John Reynolds: Israel has operated in a self-declared and continuous constitutional emergency since the first week of its existence. Since the Nakba. Or, rather, throughout the Nakba. The logic of emergency underpins the catastrophe of 1948; its shadow continues to loom over the catastrophe of today and tomorrow. It permeates the ‘jagged time’ of catastrophe, as J.M. Coetzee puts it, in which empire locates its existence.
Amjad Iraqi recaps “The Nakba & The Law” workshop that took place on 7-8 December in Ramallah.
Greg Thomas: I have long been interested in the resonances between the Nakba and the Maafa – this is the Swahili word chosen for what is otherwise dubbed the “Middle Passage” in the history of African enslavement in the Americas, in North America specifically in this case. Both terms translate to the same thing: disaster or catastrophe. Both are used for enormous dislocating experiences that go on to define ongoing lives of struggle. Whenever I hear “Nakba,” I think immediately Maafa.
Susan Slyomovics: Can we imagine reparations for the Nakba outside the framework of settler colonialism?
Nimer Sultany: Notwithstanding its “activist,” rights-vindicating image, Israel’s Supreme Court has developed many techniques that ultimately reinforce judicial deference.
The Nakba Files spoke with Greg Thomas, Associate Professor of English at Tufts University (USA) and curator of the traveling exhibit “George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine,” which will run at Haifa’s Khashabi Theater from 28 October 2016 to 14 January 2017. Thomas is writing a book about George Jackson (1941-1971), a prominent member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and a political prisoner who was assassinated by state authorities. The exhibit highlights connections between Palestinian and Black American experiences of captivity.
An interview with Professor Michael Karayanni of Hebrew University’s Law Faculty about his recent book, Conflicts in a Conflict: A Conflict of Laws Case Study of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
Jehad Abu Salim: For Palestinians, the fence around the Gaza Strip evokes the Nakba, the refugee struggle, and the occupation. The fence, as a physical barrier to refugee return, was the beginning of the tragedy. The fence today is its continuation. And since the fence caused the problem, the solution must include its removal. The fence is the history that Palestinians in Gaza never want to forget, and no amount of aid can induce them to do so.
Conclusion to symposium on The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism: Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State (Hart Press), a forthcoming book by Mazen Masri.
K-Sue Park: When Israeli jurists speak of their country’s “social contract,” they are tapping into a history that goes back further than thinkers like Locke and Hobbes and is instead grounded in agreements concluded by English settlers in North America.