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Uneasy Settlements: Reparation Politics and the Meanings of Money in the Israeli Withdrawal from Gaza

Dromi, Shai M.

Negotiations about reparations tend to take the language of interests and to deal primarily with monetary compensation for disadvantaged groups. In such proceedings, aggrieved claimants are likely to make a variety of claims about the use of money to represent their experience, ranging from demands for increased compensation to rejections of the entire process altogether. This article draws attention to the communicative functions of money in the reparation process. It claims that actors may grudgingly agree to attach a monetary value to what they hold sacred, but simultaneously strive to preserve their sense of self-worth and to elicit identification by raising moral critiques about the use of fiscal logic. To exemplify, the article focuses on the 2005 removal of Jewish-Israeli settlers from Israeli-occupied territories. It shows that settlers indeed demanded to be compensated fiscally for their lost property. At the same time, it shows that they proffered moral denunciations of the use of fiscal logic in representing their experience and offered alternate logics of evaluation in its stead. The settlers resisted shame and devaluation through such competing logics, demanding that the state reaffirm a positive and embracing relationship with them despite its decision to evict them.

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