Rights as a Divide- and-Rule Mechanism: Lessons from the Case of Palestinians in Israeli Custody

41 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2016 Last revised: 28 Aug 2018

Hedi Viterbo

University of Essex - School of Law

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

Critics have highlighted the complicity of human rights law in mass disempowerment and domination – a criticism equally applicable to child law. This article investigates this issue, as evidenced by three recent developments that Israel has justified by invoking these legal frameworks: an increased separation of Palestinian adults and children in Israeli custody; the Israeli legal system’s growing preoccupation with “rehabilitating” the now-segregated Palestinian children; and the Israeli authorities’ ever-diminishing interest in such rehabilitation for adult Palestinian prisoners. By canvassing the legal architecture, judicial rationalizations, adverse effects, and socio-political context of these developments, this article foregrounds their divide-and-rule logic and structure of driving a generational wedge between Palestinians and potentially weakening their political ties, solidarity, and resistance.

Note: Copyright by permission of the American Bar Association and Blackwell Publishing.

Keywords: human rights, child law, children's rights, prisoner rights, Israel/Palestine, divide and rule

Suggested Citation

Viterbo, Hedi, Rights as a Divide- and-Rule Mechanism: Lessons from the Case of Palestinians in Israeli Custody (2018). Law and Social Inquiry 43(3): 746-795, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2838717

Hedi Viterbo (Contact Author)

University of Essex - School of Law ( email )

Colchester, Essex CO43SQ
United Kingdom

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