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Title: Hegemony, law, resistance : struggles against Zionism in the State of Israel
Author: Weizman, Elian
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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In their struggles against Zionism, Israeli citizens, both Palestinians and Jews, paradoxically seek to challenge through the law the very laws that institutionalise the hegemony of the state's ideology. Law and resistance are seemingly two contradictory concepts: while the law is instrumental in producing and sustaining the hegemonic order, resistance aims to subvert that very order. Zionism - the formula that Israel is a 'Jewish and Democratic state' - is the structuring ideology of the State of Israel; it shapes and is grounded in Israeli laws, and the apparatus of the law underwrites and protects Zionism. Nevertheless, in resisting Zionism, groups and individuals have utilised the law in struggles to overturn it. This research project interrogates the paradoxical relationship between law and resistance and evaluates the efficacy of different strategies of resistance to Zionism by Israeli citizens, both Palestinians and Jews. It offers an in-depth analysis of the spectrum of resistance practices in Israel, from resistance inside the law using legislation and adjudication, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary work, to resistance that disregards the law. This thesis reveals that an ensemble of resistance that acts simultaneously both inside and outside the legal system, constructing and disrupting, building and dismantling, seems to be most strategically effective in countering hegemonic structures, exposing their weaknesses and internal contradictions and forcing hegemony to reveal its oppressive nature, thereby losing its legitimacy both internally and internationally. In Israel, it is a strategy that exposes the contradictions between the state's Jewish and democratic pretensions, showing its willingness to suspend the one to defend the other, thereby revealing its coercive side.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral