המוציאים לפועל – מזרחים ואלימות ריבונית בישראל

Translated title of the contribution: The Executors: Mizrahim and Sovereign Violence in Israel

ליהי יונה, איתמר מן

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article develops a new perspective for the critique of political trials, offered through an analysis of three stories of individuals tasked with the execution of violence ordered by or inspired by sovereign power. Indeed, there are stark differences between these three characters: Shalom Nagar – the prison guard who was given the task of executing Eichmann; Yigal Amir – the murderer of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin; and Elor Azaria – the soldier who shot and killed Abd al-Fatah a-Sharif.However, this article will argue, they all have something in common: these three Mizrahi figures had roles in three formative political trials in the history of the State of Israel. These were formative trials for the Israeli political community. In important ways, they allocated the costs of membership in the Israeli social contract. In all three trials, we argue, it is possible to locate oppressive and colonial dynamics that have shaped the division of responsibilities between different groups in the name of the law.In all three, Mizrahi subjects were constructed as part of a class which we refer to as the class of executioners of sovereign violence. The construction of the executioners class draws from two salient characteristics of Mizrahi racialization: (1) The liminal societal position of Mizrahi Jews as the “internal others” of Israeli society made it easier for the sovereign to distance itself and the entire political community from the spectacle of material and performative violence; (2) The historical racialization of Mizrahi Jews as morally inferior and prone to violence has aided in shaping the violence stemming from the executioners class as deriving “naturally” from it. This in turn allowed the political community another discursive device through which it distanced itself from the violence perpetrated in its name or violence it inspired.The first three chapters of the article present the three political trials at the its core, and offer critical readings of these cases in order to examine how they have shaped Israeli society’s attitudes toward violence, as well as contributed to the establishment of this executioners class. The fourth and final chapter will devote a few words to the direct victims of sovereign violence in Israel, and to the personal responsibility that nevertheless falls on the part of those executing this violence, despite its structural elements.
Translated title of the contributionThe Executors: Mizrahim and Sovereign Violence in Israel
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)59-110
Number of pages52
Journalמשפט וממשל
Volumeכ"ג
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2022

IHP publications

  • ihp
  • Amir, Yigal
  • Eichmann, Adolf -- 1906-1962
  • Israel -- Social conditions
  • Judgments
  • Law -- Political aspects
  • Law and socialism
  • Mizrahim
  • Political violence
  • Responsibility
  • Sovereignty
  • Trials (Political crimes and offenses)

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