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Israeli Practices of Governance in Palestine

By the standards of historical and anthropological scholarship, Israel constitutes a colonial settler regime whose certain features may differ from those exhibited by other European settler regimes. Yet, in the larger scheme of things it shares with other such regimes the displacement of the indigenous population, seizure of their territory, the passing of racially biased laws that discriminate against the native population, and reliance on violence to further its methods of control. Originally, the Zionist movement and later the state of Israel have frustrated the aspirations of the Palestinian people towards statehood. Ultimately, the state of Israel has codified its new Citizenship Law that defines Israel as the state of the Jewish people, thus ignoring the status of the original Palestinian population.

Israeli Practices of Governance in Palestine
Israeli soldiers patrolling in Shuhada Street, in the city of Hebron, a flashpoint in the occupied West Bank, January 28, 2020. HAZEM BADER / AFP via Getty Images
 

Received Date: 01/03/2020  •  Accepted Date: 02/07/2020 

 

 

Introduction

 

By the end of 2019, the Palestinian Census Bureau put the global number of Palestinians worldwide at 13.35 million of whom 5.03 million live in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, and 1.597 million reside in Israel, 5.96 million live as refugees in neighboring Arab countries, and the remaining 0.727 million reside in other parts of the world.1 The Jewish population of Israel was estimated at the end of 2017 as 6.9 million, 0.5 million of whom were settlers living in the occupied territories.2 Therefore, the balance of Jews and Arabs living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, covering the entire territory of historical Palestine that is now controlled by Israel, stood at 6.9 million Jews compared to 6.5 million Arabs. From the point of view of population balance, the numbers of Jews and Arabs constitute parity and before too long they are expected to attain equal numbers.

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