This essay uses Fouzi El-Asmar's To Be an Arab in Israel as a point of departure to examine the plight of Israel's Palestinian Arab citizens since 1948, while also exploring the inherent contradictions within the logic and political economy of Zionism that situate Palestinians as a persistent and disturbing reminder of Israel's settler colonial aspirations. By taking inventory of the various ontological crises attending what it means to be a Palestinian living in Israel, as well as the historical vectors informing Zionism's various attempts to prevent the development of Palestinian civil society, Abraham argues that there are clear analogues between Palestinian and Jewish suffering. After completing a theoretical survey of the arguments informing defenses of, and apologies for, Israel's occupation of the West Bank and destruction of Gaza, Abraham turns to the ways in which the Holocaust has been used to shore up connections between Zionist and Jewish history. Finally, the essay turns to recent intellectual and media controversies attending comparisons between Israeli and South African apartheid, focusing on the attacks on Jimmy Carter's Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. In conclusion, Abraham argues that the Israel-Palestinian conflict cannot be solved until Israel's Palestinian Arab citizens are recognized as equals with their Jewish brethren.
Matthew Abraham; The Perils of Separation: Fouzi El-Asmar's To Be an Arab in Israel as an Allegory of Settler Colonial Anxiety. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2008; 107 (4): 715–734. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2008-014
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