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Title: Internationalisation of the national aspirations of the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel
Author: Shahbari, Ilham
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 571X
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2019
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This study is concerned with the concept of internationalisation as a tool for disadvantaged minorities to affect change in their situation. This phenomenon has been studied widely with respect to authoritarian regimes and later on with liberal Western democracies. The current study has focussed on the state of Israel and the situation of its Palestinian Arab minority to investigate the origins and purposes of internationalisation, the extent to which these efforts have achieved the objectives that were set, and whether this process is in any sense capable of achieving them. The analysis shows that the internationalisation process whereby the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel sought to reclaim their rights by invoking the support of the international community has emerged in the 1950s. It came to be perceived as necessary because internal legal and political processes were understood to be insufficient to achieve any redress for their grievances. The Arab leadership in Israel articulates internationalisation as a strategy designed to invoke the norms of democracy to question the conduct of successive Israeli governments, and counter the narrative offered by them on the world stage. The internationalisation strategy is seen to undergo a profound transformation from public memoranda, to civil and legal advocacy by invoking international conventions and treaties and finally to personal diplomacy. The results show that it is not a zero sum game; it is an especially effective method in different ways and with varying degrees of success. It created an extension of the critique of Israel's treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories to its Palestinian minority. Using the international law in the modality of legal advocacy to compel the Israeli state to adhere to the commitments it had made by acceding to an international convention, proved more effective than mere political pressure. Another factors such as the nature of the claims, geopolitical circumstances, global momentum, and domestic politics are crucial as well for the success of the internationalisation. Yet, Israel's response varied in particular cases to minimise external critics, and its respect for the international law was uttered by utilitarian justification to protect its reputation. The application of the social constructivist boomerang-spiral model to the process of internationalisation is deemed to be a particularly effective instrument to explore both the potential and the limits of the process of compelling the Israeli state to conform to internationally supported norms. The results of this study demonstrate that the construction of the state's identity as a Jewish and concerns over national security are potentially in conflict with the egalitarian democratic norms that it claims to be governed by. The implications of these two elements for the operation of the Israeli state has resulted in a failure to fully integrate its Arab citizens. The Nation-State Law of 2018 reinforces the legal and systematic discrimination against the Palestinians in Israel and explains why internationalisation has not been successful. 443 It is the first comprehensive investigation into a selected series of case studies that document international appeals made by Israel's Arab elite due to three chronological periods: 1948-1979, 1992- 2013 and 2015 onwards. On a theoretical level, it is the first time that the spiral model has been tested in the context of Israel and its Arab minority. This can serve as a strategic information source for Arab MKs, NGOs and Israeli decision makers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Arab minority ; Israel ; Elite actions ; Soft power ; International community ; Transnational advocacy networks ; Internationalisation ; Boomerang-spiral model ; State-minority relations