Bethlehem University Journal Latest Issues

Below you can find the table of contents for the latest issues of Bethlehem University Journal. All articles are Open Access and links to each article are provided below. The journal is hosted on Science Open and can be found here to read online. 

On Youth and National Identity in the Palestinian Context

Jamil Hilal


This study aims to examine the attitudes and opinions of Palestinian youth in the context of the debate about intergenerational conflict and the specificity of youth in the Palestinian condition. Drawing on studies and surveys that dealt with the situation of Palestinian youth, after discussing the rationale for interest in youth in the past two decades, this study shows the need to deal with youth as an essential component of society and not as an external segment or as outsiders. It also indicates that there are relatively limited differences between the positions and opinions of Palestinian youth and the older age groups. The study did not find evidence to support the argument that intergenerational conflict exists. The determining factor in this condition is the Israeli occupation, Zionist settler-colonialism, apartheid regime, and the denial of basic rights. This study confirms the vitality of national culture among the various Palestinian communities. The study concludes that differences in the opinions of youth )and non-youth( can be attributed to the variations in the political situations and life opportunities among Palestinian communities, gender, place of residence, and political affiliation.

Keywords: Youth engagement, Israeli occupation and settler-colonialism, national culture, comprehensive political vision

A Foras, Out”: Youth antimilitarism engagement in Sardinia

Aide Esu


This paper presents a short review of the A Foras, Out movement in Sardinia and examines its youth branch, the student collective (Collettivo studentesco) for university and high school students. Since the late 1960s, grassroots movements, associations, committees, political groups, antimilitarists and ecologists have struggled against land occupation by NATO and other military forces and called for the drastic reduction or elimination of military activities on the island that was later related to the emergence of environmental risk and diseases. By participating in networked collective actions, these young activists reclaim the land occupied by the military and elaborate a legitimisation-based political rhetoric that undermines the legality of the presence of military bases in Sardinia. The young activists emerge as social actors in engaging debates within the movement about of civil disobedience practices that sometimes cross the boundary of illegal practices (e.g. cutting fences around military areas to stop training). Their engagement pushes the actions of the senior non-violentantimilitarist activists into a new, not yet defined practice of antimilitarism incorporating diverse political platforms: from independence movements to traditional workerism, anarchists to radical left-wing movements. We analysethe youth group’s agency in transforming antimilitarism from general pacifism into a mixed antimilitarist-eco, neo-independence movement calling for new regional sovereignty.

Keywords: A Foras, Out, Sardinia, Youth agency, NATO, antimilitarism, illegal practices, social movement.

Green Knowledge Community, Beats for Gaza”: Transnational linkages and institutional obstacles to the diffusion of arts and permaculture-based resilience knowledge among youth in Gaza

Ana Margarida Esteves and Majed Abusalama


This article offers insights on how the institutional and material limitations, posed by the Israeli/Egyptian blockage on Gaza, promote learning processes that impact the strategic choices of an activist collective. It uses ethnographic data to explore micro processes of reasoning and decision-making in “Green Knowledge Community, Beats for Gaza”, a network of Palestinian and international group of young activists aiming to promote grassroots-level resilience to Israeli occupation in this Palestinian territory. It analyses the shift from an initial focus on building an arts therapy school, which turned out to be unfeasible due to limitations both of the ground and among potential international donors, to a focus on permaculture, regarded as a strategy that could circumvent those limitations by mobilizing endogenous resources. The collective became progressively aware of the need to direct transnational knowledge diffusion to the support of the struggle for food sovereignty and grassroots economic self-determination through the localizing of agricultural production. This was due to the circumstances of the Israeli military occupation, Israeli/Egyptian blockage and the inclusion of a significant amount of arable land in the Gaza/Israel buffer, as well as to strategic choices of international donors, as well as the Hamas government.

Keywords: Beats for Gaza, Community-level resilience, Knowledge diffusion, Transnational networks, Permaculture, Gaza

Psychological Resilience among Palestinian Adolescent Ex-detainees in Israeli Jails

Ferdoos Abed Rabo Al-Issa


The current study is designed to identify factors that affect the psychological resilience of Palestinian adolescent ex-detainees of Israeli jails and understand the meaning and content of psychological resilience. This study utilizes qualitative data collection and analysis methods, mainly conducting semi-structured interviews and thematic analyses of interview content. The study sample consists of ten adolescent ex-detainees and uses purposeful selection to ensure the inclusion of ex-detainees from the southern areas of the West Bank (Bethlehem and Hebron), aged between seventeen to nineteen. The findings indicate that resilience is based on a high tolerance of stress resulting from traumatic events, such as arrest, and the ability to control life events, along with the reinforcement of a positive attitude toward social and political experiences, and the capacity to transform stress into an opportunity instead of a debilitating threat. The results also show that resilience is correlated with various factors, including secure attachment, supportive relationships, social support systems, conflict relationships – personal and collective aggression, challenge, commitment to principles (i.e. nationalism) and post hoc engagement in public events (community and voluntary work, solidarity visits with families of ex-detainees, participation in public discourse).


Palestinian Adolescent Ex-detainees, Resilience, torture, Israeli jails, West Bank, Nationalism

Pluto Journals