The Annual Conference of the Institute for Palestine Studies | The 1987 Intifada: History and Memory
The Annual Conference of the Institute for Palestine Studies
The 1987 Intifada: History and Memory
(Commemorating the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Popular Palestinian Uprising against the Israeli Occupation)
The conference will be conducted in:
Ramallah-Gaza | 24, 25 & 26 November 2017
Beirut | 30November 2017
(in cooperation with Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture)
On December 9, 1987, a wave of popular demonstrations against the Israeli occupation broke out in the Gaza and the West Bank, soon turning into an organized popular uprising with unprecedented momentum and sustainability. The attempts to suppress the movement by the Israeli military occupation only intensified the resilience of the Palestinian population. The Palestinians invented creative ways to meet the challenge. They innovated political, social and cultural forms of defiance, to express their deep desire for freedom, enabling an international wave of popular solidarity and identification with their cause.
The Intifada came as a great surprise for many observers, including Israeli leaders, regional and global public opinion, as well as the PLO leadership. The Intifada attracted wide international media coverage, which culminated with the entry of the Arabic word ‘Intifada’ into the international lexicons. The Intifada stripped Israel of its fig leaf and image of a benign occupier. Many believe that the Intifada forced the Israeli leadership to accept the principal of negotiation over the occupied territories, and to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Revisiting the Intifada gains special significance today given the political inertia and failures of negotiations and the worsening political, economic and security conditions of the Palestinians under occupation, which gave rise to new waves of and forms of resistance.
The conference aims to raise the following questions, among other: How do we conceive of the Intifada after thirty years? How did the Palestinian collective memory maintain that event? What were the cause of the Intifada and why it gained a wide popular base? What impact did it leave on society, culture, politics, and on the image of the Palestinians worldwide? Does the Intifada have an exceptional historical peculiarity? Can a similar uprising happen again?