The Israeli elephant in the settler-colonial room

Publication Name

Postcolonial Studies


This article presents a rationale to expand settler-colonial studies so as to conceptually fuse in the same proposition the question of settler-colonial permanence with that of the settler subject. Arguments are elaborated based on one particular case study, Palestine. This gap in the research in relation to Palestine not only has left unresolved the problem of how to explain the continuation of the Israeli settler regime beyond its unequivocal overt and superior mechanisms of legal and brute power but has also kept the concrete perpetrators in the shadows, away from public accountability. The article also lays out a number of potential dimensions to lead research into the conceptual nexus suggested here, for the specific case of Palestine. These dimensions, which I suggest form the emotional economy of Israeli settler-colonial subjectivity, comprise (1) the compensatory distributions of settler-colonial capture, (2) the historical formation of strata of subjectivation, (3) the avenues of socialization that cement the commitment to a militarized society, and (4) the ways by which settler learning and settler practice are conjoined in everyday training.



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