Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Negev demolition: Israel’s politics of builiding

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Yesterday’s Guardian carries video and comment regarding the demolition of a Bedouin village in the Negev region of Israel. Neve Gordon provocatively refers to the razing of this village as ‘ethnic cleansing’, arguing that it is evidence of the state of Israel’s desire to ‘Judaise’ the Negev. The description of the demolition of residential structures and the uprooting of trees certainly indicates an attempt to prevent the Bedouin establishing a claim to territory that Israel regards as its own (and thus, following the logic of Zionism, as Jewish). Building is a primary way in which identity and territory can be linked since dwelling establishes a durable relationship between individuals and the place they reside in. Given that ethnic cleansing is defined by its assumed linkage of identity and territory one can understand how Gordon comes to his conclusion. However striking this claim might be, however, to my mind it obscures the deeper politics of administrative demolition in Israel.