Thresholds of repression and criminalisation of oppositional political activism in the Israeli setter state: a preliminary investigation

Journal article


Weizman, E. (2023). Thresholds of repression and criminalisation of oppositional political activism in the Israeli setter state: a preliminary investigation. Justice, Power and Resistance .
AuthorsWeizman, E.
Abstract

This article investigates processes of criminalisation and mechanisms of repression and control of oppositional political activism of Israel’s citizens, both Palestinians and Jews, given the state’s particular political formation as a ‘liberal settler state’ (Robinson 2013). In order to do so, the article traces the ‘threshold of threat’ that leads to criminalisation and repression in Israel. I argue that the process of criminalisation and repression is tied with the construction of the concept of ‘threat’ and is always bound with race-making. Further, the article treats criminalisation as a multi-layered process involving both state and non-state actors, and a range of informal and formal strategies. I further argue that the operational logic of the settler state dictates the strategies used to tolerate, contain, limit or crush dissent altogether. Since the Israeli state strives to maintain privileges to its Jewish citizenry, we can trace more reliance on ‘informal’ strategies of criminalisation towards its Jewish citizens, led by civil society organisations and actors, while the ‘formal’ strategies, led by the state, are preserved almost exclusively for dealing with Palestinian political activism. Finally, I argue that unravelling processes of criminalisation and oppression, triggered by the crossing of the threshold of threat, exposes state vulnerabilities and fragility. By tracing the shifting thresholds of threat we gain a window into the precarity of such system of power and how it can be challenged and transformed. We can also learn what opportunities for resistance exist and what ‘openings’ must be seized.

KeywordsCriminalisation; repression; dissent; liberal settler state; Israel
Year2023
JournalJustice, Power and Resistance
PublisherBristol University Press
ISSN 2635-2338
Publication process dates
Accepted05 May 2023
Deposited10 May 2023
Accepted author manuscript
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File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is the author's post-acceptance version and it is not to be cited

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