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A new storm over the Naqab: The temporality of space in Israeli settler colonialism
Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Kulturgeografiska institutionen.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-1074-7098
2023 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

How can a posthumanist conceptualization of landscape, one that embraces temporality and practice, help us to better understand contemporary settler colonialism? This thesis explores this proposition through its analyses of the desire of the Israeli state to ‘settle’ the Naqab. The Naqab, an area located in the south of modern-day Israel and within its borders, is continuously narrated as under threat of being lost to the Palestinian Bedouins. In contrast to the breadth of scholarly attention given to the occupied Palestinian Territories, there is a relative paucity of studies focusing on the Naqab and on the Palestinian citizens of Israel living therein. Inspired by the concept of taskscape and, more broadly, by a posthumanist political ecology approach, in this thesis I seek to remedy the determinist undertones quite often found in settler colonial studies.

The thesis’ empirical data draw from qualitative methods and field research in the Naqab, undertaken during multiple field visits between the 2018 and 2021. The thesis comprises a comprehensive summary (kappa) and three research papers. In Paper 1, I show how a schism between the Jewish National Fund and the civil society green movement surfaced amid land conflicts between the state and Bedouin villagers east of Beersheva. I argue that this schism offers insights into how nature is negotiated in relation to environmentalism and Zionist ideology.  Further, I discuss how these negotiations point to an emerging new self-image of a post-settlement state that has abandoned pioneering, and replaced it with a planted forest (and natural) landscape as an emblem for Zionist nature. In Paper 2, I focus my attention on a network of Jewish villages in the Naqab. Based on a discourse analysis of YouTube videos produced by two Zionist organizations, I show how the narrative of Jewish relocation to the Naqab encompasses a modern re-enactment of the pioneering ideal, one mediated by a new neoliberal ethos of Israel as a ‘start-up nation’ and the Naqab as a new Israeli tech-hub. Finally, in Paper 3, I trace the cultural and political context of forest grazing in the Naqab. I argue that while the state uses afforestation as a proxy for territorialization, the irony is that it is the Bedouins who are largely responsible for everyday management of these forest areas, as grazing is a cost-effective method for keeping shrubs and other undergrowth low. I argue that in trying to accommodate grazing in the forest, policy makers struggle to juggle Bedouin land claims via continuous use and cultural connection to the land. Throughout the papers I affirm the performance of Israeli settler colonialism through the making of the natural environment. I assert that the tendency towards forest and grazing regulation, also articulated in planning policy, represents a move beyond the ‘era of pioneering’ towards a more formal type of society.  I conclude by contending that the multiple spaces and temporalities presented in the paper’s case studies are indicative of contradictory narratives in the portrayal of the Naqab is and thus assemble as a necessity of the settlement ambition.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University , 2023. , s. 128
Serie
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 164
Emneord [en]
Settler colonial studies, posthumanism, political ecology, transhumance, frontier, Negev/Naqab, Israel/Palestine
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
geografi med kulturgeografisk inriktning
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-212477ISBN: 978-91-8014-122-2 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-91-8014-123-9 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-212477DiVA, id: diva2:1717177
Disputas
2023-01-27, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (engelsk)
Opponent
Veileder
Tilgjengelig fra: 2023-01-02 Laget: 2022-12-07 Sist oppdatert: 2022-12-21bibliografisk kontrollert
Delarbeid
1. Has the forest lost its crown?: Nature in the settler state
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Has the forest lost its crown?: Nature in the settler state
(engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

This paper explores how nature is negotiated and mobilized in the settler-colonial state. I present a case study of a schism between the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the civil society green movement in Israel, that has recently surfaced in the context of state-led afforestation on the historical land of Arab Bedouins in the Naqab. The study is based on interviews with activists from the Bedouin community and representatives from JNF and other concerned actors coupled with close-reading of media coverage and published reports. I argue that this schism offers insights into how nature is negotiated in relation to environmentalism and the Zionist ideology and I argue that this negotiations points to an emerging new self-image of a post-settlement state that has left pioneering behind, symbolized by the replacement of the planted forest landscape by the natural landscape as the emblem for Zionist nature. 

Emneord
settler colonial environmentalism, political ecology, JNF, Negev/Naqab, Israel
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
kulturgeografi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-212429 (URN)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2022-12-07 Laget: 2022-12-07 Sist oppdatert: 2022-12-07
2. Settler Suburbia in the Negev/Naqab: the Start-Up Pioneer in the Desert
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Settler Suburbia in the Negev/Naqab: the Start-Up Pioneer in the Desert
2024 (engelsk)Inngår i: Geographical Review, ISSN 0016-7428, E-ISSN 1931-0846, Vol. 114, nr 2, s. 180-205Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Within the recognized borders of Israel, in the shadow of the West Bank settlement enterprise, a new frontier is in the making. Central planning has designated the space as a burgeoning metropolitan region, and, in a parallel process, a network of Jewish-only settlements has been established. This study asks how the settlement push is narrated to the Israeli public, and thereby adds the Naqab to previous studies exploring the link between colonial settlement and suburbia, and more specifically with the community-settlement model. It analyzes audiovisual material produced by two Zionist organizations and finds that the new frontier is narrated as a space for reenactment of the mythic pioneer trope, and that this ideal is mediated in relation to the new neoliberal ethos of Israel as the “start-up nation.” The study moreover expands on the interplay of geographic scales, thus adding an important contribution to scholarly understanding of contemporary settler-colonialism. 

Emneord
frontier, Negev/Naqab, settler-colonialism, suburbia, Zionism
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
kulturgeografi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-212430 (URN)10.1080/00167428.2023.2197954 (DOI)000979863500001 ()2-s2.0-85156096857 (Scopus ID)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2022-12-07 Laget: 2022-12-07 Sist oppdatert: 2024-04-22bibliografisk kontrollert
3. Grazing the Naqab: Mobile pastoralism in forests of conflict
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Grazing the Naqab: Mobile pastoralism in forests of conflict
(engelsk)Manuskript (preprint) (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

The Naqab is a region in south Israel, which until 1948 was mainly inhabited by Palestinian Bedouin tribes. A small part of this community continues to take their sheep and goats to seasonal grazing, a practice that carries deep and significant cultural importance but has been all but abolished by various post-1948 laws. Following a turn in forest management, grazing has become sought after as cost-effective pruning. However, mobile herds are now hard to come by as the practice has been obstructed among the Bedouins and as mobile herding is commonly thought of as an Arab cultural practice. Forests, on the other hand, have long represented the Israeli nation both as identity and territorial claim. Current regulation does not fit the new demand, making new regulation necessary. Reading Tim Ingold’s concept of ‘taskscape’ as a posthumanist approach, I explore how grazing is regulated in the Naqab in relation to both the state-Bedouin conflict and to the wider settlement-colonial enterprise in Israel/Palestine. I suggest that taskscape is a concept that can hold the complexity of natural resources, cultural identity and conflict while simultaneously countering the colonial idea of ‘empty space’ which tends to inform both state-pastoralists conflicts and grazing regulations, thereby offering a new lens through which to understand the ongoing settler-colonial project

Emneord
settler colonialism, posthumanism, transhumance, Negev/Naqab, Israel, Palestine
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
kulturgeografi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-212431 (URN)
Tilgjengelig fra: 2022-12-07 Laget: 2022-12-07 Sist oppdatert: 2022-12-07

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