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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/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Alain Badiou

ZIZEK AND BADIOU: WHAT IF ANTIGONE WERE A REFUGEE?

Dear Friends

It is our honor to invite you to celebrate the Freedom Theatre Jenin with us, on October 16th, in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle (Columbus Avenue at West 60th Street, New York) at 2pm!

Join us for a symposium with Professor Alain Badiou, Professor Slavoj Zizek & Filmmaker Udi Aloni, on the possibility of reading Antigone in the Jenin Refugee Camp, as well as for subsequent film screenings of Forgiveness & Arna’s Children.

The event is free and open to the public.

Please feel free to forward this invitation, and re-post it.

Yours,
Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, Jewish Voice for Peace, Columbia University Press, Out@StPaul & Church of St. Paul the Apostle

What If Antigone Were A Refugee?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

@ Lincoln Center & Church of St. Paul The Apostle:

Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek & The Jenin Freedom Theatre

Venue: Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Columbus Avenue at West 60th Street

2pm:

Symposium: Prof. Alain Badiou, Prof. Slavoj Zizek & Filmmaker Udi Aloni.

Venue: Lincoln Center: Bruno Walter Auditorium

111 Amsterdam Avenue just south of 65th Street

6:15 pm screening:
Arna’s Children
Director, Juliano Mer Khamis.

8:30pm screening:
Forgiveness
Director, Udi Aloni.

Screenings followed by Q&A with directors

(r.s.v.p recommended at: antigoneinjenin@gmail.com)

In collaboration with: Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre, Jewish Voice for Peace, Columbia University Press, Out@StPaul & Church of St. Paul the Apostle

Open to the public free of charge

———————————————————-

New York City Celebrates Jenin:

Presenting Antigone in Jenin Refugee Camp & The Jenin Media Center and
Cinema School

October 16th:

On October 16, New York will be celebrating and promoting two
interconnected innovative projects:

Antigone in Jenin Refugee Camp:
Antigone in Jenin Refugee Camp is a fiction film set in the West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories, and based on the real-life stories of eight young students at the Freedom Theater, a theatre located in the heart of the Camp. Eight film students- four women and four men, between the ages of 19-32, ranging from secular-leftist to traditional-religious- have come together for a single project based on their own stories and struggles. They have already produced four short documentary films exploring the relationship of the Palestinian woman to her society. Now they join renowned filmmakers Juliano Mer Khamis and Udi Aloni, and prominent scriptwriter Alaa Hlehel, in order to make their first fiction film, Antigone in Jenin Refugee Camp.

The Palestinian Media & Talents Center:
The establishment of a media & talents center, a one-of-a-kind hub for young Palestinian creators, in which we will be able to create TV, Internet and cinema contents, from documentaries to miniseries and feature films. Serving all Palestinian artists from Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel and the Palestinian diaspora, the center aims to promote cultures of resistance without the supervision of any political parties.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

SITES OF CONFLICT: PSYCHO-POLITICAL RESISTANCE IN ISRAEL-PALESTINE

15th & 16th October 2009, Birkbeck College, University of London

This conference addresses the remarkable projects of groups in Gaza, Israel and the West Bank involved in joint resistance to ongoing military conflict and occupation. Working for mental health and human rights on the front lines of military aggression, internal group violence, systemic interference with basic human rights, brutalization on many fronts and deep pessimism on all sides, speakers will address any and all resources for combined resistance and shared hope, whether close to home or coming from abroad.

Themes include:
*Survival and Non-Violent Resistance in Gaza and the West Bank
*Psychoactive Political Resistance in Israel.
*Possibilities and Limitations of Therapeutic Approaches to Conflict Resolution.
*The Politics of Apology and other forms of Acknowledgement
*Denial in the Face of Atrocity
*Mental Attrition of Activists
*Diasporic and all other forms of Support for Peace from Afar.

Speakers Include: Mohamed Altawil; Nissim Avissar; Jessica Benjamin; Tova Buksbaum; Bea Campbell; Stan Cohen; Stephen Frosh; Uri Hadar; Seamas Heaney; Samah Jabr; Adah Kay; Ghada Karmi; Yehudit Keshit; Moshe Landsman; Tony Lerman; Sheila Melzak; Rateb Abu Rahmeh; Jacqueline Rose; Jihan Salem; Andrew Samuels; Eyad el Sarraj; Lynne Segal; Hassan Ziyada; Felicity de Zulueta.

Cost: Standard – £70 Birkbeck staff/All students/Unwaged/Hard-up/One day – £35

Registration & information: tba http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bisr/news/Psychopolitical
Booking: J.Eisner@bbk.ac.uk

Sponsored by: Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust; FFIPP-UK; IJV.

Burning Memories: Sacrifice & the Unconscious in History

Wednesday 14th October 7.30pm Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

Speakers: Uri Hadar, Stephen Frosh, Eyad El Saraj Chair: Lynne Segal

Memory of historical events is necessarily collective, but acquires personal characteristics that are of the same nature as individual memory in general. This idea is illustrated through memories of holocaust survivors as they construct themselves in a particular biography of an Israeli child. Holocaust memories are then connected to the ethos of military strength in Israeli society, which ethos undertakes to transform the historical marking of the Jews as victims, sacrificed by the nations on the altar of ethnic power. This is where the Palestinians enter the unconscious Israeli narrative, allowing the movement of the Jew away from the position of the sacrificed. The theme of sacrifice conversion marks itself in historical events such as the Naqba and the recent attack on Gaza. The talk examines the manner in which these themes feed into personal memory systems and reconstructs the workings of memory through the entire historical cycle.

£10 waged £5 unwaged

Please pay at the door.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk