Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Reynolds J.
Journal of Legal Pluralism & Unofficial Law
Repressive inclusion
1 ()
Optional Fields
Emergency exception Israel Palestine racialisation sovereignty
© 2017 The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law. This article examines the relation between emergency legal doctrine and racial sovereignty in the context of Palestine. It theorises Israel's multifarious emergency modalities in a colonial present paradigm where traditional territorial colonisation is fused with modern security biopolitics. The Israeli juridical-security apparatus mimics European liberal legalism in presenting itself as generally accepting of human rights obligations, save in circumstances where particular illiberal measures are necessitated on security grounds. These measures, however, comprise a pervasive patchwork of emergency modalities that have penetrated all spheres of Palestinian political, economic and cultural life. The retention and application of the British Mandate-era Defence Emergency Regulations as well as the constitutional state of emergency have produced an emergency marked by longevity and racialisation. Furthermore, Israel has invoked the emergency derogation option under international treaties to claim the legality of measures such as mass internment without trial. I articulate these dynamics of legality, emergency and sovereignty in terms of “repressive inclusion”: a racially contingent inclusion within–and repression by–the juridical order. This evokes the suffocating hold of racialised emergency legal structures. The consequences for Palestinian lives and bodies have been severe; the alienation of land and fragmentation of territory have been acute.
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