The struggle between Israel and the Palestinians is not unique -- whatever the news media may suggest. Lorenzo Veracini argues that the conflict is best understood in terms of colonialism. Like many other societies, Israel is a settler society. Looking in detail at the evolution of other colonial regimes -- apartheid South Africa, French Algeria and Australia -- Veracini presents a thoughtful interpretation of the dynamics of colonialism, offering a clear framework within which to understand the middle east crisis. Veracini challenges two important myths: firstly, that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is unique and defies comparative approaches; and secondly that the struggle is mainly based in nationality and religion and therefore different to typical colonial conflicts. On the contrary, Veracini shows how Israeli society is organised along apartheid lines -- and that apartheid was not unique to South Africa, but a common feature of colonisation. He examines wars of decolonization, and conflicts where whole native populations were all but eradicated -- as in Australia.
Comparing and contrasting these with the more recent history of Israel and Palestine, he offers a critical perspective on colonialism as well as important new insights into patterns of imperialism today.
Lorenzo Veracini is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra.
INTRODUCTION: COMPARING COLONIAL CONDITIONS 1. THE GEOGRAPHY OF UNILATERAL SEPARATION: ON ISRAELI APARTHEIDS a) Comparing Colonial Settler Projects b) The Bantustanisation of Palestinian Space c) The Racialisation of Palestinian Mobility 2. THE TROUBLE OF DECOLONIZATION: FRANCE/ALGERIA, ISRAEL/PALESTINE a) Comparing Wars of Decolonization b) Winning the Wars of Decolonization c) Narratives of the Wars of Decolonization 3. FOUNDING VIOLENCE AND SETTLER SOCIETY IN ISRAEL AND AUSTRALIA a) The 'New' Israeli History b) Australian History and Aboriginal History c) History Writing and Deadlocked Reconciliations CONCLUSION: IMPERIAL ENGAGEMENTS AND THE NEGOTIATION OF ISRAEL AND PALESTINE Endnotes Bibliography Index