Gender and The Israeli Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women’s Resistance

GENDER AND THE ISRAELI PALESTINIAN CONFLICT: THE POLITICS OF WOMEN’S RESISTANCE by Simona Sharoni [Syracuse University Press], $29.95 hardcover; $14.95 paper

When author Simona Sharoni was asked for her opinion on the Oslo Accord, she commented that it was ironic that “high ranking Israeli generals, who spent a good portion of their lives waging war, have now become the ultimate voices of authority on peace, while the perspectives and experience of women peace activists have been rendered trivial.”

In Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Sharoni, a Jewish Israeli who is currently a professor of peace and conflict resolution at American University in D.C., describes how “gender relations both within and between Palestinian and Israeli communities have played a major role in shaping the Intifada.”

Covering the years 1987 through 1993, Sharoni presents the history of Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish women in relation to the conflict, argues that men must become “visible as men, exposing the discourse of militarized masculinity underlying the Israeli- Palestinian conflict,” and examines Palestinian women’s growing awareness that the struggle for national liberation and for gender equality are inseparable. Thorough and scholarly, Sharoni’s voice is an important addition to more conventional views on the endless “peace” process.