Sweet Home Area B-ama

I’m going to be traveling the next few days, and am not sure of Wifi availability at my destination, so I may be slow with blogging and comment approvals for a bit, but when I get a chance, I’ll start blogging again:

Live from Area B, it’s…Policy of Truth! With Special Guests….The Separation Wall.YamasHamasBDS…and cameo appearances by Al Quds Political Philosophy Seminar 0409236…

Stay tuned….

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7 thoughts on “Sweet Home Area B-ama

  1. All it needs is an “X” for “you are here.” Al Quds U is in Abu Dis, which I believe is in the Area B splotch just south of Jerusalem, underneath the red line for the separation wall. To get to it from Jerusalem (or vice versa), you have to do an end-run around the purple splotch, which is the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Tel Aviv is in Israel proper, on the Mediterranean coast. Aside from Jerusalem, none of the Israeli cities are on this map.

        I’m in Rome right now, also not on the map. I’m trying to do as the Romans are doing, but I can’t because they have Smartphones and I don’t.


        • Well, after 24 hours of travel–one train, four buses, two flights, one drive, one checkpoint–I’m here in Abu Dis, with Wifi.

          It’s kind of typical of the information we receive about Israel/Palestine in the US, but after 24 hours here, I realize how ridiculously incomplete and misleading that map is, something that should be apparent just by looking at it. If you look at the enclosed space in red border east of Jerusalem, south of Ramallah, and north and west of Bethleham, the obvious question should arise: if the purple stands for Israeli settlements, and the mauve for Area B, what does blank white stand for? Presumably, Area C. But if you re-read the text that accompanies the map, it’s not clear.

          Anyway, a friend here, Sinan Abu Shanab, pointed me in the direction of some nice maps at the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, they don’t have the most recent political map that I saw on his wall. But the political maps they have are better than the one on Wikipedia.


  2. Have a good time!

    Here is a belated request: When you kick it with the students at Al Quds U, could you do me a favor and try to gauge the level of mistrust that young Palestinians have of Israeli Jews? (Same goes for young Israelis of Palestinians.)

    From my vantage point, it seems like the older generations in Israel/Palestine are more open to dialogue than the younger ones. Some anecdotal evidence from you might clear things up a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. Actually, your request isn’t belated–I just got here Tuesday night, and don’t start teaching until Saturday. So far, my contacts with students (for that matter, with people) have been very limited. And since I’m based in the WB, I don’t know how many Israelis I’ll end up talking to.

      I think it’s very hard to generalize about generations from the kind of sample you get from two months’ experience. I’ll be engaging with middle to upper middle class university students from one area at one university, so that narrows the sample. Also, Al Quds may have a distinctive culture of engagement that spans generations, so that affects the sample as well. AQU’s founder, Sari Nusseibeh, is famous for his interest in cross-cultural/cross-national dialogue. But so is its younger generation. This article is a little dated, but coheres with my more recent experiences. Al Quds has a partnership with Bard College and used to have one with Brandeis, so there’s some engagement at that level. It also has more specialized partnerships (in the physical and health sciences) with other U.S. universities, so perhaps there’s some engagement there.

      The one thing I would say, more from my last trip here than this one, is that there is disappointment among the Palestinians I’ve met at Israelis’ relative indifference to Israeli actions in Gaza and the West Bank, and their relative lack of interest in engaging with Palestinians. This article is a little dated, but it reflects the same attitude.

      That said, things are complicated by the Palestinian boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In theory, this is a boycott of institutions rather than individuals, but either way, a boycott may affect Israelis’ willingness to engage. One of the things on my agenda here is to clarify my own thinking about Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions. I am in favor of divestment, but agnostic about sanctions, and skeptical about boycotts. For now, at least, I’m actually against academic boycotts. I’ve been asking just about everyone I meet here what they think about BDS, but it’s too early for me to reach any conclusions.

      Liked by 1 person

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