Revisiting Politicide: State Annihilation in Israel/Palestine

Merav Amir

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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State annihilation is a persistent concern in Israel/Palestine. While the specter of Israel’s destruction increasingly haunts Israeli public political debates, the actual materialization of Palestinian statehood seems to be permanently suspended, caught in an ever-protracted process of state-building. The current paper claims that to understand the unfolding of the discursive formations, as well as the spatial dimensions of conflict and control in Israel/Palestine, we should explicate the workings of the processes of politicide. Politicide, in this regard, denotes the eradication of the political existence of a group and sabotaging the turning of a community of people into a polity. This analysis suggests that the insistence that the State of Israel is under threat of extinction should be understood as a speech act, a performative reiteration, which allows for the securitization of Israeli rule in the occupied Palestinian territory, a securitization which then serves to rationalize the ongoing concrete politicide of the Palestinians. Elaborating on the concept of politicide, and diverging from defining it solely through the use of brute violence, this examination suggests that what is often overlooked in discussions of politicide are the seemingly more benign means of its implementation, the micro-power mechanisms of spatial control, prohibitions and regulations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-387
Number of pages20
JournalTerritory, Politics, Governance
Issue number4
Early online date06 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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