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Border Anxiety in Palestine–Israel

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In this paper, I deal with representations of Palestinian women and their experiences with Israeli national security. In particular I explore how the political philosophy of Agamben and feminist psychoanalytic ideas of “abjection” could assist in understanding the nature and flexibility of the power relationships between Palestinian women and the Israeli state. I pay specific attention to moments when women carry out suicide attacks or when pregnant women in labour are forced to give birth at the checkpoint. I argue that, from a Western perspective, pregnant and exploding women's leaky bodily boundary embodies Israeli fears about the leakiness of the border between Israel and Palestine, fears which necessitated the construction of a so‐called “security fence” in order to create a hermetic border. As such, I emphasize women's capacity to produce, heighten and dissolve boundaries, bodily and political, thereby advancing a radically different kind of political geography.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK;, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2006


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