Social Justice and Israel/Palestine with Mira Sucharov and Aaron Hahn Tapper

Mira Sucharov and Aaron J. Hahn Tapper join us to talk about about their recent volume, Social Justice and Israel/Palestine: Foundational and Contemporary Debates.

Aaron J. Hahn Tapper is the Mae and Benjamin Swig Professor in Jewish Studies at the University of San Francisco, and he’s the founding Director of the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice there. He has co-edited two volumes Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, and Complexities, with Reza Aslan (2011) and Social Justice and Israel/Palestine. He also is the author of the excellent textbook Judaisms: A Twenty-First-Century Introduction to Jews and Jewish Identities (2016).

Mira Sucharov is Associate Professor of Political Science at Carlton University. Her first book was The International Self: Psychoanalysis and the Search for Israeli-Palestinian Peace (which appeared in 2005), and she also recently published Public Influence: A Guide to Op-Ed Writing and Social Media Engagement, published in 2019 by the University of Toronto Press).

Social Justice and Israel Palestine: Foundational and Contemporary Debates is a fantastic volume that brings together over twenty scholars to talk about critical issues like what it means to have multiple narratives, definition of settler-colonialism, the meaning of international law, the question of refugees, apartheid, and BDS.

It’s an important volume by itself, and it’s also a great jumping-off point for our discussion today about how we can bring together social justice with scholarly and intellectual perspectives on Israel-Palestine.

This episode pairs really well with our most recent conversation with Rachel Harris about teaching the Israel-Palestine conflict. In that episode, Rachel talked about how Israel and Palestine can really be a hot topic, and some of the challenges with teaching the subject. Here, Mira and Aaron continue this conversation about the role of scholars and scholarship in approaching this whole subject: can we really and truly be totally objective? How can we engage with a subject that is an important social justice issue, and also when we know that our students and members of the public all have opinions of their own, and usually pretty strong ones? Mira and Aaron we dive into what the connection between scholarly work and the social justice issues of Israel and Palestine—a major way in which history matters, because through history we can better understand pressing issues of the day and as historians and experts we have something to contribute.

A transcript of the episode will be available shortly.

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