Topic: What women in established Jewish settlements can tell us about underlying economic, cultural, and religious issues that make the topography of this conflict a lot more complicated than often imagined and represented. Hannah will share several ethnographic vignettes from her research and summarize some of the deeper issues that these conversations and stories reveal.
She is a PhD candidate in Department of Anthropology at University of Florida. At a recent Limmud session, her talk notes that her
focus is on narrative and feminist ethnography, the influence of feminism on religious ritual practice, convergences of spiritual meaning and questions of power, contemporary Judaism, and Israel/Palestine.
More from an interview:
...How did I get onto this topic? Actually, I went to Israel to study something different, but I was visiting some of my husband’s family in the settlements and I became more and more intrigued by the contradiction between my political unease, and the warmth and beauty of the communities. I was (and continue to be) deeply troubled by the occupation of the territories, and yet, the Jewish communities are so pleasant. How did that happen? Radical religious ideologies didn’t seem to be the only answer. I wondered what had been written about the settlements in the field of anthropology, and I discovered that there was very little. So, after a lot of debating, I decided to delve into the subject... the truth is that “settlers” are not one homogenous group. There are many different kinds of people who move to the settlements for many different reasons. I’m interested in looking more closely at those motivations...what I’m trying to do is to ask people to move past the ideas and assumptions that they have in their minds, and for a few minutes to consider other voices, and to zoom-in closer into the issue..I’d like people to get a sense for how complicated the situation really is. The conversations about the settlements, about the Palestinians, and also about Israel more generally, are too often painted in white and black; people are either left or right, either for or against the settlements, for example. I think that looking more closely at what is actually going on gives us a much deeper understanding about why and how exactly it’s happening, and, in addition, perhaps gives us some sense for how to move towards a more hopeful future...I am interested in looking at the geography on the level of human beings, and how listening carefully might make those boundaries less important.
Another, similar, study I found.
And consider this:
An academic study, Anachronism and Morality: Israeli Settlement, Palestinian Nationalism, and Human Liberation, by Joyce Dalsheim
This article is concerned with how the idea of anachronism can interfere with our thinking about social justice, peace, and human liberation. In the case of Israel/Palestine the idea of anachronism is deployed among liberals, progressives and radical theorists, and activists seeking peace and social justice who express animosity toward religiously motivated settlers and their settlement project. One of the ways in which they differentiate themselves from these settlers is by suggesting that settler actions belong to the past. They also pity Palestinians conceived of as stuck in an oppressive system of settler colonialism that also belongs to the past, preventing them from moving forward. Both perceptions of anachronism limit the ways we can think about human liberation and peace. This article sheds light on a conundrum about who or what belongs to the past, and how thinking in such terms can contribute to the production of a particular moral collective and to the production of enmity. Both perceptions of anachronism frame history as a kind of progress in which peoples or groups might be ranked according to their levels of civilizational attainment, an idea we abandoned long ago as an analytical tool, but seem to have retained as a matter of practical political sympathy and judgment. This temporal conditioning can interfere with the thinking of even some of the most progressive social theorists, and mimics a colonial impulse.