Dr. Ariella Azoulay Prof. Adi Ophir
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Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir (TAU, Minerva Humanities) have teamed up to produce yet another of their wholesale condemnations of Israel. Their long career as academic activists has been full of such one-sided polemics matched a determined effort to ignore the possibility that the Palestinians could have a role in perpetuating the conflict.
Their new book is a prime example of this particular polemical art. They hint darkly at the "deceptive denial of events" of 1948 and 1967, which, for the record, are some of the most analyzed episodes in Israeli history. As always, Palestinians are portrayed as innocent and (passive) victims of events, something that fits well the post-colonial paradigm of the authors.
That Azoulay and Ophir, among the most radical academics in Israel should mix scholarship and politics is expected. What is puzzling is how Ophir, who was hired to teach and research in his field of philosophy, ended writing polemical books about the Israeli-Palestinians conflict. As IAM has reported, the blame should be put at fit of Tel Aviv University for allowing Ophir and other radical faculty to neglect their responsibilities.
The One-State Condition
Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine
Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir
Forthcoming: Available in October
1 map, 19 illustrations.
Since the start of the occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, Israel's domination of the Palestinians has deprived an entire population of any political status or protection. But even decades on, most people speak of this rule—both in everyday political discussion and in legal and academic debates—as temporary, as a state of affairs incidental and external to the Israeli regime. In The One-State Condition, Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir directly challenge this belief.
Looking closely at the history and contemporary formation of the ruling apparatus—the technologies and operations of the Israeli army, the General Security Services, and the legal system imposed in the Occupied Territories—Azoulay and Ophir outline the one-state condition of Israel/Palestine: the grounding principle of Israeli governance is the perpetuation of differential rule over populations of differing status. Israeli citizenship is shaped through the active denial of Palestinian citizenship and civil rights.
Though many Israelis, on both political right and left, agree that the occupation constitutes a problem for Israeli democracy, few ultimately admit that Israel is no democracy or question the very structure of the Israeli regime itself. Too frequently ignored are the lasting effects of the deceptive denial of the events of 1948 and 1967, and the ways in which the resulting occupation has reinforced the sweeping militarization and recent racialization of Israeli society. Azoulay and Ophir show that acknowledgment of the one-state condition is not only a prerequisite for considering a one- or two-state solution; it is a prerequisite for advancing new ideas to move beyond the trap of this false dilemma.
"Ethically and politically committed, Azoulay and Ophir challenge—to put it mildly—hegemonic Zionist Israeli statements that the Palestinian occupation is not part of what 'we' are. With eloquent and impassioned arguments, they acutely undermine the sterile indulgences of current Israeli politics, and ultimately widen the horizon of debate for the political possibilities and future of Israel and Palestine."—Gabriel Piterberg, University of California, Los Angeles
"This is a first-rate intervention into understanding how the Israeli occupation operates. Innovative and insightful, the volume also transcends the local case to shed new light on violence and governance in conflict zones the world over. A profound contribution to our understanding of the colonial presence."—Neve Gordon, Ben-Gurion University
"This book is a meticulous exploration of the post-1967 Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. In laying bare Israel's structural, conceptual and bureaucratic regimes of settler, civilian and military authorities over the Palestinian inhabitants, authors Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir analyze and consider consequences and solutions for the entire region to the operationalized Jewish principle of self-segregation."—Susan Slyomovics, University of California, Los Angeles, author of The Object of Memory: Arab and Jew Narrate the Palestinian Village.
Ariella Azoulay is Director of Photo-Lexic, Tel Aviv University. She is the author of The Civil Contract of Photography (2008) and Death's Showcase: The Power of Image in Contemporary Democracy (2001).
Adi Ophir is Professor of Philosophy and Political Theory, Tel Aviv University. He is a coeditor of The Power of Inclusive Exclusion: Anatomy of Israeli Rule in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (2009) and the author of The Order of Evils: Toward and Ontology of Morals (2005).