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Demographic changes inside the Jewish society produced a new political force in Israel, defeating any chance of a liberal Zionist approach towards the Palestine Question. The last liberal Zionist bid was the Oslo Accord that dismally failed. The occupation after Oslo became much harsher as were the discriminatory policies towards the Palestinian minority inside Israel.
Chapter 9, “Home Army on the Offensive: Violence in 1943-1944,” dissects mature intelligentsia military resistance. As the tide of war turned and the Germans endured their first battlefield defeats against the Soviet Union, the consolidated Home Army grew aggressive. Its most effective move was a 1943 assassination campaign targeting Wehrmacht officers, Nazi police, and German administration personnel called Operation Heads. Heads intimidated the Germans and shifted occupation policy. The Home Army’s perceived success and the advance of the Eastern Front toward Warsaw in 1944 convinced underground military leaders that they were facing their last opportunity to launch a city-wide insurrection. Their rebellion, now known as the Warsaw Uprising, failed. Remaining German personnel in the city were reinforced and crushed the insurrection, slaughtered civilians, and destroyed the city. This chapter argues that military conspiracy, like Catholic resistance, had its successes but was ultimately dependent on the international situation and could not secure the practical support of the Grand Alliance in the face of both German and Soviet opposition.
Chapter 4, “The Warsaw Ghetto: A People Set Apart,” considers how Polish elites grappled with Jewish victimhood in their midst and differentiates between Nazi targeting of Polish elites and the better known targeting and murder of Polish Jews. It traces initial Nazi persecution of Warsaw’s Jewish community, ghettoization in 1940, persecution within the ghetto, and its liquidation to the death camp at Treblinka in 1942, and the outbreak of violent resistance in 1943. This is contextualized against Polish antisemitism before and during the war and particular Polish elite reactions to the developing Holocaust. A handful of intelligentsia figures who reacted strongly to antisemitic persecution in various ways demonstrate the complexity of Polish response to the Nazi Holocaust and how prewar and wartime antisemitism widened gulfs between ethnic Poles and the Polish-Jewish community. It argues that, because of a combination of targeted Nazi violence and native antisemitism, Polish elite response to Jewish persecution arose very late, typically only in 1943 with the outbreak of the ghetto uprisings, which captured the attention of resistance-minded Poles.
This chapter historically contextualises the Kurdish women’s movement and traces the trajectory of its organisational structures and knowledge production from 1978 to the present. It situates the Kurdistan Freedom Movement and its local political and armed branches in the regional and international matrices of domination: Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It zooms in on the main internal rupture points where the women resisted and fought against their male comrades in order to build their autonomous ranks within the larger liberation movement.
Chapter 2 examines how the claim of difference and sustainability was organised and implemented by the Kurdish women’s movement in the political sphere of Diyarbakir, where the movement has a long-standing history of organising women according to party ideology and structures. I analyse how this struggle for space unfolded once the urban wars started in mid-2015, mapping out the tools and mechanisms of resistance used by the movement as a whole and the women’s structures in particular. This chapter gives space to the critical voices, residents not organised behind party lines, as they were caught in the frontlines between the PKK and the Turkish army.
Chapter 3 examines the immediate impact of the Russian Revolution, which triggered the proliferation of autocracy during the interwar years. With ample primary sources, the chapter documents how Lenin’s success quickly stimulated a wave of radical-left emulation efforts, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Driven by cognitive shortcuts, rather than fully rational decision-making, these imitation attempts were precipitous and ill-planned; therefore, they uniformly failed. The chapter investigates the experiences of many countries, especially the Baltic States, Finland, Germany, and Hungary.
Egypt’s top military generals remained loyalists until the very end in 2011 and yet were unable to save their hero and benefactor, Hosni Mubarak. Why? To answer this question I break the officer corps along generational lines, which other studies have so far neglected to do. I show that the Egyptian military commandership dreaded a pro-uprising military coup from below after demonstrators occupied Tahrir. The top brass understood that they could not order their subordinates to open fire on demonstrators without risking an open mutiny in the officer corps. I give evidence that the behavior of the officer corps in 2011 reflected the conflicting preferences between the upper level of the officer corps, and its mid-ranking and junior members particularly, and demonstrate that when mid-ranking and junior offices are against the status quo, it cannot be upheld, irrespective of the preferences of the top brass. In Syria, I also show that ethnic stacking and all-in-the-family tactics made the military–security complex impervious not only to potential coup-plotters but also to civilian demonstrators in the streets of Syria. Whether Sunni opponents to the al-Asads came from within or without the armed forces, they found no critical mass of Alawi officers ready to build a cross-sectarian alliance with them against the dynasty in power. And so the al-Asads survived the massive peaceful uprising in 2011 – and later triumphed in civil war – just as they prevailed over military challenges to their rule previously. Contra Egypt’s coup-proofing system, Hafez and Bashar al-Asad’s tactics delivered coup-proofing and more.
Focusing on the “crisis year” 1879, in which uprisings by Volga Tatars were violently crushed by the Kazan authorities, the final chapter investigates one of the situations in which the existing legal order broke down and gave way to arbitrary rule. The example shows that while the formalized rule of law was influential by the late 1870s, it continued to be challenged by the autocratic order.
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