Our Sisters' Promised Land

Women, Politics, and Israeli-Palestinian Coexistence
Ayala Emmett
A groundbreaking study of the role of women as political actors--and peacemakers--in the Middle East


Our Sisters' Promised Land describes the successes and failures of Israeli and Palestinian women working for peace throughout the 1990s. By charting the shifting political role of women activists in the peace process, Our Sisters' Promised Land provides a rich context for understanding both the current conflict in the Middle East and the activism of contemporary peace movements.

Through in-depth interviews, Emmett gives voice to particular women activists in Israel, exploring their positions—from their place on the margins of society during the Likud government, to their internal disagreement over the meaning of peace itself. But Our Sisters' Promised Land goes beyond elaborating political and social processes in one region. As Emmett writes in her introduction, "in the international political game of the rise and fall of superpowers, locals are often seen as pawns." Emmett challenges this notion by illuminating the often overlooked role that female activism plays in political transformations and by offering insight into the future of women's activism across the globe.

Ayala Emmett is Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Rochester.

Praise / Awards

  • "A groundbreaking study. . . .Ayala Emmett brings an unusual voice of clarity into the muddled politics of the Middle East. Where most studies ignore or marginalize women's role in the peace process, Emmett highlights women as political actors and shows their capacity to bridge the chasm between two hostile peoples."
    —Cynthia Saltzman, Rutgers University, Camden
  • "Brilliant in conception and theory, based on superb fieldwork, and clearly written for both specialist and non-specialist reader."
    —Maurie Sacks, Montclair State University
  • ". . . Emmett's book is an important contribution to the growing critical literature on Israeli culture, reinserting into the history of the peace process a diverse community of women activists that much scholarship has forgotten."
    American Anthropologist
  • ". . . a provocative, anthropologically based study of organized women's protest groups in Israel, grounded in research and participant observation there in the early 1990s."
  • ". . . an interesting study of the important part played by women of all creeds in seeking to present a high profile peace movement in the turbulent context of Israel and its occupation of the disputed Palestinian territories. . . . . This volume is a welcome addition to the work carried out on women as peace activists, and highlights the importance of gender in uniting disparate groups around a specific cause. In Israel, as elsewhere, the task has a long way to go before it is completed. But for academics it is useful to have each stage clearly marked. Our Sisters' Promised Land is a compelling book which I have already advised my students to read. It is a welcome addition to the flourishing literature on this subject."
    —Haleh Afshar, International Affairs

Product Details

  • 288 pages.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2010
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02497-1

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