to sell or not to sell? theory versus practice, public versus private, and the failure of liberalism: the case of Israel and its Palestinian citizens

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Abstract

Two themes are explored. The first is junctions whereby personal interests contradict dominant values. The Israeli residents of Natzerat Illit, a new town in Galilee, conform with mainstream Zionist narratives when they view the presence of Palestinian residents in their town as unacceptable. At the same time, selling properties to incoming Palestinians is irresistibly Iucrative and has become a norm. The mismatch between theory and practice and the gaps between an idealized Zionist past and a disappointing present are interpreted in terms of the tension between the private and the public domains. Second, the tendency of liberalism to personalize, depoliticize, and decontextualize conflicts allows modern western states to claim the role of rational and faithful guardian of rights of all constituents. It takes the vicissitudes of interstitial zones to expose the falseness of these claims and their efficacy in arresting change, [nationalism, liberalism, minorities, borderlands, private and public domains]

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