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.