Everyday Practices of Sacrifice : A Case Study of Palestinian Women
In this article, I explore how ‘narratives of sacrifice’ shape the lives of Palestinian women living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in exile in Lebanon and affect the choices they make. By focusing on women’s ‘everyday practice’, I argue that, in response to the dangers and apparent hopelessness of their situation, Palestinians have adopted sacrifice as a conscious mode of struggle, one that also offers a way of giving meaning to senseless events. There is a tendency to identify sacrificial acts as male, but such assumptions need to be reconsidered. The concept of sacrifice is complex and is also gendered. I investigate inadvertent sacrifice - the role of the victim or resister - and deliberate sacrifice, as a way of protecting the community. The notion of sacrifice is closely linked to practices of resistance. As well, it has a strong affinity with the preservation of identity and should therefore not be interpreted solely as a symptom of powerlessness.