The Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority have negotiated borders, and now both sides have built permanent military checkpoints. “Crossing the Green Line” is about passing through these checkpoints—specifically those that mark the Green Line, the geopolitical border separating the West Bank from Israel proper—and how their existence affects the daily life of West Bank Palestinians.
In the best tradition of ethnographic inquiry and participant-observation, Avram Bornstein, an anthropologist at the John Jay College of the City University of New York, explores the complex relationship between Israeli Arabs and West Bank Palestinians in this latest volume from the Press’s anthropology series, Ethnography of Political Violence.
At the heart of the situation lies the question of territorial partition and the establishment of sovereignty within borders created by the partition.
Those Palestinians forced to live in the West Bank feel the divide profoundly, as their socioeconomic situations dramatically differ from relatives living only a few miles on the other side of the border
Bornstein’s main focus is upon the Green Line as a facilitator of Israeli economic and political domination, but he also treats borders as artifacts of globalization, choke-point conduits that serve to control the flow of international capital and labor, and as mechanisms that shape modern, legal and cultural identities.
— University of Pennsylvania Press
Originally published on January 24, 2002