, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 235–246 | Cite as

From national to post-national territorial identities in Israel-Palestine

  • David Newman


Territory remains a central component of national identity in the contemporary political discourse between Israelis and Palestinians, both populations opposing power sharing within the same space, for fear of the other's domination. The contemporary political discourse relates to conflict management and the desire for separate spaces within which national identities are strengthened through territorial/national homogeneity. The Zionist national ideology of most Jewish citizens of Israel has strong territorial roots; hence they reject the post-Zionist post-nationalist ideology, regardless of whether they accept the possibility of change in Israel's territorial configuration or of a diminishment in the importance of the territorial dimension of national struggle. The rights of residency and citizenship even of second and third generation Jewish citizens remain linked with the territorial configurations of a State that will continue to be called Israel and have a national anthem expressing the aspirations of a single, exclusive, national group. But within territorial readjustment, issues of configuration may become less relevant and in it is this sense that post-Zionism focuses on a discourse of territorial pragmatism, rather than the disappearance of territory from the nationality-citizenship debate altogether. It is part of a process of re-territorialization and spatial reconfiguration of political and national identities, not a reversal of territorialization, if only because there is no such thing as a post-territorial notion of the organization of political power. The boundaries of national identity become more permeable, more inclusive, but they do not disappear altogether.

Israeli-Palestinian national struggle national identity neo- and post-Zionist ideologies territorial configuration territorial pragmatism territorialization 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and GovernmentBen Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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