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Spatial Alternatives and Counter‐Sovereignties in Israel/Palestine


International Political Sociology

Published online on


The securitization of the spaces of Israeli‐Palestinian interaction, from checkpoints to the West Bank Separation Wall, continues to intensify and receive attention from journalists, scholars, and activists. Understandably, the focus is on the negative consequences of existing spatial configurations. Receiving far less attention is the development of alternative spatial formations which might advance forms of “desecuritization,” especially in those spaces that are crucial hinges of Israeli‐Palestinian interaction (Jerusalem and other mixed cities, the Wall, the Green Line, roads). This article explores whether alternative ways of using, organizing, experiencing, and coexisting in space—especially at the micro level—hold out promise for helping to reframe significant dimensions of Israeli‐Palestinian interaction. It seeks to better understand whether disjointed forms of sovereignty that appear—or disappear—across the occupation can be met by counter‐sovereignties; whether new spatial counter‐realities can be articulated through everyday life; and whether forms of agency, especially contestation, can reset understandings of, and perspectives on, spaces. A range of examples are considered within Jerusalem, mixed cities, the occupied Palestinian territories and at the border, bearing on religious sites, healthcare, gentrification, security infrastructure, popular protest, and festivals.