Volume 9 (2009)
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Palestine As Exile
1SJD candidate, Harvard Law School, firstname.lastname@example.org
Citation Information: Global Jurist Advances. Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 1535-1661, DOI: 10.2202/1535-1661.1094, August 2003
- Published Online:
The paper aims to trace the evolvement of the Israeli citizenship, and the civic discourse, by focusing on the relation of the Jewish state with its Palestinian citizen. As such it reads this development by focusing on the dynamics of the rhetoric of sameness and difference, citizenship and identity, the individual and the collective, the past and the future, the particular and the universal. Read in this way it could viewed as an exercise in exploring the limits of the liberal rights discourse in general. The point of departure of the paper is the Zionist concept of the "negation of exile" as a constitutive element in Jewish national identity and the impact of this concept on the formation of the concept of Israeli citizenship. The paper claims that due to several factors, the concept of the "negation of exile" among them, the Israeli citizenship was born crippled and deformed, and within the early years after the establishment of the state, the concept of Israeli citizenship was rather almost meaningless. The paper moves to trace some major political and economical transformations within the Israeli society between the late 1960's and the 1980's. These transformations lead at the same time to two different kinds of discourses: One was the emergence of civic discourse and civil rights and a gradual separation of civil society from the state, the other was the development of religious national discourse. While these discourses has been always part of the debates within Zionism, this time the debate is located within the Israeli state itself and as such bringing the tensions together within a unity. The paper will rather focus on the civic discourse and will try to extrapolate the categories and the concepts that lie in the basis of this discourse, and try to find out their potential effect on the Palestinian citizens of Israel. To do that the paper will draw the attention to some of the particularities of the status of the Palestinians in Israel, and how do these fit within the emerging model of citizenship that was in the process of evolvement during the 1990's. The question will be how can the Palestinians in Israel locate themselves within such discourse and whether such a discourse can "capture" their historical case.