Book Launch: ‘Traces of Racial Exception: Racializing Israeli Settler Colonialism’ by Ronit Lentin

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Ronit Lentin’s new book “Traces of Racial Exception: Racializing Israeli Settler Colonialism” will be launched by Professor Neve Gordon of SOAS.

Friday 19th October, Robert Emmet Thearte, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

The launch will be followed by a wine reception.

Positioning race front and centre, this book theorizes that political violence, in the form of a socio-political process that differentiates between human and less-than-human populations, is used by the state of Israel in racializing and ruling the citizens of occupied Palestine.

Lentin argues that Israel’s rule over Palestine is an example of Agamben’s state of exception, Goldberg’s racial state and Wolfe’s settler colony; the Israeli racial settler colony employs its laws to rule besieged Palestine, while excluding itself and its Jewish citizen-colonists from legal instruments and governmental technologies. Governing through emergency legislation and through practices of exception, emergency, necessity and security, Israel positions itself outside domestic and international law.

Employing existing media, activist, and academic accounts of racialization this book deliberately breaks from white, Western theorizations of biopolitics, exception, and bare life, and instead foregrounds race and gender in analysing settler colonial conditions in Israel.

Ronit Lentin is former associate professor of sociology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and founder of the MPhil in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict. She has published extensively on Palestine-Israel, racism and immigration in Ireland. Her recent books include: Thinking Palestine (2008), Post-Memory and Melancholia: Israelis Memorialising the Palestinian Nakba (2010) and Migrant Activism and Integration from Below in Ireland (2012).

Neve Gordon is Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS London. His research focuses on international law, human rights, the ethics of violence, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and political theory. His most recent book, The Human Right to Dominate (written with Nicola Perugini) was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press.He is currently working on a new book project dealing with the history and politics of human shields.

ALL WELCOME

The book launch is organised by Academics for Palestine in association with the TCD MPhil In Race, Ethnicity and Conflict.

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Public Talk with Shawan Jabarin: The Great March of Return, Israel’s Assault on Gaza & the Struggle for Justice in Palestine

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The Great March of Return, Israel’s Assault on Gaza & the Struggle for Justice in Palestine

Wednesday 13th June 2018, 7-9pm
Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1

In this timely and important talk, pre-eminent Palestinian human rights defender
Shawan Jabarin will address recent developments in Gaza: the remarkable mass
movement that emerged in the form of the Great March of Return, and the
response of the Israeli military – including the use of lethal force and explosive
bullets against civilians, as well as open-fire rules of engagement that have been
approved by the Israeli Supreme Court. Jabarin will also address the diverse range
of ongoing attempts to hold Israel to account for its violations of international
law in the Palestinian territories – from potential war crimes investigations by the
International Criminal Court to forthcoming proposed legislation in Ireland to
ban trade with illegal settlements in occupied territories.

About the speaker

Shawan Jabarin is the General Director of Al-Haq, the largest, oldest and best
known human-rights organization in the Palestinian territories. In 2011 he was
appointed to the Human Rights Watch Middle East Advisory Board, and in 2013
he was elected as a Commissioner for the International Commission of Jurists. In
2016 he was elected Secretary-General of FIDH: International Federation of
Human Rights.

After studying sociology at Birzeit University in the 1980s, Jabarin later studied
law in Ireland. He is a graduate of the Irish Centre of Human Rights, NUI
Galway, where he completed the LL.M programme in 2004-05, supported by a
grant from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Irish Aid programme. In
2010, the Irish Centre of Human Rights presented him with its first and only
distinguished graduate award.

Jabarin began volunteering with Al-Haq while he was a student at Birzeit
University. He joined Al-Haq as a field researcher in 1987. He became its director
in 2006. He has been subject to administrative detention without trial, travel bans
and death threats for his work as a human rights defender, and has been
supported in campaigns by Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, Israeli
human rights organisation B’Tselem, and others. He was awarded the Reebok
Human Rights Award in 1990 for his defence of freedom of expression and
human rights, and has been received numerous other human rights awards since,
personally and on behalf of Al-Haq.

Organised by Academics for Palestine in association with the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Statement from Academics for Palestine in Support of Professor Moshe Machover

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We in Academics for Palestine have been following with interest the events in the UKs Labour Party – in particular, charges of antisemitism against Labour Party activists who support Palestinian rights and/or are critical of Zionism/Israel and its methods. The slur of antisemitism is being used to shut down criticism of the State of Israel and its criminal actions, and through so doing, to evade accountability.

The latest episode in this saga has resulted in the expulsion from the Labour Party of our esteemed academic colleague, Professor Moshe Machover on spurious grounds and without due process. An intellectual, an Israeli and a Jew, but perhaps most significantly, an outspoken anti-Zionist, Professor Machover has a long and honourable record of standing for justice and against Zionism’s oppression and the crimes of the Israeli State. This position is part of a wider anti-imperialist and anti-racist stance by Professor Machover.

Machover’s expulsion is a worrying development for a number of reasons: it indicates a tacit acceptance by the British Labour Party of the conflation of antisemitism and antizionism – an entirely false equivalence being actively promoted for political ends; by following Israel’s agenda, the Labour Party has shown itself as being open to inappropriate political influence; it attempts to legitimise the political persecution of critics of Zionism and the State of Israel and has profound implications for freedom of speech and political thought – the bedrock of democracy. That the UK’s Labour Party would act as a proxy for the harassment of an Israeli Jew who criticises Israel would be farcical were it not so serious.

We write to lend our support to our colleague Professor Moshe Machover, to demand that he be reinstated with reparation made for the outrageous slur on his good name, that this witchhunting within the Labour Party is ended immediately. Further, we demand that a review is undertaken of the influence of Israel and its supporters within the party, particularly where Israel’s interventions overstep the bounds of acceptable diplomacy and instead constitute illicit political interference.

Academics for Palestine.
23 October 2017

Book Launch: ‘Balfour’s Shadow: A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel’ by David Cronin

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balfshad-188x300The Dublin branch of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in association with Academics for Palestine is honoured to host the launching of Irish journalist David Cronin’s new book, ‘Balfour’s Shadow: A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel’ (Pluto, 2017). Join us to hear from David on Monday 23rd October 2017, at 7pm in The Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1.

Copies of the book will be available to buy at the event and David will be happy to sign them after his talk.

PLEASE JOIN, SHARE & INVITE YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK, THANKS!

About the Book

“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

This is the infamous Balfour Declaration, which began one hundred years of conflict with the Palestinian people. Penned in 1917 by British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, these words had an immense impact on history that still emanates a century later. In the controversial, fast-paced Balfour’s Shadow, David Cronin traces the story of the rhetorical and practical assistance that Britain has given to the Zionist movement and the state of Israel since that day. Skillfully and engagingly written, Balfour’s Shadow uses previously unreleased sources and archives to reveal a new side to an old story. Cronin focuses on important historical events such as the Arab Revolt, the Nakba and establishment of the state, the ‘56 and ‘67 wars, the Cold War, and controversial public figures like Tony Blair. Marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Cronin provides a fascinating take on this oft-maligned, important history.

About the author

David Cronin is an Irish journalist and author who reports on the EU from Brussels. He has written for The Irish Times, The Guardian, Inter Press Service, TheJournal.ie, Electronic Intifada and others. His previous books include Corporate Europe: How Big Business Sets Policies on Food, Climate and War (Pluto, 2013) and Europe’s Alliance with Israel: Aiding the Occupation (Pluto, 2010).

Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East Correspondent
“Cronin describes vividly how, by deception, Britain’s imperial designs and perceived need for international Jewish support in wartime gave birth to the Balfour Declaration of November 1917, which handed Arab Palestine to the Zionist Movement, as a ‘Jewish national home’ or Jewish state. Cronin examines Britain’s continuing pernicious, deadly and lucrative relationship with Israel, its political support for Israel’s war crimes, and theft of Arab land and the mutual arms trade.”

Nur Masalha, editor of Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies
“It is not surprising that each year the November anniversary of the Balfour promise is celebrated by British friends of Israel and mourned by millions of dispossessed Palestinian refugees. Speaking the truth about the catastrophic consequences of British support for Zionism, this amply documented book shows how Britain erected and for decades maintained the scaffolding that gave birth to a settler-colonial state in Palestine and the Palestinian Nakba. Acknowledging Britain’s moral responsibility towards the Palestinians is a key message of this timely and courageous book. A must read for those seeking truth and reconciliation in the Middle East.”

Organised by Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in association with Academics for Palestine.

Lecture by Dr. Nizar Ayoub: The Syrian Golan – 50 Years Under Occupation

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When: Friday 6th October, 1pm – 2pm
Where: Trinity College Dublin, Irish School of Ecumenics, G6

Nizar Ayoub is the principal founder of Al-Marsad (Arab Human Rights Centre in the Golan Heights) and has served as Al-Marsad’s Director since 2012. Nizar obtained an M.A in International Law from the Institute of Foreign Relations and International Law, at Kiev National University in 1992, and a Ph.D in International Law from the Institute of State and Law, at the Russian Academy of Sciences, in Moscow in 1998.

Nizar specializes in legal research and training in the fields of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Nizar is a human rights activist and a member of Israel Bar Association. He worked with Al-Haq, a leading Palestinian human rights organization in Ramallah from 2000-2011, as a lawyer and legal researcher.

Nizar has published several studies on the legal status of the occupied Arab territories since 1967 with a special focus on Jerusalem. In 2014 Nizar served as a consultant to the UN Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Organised by the Irish School of Ecumenics in Trinity College Dublin and Academics for Palestine.

Steven Salaita Dublin Lecture: ‘Why Palestine Is Everyone’s Moral Issue’

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The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, in association with Academics for Palestine, are honoured to present a public talk by renowned Palestinian-American author and intellectual Steven Salaita. The event will take place on Tuesday 12th September 2017 at 7.30pm in The Academy Plaza Hotel, 10-14 Findlater Place (off Cathal Brugha Street), Dublin 1 (map here). Admission free.

In this talk, Steven Salaita will explore why Palestine is one of the world’s most pressing moral issues and argue that a liberated Palestine is everybody’s concern.

PLEASE JOIN & SHARE THE EVENT ON FACEBOOK, THANKS!

About the speaker

Steven Salaita is an American scholar, author and public speaker formerly the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut. His books include Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader’s Guide (2011), Israel’s Dead Soul (2011), Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom (2015), Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine (2016).

Organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign in association with Academics for Palestine.

Call for Papers- Freedom of speech and Higher Education: The case of the academic boycott of Israel.

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Trinity College

Trinity College Dublin, 12 September 2017

Conference announcement and call for papers

Academic freedom includes the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfil their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction.  The enjoyment of academic freedom carries with it obligations, such as the duty to respect the academic freedom of others, to ensure the fair discussion of contrary views, and to treat all without discrimination on any of the prohibited grounds (UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “The Right to Education (Art.13),” December 8, 1999)

Questions of freedom of speech have been to the forefront in contemporary academic debate. Historically, universities have always provided space for critical thinking and engaged civil society activism. In recent years there has been much discussion about how neoliberalism in higher education has affected academic freedom and the expression of dissenting and controversial views. The conference examines these effects with particular reference to academic boycotts in general, and in particular the controversies surrounding the academic boycott of Israel.

There have been claims that austerity and the cuts in public funding for the higher education sector have led to universities responding by:

  • Changing university culture to emphasise training for the job market at the possible expense of broader educational goals
  • Hiring increasing numbers of temporary, adjunct and precarious academic staff
  • Placing greater emphasis on research funding from public, EU and private sources, leading to increasing pressure on academics to seek and compete for scarce financial resources
  • A greater reliance on managerialism, cost cutting and bureaucratic measures which put greater administrative pressure on academics

This response may result in stifling critical thinking, dissent and freedom of expression by academics and students and lead to self-censorship and curtailing expression on controversial topics. Today’s public university culture is shifting from one based on ‘the liberal university’ to one focused on a business model, the provision of training and resource management, all of which narrows the space for the exchange of ideas and for freedom of expression.

This has thrown into sharp relief a constant question for academics as to whether their role encompasses or precludes political activism – whether homo academicus should also be homo politicus. With growing global political polarisation, this question has returned to the spotlight with academics under fire for expressing political opinions in Turkey, the US and elsewhere.

The case of the academic boycott of Israel

Rather than examining these issues on either an abstract or an anecdotal level, the conference focuses on the hotly contested issue of academic boycott, as this offers a paradigmatic example of how controversial topics are dealt with by the contemporary university and of the effects of the neoliberalisation of the public university on academic freedom.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) was initiated in 2004 to contribute to the struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality. It advocates for a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions for their deep and persistent complicity in Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights – including academic freedom – that are stipulated in international law. Across the world, academics and students have responded to the Palestinian call for boycott by refusing to cooperate with Israeli higher education institutions on grounds of conscience. This stance has inevitably caused controversy in universities globally.

Since the academic boycott is a controversial topic, one would expect those who support the boycott to be challenged. However, the challenge rarely comes from within the world of ideas and is usually offered through a mixture of ‘lawfare’, bureaucratic strictures, threat to employment and disciplinary measures. In other words, the academic boycott of Israel is an arena in which disciplinarity – rather than the ideals of the liberal university – is brought to bear. While this is an unsatisfactory way of dealing with controversial topics, the question remains as to how university administrators and academics can best facilitate the free exchange of ideas in this arena.

Keynote speakers at the conference are Steven Salaita (Author of Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom, Steven was denied a Professorship in University of Illinois due to his views on Israel/Palestine and will speak on “Freedom to boycott:  BDS and the modern University”),  Kathleen Lynch (Chair of Equality Studies, UCD, specialising in neoliberalism and educational policy and theory), and John Reynolds (Department of Law, Maynooth University, specialising in international law and critical legal studies)

Call for papers

The conference does not propose to debate the pros and cons of the academic boycott of Israel but rather to make links and draw lessons about the role of the public university in fostering academic freedom, and the freedom to express critical, even if controversial views. We are inviting proposals for papers by academics at all levels as well as graduate students, university administrators and members of student groups and professional academic associations.

The conference will be interdisciplinary, situated between law, the arts, social sciences and humanities  and will seek to include academics from Ireland and abroad, as well as university administrators and academics with practical experiences of the issues surrounding academic freedom in higher education.

We are inviting proposals for papers on:

  • Academics as political actors and advocates
  • Challenges to academic freedom and the freedom to dissent
  • The practice of academic boycott and academic freedom
  • The effects of ‘lawfare’ and disciplinary measures on support for the academic boycott of Israel
  • Links between academic precarity, managerialism and disciplinarity
  • Comparisons with previous academic boycotts, such as the boycott of Apartheid South Africa

We invite abstracts (up to 250 words) on any of the themes above or addressing related themes you feel deserve consideration. Abstracts should include a title, your email address and institutional affiliation if any (independent scholars are welcome to submit). Please send abstracts to David Landy at <sept12tcdconference@gmail.com> by 1 July 2017.

Conference information

Detailed information will be made available in due course, but this will be a one-day conference on 12 September 2017 at Trinity College Dublin, with a public lecture the evening before. The conference is hosted by the MPhil in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict in the Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin. Trinity was an early and important supporter of the academic boycott of Apartheid South Africa and remains well known for its liberal stance and openness towards diverse and dissenting voices.

Following the conference, the organisers intend to produce an edited collection of the papers in the form of either an edited book or a journal special issue

Dr David Landy, MPhil in Race, Ethnicity, Conflict, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Ronit Lentin, Associate Professor (retired), Sociology, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Conor McCarthy, School of English, Maynooth University