Erez Tzfadia, Moti Gigi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


What are the meanings of the concepts of “periphery” and “peripherality” in Israel? With this question in mind, we invite the readers to a critical inquiry into the interpretation of the concepts by Israeli officials. Their version suggests that peripherality represents a correlation between remoteness and socioeconomic status, that is, social and economic backwardness, caused by geographic remoteness from the “center.” Since this interpretation finds its roots both in liberal and Marxist theories, it is commonly accepted by many scholars. In contrast, we argue that this interpretation conceals the history and policy of humiliation, marginalization and discrimination that forced communities, mainly Jewish immigrants from Muslim countries, into development towns (Ayarot Pitu’ah) – new towns that were built in Israel during the 1950s that kept the immigrants away from society’s material and cultural benefits. In our paper, we present an example of such a history, by describing and analyzing the commemoration of Israeli citizens, who were victims of Palestinian attacks near the Gaza Strip in the 1950s. Supported by a settler-colonial approach, our critical analysis of the commemoration reveals the juxtaposition of multivariants of marginalized identities with multidimensional histories of discriminations. We label this juxtaposition “intersectionality” and suggest employing the concept as an analytical framework for the study and definition of “peripheralities.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook on Contemporary Israel
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2022

RAMBI publications

  • Distributive justice -- Israel
  • Regional disparities -- Israel
  • New towns -- Israel
  • New towns -- Israel -- History -- 1948-1967


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