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Colonial imprints: settler-colonialism as a fundamental feature of Israeli constitutional law

  • Mazen Masri (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Many constitutional questions in Israel are dealt with through the lens of the nation-state paradigm where the state is constitutionally associated with an ethnically and religiously defined majority group. Thus, many of the challenges that face Israeli society and the legal system are often presented as a result of an exceptionally antagonistic majority–minority relationship in a nation-state. This paper offers a novel way of analysing the Israeli constitutional regime using the framework of settler-colonialism. It argues that adding the settler-colonial lens will help better understand many features of Israeli constitutional law. Drawing on theoretical frameworks developed by theorists of colonialism, the paper explores a number of foundational aspects of Israeli constitutional law and demonstrates how they were shaped, and continue to be shaped, by settler-colonialism. The paper argues that settler-colonialism is one of the central features that animate Israeli constitutional law.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
mazen.masri.1@city.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Some of the arguments of this article were presented at the Third World Approaches to International Law Conference: On Praxis and the Intellectual which took place in Cairo in 2015, and the Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association in New Orleans (2016).

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Ran Aaronsohn (1996) ‘Settlement in Eretz Israel: A Colonial Enterprise? “Critical” Scholarship and Historical Geography’, Israel Studies 1(2): 214.

Anthony Anghie (2006) ‘On Critique and the Other’ in A. Orford (ed.) International Law and Its Others. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gad Barzilai (2000) ‘Fantasies of Liberalism and Liberal Jurisprudence: State Law, Politics, and the Israeli Arab-Palestinian Community’, Israel Law Review 34(3): 425.

Gad Barzilai (2003) Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Zachery Elkins , Tom Ginsburg and James Melton (2009) The Endurance of National Constitutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chaim Gans (2008) A Just Zionism: On the Morality of the Jewish State. New York: Oxford University Press.

Baruch Kimmerling (1999) ‘Religion, Nationalism and Democracy in Israel’, Constellations 6(3): 341.

Baruch Kimmerling (2002) ‘Jurisdiction in an Immigrant-Settler Society: The “Jewish and Democratic State”’, Comparative Political Studies 35(10): 1119.

Anat Leibler and Daniel Breslau (2005) ‘The Uncounted: Citizenship and Exclusion in the Israeli Census of 1948’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 28(5): 880.

Mazen Masri (2013) ‘Love Suspended: Demography, Comparative Law, and Palestinian Couples in the Israeli Supreme Court’, Social and Legal Studies 22(3): 309.

Scot L. Morgensen (2012) ‘Queer Settler-Colonialism in Canada and Israel: Articulating Two-Spirit and Palestinian Queer Critiques’, Settler-Colonial Studies 2(2): 167.

Nadim Rouhana and Areej Sabbagh-Khoury (2015) ‘Settler-Colonial Citizenship: Conceptualizing the Relationship between Israel and Its Palestinian Citizens’, Settler-Colonial Studies 5(3): 205.

Nadim Rouhana and Nimer Sultany (2003) ‘Redrawing the Boundaries of Citizenship: Israel's New Hegemony’, Journal of Palestine Studies 33(1): 5.

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian (2015) Security Theology, Surveillance and the Politics of Fear. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Avi Shlaim (1995) ‘The Debate About 1948’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 27(3): 287.

Lorenzo Veracini (2010) Settler-Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Patrick Wolfe (2006) ‘Settler-Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native’, Journal of Genocide Research 8(4): 387.

Patrick Wolfe (2012) ‘Purchase by Other Means: The Palestinian Nakba and Zionism's Conquest of Economics’, Settler-Colonial Studies 2(1): 133.

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International Journal of Law in Context
  • ISSN: 1744-5523
  • EISSN: 1744-5531
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-law-in-context
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