Struggling to Remain Relevant: Intersecting Ties, Boundary Deactivation, and Disciplining Contention in the Jewish Settler Struggle against the Gaza Pullout
Scholarly works on mechanisms that push radical groups to engage in violence, including terrorist-like one -- a process commonly labeled radicalization -- are rich on confirmatory cases. It is repeatedly shown how members of aggrieved groups who hold values and ideologies that tolerate and justify unlawful behavior engage in violent forms of contention. Yet the link between attitudes and behavior, the willingness to engage in violence and actual engagement in violence, is not as clear-cut as may appear, deterministic or one-sided. There are instances of contention where despite the existence of radical ideas and rhetoric that support engagement in political violence we see little violence, and values, perceptions and beliefs are essentially relationally embedded in space and time. Seeking to problematize the attitude--behavior nexus, my talk centers on the Jewish Settlement protest campaign against the Gaza Pullout (2004-2005) as an "exception to the rule" case, to demonstrate how relational dynamics and practices unfolding within as well as between rival contending parties mediate the link between willingness to engage in violence and actual engagement in violence. Drawing on multiple types of data (in-depth interviews with leaders of the various contending parties, content analysis of movement-based news outlets, and instances of contention--repression) I critically evaluate the validity of two attitudinally-oriented works on level and form of Jewish Settlers' contention during the Gaza Pullout.