No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine

By Lotte Buch Segal | Go to book overview

Conclusion

When I was finishing this book, war was raging in Gaza. Again. On July 7, 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, a military incursion that left Gaza a scene of devastation hitherto unmatched in the history of the conflict. Defending the operation publicly, Israel blamed the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers whose slayers Israel announced were affiliated with Hamas. As it turned out, and as Israel knew all along, Hamas had nothing to do with the killing of the teenagers. Never in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict had so many images of dead, mutilated bodies gone viral. If ever in doubt, the summer of 2014 delivered the proof of Allen’s argument that Palestinian moral sentiment is steeped in a discourse of immediacy (2009). Palestinians themselves have insisted for many years that the world should know, that the outside world needs to see, to feel, and to hear what an Israeli incursion actually means for those being invaded.

That summer, the world knew. I have known ever since my first engagement with Palestine in 2004 what this intimacy with war means. Yet I have wondered for just as long if it is only through catastrophic scenes of misery that we recognize what is right in front of us. The answer is twofold. The first is provided by Tobias Kelly in his book This Side of Silence (2011), in which he reminds us that lack of acknowledgment is less about the impossible expression of someone in pain than about the failure to listen to precisely what is being said. The second response to such a question is, I hope, this book. Throughout, I have explored the forms of life that never make the headlines of neither international nor Palestinian news, because they lack the eventfulness of violence and stand, in the language of Povinelli (2011), as testimonies to how lives are reshuffled between abandonment and belonging, the effect of this reshuffling nowhere to be seen.

That the pull of spectacular events is a social force extending beyond academic texts and social media hit home for me during fieldwork in the West Bank in March 2008, when Israel launched, by its standards, a small

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No Place for Grief: Martyrs, Prisoners, and Mourning in Contemporary Palestine
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note on Transliteration x
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Grammar of Suffering in Occupied Palestine 26
  • Chapter 2 - Domestic Uncanniness 48
  • Chapter 3 - Enduring Presents 81
  • Chapter 4 - On Hardship and Closeness 99
  • Chapter 5 - Solitude in Marriage 124
  • Chapter 6 - Enduring the Ordinary 143
  • Conclusion 167
  • Notes 177
  • References 183
  • Index 197
  • Acknowledgments 207
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