A Jewish family looks out over Haram al-Sharif compound, March 2013. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Netanyahu’s impending annexation of the Judaized parts of the West Bank (he says July 1st) is a transformative event for Palestinian politics, and the Palestinian people, who have long been reined in by impositions that accept Zionist myths and outright falsehoods and pay only lip-service to the clear historic record of the Nakba — the unconscionable story of how the Jewish state of Israel was created in Palestine by Zionist Jews and their Western allies.

The transformative nature of this most recent outrage on Israel’s part is evident in the tenor of the commemorations on social media of the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba — in the newly-exposed and disseminated historic images and the strength and directness of the message. So much so, in fact, that Facebook has just hired the former director-general of Israel’s justice ministry as a member of its new oversight board!

To observers like Susan Abulhawa, a Palestinian American writer and political activist, this move is “in preparation for Israel’s planned theft of a massive swath of more Palestinian land, they’re making sure we’re duly muzzled.”

The social-media discourse on Palestine during the commemoration of the Nakba this year has emphasized to the world three basic truths:

  1. Justice and peace in Palestine are predicated on the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
  2. Jews worldwide must refrain from emigrating to Israel from their countries of origin and Palestinian refugees/exiles must return to their homeland and property there.
  3. Palestine, from the river to the sea, belongs to its original inhabitants of all religions, not to Jews worldwide.

More clearly and boldly than ever before, the record of what really happened in Palestine in 1947–48 is being restored, as in this exchange on Facebook:

Roshan Hill: The issue is Jews who have left don’t get to come back by throwing out people who live there and have since time in memorial.

Rima Najjar: Roshan, the issue is not “Jews who have left”. Rather, the issue is Jews who were never there to begin with — colonizers from Eastern Europe who would have been happy to colonize and make a “homeland” out of anybody else’s homeland if they could.

Netanyahu’s impending annexation signals, as many people have long been saying, the official death of the two-state proposal — i.e. the partition of historic Palestine into two states, a Jewish state and a Palestinian state for non-Jews — and moves inexorably toward a unitary political construct, as envisaged in the political program of the Campaign for One Democratic State in Historic Palestine, whose first tenet is:

A Single Constitutional Democracy. One Democratic State shall be established between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River as a state belonging to all its citizens, including the Palestinian refugees. All citizens will enjoy equal rights, freedom and security. The State shall be a constitutional democracy, the authority to govern and make laws emanating from the will of the people. All its citizens shall enjoy equal rights to vote, nominate candidates for any post and take part in the country’s governance.

What Netanyahu’s impending annexation has done is open up an opportunity to widen the support for one state among Israelis and Palestinians alike, an opportunity that involves revolutionary resistance, both in Israel and among the Palestinian populations outside Israel. It is no longer tenable to maintain the kind of muddled attitude that one Israeli activist and BDS supporter, Tom Pessah, recently expressed on Facebook as a “pet peeve”:

Pet peeve: today Netanyahu declared there is a date for his annexation plan (July 1). I don’t exactly know how we can resist this, but at least it would be helpful if people stopped spreading misinformation. There is *no* plan for annexing the entire West Bank or of extending direct Israeli rule to millions of Palestinians. The plan is to annex rural areas near settlements, rather than the densely populated cities. What this means is that the value of land in these areas will now increase, creating an even bigger financial incentive to drive these Palestinians off of their land. Israel already has the infrastructure and plenty of experience to do this. The villagers will be encouraged to move to the cities, or face violence. It’s almost certain that this would lead to an increase of violence that they’ll face … Being for a future one state isn’t an excuse to disregard the situation of regular people in the West Bank in the present, and this situation is about to get dramatically worse after July 1.

When people spread a false dramatic scenario of full annexation, anything else that will happen will pale in comparison. If Hebron or Nablus aren’t annexed, the fate of villagers near Ariel will seem relatively insignificant. And that is exactly what Netanyahu would want us to think.

I don’t know a single person who believes “the fantasy” that one state is “around the corner” or is happy to disregard the “fate of villagers” living near Jewish colonies. Visualizing one state, however, and acting to widen the support for this proposition is, in fact, the resistance activists should be adopting, because there is no averting what Netanyahu is about to do. The one-state campaign is just beginning to get off the ground and it behooves all of us to support it in the ways open to us — through disseminating the information that the “fantasy” can and will be turned into reality.

In ‘Using Trump’s “Vision” to Break Free of Past Frameworks’, Yara Hawari, Senior Palestine Policy Fellow of Al-Shabaka, writes:

Many mainstream political ideas about the future of Palestine are primarily concerned with the containment of indigenous Palestinians and security for the Israeli settler state … Trump’s vision — effectively dictated by the Israeli right — does not radically break from what has previously been presented to Palestinians as possible futures … The Palestinian leadership has responded weakly, continuing to adhere to a political line that has led the Palestinian people to their most vulnerable point in history since 1948.

Resetting the Palestinian political agenda and strategy is imperative, and, for all we know, it is happening as we speak. As the following Al Jazeera report says, Palestinians have been trying to regain Palestine since the thieving bastards forced us out, and we are not likely to give up now.

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.


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