Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster

Transnationalizing the Study of the United States


The War on Terror Paradigm and Intersecting Contemporary Civil Uprisings

By Alejandro Prado and Leila Zonouzi, Cluster Fellows

In 21st Century Global Dynamics Electronic Journal, Sep 2020

In the past decade, protests have erupted across the world in separate and seemingly isolated contexts. While different in cause and organization, what these global mass-uprisings have in common are the ways they were met with “legal” violence at the hands of the ruling elite. To contextualize their intersections and continuities of power and counterpower, we focus on repressive state responses to the Middle East and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the 2010s and 2020 respectively, grounding these responses within the theoretical framework of the War on Terror Paradigm (WTP) to argue for the global interconnections of repression.

COVID-19 and Cycles of Israeli Torture Behind Bars

By Basil Faraj, Global South Partner

In Jadaliyya, Oct 2020

“Are you a family?” the young prison guard asked my mother and me as we were sitting behind the double bullet-proof glass separating us from my father and brother in Ramon prison’s visiting room. It was the first time the four of us were together since the arrest of my father, Abdul-Razeq Farraj, in September 2019, and the subsequent arrest of my brother, Wadi’, in November.[1] For this young guard, the sight of an entire family separated behind the visiting room’s glass and fixed telephones was perhaps a rare occurrence: indeed, given our possession of a Jerusalem I.D. allowing us to travel inside historical Palestine, my mother and I are able to visit without the need to apply for permits. Numerous Palestinians my age are automatically denied prison visit permits and rarely—if ever—get to visit their family members. The guard’s reaction, however, is not the story here. The story is one about torture behind bars and ways in which the Israeli occupation has instrumentalized the COVID-19 pandemic so as to further entrench the systematic torture of Palestinian prisoners and their families.

Understanding Israeli Torture: Containing the Ever-Present Threat

By Basil Faraj, Global South Partner

In Global-e, Mar 2021

“The criminalization of forms of Palestinian civic and political conduct is a natural product and a constituting function of Israeli military orders (detailing permissible and punishable Palestinian conduct) and military courts (where Palestinians from the West Bank are trialed).  Maintaining ‘public order’ and ensuring ‘security’ are guiding outcomes of military orders, and of the functioning of military courts. While never referring to potential offenders as Palestinians, military orders (re)produce the Palestinian as an inherently dangerous subject: a ‘security offender’ towards whom appropriate legal mechanisms must be put in place to ensure compliance and severely punish subjects when ‘deviances’ take place. Israel’s innovative category of ‘security prisoners’ sets the ground for the vast array of violent practices that Palestinians face during each stage of their detention, interrogation, and imprisonment processes, and the policies designed to manage their conduct.”

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