There, I said it. One Democratic state in Palestine from the river to the sea.
Yes, that means no Jewish state, but rather a dismantling of the structures and ideologies of the colonial apartheid Jewish state of Israel and its occupied Palestinian lands (including those parts of the West Bank about to be annexed by Netanyahu) and replacing them with structures of social, cultural, political and economic equality between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs — to be accompanied by a process of reconciliation sold to or imposed upon Jewish Israelis.
That’s the Palestinian political objective now. It could be argued it has always been the ultimate objective, in one crushed or amputated form or another.
If you are shocked by the above, I challenge you to take exactly three minutes to look at the following video clip and then explain to me why in hell a Jewish state should be allowed to usurp Palestine, blighting the lives of a nation and stealing its heritage and why it was allowed to exist in the first place. Judaism is a religion, not a nationality. Jews don’t need a country — and if they did as immigrants fleeing European persecution, Palestine was never theirs for the taking.
Following is the complete text from the video clip:
Picture this: You’ve lived in your hometown for decades. You’re surrounded by your family, your friends, and your community. But one day, gunfire rings out. Militias show up. You and your kids are forced to flee in terror. Searching for safety, hoping to soon return. But you never do. You’re banned. Another family has moved into your home. They’re literally using your pots and pans, sleeping in your bed. This is the 1948 Nakba, the catastrophe, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, when Zionist militias invaded Palestinian cities and towns, massacred or executed about 800 people, took over 4 million acres of Palestinian land, destroyed or depopulated over 400 villages, erased their Arabic names, drove 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, and built Israeli Jewish towns on top of their ruins.
The Nakba, this erasure, continues to this day. Over 7 million Palestinian refugees exist in the world today, displaced from their homeland, exiled, denied their internationally recognized right to return to their homes. The catastrophe grew worse in 1967 when Israel invaded and occupied what was left of historic Palestine: Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. For the Palestinians who were able to stay on their land, Israel’s military terrorizes them under a violent system of control. Israel throws Palestinian families out and moves Israeli settlers in. Israel destroys Palestinian homes. All of this: done to continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
As Israel celebrates its independence under a far-right government, indigenous Palestinians mourn the Nakba and pay the price of repression. What started as a violent expulsion campaign has become a machine of displacement, exile, and apartheid. The Nakba never ended. But neither has Palestinian resistance. In the face of a regime that denies their right to exist, Palestinians continue to rise up. Refusing to be erased, Palestinians dream of a day when they, and all people, live in freedom.
If you are in solidarity with the Palestinian cause but do not agree with this particular objective, the objective of one democratic state in historic Palestine, let me remind you of the following (in the words of Tom Hickey, member of the British University and College Union [UCU] National Executive Committee, the largest further and higher education union in the world, which supports BDS):
“Those engaged in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle [against imperialism] must offer unconditional support to Palestinian resistance irrespective of whether one agrees or disagrees with the objectives.”
For further information, watch De-Colonizer webinar (in English) on the Israeli colonial destruction of Palestine
Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem and whose mother’s side of the family is from Ijzim, south of Haifa. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank