Criminalizing pain and the political work of suffering: the case of Palestinian 'infiltrators'

Citation metadata

Author: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian
Date: May 2015
From: Borderlands(Vol. 14, Issue 1)
Publisher: Borderlands
Document Type: Article
Length: 11,078 words

Main content

Abstract :

By analyzing the voices of colonized Palestinian men and women who managed to return to their homes following their expulsion in 1948, this study uncovers the layers of state criminality that mark the returnees as 'infiltrators' into the newly formed Israeli state. Instituting laws and policies intended to kill returnees, prevent Palestinians from returning or marginalizing them as absent, unwanted and dangerous 'others', assisted the Israeli settler colonial regime to tactically justify ongoing population transfers, occupy natives' lands and delegitimize Palestinian suffering. This paper theorizes on the political work of suffering to argue that colonial use of violence, inscription of pain, and horror create exterminable zones of life to maintain surveillance and fear of Palestinian lives and bodies. The interviewees featured in this study demonstrate a determination to defy the systems of control and eviction from their land by identifying methods of resistance in their everyday lives and realities, despite the state's efforts to criminalize any actions against the normalization of the Israeli occupation.

Source Citation

Source Citation
Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera. "Criminalizing pain and the political work of suffering: the case of Palestinian 'infiltrators'." Borderlands, vol. 14, no. 1, May 2015. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A458263303