Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

'It Was Better During the War': Narratives of Everyday Violence in a Palestinian Refugee Camp


Latif, Nadia. 2012. “‘it Was Better during the War’: Narratives of Everyday Violence in a Palestinian Refugee Camp.” Feminist Review 101 (1): 24–40. doi:10.1057/fr.2011.55.

Author: Nadia Latif


The distinction between what is commonly regarded as the routine of impoverishment and what is acknowledged and remarked upon as violence is increasingly being questioned in scholarship and public policy circles. Interrogating the distinction between routine and remarkable not only reveals the habits and relationships constituting everyday life as the site of violence, but also foregrounds questions of gender. Given that the everyday is shaped by a given community's norms regarding the gendered division of labour that produces and reproduces the conditions of the everyday, in what ways is violence as well as its experience gendered? This article examines this question in the particular context of Palestinian camp refugees’ lived experience of forced displacement in Lebanon. It explores the ways in which the violence used against Palestinian camp refugees draws on norms regarding masculinity and femininity shared by the refugees as well as their Lebanese oppressors. It also examines the ways in which Palestinian camp refugees’ everyday experience of impoverishment as well as the acknowledged violence of forced displacement, subjection to Lebanese military intelligence control, and participation in the armed struggle for national liberation are constituted by and constitutive of unequal subject positions of gender, class and citizenship.

Keywords: Palestinian refugees, Palestinian refugee camps, gender, violence, Lebanese civil war, the everyday

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Citizenship, Class, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2012

Resistance at the Limits: Feminist Activism and Conscientious Objection in Israel


Natanel, Katherine. 2012. “Resistance at the Limits: Feminist Activism and Conscientious Objection in Israel.” Feminist Review 101 (1): 78–96. doi:10.1057/fr.2011.51.

Author: Katherine Natanel


This article investigates the relationship between feminism and conscientious objection in Israel, evaluating the efficacy of feminist resistance in the organised refusal movement. While recent feminist scholarship on peace, anti-occupation and anti-militarism activism in Israel largely highlights women's collective action, it does so at the risk of eliding the relations of power within these groups. Expanding the scope of consideration, I look to the experiences of individual feminist conscientious objectors who make visible significant tensions through their accounts of military refusal and participation in the organised conscientious objection movement. Drawing on original ethnographic research, this article problematises feminist activism in the organised Israeli refusal movement through three primary issues: political voice; privilege; and the realisation of gender agendas. Using Michel Foucault's conceptualisation of power as it has been critiqued and qualified by feminist scholars, I consider the ways in which resistance may be both multiple and a diagnostic of power, allowing activists and academics not only to envision new avenues for social change, but also to recognise their constraints. Critically, feminist theories of intersectionality enrich and complicate this Foucauldian approach to power, providing further modes of critique and strategy in the context of feminist activism in Israel. Ultimately, I argue not only for engagement with the limits of power, but also attention to their function, as in theory and praxis these boundaries critically inform our theorising on gender and resistance.

Keywords: conscientious objection, intersectionality, Israel/Palestine, New Profile, power and resistance, feminist activism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2012

Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: the Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence


Helman, Sara. 2015. “Challenging the Israeli Occupation Through Testimony and Confession: The Case of Anti-Denial SMOs Machsom Watch and Breaking the Silence.” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 28 (4): 377–94. doi:10.1007/s10767-015-9198-y.

Author: Sara Helman


This article analyzes the repertoires of contention and discourse of two Israeli antidenial movements, Breaking the Silence and Machsom Watch. Through confession and testimony, both social movement organizations (SMOs) demand that Israeli society acknowledge its “problematic present,” which includes human rights violations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in a situation of ongoing ethno-national conflict, and insist that it take responsibility for this reality and act against it. It is based on the interpretative analyses of both SMOs’ reports. Reports are analyzed as narratives in the context of Israel’s national identity and its main motives which are also constitutive of a culture of collective denial. The article compares the testimonial practices of Machsom Watch to testimonies of women in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the confessions of Breaking the Silence veterans to those displayed in Truth and Reconciliation Commissions as well as confessions of veterans during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Confession and testimony are usually analyzed as blazing the path to a new and inclusive national identity (as was the case in South Africa). In the case of Israel, however, their adoption and mobilization destabilize national identity and turn it into a field of contention.

Keywords: Israel/Palestine, Social movements in Israel, confession, testimonies

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Civil Society, Gender, Justice, TRCs Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2015

Unemployment and Fatherhood: Gender, Culture and National Context


Strier, Roni. 2014. “Unemployment and Fatherhood: Gender, Culture and National Context.” Gender, Work & Organization 21 (5): 395–410. doi:10.1111/gwao.12044.


Hegemonic representations of masculinity and dominant images of fatherhood have usually been linked to the domain of work. This article explores the experiences of men under the hardship of unemployment and the impact of these experiences on the construction of their gender identities, specifically on the construction of their fatherhood identity. In addition, the article examines how culture and national context affect the interrelationship between unemployment and fatherhood. Drawing on a post-structural constructivist theoretical perspective, the article describes a qualitative study of low-income unemployed Palestinian fathers in Israel. The study examines three areas of interest: perceptions of fatherhood, the experience of unemployment and the impact of unemployment on the construction of fatherhood. On the theoretical level, the article proposes a conceptualization of the relationship between unemployment and fatherhood. It argues that in order to generalize the impact of unemployment on fatherhood, we must first examine the context in which gendered and cultural perceptions of fatherhood are embedded. On a policy level, the article offers some recommendations for developing more contextualized, gender- and cultural-sensitive policies for unemployed fathers.

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Political Economies Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2014

Tactics and Strategies of Power: The Construction of Spaces of Belonging for Palestinian Women in Jaffa–Tel Aviv


Hamdan-Saliba, Hanaa, and Tovi Fenster. 2012. “Tactics and Strategies of Power: The Construction of Spaces of Belonging for Palestinian Women in Jaffa–Tel Aviv.” Women’s Studies International Forum 35 (4): 203–13. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2012.03.022.

Authors: Hanaa Hamdan-Saliba, Tovi Fenster


Adopting a qualitative method, the study examines the everyday tactics that sixty Palestinian women from Jaffa employ in order to cope with various strategies of power – gender, cultural, national and global – that limit their everyday spatial practices. Based on the narratives of these women, the study suggests to distinguish between pro-active and non-active tactics which create or diminish the construction of spaces of belonging on the base of daily negotiations, and ways of maneuvering that Palestinian women use against these strategies of power. Pro-active tactics create alternative spaces; enable the manipulation of social and cultural codes; and create the home as a space of independence. Non-active tactics work against ethnic allocation; discriminatory Palestinian and Jewish development and Islamization of space. The study considers spaces of belonging, which are created by daily negotiations and tactics, to be the “third space”, not only the space occupied by oppressed and marginalized groups, but also a space of opportunities that affords these women the possibility of making changes in their spatial practices.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2012

Gendered Nationalism and Palestinian Citizenship: Reconceptualizing the Role of Women in State Building


Jacoby, Tami Amanda. 1996. “Gendered Nationalism and Palestinian Citizenship: Reconceptualizing the Role of Women in State Building.” YCISS Working Paper No. 18.

Author: Tami Amanda Jacoby

Topics: Armed Conflict, Citizenship, Gender, Women, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 1996

Feminine Militancy: Moudjahidates During and After the Algerian War


Bouatta, C. 1994. “Feminine Militancy: Moudjahidates During and After the Algerian War.” In Gender and National Identity, edited by Valentine Moghadam, 192. London: Zed Books.

Author: C. Bouatta


Gender politics exist inevitably in all Islamist movements that expect women to assume the burden of a largely male-defined tradition. Even in secular political movements in the Muslim world - notably those anti-colonial national liberation movements where women were actively involved- women have experiences since independence a general reversal of the gains made. This collection written by women from the countries concerned explores the gender dynamics of a variety of political movements with very different trajectories to reveal how nationalism, revolution and Islamization are all gendered processes.  The authors explore women's experiences in the Algerian national liberation movement and more recently the fundamentalist FIS; similarly their involvement in the struggle to construct a Bengali national identity and independent Bangladeshi state; the events leading to the overthrow of the Shah and subsequent Islamization of Iran; revolution and civil war in Afghanistan; and the Palestinian Intifada.  This book argues that in periods of rapid political change, women in Muslim societies are in reality central to efforts to construct a national identity. (Zed Books)

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 1994

Iraqi Refugee Females in Lebanon: De Facto Changes in Gender Roles


Beydoun, Rouba. 2008. “Iraqi Refugee Females in Lebanon: De Facto Changes in Gender Roles.” Al-Raida 120-121 (Spring): 36–44.

Author: Rouba Beydoun


The year 2003 was a turning point in the Arab region. The Coalition Forces invaded Iraq causing the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the subsequent violence. This has led to a massive influx of refugees throughout the Arab region. Around 4.2 million Iraqis left their homes due to the violence in their country. Some two million have fled to neighboring countries, including Lebanon (UNHCR, 2007). Lebanon is also host to an estimated 400,000 Palestinian refugees who fled Palestine largely as a result of the formation of the Israeli state in 1948 (Shafie, 2007). Aside from Palestinians, Iraqis currently account for the vast majority of refugees in Lebanon (DRC,2005). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that around 50,000 Iraqi refugees are residing in Lebanon (IRIN, 2007).The Lebanese State is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, thus the vast majority of Iraqis have had to enter the country illegally (IRIN, 2007). A study based on a sample of 2,892 Iraqi individuals in Lebanon in 2007 indicated that 36.4 percent of the sample was female (DRC, 2007).Many factors in Lebanon and in Iraq affect the refugee woman’s role in society. What is expected of her and those around her often changes under emergency circumstances. This article explores the extent of these changes. It will hopefully benefit researchers as well as development agencies by providing insight into the daily expectations, hopes, and responsibilities of an Iraqi refugee woman or girl in Lebanon. The article also aims to bring the typical concerns of a refugee woman to the attention of her host community. 

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2008

Defending Their Land, Protecting Their Men: Palestinian Women’s Popular Resistance after the Second Intifada


Richter-Devroe, Sophie. 2012. “Defending Their Land, Protecting Their Men: Palestinian Women’s Popular Resistance after the Second Intifada.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 14 (2): 181–201. doi:10.1080/14616742.2012.659856.

Author: Sophie Richter-Devroe


Popular resistance has, following the recent uprisings in different Arab countries, received increased media and scholarly attention. Yet, the role that women and gender play in civil resistance movements remains understudied. In this article I analyse different forms, contexts and framings of Palestinian women's protest activism after 2000, arguing that their acts can potentially affect social and political change. Although so far unsuccessful in sustaining concrete material changes, women's embodied protest politics, by radically challenging conventional male-dominated political discourse and practice, might provide visionary outlines of a non-masculinist, non-militarist, yet proactive form of political culture in Palestine.

Keywords: embodied politics, palestine, popular resistance, social movements, women's activism

Topics: Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2012

Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists


Bloom, Mia. 2011. Bombshell: The Many Faces of Women Terrorists. London: Hurst Publishers.

Author: Mia Bloom


The ultimate stealth weapon, female terrorists kill on average four times more people than their male counterparts. But why are more women drawn to terrorism than ever before? Do women volunteer to be terrorists, or are they coerced? Does women’s participation in terrorism have any positive impact on their place in society?

In Bombshell, Mia Bloom seeks to understand what motivates women and to redress the gap in our understanding of women’s roles by interviewing women previously involved in terrorist groups. Bloom provides a unique and rare first-hand glimpse into the psychology, culture and social networks of women who become terrorists. Bombshell takes an in-depth look at women involved in terrorism in Chechnya, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

Drawing on primary research and secondary literature, Bloom examines the increasing role of women in terrorism, and considers what it means for the societies from which they come.

(Hurst Publishers)

Keywords: gender studies, terrorism

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Terrorism Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe, Central Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2011


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