Inter- and intra-clan conflicts in Northern Israel pit hundreds against each other in revenge cycles that take years to resolve and impact the entire community. The Sulha is a Shari’a-based traditional conflict resolution process that works independently of formal legal systems and is widely practiced to manage such conflicts in the north of Israel, as well as throughout the Muslim and Arab worlds.
The Sulha process works by effecting a gradual attitudinal transformation, from a desire for revenge to a willingness to forgive, through restoration of the victim’s clan sense of honour. Muslim/Arab Mediation and Conflict Resolution examines the process of Sulha, as practiced by the Arab population of northern Israel, where it plays a central role in the maintenance of peace among Muslims, Christians, and Druze alike. It presents detailed analysis of every stage of this at times protracted process. It uses interviews with victims, perpetrators, Sulha practitioners, community leaders and lawyers, along with statistical analysis to examine how Sulha affects people’s lives, how various sectors of society impact the practice, and how it coexists with Israel’s formal legal system. Furthermore, it examines how Sulha compares to Western dispute resolution processes.
This book offers the first comprehensive exploration of the entire Sulha process, and is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Middle East studies, Islamic studies and conflict resolution.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 Sulha in Muslim Jurisprudence and Customary Justice 2 The Theoretical Foundations of Sulha 3 Honour, Revenge and Forgiveness in Sulha 4 Sulha: Structure and Characteristics 5 Sulha and Gender 6 Sulha and Western ADR 7 Sulha and Israel’s Legal System 8 Sulha case study Conclusions Appendix A: Sample Sulha Agreement Appendix B: Victim’s Clan Questionnaire Appendix C: Maps
Doron Pely is Executive Director of the Sulha Research Centre (www.sulha.org) in Shefa’amer, Israel. His research explores Muslim/Arab dispute resolution practices, and conflict and justice in multi-cultural environments.