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Accepted Paper:

What becomes of the broken-hearted? Doing and undoing kinship under Israeli military occupation  
Nina Gren (Lund University)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper discusses Palestinian practices to do and undo family under the Israeli apartheid-like legal system. The focus is on families with members holding different ID cards, which impact their possibilities to meet, socialize and live together with relatives.

Paper Abstract:

This paper discusses constraints on family relationships under Israeli occupation and its apartheid-like legal system. An intricate ID-card regime informs the possibilities a Palestinian has to move, work and live in areas under Israeli control, either in Israel or in the West Bank and Gaza. In particular, families whose members hold different legal statuses find it difficult to maintain a life together. For instance, if relocating to Israel, the spouse from the occupied territories lacks health insurance and risk criminal prosecution if found by the police. The choice is often to either split the family in two households or to relocate to the occupied territories. A third alternative is to move the family to legally ambivalent areas within Jerusalem but on the West Bank side of checkpoints. The constraints on marriages during the bureaucratic process to obtain the same ID cards are huge. Some end up getting divorced. In the quest for a family life, by obtaining or keeping a legal status, people might also be pushed to cut with some relatives. Others, on the other hand, put their lives in danger to be able to attend important family events such as funerals.

Kinship is socially constructed even in societies such as the Palestinian, where blood relations are discursively underlined. As we learn from recent anthropological kinship studies, family relations need to be constantly maintained. In the case I present, the process of doing family seemed to be double-sided, since doing is intertwined with undoing.

Panel P107
Doing and undoing kinship under military occupation
  Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -