Inclusion limited: the Palestinians who carve out a life in Tel Aviv
(University of Edinburgh)
Paper short abstract:
For Palestinians who move from elsewhere to the city of Tel Aviv, mobility is fraught with tension. As they commute or live in the city to work or study, their quest for a good and liveable life remains severely limited by intersecting powers they must constantly balance.
Paper long abstract:
This paper looks at the bounded character of social and human mobility among Palestinians who move into the city of Tel Aviv. In search of work, a career, or higher education, they seek to carve out a meaningful life by making use of this urban space. But their ability to do so in a sustainable way remains severely limited by 'greater powers' they cannot tame, which is why they must learn to balance and accommodate them. Tel Aviv is widely figured as an essentially Jewish-Israeli place. It is also, however, a self-consciously liberal city. This confluence of ethno-national domination and urban liberalism creates intersecting forms of inclusion and exclusion for individual Palestinians: to succeed in Israeli Tel Aviv, they must often keep a low political profile; at the same time, recurring polarisation and conflict frequently upturn this fragile balance and lay the underlying power stuggles bare. As a consequence, the contradiction between senses of solidarity and their inclusion into Tel Aviv intensify during times of tension. However, pragmatism and the pursuit of a decent life often prevail against all odds. The city is then simultaneously enabling and limiting, a space of opportunities and yet a source of perpetual exclusion. This paper will discuss how individuals balance multiple and intersecting powers in their search for a liveable life. This includes overlapping forms of cultural and political power and the individual compromises and distortions that arise out of limited urban inclusion and mobility.
Mobility, power and possibility: the search for liveable lives [ANTHROMOB]