This book review summarizes the history of the legal issues and precedents surrounding the settlement of Jews in Palestine.
Raja Shehadeh, New York Review of Books, January 18, 2018 Issue
The story of the transformation of the land in Palestine/Israel from the Ottoman period to the present takes up much of Fields’s book. But he tells it in a larger setting, tracing the idea of “enclosure” through England and North America before arriving at his discussion of the Palestinian landscape. What has happened there, he argues, belongs to a “lineage of dispossession” that can be followed back “to the practice of overturning systems of rights to land stemming from the enclosures in early modern England.” He describes at length how maps, property law, and landscape architecture were enlisted by modernizers from the seventeenth century onward in the Zionist practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to “gain control of land from existing landholders and remake life on the landscape consistent with their modernizing aims.”