Creating the fences of territorial separation: the discourses of Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution

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22 Scopus citations


Much of the postmodern discourse on territory focuses on the diminishing significance of the role of boundaries and the eclipse of the nation state. This argument bears little relevance to the many regions throughout the world in which ethno-territorial conflict continues to play its way through the complex processes of aspirations by minority groups for self determination, the struggle for territorial control, and eventual processes of conflict resolution. Such processes are accompanied by the creation of new fences and boundaries, rather than their removal. The Israel-Palestine conflict is one such case, in which the process of conflict resolution, which began in 1993, continues to search for the territorial configuration of a Palestinian entity or state that will be acceptable to both sides of the conflict. Within Israel, there is a territorial discourse in which different groups - politicians, diplomats and academics - have all proposed their own notions of the optimal map to be discussed in the final stages of negotiations. Since the advent of the Netanyahu government in 1996, the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue has taken a turn for the worse, in some respects returning to a politics of unilateral decision-making which was characteristic of the conflict in the pre-Oslo era. The major points of ethno-territorial tension to have re-emerged take place at the micro level, in the towns of Hebron and Jerusalem. The fate of the peace process remains undetermined at this point, much depending on the nature of the dialogue to be determined by the respective political leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalGeopolitics and International Boundaries
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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