That’s the beauty of it, it’s very simple!’ Animal rights and settler colonialism in Palestine–Israel



Publication Details

Alloun, E. (2018). That’s the beauty of it, it’s very simple!’ Animal rights and settler colonialism in Palestine–Israel. Settler Colonial Studies, 8 (4), 559-574.


This article examines the contemporary animal rights movement in Palestine–Israel and compares Jewish Israeli activism to Palestinian activism to illuminate the ways in which the settler colonial context shapes animal politics. The article argues that human– animal relationships constitute a significant dimension through which settler colonialism is expressed, engaged with, and resisted. As such, drawing on ethnographic material, it explores how different approaches to animal activism can obscure or reveal the racial and colonial relations they are bound up with. It considers how Jewish Israelis frame animal rights in non-intersectional ways, as a simple, single-issue movement that can be abstracted from human politics and power relations, while the Palestinian Animal League in the occupied West Bank weaves animal activism with the decolonial struggle for Palestinian self-determination in an intersectional spirit. The article hence suggests that, to a great extent, animal politics follows the patterns set up by the settler colonial regime, with the type of advocacy on behalf of animals being shaped by the sides taken within the settler state. Instances that trouble and complicate this settler/native binary are explored as well as the possibilities of coalitional politics.

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