Academic journal article Refuge

Stateless Citizenship and the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel

Academic journal article Refuge

Stateless Citizenship and the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel

Article excerpt


This paper will focus on Israel's system of government with specific attention to the idea of citizenship and to its Palestinian-Arab citizenry. It will begin with a historical and political background of Palestinian-Arab citizens, along with an examination of their paradoxical circumstances living as non-Jewish citizens in a "Jewish state." The multi-faceted discrimination faced by Palestinian-Arab citizens is laid out in an attempt to outline the apartheid state structure and system that constitutes the Israeli regime. The ethnicized nature and structure of Israeli citizenship will then be explained, and an analysis of the limited access of Palestinian-Arabs to Israeli citizenship through an illustration of the state's legal definition and political characterization as a "Jewish state" will follow. This paper will argue that Israel's (hardening) ethnic policies and practices, coupled with internal Palestinian political rifts and resistance, have resulted in a notable shrinking space of citizenship. Expanding on this analysis of Israeli citizenship and state structure, this paper will introduce the concept of statelessness and argue that self-identification of the Israeli state as "Jewish" repudiates the citizenship of the Palestinian-Arab community, rendering this collective stateless. The paradoxical status of stateless-citizenship will be explored to illustrate that this form of statelessness is not rooted in the absence of citizenship but rather in its presence, thus distinguishing between the statelessness of the Arab citizenry of Israel and the rest of the Palestinian nation. The paper will end with the application of Mark Salter's metaphor of the border, arguing that, as stateless-citizens, Palestinian-Arabs are in a permanent state of border exception, the effect of which makes their bodies into borders.


Le present article approfondit le systeme de gouvernement de l'Etat d'Israel en insistant particulierement sur la notion de citoyennete ainsi que sur ses citoyens arabo-palestiniens. Lhuteure situe d'abord le contexte historique et politique des citoyens arabo-palestiniens et examine ensuite leur situation paradoxale de citoyens non juifs dans un <>. La discrimination a multiples facettes a laquelle sont confrontes les citoyens arabo-palestiniens est exposee dans un essai de definition du systeme et de la structure etatique d'apartheid que constitue le regime israelien. La nature et la structure ethnicisees de la citoyennete israelienne sont alors expliquees, suivi d'une analyse de l'acces limite des citoyens arabo-palestiniens a la citoyennete israelienne a travers une illustration de la definition juridique et de la caracterisation politique de l'Etat comme <>. L'auteure fait valoir que les politiques et pratiques ethniques (durcissantes) d'Israel, ainsi que la resistance et les clivages politiques internes palestiniens, ont entraene une diminution notable de l'espace de la citoyennete En creusant davantage cette analyse de la citoyennete israelienne et de la structure de l'Etat, l'auteure presente le concept de l'apatridie et affirme que l'auto-identification de l'Etat d'Israel comme <> repudie la citoyennete de la communaute arabo-palestinienne, la rendant apatride. Le statut paradoxal de la citoyennete apatride est etudie afin d'illustrer le fait que cette forme d'apatridie n'est pas enracinee en une absence de citoyennete, mais plutot en sa presence, discernant ainsi entre l'apatridie des citoyens arabes d'Israel et celle du reste de la nation palestinienne. L'auteure termine par lhpplication de la metaphore de la frontiere de Mark Salter, faisant valoir que, en tant que citoyens apatrides, les Arabo-Palestiniens sont dans un etat permanent d'exception des frontieres, leurs corps etant euxmemes des frontieres.

The Forgotten Palestinians

The nation-state framework is predicated on citizenship as the principle organizing relation between the state and its constituents, or citizens. …

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