Militarised violence in the service of state-imposed emergencies over Palestine and Kenya
States of Emergency are declared against the disorder-ing of state sovereign power by acts of resistance, rebellion and revolt and are characterised by the technologies of control, containment and punishment. Through spatial, archival and visual encounters with emergency landscapes and the geographies of resistance, the essay considers the historic and contemporary operations, provisions, regulations and practices authorised under state-imposed emergencies. It does so in order firstly, to bring attention to the practices authorised through state-imposed emergencies and the currency and saliency of their ongoing effects, and secondly to re-frame the militarised violence of settlement/occupation as an integral part of state-imposed emergencies in which all that is necessary will be done to protect the sovereign state from the resistance of the colonised/occupied and to effect a return to ‘order’.
Through encounters with the archival record, and the architectures, remnants and territorial arrangements found in post-colonial Kenya and across the multiple geographies of Palestine, the essay draws out seven clusters of state imposed emergency practices and effects. The work grapples with a number of questions: what is it that a declared state of emergency performs for the state? Does a state of emergency enable particular forms of militarised violence? Are there common practices to be found across different modes of state-imposed emergencies? What is the genealogy to the states of emergency across Palestine and Kenya? Does our excavation of the practices of state-imposed emergency shed light on the ways we apprehend state violence in colonial, post-colonial and neo-colonial geographies?
Ali Abunimah, 07/07/2014, ‘Israeli lawmaker’s call for genocide of Palestinians gets thousands of Facebook likes’, Electonic Intifada, last viewed 11/08/14, http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-lawmakers-call-genocide-palestinians-gets-thousands-facebook-likes.
Anderson, David, 2005, Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire, Phoenix, London.
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), 2012, Supreme Court Rejects Petition to End Continual State of Emergency, ACRI, viewed 2.3.2014, www.acri.org.il/en/2012/05/08/state-of-emergency-petition-rejected/.
Moffett, Martha Rostrum, 1989, Perpetual Emergency: an analysis of Israel’s use of the British Defence (Emergency) Regulations, 1945, in the Occupied Territories, al Haq, Ramallah.
Benjamin, Walter cited in Gregory, Derek, 2004, The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Blackwell, Oxford.
Adv. Ben-Natan, Smadar, Adv. Atamleh-Mohana, Tahrees, Adv. Wolf Goldstein, Lymor (eds.), 2009, ‘The Defence (Emergency) Regulations, 1945’ in The Law of the Israeli Military Courts in the West Bank: Military Orders and Israeli Domestic Legislation – Source Book, MachsomWatch, Public Committee against Torture in Israel and Palestinian Prisoner Society.
B’Tselem -The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, Deportation, viewed 12.8.14, http://www.btselem.org/topic/deportation.
Broomberg, Adam and Chanarin, Oliver, 2006, Chicago, SteidlMACK, Gottingen, Germany.
Butler, Judith, 2004, Precarious Life, Verso, London.
Butler, Judith, 2009, The Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?, Verso, London.
Farred, Grant, 2008, ‘The Unsettler’, South Atlantic Quarterly 107, no. 4.
Gov.UK, Statement to Parliament on settlement of Mau Mau claims, Gov.uk, last viewed 30.4.14, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-to-parliament-on-settlement-of-mau-mau-claims.
Ha’ aretz Jul. 5, 2014, Live updates, July 5: Riots grip E. Jerusalem, Arab towns, last viewed 11.8.14
Ha’aretz, July 8 2014, Netanyahu orders IDF to prepare for Gaza ground offensive
IAF strikes 50 targets in Gaza Strip as rocket fire on Israel's south continues,
Halawani, Rula, 2006, “Traces” Catalogue, Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, New Gate, Old City, Jerusalem.
Hamoked, 2002, Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law, 5762-2002,
Human Rights Watch, 2008, Off the Map: Land and Housing Rights Violations in Israel’s Unrecognised Bedouin Villages, Human Rights Watch, New York.
Israeli Campaign Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), Get the Facts, last viewed 11.8.2014, http://www.icahd.org/the-facts.
Israeli Provisional Council of State 1948. LAW AND ADMINISTRATION ORDINANCE No. 1 of 5708-1948, published 19 May 1948, viewed 14.7.14, http://www.geocities.com/savepalestinenow/israellaws/fulltext/lawandadministrationord.htm.
Lesch, Ann M, ‘Israeli Deportation of Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 1967-1978’, Journal of Palestine Studies 8, Winter, 1979.
Mahozay, Yoav, 2012, ‘The Fluid Jurisprudence of Israel's Emergency Powers: Legal Patchwork as a Governing Norm’, Law & Society Review, Volume 46, Issue 1, pages 137–166.
Mbembe, Achille, 2003 ‘Necropolitics’, Public Culture 15, no. 1: 11- 40.
Mondoweiss, May 20, 2014, New video shows Palestinian youths killed by Israeli army on Nakba Day posed no threat to soldier, last viewed 4.8.14, http://mondoweiss.net/2014/05/palestinian-israeli-soldiers.html.
Reynolds, John, 2013, ‘Intent to regularize: The Israeli Supreme Court and the Normalisation of Emergency’, Adalah’s Newsletter, Vol.104, May 2013, http://adalah.org/eng/Articles/2127/“Intent-to-regularise”:-The-Israeli-Supreme
Said, Edward W., Beginnings: intention and method, New York: Basic Books, 1975.
Said, Edward, 1994, Culture and Imperialism, Vintage, London.
Segev, Tom, 2000, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate, Abacus, London.
Ophir, Adi, 2009, ‘The Politics of Catastrophization’, Roundtable: Research Architecture: Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths College, University of London, http://www. roundtable, kein.org/node/1094.
United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (UNOCHA oPt), Occupied Palestinian Territory: Gaza Emergency, Situation Report, 12 August 2014, viewed 12.8.14, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_sitrep_12_08_2014.pdf
The National Archives Kew (TNA): (in order of appearance in text)
CO/822/443 Governor Baring to Secretary of State, October 1952, National Archives, Proclamation of a State of Emergency in Kenya.
FCO 141/6809 - Confiscations of Land. Note on Amendment to the Forfeiture of Land Ordinance Minister of African Affairs, 27th June 1956
FCO141/6145, 1954, Memorandum on Whipping, Corporal Punishment
Kenya Weekly 31.7.1959 in FCO141/5655 Mau Mau Unrest; death of eleven detainees at Hola Detention Camp, 3 March 1959.
FCO 141/6521, 1954-58, Screening camps: Mau Mau Investigation Centre, Embakasi.
FCO141/6750, 1953, Londiani Forest Division: Correspondence on Home Guards and Screening.
CAB/129/65, Telegram No 72 27th January 1954 from the Governor of Kenya to the
Secretary of State for the Colonies. Annex to Memorandum by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, 8.2.1954 Kenya: Detention of Supporters of Mau Mau.
FCO141/6298 Mr Hare Reply to Barbara Castle, 22 February 1956, in Detainees and Detention Camps.
FCO141/6298 Telegram from the District Commissioner’s Office Embu to the Special Commissioner, Nyeri, Screening of Detainees at Manyani 27th August 1956.
FCO 141/6521 Screening camps: Mau Mau Investigation Centre, Embakasi
FCO822/728 Press Office Handout No 139 – New Emergency Regulations, Press Office, Nairobi, 18 May 1953.
CO822/451 Activities of the Advisory Committee on detainees established under the Emergency Regulations Kenya 1952-53.
CO822/801 1956 Detention camps set up for emergency in Kenya
January 1954 - 31 December 1956.
Kenya National Archives, Nairobi: (KNA):
OP/E/1/982 - Unrest – Villagisation 1954-59 En Clair Telegram from the Governor to the Secretary of State, 21 February, 1955.
Share this article:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.