Half a century through personal stories: Palestinians and Israelis in 1967 and onwards
Trilaterales Deutsch-Israelisch-Palästinensisches DFG Projekt
Laufzeit: 1.1.2017-31.12.2018

PIs: Prof. Dr. Regina F. Bendix, Prof. Dr. Aziz Haidar, Prof. Dr. Hagar Salamon

This ethnographic project addresses the personal experiences of individuals, whose lives span over the tumultuous decades of conflict in Israel/Palestine since 1967. International, national and local political bodies with their military power territorially shape and administratively control this region, and generally disregard the communicative and cultural practices of individuals with heterogeneous identifications in this everyday context. Finding oneself evacuated from one?s apartment and witnessing others moving in, upholding neighborly relations despite political turmoil, working in enemy households and taking care of their children, protesting on behalf of those whom one?s government is oppressing: These overlooked yet powerful experiences reaching back over five decades will be jointly documented by researchers led by an Israeli and a Palestinian P.I. The project seeks to contribute to a more differentiated understanding of the gap between individual aspirations and political polarization. Working with the oldest generations, the project prepares a discursive meeting ground for those whose lives began in the midst of hardened frontiers. A meta-project accompanies the two local research teams; it relies on the same methods as the primary project and illustrates how qualitative social and cultural researchers are by necessity entwined with their research sites, even in peaceful of times. The meta-project elaborates on the kind of reflexivity that has to be mustered in conflict situations to work toward cooperation across conflict lines while simultaneously maintain a stance of genuine empathy vis-à-vis field consultants. The research as a whole seeks to model for younger generations in Israel/Palestine as well as for other such conflicts an approach to defuse hardened political stances and transcend to the basis of common humanity.