Abourahme, Nasser. "“Nothing to Lose but Our Tents”: The Camp, the Revolution, the Novel." Journal of Palestine Studies 48.1 (2018): 33-52.
Palestinian revolutionary politics were in part defined by the historical challenge of the refugee camps. To politically mobilize the encamped Palestinian body and become a popular mass movement, the revolution required nothing less than the transformation of the camps into the means of their own undoing. This article examines three novels of the revolutionary period (by Kanafani, Abu Shawir, and Yakhlif) to show that Palestinian revolutionary realism both heeded this insurrectionary call but also undermined it. On the one hand, camp life is mediated as only the superficial expression of deeper political totality that lies elsewhere—in other words, only in armed struggle outside the camps can camp life be overcome—and on the other, just at the point when the camp should be overcome in the protagonist's journey toward militancy, the very narrative drive itself stutters. Reading these novels, I argue, points us to political roads not taken, and to ways of thinking about Palestinian camp life as more than a means to another end elsewhere.
Anderson, Charles. "The Suppression of the Great Revolt and the Destruction of Everyday Life in Palestine." Jerusalem Quarterly 79 (2019): 9-27.
Everyday life, and its social and economic foundations, became a battleground during the Great Revolt. Recent scholarship in English has disclosed much about the collective punishments, dirty war tactics, and ambient brutality that characterized the counterinsurgency against the Great Revolt.6 This paper supplements our understanding of the counterinsurgency by highlighting its targeting of the everyday existence of the Palestinian population. The colonial state intruded upon all manner of daily activities, degrading Palestinians’ living conditions and turning the mundane into a site of contest and a pressure point through which to exercise power. The colonial regime converted schools and hotels into military bases, seized crops and livestock, and invaded, assaulted, and demolished homes, villages, and urban quarters. Quotidian and ritual activities like attending prayers or going to school were made contingent on docile behavior or random circumstance; even funerals were prohibited as potential “disturbances.” Villages were temporarily incarcerated and the movement of goods and persons was restricted and rendered dependent on compliance with state surveillance. The rebels were determined to build an alternative sovereignty and public realm that would incorporate the Palestinian population. To destroy that project and cow the population into submission, colonial authorities employed an array of collective punishments that targeted the body politic. The result was a sustained attack on the daily life of the colonized that operated through four registers: economic sanctions, the control of space, the loss of bodily autonomy, and movement controls. No less than its other legacies, this article contends that the 1930s counterinsurgency established a critical precedent for Israel’s subsequent approach to the Palestinians, one premised on the systematic disruption and degradation of everyday life as a means of curbing resistance and controlling the population.
Doumani, Beshara. "The Everyday and the Shadow Years." Jerusalem Quarterly 79 (2019): 3-6.
The contributions to this issue of the Jerusalem Quarterly coalesce around a number of themes central to Palestinian experiences – the relationships between materiality and memory and between space and power. Two articles in this issue, Fredrik Meiton's “Nation or Industry: The Non-Electrification of Nablus” and Dima Saad's “Materializing Palestinian Memory: Objects of Home and the Everyday Eternities of Exile,” are the final pieces that JQ will publish from the sixth annual New Directions in Palestinian Studies workshop held at Brown University in 2018, thematically organized around “The Shadow Years: Material Histories of Everyday Life.” (Other articles that emerged from this workshop were published in the Autumn 2018 issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies and in the Autumn 2019 issue of the Jerusalem Quarterly.) Each, in its own way, focuses on the materiality of Palestinian experiences and their afterlives.
Doumani, Beshara, and Alex Winder. "1948 and Its Shadows." Journal of Palestine Studies 48.1 (2018): 7-15.
Seventy years after the Nakba, what does it mean to commemorate 1948? This introduction to three articles drawn from the 2018 New Directions in Palestinian Studies workshop at Brown University, “The Shadow Years: Material Histories of Everyday Life,” examines the emergence of 1948 as the primary focus of Palestinian commemorative practices and guiding star of future political possibilities, as well as the promise and limitations of the settler-colonial framework. It argues that widening our lens to include the material histories of everyday life in the context of a generational struggle for survival, contextualizes moments of great trauma and violence within the larger dynamics of Palestinians society, and recasts the time/space architecture of narratives about Palestine and the Palestinians.
Halevy, Dotan. "Toward a Palestinian History of Ruins: Interwar Gaza." Journal of Palestine Studies 48.1 (2018): 53-72.
Ruins typically mark the endpoint of historical stories, regarded as objects worthy of attention only for the bygone times they represent. But what might a history reveal if it took ruins as its departure point? How would a history of ruins look? This article aims to write ruins into history by pondering the case of Gaza in the aftermath of World War I. The ruins of the city, it is argued here, were the site of a transformation in the modalities of urban change: what had been a ubiquitous and organic process of evolution in the cityscapes of the Middle East up to the late nineteenth century was replaced by top-down spatial convention, imposed by the modern state. This transformation deprived ruins from their long-standing role as essential elements of the urban landscape and flattened them into mere emblems of cultural decay. Consistent with the ontological stance of the progress/decline binary, by the early twentieth century, spatial ruination had become regarded as a unidirectional rather than multidirectional process. This modern framing of ruins proved especially significant for postwar Gaza, whose reconstruction efforts were consequently plagued by internal contradiction.
Manna, Adel. "Resistance and Survival in Central Galilee, July 1948–July 1951." Jerusalem Quarterly 79 (2019): 28-38.
The challenges of resistance and survival facing the people living in rural Galilee were rarely noticed even by the urban Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem, and the resilience of many Palestinian families in the Galilee is a fascinating story still largely absent from the Nakba narrative. This essay proposes to shed light on the daily experiences of Palestinians during the later stage of the Nakba in northern Palestine. The microhistories of Majd al-Kurum and its adjacent villages during the later phase of the 1948 war and after have much to teach us about the meaning of the Nakba in the daily experiences of refugees and non-refugees in the Galilee. I rely heavily on the broader research undertaken for my recent book Nakba and Survival to delve into the realities of the people of Majd al-Kurum before and immediately after its surrender to the Israeli Army on 30 October 1948. In writing Nakba and Survival, I interviewed dozens of eyewitnesses from Majd al-Kurum and neighboring localities. These oral testimonies are a valuable source for understanding the people's experiences, hopes, and fears during this critical period, as are the diaries of Abu Jamil – one of the few educated elders of Majd al-Kurum village – to which I was granted access by his family and which span a period of more than forty years, before and after the Nakba.
Meiton, Fredrik. "Nation or Industry: The Non-Electrification of Nablus." Jerusalem Quarterly 80 (2019): 8-22.
This article highlights one component of the historical conjuncture that generated the two most salient facts of the ArabIsraeli conflict: that in the nationalist struggle over Palestine, Jews achieved statehood and Palestinians did not. Since what is at issue here is as much why something did not happen as why something did, this paper approaches the topic from the perspective of a non-event, namely the fact that the Palestinian town of Nablus, located in what is today the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was never connected to Mandate Palestine’s electric grid.
Nimrod, Ben Zeev. "Building to Survive: The Politics of Cement in Mandate Palestine." Jerusalem Quarterly 79 (2019): 39-62.
In this article, I focus on the period of British rule (1918–48), which I argue was the formative stage of cement's Palestinian biography. During this period construction was a central component in both the Zionist and the Palestinian nation-building projects. In the process, the consumption and production of cement became indexical of the ability to construct not only modern buildings but also communities. While tracing cement consumption became one method of quantifying “the movement of construction” (Arabic: harakat al-bina'; Hebrew: tnu‘at ha-binyan), its production was understood as crucial to the prospect of economic independence and liberation from colonial domination. As part of a broader narrative that posits construction and construction work as central pillars of the structures of inequality and domination in twentieth-century Palestine/Israel, the article illuminates cement's role in the formation of these structures and in the strategies of struggle and survival Palestinians would deploy in their shadows.
Pasquetti, Silvia. "Experiences of Urban Militarism: Spatial Stigma, Ruins and Everyday Life." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 43.5 (2019): 848-869.
A key question in urban sociology is how people interpret the urban environment. At a time when cities are increasingly militarized, this question is particularly important for understanding how militarism impacts urban life. However, urban sociologists have not addressed how people experience militarized environments. This article turns to this question by considering the case of Lydda‐Lod, an Israeli city that has been demographically and physically transformed by war, displacement and securitization. Drawing on Wacquant's sociology of spatial stigma and adding insights from works on emotions in (post‐)conflict cities, I examine how poor Palestinians think and feel about the surveilled districts where they live within the city's broader landscape of ruins. I show how the Israeli military, security and policing agencies have collectively produced spatial stigmatization of these districts. I discuss how Palestinians respond to this spatial stigma by attaching a sense of worthlessness to their districts. However, this reproduction of spatial stigma is punctuated by expressions of care for the built environment and by a desire to revalorize collective Palestinian life in the city. I conclude by discussing how a perspective on militarized cities focused on everyday responses to militarism and attentive to marginalities enriches urban sociology and urban studies more generally.
Qato, Mezna. "A Primer for a New Terrain: Palestinian Schooling in Jordan, 1950." Journal of Palestine Studies 48.1 (2018): 16-32.
This article offers a close reading of the first geography textbook printed by the Ministry of Education after the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan annexed the West Bank in 1950. Examining the Hashemite regime's early curricular attempts to incorporate its new Palestinian citizens, refugees and otherwise, the article highlights the tactics used to achieve these ends, namely a topographic centralization of Jordan, an erasure of human geography in favor of a natural one, and the foreclosure of other forms of national attachment and belonging. The discussion seeks to expand our understanding of one of the most significant narrative materials confronted by Palestinians in the aftermath of the Nakba, seeing in it a possible mechanism by which to understand the challenges to Palestinian demands for a self-determined education.
Saad, Dima. "Materializing Palestinian Memory: Objects of Home and the Everyday Eternities of Exile." Jerusalem Quarterly 80 (2019): 57-71.
In this paper, I ethnographically examine how Palestinians living in Jordan exalt these objects as they refuse the enclosure of Palestine in the times and spaces of a concluded past. I consider, at the same time, how the objects themselves haunt, ensnare, and enchant their owners as they reconstruct lost worlds. By focusing not on what is remembered, but on the relationship between people and (the memories of) their things, I hope to afford a closer examination to the unrehearsed practices of recollection and the refracted temporal unravelings that characterize the daily logistics of coping at (and away from) home. I seek, in other words, to track the overlooked modes and idioms of remembering by which Palestinians imbricate fragments of home with the everyday eternities of exile.