The Rule of Difference

How Emergency Powers Prevent Palestinian Assimilation in Israel

in Israel Studies Review
Author: Yoav Mehozay
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This article argues that Israel's non-assimilationist policy toward Palestinians-what I term Israel's 'rule of difference'-is embedded in the state's security conception. Under the guise of protecting the state and its people, Israel has successfully achieved two essential prongs of this political objective. Dating from the 1948 War, the state has created a series of legal mechanisms that have enabled it to expropriate Palestinian land. Similarly, it has refused to allow Palestinian political associations that espouse nationalist views or challenge the Jewish character of the state to organize or run candidates, even if their programs are clearly non-violent. Ultimately, the state has effectively blocked Palestinians' ability to participate in shaping policy. Ensuring security has thus aided the state in preventing the assimilation of this group into society.