

Palestinian Capitalism, Regional Accumulation Processes and Implications for Liberation Strategy
Adam Hanieh – School of Oriental and African Studies

Day Two: Sunday 6th March 2011

Registration and Refreshments: 10.30-11.00

Keynote: 11.00-12.00

Letter from Gaza: On Colonialism, Capitalism and Resistance
Rabah Mohanna – Palestinian Legislative Council, Gaza

Session Five – Indigenous Life and the Reverberations of Settler Colonialism: 12.00-13.30

Chair: Lori Allen – University of Cambridge

Counterfeit Citizenship: On the Politics of Property in Nahr El-Bared
Monika Halkort – Queen’s University, Belfast

Ethnic Cleansing in the Naqab: The Razings of the Bedouin Village of Al-‘Araqib
Mansour Nsasra – University of Exeter

Policing, Self-Policing and Indigenous Collaboration
Mouin Rabbani – Institute of Palestine Studies

Lunch: 13.30-14.30

Session Six – Overcoming Zionism, Dismantling Settler Colonialism:  14.30-16.00

Chair: Jan Jananayagam – Tamils Against Genocide

Decolonising Settler Colonialisms
Lorenzo Veracini – Swinburne University of Technology

The Power and Pitfalls of a Support Movement: Campaigning Against the Jewish National Fund
Selma James – International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Towards Common Liberation
Mezna Qato – University of Oxford

Refreshments: 16.00-16.15

Roundtable – Unsettling (Settler) Colonialism: 16.15-18.15

Tickets

Please note SEATS ARE LIMITED – book in advance

Price: £30 (£20 concessions, and £40 organisations) – all tickets include lunch and refreshments

To buy your tickets Online at: – http://www.soaspalsoc.org

By cheque: Send cheques payable to SOAS Palestine Society with attached note of email address to: SOAS Palestine Society, Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG

Location:
SOAS Brunei Gallery
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG

Contact:
palestineconference@gmail.com
http://www.soaspalsoc.org

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HISTORICAL MATERIALISM MIDDLE EAST SPECIAL ISSUE

EXTENDED CALL FOR PAPERS

Historical Materialism has extended the deadline for proposal submissions to its special issue on the Middle East, conceived broadly to include: the Arab world from the Atlantic to the Gulf, Israel/Palestine, Iran and Turkey. The new deadline for abstracts is the 10th of November 2010.

HM is a Marxist journal, appearing four times a year, based in London. HM asserts that, notwithstanding the variety of its practical and theoretical articulations, Marxism constitutes the most fertile conceptual framework for analysing social phenomena with an eye to their overhaul. In its selection of materials, HM does not favour any one tendency, tradition or variant of Marxism.

In the contemporary period, the Middle East remains a key flashpoint of global politics, rent by occupation, imperialism and the fallout of global economic crisis. In this context the insights of Marxism, in all its variations, could provide a much-needed corrective to the a-historical and elite-focused theorizing that typifies analysis of the Middle East. Aiming to publish such analysis, the HM special issue will unite a range of innovative Marxist work on the Middle East across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, to reflect critically  on the region’s social, political and economic development.

Having received a number of excellent submissions already, contributions are invited on topics such as the following:

• The historical development and contemporary political economy of the Middle East particularly the Gulf and the Arab world outside of Palestine, embracing the development of neo-liberalism, new confluences of capital and capital- state relationships.     

• Questions of regime transition in authoritarian states and the role of workers and contemporary social movements.   

• A comparative analysis of the social and political struggle of women across different countries in the Middle East. 

• Patterns of migrant-worker flows in the Middle East, the role of remittances in national economies, and the potential forms of organizing in these migrant communities in the region.

• Urbanism and the politics of space in the cities of the Middle East.     

• Assessments of developments in Marxist theory or of the work of prominent Marxists within the region

Potential contributors are invited to submit a short abstract (max.  200 words) outlining the key arguments of their prospective paper to Jamie Allinson, Sebastian Budgen and Adam Hanieh at: historicalmaterialism@soas.ac.uk  by November 10, 2010. Final papers (max. 12,000 words length) will be expected to be submitted by 1 May 2011 and the journal will be published in early 2012.

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ARABS AND ISRAELIS FACING THE HOLOCAUST AND THE NAKBA

LONDON MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE

School of Oriental and African Studies

TUESDAY EVENING LECTURE PROGRAMME ON

THE CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EAST: AUTUMN 2010

The LMEI’s Tuesday Lecture on 19 October will take the form of a panel debate on the subject of Gilbert Achcar’s book The Arabs and the Holocaust, please see below for details.

ORGANISED IN ASSOCIATION WITH SAQI BOOKS

Arabs and Israelis Facing the Holocaust and the Nakba

Gilbert Achcar, SOAS

Nur Masalha, Centre for Religion and History and the Holy Land Research Project, St Mary’s University College, University of Surrey

Idith Zertal, Institute for Jewish Studies, University of Basel

Chair: Deniz Kandiyoti, SOAS

Tuesday 19 October – 6.00pm

Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS

All Welcome

This lecture is free and there is no need to book.

Tea and biscuits are available from 5.30pm in the Brunei Suite

For further information contact:

The London Middle East Institute at SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street,

Russell Square, London, WC1H OXG, T: 020 7898 4330; F: 020 7898 4329,

E: lmei@soas.ac.uk, W: www.lmei.soas.ac.uk

Participants:

Idith Zertal is an Israeli historian and essayist, professor of contemporary history and senior research fellow at the Institute for Jewish Studies at the University of Basel. Previously she has been teaching at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and the Hebrew University Jerusalem. Her works include From Catastrophe to Power, Holocaust Survivors and the Emergence of Israel (1996, 2000); Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007 (co-authored with Akiva Eldar, 2005, 2007); and Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood (2005, new ed. 2010, original ed. in Hebrew in 2002), which has been published in eight languages. In 2005 she co-edited and co-authored Hannah Arendt: A Half Century of Polemics, a collection of essays by Israeli scholars on Arendt’s political thought.

Nur Masalha is a Palestinian historian, currently Professor of Religion and Politics and Director of the Centre for Religion and History and the Holy Land Research Project at St Mary’s University College, London, and Professorial Research Associate, Department of History, SOAS. He has also taught at Birzeit University, Palestine, and is the editor of Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal. He authored and edited many books, including Expulsion of the Palestinians: The Concept of ‘Transfer’ in Zionist Political Thought, 1882-1948 (1992); A Land Without a People (1997); Imperial Israel and the Palestinians (2000); The Politics of Denial: Israel and the Palestinian Refugee Problem (2003); Catastrophe Remembered (2005); and The Bible and Zionism: Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-Colonialism in Palestine-Israel (2007).

Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS. He grew up in Lebanon and moved to Europe in 1983. Before joining SOAS in 2007, he taught and researched at the University of Paris-VIII and the French-German Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin. His works includeThe Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (2002, 2nd ed. 2006), published in 13 languages; The 33-Day War: Israel’s War against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Its Consequences (with Michel Warschawski, 2007); Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy, co-authored with Noam Chomsky (2007, 2nd ed. 2008). His latest book, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, came out recently in Beirut, Cairo, London, New York and Paris.

 — 
Gilbert Achcar
Professor of Development Studies & International Relations
University of London – School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Russell Square – Thornhaugh Street
London WC1H 0XG
Phone +44 (0)20 7898 4557
Webpage: http://www.soas.ac.uk/staff/staff30529.php
Latest book: http://us.macmillan.com/thearabsandtheholocaust
http://www.saqibooks.com/saqi/display.asp?isb=9780863566394
Most recent reviews: http://www.economist.com/node/16789290
http://www.laviedesidees.fr/Hitler-the-Arabs-and-the-Jews.html
Forthcoming event: 
http://www.soas.ac.uk/lmei/events/cme/19oct2010-arabs-and-israelis-facing-the-holocaust-and-the-nakba.html

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Gaza

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