critical Israelis in the Netherlands


The Political Geography of Israel/Palestine: Apartheid or Confederation?

Doelenzaal of the UvA 26 February 2016

Public Discussion with Prof. Oren Yiftachel.

The Lecture analyzes the evolving political geography of Israel/Palestine and the persistent failures of peace efforts. It highlights the double meaning of Zionism, being both a national liberation and a colonial movement, and the changing nature of Palestinian mobilization and nationalism. The struggle over the very same homeland, and post-colonial theories of democratization, redistribution and recognition, leads to a series of observations about future scenarios, which span between, on the one hand, a process of ‘creeping apartheid’ or, on the other, a de-colonized confederacy for a newly established Israeli-Palestinian Union.

Prof. Yiftachel teaches urban studies and political geography at Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba. His research has focused on critical understandings of the relations between space, power and conflict, with particular attention to ethnic, social and urban aspects of these relations. Yiftachel hold the Lloyd Hurst Chair in Urban Studies. Yiftachel has regularly appeared in public media and has worked as an activist for social change in a range of human rights and civil society organizations, including the council for unrecognized Bedouin villages, “Adva” – Center for social equality; the Israeli social protest movement; and as chair of B’Tselem – monitoring human rights violations in the Palestinian Territories. Most recently he co-founded the ‘two states, one homeland’ peace movement, promoting an Israeli-Palestinian Confederated Union.