Living Emergency: Israel's Permit Regime in the Occupied West Bank

Yael Berda, Hebrew University and Harvard University

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 12:15pm
300 Wallace Hall
Princeton University Community: Faculty, Fellows, Students, Staff

book coverRSVP required: click here

Lunch is provided.

Please join us for a lunchtime book talk with Yael Berda, to discuss Living Emergency: Israel's Permit Regime in the Occupied West Bank.

From Stanford University Press: "In 1991, the Israeli government introduced emergency legislation canceling the general exit permit that allowed Palestinians to enter Israel. The directive, effective for one year, has been reissued annually ever since, turning the Occupied Territories into a closed military zone. Today, Israel's permit regime for Palestinians is one of the world's most extreme and complex apparatuses for population management. Yael Berda worked as a human rights lawyer in Jerusalem and represented more than two hundred Palestinian clients trying to obtain labor permits to enter Israel from the West Bank. With Living Emergency, she brings readers inside the permit regime, offering a first-hand account of how the Israeli secret service, government, and military civil administration control the Palestinian population.

Through interviews with Palestinian laborers and their families, conversations with Israeli clerks and officials, and research into the archives and correspondence of governmental organizations, Berda reconstructs the institutional framework of the labyrinthine permit regime, illuminating both its overarching principles and its administrative practices. In an age where terrorism, crime, and immigration are perceived as intertwined security threats, she reveals how the Israeli example informs global homeland security and border control practices, creating a living emergency for targeted populations worldwide."

Yael Berda
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Hebrew University;
Academy Scholar for International and Area Studies at Harvard University

Yael Berda is an Israeli Lawyer and holds a PhD from the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. Born in New York City and raised in West Jerusalem, Yael has been highly engaged in social justice activism and politics in Israel.  In 2014-2015, and 2016-17 she has been an  Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in Cambridge, MA and holds a position as Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Hebrew University.   Her first book, The Bureaucracy of Occupation in the West Bank, was published in July 2012, by the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem and Hakibutz Hameuhad Publishing (Hebrew).  Yael graduated from the faculty of Law at Hebrew university, and received her MA (Magna cum laude) from the department of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. Her masters thesis looked at the bureaucracy of the occupation in the Palestinian territory. The first institutional ethnography of the permit regime in the West bank, it explores the influence of Colonial administrative legacies on the contemporary military civil administration in the occupied territories.  Yael's  current book project examines the persistence of bureaucratic legacies following independence in former colonies, focusing on population management practices and the construction of political membership in states afflicted by partition plans: Israel, Cyprus and India. Her work has been recognized and supported by grants from SSRC, The National Science Foundation, The ACLS, The Ford Foundation and others. She is currently working on the manuscript of Administrative Memory and Colonial Legacies in India, Israel & Cyprus. Before Princeton, Yael was a practicing Human rights lawyer in Israel, first in the law offices of Avidgor Feldman, and than pursued her own practice in Jerusalem focusing on Administrative and constitutional Law, specifically cases of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of movement. She has argued cases in the Israeli Supreme court, administrative courts and the military criminal courts.

Co Sponsor(s): 
Cosponsored by the Department of Sociology