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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.132

Ibtisam and myself: a story of love and cooperation on the background of implicit hostility


  • Prof. Esther HERTZOG

Primary authors


My presentation will describe the ongoing relationships between Ibtisam Mahameed and myself along two decades. Using visual materials such as pictures and videos I shall elaborate on the unique friendship between the two of us, a Jewish and an Arab woman, who profoundly respect and love each other and are deeply involved in promoting women's rights and peace endeavours in Israel. On the background of much tension between Israel and the Arab countries surrounding Israel and the racist and discriminating practices against Arab citizens within Israel, the cooperation between Ibtisam and myself offers some valuable insights concerning various issues. Organizing together seminars, conferences, radio talks, family meetings, weekend workshops of Arab and Jewish women and girls, brought up both, the potential of interacting in safe, welcoming sites and the threatening potential of bursting rage, frustration and mutual blaming. I shall examine the fragile situation and the veiled antagonism embedded in these personal and collective relationships, which are politically constructed as hostile. Thus, I shall ask if women's solidarity can break through political buriers; how can personal relationships overcome profound cultural and religious differences? And how do political-military clashes influence personal and group's relationships? Pictures and videos that were taken along some twenty years will be used to demonstrate the kind of activities organized by us and some aspects of the continuing personal, familial and group bonds. They will be analyzed as representing women's solidarity and its potential impact on some wider processes.