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Between a city divided and an oasis of peace: narratives of identity and belonging in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict

Reidy, Eric (2012) Between a city divided and an oasis of peace: narratives of identity and belonging in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Hebron and Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam present a study in contrasts within the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Hebron is, perhaps, the most deeply divided city in the conflict. It is the only Palestinian city in the West Bank with Jewish settlers living in its center and the site of constant military presence and frequent hostilities. NSWS, on the other hand, is the only intentionally shared village between Palestinians and Israelis within Israel. Additionally, the Jewish settlement of Hebron and establishment of NSWS have oddly parallel histories stemming from distinct reactions to the changing environment within Israel in the aftermath of the June 1967 War, and both communities have produced texts that seek to explain and persuade a broader public of the merits and importance of their positions and activities through the articulation of collective narratives. The narratives produced by each community articulate starkly dissimilar approaches to the construction of identity and belonging. The different approaches of the two communities hold up mirrors, from opposite positions, to the construction of identity and belonging within Israeli society and its connection to the perpetuation of the conflict. Additionally, the absence of self-produced narratives on the part of the Palestinian community of Hebron illuminates the historic construction of Palestinians as an illegitimate people incapable of presenting itself to the outside world without the legitimating mediation of a ‘reliable’ third-party. Finally, the contrast between the construction of identity and belonging by the Jewish settlers of Hebron and the community of NSWS, as well as NSWS’s activities in the field of intergroup encounter work, point to the possibility of creating third spaces within the setting of the conflict for seemingly mutually exclusive sides to negotiate new possibilities of existence outside the essentialized and exclusionary confines of the current paradigm.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorMontgomery, Daviddwm@pitt.eduDWM
Committee MemberSeligman, Adam /
Committee MemberBamyeh, Mohammedmab205@pitt.eduMAB205
Committee MemberHammond, Leslielhammond@pitt.eduLHAMMOND
Date: 6 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 April 2012
Approval Date: 6 June 2012
Submission Date: 17 April 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 115
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Israel, Palestine, Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Third Spaces, Hebron, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, Narratives, Identity, Belonging
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2012 17:29
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:57


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