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31 Harv. J.Racial & Ethnic Just. 69 (2015)
Whiteness as Property in Israel: Revival, Rehabilitation, and Removal

handle is hein.journals/hblj31 and id is 73 raw text is: WHITENESS AS PROPERTY IN ISRAEL:
Noura Erakat*
This essay seeks to read Whiteness as Property onto contemporary Israel
by demonstrating that the value ascribed to Jewish nationality is not sim-
ply a matter of Jew versus non-Jew. Instead, Whiteness reflects a Euro-
pean order that reproduces and embodies the exclusionary and orientalist
tropes that produced anti-Semitism in Europe. The State continues to
apply those tropes to Mizrahim, Jews of Middle Eastern origin.
Mizrahim are the objects of Zionism's modernization project, which ne-
cessitates a violent bifurcation of their Arab and Jewish identity on the
one hand, and the imposition of a singular European history that effec-
tively marginalizes them on the other. Once consolidated within an
ethno-nationality mythology of a European Jewish national, the project of
nation building completely excludes the Palestinian who, like the Eastern
Jew, is uncivilized, but unlike her, is ineligible for rehabilitation. In-
stead, the Palestinian must be removed, diminished, and contained geo-
graphically, politically, and socially. Law facilitates this process as it
dispossess and displaces the Palestinian and simultaneously imbues Jew-
ish nationality with a coveted value, one that mirrors European Enlight-
enment ideals of civilization and the superiority of Whiteness. Settler-
decolonization is necessary for Palestinian self-determination and has the
potential to achieve Jewish emancipation beyond the state.
Assistant Professor, George Mason University; Abraham L. Freedman Fellow at
Temple University, Beasley School of Law; Visiting Scholar, Center for Contempo-
rary Arab Studies, Georgetown University (2007/08); Visiting Scholar, Issam Fares
Institute, American University in Beirut (Spring 2010); LLM, National Security, Ge-
orgetown University Law Center (2012); J.D., Berkeley Law School (2005); B.A., UC
Berkeley (2002). Many thanks to UCLA Law School's Critical Race Theory Program,
especially Ash Bali and Cheryl Harris, for inviting me to participate in the Twenty
Year Appraisal of Harris's essay, Whiteness As Property, which inspired this article.
Thanks also to the participants of the 2015 Law & Society panel where I was also
able to present this work. Special gratitude for Max Ajl, Sherene Seikaly, Lisa Haj-
jar, Maya Mikdashi, and Sarah Ihmoud for reading drafts of this paper, engaging in
illuminating conversations, and invaluable reading recommendations. Thank you
to the editorial team of this Journal for their assistance and patience in preparing
this for publication. Finally, this piece would not have been possible without the
spectacular research assistance of Lewis Preston and Noor Barakat, who will both
undoubtedly shine as attorneys and scholars.

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