UPDATED June 12 ,2017
‘No one really thinks that it can get better, it’s just a question of how worse it will get. People, both Palestinians and Israelis, are in general despair and working for animals gives people hope because there is a feeling that we are in progress’ (activist, 47 years old, 25 Jan 2017).
‘What is going on in Israel?’ This is a question that many in the Western animal advocacy movement have asked in recent years.1 Israel has been referred to as the ‘first vegan nation’ and an example to learn from because of the rapid rise in veganism and animal activism the country has experienced.2 At the same time as the Israeli animal movement has grown more mainstream and popular, it has become increasingly depoliticised, distancing itself from other struggles, particularly the Palestinian and anti-occupation struggle. Yet, Zionist settler colonialism, fear, suspicion and despair remain an essential part of this picture: there is no Zionist-free space in Israel and no standpoint of colonial innocence from which we can praise the ‘progress’ and achievements of the animal movement. Animal advocates therefore need to critically engage with the politics of animals in the context of the Zionist settler state, with attention to specificities, nuances and ambivalences.
Banning the sale of fur in Israel is ‘a step in the right direction’
In February this year, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)3 published an article reporting that ‘the potential fur ban in Israel is a step in the right direction’. The fur ban was to come through as an act of parliament, and the bill was due to be examined by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation so it could then be voted by the Knesset.4 I was conducting fieldwork in Israel-Palestine5 for my PhD at the time, spending time with activists who belong to a range of animal/vegan organisations. These were mostly with Jewish Israeli organisations, but also the Vegan Human, a Palestinian vegan group based in northern Israel and the Palestinian Animal League which operates from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Upon hearing the news, I was very surprised, since amongst all these groups, I had not met a single activist campaigning on the issue of fur.
The bill in question is carried out by the International Anti-Fur Coalition (IAFC), an umbrella organisation with connections to fifty anti-fur organisations worldwide and I interviewed one of their Israeli members in March this year.6 Initiated in 2009, the bill has had a very long and eventful history. In its current form, the bill would ban the sale of fur in Israel (Israel does not have a fur industry, all the fur sold in the country is imported, mainly from Denmark, Canada and the US), with the exception of religious garments made with fur worn by Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The religious exemption was deemed necessary if the bill was to have any chance to pass.7 What is often left out, both by PETA in their article, and by the IAFC activist during our interview, is that ‘the bill would permit the use of fur products from cattle, sheep and camels, and the use of fur for scientific research’.8 In other words, the proposed law would ban the sale of fur from foxes, minks and beavers, the most commonly used animals in the fur industry, but not from so-called “livestock animals” and not for the religious market which represents a sizable portion of the total Israeli market9
The article from PETA also stated that the bill had received ‘overwhelming support’ from the Israeli population,10 and from Members of the Knesset (MKs). This support should not come as a surprise. Israelis and Israeli MKs can all easily agree that cruelty to animals is bad. This is especially true if it does not threaten any major Israeli economic interests, and if it does not challenge the use of cow and sheep skins or fur which is considered acceptable and less/not cruel.11 To put it differently, fur is a low-hanging fruit for animal activists in this context, and by taking an ostensibly non-political and single issue approach (I will come back to this point), they can create a non-controversial and “feel good” piece of legislation.12 The bill passed its first reading in the Ministerial Knesset Committee, but for the bill to become a law, it needs to go through three readings and voting in the Israeli legislative process in the Knesset.13 After some heavy lobbying from the Canadian and Danish fur industries, the bill was defeated twice when the religious political party Yahadut Hatora (literally United Torah), part of the governing right-wing coalition at the time, pressured other coalition members to vote against it.14
Despite the ‘overwhelming support’ claimed by PETA, the bill was most recently struck down in 2013 following a meeting between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Canadian PM Stephen Harper. The Israeli National Security Council issued a warning15 (which effectively acts as a veto) that the bill could jeopardise ‘the security of Israel because if it passes it will endanger our relationship with Denmark and Canada’ (IAFC activist, 14 Mar 2017 ). The bill is therefore enmeshed in a complex net of powerful private foreign economic interests and international relations dynamics that are highly political, and mired in controversy; precisely the opposite of how the bill was intended by the IAFC. In our interview, rthe IAFC activist repeatedly said ‘this bill is not political at all’. When I pressed for clarification, she explained:
‘It’s not political because we talk about animals and animals is a feeling that can wake up anyone, you don’t have to be from the right, or from the left, you know, everybody loves animals, well almost everybody, and wants to protect them’.
The bill is similarly described on the International Anti-Fur Coalition (IAFC) webpage as: a ‘enlightened legislation […] a catalyst for other compassionate world locations to follow… the bill is non-political […] It is 100% founded only on ethics and compassion’.16
Animals, politics, and how there is no such thing as Zionist-free space
The opening quote from a long-term anti-occupation Jewish animal activist describes the bleak political situation in Israel-Palestine. Zionist settler colonialism, its cultural myths, historical Judaisation project, and drive for ‘partition, separation and expansion’, still structures much of the Israeli political, social and institutional landscape.17 These structures underpin a nationalist, racist, segregationist, settler colonial machine. Zionism and settler colonialism are central to Israeli state-making and identity, therefore this political context cannot be ignored the way the IAFC describe it – it does make a difference that the bill is being proposed in Israel by an openly declared Zionist coalition.
Zionism is not the monopoly of the Right in Israel. On the contrary, the Labour movement carried out the Zionist project in Palestine from its inception until 1977 when the Right came to power. The Israeli Left has thus a long and intimate connection with Zionism, from the historical dispossession of Palestinians and the ethnic cleansing that created the Jewish state, to its subsequent and ongoing violent expansion.18
The bill is currently sponsored by Zionist Camp MK, Merav Michaeli. The Zionist Camp (hamahane hatsiyoni) is a centre-Left coalition made up of the Zionist Labour Party and two other small centre-Left parties, which jointly ran in the last Knesset election. Centrist and centre-Left parties that sponsored previous versions of the anti-fur bill, such as Kadima (Forward), Yesh Hatid (There is a Future) and Havoda (Labour), all identify as Zionist. The name Zionist Camp emulates the name the dominant right-wing party Likud calls itself: ‘the National Camp’ (hamahane leoumi). In so doing, the Left attempts both to reclaim Zionism away from the Likud, and to distinguish itself away from more “radical” Left wing parties which are perceived as not Zionist enough or anti-Zionist.19 Reclaiming Zionism is a populist attempt by the Left Bloc to regain some traction in a political landscape that has been sliding further and further to the far Right, and where being called smolani (‘lefty’ in Hebrew) has become an ‘insult’, ‘a dirty word’ (activist, 40 years old, 3 Feb 2017), synonymous with ‘traitor’ (activist, 42 years old, 12 Feb 2017)
My interview with the IAFC activist was not the only time I was told that politics do not matter – some of the animal activists I interviewed declared, ‘right and left issues are not part of the Israeli vegan movement’ (activist, 35 years old, 29 Jan 2017), and that ‘we are activists for the animals and what happens in the politics area doesn’t affect us’ (activist, 24 years old, 13 Feb 2017). The Israeli context is saturated with settler colonial, racial and nationalist politics that permeate every aspect of life; this makes the avoidance, omission and disengagement described by these activists a very active and deliberate proces.20 In such a context, human struggles and power dynamics cannot be altogether sidestepped or ignored. Zionist settler colonialism provides the conditions of possibility for the animal activism my interviewees carry on in ‘Israel proper’;21 the violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in ‘Israel proper’ is foundational to the good life in Tel Aviv.22 The activists I interviewed were often unable or unwilling to recognise this, which is part of what Mark Rifkin calls ‘settler common sense’, whereby settler colonial violence becomes quotidian, ordinary, and ultimately invisible.23 Parts of the Western animal rights movement (such as PETA, but also Mercy For Animals and Direct Action Everywhere)24 fail to question the ‘common sense’ Zionist settler narrative and its depoliticising logic, and it risks becoming complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. The following example demonstrates how discursively and materially locating animals outside of politics and simply accepting the Zionist background, in practice, reproduces and further extends unequal power relations and Israeli domination.
Despite claims to the contrary, the bill to ban the sale of fur is highly political and in some instances, has been used to serve Israeli’s nationalist agenda and interests. When the bill was first introduced in 2009-2010, Labour Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon claimed: ‘We [Israel] should set an example to the rest of the world on this matter [fur]’.25 This comment echoes the representation of Israel’s national identity as exceptional and a beacon of ‘light onto the nations’.26 This idea is rooted in early Zionist myths such as the ‘doctrine of divine chosenness’ endowing Jews with a ‘unique moral mission’.27 Israel’s special status is reinforced by presenting Israeli achievements as exceptional and an example to learn from, and the bill has been framed in a similar fashion (see the earlier quote from the IAFC about the bill being a ‘enlightened legislation’).28
The appropriation of animal rights discourse to support Israel’s ‘ethical legitimation’29 as an exceptional, enlightened and progressive state has been explored and criticised in both academic and activist circles.30 Often referred to as veganwashing or humanewashing, critics argue that it is central to Israeli’s ‘politics of deflection’31 and hasbara (propaganda in Hebrew), mobilised to deflect attention away from Israel’s human rights abuse and brutal politics of dispossession and occupation. Vegan- or humanewashing is often linked to earlier efforts of pinkwashing, the strategic promotion of a queer- friendly image by Israeli state hasbara. Israeli greenwashing is another example that repeats a similar logic. The Jewish National Fund (JNF) portrays its tree planting activities as good environmental stewardship and even redemption of the land from its perceived state of desolation and emptiness (redemption and Palestine as terra nullius are key tenets of Zionism). This masks the role of the JNF as a central instrument of land grabs and racial discrimination since it refuses to lease land to non-Jews.32 This collusion between nationalism and progressive movements like LGBTQ, environmentalism and animal rights is not new and needs continual interrogation.
The bill has also been leveraged as an instrument of Israeli soft power. In a 2010 article from an Israeli newspaper, the IAFC spokesperson presented the bill as a ‘rare opportunity’ to further Israel’s agenda amongst the communities that traditionally critique the nation, namely left-wing liberals and progressives who are often also against animal abuse.33 When the bill was rejected, the IAFC lamented that Israel ‘missed a chance’ to win over those liberal Western circles.34 The proposed ban on fur has thus been strategically mobilised as part of Zionist settler narratives of progress and modernity, and as part of the enlightened, pioneering and exceptional status of Israel. The bill has also been used as a tool to build support for Israel by convincing Western left-wing liberals and progressives that Israel is not as “bad” as it made out to be in left-leaning media.
Just as there is no ‘race-free space’ in the US,35 or no ‘caste-free space’ in India, there is no Zionist-free space in Israel, and no standpoint of colonial innocence from which to discuss the abuse of animals. Claire Kim argues that it is up to us, as animal advocates, to educate ourselves about the issues that constitute the political terrain in which animal advocacy operates.36 Having said that, where does that leave progressive Western animal advocates, in general, and in relation to this bill in particular? How can overlapping and intersecting power relations like speciesism and settler colonialism be addressed in the Israeli context? How can we do justice to more than one issue at once, and relate ethically to nonhuman and human animals? In the following section, I offer some thoughts on these questions and an example that contrasts with PETA and its support of the fur bill.
The ‘one struggle, one fight’ agenda
Radical animal activism37 is committed to a holistic agenda for social justice and transformative politics, often referred to as “intersectionality”,38 or what Israeli activists call the ‘one struggle one fight’ agenda. An intersectional approach posits that struggles against different kinds of oppression do not operate in silos, or work in a political vacuum because people’s lives and identities are shaped by many factors. As an analytic tool, intersectionality highlights the need to look at ‘intersecting power relations in context;’39 in the present case, it means that we need to examine how intersections of race, coloniality, and species work together to shape inequalities and domination in the Israeli settler state context.
Intersectionality is also a way to grapple with the complexity of social and political life. Categories of social divisions like class, gender, sexuality, race, ability, nation or species give meaning to power relations and oppressive practices that intersect in various, mutually reinforcing, ways.40 Intersectionality is therefore often invoked as a paradigm to build collaboration and solidarity across different struggles for justice.
However, intersectionality suffers from significant shortcomings, especially in its popularised and simplified form: intersectionality does not mean that all oppressions are/work the same, or that individual movements bear the burden of solving every political problem.41 Also, because it often does not get put to the (empirical) test, it leaves activists with many unanswered questions, such as translating commitments to multiple struggles into viable political strategies and tactics. This is a pressing task; otherwise calls for radical intersectional politics will remain as empty slogans and wishful thinking.
It is thus tempting to dismiss the bill because it is concentrating on but a single issue, ignoring the other intersections of social justice, and is being used as part of the Zionist state’s attempt to obscure the occupation of Palestine through aforementioned tactics like veganwashing. Yet, as my interviewees pointed out, dismissing the bill entirely because of Israel’s oppressive and violent politics towards Palestinians is deeply problematic: it places Palestinian suffering above the suffering of nonhuman animals, reinstating that the former is more pressing and more important than the latter. This is an ‘inherently speciesist’ and anthropocentric position which is antithetical to the goals of the animal movement (activist, 35 years old, 25 Mar 2017). As an activist put it, ‘if the animals had to wait until human beings stopped fighting with each other, their turn would never come’ (activist, 35 years old, 2 Feb 2017).
Conversely, critiquing the Israeli animal movement’s activity as simply hasbara and veganwashing is just as unhelpful. Framing the critique in such sweeping terms also makes it easier for Israeli animal activists to dismiss claims of veganwashing as ‘ridiculous’, ‘nonsense’, and anti-Semitic hatred (activist, 32 years old, 18 Jan 2017).
However, many of the anti-Zionist and more mainstream Left-identified animal activists are aware of the veganwashing discourse, do recognise the connections between animal and human politics, and are familiar with the ‘one struggle one fight’ intersectional agenda. When pressed about the alignment of Israeli national interests and animal rights, they expressed a great sense of unease, of feeling uncomfortable, ambivalent and conflicted as the following quotes show:
‘I will be part of the veganwash and it’s hard, it’s a compromise. Like one of the things I’ve tried to understand for a while is what compromises I’m willing to make and which ones I am not willing to make’ (activist, 36 years old, 17 Feb 2017).
‘It’s a decision every time for what is, I guess, what is the limit, I’m not very sure. I used to be much more strict about stuff’ (activist, 36 years old, 2 Feb 2017).
These activists continue to approach these ambivalences, drawing ‘line[s] in the sand’ in different ways, such as through infighting, but also, and more disturbingly, ruthless pragmatism (activist, 35 years old, 2 Feb 2017). They said over and over again that they had to speak the language of their audience to make veganism and animal rights more mainstream. This mainstreaming was mostly equated with forging a new image for the animal rights movement and its campaigns: making it clear that it does not have a ‘political stance […] not taking sides’, being ‘focused’ on animals, and erasing the connections between struggles, particularly the anti-occupation struggle because of how polarising it is in Israeli society (activist, 32 years old, 8 Feb 2017).
Crucially, some Israeli activists are also thinking of ways to pursue an intersectional agenda and push back against veganwashing and the Zionist state’s attempt to use animal welfare to improve its image. They do so with mixed results. For example, Melanie Joy’s recent visit to Israel in April was purposely not promoted using ideas of Israeli exceptionalism and veganwashing by the organisers. Unfortunately, the way the Israeli media covered the tour rehearsed the familiar narrative of Israel as the ‘first vegan country’.42
The organisers (Anonymous and Let Animals Live, two of the biggest Israeli animal NGOs) also attempted to address other intersecting power relations by having Joy speak about the connections between animal rights and feminism. The advertising video43 for the event entitled ‘Not pieces of meat’ portrays women animal rights activists of (visibly) different age and ethnic backgrounds asserting that neither they, nor animals, are ‘pieces of meat’. The diversity, and the strong message supporting bodily autonomy for all human and nonhuman animals, is a clear example of intersectional thinking in action. However, Joy’s tour could not be separated from the politics of the Zionist state and because of this, the tour itinerary planned to take Joy to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). As one organiser stated:
‘[we] will make sure that she [Melanie Joy] will have one day of tour in the OPT. That’s a way of playing with it in a way, so again there are no answers’ (activist, 47 years old, 25 Jan 2017)
The decision by the organisers to bring Joy to the OPT was another clear effort to distance Joy’s tour from veganwashing, by showing that the lecture tour and Israeli animal activism take place in a specific political context structured by politics of dispossession, segregation and occupation. Joy herself did not publicly critique the occupation of Palestinian territories though, and this weakens the “push back” to veganwashing. So, while there are no ways of bypassing or erasing the political context, there are also no straightforward ‘answers’ to fight against the politics of the Zionist state.
A day in the OPT or a feminist animal rights lecture tour might not be the total liberation and grand intersectional revolution theorists imagine, but it is one way of drawing that ‘line in the sand’ at the intersection of power and resistance. It is, however, certainly a good starting point to think about what intersectionality means in terms of political practice, agenda and strategies.
A final note
To understand the Israeli fur bill and Israeli animal movement more broadly, it is essential to situate it in the complex matrix of power relations that structure Israel-Palestine geopolitics. Animals are not above or beyond politics. On the contrary they are deeply enmeshed in politics, as the IAFC fur bill has demonstrated. Israeli apparatchiks understand this and have attempted to leverage progress in animal welfare and the popular rise of veganism for their own settler-colonial agenda, and to support the image of an exceptional and moral nation. For PETA to adopt and promote the Zionist narrative and engage in veganwashing is deeply problematic and needs to be challenged.
Yet, there are also important nuances in this story. Israeli animal activists are not the homogenous group they are often portrayed to be by outside critics Some of the movement’s most visible and most referenced components like 269Life are not necessarily representative of the whole (they actually hardly operate at all in Israel any more). Not all Israeli animal activists are Zionist, nor do they all attempt to wash away the important intersectional social justice aspects of animal activism. They deal with the collusion between animals and nationalism in ambivalent and sometimes contradictory ways. Some activists also attempt to push back against the Zionist state and veganwashing, as the Melanie Joy tour demonstrated. We need to find more points of intervention that unsettle both speciesism and settler colonialism to turn intersectionality into a viable political agenda that moves us towards animal and human liberation in a decolonised Palestine.
As for the fur bill – in its fourth iteration since it was originally brought forward – the Ministerial Committee for Legislation shelved it again in February and postponed its discussion until July-August this year, just in time for the Knesset Summer recess. It remains unclear whether the bill will pass and what its actual impacts on animals will be considering the religious and “livestock” exemptions.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Nick Skilton for his thoughtful comments and help editing the many drafts of this paper; the pun in the title is his. Thanks also to my thesis supervisors,Dr Colin Salter, Dr Marcelo Svirsky and Prof Fiona Probyn-Rapsey and to Animal Liberation Current’s editor for their feedback.
Author’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine alone and they do not reflect the views of the International Anti-Fur Coalition or their activists.
Banner image: Aniti-vivisection protest for the Mazor monkeys. All photos taken during authour’s recent visits to Israel, 2016 – 2017.
- The question was brought up most recently in an Animal Liberation Currents podcast on 28 April 2017. Available at https://https://animalliberationcurrents.com/podcast/philosophy-politics-assessing-work-tom-regan/
- See e.g. Cohen, T 2015, ‘In the land of milk and honey, Israelis turn vegan’, Reuters (21 July 2015), Accessed 25 July 2015 at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-food-vegan-idUSKCN0PV1H020150721; Renwick, SP 2014, ‘Is Israel Going to Be the First Vegan Nation?’, The Vegan Woman (10 January 2014), Accessed 2 April 2015 at http://www.theveganwoman.com/israel-going-first-vegan-nation/
- Sullivan, K 2017, ‘Potential Fur Ban in Israel Is a Step in the Right Direction’, PETA (10 February 2017). Accessed 16 February 2017 at http://www.peta.org/blog/bill-banning-fur-trade-israel/
- Lis, J 2017, ‘Exempting Shtreimels, Bill Banning Sale of Fur in Israel Expected to Advance’, Haaretz (4 February 2017). Accessed 16 February 2017 at http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.769135
- I use the term Israel-Palestine to make clear that the two entities are connected, but I do not wish to imply that they are equal or the same. In addition, when I refer to Israel, I sometimes distinguish between ‘Israel proper’ and the regime of Occupation in the Palestinian Territories of Gaza and the West Bank (OPT). By ‘Israel proper’, I mean the Israeli regime with the Green Line, that is, the 1949 borders agreed upon by Israel and its neighbouring Arab countries following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. As Azoulay and Ophir (2012) have argued, ‘Israel proper’ and the OPT are part of the same political regime, they cannot be examined as separate or unconnected entities, but instead should be considered through their complex interdependencies in the ways they are governed politically, economically and socially within the Zionist colonial structure. See Azoulay, A & Ophir, A 2012, The One-State Condition: Occupation and Democracy in Israel/Palestine, Stanford University Press, Stanford.
- I use quotes from activist interviews I did during my fieldwork in 2017 and I have de-identified all the activists cited in this piece.
- Cohen, A & Lis, J 2010, ‘Israel Moves to Ban Import, Export of Furs for All Non-religious Uses’, Haaretz (7 February 2010), Accessed 14 April 2017 at http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/2.209/israel-moves-to-ban-import-export-of-furs-for-all-non-religious-uses-1.262915
- See note 4.
- A member from the religious political party Yahadut Hatora (literally United Torah) argued that the religious market represents 70% of the total Israeli fur market. See Liphshiz, C 2010, ‘Haredi Lobby Pressures Gov’t Into Scrapping Animal Fur Ban’, Haaretz (19 March 2010) Accessed 14 April 2017 at http://www.haaretz.com/haredi-lobby-pressures-gov-t-into-scrapping-animal-fur-ban-1.265028
- Almost 90 per cent of Israelis support the bill according to a survey commissioned by the IAFC and Let Animals Live (IAFC activist, 14 Mar 2017).
- The use of “livestock” fur or skin is deemed acceptable in most media accounts because it is considered a by-product of the meat industry (see note 7), or because it is claimed that ‘cruelty is not involved in culling these animals’, see Kloosterman, K 2010, ‘Israel may be the first to go furless’, Israel21C (18 February 2010). Accessed 23 April 2017 at https://www.israel21c.org/israel-may-be-the-first-to-go-furless/
- I deliberately leave out questions of whether a single issue approach is a good avenue for animal activism as well as debates around welfare reform vs. abolition/liberation. These debates and what the actual effects of the law might be are worth discussing but are beyond the scope of this paper.
- Rinat, O 2015, ‘Denmark, Israel and the Deathly Stench of Fur ’, Haaretz (7 May 2015). Accessed 14 April 2017 at http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.655245
- The Jewish Canadian representative for the Canadian fur industry convinced the religious party that the fur bill would give support to animal activists who wish to ban kosher slaughter in other Western countries by creating a precedent, or through a slippery slope argument. He added that the bill would hurt fellow Canadian Jews who work in the Canadian fur industry. See Liphshiz, C 2010, ‘Haredi Lobby Pressures Gov’t Into Scrapping Animal Fur Ban’, Haaretz (19 March 2010) Accessed 14 April 2017 at http://www.haaretz.com/haredi-lobby-pressures-gov-t-into-scrapping-animal-fur-ban-1.265028
- See note 13.
- IAFC (n.d.) ‘Israel’ Accessed 25 March 2017 https://www.antifurcoalition.org/pages/israel
- Svirsky, M 2012, Arab-Jewish Activism in Israel-Palestine, Ashgate, Farnham and Burlington.
- After the Six-Day war of 1967, the Labour Zionist Left backed the building of Israeli Jewish settlements in the newly occupied Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, and in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. That support was not on the same scale of magnitude as what the right-wing parties advocated at the time, but the Zionist Labour Left did support the colonisation and annexation of these territories nonetheless. See Pappe, I 2015, ‘What is Left of the Israeli Left? (1948-2015)’, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, vol. XXII, no. 1, pp. 1-17. Available at https://www.brown.edu/initiatives/journal-world-affairs/sites/brown.edu.initiatives.journal-world-affairs/files/private/articles/Pappe.pdf
- The Left Bloc is mainly trying to distance itself from Meretz (literally Vigour), and Hadash (acronym for the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality). The former is often perceived as not Zionist enough, while the latter is explicitly anti-Zionist.
- On the formation of Israeli subjectivities and how Israelis become Zionist practitioners and oppressors, see Svirsky, M 2014, After Israel: Towards Cultural Transformation, Zed Books, London and New York. On the Israeli context and the national discourse of fear and security in everyday life, see Ochs, J 2011, Security and Suspicion: An Ethnography of Everyday Life in Israel, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. On apathy and disengagement, see Natanel, K 2016, Sustaining Conflict: Apathy and Domination in Israel-Palestine, University of California Press, Berkeley.
- See note 5 on the meaning of ‘Israel proper’.
- Hage, G 2017, ‘On the management of the border between necro- and bio- politics’, paper presented to Provocations: Research in Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, 13 April 2017. The recording is available at http://www.uowblogs.com/hsi-seminar-series/
- Rifkin, M 2013, ‘Settler common sense’, Settler Colonial Studies, vol. 3, no. 3-04, pp. 322-40.
- See e.g. Solomon, A 2015 ‘Israel experiencing vegan boom’, Mercy for Animals (22 July 2015). Accessed 22 April 2017 at http://www.mercyforanimals.org/israel-experiencing-vegan-boom. The corresponding tweet for this article is equally troubling. See also Wayne 2013 ‘There’s something happening in Israel’, Direct Action Everywhere (13 August 2013). Accessed 22 April 2017 at http://www.directactioneverywhere.com/theliberationist/2013/8/13/theres-something-happening-in-israel
- See note 7.
- Lewin-Epstein, M (n.d.) ‘Could Israel Be the First Fur-Free Nation’, Huffington Post (n.d.) Accessed 23 April 2017 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michal-lewinepstein/could-israel-be-the-first_b_494378.html
- Shahid Alam, M 2009, Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism, Palgrave McMillan, New York.
- See note 26.
- Weiss, E 2016, ‘‘There are no chickens in suicide vests’: the decoupling of human rights and animal rights in Israel’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, vol. 22, pp. 1-19.
- See, e.g. Davari-Jadali, S 2014, ‘Vegan killers: Israeli vegan-washing and the manipulation of morality’, Turkey Agenda, Accessed 25 July 2015 at http://www.turkeyagenda.com/vegan-killers-israeli-vegan-washing-and-the-manipulation-of-morality-1656.html; Powell, D 2015, ‘The Myth of Vegan Progress in Israel’, Accessed 4 July 2015 at http://dylanxpowell.com/2015/02/15/the-myth-of-vegan-progress-in-israel/
- Falk, R 2011, ‘The Goldstone Report without Goldstone’, Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 96-111
- On the place of trees and the role of the JNF in Israeli settler colonial politics, see Braverman, I 2009, Planted Flags: Trees, Land and Law in Israel/Palestine, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.
- See note 14.
- Claire Jean Kim uses this expression when discussing African-Americans’ use of animals in the U.S. See Kim, CJ 2015, Dangerous Crossings: Race, Species and Nature in a Multicultural Age, Cambridge University Press, New York. The parallels between the US and Israel are interesting to note considering the role of the US as a central backer of Israel.
- I use radical in the same way that Johnston and Johnston (2017) talk about the radical animal movement as addressing the root causes of speciesism and the animal industrial complex. Social movement studies also often use this adjective to talk about the type of animal activism I am describing here. See Johnston, G & Johnston, MS 2017, ‘‘We fight for all living things’: countering misconceptions about the radical animal liberation movement’, Social Movement Studies, pp. 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/14742837.2017.1319268.
- This agenda is also referred to as ‘total liberation’. See, eg, Aavik, K 2017, ‘The Animal Advocacy Movement in the Baltic Countries: An Intersectional Perspective on Membership’, Animal Liberation Currents (23 January 2017). Accessed 2 April 2017 at https://https://animalliberationcurrents.com/baltic-states-animal-liberation/; Best, S 2014, The Politics of Total Liberation: Revolution for the 21st Century, Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
- Collins, PH & Bilge, S 2016, Intersectionality, Polity, Cambridge.
- Ecofeminist literature makes a very convincing argument on the matter. See e.g. Adams, CJ & Gruen, L (eds) 2014, Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth Bloomsbury Publishing, New York.
- See e.g. Belcourt, B-R 2015, ‘Animal bodies, colonial subjects: (re)locating animality in decolonial thought’, Societies, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-11.
- Ahituv, N 2017, ‘Will Israel Become the World’s First Vegan Country?’, Haaretz (29 April 2017). Accessed 30 April 2017 at http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.785989
- The video is available at https://www.facebook.com/Tzavta/videos/1265612150195195/?pnref=story
Not all struggles are the same. While there are certainly areas of “intersection”, the discourse of “intersectionality” tends to render them coincident.
Just as defeat in the Knesset of a fur ban won’t help a single Palestinian, the success of a pro-Palestinian policy (difficult as that now is to imagine) won’t help a single animal. Each form of oppression in this instance I’d argue, is relatively autonomous.
I can imagine a strategic alliance between vegan and pro-Palestinian activists. But their actual, political and ideological intersection is likely to be limited.