Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Full Access The Grammar of Rights in Colonial Contexts: The Case of Palestinian Women in Israel

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

The Grammar of Rights in Colonial Contexts: The Case of Palestinian Women in Israel

  • HTML
  • PDF
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Middle East Law and Governance

This article examines the limitations of human rights activism in a colonial context by invoking the voices, experiences, and insights of Bedouin women living in Israel. Through extensive interviews, Bedouin women living in unrecognized villages in the Naqab/Negev reveal their struggles as unrecognized and “invisible” members of society. The article explores the ways in which the prevailing “grammar of rights”—the formal and informal mechanisms constructed and maintained by the colonial power to accord or withhold rights—delimits and confines the lives of the women, and also human rights activism. The women’s personal stories are juxtaposed against the legal justifications used to regulate and discriminate against them, as members of the indigenous Palestinian community, within the context of a “fear industry”. The article explores, from the perspective of the interviewed women, the internalization of that culture of fear, where they are constructed as the ones to be feared, and its personal, familial, and communal implications. The interviewed women offer a critique of the existing human right framework, and question whether a human rights activism operating in a colonial context can be an emancipating force, so long as it is constrained by the regime’s rules. Furthermore, their voices assert that acknowledging historical injustice and its effect on women’s rights is central to re-thinking feminist human rights activism. The article ends by returning to the voices of women living in the unrecognized villages of the Naqab/Negev to investigate whether, and how, feminist politics and human rights activism could operationally function together within the context of Israeli state law. The article concludes that, in order to create a “grammar of rights” that is based on equality, respect, and dignity, and which challenges the balance of power in colonial contexts, it is essential to fully include the lived experiences and insights of “invisible” and unrecognized women.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Law – Institute of Criminology & School of Social Work and Social Welfare Hebrew University, Jerusalem Gender Studies Program-Director, Mada al-Carmel – Arab Center for Applied Social Research, Haifa msnadera@mscc.huji.ac.il; nadera@sh-ke.com

10.1163/187633712X631255
/content/journals/10.1163/187633712x631255
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
6
3
Loading

This article examines the limitations of human rights activism in a colonial context by invoking the voices, experiences, and insights of Bedouin women living in Israel. Through extensive interviews, Bedouin women living in unrecognized villages in the Naqab/Negev reveal their struggles as unrecognized and “invisible” members of society. The article explores the ways in which the prevailing “grammar of rights”—the formal and informal mechanisms constructed and maintained by the colonial power to accord or withhold rights—delimits and confines the lives of the women, and also human rights activism. The women’s personal stories are juxtaposed against the legal justifications used to regulate and discriminate against them, as members of the indigenous Palestinian community, within the context of a “fear industry”. The article explores, from the perspective of the interviewed women, the internalization of that culture of fear, where they are constructed as the ones to be feared, and its personal, familial, and communal implications. The interviewed women offer a critique of the existing human right framework, and question whether a human rights activism operating in a colonial context can be an emancipating force, so long as it is constrained by the regime’s rules. Furthermore, their voices assert that acknowledging historical injustice and its effect on women’s rights is central to re-thinking feminist human rights activism. The article ends by returning to the voices of women living in the unrecognized villages of the Naqab/Negev to investigate whether, and how, feminist politics and human rights activism could operationally function together within the context of Israeli state law. The article concludes that, in order to create a “grammar of rights” that is based on equality, respect, and dignity, and which challenges the balance of power in colonial contexts, it is essential to fully include the lived experiences and insights of “invisible” and unrecognized women.

Loading

Full text loading...

/deliver/18763375/4/1/18763375_004_01_S03_text.html;jsessionid=xfmhFxmSHvAiTQLgfrT595Fm.x-brill-live-02?itemId=/content/journals/10.1163/187633712x631255&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah
/content/journals/10.1163/187633712x631255
Loading

Data & Media loading...

1. Abu-Bader S. , Gottlieb D. , 2009. "Poverty, Education and Employment in Arab-Bedouin Society: A Comparative View". ECINEQ: Society for the Study of Economic Inequality , Working Paper, 2009-137, October 2009, Available at: (accessed 12 April 2010).
2. Abu-Medeghem S. , 2005. "Adalah Petitions Supreme Court: Denial of Arab Bedouin Girls’ Right to an Education in Unrecognized Villages in the Naqab Constitutes Compound Discrimination on the Basis of Gender and Nationality". Adalah’s Newsletter , vol. Vol 11(March).
3. Abu Lughod L. , 2002. "Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and its Others". American Anthropologist , Vol 104( 3), 78330. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.2002.104.3.783
4. Abu-Saad I. , 2006. "State Controlled Education and Identity Formation Among the Palestinian Arab Minority in Israel". American Behavioral Scientist , Vol 49( 8) 1085100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002764205284720
5. Adalah, 2006. "Decision of the High Court Regarding the Petition ofAdalah, et al. of 14 May 2006". Adalah , Available at: http://www.adalah.org/eng/features/famuni/unifeng.htm (accessed 1 July 2009).
6. Adalah, 2009a. News Update (Mar. 29), Available at: http://www.adalah.org/eng/pressreleases/pr.php?file=09_03_26 (accessed 1 July 2009).
7. Adalah, 2009b. "The New Israeli Land Reform". Adalah’s Newsletter , Vol vol.63(Aug). Available at: (accessed 1 September 2009).
8. Adalah, 2010. "Interactive Map and Database on the History of the State of Israel’s Expropriation of Land from the Palestinian People", Adalah . Available at: (accessed 1 February 2011).
9. Awad Y. , 2007. Academic Arab Women in the Israeli Labor Market . Nazareth: Women Against Violence (in Arabic).
10. Barak A. , 2009. "Jewish or Democratic? Israel’s Top Judge Reflects on Values". Available at: http://www.myjewishlearning.com/israel/Contemporary_Life/Politics/Supreme_Court/Democratic_and_Jewish_State.shtml (accessed on 26 June 2009).
11. Bishara S. , Hamdan H. , 2009. "The New Israeli Land Reform". Adalah’s Newsletter(Aug.). Available at: (accessed 11 February 2011).
12. Boserup E. ,, 1990. "Economic Change and the Roles of Women". In Tinker I. (ed.), Persistent Inequalities: Women and the World Development . New York: Oxford University Press.
13. Central Bureau of Statistics State of Israel, 2009. "The Arab Population in Israel 2008". Available at: (accessed, April 12 2010).
14. Cesaire A. , 1972. Discourse on Colonialism . Trans. J. Pinkham. New York: Monthly Review.
15. Ewelukwa U. , 2002. "Post-Colonialism, Gender, Customary Injustice: Widows in African Societies". Human Rights Q ., Vol 24, 42930.
16. Fanon F. , 2004[1961]. The Wretched of the Earth . Trans. R. Philcox. New York: Grove.
17. Forman G. , Kedar A. , 2004. "From Arab Land to ‘Israel Lands:’ The Legal Dispossession of the Palestinians Displaced by Israel in the Wake of 1948". Environment and Planning D: Society and Space , Vol 25, 80930.
18. Grewal I. ,, 1998. "On the New Global Feminism and the Family of Nations: Dilemmas of Transnational Feminist Practice". In Shohat E. (ed.), Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age . New York: New Museum of Contemporary Art.
19. Hajjar L. , 2001. "Human Rights in Israel/Palestine: The History and Politics of a Movement". J. of Palestine Studies , Vol 30( 4), 2138. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/jps.2001.30.4.21
20. Harris-Short S. , 2003. "International Human Rights Law: Imperialist, Inept and Ineffective? Cultural Relativism and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child". Human Rights Q ., Vol 25, 1745.
21. Habitat International Coalition (HIC) and Adalah, 2006. "Statement to the UN Commission on Human Rights, Sixty Second Session", (13 March-21 April). Available at: http://www.adalah.org/eng/intl06/un-i6-jnf.pdf , (accessed on 16 June 2009).
22. Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), 2009. "Arabs Displaced in the Context of the Establishment of the State of Israel". IDMC (30 Nov.), Available at: http://www.internal-displacement.org , (accessed 4 April 2010).
23. Israel Lands Administration (ILA), 2010. ILA web site , Available at: , (assessed 4 April 2010).
24. Jamal A. , 2007. "Nationalizing States and the Constitution of ‘Hollow Citizenship:’ Israel and its Palestinian Citizens". Ethnopolitics , Vol 6( 4), 47193. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17449050701448647
25. Kedar A. , 2000. "A First Step in a Difficult and Sensitive Road: Preliminary Observations on Qaadan vs. Katzir". Israel Studies Bulletin , Vol 16( 1), 311.
26. Kestler-D’Amours J. 2011a. "Israel plans to forcibly transfer 40,000 Bedouin citizens". Electronic Intifada , 16 June. Available at: (accessed 18 September 2011).
27. Kestler-D’Amours J. 2011b. "Israel: No Place for Bedouin". Al Jazeera Online , 29 June. Available at: (accessed 30 June 2011).
28. Kimmerling B. ,, 1989. "Boundaries and Frontiers of the Israeli Control System: Analytical Conclusions". In Kimmerling B. (ed.), The Israeli State and Society: Boundaries and Frontiers . Albany: State University of New York Press.
29. Kraus V. , 2002. Secondary Breadwinners: Israeli Women in the Labor Force . London: Praeger.
30. Lorde A. , 1984. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches . Trumansburg, NY: Crossing Press.
31. Mahajna A. , 2009. "Loyalty to the Values of Zionism as a Condition for Acceptance to Community Settlements in Israel". Adalah’s Newsletter , Vol vol. 27(December).
32. Memmi A. , 1991. The Colonizer and the Colonized . Boston: Beacon Press.
33. Merry S. , 2006. Human Rights and Gender Violence: Translating International Law into Local Justice . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
34. Ori O. , 2008. "Jaffa Pool Restricts Entry of Arab Residents", Yediot Ahronot , 15 Aug. Available at: (accessed 16 June 2009).
35. Razack S. , 2008. Casting Out: The Eviction of Muslims from Western Law and Politics . Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
36. Razack S. , 2007. "Stealing the Pain of Others: Reflections on Canadian Humanitarian Responses". Rev. of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies , Vol 29( 4), 37594.
37. Razack S. , 2010. "A Hole in the Wall; A Rose at a Checkpoint: The Spatiality of Colonial Encounters in Occupied Palestine". Journal of Critical Race Inquiry , Vol 1( 1), 90108.
38. Rouhana N. , 1998. "Israel and its Arab Citizens: Predicaments in the Relationship between Ethnic States and Ethnonational Minorities". Third World Quarterly , Vol 19( 2), 277296. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436599814460
39. Rouhana N. ,, 2008. "Reconciling History and Equal Citizenship in Israel: Democracy and the Politics of Historical Denial". In Kymlicka W. , Bashir B. (eds.), The Politics of Reconciliation in Multicultural Societies . London: Oxford University Press.
40. Rouhana N. , Sultany N. , 2003. "Redrawing the Boundaries of Citizenship: Israel’s New Hegemony". J. of Palestine Studies , Vol 33( 1), 522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/jps.2003.33.1.5
41. Santos, Boaventura de Sousa, 2002. "Towards a Multi-cultural Conception of Human Rights". In Hernandez-Truyol Berta (ed.), Moral Imperialism – A Critical Anthology , New York University Press, 3960.
42. Scheppel K.L. , 1989. Forward: Telling Stories. Michigan Law Rev. , Vol 87( 8), 207398. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1289300
43. Semyonov M. , Lewin-Epstein N. , Brahm I. , 1999. "Changing Labour-Force Participation and Occupational Status: Arab Women in the Israeli Labor Force". Work, Employment & Society , Vol 13( 1), 11731. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/09500179922117827
44. Shalhoub-Kevorkian N. , 2004. "Racism, Militarisation and Policing: Police Reactions to Violence Against Palestinian Women in Israel". Social Identities: J. for the Study of Race, Nation & Culture , Vol 10( 2), 17193.
45. Shalhoub-Kevorkian N. , 2005. "Counter-Spaces as Resistance in Conflict Zones: Palestinian Women Recreating a Home". Journal of Feminist Family Therapy , Vol 17( 3), 109141.
46. Shalhoub-Kevorkian N. 2006. "Negotiating the Present, Historicizing the Future: Palestinian Children Speak about the Israeli Separation Wall". American Behavioral Scientist , Vol 49( 8), 11011124. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002764205284721
47. Shalhoub-Kevorkian N. , 2007. "When Laws are Tools of Oppression: Palestinian Women’s Counter Discourse Against the Policy of House Demolition". Iyuni Mishpat463-500 (in Hebrew).
48. Shalhoub-Kevorkian N. , Khsheiboun S. , 2009. "Palestinian Women’s Voices Challenging Human Rights Activism". Women’s Studies International Forum , Vol 32( 5), 354362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2009.07.012
49. Sharoni S. , 1995. Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women’s Resistance . Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
50. Spivak G. ,, 1988. "Can the Subaltern Speak?"In Nelson C. , Grossberg L. (eds.), Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture . Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
51. Spivak G. , 2004. Righting Wrongs. South Atlantic Q. , Vol 103( 2-3), 52381. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00382876-103-2-3-523
52. Swirski B. ,, 2000. "The Citizenship of Jewish and Palestinian Arab Women in Israel". In Joseph Suad (ed.), Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East . Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.
53. Yiftachel O. ,, 2003. "Bedouin Arabs and the Israeli Settler State: Land Policies and Indigenous Resistance". In Saad Abu Champaign(Eds.) The Future of Indigenous Peoples: Strategies for Survival and Development . UCLA American Indian Studies Center.
54. Yiftachel O. , 2006. Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine . Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
55. Yiftachel O. , 2008. "Epilogue". Hagar journal , Volume on Bedouin Arabs.
56. Y. , Abu-Saad I. , Kaplan I. ,(2004). “ "De-Arabization of the Bedouin: A Study of an Inevitable Failure".” In Yiftachael O. , Newman D. , Kemp A. , Ram U. (eds.) Hegemonies, Identities and Challenges: Israelis in Conflict , Sussex
57. Yonay Y. , Kraus V. , 2008. "Postcolonial Patterns of Women’s Labor Force Participation: The Israeli Case". Unpublished paper.
58. Yuval Davis N. 2006. "Intersectionality and Feminist Politics". European J. of Women’s Studies , Vol 13( 3), 193209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350506806065752
59. Zureik E. ( 1979). The Palestinians in Israel: A study in internal colonialism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/187633712x631255
Loading
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/187633712x631255
2012-01-01
2016-12-08

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Subscribe to Citation alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Middle East Law and Governance — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation