chapter  2
20 Pages

Heritage necropolitics and the capture of Hebron

The logic of closure, fear, humiliation and elimination
WithFeras Hammami

This chapter investigates the role that the heritage of Hebron has played in legitimising the Israeli colonial settlement project in Palestine. It argues that, while physical borders are deployed by the Israeli army and settlers to fragment Palestinian territories and residents, heritage and the past are violently targeted and rewritten not only to induce the rebirth of a Zionist version of the biblical Hebron but also to eliminate other representations of history. The chapter regards the transformation of heritage in Hebron and its sociopolitical agency as a form of ‘social killing’ of the non-biblical/Jewish legacy of the city’s past. In this way, it challenges the notion that Hebron is a ‘ghost’ or a ‘divided’ city, as it is labelled in social and political media, arguing that the systematic processes of rewriting its history and geography instead transformed Hebron into a ‘captured city’.