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A political ontology of land: rooting Syrian identity in the occupied Golan Heights

Mason, Michael ORCID: 0000-0002-8831-0593 and Dajani, Muna (2019) A political ontology of land: rooting Syrian identity in the occupied Golan Heights. Antipode, 51 (1). 187 - 206. ISSN 0066-4812

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Identification Number: 10.1111/anti.12412


Questions of identity, belonging and place are heightened in societies under protracted military occupation. Bridging scholarship on territorial justice and settler colonialism, this paper examines the impacts of, and responses to, the misrecognition of Arab residents enacted by the Israeli state in the occupied Golan Heights. The injustice of misrecognition entails the imposition on the indigenous population of a Zionist ethnogeography consolidated through Jewish settlements, forced citizenship and discriminatory land and water policies. Focusing on the distinctive agricultural practices by which a Jawlani (Syrian Golani) identity is forged, we highlight the role of sumud (“steadfastness”) as a strategy of non-violent resistance. Sumud here rests on the mobilisation of communal norms of land and water management, evident in the creation of counter-infrastructures and water collectives supporting apple orchards. In the face of settler colonial misrecognition, Jawlani rootedness expresses a distinctive ontology on land with a conjoined right of resourcehood.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Antipode Foundation Ltd
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 18 May 2018 13:37
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 06:27
Projects: MEC-AC-2011-02
Funders: Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy

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