Sderot : an analysis of the marginalization of an Israeli border town population


This research focuses on the Israeli town of Sderot and the rocket attacks it experienced since 2001. Sderot is a unique case study because it represents a group of individuals in a democratic country that lived with terrorism for almost a decade before the state took major defensive action. The situation in Sderot is one which has lacked attention in the media and in Political Science research. By analyzing the level of attention by multiple actors to the crisis in Sderot, the reasons for the perpetual insecurity of its population are discussed.

The crisis is analyzed on four main levels: the experience of individuals in Sderot, the response of the Israeli government, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and the role of the United Nations. The preliminary chapter examines the impact of living with rocket fire while exploring methods by which Sderot residents have engaged in activism to improve their quality of life. The following chapter discusses Israeli national defense policy and examines where Sderot has ranked on the State's list of priorities. The third chapter consists of two main sections: an analysis of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, an explanation of Barnas' rise to power in Gaza. The latter section consists of an exploration of the politics surrounding the United Nation's level of attention to the crisis in Sderot.

As one transitions from the individual level of analysis to the state level, the voices of Sderot residents become much quieter, and the realities of a state that is constantly attacked from beyond its borders can be understood. By analyzing the past failings of peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, lessons for future attempts at negotiations are discussed, and the ever-present link between peace and security is emphasized. Overall, the realities of daily life in a state which pursues a policy of security over diplomacy are illuminated.


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Thesis Completion



Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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