How do we contribute to the decolonisation of Palestine? In what ways can we divest from settler arrangements in the present-day? Exploring the Zionist takeover of Palestine as a settler colonial case, this book argues that in studying the elimination of native life in Palestine, the loss of Arab-Jewish shared life cannot be ignored. Muslims, Christians, and Jews, shared a life in Ottoman Palestine and in a different way during British rule. The attempt to eliminate native life involved the destruction of Arab society – its cultural hegemony and demographic superiority – but also the racial rejection of Arab-Jewish sociabilities, of shared life. Thus the settlerist process of dispossession of the Arabs was complemented with the destruction of the social and cultural infrastructure that made Arab-Jewish life a historical reality. Both operations formed Israeli polity. Can this understanding contribute to present-day Palestinian resistance and a politics of decolonisation? In this book, the authors address this question by exploring how the study of elimination of shared life can inform Arab-Jewish co-resistance as a way of defying Israel’s Zionist regime. Above and beyond opposing an unacceptable state of affairs, this book engages with past and present to discuss possible futures.
Preface, Dr Raef Zreik / 1. Formulating the Problem/ 2. Shared life in Palestine/ 3. Rewriting the Settler Colonial Paradigm/ 4. After 1948/ 5. Co-Resistance/ Afterword/ Bibliography/ Index
Just when the settler colonial debate in Palestine seems to have been flooded, Marcelo Svisrsky and Ronnen Ben-Arie come out with a new interpretive twist on this historical discourse. Their book is a must read for those who have given up on the possibility of shared resistance in this troubled land.
This is an excellent and timely book. It recovers and describes historic Palestine's 'shared life', a kind of 'Middle Ground' that existed before the Zionist onslaught. But the book is not steeped in nostalgia, and its primary purpose is to contribute to crafting a decolonial future.
Marcelo Svirsky is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong.
Ronnen Ben-Arie is an Associate Researcher at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel-Aviv University, and teaches at the Department of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion Institute.