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Title: The Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel : challenging Israel's liberal democratic credentials
Author: Taylor , Katie
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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The establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in mandatory Palestine in 1948 was celebrated as a triumph for the Zionist ideal, creating a homeland for the Jewish people following years of suffering and persecution throughout Europe, but was imprinted in the Palestinian narrative as the Nakba - the catastrophe resulting in just 12.5% of the original 900,000 Palestinians of the land remaining in the newly created state, most of whom lost their land and became internal refugees. This thesis analyses the ethnocratic nature of the Israeli state, revealing the weaknesses in Israel's claim to be a liberal democracy. It highlights the discrimination that the Palestinian-Arabs face in a state which derives its legitimacy from ethnoreligious characteristics, making equality impossible. Within this context I examine the resistance strategies of this group through the work of Palestinian-Arab civil society organisations in Israel. I analyse their work pertaining to land, language and culture, and education, and how these contribute to the empowerment of the Palestinian minority by strengthening their politicised collective identity. The ethnocratic nature of the state, and the securitized relationship between the Palestinian-Arab minority and the Israeli-Jewish state, hinder the level of tangible structural change that the civil society organisations can achieve through strategies such as litigation and advocacy. Whilst these remain important instruments, I argue that the real strength of the Palestinian-Arab civil society lies in strengthening their politicised collective identity and empowering the community. This thesis finishes by considering the implications that the securitized relationship between the Palestinian-Arabs and the Israeli state has on the future of Israel as a Jewish state. In a state where the changing demographics and increasingly securitized and antagonistic political environment places them in heightened danger of growing ethnic tensions and the possibility of forced population transfer, such issues are particularly pertinent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available