The Occupation after 51 Years

in Israel Studies Review

Ariel Handel, Marco Allegra, and Erez Maggor, eds., Normalizing Occupation: The Politics of Everyday Life in the West Bank Settlements (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017), 244 pp. Hardback, $90.00. Paperback, $35.00.

Sara Yael Hirschhorn, City on a Hilltop: American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017), 368 pp. Hardback, $39.95.

Gershon Shafir, A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict (Oakland: University of California Press, 2017), 296 pp. Hardback, $26.95.

The three books reviewed here deal extensively with the Israeli settlement project that has been a dominant focus of the 51-year struggle over the disposition of the West Bank. Each book challenges what it treats as false elements of conventional wisdom.

The editors of the collection Normalizing Occupation reject what they repeatedly characterize as the conventional wisdom that ascribes decisive importance to “religious ideology and messianic faith” for understanding “the development of Israel’s settlement project” (2–3); that reduces it “to the mechanical implementation of a century-old Zionist agenda” (3); or that imagines it as “singlehandedly conducted by a fundamentalist faction mobilizing in opposition and against the wishes of the otherwise sane body of the Israeli nation” (3). Sara Yael Hirschhorn’s study, City on a Hilltop, is an ethnographically styled investigation of four varieties of some 60,000 American-Jewish settlers, equaling approximately 15 percent of all Jews living across the Green Line. Her primary concern is to debunk stereotypical images of American-Jewish settlers as messianic ‘crazies’ or opportunists by uncovering their motivations for “self-realization” (97), rooted in American versions of civil rights liberalism and/or modern Jewish Orthodoxy. She depicts them as sincere, if often naive, brutal, or oblivious. Gershon Shafir seeks to preserve hope for the two-state solution by questioning the conventional wisdom that massive settlement of the West Bank has created an irreversible incorporation of the territory into Israel.

They say that they do not ignore “the ideological and strategic drivers behind Israel’s colonization,” but in their introduction, Marco Allegra, Ariel Handel, and Erez Maggor, the editors of Normalizing Occupation, give short shrift to those factors. Instead, they frame “larger processes and changes that originated from within Israeli society” and the “banal” reasons pushing Israelis to relocate to the settlements as the “driving force[s] of the process.” Their stress is on “how factors such as urban and regional planning, rising inequality and the retreat of the welfare state within Israel proper, and the changing political economy of industry and employment … all played a crucial yet conventionally underappreciated role in determining the ongoing expansion and resilience of Israel’s settlement project” (3). Although a number of chapters in the volume are in tension with their message, the editors are emphatic in giving less weight to politics, ideological vision, religious zealotry, and government policy than to social and economic pressures originating from inside Israel.

This theme is put forward most forcefully in the editors’ introduction, in a chapter by Danny Gutwein on the contribution to the settlement enterprise flowing from the collapse of the Israeli welfare state, and in Allegra’s chapter on the large settlement of Ma’ale Adumim as a product of Jerusalem suburbanization. The argument echoes one side of a traditional dispute within Zionism. The classical self-presentation of the movement by its leaders ascribes its success to a visionary elite (epitomized by the idea of Theodor Herzl ‘founding the Jewish state’ in 1897); the continuing celebration of will over realism, as expressed in the popularity of Herzl’s slogan “If you will it, it is no dream”; glorification of the sacrifice and dedication of the halutzim (pioneers); and the sustained hagiographic treatment of David Ben-Gurion as a political genius—a twentieth-century Moses. The standard critique of this position reduces the role of heroic leadership and individual devotion, emphasizing instead macro-economic, cultural, and social conditions that impelled Jews, as well as European Gentiles, toward the realization of Zionist objectives.

One specific element in this debate over the sources of Zionist success relates to the distinction between olim and ‘immigrants’. From a classical Zionist perspective, the decisive builders of the Jewish homeland were and are olim, idealistic pioneers who trade opportunities for personal success in the Diaspora in order to serve their nation by ‘going up’ to the Land of Israel to ‘build and to be built’ by the Zionist project. Mere immigrants (mihagrim) are those who come to the country either because they have no other choice, or because they see better prospects to succeed in their careers or personal lives by taking advantage of opportunities created for Jews—or those eligible to be considered Jews, based on Israel’s Law of Return. Traditionally, the leaders of pioneering Zionism, responsible for carrying forward its great tasks, have seen such immigrants as the khomer (material), either good or not-so-good, to be molded, manipulated, and used for purposes beyond their ken.

Allegra et al.’s argument, offered in somewhat more measured fashion in David Newman’s chapter, is that tens and then hundreds of thousands of Israelis relocated to large West Bank settlements—such as Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, Karnei Shomron, and Alfei Menashe—to improve their life circumstances and, in particular, their housing options. The reasoning is that this was accomplished by natural processes of suburbanization and metropolitanization unleashed by Israeli capitalism, with minimal need for orchestration by the state. By ‘latching on’ to these powerful trends, as Newman repeatedly puts it, Gush Emunim exploited rather than guided the settlement enterprise and the normalization of Israel’s lengthy occupation of the West Bank that has been the result.

Clearly, this argument is a species of the standard critique of the classical ‘heroic’ theory of Zionism’s success in favor of the decisiveness of unguided social and economic forces. According to this perspective, industrialization, marketization, modernization, and world war created a desperate need for a Jewish homeland in Palestine and then overpowered imperialist and backward indigenous opposition to the natural unfolding of Jewish national destiny. Interestingly, this endorsement of the decisiveness of what social scientists call ‘structure’ over ‘agency’ is also associated with Herzl.

A prominent theme in Herzl’s Der Judenstaat is how the inexorable forces of Jew hatred and modernization would, eventually and almost automatically, reduce the number of Jews living among Gentiles and increase the proportion of Jews living within their own country, until a mutually satisfying homeostasis would be reached. This general school of thought also includes the Marxist Zionist Dov Ber Borochov, who famously argued that Zionism would succeed as a result of ‘stychic’ (i.e., unguided) processes that would first create a Jewish capitalist society and then, inexorably, the conditions within it for a successful Jewish proletarian revolution.

Allegra et al. are undoubtedly correct that more attention has been paid to the ‘agential’ side of the initiation of the settlement project and the transformative importance of zealous settler activists than to the flow of ordinary Israeli families seeking more square meters at lower prices. But in the process of ‘correcting’ this error, they exaggerate it. In fact, a great deal of attention has been paid, in both the Israeli press and in the literature on the occupation and Israel’s settlement of the West Bank, to the majority of settlers who moved to the West Bank for economic advantage rather than ideological reasons. From the early 1980s on, Meron Benvenisti’s important work along these lines has been enormously influential. Along with researchers such as David Newman and Geoffrey Aronson, and in combination with detailed reporting by Israeli journalists such as Tzvi Bar’el, Nadav Shragai, and Tzvi Schuldiner, Benvenisti has emphasized the crucial role played by heavily subsidized ‘non-ideological’ settlers to fulfill the extravagant visions of government ministers, Jewish Agency Land Settlement Department planners, and Gush Emunim redemptionists.

By the mid-1980s, the slogan “five minutes from Kfar Saba” became a watchword of the settlement movement, in advertisements for homes in settlements and in the press. In April 1987, Koteret Rashit, a trendy leftist-dovish Israeli journal of the time, published a special issue featuring articles about how routinization of the occupation and easy and natural access to Israeli settlements in the West Bank had blurred or even erased the Green Line in the minds of the generation born in 1967, which was then entering the army.

These arguments mirrored the explicit pride taken by Likud governments in the immensity of their investment in infrastructure for West Bank settlements and the vast range of subsidies they provided for apartment leasing and home building in politically important target areas. Along with the iron fact of the occupation itself, which denied Palestinians access to this infrastructure or to the real estate market created for Israelis in the settlements, these investments and subsidies were the sine qua non for whatever ‘push’ factors, originating in Israeli society, impacted the decisions of Israeli consumers. The scale of this non-stychic, purely political investment was documented in a 2010 study that concluded Israeli governments had spent more than $17 billion on West Bank settlements (see Levinson 2010).

Oddly, the scale of these expenditures and the political purposes they were designed to serve are virtually ignored in this volume, as is the fact that this hugely expensive, highly controversial, heavily partisan, and economically inefficient collection of public policies was the core of an explicit strategy to make up for the failure of Gush Emunim to recruit anywhere near enough activists to create the politically necessary density of ‘facts on the ground’.1 In this connection, it is striking that there is no mention in the Allegra et al.’s analysis of the political context within which this massive program of social engineering was launched, namely, the evacuation of the Yamit settlement bloc in northeastern Sinai under the terms of the 1981 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, and the bitter 1982 defeat suffered by the settlers’ “Movement to Resist Retreat in Sinai.”

On this account, ‘stychic’ processes of suburbanization or socio-economic pressures were entirely secondary to political calculations. Both the settlers and their governmental allies were stunned by the Yamit evacuation, including Gush Emunim’s failure to stop it. They were forced by this defeat to conclude that it was no longer possible to rely on ‘pioneering’ or ideologically driven settlement to achieve what had become their supreme objective—permanent incorporation of the West Bank into Israel.

Although Danny Gutwein’s chapter also fails to contend with these issues, it does support the thesis of the editors. He advances the strong and provocative claim, albeit unsubstantiated by the kind of process-tracing evidence that would be necessary to test it, that lower-class Israeli Jews have been brought to participate in and support the settlement enterprise and the continued occupation as a result of the direct and indirect effects of the collapse of the Israeli welfare state. He blames the collapse on the dovish left in Israel for its refusal to put the struggle against neo-liberalism ahead of its struggle against the occupation.

Hadas Weiss’s chapter on the mundane, consumerist motives of the large number of former Soviet Union immigrants who settled in Ariel also echoes the editors’ determinedly structural approach. Weiss describes the political as embedded within the social, but her analysis of the micro-motives of Ariel settlers omits consideration of how their incentive structures were drastically and directly shaped by the leadership of Ariel (including its famous yuppie-imaged but highly ideological mayor, Ron Nahman), by generous government subsidies, and, of course, by the occupation-enforced closure of the settlement real estate market to Arabs.

Similar to Weiss, Erez Tzfadia, in his chapter on ‘gray spacing’, tends to highlight the primary role of the political, even as he argues explicitly in the other direction. His focus is on how the gradual normalization of unauthorized settlement works via the attraction of settlers who are out to enhance their living conditions. This portrayal is intended to contrast with “the stereotypical image of radical, ideology-driven messianic youth” (93). Unintentionally, however, this chapter underlines the fact that there has been nothing so standard in the political history of Zionism, including the West Bank settlement enterprise, as the political use of dissimulation, deception, and the retroactive legalization and normalization of originally ‘illegal’ or ‘non-legal’ (but ‘heroic’) actions. It was in the early 1980s that Ehud Sprinzak wrote of the culture of ‘illegalism’ in Israel, focusing his attention particularly on West Bank settlers, but it was in 1953 that the Land Acquisition Law was passed by the Knesset, retroactively legalizing massive transfers of Arab land accomplished illegally during the previous four years.

In contrast to the chapters I have so far discussed, most of the others in this collection ascribe considerable importance to calculated and determined government policy in the growth and ‘suburbanization’ of settlements. Lee Cahaner’s illuminating chapter does an excellent job of showing how demographic and economic pressures building within Israeli Haredi communities yielded a massive flow of ultra-Orthodox settlers to the West Bank. Government housing subsidies, combined with elaborate infrastructural investments, enabled those communities not only to preserve but also to enhance their segregation from non-Haredim.

Wendy Pullan and Haim Yacobi show how the overwhelming power of Jewish anti-Arab sentiment and the calculated results of public policy make it socially and politically irrelevant that some wealthy Palestinians pay inflated prices to purchase apartments in Jewish settlements in expanded East Jerusalem. Miki Kratsman and Ruthie Ginsburg show how the architecture of settlements reflects not the preferences of aspiring Israeli suburbanites, but the ‘purposive blurring’ of a politically charged campaign to hide the reality of occupation from the settlers whom the state sought to lure into the West Bank.

Honaida Ghanim’s fascinating genealogy of changing colloquial Arabic terms for referring to Jewish settlers in Palestine shows how ‘Iron Wall’ techniques have habituated Palestinian Arabs to forms of colonization initially experienced as intolerable, but it offers no direct support for, or contradiction to, the official theme of the volume. Much the same can be said of Assaf Harel’s chapter, which illustrates the ideological and cultural differences among Gush Emunim-affiliated settlers.

The most impressive contribution to the volume is the extraordinarily detailed analysis presented by Amir Paz-Fuchs and Yaёl Ronen. They describe the twisted and impossible search for a consistent doctrine to adjudicate claims of protection and rights by West Bank Palestinians working in Israeli enterprises. The authors show how the reality of a temporary occupation that has established itself as effectively permanent plays itself out in court rulings and in the predicaments faced by National Labor Boards trying to satisfy conflicting norms, according to which inhabitants of the West Bank are subject to both Israeli governmental control and the universal norms upon which that control is ostensibly based, on the one hand, and the actuality of the occupation, on the other. The latter incentivizes Jews, even if they support permanent Israeli rule of the West Bank, to oppose Israeli norms being enforced to the benefit of Arab employees. The result is a form of de facto annexation marked by the reality of a single state operating on both sides of the Green Line and operating unnameably according to principles of nationality-based apartheid.

The title of Hirschhorn’s book, City on a Hilltop, signals her interest in how ‘American’ (i.e., faux liberal) idealism produced, in the context of the ‘illiberal project’ of the occupation, four types of American settlers in the occupied territories. Most of the settlers she interviewed and describes were thrilled with Israel’s victory in 1967. Moving to the occupied territories was a way to make an exciting new start in their lives while heroically advancing the destiny of the Jewish people. In Yamit, she discovers ‘innocents abroad’ who rhapsodize about the utopia they intended to create, bemoan the incompetent and insensitive treatment they received from Israeli bureaucrats, mourn the collapse of their dreams resulting from the peace with Egypt, and defend themselves against accusations of ‘chasing after’ the financial compensation they were awarded.

In Efrat, her focus is on Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, an egomaniac out to create a historic name for himself and a comfortable suburb for his overachieving Modern Orthodox congregants, who want both the good life before the Messiah comes and close proximity to the Temple after he arrives. In Tekoa, a primary focus is on tribalists such as Bobby Brown, drenched in self-satisfaction and anxious to expand the domain of Jewish domination in the Land of Israel.

In Kiryat Arba and Shilo, Hirschhorn highlights the two main types of American settler political activism: murderous terrorism and public relations. In the former category, she focuses on Brooklyn-born Era Rapaport, a participant in the machteret (underground) of the early 1980s that bombed and maimed Arab mayors and killed a border policeman, and on Baruch Goldstein, also from Brooklyn, who massacred dozens of Muslim men and boys in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in 1994. In the public relations category, she highlights Yisrael Medad, also from Brooklyn, along with other American settlers turned propagandists. She shows how their New York accented English and weird but slick portrayals of settlers as the Jewish version of American civil rights and anti-war activists became standard features of settler hasbara (Zionist propaganda).

Hirschhorn seeks to disabuse her readers of any mistaken view that Americans moving to the settlements were members of the Republican Party. In fact, she says, they were, or at least started out as, liberal idealists. Hirschhorn most commonly depicts the settlers she interviewed as ‘intrepid’ seekers of their bliss. But what comes across more powerfully is their utter lack of any serious political or historical understanding of what the territories they were moving into meant to Israelis or, of course, to Arabs, along with their self-absorption and conceit. The end of Yamit, one former settler told Hirschhorn, “was my own personal Holocaust” (92).

The American settlers seemed to approach the occupied territories as a kind of Jewish Disneyland, where dreams really can come true: Tomorrowland in Yamit; Adventureland in Tekoa; and Fantasyland in Efrat, Shilo, and Kiryat Arba. In this context, perhaps the most telling quote in the book is from Medad, who told Hirschhorn that Jewish settlement in the occupied territories was “the most important [political] campaign of all time” (209).

Hirschhorn’s focus, then, is on olim rather than mihagrim. But apart from the tactics of violence against Arabs and clever public relations, she does not portray the Americans as shaping the settlement enterprise in a direction it would not otherwise have taken. To the contrary, the causal pattern she documents is due to the powerful impact on the settlers themselves of the circumstances of living in the occupied territories and being ultimately dependent on the power, resources, and decisions of the Israeli state to protect their privileged position.

Her telling of the ‘rise and fall’ of Yamit, the ‘city on the sea’, is particularly sympathetic. It includes no mention of the destruction of Bedouin orchards, the blocking of their wells, and the wholesale expulsion of Bedouin tribes, all of which made the area available for self-realizing American Jews. In the narrative she presents, Yamit’s sincere and hardworking inhabitants came as dreamers and were washed away by the “tsunami of official policy and public opinion” (97), “much like pounding waves upon sandcastles along the seashore” (59). Hirschhorn shows how, although they began with an official and proudly displayed commitment to fair and good neighborly relations with the Arab communities whose lands they expropriated, Efrat residents, and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin himself, were transformed by Arab resistance and the precedent of the disengagement from Gaza, and were thereby induced to adopt fearful, hateful, and even savage attitudes toward Palestinians.

Tekoa founder Bobby Brown had been a Beitar activist in Manhattan and brought with him a militant determination to ‘act’ not ‘talk’ in an effort to reclaim the Land of Israel for the Jewish people. Hirschhorn shows how the hostility of local Arabs and the violence they directed at Tekoa residents inflamed Brown and most other residents of the settlement, radicalizing and brutalizing their “world view” (165) and in particular their attitudes toward Palestinians. She tells a fundamentally identical story about Era Rapaport: by living in an Arab region, he was changed from a liberal civil rights protestor and social worker into a terrorist.

The cases of the American Jewish Defense League activists, who formed the violent ‘Terror against Terror’ group, and of Baruch Goldstein, also a veteran of the Kahanist organization in the United States, were somewhat different. These settlers were radical to begin with, but it was only after inserting themselves into the West Bank settlements—at the time, hothouses for extremism—that they organized and performed their terrorist actions.

Although Hirschhorn styles her book as half about American-Jewish settlers and half about American Jews, in fact it is not possible to infer much of anything about the Jewish population of America as a whole from the self-selected, mostly Orthodox, and small size of the groups she studies. The analysis she provides is based heavily on the wistful, sanctimonious, self-promoting, and self-justifying narratives of the settlers themselves. What is clear is that most came with a post-Holocaust chip on their shoulders and/or a keen desire to do something exciting with their lives. What is shown by the book is how settling on the ‘frontier’ of the occupied territories was mainly a response to the psychological and emotional needs of these American Jews and their wish to live out fantasies that could not be fulfilled in New York and New Jersey.

Each of the books reviewed here offers an account of transformation. The editors of the Normalizing Occupation volume depict the transformation of the West Bank into two archipelagos—one of Arab ghettos (largely undiscussed) and a second of gated Israeli suburbs. The settlements and their ‘normalization’ (among Israelis) is explained, not as (mainly) a function of politics or as an expression of the essence of Israel as a Zionist state, but as a by-product of the socio-economic dynamics of Israeli society. In City on a Hilltop, Hirschhorn’s focus is on the transformation of one group of Israeli settlers—those hailing from America—by the same dynamics of the occupation that allowed their aliyah to occur. In A Half Century of Occupation, Shafir’s fundamental question is also about transformation—whether the “endless interregnum” (12) of the occupation and the colonization project it incubated has made Israel’s rule of the West Bank permanent and a two-state solution impossible.

Shafir proffers a well-informed, desperate, but ultimately unconvincing ‘no’ to this question. He casts the settlement enterprise as a malignancy whose origins lie in the deep character of Zionism as a “settler-colonial movement” (94) unable to muster the political maturity necessary to restrain itself from recapitulating in the territories it captured in 1967 what it had done in the portions of Palestine it ruled before the Six-Day War (53–54). A Half Century of Occupation is organized as a sophisticated primer on the history of the occupation, its legal dimensions, the administrative practices that enforce it, debates over its meaning as a process of de facto annexation, and the history of and prospects for negotiations putatively designed to end it. Playing key roles in Shafir’s analysis are theories and principles from his own previous work on the development of exclusivist Zionist institutions to control land and labor during the pre-state era and, with Yoav Peled, on the implications of ‘embourgeoisement’ for the weakening of ideologically based struggles among different sectors of Israeli society.

The book reads mostly as a deftly organized chronological and thematic account of Palestinian bondage under the occupation and, as it were, the bondage into which the occupation has placed the dreams of liberal Zionists. Shafir has an excellent eye for powerful and reliable monographic studies, and he weaves from these works an effective analysis of crucial events, patterns, and turning points. The book is comprehensive, fair, and accurate in its reporting and in most of its judgments about individual questions, such as how Israel has finessed the strictures of international law to protect its own self-conceptions and its freedom of action toward Palestinians; how ‘religionization’ has entrenched and embittered the conflict; how a series of failed negotiating attempts were related to the obstacles created by the Israeli right, by settlements, and by Israel’s emasculation of the Palestinian Authority; and how the negotiating positions of the two sides have evolved with respect to details about borders, settlements, land swaps, and refugees, among other issues.

But the force of the argument weakens toward the end of the book. Declaring that he will use social scientific techniques to ‘test’ the proposition that Israel can no longer withdraw from the West Bank as part of a negotiated two-state solution, Shafir repeatedly fudges his language and elaborates numerous conditions that, together, could perhaps still make it an attainable outcome. Such a conclusion is, of course, a judgment about a ‘counterfactual’—something that has never happened and can only happen, according to Shafir, if some large collection of fortuitous policies, political outcomes, and circumstances that do not obtain come into existence and align properly. Boldly, Shafir avers that his counterfactual test of the possibility of a two-state solution confirms his claim that it can still be attained. However, when he turns to consider whether a one-state solution is possible, he labels it as a ‘counterfactual’ (having not labeled the two-state solution in this way), and then proceeds to categorically reject it as not even conceivable, let alone possible.

Shafir contends that a negotiated two-state solution is possible enough to justify paying whatever costs are associated with its continued pursuit, although he does not consider them specifically. Contrary to the story of seemingly irresistible settlement expansion that he tells, anchored in both the deep structure of the Zionist movement and cultural and political trends within Israel itself, Shafir offers the judgment, or at least the hope, that the settlement movement is a more “hollow undertaking” (82) than it seems, and that the relative ease with which, he says, Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005 (193–195) should encourage belief that the resistance to a diplomatic decision to withdraw from West Bank settlements would not be strong enough to prevent it.

Somewhat contrary to his fundamental approach, which is to search within Zionism itself for the deepest explanations of how Israelis behave, Shafir concludes with a fierce denunciation of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement as inconveniently targeting Israel as a whole rather than just the occupation of the West Bank. It seems, in fact, that the only real hope Shafir has for a two-state solution lies with the Palestinians and their willingness to drastically reduce their own national and political ambitions so as to rescue liberal Zionism. That, of course, is as far-fetched a possibility as may be imagined—comparable, in this reviewer’s mind, to the wish Palestinians had before 1948 that Zionism would abandon its raison d’être in order to ensure that justice was done for the Arab inhabitants of the land it targeted as its own.

The perspectives of the researchers whose books and chapters I have discussed in this review essay differ with regard to the questions they ask about the occupation. Most of the contributors to Normalizing Occupation ask how the cumulative effects of Israeli rule in the West Bank have changed (‘normalized’) Israeli settlements. Hirschhorn asks how American-Jewish settlers have been transformed by living with both the privileges and the challenges of the occupation. Shafir asks whether the settlements in the West Bank, created under the umbrella of the occupation, are permanent obstacles to the emergence of a Palestinian state.

Despite these differences, however, the volumes share two fundamental but problematic assumptions. The first is that the West Bank still exists ‘over there’, beyond the no longer demarcated Green Line. But this assumption may be unwarranted. It is perhaps just as reasonable to view the West Bank as constituting as much a part of the State of Israel as do other predominantly Arab areas, such as Central Galilee, the Little Triangle, large parts of the Negev, and expanded East Jerusalem. Operating on the unquestioned assumption that the West Bank is not already a part of Israel may detract from—or even discourage examination of—broader patterns of control and governance by the Israeli state of different castes of people in different regions under its power.

The second assumption is that the main topic requiring investigation is the impact of Israel, via the occupation, on the West Bank—including, in particular, on Israeli settlements there—and not the question of how ruling the West Bank, Gaza Strip (effectively), and Golan Heights for half a century has transformed and continues to transform Israel. Only by identifying and questioning these two assumptions, a task addressed provocatively and creatively by Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir (2012) in their book The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine, could the dynamics of the one real state that does exist between the sea and the river ever hope to be understood.


My own work, referenced by the editors as an example of an overemphasis on the role of fundamentalist zealots in the success of the settlement enterprise, registered this point. See Lustick (1994: 156–160).


  • AzoulayAriella and Adi Ophir. 2012. The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine. Trans. Tal Haran. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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  • LevinsonChaim. 2010. “Settlements Have Cost Israel $17 Billion, Study Finds.”[In Hebrew.] Ha’aretz23 March.

  • LustickIan S. 1994. For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. 2nd ed. New York: Council on Foreign Relations.

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Contributor Notes

ian s. lustick is the Bess W. Heyman Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Email:

  • AzoulayAriella and Adi Ophir. 2012. The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine. Trans. Tal Haran. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LevinsonChaim. 2010. “Settlements Have Cost Israel $17 Billion, Study Finds.”[In Hebrew.] Ha’aretz23 March.

  • LustickIan S. 1994. For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel. 2nd ed. New York: Council on Foreign Relations.


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