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Uneven Borders, Coloured (Im)mobilities: ID Cards in Palestine/Israel

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The Israeli state apparatus mandates differentiated IDs to Palestinian citizens of Israel, Palestinian non-citizens in East Jerusalem, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The bureaucracy of Palestinian ID cards since 1948 has rendered Palestinians more legible for the security interests of Israel while simultaneously discriminating Palestinians from Jews as unequal citizens and non-citizens. The ID card regime, and less so the permit regime, limits Palestinian geographic movement and economic mobility while simultaneously permitting freer Jewish-Israeli flows and mobilities. ID cards demonstrate the power of the Israeli regime to produce distinct people and bind them to specific territories (such as the Palestinians), while allowing others (Jewish-Israelis) to ‘trespass’ over those same boundaries. Through ID cards borders are erected between Jewish and Arab people, not Israeli and Palestinian territory. The ID card regime puts into question the nature and territorial boundaries of ‘Israel’, and the geopolitical existence of the ‘Palestinian Territories.’

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Media, Culture, and Communication,New York University, NY, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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