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The misrule of Gaza : Israeli assaults in a land under siege Jones, Craig A.

Abstract

This thesis explores the relationship between war, law and visuality. It focuses on Israel's 23-day assault on Gaza that began in December 2008. The thesis has three main aims. First, to historicize the assault, and put forward the idea that Israel's resort to violence takes not only militaristic but crucially also legalistic forms (chapter 2). Second, to problematize the relationship between war and law through a discussion of the post-assault discourses on the indeterminate legality of the war (chapters 3&5). I suggest that in the age of what commentators are calling lawfare, law has reached its maximal instrumentalization and has become a military tactic. Third, to interrogate the visual archives of the assault in order to explore the ways in which war is being fought through visual fields and visual tactics which I call imagefare (chapter 4). The turn toward the legal and the visual in Israeli military strategy presents political, ethical and pragmatic problems for resisting and opposing war and so in relation to the current situation in Gaza and the ambivalent status of international law I conclude by posing the question: ‘what now?’ (chapter 5).

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