Jews and Palestinians in Israel: Separate or Together?
David Wesley came to Israel as a young Zionist to participate in what he saw as Jewish national rebirth. In this conversation with Tom Selwyn based on his book Zionist Images and State Practices, he challenged popular conceptions about existing and possible Jewish-Arab relations in Israel.
By treating the local world as though it were irreconcilably divided into separate Jewish and Arab segments, the Israeli authorities themselves create the divisions and rationalizations of that world. Discrimination over land, development and control intensifies and becomes entrenched over the years despite government programmes that ostensibly seek greater equality. Wesley showed us how his research contests conventional anthropological thinking regarding images associated with the Arab population in Israel.
David Wesley received his PhD in anthropology at Tel Aviv University. He lived in a kibbutz before moving to a mixed Jewish-Arab neighbourhood in Jaffa. A focus of his interests is Arab economic development within Israel.
Tom Selwyn is a visiting professor at SOAS. He taught Anthropology at LSE before joining the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Tel Aviv University, afterwards becoming Professor of the Anthropology of Tourism at London Metropolitan University. His work The Tourist Image is a classic in its field.
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