In this paper I use a Foucault-inspired framework to study the function and performance of temporality in the discourse of Palestinian-Israeli politics. I argue that Palestinians are constituted as being without time. They are not with time; not with a past, or a future. Phrased differently, temporality is performed in the discourse of Palestinian-Israeli politics such that Palestinians are denied a position in time, they are only ever of a time, and they are not for time. They have been made to be without time by a long line of peace initiatives, including but not limited to the Oslo agreements (1993-2000) and the Quartet Statement of 2011. The initiatives are ahistorical, their omnipresence makes the Palestinian condition temporary – of a time, and their privileging of Israeli ‘security’ denies Palestinians futurity. By isolating Palestinians from time and controlling their activities with time these performances are complicit in Israel’s regime of dispossession in Palestine.
Baron, Ilan Zvi. Obligation in Exile: The Jewish Diaspora, Israel and Critique. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press 2015.
Combining political theory and sociological interviews spanning four countries, Israel, the USA, Canada and the UK, Ilan Zvi Baron explores the Jewish Diaspora/Israel relationship and suggests that instead of looking at Diaspora Jews’ relationship with Israel as a matter of loyalty, it is one of obligation.
Baron develops an outline for a theory of transnational political obligation and, in the process, provides an alternative way to understand and explore the Diaspora/Israel relationship than one mired in partisan debates about whether or not being a good Jew means supporting Israel. He concludes by arguing that critique of Israel is not just about Israeli policy, but about what it means to be a Diaspora Jew.
Table of Contents
1. the Limits of Political Obligation
2. Power and Obligation
3.Between Zion and Diaspora: Internationalisms, Transnationalisms, Obligation and Security
4. From Eating Hummus to the Sublime
5. Obligation and Critique
Conclusion: Obligation in Exile, Critique and the Future of the Jewish Diaspora
Kotef, Hagar. Movement and the Ordering of Freedom: On Liberal Governances of Mobility. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015.
We live within political systems that increasingly seek to control movement, organized around both the desire and ability to determine who is permitted to enter what sorts of spaces, from gated communities to nation-states. In Movement and the Ordering of Freedom, Hagar Kotef examines the roles of mobility and immobility in the history of political thought and the structuring of political spaces. Ranging from the writings of Locke, Hobbes, and Mill to the sophisticated technologies of control that circumscribe the lives of Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, this book shows how concepts of freedom, security, and violence take form and find justification via “regimes of movement.” Kotef traces contemporary structures of global (im)mobility and resistance to the schism in liberal political theory, which embodied the idea of “liberty” in movement while simultaneously regulating mobility according to a racial, classed, and gendered matrix of exclusions.
Table of Contents
1. Between Imaginary Lines: Violence and Its Justifications at the Military Checkpoints in Occupied Palestine / Hagar Kotef and Merav Amir
2. An Interlude: A Tale of Two Roads—On Freedom and Movement
3. The Fence That “Ill Deserves the Name of Confinement”: Locomotion and the Liberal Body
4. The Problem of “Excessive” Movement
5. The “Substance and Meaning of All Things Political”: On Other Bodies
HAGAR KOTEF is based at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University.
Einat, Tomer, Ofer Parchev, Anat Litvin, Niv Michaeli, and Gila Zelikovitz. “Who Knows Who Cares for Me. C’est La Vie: Abuse of Israeli and Palestinian Prisoners’ Human and Medical Rights—A Foucaultian Perspective.” Prison Journal (early view; online first).
One fundamental measure of a liberal democracy concerns its guarantee of civil and health liberties to prisoners. The study examines the Israeli legislation regarding prisoners’ human rights and access to health services, and analyzes the reasons for the gap between the regulations and their de facto implementation. The main findings include the following: (a) A significant gap exists between the Israeli Prison Service formal regulations for prisoners’ civil and health rights and their actual implementation, and (b) the Israeli Prison Service and the Israeli legislation lack a pragmatic instrument aimed at the protection and preservation of Israeli inmates’ fundamental human rights.
Personal hygiene has pride of place in two of the most important scholarly conceptualizations of the modern body: that of Norbert Elias and that of Michel Foucault. This article analyzes hygienic practices among early Zionist ideological workers – halutzim (lit. ‘pioneers’). Contrary to the image of the healthy and vigorous manual worker, physicians lamented the disregard for hygiene among the halutzim – a behavior which they attributed to the latter’s ignorance and indifference to matters of health. The halutzim, on their part, construed their hygienic misbehavior as signifying proletarization. However, a close examination of the practices of halutzim, and the meanings they attached to them, reveals a complex and contextual repertoire. As I argue through the case study of the halutzim, rather than a mere instance of discipline (Foucualt) or self-control (Elias), hygiene was a cultural repertoire which was open for appropriation and re-signification in various ways and for various purposes.
A special kind of infrastructure has emerged around the West Bank, which lays bare Israel’s capacity to spatialise its colonial power and to constantly solidify its presence. Reading these spatial devices through Agamben’s work, this paper proposes a reflective attempt to read this site of contemporary occupation through a “resistant” lens as a novel take on Agamben’s spatial topology and political aesthetics. The paper offers preliminary remarks on the search for alternative theoretical construction of Agamben “potentialities”. The paper allow speculations on the heterotopian nature of Israeli produced infrastructures, perceived at once as actualised potentials in space, and spaces of potential.
Ryan, Caitlin. “The Subjected Non-Subject: Security, Subjectification and Resistance in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” Critical Studies on Security (ahead of print; published online August 25, 2013).
The aim of this article is to examine how Palestinian women living under
Israeli occupation experience and resist subjectification through
security practices. Such an examination is inspired by Foucault, who
claims that power functions upon corporeal bodies to create subjects.
Interesting to the case of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories is the way in which they are de facto subjects in that
their bodies are subject to Israeli power, without being subjects of
Israel. This article is based on recent field research in the West Bank.
It thus relies upon narratives from individual Palestinian women of how
they experience being subject to Israeli power and how, in turn, they
enact resistance to that power.