Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
At a time when Palestine and Palestinians are ubiquitously framed through the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and the “peace process”, the spaces of everyday life for Palestinians are often ignored. This is in spite of the fact that so many of the Israeli policies and technologies of occupation and settlement are experienced materially by Palestinians in these spaces. In this dissertation, then, drawing on feminist geopolitics, I consider everyday Palestinian spaces like the home, neighborhood, and village—with a focus on Jerusalem—to better understand geographies of occupation and settlement in Palestine/Israel today. I argue, through attention to Palestinian experiences on the ground, that widespread representations of Jerusalem as either a “united” or “divided” city fail to capture the Palestinian experience, which is actually one of fragmentation, both physical and social. As a case study in fragmentation, I turn to the zoning of Israeli national parks in and between Palestinian neighborhoods, arguing that parks have served the purposes of settlement in less politicized ways than West Bank settlement blocs, but like the settlement blocs, have resulted in dispossession and restrictions on Palestinian construction, expansion, and movement. In the second half of the project, I turn to resistance against dispossession and the confines of the “peace process,” looking first at recent Palestinian and Israeli community mapping projects and arguing that they resist erasure and fragmentation through their maps and through the mapping process. Finally, while Palestinian refugees displaced in the creation of Israel are marginalized from the formal peace process, I argue that those internally displaced in Israel continue to politicize and struggle for their dispossessed homes, villages, and lands by challenging the state’s development plans and by planning alternative futures.