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  • Gershon Shafir (a1)


This article's geographical focus is the Galilee, Israel's only region with a Palestinian Arab majority. Its sociological focus is the drive to Judaize this region, the mirror image of its de-Arabization, which I anchor in Israelis’ morbid fear of settler colonial reversal. Although direct legal discrimination—restriction of movement under a military government and exclusion from publicly administered land—was banned by the government and the High Court of Justice respectively, new modes of discrimination against Israel's Arab citizens have replaced the older forms. I demonstrate how policies that limit Arab middle-class citizens’ upwardly mobile migration into the Judaized spaces of communal settlements (or overlooks) and towns endure. I compare gatekeeping exercised by national-level indirect legal discrimination operating through the admission committees of communal settlements with the institutional discrimination practiced by municipalities of emerging mixed towns against new Arab residents’ public presence. Finally, I highlight the linkages between instances of Judaization across the Green Line, which make the unwinding of segregation, in all of its forms, that much harder.

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Author's note: I thank Hean Zeidner-Kaspi for her invaluable help as my research assistant and for being my partner in interpreting the findings, as well as Rawan Arar, Naama Blatman-Thomas, Roddey Reid, Areej Sabbagh-Khoury, and Haim Yacobi for their thoughtful comments.

1 Altogether Adalah's database lists more than fifty additional Israeli discriminatory laws, some adopted very recently. See Adalah, accessed 19 December 2016,

2 This classification is based on distinctions proposed by Mohammad Zeidan, Director of the Arab Association for Human Rights, Nazareth.

3 Or Commission, “Vaʿadat Hakira Mamlakhtit le-Birur Hitnagshuyot ben Kohot ha-Bitahon le-ben Ezrahim Yisraeliyim be-Hodesh Oktober 2000,” Jerusalem, August 2003, par. 9, accessed 19 December 2016,

4 Ha'aretz, 22 December 2014; David B. Green, “The Arabs Next Door,” Tablet, 17 April 2012.

5 Noga Dagan-Buzaglo and Etty Konor-Attias, Israel's Middle Class 1992–2010: Who Are We Talking About? (report for the Adva Center, Tel Aviv, Israel, January 2013), accessed 19 December 2016,, 3–4.

6 Statistical Abstract of Israel 2014, Table 8.72, Jerusalem, Central Bureau of Statistics, 2015.

7 Abreek-Zubeidat, Fatina and Ben Arie, Ronnen, “To Be at Home: Spaces of Citizenship in the Community Settlements of the Galilee,” in The Politics of Nihilism: From the Nineteenth Century to Contemporary Israel, ed. Lebovic, Nitzan and Ben-Shai, Roy (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), 221 .

8 Massey, Douglas S. and Denton, Nancy A., American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), 74 .

9 Ibid., 2.

10 Zubrinsky Charles, Camille, “The Dynamics of Racial Residential Segregation,” Annual Review of Sociology 29 (2003): 202.

11 Massey and Denton, American Apartheid, 10, 17.

12 Mahmood Mamdani, “When Does a Settler Become a Native?” (lecture at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, 13 May 1998), accessed 19 December 2016,

13 Robinson, Shira, Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2013), 3 .

14 Ibid., 9, 98.

15 Ibid.,10.

16 Ibid., 58.

17 Kimmerling, Baruch, Zionism and Territory (Berkeley, Calif.: Institute of International Studies, 1983), 27 , 134, 139, 146.

18 Rabinowitz, Dan, Overlooking Nazareth: The Ethnography of Exclusion in Galilee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 77 .

19 Ibid., 79–81.

20 Mondoweiss, 1 July 2014.

21 Yiftachel, Oren, Ethnocracy: Land and Identity Politics in Israel/Palestine (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 9697 , 109–10, 139–40.

22 Richard Higley, Stephen, Privilege, Power, and Place: The Geography of the American Upper Class (Boston: Rowman & Littlefield, 1995).

23 Forman, Geremy, “Military Rule, Political Manipulation, and Jewish Settlement: Israeli Mechanisms for Controlling Nazareth in the 1950s,” Journal of Israeli History 25 (2006): 351 .

24 Abraham Fund Initiatives, ha-Hevrah ha-ʿAravit be-Yisraʾel: Ogdan Meidʿa, 2nd ed., 2013, chap. 5, p. 10 (Hebrew).

25 Central Bureau of Statistics, “ha-Rashuyot ha-Makomiyot be-Yisrael (Pirsum #1609).” For Karmiel, see; for Upper Nazareth, see Both accessed 13 September 2017.

26 Svirsky, Marcelo, Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel-Palestine (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012), 99 .

27 Sofer, Arnon and Finkel, Rachel, ha-Mitzpim ba-Galil: Matarot, Hesegim, Lekachim (Rechovot: The Center for the Study of Rural and Urban Settlement, 1988), 11 ; Newman, David, ed., The Impact of Gush Emunim: Politics and Settlement in the West Bank (London: Croom Helm, 1985), 10.

28 Israel Ben Dor, “Segev ve-Atzmon,” À la Gush, December 2013–March 2014, nos. 475–86.

29 Ibid.

30 Sofer and Finkel, ha-Mitzpim ba-Galil, 15.

31 Yinnon Geva, “Mikhtav Patuah le-Havrei ʿAtsmon li-kraʾt ha-Hatsbaʿa ʿal ha-Takanon ha-Hadas,” Activismos, 16 December 2010, accessed 13 September 2017,; Abreek-Zubeidat and Ben Arie, “To Be at Home,” 214; Shafir, Gershon and Peled, Yoav, Being Israeli: The Dynamics of Multiple Citizenship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 172–78.

32 HCJ 6698/95 Adil Qaʿdan vs. Israel Land Administration, par. 39, p. 15.

33 Ibid.

34 Knesset (18th), Protokol Mispar 125 and Protkol Mispar 160 me-Yeshivat Vaʾadat ha-Hukah, Hok, ve-Misphat, 22 December 2009 and 10 February 2010.

35 Erez, Tzfadia, “Abusing Multiculturalism: The Politics of Recognition and Land Allocation in Israel,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26 (2008): 1124 , retranslated.

36 Svirsky, Arab-Jewish Activism, 103–8.

37 Adalah, “Israeli Supreme Court upholds ‘Admissions Committees Law’ that allows Israeli Jewish communities to exclude Palestinian Arab citizens,” 17 September 2014, accessed 13 September 2017,

38 Globes, 25 July 2010.

39 Knesset, Protocols.

40 Ibid.

41 Ibid.

42 Svirsky, Arab-Jewish Activism,136–39.

43 Knesset, Protocols.

44 Svirsky, Arab-Jewish Activism, 95–98.

45 Ibid., 106.

46 “Court-Sanctioned Discrimination Committees,” Ha'aretz, accessed 19 December 2016,; “Ishur Hok Vaʾadot ha-Kabalah Mesig le-Achor et ha-Maʾavak be-Aflayah ba-Diyur, 17 September 2014, accessed 13 September 2017,

47 Nir-Benjamini, Adi and Ganor, Tal, “Me-tachat ha-Radar: Manganonei Hadarah Smuyim be-Halihei Miyun le-Megurim be-Yisrael,” Maʾasei Mishpat 5 (2013): 46, 156.

48 Neta Ziv, “Hanihu le-Vaʾadot ha-Kabala: (Be-karov) Esrim Shanah le-Qaʿadan,” Mivzakei Hearot Psika, no. 35, November 2014.

49 Israel doesn't distinguish between towns and cities.

50 Bollens, Scott A., On Narrow Ground: Urban Policy and Ethnic Conflict in Jerusalem and Belfast (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 2000), 910 .

51 Rassem Khamaisi, “ha-Ukhlusiyah ha-Aravit be-ʿArim Meʾuravot be-Yisrael: Baʿayot, Khasamim, ve-Etgarim li-krat Mediniyut ʿIronit Hilufit” (policy paper for Shatil, Kfar Kana, 2008), 15.

52 Assembled from Central Bureau of Statistics, “Local Authorities in Israel, 2013,” released 19 July 2015, accessed 19 December 2016,

53 Khamaisi, ha-Ukhlusiyah ha-Aravit, 45; Ha'aretz, 22 December 2014.

54 Ha'aretz, 2 October 2015.

55 Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu and Uri Gopher, “ʿArim ve-Ezorim Meʿuravim: Pnei ha-Machar shel Medinat Yisrael” (paper for the Abraham Fund Initiatives, Jerusalem, 6 May 2009).

56 Green, “Arabs Next Door,” 2–3.

57 UK Task Force, “Briefing: Arab Populations in ‘Mixed Cities,’” 2 January 2012, accessed 19 December 2016,

58 Beeri-Sulitzeanu and Gopher, “ʿArim ve-Ezorim Meʿuravim,” 7.

59 Knesset (17th), Protokol Mispar 394 me-Yeshivat Vaʿadat ha-Pnim ve-Haganat ha-Svivah, 1 July 2008, 8.

60 Beeri-Sulitzeanu and Gopher, “ʿArim ve-Ezorim Meʿuravim,” 5–7.

61 Hamdan, Hana, “Natzrat ʿIlit ke-ʿIr Meʿurevet,” in ʿIr Yisraelit o ʿIr be-Yisrael?, ed. Fenster, Tovi and Yacobi, Haim (Jerusalem: van Leer, 2006), 121 .

62 Ibid., 121–222.

63 Hamdan, “Natzrat ʿIlit,” 120–23.

64 Ibid., 118.

65 Ha'aretz, 22 December 2001.

66 Ibid.

67 Shlomit Tsur, “Rak ha-Haredim Yavtihu she-Natzrat ʿIlit Tishaʾer Yehudit,” NRG, 26 October 2012, accessed 19 December 2016,

68 Yacobi, Haim, The Jewish-Arab City: Spatio-Politics in a Mixed Community (London: Routledge, 2009), 8081 ; The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, “Beit ha-Mishpat ha-ʿAliyon Isher: Yukam ha-Proyekt li-Yehudim bi-Lvad bi-Lav Ajami,” accessed 19 December 2016,; Ynet, 25 February 2013.

69 The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, “Aflayat ʿAravim be-Rekhishat Dirot be-Proyekt Nadlan be-ʿAko,” 12 June 2013, accessed 13 September 2017,; Nana, “‘Le-Yehudim bi-Lvad’: Kach Poʿel Proyekt Diyur be-Yafo le-‘Yaes’ Mitʾanyenim Aravism, accessed 13 September 2017,

70 Ha'aretz, 3 March 2010.

71 Tzfadia, “Abusing Multiculturalism,” 1123–24.

72 Ynet, 21 October 2011.

73 Jerusalem Post, 4 November 2010.

74 Ha'aretz, 15 April 2013.

75 “Rosh ʿIriyat Natzeret: Banu le-Yahed et ha-Galil,” NRG, accessed 13 September 2017,

76 Ha'aretz, 17 January 2013, 25 July 2003; Abraham Fund Initiates, “Diyun be-Vaʾadat ha-Hinuch shel ha-Kneset: Haim Yukam Beit Safer ʿAravi be-Nazrat ʿIlit?,” 23 July 2013, accessed 19 December 2016,

77 Uri Shwed et al., “Integration of Arab Israelis and Jews in School in Israel,” in “State of the Nation Report: Society, Economy and Policy in Israel 2014,” ed. Dan Ben-David (report for the Taub Center, Jerusalem, 2014), 330–31, 340.

78 Ha'aretz, 22 December 2001.

79 Green, “Arabs Next Door,” 4.

80 Ynet, 25 February 2013.

81 Aminadav, “Mi Anahnu?,” accessed 13 September 2017,; Torat Chayim, “Garʿin ‘Torat ha-Hayim Natzrat ʿIlit: Teʿudat Zehut,” accessed 13 September 2017,; Ynet, 25 May 2015.

82 Beeri-Sulitzeanu and Gopher, “ʿArim ve-Ezorim Meʿuravim,” 20–21.

83 Ha'aretz, 3 July 2011 and 21 October 2014; Knesset, “Vaʾadat ha-Hakira ha-Parlamentarit be-Nose Klitat ʿOvdim ʿAravim be-Sherut ha-Tzibur,” Interim Report, February 2008–December 2008, accessed 13 September 2017,



  • Gershon Shafir (a1)


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