Based on an examination of Israel’s territorial conceptions, strategies, and achievements since the establishment of the state, this article shows how state territoriality subsumes ideology and political agendas and may, under certain circumstances, lead the state to negate its very self-conceptions and harm its own perceived interests. Its analysis pays special attention to the state’s inadvertently produced territories of negation, which run counter to its own conception of territoriality, and considers the kind of social–spatial entities produced by the state. It also considers Israeli territoriality’s more recently asserted goal of shaping Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, in addition to the goals of controlling Jerusalem and Judaizing the Galilee and the Negev. To illustrate the theoretical assertion that discriminatory and marginalizing state territoriality has the distinct potential to bring about its own negation, the article concludes with two prominent expressions of this phenomenon. The first is manifested in green-line Israel, where the state’s territorial policies and the resulting marginalization of the Palestinian minority has resulted in collective resistance against the state and its policies, basic Jewish-Israeli symbols such as the anthem and the flag, and Israel’s very definition as a Jewish State. The second is manifested in Israel’s inadvertent creation of bi-national spaces both within Israel proper and in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, indirectly promoting the solution of a single bi-national state and posing a serious challenge to the very goals that Israeli territoriality has consistently strived to achieve.
In 1901, in the Lower Galilee, the JCA, a Jewish philanthropic organization, established a region of rural settlements aimed at creating independent Jewish farmers. During World War I, the settlers established a regional committee, the Lower Galilee Farmers Association. During its 30-year existence, the Association developed a complex process of alienation between itself and the farmers it was supposed to represent. The Association widened its realm of activity beyond the economic to the social, until it finally decided that it had the right to determine national values for the settlers. This article will present the Association’s organizational attitude, its approach to the economic problems that were affecting the farmers, and the way it dealt with the national ethos of the time.