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Women and the Politics of Military Confrontation

Palestinian and Israeli Gendered Narratives of Dislocation

Edited by Nahla Abdo and Ronit Lentin

338 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-498-2 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (June 2002)

ISBN  978-1-57181-459-3 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (June 2002)

eISBN 978-1-78238-173-0 eBook


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Reviews

“Highly analytical yet personal and painful, the book can serve as an excellent textbook for the comparative study of gender, feminism and nationalism or for the comparative feminist analysis of apartheid systems. It is now in its second edition. This means that it circulates in circuits of knowledge, and certainly deserves the bravas it has already received.”  ·  Holy Land Studies

“... a fascinating collection of political commentaries which constitute a clear, and deep, anti-nationalist voice ... The book offers those readers prepared to listen an opportunity of hearing how Zionism can be empowering, particularly for those who experienced the Shoah, not eschewing a sharp critique of Israeli state and society. On the other hand, the book allows us to hear the national suffering voice, infused by collective rage, of Palestinian women, who are well known as courageous fighters against their own societal patriarchal violence.”  ·  Israeli Society: Journal for the Studies of Israeli Society

"... this is a touching demonstration of the advantages of feminist methods and their ability to support, empathize and understand. It is a stimulating book not only for geographers who are interested in nationalism, gender, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but foremost for those who are eager to explore the meaning of places either real or imaginary, and how such places relate to each other."  · Geography Research Forum

"This is a compelling collection of herstories, at once both a series of essays centred on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and at the same time a set of fragments written at the margins of identity ... It is the sheer humanness, more properly, humanity of the collection that makes it at once accessible and profound ... Buy it, read it and reflect."  · Irish Journal of Sociology

"... makes for a provocative read and will be of particular interest to scholars and students interested in gender, nationalism, and the Palestinian and Israeli conflict."  · Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

"... it is this incantation of ritual's power and significance that I find refreshingly anachronistic about the volume as a whole ... It would seem that these historians have something to teach us about not only the birth of nations and nationalisms back then, but the ongoing process of nation-building now."  · American Anthropologist

"This reviewer finds this extraordinary book timely. By gathering together the autobiographical narratives of both Palestinians an Israelis, the editors allow these women to speak in their own voices, which are often unheard in the hubbub of people writing about them. This forum gives a reality and immediacy sometimes lacking in other studies. Some of the stories are harrowing and heart rending."  · H-New Reviews, H-Minerva

"Abdo and Lentin have accomplished what would have been remarkable at any time, and is even ore so in the present political climate."  · The Women's Review of Books

"These intense personal essays, interwoven with sharp political analysis, attempt to confront obstacles of ideology, positionality, and diasporic locations that hinder feminist alliances."  · Women's Studies International Forum

"... this book [is] extremely interesting and illuminating as well as provocative ... It is worth the emotional effort and will be of great intellectual value to all readers."  · Outlook

"... it offers two often neglected, yet profoundly compelling, lenses through which to view the Israel-Palestine conflict."  · Middle East Journal

"The editors are engaged in a passionate and animated debate on their respective understandings an experiences ... We have witnessed many courageous challenges to Israeli Zionism in recent months, this anthology is an important feminist contribution to that resistance."  · Women's Studies Review

"An ambitious and timely collection of ... moving and thought-provoking accounts…Overall, the tensions, dislocations, and illuminations of these narratives provide avenues for new and more complicated understandings of gender and nationalism in this bitter and tragic phase of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."  · H-Net Review

"This is a brave and fractured book that bears the marks (and wounds) of conflictual histories and contemporary confrontations in Palestine/Israel ... This unique book opens up new [meaning] of what Zionism and Israel have meant for Jews and Palestinians."  · Lila Abu-Lughod, Columbia University

"History and biography converge in this stunning collection of personal narratives. Women and the Politics of Military Confrontation is testament to the urgency of dialogue between Palestinian and Israeli women. These essays probe the searing pain of life under Israeli military occupation and the complex sorrow of dislocation and exile. They push us to examine the limits of nationalisms, the moral scaffolding of the state of Israel, and the legacy of the Sho'ah. I know of no other work that so deftly expresses the tenacity of surviving, the daring of resistance, and the will to forge a just peace."  · R. Ruth Linden, University of California, San Francisco

"... powerful, moving, and revealing ... This book is a must for anyone who is interested in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and in issues of national and gender construction. The journeys and experiences of the contributors represent not only their own personal experiences as either Palestinian or Jewish women but also their respective national experiences."  · Tamar Mayer, Professor of Geography, Middlebury College, editor of Women and the Israeli Occupation: the Politics of Change and Gender Ironies of Nationalism: Sexing the Nation

Description

As the crisis in Israel does not show any signs of abating, this remarkable collection, edited by an Israeli and a Palestinian scholar and with contributions by Palestinian and Israeli women, offers a vivid and harrowing picture of the conflict and of its impact on daily life, especially as it affects women's experiences that differ significantly from those of men.

The (auto)biographical narratives in this volume focus on some of the most disturbing effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a sense of dislocation that goes well beyond the geographical meaning of the word; it involves social, cultural, national and gender dislocation, including alienation from one's own home, family, community, and society. The accounts become even more poignant if seen against the backdrop of the roots of the conflict, the real or imaginary construct of a state to save and shelter particularly European Jews from the horrors of Nazism in parallel to the other side of the coin: Israel as a settler-colonial state responsible for the displacement of the Palestinian nation.

Nahla Abdo is Professor of Sociology at Carleton University, Ottawa. She has published extensively on women and the state in the Middle East with special focus on Palestinian women. Among the publications is Sociological Thought: Beyound Eurocentric Theory (1996). She contributed to the establishment of the Women's Studies Institute at Birzeit University and has found the Gender Research Unit at the Women's Empowerment Project/Gaza Community Mental Health Program in Gaza.

Ronit Lentin was born in Haifa prior to the establishment of the State of Israel and has lived in Ireland since 1969. She is a well known writer of fiction and non-fiction books and is course co-ordinator of the MPhil in Ethnic Studies at the Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin. She has published extensively on the genedered link between Israel and the Shoah, feminist research methodologies, Israeli and Palestinian women's peace activism, gender and racism in Ireland.

Subject: Peace & Conflict Studies Gender Studies General Anthropology
Area: Middle East & Israel



Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Writing Dislocation, Writing the Self: Bringing Back the Political into Gendered Israeli-Palestinian Dialoguing

Chapter 1. Palestinian Women: Exile in Lebanon
Chapter 2. Home as Exile
Chapter 3. Life under Occupation
Chapter 4. Israeli Jewish Women: Exile as Home
Chapter 5. Exile as an Oppositional Locus
Chapter 6. Existential States of Exile

Bibliography
Index

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