Paper and Panel at ISA 2013

March 28, 2013

Next week, Thursday, April 4 at 1:45 pm, I will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming International Studies Association conference in San Francisco. The panel, entitled “Defending the Homeland: Territory & National Identity,” will explore the idea of homeland as a political, social, and cultural construct and how the definition of such a space impacts state territorial policies.

I am very excited to be joined by six esteemed colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds, methodologies, and theoretical approaches. After the jump, you can find our panel abstract as well as my own paper abstract. For those of my colleagues, log on to the myISA system and check the annual conference program, or send me an email. Hope to see you in San Francisco!

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Polls: The UNGA and a Palestinian State, Part 3

July 24, 2011


In the previous two posts, I have explored the Israeli public response to the Palestinian Authority’s intent to unilaterally declare independence and seek international diplomatic recognition at the UN General Assembly in September 2011.

Monthly public opinion data gathered by the Peace Index over the last six months indicates that Israelis are increasingly of the belief that the PA’s efforts are credible and that Israel will suffer international condemnation, greater diplomatic isolation, and potentially a new Palestinian intifada if it refuses to recognize a Palestinian state in the territories of Gaza, the West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem. However, polling also indicates that Israelis believe that international pressure will not increase significantly nor would greater political moderation by the Israeli government result in a Palestinian return to negotiations or the aversion of a new violent Palestinian uprising, particularly if Israel still refuses to withdraw from the West Bank.

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Poll: Can Jewish Settlers Remain After Withdrawal?

February 28, 2011


Early this morning, Israeli security forces and Jewish residents clashed in the West Bank settlement of Havat Gilad. Police and Civil Administration officials arrived at the community near Yitzhar at 4:30 in the morning to tear down a number of unauthorized structures. During the confrontation that ensued, settlers threw rocks and police fired rubber bullets and tear gas. 15 people were injured and 8 were arrested.

Although such clashes are not commonplace, they are becoming seemingly more frequent. This battle between settlers to ensure the permanence of their outlying communities and of the police and military to contain unauthorized settlement growth has, in recent years, drawn more attention, particularly as security incidents between Israeli forces and West Bank Palestinians have become less frequent and less violent. Incidents have largely centered on the dismantling of settlements and bulldozing of homes, synagogues, and yeshivot, but have also included Jewish rebuilding of destroyed buildings, planting on state lands, and even attacks on Jewish hikers.

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Interview with Elyakim Haetzni

February 2, 2011


On Monday, I traveled to Kiryat Arba to meet with Jewish settlement activist, attorney, and frequent Yehidot Aharonot columnist Elyakim Haetzni. Haetzni was a key initiators of Jewish resettlement of Gush Etzion and Hebron after the 1967 Six Day War. He also served on the steering committee of the Yesha Council and as a member of Knesset for Tehiya, a political party closely associated with Gush Emunim, following the resignation of Eliezer Waldman in 1990.

Haetzni is a notable figure among the early core of Gush Emunim, not only for his deep personal involvement but because he does not consider himself to be dati (religious). Indeed, most of the leading figures of the movement were not only religious but studied together at Mercaz HaRav, the yeshiva established by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook which has served since its founding as the wellspring of Religious Zionism. R’Kook’s son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, was seen as the spiritual leader of Gush Emunim and taught many of its leaders.

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Polls: Israeli Public Opinion on Land and Population Swaps for Peace

January 30, 2011


Many questions have been raised in the last week about the so-called Palestine Papers leaked to Al Jazeera and the Guardian newspaper. The collection of over 16,000 seemingly official documents purportedly reveal salient details of meetings, emails, and other communications between Israeli, Palestinian, and American negotiators between 2000 and 2010.

Most commentators have focused on the concessions the Palestinian Authority supposedly offered to the Israelis to secure a peace settlement. Significantly less attention has been paid to what Israeli diplomats in these meetings are recorded as considering or offering. One of the most interesting observations in this respect was a proposal by Tzipi Livni in 2008 to transfer the Israeli Arab towns of Barta’a, Baka al-Garbiyeh, and Beit Safafa, situated along the Green Line, to Palestinian control. This approach, which has been publically disallowed by Kadima, has notable similarities with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s peace plan.

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Interview with Yehuda Harel

January 27, 2011


On Monday, I traveled to Katzrin to meet with Yehuda Harel. Known in some circles as the “father of settlement” in the Golan, Harel was intimately involved with the founding of Merom Golan, the first Jewish settlement to be built in any of the newly conquered territories after the 1967 Six Day War. As a former head of the Golan Residents Committee, he helped found some 33 Jewish communities in the Heights.

Harel has been deeply politically involved in the struggle (מאבק) to prevent Israeli withdrawal from the territory. A former aide to Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and active in the Labour Party (עבודה), he broke from the party in protest of PM Shimon Peres’ moves to negotiate with Syria over the Golan. In 1996, along with former Avodah MKs Avigdor Kahalani and Emanuel Zisman, he help found a short-lived political party: the Third Way. The party won four seats in the 1996 Knesset elections, Harel among them, on a platform of opposition to withdrawal from the Golan. As a coalition partner in Netanyahu’s Likud-led government, it played a pivotal role in ensuring majority parliamentary opposition to territorial negotiations with Syria. In the 1999 elections, the party failed to secure a seat and exited the Israeli political stage.

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Polls: Division of Jerusalem and Israelis

January 15, 2011

jerusalem-neighborhoods-mapIn my previous post, I examined data drawn from a recent survey of Jerusalem Arabs polling their attitudes toward partition of the city. It was found that Arab residents of East Jerusalem are more in favor of acquiring Israeli citizenship and having their neighborhoods remain in sovereign Israeli territory than they are of becoming Palestinian citizens or having their neighborhoods transferred to Palestinian control. In this post, I will be examining Israeli attitudes toward division of the city.

Since the capture of Jordanian-occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and reunification of the city, Israelis have been staunchly opposed to division. Jerusalem is frequently and popularly referred to as the eternal, united, and indivisible capital of the Jewish people. This attitude is reflected in the municipality and state’s considerable investment in the Old City, particularly the Jewish quarter, its development of archaeological projects and parks in the most historical portions of the city, and its 40 years of neighborhood construction particularly in its expanded eastern “envelope.”

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