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About Eyal Weizman

Eyal Weizman is an architect and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, London. Among his books is Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation (Verso, 2007)

Articles by Eyal Weizman

This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The vertical apartheid

Herewith, an edited version of the preface to Eyal Weizman's Hollow Land, published by Verso last month to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Material Proportionality: the Paul Hirst Memorial Lecture, 2010

The lecture, given by Eyal Weizman on June 16, 2010 outlined work in progress undertaken to advance Paul Hirst’s thinking at the intersection between three categories and fields of study: conflict, space and law. It focuses on international humanitarian law as it impacts upon the politics of the late Occupation by Israel of the Occupied Territories. We publish two excerpts and in Part Two , a conversation.

Forensic Architecture and the speech of things: a conversation

In part two of our coverage of the Paul Hirst Memorial Lecture, 2010 , Eyal Weizman, in conversation with openDemocracy editor, Rosemary Bechler, discusses the challenge of how to use international humanitarian law to permit the articulation of progressive political demands, and why this involves a sure grasp of the kind of elastic space he called the ‘political plastic’

Israel: the third strategic threat

Israel's assault on an aid flotilla heading to Gaza is a decisive episode in the country's challenge to international humanitarian law and its advocates. But it may have unexpected results, say Thomas Keenan & Eyal Weizman

Lawfare in Gaza: legislative attack

The emerging landscape of "lawfare" allows military operations to remake international humanitarian law. Israel's assault on Gaza both exposes the dangers and suggests the need for a response that subjects this law to critique, says Eyal Weizman.

Ariel Sharon and the Geometry of Occupation... (part 3)

Israel's ‘barrier', ‘wall', or ‘separation fence' across the West Bank is the latest architectural expression of a twenty-year old political strategy. In a mind-opening three-part series that extends his renowned "The Politics of Verticality" into a new dimension, Eyal Weizman offers a penetrating analysis of how ideas about power, security and planning intersect with politics to shape the spaces in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict develops.
For Paul Hirst in memory
(This article was first published on 15 September 2003)

Hollow Land

Israel's occupation of the West Bank is exercised through a panoptic system of three-dimensional control that makes the entire environment of the occupied Palestinian territories the embodiment of the architecture of colonialism. Eyal Weizman, openDemocracy author of "The politics of verticality" and "Ariel Sharon and the geometry of occupation", dissects and reconstructs the thinking and strategy behind this totalising project.

Ariel Sharon and the Geometry of Occupation... (part 2)

Israel’s ‘barrier’, ‘wall’, or ‘separation fence’ across the West Bank is the latest architectural expression of a twenty-year old political strategy. In a mind-opening three-part series that extends his renowned “The Politics of Verticality” into a new dimension, Eyal Weizman offers a penetrating analysis of how ideas about power, security and planning intersect with politics to shape the spaces in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict develops.
For Paul Hirst in memory

...strategic points, flexible lines, tense surfaces, political volumes

Ariel Sharon and the Geometry of Occupation... (part 1)

Israel’s ‘barrier’, ‘wall’, or ‘separation fence’ across the West Bank is the latest architectural expression of a twenty-year old political strategy. In a mind-opening three-part series that extends his renowned “The Politics of Verticality” into a new dimension, Eyal Weizman offers a penetrating analysis of how ideas about power, security and planning intersect with politics to shape the spaces in which the Israeli-Palestinian conflict develops.
For Paul Hirst in memory

...strategic points, flexible lines, tense surfaces, political volumes

Come clean, America

It is 12 January 2003 and US president Bush has rallied his troops for what he calls “The first war of the 21st century”. What is your view of this crisis, where, briefly, do you stand? This is the question we are putting to people around the world, especially those with their own public reputation and following. Our aim, to help create a truly global debate all can identify with.

11. Control in the air

Now and in the final settlement proposals, Israel holds control of the airspace over the West Bank. It uses its domination of the airspace and electromagnetic spectrum to drop a net of surveillance and pinpoint executions over the territory. Control in the air photoessay

Airspace is a discrete dimension absent from political maps.

10. Roads --; over and under

A bewildering network of bypass roads weave over and under one another, attempting to separate the Israeli and Palestinian communities.

9. Jerusalem

From the struggles over Haram al-Sharif (the Temple Mount) to the historic stone with which all Greater Jerusalem is now clad, Jerusalem is an intense case study of the politics of verticality.On 24 September 1996, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the opening of a subterranean archaeological tunnel running along the foundation of the Western Wall, underneath the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound. Thus the Government demonstrated its control of all parts of Jerusalem, above and below ground.

Subterranean Jerusalem is at least as complex as its terrain.

8. Excavating sacredness

In a quest for biblical archaeology, Israel has attempted to resurrect the subterreanean fragments of ancient civilization to testify for its present-day rights above ground.When the Zionists first arrived in Palestine late in the nineteenth century, the land they found was strangely unfamiliar, different from the one they longed for. Reaching the map coordinates of the site of their yearnings was not enough.

7. From water to shit

The aquifers deep below the West Bank are a battleground, just as much as the rivers of sewage split through its valleys by both Israeli and Palestinian settlements. Politics of shit photoessay The subterranean spaces of the West Bank are inhabited by underground aquifers, archaeological sites, and infrastructure systems, as well as sacredness hidden from view.

6. The paradox of double vision

Photoessay on settlement brochures to come Emanuel brochure photoessay

The journey into the mountains, seeking to reestablish the relation between terrain and sacred text, was a work of tracing the location of “biblical” sites, and constructing settlements adjacent to them.

5. Optical urbanism

optical urbanism- photoessays to come

4. West Bank settlements

Many different types of settlements perch atop the hills of the West Bank, providing islands of biblical identity that are also strategic vantage points

3. Hills and valleys of the West Bank

Mountains play a special part in Zionist holiness. The settlers’ surge into the folded terrain of the West Bank and up to its summits combines imperatives of politics and spirituality

2. Maps of Israeli Settlements

None of us have a coherent mental map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Architect Eyal Weizman explains why. We’re missing verticality. In this series of articles and photo-essays, he paints the extraordinary, three-dimensional battle over the West Bank: from settlements to sewage, archaeology to Apaches. Weizman introduces the experience of territory in the West Bank, which explodes simple political boundaries and “crashes three-dimensional space into six dimensions– three Jewish and three Arab”.

1. Introduction to The Politics of Verticality

None of us have a coherent mental map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Architect Eyal Weizman explains why. We’re missing verticality. In this series of articles and photo-essays, he paints the extraordinary, three-dimensional battle over the West Bank: from settlements to sewage, archaeology to Apaches.

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