Active and Transformative Sumud Among Palestinian Activists in Israel

  • Nijmeh Ali
Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)


The first years of living under Israeli sovereignty and the trauma of the great defeat in 1948 crystallized the primary battle of “surviving” and steadfastness, known in Arabic as the battle of Sumud among the Palestinians in Israel. This battle aimed to prevent another wave of Palestinian refugees and emphasized the importance of Baqaa’: the physical existence of the Palestinians in their homeland, despite the new circumstance of becoming strangers in their homes and “foreigners in their own country” (Jiryis in The Arabs in Israel, 1948–1966 [hā-’Arābīm be-Iiśrā’ēl, engl]. Institute for Palestine Studies, Beirut, 1969). Interviewing the third generation of Palestinian activists in Israel, reveals another picture of understanding Sumud which indicates moving from passive and cultural Sumud toward active and transformative Sumud. This chapter therefore aims to understand Sumud over time, based on original interviews with Palestinian activists in Israel, the third generation after the Nakba. The structure of the chapter provides explanations for understanding why Sumud is viewed as unarmed resistance, and how Sumud is reinterpreted as transformative resistance, by examining different patterns of Sumud based on the original data collected from the ground using activists’ words and perspectives.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nijmeh Ali
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre for Peace and Conflict StudiesUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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