Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University at Buffalo, where she teaches Wildlife and Biodiversity Law, Law and Genetics, Israel/Palestine: Environmental Justice Issues, and topics related to law and animals. Her main interests lie in the interdisciplinary study of law, geography, and anthropology.
In her forthcoming book, Settling Nature: The Conservation Regime in Palestine-Israel documents the widespread ecological warfare practiced by the state of Israel. Recruited to the front lines are fallow deer, gazelles, wild asses, griffon vultures, pine trees, and cows—on the Israeli side—against goats, camels, olive trees, hybrid goldfinches, and akkoub—which are affiliated with the Palestinian side. These nonhuman soldiers are all the more effective because nature camouflages their tactical deployment as such.
Drawing on over seventy interviews with Israel’s nature officials and on observations of their work, this book examines the careful orchestration of this animated warfare by Israel’s nature administration on both sides of the Green Line. Alongside its powerful protection of wildlife biodiversity, the territorial reach of Israel’s nature protection is remarkable: to date, nearly 25 percent of the country’s total land mass has already been designated as nature protection sites. Settling Nature argues that the administration of nature advances the Zionist project of Jewish settlement and the corresponding dispossession and elimination of non-Jews from this space.