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Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Elian Weizman

BA Middle East History (Tel Aviv University), MA Near and Middle East Studies (SOAS); PhD (SOAS)


Elian Weizman
Department of Politics and International Studies

Senior Teaching Fellow

Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)

PhD Student Associate Member

Dr Elian Weizman
Email address:
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Thesis title:
Hegemony, Law, Resistance: The Struggle Against Zionist Hegemony in the State of Israel


Elian is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the department. She is also lecturing at the department of Politics and History in Brunel University London. Between March-September 2015 she will be a visiting research fellow in the Council for British Research in the Levant, Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem, working on her new research project about violence and resistance of extreme right wing and extreme left wing activists in Israel. Elian specialises in resistance, law and hegemony and their interrelations in the Israeli context. She is also interested in Zionism, Arab-Israeli conflict, settler colonialism, conflict and resistance and law and/in society.  

PhD Research

In their struggles against Zionism, Israeli citizens, both Palestinians and Jews, paradoxically seek to challenge through the law the very laws that institutionalise the hegemony of the state’s ideology. Law and resistance are seemingly two contradictory concepts: while the law is instrumental in producing and sustaining the hegemonic order, resistance aims to subvert that very order. Zionism – the formula that Israel is a ‘Jewish and Democratic state’ – is the structuring ideology of the State of Israel; it shapes and is grounded in Israeli laws, and the apparatus of the law underwrites and protects Zionism. Nevertheless, in resisting Zionism, groups and individuals have utilised the law in struggles to overturn it. This research project interrogates the paradoxical relationship between law and resistance and evaluates the efficacy of different strategies of resistance to Zionism by Israeli citizens, both Palestinians and Jews. It offers an in-depth analysis of the spectrum of resistance practices in Israel, from resistance inside the law using legislation and adjudication, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary work, to resistance that disregards the law. This thesis reveals that an ensemble of resistance that acts simultaneously both inside and outside the legal system, constructing and disrupting, building and dismantling, seems to be most strategically effective in countering hegemonic structures, exposing their weaknesses and internal contradictions and forcing hegemony to reveal its oppressive nature, thereby losing its legitimacy both internally and internationally. In Israel, it is a strategy that exposes the contradictions between the state’s Jewish and democratic pretensions, showing its willingness to suspend the one to defend the other, thereby revealing its coercive side.

PhD Publications

September 2013, “Palestinian Family Unification in Israel: The Limits of Litigation as Means of Resistance”, in Critical Legal Thinking 


Israeli Politics


Elian's Research focuses on the interrelations between hegemony, law and resistance in the context of resistance to Zionism in the State of Israel. It focuses on the work of legal organisations and political parties in their attempt to utilise the law in order to resist hegemonic conceptions and political discrimination. Also, it looks at extra-legal resistance strategies in the attempt to evaluate their efficacy in countering Zionist hegemonic practices and conceptions.