Social activists for Palestine: who are they, what do they do and can they make a difference?

Thompson, James (2016) Social activists for Palestine: who are they, what do they do and can they make a difference? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Israel and Palestine have been fighting a bitter war over land and religion for over 50 years. An entire generation has grown old with an entrenched sense of belonging to the land that was divided up in 1948 with the creation of the state of Israel. This struggle for land has become a religiously-fuelled conflict between Jews and Arabs. As the state of Israel has expanded and encroached on Palestinian land, the rights of Arabs in these areas have been violated. Home demolitions, illegal arrests, torture and murder have all been witnessed in the West Bank: a region that successive Israeli governments have been keen to exploit. Activism groups working for the rights of Palestinians here in the UK play an important role in protecting and upholding these rights. This dissertation is an examination of five of these groups who campaign with different aims and objectives. This study poses the following question: namely how cohesive are these groups in working together to highlight the atrocities committed in Palestine, as well as in standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and pressuring governments and large businesses to change their relationship with the state of Israel. Through the use of a wide body of primary and secondary sources, including the use of ethnographic techniques, this project sheds light on the activism groups themselves and their position alongside the current political landscape that helps or hinders their work. This political landscape includes a consideration of Israel’s relationship with the USA and the UK and the shifting political backdrop in both these countries. In conclusion, this paper outlines that the work of activism groups is fundamental in facilitating incremental change in the region, but also that the current political landscape, as well as both Israel’s and Palestine’s entrenched and differing cultures, are significant barriers towards seismic change.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 14:23
    Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 14:23

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