A Path to Peace or Oppression? The Anti-Normalization Movement in Palestine and Israel Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Gooding, Thomas
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Global Studies
  • In order to understand the controversy of peace, to explore the topic of anti-normalization, I developed a series of research questions and outlined the critical steps necessary to answer each one: What are definitions and interpretations of anti-normalization? What is the impetus behind the movement? Do joint Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives perpetuate oppression, and, if so, how? How is the anti-normalization movement executed? What are the implications of anti-normalization with respect to peace-building? Each of these questions provides a platform upon which I can contribute new knowledge about the anti-normalization movement and analyze its impact on reshaping the paradigm of peace in Israel and Palestine. In order to answer these research questions, I interviewed Palestinian peace activists, directors of joint peace organizations in both Israel and Palestine, members of institutions affiliated with anti-normalization, and Palestinian academics. These individuals offered different perspectives based on their professional positions, affiliations, and personal identities; therefore, they provided a holistic, comprehensive representation of anti-normalization as a movement. During the research process, I interviewed these participants through face-to-face meetings in Israel and Palestine, Skype interviews, and telephone calls. Each interview lasted between 30 minutes and one hour. In order to identify these organizations, I first consulted with the Alliance for Middle East Peace, based in Washington, D.C., which supports joint peace initiatives in Israel and Palestine. I then used my initial connections to make new ones: One interviewee would suggest I meet with another. From there, I gained a better grasp of Palestinian and Israeli civil society and could thus research organizations on my own to identify additional interviewees. In addition to conducting interviews, I gathered data on the anti-normalization movement through newspaper editorials, online publications, and public documents from institutions affiliated with anti-normalization, particularly the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and from joint peace programs. These documents included lists of demands and explanations for the reasons of these demands, specific descriptions of what constitutes normalization and the nuanced forms it takes, and responses to misconceptions about the movement or the movement’s demands. In addition, I explored the existing literatures on a history of Palestinian oppression and its impact on collective identity, an examination of Palestinian armed and nonviolent resistance, and an overview of the institutions, strategies, and movements that form the foundation of anti-normalization.
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  • In Copyright
  • Funding: Morehead-Cain Foundation
  • Shields, Sarah
  • Bachelor of Arts
Honors level
  • Highest Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 97 p.

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