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The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Crisis of Signification in Israel/Palestine: Biopolitics, Reinvented Communism, and Conspiracy Theories

Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Theory and History of Psychology book series (PSTHP)

Abstract

This chapter interrogates the traumatic Real of the Covid-19 pandemic and the crisis of signification that it engendered in the context of the debates about the Palestinian struggle for freedom in philosophical discourses, conspiracy theories, and popular culture. This chapter argues that in Israel/Palestine, the representation of the pandemic in these competing narratives depoliticizes the Palestinian struggle for freedom and obfuscates the class struggle in Israel/Palestine. First, I map the pandemic onto the long history of political crises, disasters, and catastrophes that have constituted the scene of life in Israel/Palestine and show that the pandemic has functioned as a site for playing out the structural histories of settler-colonial violence, occupation, and apartheid politics. Second, I critique the Agamben-Žižek debate about the biopolitics of the pandemic and “disaster communism,” for overshadowing the political realities in the region. The pandemic has reproduced and accentuated long-standing legacies of economic inequalities and socio-political pathologies along colonial, racial, class, and geographic lines that have affected other disposable, surplus communities around the world. Finally, I engage the way in which Arabic popular culture, in general, and the Egyptian Ramadan TV series *The End*, in particular, refracted the debate about normalization in terms drawn from conspiracy theories, theological apocalyptic discourses, and Manichean moral cosmologies. I conclude that inscribing the Palestinian struggle for freedom in its universal dimension is the only way to rethink liberation for all in Israel/Palestine.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-76939-0_14
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Correspondence to Jamil Khader .

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Khader, J. (2021). The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Crisis of Signification in Israel/Palestine: Biopolitics, Reinvented Communism, and Conspiracy Theories. In: Strasser, I., Dege, M. (eds) The Psychology of Global Crises and Crisis Politics. Palgrave Studies in the Theory and History of Psychology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76939-0_14

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