By Shira N. Robinson
For the following twenty years Palestinians held a paradoxical prestige in Israel, as voters of a officially liberal nation and matters of a colonial regime. Neither the kingdom crusade to minimize the scale of the Palestinian inhabitants nor the formula of citizenship as a device of collective exclusion might get to the bottom of the government's primary difficulty: how you can bind indigenous Arab electorate to the nation whereas denying them entry to its assets. extra confounding used to be the strain among the opposing aspirations of Palestinian political activists. used to be it the top of Jewish privilege they have been after, or nationwide independence in addition to the remainder of their compatriots in exile? As Shira Robinson indicates, those tensions within the state's foundation—between privilege and equality, separatism and inclusion—continue to hang-out Israeli society today.
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Extra resources for Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel’s Liberal Settler State
11 THE PURSUIT OF PRIVILEGE Early on in World War I, as the European Allies began to deliberate over the future dispensation of the Ottoman provinces they hoped to conquer, Zionist leaders close to the British government lobbied intensively for its patronage. 12 It was not until the Ottomans appeared to be on their last legs, however, that enough policymakers were persuaded that the cost of sponsoring a European settler community in Palestine was in the geostrategic interests of the British Empire.
8 Ben-Gurion’s liberal assurances must have been cold comfort to the three Palestinian Arab deputies in the chambers that day, as well as to the two Jewish representatives of the Israeli Communist Party—known as MAKI, or ha-Miflaga ha-Kommunistit ha-Yisra’elit, in Hebrew and al-Hizb al-Shuyu‘i al-Isra’ili in Arabic—a critical and uniquely non-Zionist political force to which I will return. 10 In fact, the army had frozen the movement of all Arabs inside the state’s tentative lines. 11 The tiny minority of Palestinians who remained inside the mixed or newly mixed towns were barred from exiting the urban ghettos that the army had erected upon conquest.
40 In the meantime, prominent figures in the Yishuv continued to embrace the racial mission of European empire. ”42 Fortunately for the Yishuv, London was not the Zionist movement’s only patron. Most important in this regard was the Permanent Mandates Commission (PMC), established by the League of Nations to supervise the progress of its charges in preparing their subjects for eventual self-rule. The PMC was a toothless oversight body staffed with liberal imperialists who occasionally used their power to call the mandatory administrations to task for failing to fulfill their obligations.