The Making of an Underclass: The Palestinian Citizens of Israel
Israel Studies Review, Vol. 27, Issue 2, Winter 2012, pp. 190-200
11 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2013
Date Written: 2012
I argue here that Israel’s ‘basic structure’ (i.e., the main economic, social, and political institutions), to use John Rawls’s phrase, subjects the Palestinian citizens to a process of ghettoization that relegates them to a separate and unequal status. This basic structure is particularly unjust, as it does not provide these citizens with the minimal conditions of a decent life. The state not only fails to rectify this injustice but is actively implicated in producing it. I argue that this process has included five key and interrelated elements: labor segmentation, land appropriation, de-development, deficient education, and the production of poverty. The Essay shows how the legal system is implicated in producing the segregation and subordination of the Palestinian minority. Ultimately, ghettoization within Israel intersects with a process of separation and annexation in the Occupied Territories. Together, these processes are eroding the citizenship status of the Palestinian citizens in Israel.
Keywords: Israel, Palestinian minority, segregation, discrimination
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