Erasure, enclosure, excision : framing Palestinian return

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2010
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- Three quarters of a million Palestinians were forced from historic Palestine to become refugees during and as a consequence of the war of 1948/ al-Nakba. As Israel mapped the geography of the Jewish state it simultaneously negated and denied Palestinian return and what Edward Said described in 1982 as the idea of Palestine. An encounter with the idea of Palestine, the thesis is concerned with the ways in which Palestinian dispossession is authorized, denied or negated. Applying framing as an analytical tool through which to identify the layered and spatially determined political and cultural practices that shape the lived experience of Palestinians, the thesis examines the discourses of authorization and moral legitimacy that are enacted through political and cultural representation, juridical determination, and the materialised geography of territorialized power. Presented in three parts, the thesis examines the ways through which the negation and denial of the idea of Palestine is enacted materially and spatially and its effect on the lived experience of Palestinians, and of Palestinian refugees, across the territorially connected and politically mapped geographies of historic Palestine. Based on a journey through the sites of twenty-eight Palestinian villages erased during and as a consequence of the war of 1948, Erasure maps the legacy of the colonial in the present, and the effects of the construction of the geography of Israel on the material and spatial conditions for Palestinians within the State. Enclosure examines the spatial and discursive practices through which Israel has re-territorialized the Palestinian geography of the West Bank and East Jerusalem occupied as a consequence of the Six Day War of \96Hal-Naksa, in order to build the whole land of Israel, Eretz Israel hashlema. Based on a journey through the settlements, the checkpoints, the Wall and the refugee camps, this section examines the spatial practices that locate Palestinians within a cartography of violent separation promulgated on the determination of Palestinians as an enemy. Excision enters Gaza to map the lasting effects of the settlement project, and the designation of the Strip as an enemy entity. Examining the protection of the lives of Israeli soldiers over those of non-combatant Palestinian civilians during the Operation Cast Lead offensive on Gaza in late 2008, the thesis considers Israeli practices as those of a necropolitics, a sovereign politics of death, abrogating the trust obligations, under international law, of Israel as an occupying power. The thesis concludes with a précis of what the research found in an encounter with the idea of Palestine.
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