From the public profile and media reporting on the Islamic Movement in Israel (al-Ḥaraka al-islāmiyya fī Isrā’īl), the impression given is that this movement is run by men, and that women are, if visible, in the background. However, when looking behind the façade it becomes clear that women are not only active, but are at the forefront of Islamist activism, spearheading change in their community. In their organizations for women, and through informal channels, they educate women, and indirectly men, about the role and position of women in Islam. Their activism also contributes to creating awareness about their Palestinian Arab Muslim history and predicament, thus also empowering women vis-à-vis Israeli domination. The women interviewed for this article all studied or study at Israeli universities, and as educated women they are reshaping the ideal of the traditional Muslim mother into that of a Muslim professional working mother. Based on the logic behind and content of their Islamist activism, the present article argues that these women are agents of change who contest the traditional ideal and practical role of Muslim Palestinian women in Israel. They are challenging patriarchal traditions and domination in their community through their Islamist activism; however, this frame simultaneously produces limitations to their opposition.
Marion Boulby“Women and the ‘Islamic Movement’ in Israel: Challenge to Patriarchy?”Historical Reflections / Réflexions Historiques30 no.3 (2004) 491-507; and Inbal Tal Spreading the Movement’s Message: Women’s Activism in the Islamic Movement in Israel (in Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Moshe Dayan Center and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung 2016).
Tilde Rosmer“Resisting ‘Israelization’: The Islamic Movement in Israel and the Realization of Islamization, Palestinization and Arabization”Journal of Islamic Studies23 no. 3 (2012) 13doi:10.1093/jis/ets054.
Dan Rabinowitz“The Palestinian Citizens of Israel, the Concept of Trapped Minority and the Discourse of Transnationalism in Anthropology”Ethnic and Racial Studies24 no.1 (2001) 1doi:10.1080 / 01419870020006555 2.
Sammy Smooha“The Advances and Limits of the Israelization of Israel’s Palestinian Citizens” in Israeli and Palestinian Identities in History and Literatureeds. Kamal Abdel-Malek and David C. Jacobson (New York: St Martin’s Press1999) 13-14.
To illustrate: Brenda Gazzar“Israel’s Islamic Movement: Filling the Vacuum, Aiming for a Caliphate”Jerusalem Post3 August 2008 ; Ariel Ben Solomon “Israeli Arabs Protest Ban on Islamic Movement” Jerusalem Post 21 November 2015 ; Uzi Baruch and Dvorin “Islamist Sheikh Raed Salah’s Travel Ban Extended to December” Arutz ShevaIsrael National News 2 July 2014 .