Sovereign Bodies, Sovereign States: Settler Colonial Violence and the Visibility of Resistance in Palestine
The physical fragmentation of the West Bank—and of the West Bank from Gaza—along with Israel’s settlement expansion and its complete control over the Palestinian economy, has demonstrated not only the ineffectiveness but the disempowering effects of the territorial divisions outlined in the Oslo Accords. The political and economic geography of occupied Palestinian territory presents significant constraints to Palestinian livelihoods. And yet the story of many Palestinian communities is not one of resignation but of steadfastness and resistance. This chapter will explore the ways in which this resistance is rendered visible or invisible, with particular attention to the ways in which the violence of Israel’s settler colonial occupation is rendered invisible through its linkage to concepts of sovereignty and the state that erase bodily violence and bodily resistance to that violence (via the state’s claims of sovereignty). This interrogation of sovereignty aids in our decentering of the state and the centering of embodied subjectivities as we explore expressions of resistance and local dissent in Palestine.
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