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Introduction

Materialities, Histories, and the Spatialization of State Sovereignty

Valentina Napolitano, Nimrod Luz, and Nurit Stadler

In the introduction to this special section of Religion and Society, we discuss existing and potentially new intersections of border theories and religious studies in relation to two contested regions—US-Mexico and Israel-Palestine (as part of the history of the Levant)—respectively. We argue for a recentering of borderland studies through an analysis of political theologies, affective labor, and differing configurations of religious heritage, traces, and materiality. We thus define 'borderlands' as translocal phenomena that emerge due to situated political/economic and affective junctures and that amplify not only translocal but also transnational prisms. To explore these issues, we put into dialogue studies on religion, borderlands, walls, and historical/contemporary conditions in the context of US-Mexico and Israel-Palestine borders. In particular, we argue for recentering analyses in light of intensifications of state control and growing militarization in contested areas.

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Ant/agonizing Settlers in the Colonial Present of Israel-Palestine

Joyce Dalsheim

What do secular, left-wing Israelis living inside the Green Line have in common with religious, right-wing 'settlers'? Despite their conflicting positions, I argue that there is a depth of commonality that fuels the hatred and intolerance between these groups. This article aims to reveal a positional unity that appears as conflict, difference, and disunity. Resituating the apparently incommensurable discourses, I contend that this discord is best understood within the context of a society that is continually struggling with the outcomes of its settler origins and ongoing settlement activity. The focus is on the arguments between the two groups concerning uses of the past, which serves as a reference from which to demonstrate that the desire, particularly among the secular, to differentiate rather than identify is located in a fear of what today's settler activity reveals about the Zionist project in a broader sense and what it therefore stands to potentially undermine.

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Palestine

A Protracted Peacebuilding Process

Emile Badarin

For the past 20 years, at least, Israelis, Palestinians, and peace sponsors have been implicated in a seemingly endless peacebuilding project—best known as the Middle East or the Israel-Palestine peace process. Indeed, much of the abundant

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Using Op-ed Writing to Teach Israeli-Palestinian Relations

Lena Saleh and Mira Sucharov

student development in general and for the study of Israel/Palestine in particular. The Assignment For our course on Israeli-Palestinian relations, we typically assign students the task of writing one or two op-ed assignments throughout the term. These op

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Society against Politics

Exclusions from Israel's #J14 Movement

Callie Maidhof

In the summer of 2011, a movement known by the hashtag #J14 swept across Israel. At height of #J14, thousands of people were camped out in tents on Tel Aviv’s swanky Rothschild Boulevard, and smaller encampments peppered the green space of nearly every city in Israel. The Saturday night protests in Tel Aviv drew upwards of 300,000 people, who made a broad call for “social justice,” with specific demands focusing on skyrocketing housing prices, health care, childcare, and the overall high cost of living. Notably absent were any demands addressing the myriad of issues facing non-Jewish citizens of Israel, as well as the question of the ongoing occupation. In this article, I will consider the #J14 movement in terms of how civil society operates as an ideological construct, making possible some alliances (however counterintuitive) while excluding others from public debate all together. Following Mamdani’s argument that civil society as a concept is premised on exclusionary practices, I argue that mobilization in the name of civil society will not only reproduce these exclusions, but also widen the gap between those who do and do not receive crucial state services.

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Monterescu, Daniel. 2015. Jaffa shared and shattered: contrived coexistence in Israel/Palestine. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 384 pp. Pb.: US$32. ISBN: 978‐0‐253‐01677‐5.

Andreas Hackl

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The men who knew too much

Sardines, skills, and the labor process in Jaffa, Israel, 1948–1979

Naor Ben-Yehoyada

This historical anthropology of the rise and fall of Israel's post-1948 sardine purse-seining development project shows what happens when marginalized groups, who are initially excluded as “backward” or “primitive”, enter modernization projects that are based on politics of skillfulness and experts' control over the labor process. By focusing on the role that skills play in the struggle between experts and artisans over the labor process, I show how the dynamics within state-run production apparatuses can make workers and experts face dilemmas about productivity, profit, and effectiveness, leading to such projects' implosion. This mode of analysis exposes the contradictions within projects of governance as well as in their relational intersection with the people they subjugate and exclude.

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Military Occupation as Carceral Society

Prisons, Checkpoints, and Walls in the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle

Avram Bornstein

Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been subject to increasing confinement, starting with prisons in the 1970s and 1980s and growing into a regime of checkpoints and walls that encircle entire towns and villages. After a historical review of the incremental stages of this incarceration, the article examines the overall impact of prisons, checkpoints, and walls, based on observations garnered from more than a dozen research trips over two decades and a review of research by others. Although these architectures are built and used in the name of security, findings show that mass imprisonment debilitates the Palestinian economy, forcing Palestinians to flee or resist. The final section compares the Israeli carceralization of the Occupied Territories to the US occupation of Iraq, suggesting that similar, albeit more violent, processes are underway.

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Book Reviews

Scott Lasensky, Ilan Peleg, Ned Lazarus, Don Seeman, and Assaf Zimring

Surveys. ” 24 January . http://www.pewforum.org/essay/american-and-israeli-jews-twin-portraits-from-pew-research-center-surveys/ . Keren Or Schlesinger, Gadi Algazi, and Yaron Ezrahi, eds., Israel/Palestine: Scholarly Tributes to the Legacy

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The Centrality of Difference in Coalition-Building across Divides

Palestinian, Israeli, and International Organizations in the Occupied West Bank

Michelle I. Gawerc

repressive context of military occupation. Perhaps not surprisingly, these types of coalitions in Israel/Palestine are rare in the current sociopolitical environment. The mistrust bred by occupation combined with Israel's segregation policies and a