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Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation

Acclaimed exploration of the political space created by Israel's colonial occupation

From the tunnels of Gaza to the militarized airspace of the Occupied Territories, Eyal Weizman unravels Israel's mechanisms of control and its transformation of Palestinian towns, villages and roads into an artifice where all natural and built features serve military ends. Weizman traces the development of this strategy, from the influence of archaeology on urban planning, Ariel Sharon's reconceptualization of military defence during the 1973 war, through the planning and architecture of the settlements, to the contemporary Israeli discourse and practice of urban warfare and airborne targeted assassinations.

Hollow Land lays bare the political system at the heart of this complex and terrifying project of late-modern colonial occupation.

 

Reviews

  • “The most astonishing book on architecture that I have read in years.”
  • “A masterpiece of political analysis.”
  • “Eyal Weizman has taken Edward Said’s thesis to a new level, generating extraordinary, and at times surreally uncomfortable, conclusions…Weizman’s book is of salutary interest.”
  • “Weizman takes his readers on a tour of the visible and invisible ways in which Israel implements its control over Palestinians... Hollow Land is eloquent about the architectural chaos and confusion created by Israel in the Occupied Territories.”
  • “A passionate jeremiad.”
  • “Eyal Weizman brilliantly deconstructs Israel’s yoking of traditionally humanist disciplines and discourse to the service of its campaign against the Palestinians. This book is chilling but essential reading.”
  • Hollow Land is a remarkably original work that confirms Eyal Weizman’s indispensable role as a critic of the sinister and ubiquitous instrumentality of space in contemporary politics and life.”
  • Hollow Land is a remarkable achievement. Scholarly and poetic in its epic reach, and narrated with the clarity of vision and sensibility of an artist, Hollow Land is destined to become a classic.”
  • “A startling exercise in what it means to think through the axiomatics of occupation, capture and subjection... Weizman boldly attempts to create an entirely new method to conceptualize the relationship between surfaces, movement, and the tools of war.”
  • “A wrenching account of the multiple ways in which the land of Palestine has been hollowed out by Israeli occupation. Weizman's stunning combination of words and images is at once a brilliant critique of the politics of space and a searing indictment of colonial rule and dispossession.”

Blog

  • “This is about human suffering created by people who are immune from international condemnation” - Ilan Pappe, interviewed by BBC HARDtalk on the Israel-Palestine conflict



    Israel has dramatically escalated the scope of its aerial assault in Gaza this week, hitting hundreds of supposed Hamas targets as the Palestinian death toll continues to rise. A Gaza health ministry spokesman said two Palestinians were killed and three injured in an Israeli air strike on Friday that brought the total death toll so far to 100. This renewed violence suggests a bleak future for Palestinians and Israelis.



    Behind this latest conflict lie long-standing historical issues – an occupation which makes peace impossible for both Israelis and Palestinians.


    Israeli historian Ilan Pappe places Zionism under an uncompromising lens in his latest book The Idea of Israel. He was interviewed on BBC HARDtalk on why he believes Israel is founded on a deliberate programme of ethnic cleansing.


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  • Nakba Day: A Verso Reading List

    Nakba Day - an annual day of commemoration of the displacement that preceded and followed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948 - falls on the 15th of May each year. This interactive map, featured on the Guardian website, shows the extent of Palestine's changed landscape - hundreds of Arab villages and towns abandoned, attacked and de-populated throughout Israel's war of independence. In an attempt to understand the catastrophe, we bring you a reading list of key books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, from Ilan Pappe, Ghada Karmi, Norman Finkelstein, Edward SaidShlomo Sand, and more. 


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  • Explaining the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Key facets of the Israel-Palestine conflict have been thrust back into a wider public limelight, due to the news that actress Scarlett Johansson has left her role as an Oxfam ambassador. The split comes after criticism over her decision to promote Sodastream, the drinks company which operates out of a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam opposes all trade with groups based in Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, creating a confict which has caused a serious rift between the humanitarian group and its celebrity supporter.

    "Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," said a statement this week. "She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."

    Vijay Prashad
    has written in the Guardian that Johansson's involvement with Sodastream brings much-needed scrutiny to illegal settlement activity and wider Western support for Israel. Once again we see that his is an issue that is not going to go away any time soon.

    These are Verso's key books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, from explanations to considered outcomes – what others should we include?

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Other books by Eyal Weizman