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Palestinian Women and Politics in Israel

Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud

Publication Year: 2009

Though equal rights protection is written into Israeli law, women are underrepresented in the political arena. This is especially true in the case of Palestinian women--only two in the entire sixty year history of Israel have been members of the Knesset.

Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud examines the various factors that have created this culture of political oppression. She relies on both feminist theory and theories of colonial domination as well as conclusions drawn from personal interviews with female activists. Utilizing Arabic, English, and Hebrew sources, she also makes careful distinctions between the lives and experiences of Christian, Muslim, Bedouin, and Druze women.

Daoud's focus remains squarely on the experiences of Palestinian women, however, and she demonstrates that the problem is not only due to the minority status of Palestinians. She reveals how they are further hampered by Arab cultural attitudes toward women and the overall political culture in Israel, which continues to privilege men over women even as it pays lip service to equality.

Published by: University Press of Florida


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-v


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p. vii


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pp. ix-x

List of Tables

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p. xi

List of Abbreviations

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p. xii

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pp. 1-9

As a young Palestinian girl growing up in Israel, I dreamed about becoming a government minister or an ambassador. Later, I realized that this dream would never come true. I came to understand that in the state of Israel, political-national barriers would prevent me and other ambitious Palestinian women ...

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1. The Politics of the Trapped Palestinian Minority in Israel

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pp. 10-41

During Harb Tamuz (July) 2006 war, Palestinians in Israel received a sharp reminder of their complicated and contradictory status as citizens of Israel and members of a larger Arab nationality and identity. Palestinians were caught between Hezbollah’s Katyusha rockets and the Jewish state; the rockets killed ...

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2. Between Feminism and Nationalism

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pp. 42-107

Examining the history of international feminism in relation to the rise of nationalism, Gisela Kaplan claims that—with a few exceptions—European feminism was not compatible with nationalism at any point in Western European history (Kaplan 1997: 3–37). In the Arab world, however, women’s struggle ...

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3. Reshaping the Narrative: The Voices of Palestinian Women

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pp. 108-153

This chapter identifies three stages that shaped and influenced these women’s involvement in politics. The first stage, “the formative years of a political Palestinian woman,” covers the sociological characteristics of the interviewed women including socioeconomic status, familial, political, and social background, as well ...

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4. Palestinian Women in the Local and National Arenas

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pp. 154-204

The broad subject of women’s under-representation in politics has garnered scholarly attention around the world. Despite major shifts in women’s lives over the last fifty years—in family life, work, political and educational access, and social awareness—equal participation of women in key decision-making ...

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pp. 205-212

In June 2006, I visited my family in Mi῾ilya, the small village in Western Galilee where I grew up, not far from the Lebanese border. While tensions were high in Israel because of the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip, the pressure in Mi῾ilya felt especially intense. The young soldier came from ...

Appendix A

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pp. 213-217

Appendix B

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pp. 219-220

Appendix C

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pp. 221-222

Appendix D

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p. 223


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pp. 225-230


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pp. 231-233

Works Cited

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pp. 235-252


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pp. 253-259

About the Author

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p. 260

E-ISBN-13: 9780813045764
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813033624
Print-ISBN-10: 0813033624

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 9 tables, map, 4 appendixes
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 682316822
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Palestinian Women and Politics in Israel

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Women, Palestinian Arab -- Political activity -- Israel.
  • Women -- Political activity -- Israel.
  • Palestinian Arabs -- Politics and government.
  • Israel -- Politics and government.
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