Toward an Anti-colonial Approach to Violent Crime among ’48 Palestinians
Palestinian citizens
'48 Palestinians
settler colonialism
racial capitalism
violent crime

This essay focuses on the rise in violent crime among ’48 Palestinians (also known as Palestinians with Israeli citizenship). Criminal violence, the authors argue, is inextricably linked to Israeli settler colonialism. It is the product of decades of colonization, land dispossession, and social, economic, and political exclusion, and it must be understood to lie at the intersection of settler colonialism and racial capitalism. The authors posit that violent crime not only works in the service of settler-colonial interests but is, in itself, a modality of settler-colonial violence—part of the racial eliminatory logic of settler colonialism. They assert that the Israeli settler-colonial state is the source of the crime crisis in ‘48 Palestinian communities, a form of violence that is an integral part of Israel’s war on Palestinians. The solution, accordingly, lies not in calls for state intervention or more policing, but in the broader project of decolonization and the dismantlement of Israeli settler colonialism.

Author biography: 

Lana Tatour is a lecturer/assistant professor in global development at the School of Social Science, University of New South Wales, Australia. She is currently completing a book provisionally titled Ambivalent Resistance: Palestinians in Israel and the Liberal Politics of Settler Colonialism and Human Rights. She is also coediting a book titled Race and the Question of Palestine

Adan Tatour is an activist and a lawyer. She previously worked at Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. Tatour was part of the Lawyers for Defending the Uprising Detainees group that provided legal counsel to detainees in Haifa during the Unity Intifada.