Routine and rupture

The everyday workings of abyssal (dis)order in the Palestinian food basket

by Irene Calis

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A strategic method of governing Palestinian lives in the West Bank is to maintain a relationship between spectacular and routinized forms of violence. The dissonant interplay of these forms comprises a particular system of control and terror as Israeli authority employs both coercive and administrative methods, which rupture social life while becoming an ordinary part of it. Key to the administration of these dissonant practices is bureaucracy, which codifies a social order of racial supremacy through seemingly mundane measures. “Order” here is itself predicated on an abyssal national order, a dynamic enterprise that is remade through changing policies as well as soldiers’ variable behavior. The combined effects of military (dis)ordering practices enact a systemic attempt to wear down both one's ability and will to live.

Arabic abstract

Palestinian farmers in the West Bank village of Jayyus wait at the south gate, a military-controlled access point to their agricultural lands behind the Israeli Wall, October 2006.
Palestinian farmers in the West Bank village of Jayyus wait at the south gate, a military-controlled access point to their agricultural lands behind the Israeli Wall, October 2006. (Irene Calis)