Ethnoreligious mixed marriages among Palestinian1 women and Jewish men in Israel: negotiating the breaking of barriers

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This study explores the way intermarriage between Palestinian women and their Jewish spouses occurs in a context where historical and structural inequalities underlie the relationship between the two groups, and the way these women negotiate their crossing of ethnic, religious and social borders under these circumstances. Studying Jewish-Palestinian intermarriage enhances our understanding of intermarriages between spouses who differ in ethnicity, religion and culture, and in which one spouse belongs to an indigenous—not immigrant—minority; it also enhances our understanding of the intersectionality of ethnicity, religion and gender in the context of intermarriage where gender relations are tightly controlled by society.1 Using in-depth interviews with ten Palestinian women married to Jewish men, the findings reveal that social change and educational expansion were the main factors underlying the appearance of ethno-mixed marriage among Palestinian women in Israel. Nevertheless, endogamy weakened among the selected group, where several social factors facilitated intermarriage. Negotiating spousal family relations was affected mainly by the way in which Israeli society defines, constructs, and perpetuates the ethnic and religious borders and the inclusionary-exclusionary relations with the Arab minority. This explains why, despite the social change taking place among Palestinians in Israel, very few of these types of marriages take place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-211
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Israeli History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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