The 2014 murder of the Palestinian child Mohammed Abu-Khdeir by Israeli Jewish settlers sparked the largest wave of Palestinian social protest in Jerusalem since the second intifada. Drawing on ethnographic research, this paper investigates the murder as a symbolic political act of terror rather than an isolated act of violence, analyzing the relationship between state and extra-judicial forms of terror, and locating the event within an ongoing structure of Israeli settler colonial dispossession. Moreover, the paper examines gendered and sexual discourses that arose during the 'genocidal moment' that gave way to Abu-Khdeir's murder and circulated in its aftermath, as a window on the imbrication of racial and sexual logics animating Israel's logic of native elimination and its project of settler colonial expansion. Finally, the paper examines Israel's contradictory indictment of Abu-Khdeir's killers and attempts to appropriate Palestinian suffering, which labor towards the performance of Israeli power as liberal, democratic, and multicultural, vacating the state from responsibility and accountability, and absolving it from an ongoing structure of terror it perpetrates daily against the Palestinian people.
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