Establishing its perspective with the triangulations of high points of the terrain, later with aerial photography and satellite imagery, mapping has until recently been almost exclusively associated with the mechanisms of colonial power. However, since the start of the [second] Intifada, it has increasingly become more commonly associated with attempts to oppose and disrupt it [...] In 2001 Yehezkel Lein, a researcher from B'Tselem, invited me to collaborate on the production of a comprehensive report, Land Grab, which aimed to demonstrate violations of Palestinian rights through the built environment, especially in the planning of Israeli settlements. Analysing [many] series of drawings, regulations, policies and plans, undertaking a number of on-site measurements and oversite flights, we identified human rights violations and breaches of international law in the most mundane expressions of architecture and planning [...] The crime was undertaken by architects and planners in the way they drafted their lines in development plans. The proof was in the drawings. Collecting evidence for this claim against the complicity of architecture in the occupation, we synthesized all drawings and collated all the masterplans onto a single map. (pages 261 and 262)
Poorly considered direct intervention, however well intentioned, may become complicit with the very aims of power itself. Interventions of this kind often undertake tasks that are the legal -- though neglected -- responsibility of the military in control, thus relieving it of its responsibilities, and allowing it to divert resources elsewhere. Furthermore, by moderating the actions of the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] they may even make the occupation appear more tolerable and efficient, and thus may even help, by some accounts, to extend it. This problem is at the heart of what came to be known as the 'humanitarian paradox.' (page 260)
Starting in the deep aquifers of the West Bank, it progresses through its buried archaeology and then across its folded topographical surface to the militarized airspace above. Each chapter, describing different spatial practices and technologies of control and separation, focuses on a particular period in the history of the occupation. (page 15)
Against the geography of stable, static places, and the balance across linear and fixed sovereign borders, frontiers are deep, shifting, fragmented and elastic territories. Temporary lines of engagement, marked by makeshift boundaries, are not limited to the edges of political space but exist throughout its depth. Distinctions between the 'inside' and the 'outside' cannot be clearly marked. In fact, the straighter, more geometrical and more abstract official colonial borders across the 'New Worlds' tended to be, the more the territories of effective control were fragmented and dynamic and thus unchartable by any conventional mapping technique. The Occupied Palestinian Territories [can] be seen as such a frontier zone [...] The frontiers of the Occupied Territories are not rigid and fixed at all; rather they are elastic, and in constant formation. The linear border, a cartographic imaginary inherited from the military and political spatiality of the nation state has splintered into a multitude of temporary, transportable, deployable and removable border-synonyms -- 'separation walls', 'barriers', 'blockades', 'closures', 'road blocks', 'checkpoints', 'sterile areas', 'special security zones', 'closed military areas' and 'killing zones' -- that shrink and expand the territory at will [...] Elastic territories could thus not be understood as benign environments: highly elastic political space is often more dangerous and deadly than a static, rigid one." (pages 4 and 6-7)
1) Space is a pre-existing given; it is available, naturally, like a raw material; it is not socially "produced" or "refined" in any way before it is claimed and put to use.2) Space itself is either empty or (partially or completely) filled: it is likened to a container of some kind (a sphere or a cube).3) Empty space is "neutral" space; space is only "political" or "political space" when it is partially or completely filled, that is, put to use.4) In this apparently pre-political geometrical space, the key feature is the boundaries or borders that clearly separate inside from outside, and outside from inside. They are fixed and rigid, and cannot be bent, compressed, stretched or broken (even temporarily).5) Internal space (within the sphere or cube) is homogenous; it is external space that is varied, diverse or fragmented. Thus, "power" originates in internal space, and is exerted upon the external.6) Internal space can thus be divided or multiplied "cleanly" (concentric spheres or smaller cubes fitting snugly within larger cubes to follow the examples in #2 above).7) In part due to #3 and in part due to other factors, social or political space is understood to be a simple three-dimensional embodiment, transference or materialization of two-dimensional, geometrical space.
About 80 percent of the mountain aquifer is located under the West Bank [...] The erosion of the principles of Palestinian sovereignty in its subsoil is carried out by a process so bureaucratically complex that it is almost invisible. Although the aquifer is the sole water source for residents of the West Bank, Israel uses 83 per cent of its annually available water for the benefit of Israeli cities and its settlements, while West Bank Palestinians use the remaining 17 percent. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and virtually all Palestinians in Gaza thus receive water irregularly and in limited amounts. Israel's 'politics of verticality' is also manifested in the depth to which water pumps are allowed to reach. Israeli pumps may reach down to the waters of the common aquifers, whilst Palestinian pumps are usually restricted to a considerably shorter reach, only as far down as seasonal wells trapped with shallow rock formations, which, from a hydrological perspective, are detached from the fundamental lower layers of 'ancient waters'. (page 19)
The Israeli authorities failed to provide the minimum necessary sewage infrastructure for Palestinians throughout the period of direct opposition although this is the legal duty of an occupying force [under international law]. The sanitary conditions of West Bank Palestinians were aggravated by Israel's segregation politics that isolated Palestinian towns and villages behind barriers of all kinds. This policy generated more than 300 pirate dumping sites where truckloads of waste were poured into the valleys beside towns and villages. Paradoxically, the restrictions on the flow of people [in the West Bank and between the West Bank and Israel "proper"] accelerated the trans-boundary flow of their refuse. Furthermore, Israeli companies have themselves used sites in the West Bank for their own waste disposal. [...] In the wild frontier of the West Bank, Israel's planning chaos means Jewish neighborhoods and settlements are often [hastily] constructed without permits, and populated before and regardless of sewerage systems being installed and connected. This sewage runs from the hills to the valleys, simply following the force of gravity and topography, through and across any of the boundaries that may be put in front of it. [...] Mixing with Palestinian sewage, traveling along the same open valleys, [Israeli sewage] will eventually end up in Israeli territory. Instead of fresh water flowing [from underground aquifers] in the specially conceived water pipes installed under the Wall, Israel absorbs large quantities of raw sewage from all across the West Bank. The enclosures and barriers of the recent [counter-measures against the] Intifada thus created the very condition against which they sought to fortify. (pages 19-20, emphasis added)
On 27 June 1967, twenty days after the Israeli Army completed the occupation of the [formerly Jordanian] eastern part of Jerusalem, the unity government of Levi Eshkol annexed almost 70 square kilometers of land and incorporated almost 70,000 Palestinians within the newly expanded boundaries of the previously western Israeli municipality of Jerusalem. [...] The new boundaries sought to 'unite' within a single metropolitan area the western Israeli city, the Old City, the rest of the previously-administered city, 28 Palestinian villages, their fields, orchards, and tracts of desert, into a single 'holy', 'eternal' and 'indivisible' Jewish capital (page 25).
1) the Israeli settlements in the hills, which are "intensely illuminated [...] visible as brilliant white streaks of light that contrast with the yellowish tint of the light in the Arab villages and towns [in the valleys]" (page 133). Weizman calls this spatial practice "optical urbanism" (page 111).2) the West Bank Wall, which, "although none of the maps released by the media or independent [human] right[s] organization[s] actually show it, and all photographs of it depict a linear object resembling a border (and which all foreigners from territorially defined nation states will immediately understand as such), [...] has in fact become discontinuous and fragmented series of self-enclosed barriers that can be better understood as a prevalent 'condition' of segregation -- a shifting frontier -- rather than one continuous line neatly cutting the territory in two" (page 177).3) the spectacle of surveillance, which not only is staged at the hilltop settlements ("During the [second] Intifada, the military finally ruled that settlements be surrounded by several layers of fencing systems, cameras equipped with night-vision capability and even motion detectors placed on the perimeter fence, further extending the function of the naked eye" [page 133]), but also at terminal checkpoints ("the architecture of the Allenby Bridge terminal incorporated within the scale of a building the [same] principle of surveillance that [had] dictated the distribution of settlements and military bases [on the hilltops] across the Occupied Territories" [page 141]) and along the aforementioned West Bank Wall ("The main component of the barrier is a touch-sensitive, 'smart', three-metre-high electronic fence [...] It also has day/night vision video cameras and small radars" [page 292]).(Note well that surveillance is also the central element in the "militarized airspace" above the Occupied Territories: since 2004, "with the development and proliferation of drone technology," Weizman explains [page 242], most targeted assassinations of Palestinian "militants" and "terrorists" are carried out by remote-controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ["drones"] that were originally designed to engage in video surveillance and have been freshly equipped with laser-guided, anti-tank "Spike" missiles.)4) the IDF's methods of conducting urban warfare.(Because this particular spatial practice is so closely associated with "complex theories of military manoeuvres," including the theories of space elaborated by several bellicose critics of what Weizman calls "the capitalist city" [Deleuze & Guattari, Debord, Bataille, et. al], it warrants being treated at some length.)
I do not want to obey this interpretation [of space, but also international law] and fall into his [the enemy's] traps. Not only do I not want to fall into his traps, I want to surprise him. This is the essence of war. I need to win. I need to emerge from an unexpected place. And this is what we tried to do (Kochavi, quoted in Weizman, page 198).
This is why opted for the method of walking through walls . . . We took this micro-tactical practice and turned it into a method, and thanks to this method, we were able to interpret the whole space differently (Kochavi, quoted in Weizman, page 199).
Several of the concepts in [Deleuze & Guattari's] A Thousand Plateauallowing us to explain became instrumental for us [if the IDF] . . . contemporary situations in a way that we could not have otherwise explained [...] Most important was the distinction Deleuze & Guattari have pointed out between the concepts of 'smooth' and 'striated' space . . . [which accordingly reflected] the organizational concepts of the 'war machine' and the 'state apparatus'. In the IDF we now often use the term 'to smooth out space' when we want to refer to operation in a space in such a manner that borders do not affect us. Palestinian areas could indeed be thought of as 'striated', in the sense that they are enclosed by fences, walls, ditches, road blocks and so on. . . We want to confront the 'striated' space of traditional, old-fashioned military practice with smoothness that allows for movement through space that crosses any borders and barriers. Rather than contain and organize our forces according to existing borders, we want to move through them (quoted in Weizman, 200-201, emphasis added).
The practical or tactical function, the extent to which Deleuzian theory influences military tactics and manoeuvres, raises questions about the relation between theory and practice. Theory obviously has the power to stimulate new sensibilities, but it may also help to explain, develop or even justify ideas that emerged independently within disparate fields of knowledge and with quite different ethical bases [...] Deleuze and Guattari were aware that the state can willingly transform itself into a war machine. Similarly, in their discussion of 'smooth space' it is implied that this conception may lead to domination (The Art of War, published in issue #99 of Frieze Magazine [May 2006], emphasis added).