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Israel's Occupation$
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Neve Gordon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255302

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255302.001.0001

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Identification Trouble

Identification Trouble

(p.93) Chapter 4 Identification Trouble
Israel's Occupation

Neve Gordon

University of California Press

Palestinian national identification slowly but consistently strengthened following the 1967 War despite Israel's ongoing effort to undermine it. Not unlike Zionism, which, as some scholars claim, precipitated the appearance and development of Palestinian national identity at the turn of the twentieth century, Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip helped generate the reemergence of Palestinian nationalism. This chapter argues that many of the controlling apparatuses employed to manage the inhabitants affected the Palestinian population as a whole, thus highlighting the similarities among the residents of the two regions rather than their differences. Thus, while Israel deployed several controlling practices to repress Palestinian nationalism and to encourage other forms of identification, the contradictions and excesses of its controlling apparatuses actually reinforced the sense of a shared predicament, which strengthened national identification. In hindsight, it is not surprising that Israel failed to suppress the rise of national identity. But in order to better understand how Palestinian nationalism reemerged and how it, in turn, led Israel to emphasize sovereign power and de-emphasize disciplinary and biopower, it is useful to look back at one of the sites where the struggle over national identification manifested itself most forcefully: the municipal elections in the West Bank.

Keywords:   Palestinian nationalism, national identification, occupation, West Bank, Gaza Strip, controlling apparatuses, national identity, municipal elections

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