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The Zionist left: Settler colonial practices and the representation of the Palestinian Nakba in Northern Palestine

  • The Wenner-Gren Foundation 470 Park Avenue South 8th floor New York, NY, 10016 United States (map)

Areej Sabbagh-Khoury
Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Fellow, Center for Palestine Studies, Columbia University


Based on a meticulous examination of archival material documenting the process of Zionist land accumulation and the expulsions of Palestinians from 1936 to mid-1950s, I argue that the 1948 Nakba was neither the beginning nor the end of a process of settler-colonial expropriation. Instead, I claim that the mid-1930s signaled intensified efforts to expel Palestinian sharecroppers, a practice which culminated in the Nakba. In particular, I will discuss the case of a thickly populated closed frontier of Marj Iban ‘Amer (Jezreel Valley) region located in Northern Palestine. In this context the Zionist settlers utilized forceful practices, perpetrated in this region by the Ha-Shomer Ha-Tza’ir movement, self-described as a socialist and bi-national movement, to vacate the lands of its Palestinian inhabitants. I will also explore how the politics of remembering by members of H a-Shomer Ha-Tzair kibbutzim reconstructed memories of the pre-1948 colonization practices and their role in the Nakba.


Organized by Dr. Brian Boyd, Lecturer in Discipline, Anthropology at Columbia University, Director of Museum Anthropology, Program Director, Columbia Center for Archaeology, and Co-Chair, New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Division.

This event was part of a Fall lecture series on "Settler Colonialism" hosted by The New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Division.