Settling Nature: The Conservation Regime in Palestine-Israel (Paperback)
A study of Palestine-Israel through the unexpected lens of nature conservation
Settling Nature documents the widespread ecological warfare practiced by the state of Israel. Recruited to the front lines are fallow deer, gazelles, wild asses, griffon vultures, pine trees, and cows—on the Israeli side—against goats, camels, olive trees, hybrid goldfinches, and akkoub—which are affiliated with the Palestinian side. These nonhuman soldiers are all the more effective because nature camouflages their tactical deployment as such.
Drawing on more than seventy interviews with Israel’s nature officials and on observations of their work, this book examines the careful orchestration of this animated warfare by Israel’s nature administration on both sides of the Green Line. Alongside its powerful protection of wildlife biodiversity, the territorial reach of Israel’s nature protection is remarkable: to date, nearly 25 percent of the country’s total land mass is assigned as a park or a reserve. Settling Nature argues that the administration of nature advances the Zionist project of Jewish settlement and the corresponding dispossession of non-Jews from this space.
About the Author
Irus Braverman is professor of law and adjunct professor of geography at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is the author of several monographs, including Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine, Zooland: The Institution of Captivity, and Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink.
"This remarkable book expertly covers a neglected part of the planet’s most commented-on conflict, the central role of nature protection in Palestine-Israel. Combining rich empirics and eye-opening theoretical insights, Irus Braverman presses a highly ‘unsettling’ yet profoundly important point: how the conservation of critical more-than-human natures sits at the heart of many of the most consequential and distressing power struggles of our time."—Bram Büscher, author of The Truth about Nature: Environmentalism in the Era of Post-truth Politics and Platform Capitalism
"Irus Braverman’s fascinating account of the formulation and enforcement of conservation policies in Palestine-Israel examines a series of cases that exemplify tensions that emerge around attempts to conserve species, landscapes, and ecosystems. As it illuminates the environmental and political history of Palestine-Israel, Settling Nature will also engage those interested in the conflicts surrounding conservation movements in many other places."—Harriet Ritvo, author of The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in Victorian England