Terra Nullius in Hebrew? The Legal Geography of Indigenous Bedouins in Israel/Palestine
Melbourne Law School
Room 224, Level 2
185 Pelham St
Carlton VIC 3053
In this seminar, Professor Oren Yiftachel will speak about his new book which investigates the protracted legal, planning, and territorial conflict between the settler Israeli state and indigenous Bedouin citizens over traditional lands in southern Israel/Palestine. The authors place this dispute in historical, legal, geographical, and international-comparative perspectives, providing the first legal geographic analysis of the “dead Negev doctrine” used by Israel to dispossess and forcefully displace Bedouin inhabitants in order to Judaize the region. The authors reveal that through manipulative use of Ottoman, British and Israeli laws, the state has constructed its own version of terra nullius. Yet, the indigenous property and settlement system still functions, creating an ongoing resistance to the Jewish state. In this presentation, Professor Yiftachel will critically examine several key land claims, court rulings, planning policies and development strategies, offering alternative local, regional, and international routes for justice. Book discount flyer available here.
About the presenter
Professor Oren Yiftachel is a political and legal geographer who holds the Hurst Family Chair of Urban studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba. Yiftachel has published widely, using critical perspectives to explore the interface of power, space and identities. His recent book (with Kedar and Amara) "Emptied Lands: the Legal Geography of Bedouins Rights" (Stanford 2018). Yiftachel combines academia and activism, being a founder and leading member of leading civil society and human rights organizations, including Adva, B'tselem (chair 2011-2014) 'the council for unrecognized Bedouin localities', and most recently the Israeli-Palestinian peace movement "A Land for All".