chapter  14
16 Pages

Bodily Relief: Some Observations on Martyrdom Operations in Palestine

ByEsmail Nashif

Eventually everyone will die, but the manner of death is not usually optional, and depends largely on the sociohistorical configuration that determines the individual’s way of life. Moreover, death and the ways in which it occurs are basic elements in the (re)production apparatuses of any given society (Kellehear 2007; Durkheim 2002 [1897]). Viewing it from this perspective, we may say that exploring the possible manners of dying in a certain society can reveal some of the major aspects of that society’s ways of making life possible. In this regard, the aspects that might be revealed by such an exploration would vary from one society to another, and in the same society at different historical junctions. Here I want to address a specific manner of dying in a specific society at a certain moment of its history. The manner is that of martyrdom operations, and the society is the Palestinian one at its late colonial junction.1