9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS14 Chronic Regional Conflicts

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Special Session on "Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine: Past, Present and Future Building AA, Auditorio Afonso de Barros

Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine Past, Present and Future

The Israeli regime is a paradox. Considered a democracy, it has no recognized borders, and controls the majority of Palestinians by military rule. In this peculiar dual military-democratic regime the military is a crucial political actor, while the resistance of non-citizen Palestinians - neither fully integrated nor completely separated - exerts major influence over politics and policies. In the absence of borders, conflicts cannot be successfully contained through political dialogue, and frequently deteriorate into violence. The author describes and analyzes the sequence of events that engendered mutual recognition between Israelis and Palestinians and peaceful negotiations during the 1990's, and its subsequent reversal, leading to escalating violence in the 2000's.

The author argues that Israelis and Palestinians could imagine the Oslo agreements as a peace process because the pre-1967 border was considered the basis for the "two-state solution" by both parties. The peace accords and their implementation, however, blurred the border, facilitating violent acts which derailed the negotiations, and encouraged what the author entitles the military occupation of the political space. Countering the current political despair of many Israelis and Palestinians, Grinberg points to new directions beyond the impasse of the dichotomous single-state or two-state solutions. His original analysis seeks to demystify the past in order to facilitate the reinvention of the future.

The author's presentation is based on his upcoming book Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine: Democracy vs. Military Rule(Routledge 2009). The text will become available, ahead of time, to colleagues/discussants who are already participating in RS14 sessions with a regular paper presentation.

Discussants/Commentators: Gershon Shafir, Director, Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies, University of California, San Diego, USA; Ziyaad Lunat, Alumnus of London School of Economics and Long-term Activist for Palestinian Rights, Lisbon, Portugal; Leticia Bendelac, Ph.D. Student, Department of Social Change, University of Complutense, Madrid, Spain.