The results of dehumanising the Other can be catastrophic; exemplified by the extreme brutality of colonisation, the Holocaust and the current violence perpetrated against Palestinians. All carried out in the name of â we' the superior, humane against â them' the â inhumane', the â less than'. This thesis argues that the legal rights regime legitimises the creation of the inhuman â Other' and is thereby implicated in the continuation of the violence against â them'. Thirteen interviews were carried out with Palestinians who lived near settlements in the West Bank. The interviews were in the form of semi-structured conversations, carried out with the help of an interpreter. Chapter II analyses these interviews in the language of legal rights to illustrate the ways in which the discourse invisibilises suffering. Chapter III begins the critique of the legal rights regime by analysing the assumptions that underlie international law and how they lead to the impression of law as â objective' and â just' when in fact it is subjective, bent by the will of the powerful. The voice of the weak is therefore delegitimized and invisibilised while the violence of the powerful is legitimised and deemed â just'. Chapter IV looks more deeply at the framing of legal rights analysis â where it begins, what it excludes, whose perspective the reader is asked to look through and, therefore, who is humanised and who is dehumanised. The final Chapter then tells narratives of suffering in a way which visibilises Israeli and Palestinian suffering thereby also humanising Israeli settlers who often cause the suffering. When narratives of suffering are couched in terms of rights violations and are forced to fit into a legal framework, the sufferer is dehumanised and aspects of their suffering are silenced and delegitimized, thereby invisibilised. The violator of the sufferer's â rights' is also dehumanised and their suffering entirely invisibilised from the narrative. Both the â sufferer' and the â violator' are thereby classified as â them'; as the unrelatable â Other'. The Othering effects of pro and anti-Israeli/Palestinian narratives are emblematic of how narratives can be framed to dehumanise the Other and invisibilise their suffering. The humanisation of the Other can be reached through a realisation of our common human vulnerability. We are all born reliant on an Other, the precariousness of our lives mediated or exploited depending on where and when we are born, and to whom. The narratives I hear that humanise or dehumanise You, challenge or further my desire to diminish the precariousness of My life to the detriment of Yours. The ways in which we tell and hear narratives thus implicate all of us in the suffering of those who are kept at the most precarious edge of life
School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
MA in Migration and Refugee Studies
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
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Durant, J. K.
(2021).The effects of Israeli settlements on Palestinians in the West Bank narratives of suffering: turning the invisible, visible [Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Durant, Jessica Kathleen. The effects of Israeli settlements on Palestinians in the West Bank narratives of suffering: turning the invisible, visible. 2021. American University in Cairo, Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.