21st Century COE Program Archive


Date: October 2, 2004
Location: Kanbaikan, Imadegawa Campus, Doshisha University
Title: Palestinian Identity and Politics
Speaker: Yoshiyuki Kitazawa (Faculty of Foreign Languages, Kyoto Sangyo University)
Title: The Issue of Judaism and Israel-Palestine
Speaker: Naoya Katsumata (School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University)
 This meeting focused on Palestinian-Israeli affairs. Dr. Kitazawa went through his previous research and the work of S. Telhamy. He assumed the interaction between domestic and foreign policy in the Middle East on the one hand, and Palestinian identity, on the other. Dr. Kitazawa listed historical incidents in Palestine, environmental change in the Palestinian lands, and the Palestinians’ relationship to Hamas. He explained how in this case, identity strongly participates in politics.
  Dr. Katsumata introduced the people called 'the religious' (or the 'religious wing)' among Jewish denominations. They have strong influence in the present state of Israel, although they constitute no more than 20% of the population. Next he explained the concept of Eretz Israel ('the land of Israel') which appears in the Halacha, a part of the Talmud that gives religious commandments to those who designate themselves as this group of 'religious.' Eretz Israel is a debatable term. In traditional Jewish religion, Jews are between Galut ('stranger' status) and GeÔula ('salvation'); this means that they are confronted with the situation of Galut in the context of the Diaspora and are waiting for GeÔula. Jews have formed their identity based on this recognition, so that in regard to Eretz Israel, they have felt more fear than yearning. Dr. Katsumata concluded that, since there are still many discussions about Eretz Israel among the Orthodox, statements to the effect that 'the religious' have strong influence on Palestinian matters cannot be sustained.
Asuka Nakamura (COE Research Instructor, CISMOR, Doshisha University)