This paper will show how the Israeli-Palestinian struggle over land, both on the physical and discoursive realm, can be approached and seen through trees, namely olive and pine trees as a botanical lens. The olive tree, which is the autochtonous feature of the Mediterranean landscape, represents Palestinian Resistance and attachment to the land over generations, while the imported pine tree forests serve as a fitting arboreal metaphor for Israel’s Zionist project, as the land has been afforested at an unprecedented pace over the last century. The symbolic role of these two iconic trees is enhanced and (re)created in national discourses and popular culture, a dialectic arboreal metaphor that the article utilizes as a prism. Both the olive and the pine tree give material form to concepts of rootedness, mark ownership over a contested land, and are bearers of national memories and identities. Therefore, they act as mechanisms of national assertion, operating as national symbols. Yet, or perhaps because of that, their role transcends the symbolic dimension. Both the olive and the pine tree are in fact weaponized, used as tools of warfare in the daily and abiding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Research Article| November 23 2021
The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Seen Through the Prism of the Olive and Pine Tree
The Arab World Geographer (2020) 23 (4): 229–256.
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Ainara Huarte Aranda; The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Seen Through the Prism of the Olive and Pine Tree. The Arab World Geographer 1 December 2020; 23 (4): 229–256. doi: https://doi.org/10.5555/1480-6800.23.4.229
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