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Title: Active (dis)engagement : the gendered production of political apathy in Israel
Author: Natanel, Katherine Louise
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Ma la'asot? 'What can we do?' Spoken with a sigh and a shrug of the shoulders, this sentiment often brings to a close the tense pause which follows discussions of ha sichsuch, 'the quarrel', in Israel- Palestine. As expressed by Leftist Jewish Israelis, the phrase ma la'asot becomes a way of conveying political emotions of despair, helplessness and disappointment at the same time as it presents a practical question of power. Faced with the seeming intractability of conflict, the interminability of a stalled peace process and increasing social and political conservatism, those Jewish Israelis opposed to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories find themselves at loose ends: what to do indeed? While an extensive body of research critically engages with 'the Israeli-Palestinian conflict' through lenses including history, political economy and activism, this thesis shifts focus to the production of stasis. In considering how things stay the same, we might better understand the roots and routes of how they may become different. Drawing upon one year of ethnographic research with Jewish Israelis living in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem, this thesis explores the processes, practices and beliefs which sustain normalcy in conditions of conflict. Central to this investigation is gender - as an aspect of subjectivity, relation of power and ordering principle of state and society, gender is integral to the conduct of everyday life and the maintenance of political realities. Thus, this thesis asks what a gender analysis of Jewish Israeli society might tell us about the trajectory of 'Israel-Palestine', what the textures of normalcy, apathy and stasis mean for our visions of the future. Moving through degrees of division and entanglement, modes of avoidance and activism, sites of investment and withdrawal, and instantiations of normalcy and rupture, this thesis foregrounds the gendered subjectivities and sociality central to the production and maintenance of power in Israel-Palestine. By attempting to unpick to relationship between gender and political stasis, this thesis ulti
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral