Joyce Dalsheims ethnographic study takes a ground-breaking approach to one of the most contentious issues in the Middle East: the Israeli settlement project. Based on fieldwork in the settlements of the Gaza Strip and surrounding communities during the year prior to the Israeli withdrawal, Unsettling Gaza poses controversial questions about the settlement of Israeli occupied territories in ways that move beyond the usual categories of politics, religion, and culture. The book critically examines how religiously-motivated settlers think about living with Palestinians, how they express theological uncertainty, and how they imagine the future beyond the confines of territorial nationalism. This is the first study to place radical, right-wing settlers and their left-wing and secular opposition in the same analytic frame. Dalsheim shows that the intense antagonism between these groups disguises fundamental similarities. Her analysis reveals the social and cultural work achieved through a politics of mutual denunciation. With theoretical implications stretching far beyond the boundaries of Israel/Palestine, Unsettling Gazas counter-intuitive findings shed fresh light on politics and identity among Israelis and the troubling conflicts in Israel/Palestine, as well as providing challenges and insight into the broader questions that exist at the interface between religiosity and formations of the secular.
- Publication Date:
- 18 / 03 / 2011