Human Shields and the Struggle for Self-Determination in Gaza
Date(s) - 04/15/2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Organiser Humanitarian And Conflict Response Institute
Date And Time
Thu, 15 April 2021
07:00 – 09:00 PDT
About this Event
From Sri Lanka to Iraq and from Yemen to the United States, human beings have been used as shields for protection, coercion, or deterrence. Over the past decade, human shields have also appeared with increasing frequency in Black Lives Matter protests and environmental struggles, and even computer games. In this talk, Neve Gordon will focus on human shielding in the Gaza Strip, discussing how the position of civilians trapped in theatres of violence has become more precarious and their lives more expendable. He will go on to show how international humanitarian law often fails to protect civilians and at times even facilitates the use of lethal violence against vulnerable people while portraying the violence as humane.
Neve Gordon teaches in the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London. Focusing on international humanitarian law, human rights, the ethics of violence, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gordon first book, Israel’s Occupation (2008), provided a structural history of Israel’s mechanisms of control in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while his second book, The Human Right to Dominate (2015, with Nicola Perugini) examines how human rights, which are generally conceived as tools for advancing emancipation, can also be used to enhance subjugation and dispossession. In Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire (2020 also with Perugini), Gordon follows the marginal and controversial figure of the human shield over a period of 150 years in order to interrogate the laws of war and how the ethics of humane violence is produced. Gordon has also edited two volumes, one on torture (with Ruchama Marton) and the other on marginalized perspectives on human rights. He is currently working on a project that examines how new warfare technologies challenge the underlying framework of the laws of war.