Our Sisters' Promised Land
Women, Politics, and Israeli-Palestinian Coexistence
Publication Year: 1996
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Series: Women and Culture Series
For most Americans, violence, anger, and revenge have become the daily face of the Middle East on their television screens. The Promised Land, in national and local newspapers, has become synonymous with severe occupation and horrific suicide bombings...
Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's prime minister, was assassinated on November 4, 1995, at a public event, a peace rally, in Tel Aviv. He was killed by an ultraRight Israeli Jew who opposed Rabin's peace politics. As prime minister since 1992, Rabin was a key leader in changing the state's official policy...
I am most grateful to all the women peace activists in Israel and in the Occupied Territories who made this book possible. I want to thank the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manchester and Marilyn Strathern, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at...
In 1990, when I went to Israel to do an ethnographic project on women's peace activism, words like peace, coexistence, and Palestinians were silenced in official public discourse. Three years later, after the display of two internationally legitimated Middle East peace agreements, it was hard to...
1. Citizens of the State and Political Women
Friday afternoon is a time in Israel when the public domain, stores, businesses, and offices, close down in preparation for the Sabbath, and roads teem with cars heading home, making their way through narrow streets and overcrowded highways. The Women in Black-Nashim Beshahor, as they...
2. On the Borders of Nations: Sororal Transnational Territory
On November 18,1991, the newspaper Hadashot published a striking photograph of an exuberant group of Israeli-Jewish women peace activists holding hands with Hannan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian delegation to the 1991 Middle East peace talks in Madrid, where she had been...
3. A Socialist God of Justice: Between Fundamentalism and the Secular Left
On an evening in June 1990, in a hotel in Jerusalem that is frequented by religious Jews, four women panelists were sitting at a long table facing an audience of about a hundred people, mostly women. The panelists were addressing a conference entitled "Religious Women for Peace"...
4. East Confronts West: What the Left Eye of Israel Does Not See
In July 1990 about 130 women for peace and 5 men from the Peace Camp gathered in Tel Aviv to participate in a conference entitled "Peace and Identities in Israeli Society: The Place of Mizrahi Women in Political Activities." This conference, jointly sponsored by Reshet Nashim Leshalom and a...
5. A Political Upheaval: Meanings of Peace and Coexistence
In June 1992 a public event of profound significance took place in Israel: after fifteen years in power, the Likud Party lost the elections, and the Labor Party, together with Meretz, formed an essentially Left government, including its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. State politics had been...
6. When Locals Meet the Global
Women's peace activism in Israel illuminates more than the various contours of Israel's political life. The spread of the Israeli Women in Black to places around the globe and the employment of Western feminism by women peace activists offer critical insights to the riveting recent phenomenon...
Conclusion: The Margins Illuminating Politics
Ethnographic projects such as this book on women's peace activism in Israel involve two stages. They begin with fieldwork, the gathering of material away from home, over "there"; the projects expand into the writing phase, which usually takes place "here," when anthropologists return home. Yet, as...
Glossary of Hebrew Terms