Palestinian social movement and protest within the Green Line 1949-2001

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3 Scopus citations


Deprived of access to the two main means of political influence, the governing coalitions and the revolutionary path, the Palestinians in Israel had to confine the bulk of their activism to middle-level politics, in attempting to alter state policies that affected their lives adversely (Sa’di 1996). As non-Jews, they were relegated to the status of second-class citizens, and the bundle of rights they were accorded neither guaranteed their basic rights, nor provided them with the basis to wage struggle through the formal political channels to achieve some of their collective goals (ibid.). This inferior status has been coupled with the pursuit of state policies that in similar cases prompted fierce resistance by subordinate citizens. Israel has acted as an expropriating state toward the Palestinians, particularly during its first three decades. It confiscated the bulk of their communal and private lands in addition to other resources such as water springs (Abu-Kishk 1981; Cohen 2009; Jiryis 1976; Lustick 1980; Zureik 1979). Moreover, Israel has been a racializing state; it has pursued a policy of religious/racial categorization of the citizens and the awarding of differential rights and treatment to the various groups in the country (Sa’di 2011). Some of these policies, which prevailed in early modern Europe and in settler colonial states, led to fierce resistance by disenfranchised citizens. According to Tilly (1978), these types of policies constituted, in such settings, the main causes of contention. Successful struggles of the emerging classes and excluded groups resulted in the evolvement of what T.H. Marshall (1964) has called “civil citizenship.” Through this form of citizenship, citizens’ basic human rights were guaranteed, including freedom of speech, belief, and movement, in addition to state assurances against arbitrary confiscation of property. Moreover, the rule of law was maintained through an autonomous legal system and universal laws, which ensued the abolition of privileges that some groups enjoyed. After 1948, not only did the Palestinians not enjoy civil citizenship, but their existence in their homeland and in their actual homes and lands was directly challenged. In addition to various plans to transfer some or all of them (summarized in Sa’di 2011), Israel rejected many Palestinians’ applications for identity cards, a refusal which prefaced their expulsion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIsrael and its Palestinian Citizens
Subtitle of host publicationEthnic Privileges in the Jewish State
EditorsNadim Rouhana, Sahar Huneidi
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781107045316
ISBN (Print)9781107622814
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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