“. . . nations are modern constructs . . . and not the expression of organic entities . . .” (Peige Desjarlais)

Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)
Workers of Israel Antiquities Authority at excavation site of ancient house in Nazareth, Dec. 21, 2009. (Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Reuters)

❶ Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel With Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and Ahistorical
❷ Turning settlers into victims
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Annexing archaeology: Will UNESCO take on Israel?

  • Background: “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶  KNESSET  MEMBER:  COMPARING  PALESTINIAN  CITIZENS  OF  ISRAEL  WITH  ILLEGAL  ISRAELI  SETTLERS  IS  IMMORAL,  IRRATIONAL  AND  AHISTORICAL      Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA  
Sept. 11, 2016
Arab Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi, said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comparison of Palestinian citizens of Israel with its illegal settlers in Occupied Palestine is not only immoral, but a total departure from rationality, history and Israel’s obligations under international law, said an opinion piece published by the Israeli daily, Haartez.
___“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel’s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”
___The Knesset member stressed that Palestinian citizens of Israel are not foreign immigrants that came to Israel and applied for visas or citizenship, rather Israel went to them. They are the indigenous population of the country.”
___“They lived there way long before the Zionist movement was created. They are those who later survived the Nakba of 1948, where 85% o f the Palestinians living in what is now Israel were ethnically cleansed only because they were not Jews. Yes, they can tell Mr. Netanyahu about the meaning of ethnic cleansing on this land.”     MORE . . .    

❷ TURNING  SETTLERS  INTO  VICTIMS      
+972 Blog     
Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon
Sept. 12, 2016
Just a few weeks after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he cares about the rights and lives of Palestinians in Gaza more than the Palestinian leadership does, he posted a new video message on his Facebook wall, arguing that any future dismantlement of Jewish settlements in the West Bank would amount to “ethnic cleansing.” He went on to intimate that [  ]  the U.S. and other western countries support the uprooting of Israeli settlements as part of an agreement with the Palestinians, they were, in effect, supporting the cleansing of Jews.
___“Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, without Hispanics, without Blacks,” he rhetorically asked, thus drawing a direct link between the settlers in the colonized Palestinian territories and racially discriminated citizens in the United States.
___Netanyahu’s description of any potential evacuation of the West Bank colonies reflects the ethics of settler colonialism in which any attempt to dislocate the settlers is now equated with injustice. [He is] Unwilling to acknowledge that Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948 and 1967, and that they continue to live under the constant threat of displacement as a direct result of his own government’s policies.      MORE . . . 
. . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) ANNEXING ARCHAEOLOGY: WILL UNESCO TAKE ON ISRAEL?
Al-Jazeera via Jonathan Cook Blog
19 May 2016
Israel is stepping up its efforts to seize control of Palestinian heritage sites and antiquities in the occupied territories in violation of international law, Palestinian and Israeli archaeologists warned this week.
___The experts echoed criticisms levelled against Israel in a recent resolution passed by the United Nations’ cultural agency, UNESCO, that accused Israel of interfering with major holy sites in occupied areas.
[. . . .]    Archaeologists, however, said the UNESCO resolution underestimated the scope of the problem facing Palestinian heritage sites. The Palestinian tourism and antiquities ministry is preparing to announce a list of 14 major sites in the occupied territories that are in urgent need of protection from Israeli activities.     MORE . . .  

  • Desjarlais, Peige. “Excavating Zion: Archaeology And Nation-Making In Palestine/Israel.” Totem: The University Of Western Ontario Anthropology Journal 21.1 (2013): 1-14.    ARTICLE.

[. . . .]    Indeed, the borders of Israel are made most obviously and violently through wars (in 1948 and 1967), conquest, and colonial settlement. However, nationmaking projects also come into being through a variety of social, cultural, and institutional practices, like archaeology, which not only help to maintain the “imagined community” of the nation, but also participate in the production of the national landscape . . .  it is within these practices of Jewish nationmaking that Israeli archaeology should be properly situated [. . . .]   
___Challenging conceptions of the nation as natural or primordial, scholars of nationalism . . . emphasize that nations are modern constructs, historical phenomenon, and not the expression of organic entities. Nations must be produced, brought into being, and then constantly reproduced through symbolic acts of nationhood. . . . [T]he rise of print colonialism made possible . . . a sense of belonging to an “imagined community.” [. . . .] Nations are also made through engagement with ideas, theories and knowledge produced outside the national boundaries. . . .
[. . . .]  
___The roots of modern Israel lie not in the Middle East but in Europe. Zionism, a political movement aimed at the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, was born and developed in Europe in the late 19th century, and was supported by Europe’s leading imperial power at the time: Britain. . . . [which promised] a Jewish state where, at that time, a mostly Muslim and Christian Arab population coexisted with a small Jewish minority.
___As evident in the historical record and numerous UN documents the Israeli national territory was established through military force and settler colonialism . . . [and] through an ongoing process of land expropriation and displacement . . . .  and through the idea and practice of “transfer” of the native population – all common tropes of European colonial discourse and practice.
[. . . .]  
___It is through these early archaeological excavations (and nationalist rituals like climbing the Masada), that material culture was reconfigured into objects of national significance and landscapes emerged as “historical locales” through which particular historical narratives of Palestine as the “land of Israel” were made visible. Thus archaeology was one of the means through which the nation began to emerge in concrete form, saturating the Palestinian landscape with symbols of Jewish-ness. . .  the sites together mapped the Jewish homeland onto the landscape as a whole, creating a “spatial biography” of Jewish past and future presence.

Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)
Israeli tourists, guarded by soldiers, visit the Roman site of Sebastiya, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Jonathan Cook)

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