Recognizing the Assemblage: Palestinian Bedouin of the Naqab in Dialectic with Israeli Law
Rego, Victor Nasser
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In the five case studies, we examine how Israel, as a collection of individuated interests given expression in the form a state, is in a dialectic of recognition with the Naqab Bedouin community. Recognition happens on a few registers. Palestinians from the Naqab seek recognition for their particular identity and lifeways. They seek legal recognition for their living spaces. And they seek these things from the Israeli state, the sovereign. But the struggle for recognition from the sovereign is fraught, particularly in settler colonial situations like this one, in part because it pivots around a particular identity for which autonomy or freedom is sought. Identities in law tend to be, after all, static, constrictive and generalizing. The five case studies concern a land ownership case, a crop-spraying case, the eviction of Bedouin from Umm al-Hieran, discriminatory land allocation in the Wine Path Plan case and the vaccinations case. Four of the five case studies concern land, which speaks to the centrality of land in the dialectic between Naqab Palestinian Bedouin citizens and the Israeli state. The dissertation is principally informed by the theoretical frameworks of critical race theory, postcolonial theory and feminist theory, but is at the same time theoretically and methodologially eclectic, and beyond just using theory to validate phenomena, this dissertation attempts to understand why phenomena come to be phenomena whether it be Bedouin as identity or the organized, legal struggle for recognition what makes these phenomena identifiable, stable states of being? After aggregating the individual conclusions to the case studies, the dissertation finally posits the question, how might we imagine freedom for the Naqab Bedouin community given that their social justice struggle continues to be confined to a particular identity?