Palestinians want liberation, not recognition

Palestinians want liberation, not recognition

Lana Tatour writes:

Israel’s genocidal war against Gaza is one of the worst crises of modern times. Tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians are dead, and millions are homeless or displaced.

The war in Gaza clearly calls for a new and different international response—a break from the past. Yet Western policymakers, including those in Washington, continue to push a sham peace process and a two-state solution that has long been a mirage. Western policies have only made the situation worse for Palestinians, deeply entrenching Israeli occupation, land theft, and control over Palestinians everywhere.

It is time for the international community to take seriously Palestinian political desires, which today are focused not on state recognition, but on liberation and decolonization of the entire territory from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. This notion of liberation is broad, but essential features are equality for all the inhabitants of the land—and the dismantling of the settler colonialism and the apartheid regime that exist now.

This turn toward liberation and away from statehood and a two-state solution includes multiple, sometimes competing strands. Many Western leaders have responded to Palestinian demands and newly bold political discourse with discomfort and rejection, especially among those who have resolutely ignored Palestinian voices and aspirations. It is, however, time for Western policymakers to pay attention to the growing Palestinian consensus on liberation instead of recognition and accommodation. Rather than being dismissive—or mischaracterizing liberation as entailing the expulsion of Israeli Jews (it does not)—they ought to listen to Palestinians who have been articulating liberation as an inclusive project of equal rights for all. [Continue reading…]

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