Criminalising Palestinians: History and Borders in the Construction of the Palestinian Threat


This article investigates the role of the Israeli border in the process of criminalising Palestinians. Defining Israel in contrast to the Arab ‘terrorists’, waiting to attack, necessitates a grand, looming settler- colonial border and the sequestration of an entire population behind a manufactured prison. The justification for this form of border ‘control’ is made possible by the historic truths established by the West in the colonial era. The paper outlines this understanding of Arabs as a ‘bestial’, ‘bellicose’ group that thrives in conflict situations. It moves on to note that the consequence of this characterisation is the global, all-encompassing understanding of the Arab threat. It finally narrows the border wall down as an Israeli tool of segregation, justified by understandings of a racialised, ‘threatening Arab’. The Israeli ‘defence’ of its borders will be reimagined from a Southern perspective as an oppressive system of segregation justified by the ways in which Arabs have historically been constructed.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2023-06-01
Pages:36 to 46
Section:Special Issue. Southern Perspectives on Border Criminology
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How to Cite
Al-Hindi, M. . (2023) “Criminalising Palestinians: History and Borders in the Construction of the Palestinian Threat”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 12(2), pp. 36-46. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2888.

Author Biography

University of Edinburgh
 United Kingdom

Marya Al-Hindi is a second year PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. Her research has revolved around the intersection of race and criminal justice, with special focus on the Middle East.