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HomeGeopolitical CompassThe LevantThe Palestinians Will Not—and Cannot—Be Ignored

The Palestinians Will Not—and Cannot—Be Ignored

Author:  Rashid Khalidi

Affiliation: Columbia University

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place: June 30, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2500 

Link: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2021-06-30/palestinians-will-not-and-cannot-be-ignored

Keywords: Palestinian, Israel, settler colonialism, systemic racism

Brief:

In this article, the writer sheds light on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories after the Israeli aggression in May. Palestinians united in their various locations in response to the violent Israeli repression in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and its bombing of Gaza, which killed more than 250 people. After these events, the Palestinians brought the Palestinian cause back to the fore, after many thought that the Palestinians must accept the fait accompli to live in and normalize with the occupation. For the first time, the Western media outlet covered the events in the occupied Palestinian territories in a way that is not in line with the Israeli narrative, showing the current situation in Sheikh Jarrah and the suffering of Palestinian families threatened with displacement as described—and talking about the racist policy pursued by Israel against the Palestinians. Public discourse in Western countries like Australia and Britain presented a discussion of the settler-colonial nature of generations of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. Many young Americans linked the injustice they saw in places like Ferguson, Missouri, to what they saw in Sheikh Jarrah’s repression and use of violence against defenseless civilians. One of the most critical turning points, according to the author, is the emergence of a new generation of young activists working on the same wave throughout Palestine and in the diaspora. Young people are taking the political initiative today. The demonstrations that came out to condemn the killing of Nizar Banat showed the extreme vulnerability of these current leaders’ control of power. Changing the oppressive and corrupt Palestinian leaders will not be easy, but it will not be impossible with this generation. This awareness was not confined to the Palestinians. Today, Americans have a greater desire to take a deeper and more researched look at Israel and Palestine. All the myths that have accompanied Israel since its inception are now being questioned, such as Israel’s claim to be the “only democracy in the Middle East” which is not the reality on the ground. Social media has showed superiority over traditional media by publishing news and live-streaming the facts of what is happening inside the Palestinian territories. These live images have helped break through the cocoon that media coverage has maintained throughout 54 years of military occupation. It also used new, previously unused terms such as “systemic racism,” “Jewish supremacy,” “settler colonialism,” and “apartheid,” which have become part of American and Israeli left-wing public conversations. The positive change in the global discourse on Palestine is due in large part to the effectiveness of Palestinian civil society initiatives and youth activism on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the United States, and elsewhere. The Palestinian political side must devise a new policy to reach the Palestinian voice to the world and stop the ongoing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.

 

By: Taqwa Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant

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