SPECIAL ISSUE: STATES OF VIOLENCE
Palestinian Children as Tools for ‘Legalized’ State Violence
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Indigenous children have always figured prominently in settler colonial state expansion and consolidation. This article analyses the implication of the lives, bodies and homes of Palestinian children in Israel’s settler colonial project. Drawing on Joseph Pugliese’s State Violence and the Execution of Law (2013), I analyze the ways in which Israeli law is deployed to enable and normalize Palestinian children’s suffering, and propel the state’s continued project of eliminating the native (e.g. Wolfe 2006). I present two major arguments: First, that Palestinian children living in the settler colonial conditions of the Palestinian home/land are increasingly targeted in the Israeli state’s eliminatory violence. Second, that denying children from their childhood and humanity relegates them to a death zone, a position that not only denies their suffering, but also constructs them as always already terrorist others who should be disciplined and violated. I center these arguments around three case studies: the normalized practices of child arrest, using children as human shields, and the attack on Palestinian children's homes. The article concludes by explaining that although living in the death zone constructed by the Zionist state attempts to evict them from childhood and humanity, Palestinian children continue resisting the everydayness of their oppression, and refusing to accept their demonization.
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© borderlands ejournal 2014