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Ran Greenstein


Settler Colonialism: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?

By ISM Palestine - originally posted to Flickr as Settlers and Soldiers attacking demonstrators in Iraq Burin, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Increasingly in the last decade, settler colonialism has gained currency as a new field of study. As a descriptive and political term, its utility seems obvious. It identifies a cluster of countries in which colonial rule was combined historically with the large-scale immigration of European settlers. It allows us to focus on particularly resilient forms of domination that serve the interests and concerns of settler populations that made a new home for themselves in overseas ...

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Israel: Where do the Mizrahim Fit In? (Part 2)

Ayman 'Odeh and Aryeh Der'i in the Knesset 2015

See part one of this piece here. In the first part of the article, I discussed the consolidation of a new Israel-based Mizrahi identity by the 1970s and the rise of radical protest associated above all with Black Panthers movement. Much of dissatisfaction with state policy and social marginalization, however, was channeled into support for the resurgent Right wing Likud, which won elections under Menahem Begin’s leadership in 1977 and 1981. The main reason for the shift ...

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Israel: Where do the Mizrahim fit in? (Part 1)

 Black Panthers poster from 1971. Top text reads,

Many people are unaware that the majority of the Israeli population belongs to one of the two groups that cut across the conventional divide between settlers and natives. These are Palestinian citizens, comprising twenty percent of the population, and Mizrahim, Jews whose origins go back a generation or two to the Middle East and North Africa, and who comprise approximately forty to forty-five percent of the population. Jointly they outnumber Ashkenazim, Jews with origins in ...

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What Is Special about Israel?

[Image from]

This time of the year we commemorate sixty-seven years to the 1948 war and Nakba, and forty-eight years to the 1967 war and occupation. As always, the question of why particular attention must be paid to these events comes up. Is there anything special about them, and about Israel as a state? Israeli hasbara officials and their supporters overseas frequently invoke the notion of “singling out” as a problem in analyses and campaigns aimed to address Israeli state practices. ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ran Greenstein, Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine

[Cover of Ran Greenstein,

Ran Greenstein, Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine. London: Pluto Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ran Greenstein (RG): History is frequently written from a skewed perspective, as we tend to look at developments in retrospect, knowing already what their outcomes were. A better approach would be to look at events and responses as they unfolded in time, from the point of view of actors located within their ...

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Ran Greenstein


Ran Greenstein is an associate professor of sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. His most recent book is Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine (Pluto, 2014), and his previous books include Genealogies of Conflict: Class, Identity and State in Palestine/Israel and South Africa (Wesleyan, 1995), and Comparative Perspectives on South Africa (Macmillan, 1998). Currently he is working on a manuscript comparing indigenous resistance movements and Communist parties in South Africa and Israel/Palestine.