Religious Claims and Nationalism in "Secular" Zionism: Obscuring Settler Colonialism

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5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Russell Square: College Buildings
Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)
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Professor Nadim Rouhana (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University)

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In this presentation Prof. Rouhana will examine how nationalism, religious claims, and settler colonialism enmesh within Zionism and demonstrate how their interaction played a major role for Israeli academia and politics in sidelining or obfuscating settler colonialism as an appropriate frame of analysis for Zionism’s encounter with the Palestinians. The presentation will focus on the following questions: How settler colonialism - as an obvious framework for analyzing and understanding the unfolding of the Zionist project in Palestine - has been obscured ? How is that obscuring related to the steady rise in religious encroachment into institutions and the public sphere in Israel? And, why secularization was possible in other settler-colonial contexts such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, and North America, but is not within a Zionist case?


Nadim N. Rouhana is Professor of International Affairs and Conflict Studies, and Director of the Program on International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is currently a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences. His research includes work on the dynamics of protracted social conflict, collective identity and democratic citizenship in multiethnic states, the questions of decolonization and transitional justice in settler colonial regimes, and international negotiations. His research and writing focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict and on Israeli and Palestinian societies, particularly on examining various conflict paradigm as they apply to this case. His publications include Palestinian Citizens in an Ethnic Jewish State: Identities in Conflict (Yale University Press, 1997) and Israel and its Palestinian Citizens: Ethnic Privileges in the Jewish State (Ed., Cambridge University Press, 2017).

He has held various academic positions in Palestinian, Israeli, and American universities including at Harvard University, Boston College, MIT, and Tel-Aviv University. He was a co-founder of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs where he co-chaired the Center’s seminar on international Conflict Analysis and Resolution from 1992-2001. He is also the Founding Director of “Mada al-Carmel—The Arab Center for Applied Social Research” in Haifa, and served as its Director 2001-2017.


This event is open to the public and free to attend, however registration is required. Online Registration

Chair: Dr Nimer Sultany (SOAS)

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute and the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS

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