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'The Tree is the Enemy Soldier': A Sociolegal Making of War Landscapes in the Occupied West Bank

Irus Braverman

SUNY Buffalo Law School

November 25, 2008

Law & Society Review, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 449-482, 2008
Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-28

War landscapes have a particular sociology; they are also formed through distinct legal technologies. By examining the genealogy of trees as totemic displacements in the occupied West Bank I demonstrate how the Israeli/Palestinian war is deflected onto the landscape and how this deflection erodes the boundary between law and war. Dealing with issues of colonization, nationalization, and the way that these implicate landscape as a "natural alibi," the article examines the intricate making of politics into nature. Further, it explores the ironic nesting of colonial processes from Ottoman, to British, to Zionist, and finally to the new Jewish settler society that seeks to unsettle the old colonial landscapes of this place. Utilizing a detailed interpretation of a range of interviews and participatory observations, the article unpacks the mutually constitutive relationship between law, technologies of seeing, and landscape, illustrating how this relationship is played out by various actors in the occupied West Bank.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Law and Geography, Law and Society, Tree Wars, Natural Landscapes in Israel/Palestine, Zionism and Nature, Middle East Studies, Legal Ethnography, Technologies of Seeing, Aerial Photos as Legal Technologies, Science and Technology Studies (S&TS), the New Settlers, Tree Inspection

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Date posted: November 26, 2008 ; Last revised: January 24, 2009

Suggested Citation

Braverman, Irus, 'The Tree is the Enemy Soldier': A Sociolegal Making of War Landscapes in the Occupied West Bank (November 25, 2008). Law & Society Review, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 449-482, 2008; Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-28. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1307044

Contact Information

Irus Braverman (Contact Author)
SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )
625 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-3030 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~irusb/
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