In recent years there has been a powerful resurgence of settler colonialism as an interpretive framework through which to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Attached to the burgeoning field of settler colonial studies, this so-called ‘turn’ to settler colonialism has seen Israel-Palestine increasingly compared alongside New World white settler societies like Australia, Canada and the United States. In seeking to undercut the lens of exceptionalism through which the conflict has conventionally been viewed, the settler colonial paradigm has some important counter-hegemonic (...) implications for reframing Israel-Palestine, not least of which is its prescription for decolonization. However, it is paradoxically in the context of decolonization that the limits of the settler colonial paradigm become most apparent. I argue that these limitations are connected to the dominance of Patrick Wolfe’s structural account of settler colonialism, which leaves very little room for transformation, and to the particular connotations settler colonial studies has acquired from the New World contexts in which it is most often articulated. This is particularly the case in Israel-Palestine, where these connotations preclude engagement with the national aspects of the conflict and leave under-examined the unique resonances of the settler/native distinction, which need reckoning with in any serious account of decolonization. (shrink)
This reflection on Palestine’s political impasses in relation to the experiences of other colonized places and peoples was inspired by the current ferment in critical indigenous and native studies, and now Palestinian studies, about settler colonialism. Tracing the promises and pitfalls of new imaginations of sovereignty and self-determination emerging through indigenous activism, the essay reflects on museums and contested rituals of liberal recognition in North America and Australia to highlight both the stark differences in the situations of Palestinians under (...) Israeli rule and the radical significance of the recent efflorescence of Palestinian cultural projects. Focusing particularly on the history of the Palestinian Museum (that opened in Birzeit in 2016), the article argues that the productivity of the settler-colonial framework lies less in the way it maps directly onto the situation on the ground than in the new solidarities it engenders and its potential to burst open the Palestinian political imagination. (shrink)
The long war between Israel and the Palestinians is not the root cause of all conflicts between Islam and the West, but it exacerbates every such conflict. From Northern Europe through North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and down to Australia, there are violent opponents of “the West” motivated, in part, by indignation at the..
The Assyrian presence in Palestine from the ninth through the seventh century B.C.E. represents a case of intercultural contact against the background of an expansionist imperial process. The “Assyrianization” of Israel and Judah, as well as that of the whole Levant, has often been posited. This term, which evokes “Romanization,” would indicate enforced cultural adaptation to Assyrian values and customs within the framework of a process of assimilation. An alleged “Assyrianization” of Ancient Israel would be congruent with that interpretation (...) of Assyrian imperialism postulating programmatic measures to impose the Assyrian way of life upon the whole empire. However, a study of the cuneiform and archaeological sources leads to an alternative interpretation of Assyrian imperial policy in the West. (shrink)
In the late 1970s and early 1980s French philosopher Gilles Deleuze authored a series of articles in which he reflected on the formation of the state of Israel and its subsequent dispossession and colonisation of Palestine and the Palestinian people. Naming the state of Israel as a colonial state, Deleuze’s under-discussed texts connect Israel’s programme of colonisation to that of the United States and the persisting dispossession of indigenous peoples. In so doing, this article argues, Deleuze offers an analysis (...) of the development of capitalism that takes seriously its relation to colonial violence. Having called attention to Deleuze’s writings on Palestine, the conclusion of this article asks why these texts have been marginalised by Deleuze scholars. It asks how we might think of this marginalisation as contributing to the subjugation of Palestinian life, and as indicative of how relations of colonialism structure western social theory. (shrink)
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 This article explores the contemporary politics of global violence through an examination of the particular challenges and possibilities facing Palestinians who seek to defend their communities against an ongoing settler-colonial project (Zionism) that is approaching a crisis point. As the colonial dynamic in Israel/Palestine returns to its most elemental level – land, trees, homes – it also continues to be a laboratory for new forms of accelerated violence whose global impact (...) is hard to overestimate. In such a context, Palestinians and international solidarity activists find themselves confronting a quintessential 21 st century activist dilemma: how to craft a strategy of what Paul Virilio calls “popular defense” at a time when everyone seems to be implicated in the machinery of global violence? I argue that while this dilemma represents a formidable challenge for Palestinians, it also helps explain why the Palestinian struggle is increasingly able to build bridges with wider struggles for global justice, ecological sustainability, and indigenous rights. (shrink)
The "delegitimation," which is progressing rapidly, was carried forward in December by a Human Rights Watch call on the U.S."to suspend financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of Israel's spending in support of settlements," and to monitor contributions to Israel from tax-exempt U.S. organizations that violate international law, "including prohibitions against discrimination" -- which would cast a wide net. Amnesty International had already called for an arms embargo on Israel. The legitimation process also took a long (...) step forward in December, when Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil recognized the State of Palestine, bringing the number of supporting nations to more than 100. (shrink)
The present paper offers a reflection on school textbooks produced and introduced by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from the year 2000 onward. The aim is to examine the debates over these textbooks, by situating them over the backdrop of larger geopolitical dynamics and intra-Palestinian social and political struggles.
This is a new discussion in the philosophy of terrorism of the morality of Humanity, Palestine and Israel, right and wrong, liberalism, free riders, narratives, definitions of terrorism, objections to definitions not mentioning innocents, the question of who the innocents are, intentional action, objections having to do with definitions, inquiry, prejudice, pure inquiry, and advocacy, and other innocents. The discussion was prompted by a forthcoming paper by Tamar Meisels of Tel Aviv University 'Can Terrorism Ever Be Justified?', which paper (...) and the final reply to it by Ted Honderich will appear in a book edited by Stuart Gottlieb, Debating Terrorism and Counter Terrorism. Tamar Meisels' book, The Trouble With Terror, has lately been published by Cambridge University Press. She also has a paper in the collection Israel, Palestine and Terror edited by Stephen Law and containing various replies to Honderich. Another Meisels paper to which you can turn, The Trouble With Terror: The Apologetics of Terrorism -- A Refutatio n. There is also a Honderich reply to other objections, in this case by the German philosopher Georg Meggle. (shrink)
The Middle East Summit is the unofficial name for a series of meetings between several key figures from the Middle Eastern art world and it was proposed here that a Picasso from the collection of the Van Abbemuseum be brought to Palestine. The meaning of Picasso’s Buste de femme crossing this non-place, is here brought to light.
This is a reply to objections by the distinguished German philosopher Georg Meggle to Honderich's moral defence of Palestinian terrorism. It has to do with (1) the Principle of Humanity, (2) Zionism, Neo Zionism, a Palestinian moral right to terrorism within historic Palestine, (3) Just War theory and the Principle of Humanity, (4) terrorism in general defined as causing fear, (5) terrorism in general defined as the killing of innocents, (6) objections to the Palestinian moral right, (7) the case (...) of Palestine and the Principle of Humanity, (8) anti semitism, Meggle, Jurgen Habermas, and the publisher Abraham Melzer. There is also another reply to objections , in this case by Tamara Meisels, of Tel Aviv University. (shrink)
This new book, published in the United Kingdom under the first title above and in the United States and Canada under the second, consists in argument about what makes for right or wrong in general, and then argument about right or wrong with respect to Palestine, 9/11, the Iraq War, 7/7, and what is to come. Hence, with respect to the latter connected things, it also makes judgements as to shares of moral responsibility. Six of its 29 sections appear (...) below. The first two are 'Our Questions' and 'A Division of Labour, Philosophy's Part'. The next one is one of three in the book on judging right and wrong by democracy. The fourth is one of several in the book about understanding, judging, and inciting terrorism. The last two sections are about the Iraq War. To locate this thinking in the context of the book as a whole, which justifies Zionism but not neo-Zionism, have a look at the table of contents at the end. There is also a German translation of the first half of the book. Have a look too if you want at a review of the book by Tam Dalyell, lately M.P. for Linlithgow and Father of the House of Commons, and a review by Steve Poole, author of Unthink, and at Italian and Belgian interviews on the subject. There is also a video of a 40-minute television programme made from the book. (shrink)
The "surrogate colonization" of Palestine had a foreign power giving to a nonnative group rights over land occupied by an indigenous people. It thus brought into play the complementary and conflicting agendas of three culturally distinguishable parties: British, Jews and Arabs. Each party had both "externalist" [those with no sustained practical experience of day to day life in Palestine] and "internalist" representatives. The surrogate idea was based on a "strategic consensus" involving each party's externalist camp: the British ruling (...) elite, the leadership of the World Zionist Organization and the Hashemite Dynasty of Arabia. The collapse of this triangular consensus, which put an end to the policy but not the process of surrogate colonization, resulted from irreconcilable antagonisms within and between the major currents of each internalist camp. A focus on the land problem in Palestine highlights contradictions in each party's internalist agenda, which forestalled a rift between the Jewish and British sides of the consensus long enough for the Zionist settlement in Palestine to acquire territory and to develop a largely self-sufficient economic, cultural, political and military infrastructure. (shrink)
The "moral justification" is supposed to be that capturing soldiers in a cross border raid, and killing others, is an outrageous crime. We know, for certain, that Israel, the United States and other Western governments, as well as the mainstream of articulate Western opinion, do not believe a word of that. Sufficient evidence is their tolerance for many years of US backed Israeli crimes in Lebanon, including four invasions before this one, occupation in violation of Security Council orders for 22 (...) years, and regular killings and abductions. To mention just one question that every journal should be answering: When did Nasrallah assume a leadership role? Answer: When the Rabin government escalated its crimes in Lebanon, murdering Sheikh Abbas Mussawi and his wife and child with missiles fired from a US helicopter. Nasrallah was chosen as his successor. Only one of innumerable cases. There is, after all, a good reason why last February, 70% of Lebanese called for the capture of Israeli soldiers for prisoner exchange. (shrink)
Joseph Agassi One Palestine, Two Nations Many are the problems that beset the tragically war-torn and forlorn Palestine. The extant proposed solutions to them all are few. They all relate to the framework of the establishment or the re-establishment of one, two, or three states. Let me list them first regardless of their value.
This article discusses George Orwell’s attitude to Zionism and the Palestine question, a controversial and emotional subject in left-wing circles in his time and since. There have been a number of studies on Orwell’s attitude to Jews and anti-Semitism and some of these have touched upon Orwell’s approach to Zionism. However, his stance on the Palestine question specifically deserves further exposition. This is so, not least because on this subject too Orwell’s views—largely anti-Zionist—differed from the prevailing, passionate beliefs (...) of most left-wing intellectuals of his time, including some of his closest friends and political allies. Furthermore, Orwell’s views were expressed at a time when the Palestine conflict peaked during the last decade of the British Mandate with results which resound to this day. (shrink)
Recent events in the Middle East once again focused attention on the Israel/Palestine issue. In the following article, adapted from his recent book, Ted Honderich controversially defends the Palestinians' moral right to engage in terrorism.
This article engages the analogy of Palestine/Israel to apartheid South Africa, and probes the political imaginary that contours this discussion while explicating the circumstances of its emergence. Accordingly, it contends that apartheid is not merely a system of institutionalized separation; rather, it organizes the facts and reality of separation(s) within a frame and against a background unity that effectively allows it to be perceived as such. To that end, the article explores four key factors that created background unity in (...) apartheid South Africa: labor relations; political theology; role of language; and geo-political unit(y), and scrutinizes their political and experiential ramifications in Palestine/Israel. (shrink)
This Article examines the two dominant theories of territorial justice — one associated with justice, the other with self–determination. It applies these theories to the case of Israel/palestine, and to ongoing claims by political actors with respect to territorial rights there. It argues that justice theory seems to straightforwardly suppose the territorial rights of the State of Israel, at least if historical and retrospective considerations are not at the forefront, though once they are brought in, this argument can be (...) deployed in support of a number of different political positions. The self–determination argument, it is argued, is somewhat less indeterminate and seems to most straightforwardly support a “two–state” compromise. However, as with justice theory, its assumptions can be challenged on a number of fronts, and could also be deployed to buttress other arguments. The merits and challenges of both theories are analyzed through this case study. (shrink)
ArgumentWe examine the creation and functioning of the “Pasteur Institute in Palestine” focusing on the relationship between biological science, health policy, and the creation of a “new society” within the framework of Zionism. Similar to other bacteriological institutes founded by colonial powers, this laboratory was developed in response to public health needs. But it also had a political role. Dr. Leo Böhm, a Zionist physician, strived to establish his institution along the lines of the Zionist aspiration to develop a (...) national entity based on strong scientific foundations. Even though the institute enjoyed several fruitful years of operation, mainly during World War I, it achieved no lasting national or scientific importance in the country. Böhm failed to adapt to new ways of knowledge production, scientifically and socially. The case study of the “Pasteur Institute in Palestine” serves as a prism to view the role of the public health laboratory in the history of Palestine with its ongoing changes of scientific, organizational, and political context. (shrink)
In 1925, A.J. Balfour, first Earl Balfour and author of the famous ‘Balfour Declaration’, attended the inauguration of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His education and experience of foreign policy equipped him to take a prominent role. However, the conditions of strife-torn Palestine weighed heavily upon him, and raised wider interests of imperial concern. This essay recounts the circumstances leading to his visit, and suggests that, whatever the region’s political destiny, Balfour’s vision of science-based economic development would play an (...) essential role in crafting its future. (shrink)