American Studies ETDs

Publication Date



I use the lens of the "critical traveler" to argue that the international border crossing of Palestine/Israel is both a settler colonial technology for the State of Israel, and a site of resistance for the transnational Palestinian solidarity movement. Israel deems certain travelers as critical to its settler colonial project. Israel marks Palestinian and Muslim travelers as racially critical to Israel that aims to be a Jewish majority state. Israel also marks travelers as critical because it suspects that these travelers espouse critical views of Israel's settler colonialist ideology and practice. As such, Israel has established a border security system to identify and subject critical travelers the system consists of segregated surveillance, intelligence collection, biopolitical techniques, and border expansion. Furthermore, Israel is an occupying power and critical travelers vary in nationalities therefore, third states -- states that are not Israel or Palestine -- are also accountable to Israel's treatment of critical travelers. As a third state, through policymaking and rhetoric, the United States has supported Israel's unilateral control of international Palestine/Israel border crossings. However, the transnational Palestinian solidarity network harnesses the narratives written by critical travelers to inform the legal and cultural discourse of critique of Israel's colonial past, present and future.The struggle between the critical traveler and Israel's border security is not simply a matter between an individual traveler and a sovereign nation-state. Rather the struggle serves as an analytic for the global perpetuation of as well as the global resistance to Israel's ongoing settler colonial project in Palestine.




Israel-Palestine, Travel, Border, Postcolonial, Decolonization, Security, U.S.-Israel relationship, Third states

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Advisor

Lubin, Alex

First Committee Member (Chair)

Goldstein, Alyosha

Second Committee Member

Field, Les