migrant-activism

MIGRANT ACTIVISM AND INTEGRATION FROM BELOW IN IRELAND
Ronit Lentin and Elena Moreo

ISBN-10: 0230300626    ISBN-13: 978-0230300620

Employing the term ‘migrant-led activism’ to encompass a range of activities and policy interventions that migrant-led groups in Ireland engage in, this book critically analyzes the interaction between migrant activists and leaders and the state of the Republic of Ireland – a late player in Europe’s immigration regime. The book, by a team of researchers based in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,sets outan evidence-based critique of state and societal discourses of integration to provide a nuanced migrant-inspired discussion of processes of ‘integration from below’ against the background of an increasingly restrictive immigration regime.

Through lobbying, advocacy, outreach, information, support, as well as campaigns against racism and discriminations, the migrant-led associations discussed in this book not only provide essential services but also participate in policy debates around issues that affect migrants, implement strategies of cultural adaptation and resistance, create opportunities for individual and community advancement, and provide a platform for disadvantaged segments of the population to become visible. The migrant-led associations studied all aim at facilitating migrants’ integration from below’ in Ireland, displaying a community oriented focus.

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co-memory1

CO-MEMORY AND MELANCHOLIA:
Israelis Memorialising the Palestinian Nakba
Ronit Lentin
ISBN hb 9780719081705

The 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel also resulted in the destruction of Palestinian society when some 80 per cent of the Palestinians who lived in the major part of Palestine upon which Israel was established became refugees. Israelis call the 1948 war their ‘War of Independence’ and the Palestinians their ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe. After many years of Nakba denial, land appropriation, political discrimination against the Palestinians within Israel and the denial of rights to Palestinian refugees, in recent years the Nakba is beginning to penetrate Israeli public discourse.

This book explores the construction of collective memory in Israeli society, where the memory of the trauma of the Holocaust and of Israel’s war dead competes with the memory claims of the dispossessed Palestinians. Taking an auto-ethnographic approach, Ronit Lentin makes a contribution to social memory studies through a critical evaluation of the co-memoration of the Palestinian Nakba by Israeli Jews.

Against a background of the Israeli resistance movement, Lentin’s central argument is that co-memorating the Nakba by Israeli Jews is motivated by an unresolved melancholia about the disappearance of Palestine and the dispossession of the Palestinians, a melancholia that shifts mourning from the lost object to the grieving subject. Lentin theorises Nakba co-memory as a politics of resistance, counterpoising co-memorative practices by internally displaced Israeli Palestinians with Israeli Jewish discourses of the Palestinian right of return, and questions whether return narratives by Israeli Jews, courageous as they may seem, are ultimately about Israeli Jewish self-healing rather than justice for Palestine.

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