This is an ethnography of Jewish settlers in Israel/Palestine. Studies of religiously motivated settlers in the occupied territories indicate the intricate ties between settlement practices and a Jewish theology about the advent of redemption. This messianic theology binds future redemption with the maintenance of a physical union between Jews and the “Land of Israel.” However, among settlers themselves, the dominance of this messianic theology has been undermined by postmodernity and most notably by a series of Israeli territorial withdrawals that have contradicted the promise of redemption. These days, the religiously motivated settler population is divided among theological and ideological lines that pertain, among others issues, to the meaning of redemption and its relation to the state of Israel. This dissertation begins with an investigation of the impact of the 2005 Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip upon settlers and proceeds to compare three groups of religiously motivated settlers in the West Bank: an elite Religious Zionist settlement, settlers who engage in peacemaking activities with Palestinians, and settlers who act violently against Palestinians. Through a comparison of these different groups, this dissertation demonstrates that while messianism remains a central force in the realities of Jewish settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it exists these days in more diversified forms than before. In addition, this ethnography illustrates how religion both underlies and undermines differences between Israelis and Palestinians and argues that local communities and religious leaders should be included in peace processes. Finally, by examining how messianic conceptions of time among different groups of Jewish settlers connect to their settlement practices, this study reveals the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be as much about time as it is about space. Accordingly, this dissertation has broader implications for understanding the contemporary role of religion and time within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the political struggles of the Middle East.
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.
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.
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference in Israel Studies
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Yeshiva University, New York City
The Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies and the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies invite graduate students to join us for a day of learning, community building and professional growth. The conference will explore Israel from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. We imagine a broad range of papers, spanning from antiquity through the contemporary era that examine Israel as a place, as a people (or, peoples) and as an idea. Potential topics include but are not limited to: Israel and the diasporas, visual and literary representations of Israel, minorities in Israel, Israel in collective memory, and Israel in comparative perspectives. Ideas for complete panels are also most welcome.
Yeshiva University faculty from such areas as literature, visual studies, sociology, and Jewish studies will participate in the discussions of this student conference. The keynote speaker will be announced shortly.
Small amounts of travel support may be available to participants beyond our region, and we are prepared to arrange home hospitality for participants traveling to the conference. Please send abstracts to Israel.firstname.lastname@example.org by January 20, 2013, with notification by February 20. All are welcome!
For further information about the YU Center for israel Studies, visit yu.edu/cis