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State Practices and Zionist Images
Shaping Economic Development in Arab Towns in Israel
David A. Wesley, with a foreword by Emanuel Marx
276 pages, 15 tables, chronology, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-906-0 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (January 2013)
eISBN 978-0-85745-907-7 eBook
NEW & REVISED PAPERBACK EDITION
"This is a book by an Israeli anthropologist of major importance. Wesley shows how these [settlement] policies were implemented in such a way that the Jewish population benefited and the Arabs did not.[The author], appalled by the systematic discriminatory results of state practices, takes a moral stand, but allows the reader to draw his own conclusions." · Shofar
“[An] outstanding study of the structures and processes of development planning in the Galilee region of Israel… There are various reasons why this is, by some way, the most important book to date from Israeli anthropology. An ethnographic case study is presented that gets to the heart of the state and its government. But it does so in a way that frames the account as process rather than closed structure. A final thought, therefore, is that Wesley has effectively invited Israeli anthropologists to join the new historians in taking part in a project that invites the state to provide the space and conditions for both Jewish and Palestinian Israelis to make a congenial home - as fellow and equal citizens.” · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
“The book is an important contribution to current scholarship on the Arab economy inside Israel.” · Journal of Palestine Studies
"Wesley offers a finely drawn, original, ethnographic-political study of the Israeli power system in practice. He shows how bureaucratic-administrative state forces constrain the participation of Arab villagers in the establishment of a municipal industrial park authority. The strength of the work is in Wesley's capacity to encapsulate, through case study, the ongoing situation of its Arab citizens facing state manipulations and rationalizations." · Henry Rosenfeld, Professor (Emeritus) of Anthropology, University of Haifa
"The author explores the activism demonstrated by Arab society in Israel in its struggle for progress, development, and full equality. Taking note of the commitment of Arab policy activists to the eventual success of this struggle, he calls upon the Jews of Israel to abandon the practices of Separatism and exclusion and to adopt instead a model of cooperation and partnership." · Hanna Swaid, Chairman of the Arab Centre for Alternative Planning, Eilaboun
Although the Israeli state subscribes to the principles of administrative fairness and equality for Jews and Arabs before the law, the reality looks very different. Focusing on Arab land loss inside Israel proper and the struggle over development resources, this study explores the interaction between Arab local authorities, their Jewish neighbors, and the agencies of the national government in regard to developing local and regional industrial areas. The author avoids reduction to simple models of binary domination, revealing instead a complex, multi-dimensional field of relations and ever-shifting lines of political maneuver and confrontation. He examines the prevailing concept of ethnic traditionalism and argues that the image of Arab traditionalism erects imaginary boundaries around the Arab localities, making government incursion disappear from view, while underpinning and rationalizing the exclusion of the Arab towns from development planning. Moreover, he shows how images of environmental protection mesh with and support such exclusion. The study includes a chronology of events, tables, maps, and photographs.
This revised paperback edition with a new epilogue brings accounts of Arab land loss and struggles for economic development up to date. The author also deals with the challenges of life and research in Israel and examines the possibilities of sharing the land as the homeland of both Jews and Palestinians.
Born in the United States, David A. Wesley came to Israel as a young adult and received his PhD in Anthropology at Tel Aviv University. For some years, he lived in a kibbutz before moving to a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood in Jaffa. He has been closely following events connected with Arab economic development in Israel since the beginning of the 1990s.
Subject: Anthropology (General) Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Middle East & Israel
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