Settler Colonial and Indigenous Geographies

Devaluation, erasure and replacement: Urban frontiers and the reproduction of settler colonial urbanism in Tel Aviv

This paper examines the continuity of the Israeli settler colonial project into the contemporary moment – as manifested in the city of Tel Aviv – and its transfiguration into current socio-political and spatial processes in the urban arena. It offers a close reading of a case study from which such continuity emerges, exposing the settler colonial terms of production of Tel Aviv in current entrepreneurial real-estate projects. The case study under analysis is of the Giv’at-Amal neighbourhood, established on the emptied Palestinian village of Jamassin in the war of 1948, now facing eviction by private entrepreneurs constructing a luxurious residential compound. The paper aims to expose the ways in which the urban entrepreneurialism in Giv’at-Amal reproduces the settler colonial logic of devaluation, erasure and replacement of existing inhabitants of the land. It further conceptualises the area as an urban frontier, in which current neoliberal restructuring plays an active role in the ongoing production of the settler colonial urban space. By so doing, it aims to undermine the notion that settler colonial projects of replacing existing people and geographies are completed historical events, and to re-articulate them as ongoing contemporary processes.

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Volume 38 Issue 2

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