Swarthmore College Department of

Peace & Conflict Studies Blog

What is Palestine? A discourse analysis of Palestinian and Israeli Peace Activists

“What is Palestine? A discourse analysis of Palestinian and Israeli Peace Activists”

Dr. Camelia Suleiman, Lecturer, Tri-College Arabic Program, Bryn Mawr College

Thursday, March 25

4:30 PM

Bond Hall

Where are the temporal and spatial borders of Palestine? Generally, to Israeli activists, Palestine occupies a very specific spatial-temporal locality: all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea prior to the year 1948, the year Israel became a state. Palestine after that year means to them the spatial dimension of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in other words, the remainder of historic Palestine from 1948-1967 (the year Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip). This is not as simple or as straightforward to Palestinian interviewees. Their relationship to Palestine biographically, historically, and experientially is much more complex, despite of the fact that their physical mobility is highly restricted. Further, activists from both groups locate the ‘self’ experientially in two critical moments in their biographies: birth and coming into adulthood. They generally link these moments to historic events taking place, and as formative of their later activism.

Sponsored by the Arabic section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures