Within the heart of the Jewish city of Tel Aviv, there is a hidden reality—Palestinians who work, study, and live as an unseen minority without access to equal urban citizenship.
Grounded in the everyday lives of Palestinians in Tel Aviv, The Invisible Palestinians offers an ethnographic critique of the city's self-proclaimed openness and liberalism. Andreas Hackl reveals that Palestinians' access to the social and economic opportunities afforded in Tel Aviv depends on keeping a low profile, which not only disrupts opportunities for true urban citizenship but also draws opposition from other Palestinians. By looking at the city from the perspective of this hidden urban minority, Hackl uncovers a critical opportunity to imagine and build a more inclusive and just future for Tel Aviv.
An important read, The Invisible Palestinians explores the marginalized urban presence of both Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinian laborers from the West Bank in this quintessential Jewish Israeli city. Hackl reveals a highly diverse Palestinian population that includes young people, manual workers and middle-class professionals, residents and commuters, students, artists, and activists, as well as members of an underground Palestinian LGBT community who carefully navigate their place in a city that refuses to recognize them.
Introduction: Using the Settler City: Immersive Invisibility and the Palestinian Struggle for Urban Access in Tel Aviv
1. A Journey without Arrival? Palestinian Mobility into the Jewish City
2. A Middle-Class Gateway to Tel Aviv: Palestinian Citizens at Israel's Liberal University
3. Working in the City: Palestinian Middle-Class Citizens and Labor Commuters between Anonymity and Forced Invisibility
4. Playing in Tel Aviv: Leisure and Fun in the Palestinian Underground
5. A Cultural Exile: Palestinian Artists in Tel Aviv between Individual Liberation and Political Cooptation
6. The Urban Politics of (In)Visibility: Marginalized Activism and the Non-Recognition of Palestinian Tel Aviv
7. When the Liberal Bubble Bursts: Violent Events and the Circular Temporality of Exclusion and Stigmatization
Conclusion: A Settler Colonial City for All its Residents? Palestinian Tel Aviv and the Future of Liberal Urbanism in Israel/Palestine
Andreas Hackl is Lecturer in Anthropology of Development at the University of Edinburgh. His research has been published in leading academic journals such as World Development, American Ethnologist, and Social Anthropology. He has worked as a consultant with the International Labour Organization and as a newspaper correspondent based in Jerusalem.
"Important for the study of Palestinians, for the study of contemporary Israeli society, and for the field of the urban, as it shows us something important about a marginalized group that cannot act as a 'collective' that at times loves the liberal city and at times is spit out from it."—Erella Grassiani, University of Amsterdam
"Hackl not only shows the limits of Israeli democracy but also the tactics that different Palestinians must undertake in order to work and live in a city that categorically stigmatizes them as outsiders."—Nadeem Karkabi, University of Haifa