This week’s reading touches on the idea of intersectionality, which is “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage” (Tapper & Sucharov, 2019, p. 201). Numerous communities are involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Some dominant, others subordinated, and many who have identified as being marginalized. The reading explains how the search for social justice in Israel/Palestine points to a need to look at the relationships between some of these groups.
The reading explains Black-Palestinian solidarity by examining the relatively new alliances made between Palestinians and African American activists in an “intersectionality of struggles” (Tapper & Sucharov, 2019, p. 201). The reading does this by uncovering the conditions that have allowed a sense of solidarity to take place by tracing the “historical context of both struggles” and exposing their shared components (Tapper & Sucharov, 2019, p. 201).
The reading explains that the processes of “institutionalized racism against and dehumanization of African Americans in the United States and Palestinians in Israel/Palestine” have been extensively documented, thereby facilitating a “belief in a common struggle against oppression” (Tapper & Sucharov, 2019, p. 206). An example for both cases is the mass incarceration of Black men in the United States and of Palestinians in Israel/Palestine. For both of these groups, they are trapped by a criminal justice system that is rigged against them.
The reading also argues that, given an increase in participation of African Americans in supporting Palestinians’ rights, we may be seeing a “shift from the dominance of pro-Israel politics in mainstream American discourse into a new territory where such notions are openly challenged and rejected” (Tapper & Sucharov, 2019, p. 211). Throughout the years, Israel has found itself in various stages of affinity with the United States. Understanding the significance of this link, and how it may be evolving, may prove to be beneficial in understanding a shift in the dominant discourse.
Questions one should consider:
How could a Black-Palestinian bond open up spaces for joint struggles against oppression in both the United States and Israel/Palestine?
How has the American attitude towards Israel/Palestine shifted and changed over the years? How will this impact American relations with Israel/Palestine in the coming years?
Tapper, A. J. H., & Sucharov, M. (2019). Social Justice and Israel/Palestine: Foundational and Contemporary Debates. University of Toronto Press.
will post a 250-word response to a classmate (pick any classmate; hopefully students will spread themselves around…). Responses should draw on your knowledge from the course material. I also encourage you to indicate how we would go about finding the answer to the question(s) posed. What further info would we need? What kind of study might we design?