Fencing In and Out: Israel's Separation Wall and the Whitewashing of State Violence


Amalia Sa’ar (University of Haifa, Israel)
Sarai Aharoni (Ben-Gurion University, Israel)
Alisa Lewin (University of Haifa, Israel)

Fencing In and Out:
Israel's Separation Wall and the Whitewashing of State Violence

Abstract: This essay uses the case of Israel's Separation Wall to address the role of walls in the articulation of security, violence, vulnerability, and danger. In Israel, "security" refers exclusively to the Jewish citizens, whether they are fenced in (residing within the Green Line) or outside it (such as West Bank settlers). For the Palestinians, by contrast, the wall is yet another instrument of structural and symbolic violence. While Israeli Jews are vaguely aware of "the occupation," they largely remain blissfully unaware of the violent under-side of everyday civil security, which the wall represents. Tracing the ways in which Jewish citizens living inside the Green Line experience and accommodate the wall, this essay analyzes its role in whitewashing state violence and in the ongoing construction of subject positions with respect to the security-violence complex. 

Keywords: security, state violence, gated communities, misrecognition, the political, Israel-Palestine, Separation Wall


security; state violence; gated communities; misrecognition; the political; Israel-Palestine; Separation Wall

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Published : 2018-06-30

Sa’arA., AharoniS., & LewinA. (2018). Fencing In and Out: Israel’s Separation Wall and the Whitewashing of State Violence. Review of International American Studies, 11(1). Retrieved from https://www.journals.us.edu.pl/index.php/RIAS/article/view/6386

Amalia Sa’ar  saaramalia@gmail.com
University of Haifa Israel  Israel

Amalia Sa'ar is a Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Haifa. Amalia's topics of interest include gender and feminist theory including feminist security theory, urban anthropology, women, work, and citizenship, generational relations in the feminist movement, and action research. She has done extensive fieldwork with Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as with low-income women of diverse backgrounds. Her recent book, Economic Citizenship: Neoliberal Paradoxes of Empowerment, was published by Berghahn Books in 2016.

Sarai B. Aharoni 
Ben-Gurion University Israel  Israel

Sarai B. Aharoni is a lecturer in the Gender Studies Program, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and one of the founding members of the Haifa Feminist Institute (HFI). Previously, she was a researcher at the Center for Research on Peace Education (CERPE) at the University of Haifa, the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. Her recent work on gender, peace and conflict in Israel has been published in Social Politics, Security Dialogue and the International Feminist Journal of Politics.

Alisa C. Lewin 
University of Haifa Israel  Israel

Alisa C. Lewin is a Senior Lecturer at the Deptartment of Sociology at the University of Haifa and is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Poverty and Social Exclusion.  She joined the University of Haifa after completing her PhD at UCLA.  Her primary research interests are in demography of the family, poverty, and inequality.  Much of her research focuses on the link between gender, family and poverty.  Alisa Lewin has recently published papers in the European Journal of Population, the Journal of Family Issues, and Social Indicators Research.

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