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Global Lynching and Collective ViolenceVolume 1: Asia, Africa, and the Middle East$
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Michael Pfeifer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040801

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040801.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Sitting on the Volcano

Sitting on the Volcano

Mob Violence and Lynching in the Zionist-Palestinian Conflict

(p.185) 7 Sitting on the Volcano
Global Lynching and Collective Violence

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Or Honig

University of Illinois Press

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim’s and Or Honig’s chapter focuses on the lynching and mob violence between Jews and Arabs in the area known as mandatory Palestine, and later as the State of Israel and the occupied territories. Ben-Ephraim and Honig seek to answer two questions: when and why has lynching and mob violence occurred, and how has it affected the development of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict. The chapter focuses on two periods of intercommunal conflict in which lynching and mob violence took place: the British Mandate period (1920-1948), and the period following the eruption of the first Palestinian Uprising “Intifada” (1987) until today. Ben-Ephraim and Honig find that the main variable determining the use of lynching attacks was the level of institutionalization of national political movements. When there are organized institutions and society is more organized, organized forms of violence such as uprisings or terrorism tend to be more prevalent since society or elements of it can be mobilized to act in a more systematic fashion. Lynching and mob violence reflect a lack of political institutionalization because the leadership possesses the ability to incite, yet lacks the tools to restrain or guide, the violence it inspires. By contrast, when the national movements are well institutionalized, Ben-Ephraim and Honig argue, more spontaneous acts of violence tend instead to take the form of sporadic acts of vengeance.

Keywords:   lynching, mob violence, Jews, Arabs, mandatory Palestine, Israel, Zionist-Palestinian Conflict, British Mandate period, “Intifada”, political institutionalization

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