Transformation in territorial concepts: From nation building to concessions

Izhak Schnell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transition to globalization, socio-cultural fragmentation and an era of peace all constrain Zionism to a restructuring in its territorial perspectives. In the nation-building era, Zionism made the territory the focus of Zionist activity, which necessitated seizing territory, controlling it, and creating an affinity and attachment and a bond of identity between the nation and the territory. Pure colonization as a central strategy for realizing these national goals originated mainly from the unique historical circumstances of Zionism and from the adoption of an ethno-national ideology. This also led to the Palestinian-Jewish conflict that concentrated on the control of territory. The national economy regime that influenced Israel in different ways also served the territorial ideology to a great degree. Peace borders will require Israel to cooperate closely with Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon in managing resources, external influences and additional common interests. The peace economy will integrate with the multi-national economy. Furthermore, in the reality of peace, Israel will have to abandon the internal colonization of areas populated by Israeli Arab citizens and give greater legitimation to their more prominent inclusion the Israeli identity. It will also become difficult for any elite group to dictate the national agenda to other marginal groups, such as Israeli Arabs, and Sephardic or Orthodox Jews, each group creates for itself considerable degree of autonomy in its own territory. In the main, the national periphery divides into an Israeli Arab periphery beside the periphery of the traditionally religious Sephardic Jews. The ultra-Orthodox Jews take control of increasingly larger Israeli space and expanding the horizons of their public involvement beyond their traditional ghettos. Each group creates for itself a different symbolic space with differing views concerning the limits of Israeli sovereignty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-234
Number of pages14
JournalGeo Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Ancient ethnical mythologies
  • Cultural autonomy
  • Ethnic democracy
  • Ethno-national ideology
  • Foreign natives
  • Globalization
  • Multi-national economy
  • Nation building
  • Politico-economic space
  • Redemption
  • Socio-cultural fragmentation


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