1st Edition

Entangled Histories in Palestine/Israel Historical and Anthropological Perspectives

Edited By Dafna Hirsch Copyright 2024
    346 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume offers a new critical approach to the study of Zionist history and Israeli-Palestinian relations, based on the encounter between history and anthropology.

    Informed by the anthropological method of setting large questions to intimate settings, the book examines processes of Zionist colonization, nation-building and Palestinian dispossession by focusing on encounters between members of different national, religious and ethnic groups “from below”—through paying close attention to life stories and reconstructing everyday practices and micro-histories of places and communities. Thus, it tells a complex story in which the practices of historical actors are not simply reducible to a single underlying logic of colonization, even as they participate in the production and reproduction of colonial structures. This approach effectively undermines the prevailing tendency to study national communities in isolation, projecting onto the past an essentialist and rigid separation. Rather than assuming two clearly bounded and monolithic national groups, caught from the start in perpetual conflict, this volume probes their historical production through their evolving relationships, and their varied and shifting political, social, economic and cultural manifestations.

    The book will be of interest to students and researchers in an array of fields, including the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations, anthropological perspectives on settler colonialism, and Zionism.

    1. Introduction: Entangled Histories through a Magnifying Glass

    Dafna Hirsch

    Section I: Jews and Arabs Pre-1948

    2. The Violent Struggle over Land: The Beginning of the Zionist Armed Settlement Strategy, 1908-1914

    Daniel DeMalach and Lev Luis Grinberg

    3. "The Same Sea": Jews and Palestinians on the Beach in the Late Ottoman and Mandate Periods

    Boaz Lev Tov

    Section II: Practices and Memories of Displacement

    4. Miracles and Snow in Palestine and Israel: Tantura, a History of 1948

    Alon Confino

    5. Coping with the Present Past: Personal Recollection among Palestinian Internally Displaced Persons

    Rana Awaysi

    Section III: Facing the Settler State

    6. Accumulation and Surveillance: The Military Rule in Lydda, July 1948-July 1949

    Benny Nuriely

    7. The First Act in the Struggle of the Ma'barot, 1951-1952: Contestation amid Subjection 

    Gadi Algazi

    8. When "Human Material" Says No: Noncompliance, Resistance and Protest among the Settlers of the Lakhish Project, 1954-1962

    Smadar Sharon

    Section IV: Labor and the Formation of National and Ethnic Hierarchies

    9. Reconstructing the Labor Process: The Of-Ar Factory, 1961-1979

    Shani Bar-On Maman

    10. The Men Who Knew Too Much: Sardines, Skills and the Labor Process in Jaffa, Israel,1948-1979

    Naor Ben-Yehoyada

    Section V: Telling/Cleansing History

    11. Palestine’s Absent Cities: Gender, Memoricide, and the Silencing of Urban Palestinian Memory

    Manar Hasan

    12. Discourse of Separation: Taboos and Depoliticization in Haifa’s Guided Tours

    Regev Nathansohn

    13. Silenced in History? Naqab Bedouin Women and their Narratives of the Past

    Safa Aburabia

    14. Afterword

    Dafna Hirsch


    Dafna Hirsch is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication, The Open University of Israel. She has published many articles and is the author of the book "We Are Here to Bring the West": Hygiene Education and Culture Building in the Jewish Society of Mandate Palestine (2014, Hebrew). Her work focuses on food consumption, the body, and gender in Zionist history.

    "Through close examinations of mundane moments of leisure and work, oppression and resistance, silencing and resistance, this volume carves out a space between history and anthropology. It is a fascinating collection of empirical studies that makes an excellent contribution to shaping the emerging field of integrated and relational Palestine/Israel Studies."

    Tamir Sorek, Liberal Arts Professor of Middle East HistoryPenn State UniversityUnited States

    "Entangled Histories in Palestine/Israel: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives is a truly original collection of critical research exploring historical, political and social events, and places and moments in Palestine/Israel. The book presents a diversity of academic disciplines as well as rich theoretical discussion and empirical evidence. This book is a foundational, and most updated, critical study on Palestine/Israel, and will certainly be a key source of knowledge."

    Haim Yacobi, Professor of Development Planning, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCLUnited Kingdom

    "In integrating Arab and Jewish narrative perspectives this book provides a long overdue treatment of national and ethnic splits in Palestine/Israel in novel ways. It approaches the history of Palestine and Israel from a critical perspective, mixing anthropological and from-below-historical aspects largely marginalized from the historiography of the region. In bringing forth the experiences, perceptions and memories of ordinary people in national conflict, and emphasizing the role of gender in the creation of a common Arab-Jewish perspective on the quotidian experience of politics, the book widens the notion of the political."

    David De Vries, Department of Labor Studies, Tel Aviv UniversityIsrael