Witnessing Life and Protest in Palestine


Course description

In this course we will examine traditions of Palestinian popular struggle. While the course includes basic historical background on the Israel-Palestine conflict, our focus will be on the contemporary period and the West Bank in particular. We will go inside the occupied Palestinian territories to witness the realities of life under Israeli military occupation and the perseverance and solidarity generated by traditions of popular struggle. Popular struggle includes the distinctly Palestinian sumoud, or steadfastness on the land, as well as diverse social movements, and popular resistance committees that lead direct action campaigns. Popular struggle is grassroots and mostly nonviolent. The major exception is the common practice of throwing stones at occupation forces. In the last 15 years, armed resistance has mostly vanished from the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, mass protests against the Israeli blockade have become the norm.

This course will include lectures and multi-media presentations and the instructor will draw heavily on his first-hand experience living and working in the West Bank for a 6 month period. There will be time for questions and discussion in each class. Discussions may include sensitive and controversial topics and will be facilitated within strict parameters of respectful and measured dialogue. Session topics will include: contested histories, life under occupation, and historical and contemporary Palestinian popular struggle.

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