From 1950 through 1953, Palestinian olive oil producers in Israel struggled against the state’s efforts to impose discriminatory marketing conditions on them. The confrontation took place under the government’s rationing policy and strict supervision of the Palestinian population, which at the time was subject to military rule. A coalition of state agents and public and private institutions cooperated in supervising and utilizing Palestinian oil production. The authors’ aim is to trace the actors in the “oil issue”, their diverse interests, and political motives, in order to contribute to the understanding of the Palestinian experience in Israel at the beginning of the 1950s. They focus their attention on the agency of the Palestinian oil producers, which primarily took the form of resistance. They argue that in the struggle to establish their rights, oil producers often utilized legal and parliamentary means enabled by the state. They were also aware of the gaps and disagreements within the coalition that confronted them, and managed to use them for their own advantage. Thus, they subverted a central idea of Zionist ideology–its claim to entitlement to the land–and they challenged the political ethnocratic practices applied to assert that claim.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [1831/18]. We are grateful to Sharon Maftsir and Fady Asali for their help in research, as well as to David De Vries, Irit Ballas, Iris Agmon, Ido Shahar, and Ami Ayalon for their good advice and comments on earlier versions. We also thank the anonymous readers for their remarks. Research for this study was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1831/18), which we acknowledge with gratitude.
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- agricultural history
- civil rights
- industrial policy
- Israel history
- Palestinian history
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science