The Kibush HaShmira and the violence of settler sovereignty

By Jimmy Johnson
Submitted to Session P4338 (Israel's Global Arms Economy: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Post-9/11 Security State, 2016 Annual Meeting
Middle East/Near East Studies;
Various scholars have pointed to how conditions in the local land and labor markets of Palestine forced the settlers of the Second Aliyah to pour their efforts into the development of a separate, exclusively Jewish economy in Palestine (Bisharat 1994, Shafir 1996, Hever 2012, Wolfe 2012). This “conquest” entailed multiple definitions, including the physical connection of the Jewish settlers to the land, the struggle with the planters and land owners over working conditions and wage rate, and the exclusion of Arab workers in the moshavot in favor of exclusive Jewish workers. This paper brings in a third element to the conquest of land and labor, namely the “monopoly of violence” comprised of an exclusive labor caste dedicated to guarding settler sovereignty against native Palestinian resistance. It traces how the development of Hashomer, its transformation into the Haganah, and the expansion of Zionist counterinsurgency tactics are tied to the militarized geographies of today, specifically reflected in the usage of the unmanned aerial vehicles to police Palestinian communities. This paper examines how each of these historical developments in Zionist militarism are tied to contemporary native resistance to settler colonialism, and how this colonial encounter is exported globally.