Relations of ruling in the colonial present: An intersectional view of the Israeli imaginary

Madalena Santos


This article presents a categorical framework for the interrogation of power relations in the study and analysis of Israeli colonialism in Palestine. Following critical anti-racist feminist approaches, I highlight the relationality between race, class, and gender constructions that are crucial to colonial rule. Extending Chandra Mohanty’s (1991) reading of Dorothy Smith’s “relations of ruling”, I outline six intersecting categories of colonial practices to examine Israel’s particular colonization forms and processes. These categories include: racial separation; citizenship and naturalization forms and processes; construction and consolidation of existing social inequalities; gender, sexuality, and sexual violence, racialized and gendered prisoners; and “unmarked” versus “marked” discourses. Understanding colonial experiences as heterogeneous and plural, I conclude by arguing for the furthering of decolonial and anti-racist feminist analyses from within specific sites of resistance.


Israel/Palestine; colonialism; ethno-nationalism; racialization; gender; citizenship.

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