In occasione del “Nakba Day” (Yawm al-Nakba), che ogni anno ricorda, il 15 maggio, l’esodo della popolazione palestinese (“il giorno del disastro”), gli antropologi impegnati nel boicottaggio accademico delle istituzioni israeliane hanno chiesto ad alcuni antropologi palestinesi una riflessione sulla memoria di quella catastrofe. Si tratta di contributi preziosi per comprendere quell’evento, che si ripete non solo nella memoria ma in un presente assediato ancora dal dolore, dalla violenza e dall’ipocrisia. Ruba Salih ha insegnato a lungo in Italia ed è ben nota al pubblico italiano.
For the occasion of Nakba Day (May 15), we asked Amahl Bishara to curate a set of essays from Palestinian anthropologists on the importance of the academic boycott. The series was posted on our website over the past week.
Below, Amahl gives some context on the Nakba and provides an overview of the series, with links to the individual posts.
As we continue efforts to educate our colleagues — especially in the American Anthropological Association — please share this material and urge others to sign on to the boycott.
Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions
“Nakba Day is one of the most important dates on the Palestinian political calendar. Nakba means ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic, and it has become the term for Palestinian displacement and dispossession at the hands of Zionist militias and the Israeli army in 1948. Nakba Day allows us to commemorate Palestinians’ historic dispossession as well as contemporary catastrophes that have stemmed from collective dispossession. So this year, a group of Palestinian anthropologists marked this occasion by offering personal reflections on what Nakba Day means to them and on the importance of the academic boycott in the struggle for Palestinian rights.
Writing about walking near her home village in the Galilee, Rhoda Kanaaneh reflects on how segregation and displacement impinges upon Palestinian life in Israel.
Randa Farah writes about the multiplicity of catastrophes that Palestinian refugees experience across generations. She argues that taking a stand against colonialism is a central anthropological responsibility, and that the movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel is one way to do this.
Ruba Salih examines attempts to silence discussions around BDS and Palestinian rights in Western academia, and discusses how Israeli academic institutions are complicit with military occupation.
Dina Omar builds on this argument, and urges us to move beyond the discomfort and fear that may inhibit anthropologists’ solidarity with Palestinians. After all, the stakes are so high for Palestinians, in their own institutions of higher learning and beyond.
Magid Shihade reflects on the active work of memory – both positive and negative – in the settler colony.
Finally, I write about the Palestinian practice of wearing t-shirts that commemorate the Nakba and express other basic truths for Palestinians under Israeli rule, and how these everyday practices are meaningful because Israeli violence is so pervasive.
Please read and share these brief pieces with your anthropological community so that we can continue to build our movement.”