Fifty Years, Five Crossings, More to Come


The post 1948 history of the Kirad Bedouins of the Hula valley in Northern Israel is a series of mass border-crossings between Israel, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. These migrations came concurrently with a staggered process of dispossession, in which the Kirad lost ownership of their ancestral lands, and ended up as diaspora scattered over four states. The upheavals experienced by the Kirad are historicized and analyzed as a ‘small scale diasporic situation’. This, I argue, is an exceedingly widespread situation in a world characterized as ‘glocalized’, in which powerful globalizing trends combine with ethno-national fervor that accentuates territoriality and state borders. The Kirad’s own perception of their world, fragmented and disturbed beyond recognition by impermeable and often hostile state borders since 1948, is contextualized in terms of the analogy between the recent, vivid past, and ancient history, only vaguely remembered and invoked. Wolfe’s (1982) notion that world systems are by no means new phenomena, the place of diachronic reckoning and subjective historical perceptions, and the place of fate and repetition in the Kirad’s identity inform the theoretical trajectory of the analysis.

How to Cite

Rabinowitz, D., (2000) “Fifty Years, Five Crossings, More to Come”, Ethnologia Europaea 30(2), 101-110. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Dan Rabinowitz (Tel Aviv University)



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