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Decolonizing Peacebuilding

Decolonizing Peacebuilding

(p.245) 9 Decolonizing Peacebuilding
Days of Awe
Atalia Omer
University of Chicago Press

This chapter asks how the examination of American Jewish Palestine solidarity activists' processes of re-imagining Jewishness contributes to the broader study of religion, violence, and the practices of peace. The chapter argues that the case study pushes the boundaries of the field by foregrounding processes of unlearning and critique as sites of research and praxis. This requires disabusing the field of its inclination to abstract "religion" from race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and other realities, an abstraction that is itself a product of coloniality. Accordingly, the chapter illuminates how the arguments threaded throughout the book exemplify the peacebuilding and transformative potential attention to discursive and epistemological violence generate. This constitutes a departure from the conventional focus of the field of religion, conflict, and peace on direct violence. The chapter also places American non- or post-Zionism in tension with settlers' post-Zionism as well as Mizrahi Israeli intersectional re-imagining through its own critical caretaking of the relation of Jews to the Middle East and Palestine/Israel specifically. The Mizrahi-Palestinian intersectional lens offers a challenge to American post- and non-Zionist diasporism's devaluation of Zion. The chapter illuminates narratives, stories and humanistic inquiry as critical for peacebuilding.

Keywords:   Mizrahi, intersectionality, religion and peace, Palestinians, coloniality

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