Israeli Affairs (Issue no. 68)

“Settlement: History, Ideology and Reality”

  • Translator: Said Ayyash,Yaseen el-Sayyed,Salim salameh
  • Editor: Raif Zureik, Nabil al-Saleh, Honaida Ghanem
  • Preparation: Wadii Awawde,Nurit Peled-Elhanan,Gadi Algazi,Raed Dahbour,Abdel-Ghani Salameh,Weam Baloum,Ran Greenstien,Udi Adiv,Rasim Khamaisi,Issam Makhoul,Barhoum Jaraysi,Honaidi Assi,Anas Hasouneh
  • Number of Pages: 138
  • ISBN: 978-9950-03-008-4
  • Date of update: Monday, 15 January 2018
  • Price: $0.00

Settlement and Jewish immigration have laid the foundation for the Zionist project. During the British Mandate period, Ben-Gurion tolerated many issues, including borders and type of sovereignty, but insisted on immigration and settlement. While immigration started to recede within the Zionist project, settlement has continued to be more and more superior and central. In essence, the settlement community means two things. Firstly, while its expansion is permanent, the settlement enterprise neither recognises nor defines its borders. The latter are those of others; they are not demarcated for, or imposed on, it. Combined with Judaising the place and its identity, expansion is intertwined with hostility towards the Palestinian milieu and

population, whose mere existence is an obstacle. The logic of settlement produces the immigrant as a native and turns the Palestinian native into an immigrant. As settlers are the spearhead in this expansion project which is hostile and begets hostility, the first settler is primarily a soldier. Both characters merge into the same person.

Any Palestinian resistance project will essentially put an end to and terminate settlement; i.e. halt the expansionist and, by consequence, the hostile nature of Zionism. This is true in line with the vision of the two-state solution, and all the more so with the one-state solution. First and foremost, the meaning and implication of the struggle against Zionism is a struggle against its expansionist settlement enterprise. One reason Oslo failed is that the expansionist settlement nature of that enterprise has not reached its climax yet. Rabin’s assassination can be understood in light of the sheer fact he thought, though hesitantly, of shifting from the project of revolution to the logic of statehood and institutionalisation.

Over 70 years, Israel has shifted from a socialist, cooperative society to a capitalist, neoliberal one. It has turned from a secular project into a religious theology. Now, it is moving from an extremely distorted democracy, a Jewish democracy, towards a system that is akin to religious fascism. Still, the expansionist settlement nature of all these transformations is evident. Dealing with this enterprise is informed by this understanding,

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Friday, October 22, 2021


The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) is an independent research centre specialising in Israeli affairs, based in Ramallah, Palestine. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics, including the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, Dr. Lily Feidy, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Dr. Ahmad Harb, Mr. Walid Al-Ahmad and Mr. Akram Haniyyeh. The centre was registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, and obtained a research centre’s operational licensing from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.