Amahl BisharaApr 9, 2023
Crossing a Line
Laws, Violence, and Roadblocks to Palestinian Political Expression
Stanford University Press 2022
Palestinians living on different sides of the Green Line make up approximately one-fifth of Israeli citizens and about four-fifths of the population of the West Bank. In both groups, activists assert that they share a single political struggle for national liberation. Yet, obstacles inhibit their ability to speak to each other and as a collective. Geopolitical boundaries fragment Palestinians into ever smaller groups. Crossing a Line: Laws, Violence, and Roadblocks to Palestinian Political Expression (Stanford UP, 2022) enters these distinct environments for political expression and action of Palestinians who carry Israeli citizenship and Palestinians subject to Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, and considers how Palestinians are differently impacted by dispossession, settler colonialism, and militarism.
Amahl Bishara looks to sites of political practice—journalism, historical commemorations, street demonstrations, social media, in prison, and on the road—to analyze how Palestinians create collectivities in these varied circumstances. She draws on firsthand research, personal interviews, and public media to examine how people shape and reshape meanings in circumstances of constraint. In considering these different environments for political expression and action, Bishara illuminates how expression is always grounded in place—and how a people can struggle together for liberation even when they cannot join together in protest.
Amahl A. Bishara is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Tufts University. She is the author of Back Stories: U.S. News Production and Palestinian Politics (Stanford, 2013).
Alize Arıcan is a Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar at Boston University, focusing on urban anthropology, futurity, care, and migration. Her work has been featured in Environment and Planning D, Current Anthropology, City & Society, and Radical Housing Journal, among other journals and public-facing platforms. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican.