Social Justice and Israel/Palestine with Mira Sucharov and Aaron Hahn Tapper


Hope that you'll enjoy our conversation as we dive into the connection between scarlet work and the social justice issues of Israel and Palestine. A major major way in which history matters because through history we can better understand pressing issues of the day and as I think it'll come through clearly in our a conversation that as historians and experts we have something to contribute to these conversations to thanks for listening. I'm your hi Erin. Welcome to the PODCAST. Thank you Jason Thank you. I'm really glad that you guys are here to talk about this book which I was really excited to see and to read through I wanna I wanNA start off by asking. What do you mean by Social Justice and Israel-palestine when you look at the title itself? What is the connection there? And why do you think that it's important to integrate. These two realms in the discussion of social justice on the one hand and the broad set of issues around Israel and Palestine part of our idea was that Israel Palestine conflict is taught as is an informational explanatory lands right through prescriptive questions in what happened in terms of what we mean. By a lens of social justice we we mean an inter our disciplinary perspective places concepts like rights justice and oppression at the forefront and that aims to Dick sexualize Israel-palestine Israel-palestine especially for those who think of this as some sort of Auger. That's been going on forever and we'll go on forever but it it's a conflict that will end. I just like the troubles in Northern Ireland and the horrific stuff in Rwanda in apartheid in South Africa and other conflicts in the world the people in Israel Palestinian or not onto logically different In terms of their humanness than other people conflict. That will end also our goal in terms of approaching this was social justice. Justice is this notion of introducing power to the conversation if we had only included voices of people with particular social identities and now other voices. I don't think that necessarily would have been just. But our attempt is to bring in a variety of voices and introduced concepts jobs related to power dynamics which is goes down the rabbit hole of privileged status access oppression etcetera so it also means bringing in the grassroots spotlighting hot-listing minority identities as rusty Israelis essay. Anat there's an essay on Bedouin. BS courses a grassroots in many ways a grassroots treats movement and really. Were trying to broaden the discussion from what is typically explanatory questions to more prescriptive questions saying what should happen in order for. Israeli people have Palestinian people in the region to experience a sense of justice and the social part is just that we wanted to flag that. It isn't simply a book about illegal intricacies. I have a little bit of a vested interest in the term because during the twenty eleven ten protests in Israel that started on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Levine. Is released were protesting high cost of living biceps cottage cheese of the price of housing. And they were talking in terms of social justice. Senate Clinical Lt and it became very clear early on that to maintain a broad based movement. It would be bracketing. The question of Palestinians and social justice in purely early economic terms. And we know that here when social justice movements more broadly progressive movement's about social justice thinking not only economically editor of racial justice ethnic justice religious justice justice for every individual and collective. And so we're really trying lick the conversation back towards saying how. How can Israel and the Palestinians live their lives and we as editors have a singular answer to that but we brought together scholars and activists that have very specific the the actors for that very important question and they're engaging with one another on that question? We just had the episode Rachel Harris where we talked about her book about teaching about Israel and Palestine. And there it's very clearly a book about pedagogy a book that is directed at professors teachers. Thinking about how they can teach about the subject and here you're dealing much much more conceptually much more about getting into the issues themselves as opposed to how we teach them when you think about a book like this. Who Do you see as the person who you want to pick it up what you want them to get out of it? I think we intended this book per use in classrooms where the Israel Palestinian dynamic is being taught whether it's Israeli Israeli Palestinian conflict glasser history class or the social dynamics of how Israelis and Palestinians relate with one another so it's really meant for students and the professors who teach awesome. We also seems to make it as readable as possible as accessible as possible to a wide audience. Who aren't necessarily subject specialists and to that end really took care to write very concise intro pieces to each of the eight conceptual chapters showing the reader? What's at stake? AAC each of these major debates. I have an essay that appears Rachel's Book as well in the essay that I wrote in her book is really a precursor to this project which I engaged with Aaron and really. It's a short essay about my own personal struggle of how I had been seeking to keep politics out of the classroom and had been even feeling a little bit frightened of students. What if they brought the a word? I would say appears the night before a particularly contentious topic topic where I was worried. That apartheid come. What do I do in my the the foil for the students do? I need to debate the students that they see the other side. Whatever the other side is depending on what perspective is student is raising and I realized it wasn't really very healthier constructive approach so I think what we really wanted to? The book was to enable a wave for politics it should be able to seep into the classroom in a way that doesn't put the professor on the hot seat but enables the professor to shepherd students through the debates enabling students succeed as many perspectives as they can in contrast to mirror. I was coming up this project from perhaps not in context given that was a precursor newark yet that stage but in any event for about ten years I was part of a not for profit educational organization where we worked with muscles views Israelis Palestinians and everything we did was co taught. CO-DEVELOPED CO design. So I ran the organization with the Muslim Palestinian woman are high school programs with Jews. Muslims awesome were run developed design fifty fifty by twos Muslims etcetera. And so I was coming at this project from a number of years back back so to speak from the vantage point that regardless of attempts by some people to engage in objectivity or neutrality perhaps closer to objectivity than they might otherwise present. Things that it's impossible. I think to teach each about things in the humanities frankly without offering perspectives. Even if you said all right. Here's our issue. And here's three vantage vantage points on the issue. Great probably ten others twenty thirty others so I was already at that place because that was is how I been socialized in. That's my experiences regardless. Yeah I mean I think that what you both have brought up really is a critical issue. You look at this book wishes to say as I read it and as I was thinking about it. It seems to me that the central issue that you're engaging with this fundamental idea and and the way I think about this is that even though this is a book with many authors many contributors are pushing this fundamental central thesis that the politics the issues should be a part of how we engage with Israel and Palestine scholars in a way that some people say I want to avoid the politics I want to avoid the touchy issues and try to achieve some kind of noble dream of objectivity of neutrality etc.. I think part of what. This book is arguing in this ties into to mirror. What you were saying in your essay and Rachel Harris Book as well you have to do with the idea about what is the role of the scholar and how we interact with these issues? Yeah to that. I would add one more specific thing especially in the case the way I've been teaching the courses in my field. Political Science and international relations and in many areas of social science. Generally professors tend to focus on. Why questions or we could call explanatory questions? So why did Israel extended extended olive branch to the PLO nineteen ninety-three. Why did Camp David Two thousand fail and instead of keeping prescriptive questions the questions what should be what shall be? Why should it be this way? Instead of keeping those questions that Bay we wanted to invite space for students to see how scholars activists make those prescriptive arguments particularly as the book has become available for use in my own courses finding consigning op. Ed Science for students to write much more frequently and I'm encouraging students to take the various topics that we covered in the course I which is really pretty united eight until present day and make a prescriptive argument should be. DSP Out Lodge should be various political parties depending on what case they're looking at encountered the US embrace a different view of Palestine within their platforms. I should trump have proved the the embassy to Jerusalem or not and make an argument that necessitates taking into account the arguments of another point of view and really taking those arguments seriously in making a good case whereas in some years I might have read a student paper like that. Oh this is too ideological. This is too opinionated. I no longer separate informed. Well argued opinion. That is derived from a scholarly understanding of the situation. I no longer divorce that argumentation from a more detached explanatory Brian Tori type of

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