Zionism, Law and Citizenship: Perils for the Palestinian Arab Minority

UoM administered thesis: Master of Philosophy

  • Authors:
  • Tanzil Chowdhury


Zionism enjoys an unrivalled privilege in Israel. It is the supreme law, the ideology, both the fulfilment and achievement of its Zionist founders. It has been both celebrated as the movement of liberation for the Jewish people and now the principles upon which the state is governed; but similarly, it has been condemned as a progeny of imperialism and racist colonization- the apotheosis of egalitarians the world over. This thesis looks at several factors which observe the impact of Zionism on equality law in Israel and the legal and political experiences of the Palestinian Arab minority. Firstly, it contends with the different conceptions and perceptions of Zionism, trying to identify common themes in this multifarious doctrine. Having determined as such, the study then moves onto looking at the influence of Zionism, given the privilege of Ideology in Israel, on equality law and democracy observing the consequential impact on the minority Palestinian Arabs. Given the particularist democratic structures in Israel, the work then introduces the aspect of demography, with a specific focus on how Zionism, in the context of a particularist democracy, demands demographic supremacy in order to maintain its perpetuity. Thus further elaboration of how democracy suffers, particularly for the Palestinian Arab minority, is then followed by looking at how laws and policy entrench such practices. Finally, the last section deals with radically reforming such statutes with a concentrated focus on the Citizenship laws in Israel; the cornerstones of the Zionist mantra. These reforms use the principles of recognition and democratic inclusion as their impetus and fundamentally re-evaluate the compatibility (or lack thereof) of Zionism with democracy in light of the repercussions on the Palestinian Arabs.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2012