Speaking Life, Speaking Death: Jerusalemite Children Confronting Israel’s Technologies of Violence

Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To better understand states’ technologies of violence, colonisation, and military occupation, this chapter shares Jerusalemite children’s written and spoken opposition to the mundane yet intimate governance of Israel’s ‘combat proven’ politics over their lives. ‘Combat proven’ politics are forms of surveillance, strategies of control, imprisonment, torture, murder, and techniques of managing colonised populations that are mobilised in service of the state. Combat proven politics turn children’s everyday spaces into a ‘show room’ - a living laboratory - for states, arms companies, and security agencies (both private and public) to market their technologies as ‘tested positively’. As sites of violence proliferate in these contexts, children are folded into the testing ground of ‘combat proven’ politics, intensifying and incentivising infrastructural warfare. Occupied East Jerusalem, where the children in this study live, acutely illustrates how combat proven politics is driven by a concentration of biopolitics, geopolitics (including the topography of settlement and colonial architecture), and necropolitics. At the same time, children’s language of life subverts the logic of the death machines.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781787699557
ISBN (Print)9781787699564
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Settler colonialism
  • children
  • combat proven
  • necropolitics
  • surveillance, securitisation, Damascuss Gate
  • terrorism


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