Thought on Palestine/Israel: Acquisition and Dispossessions Is Theirs, Return from the Internal and External Transfers Is Ours


Walid Salem – TRANSCEND Media Service

3 Jan 2019 – You are trying hard to probe the behavior of the colonized settler. Look at the faces and hear the loud voices as you walk through the old town of Jerusalem and ask yourself: Who are these, and why are they behaving as if this is their country?

First of all, to the founding myths of the State of Israel (legends according to Roger Garaudy, superstitions according to Ilan Pappe, and inventions according to Shlomo Sand), you understand from these writings that these myths and superstitions  are only what is invented in order to form a “people”. But there are two parts of the question that remain afterwards, the first of which relates to how this people consists, “and the second relates to the evolution of the mentality and behavior of this” people. ” The country has a history, a language and a culture of the indigenous population inherited from the fathers and grandfathers?

Without detailed elaboration, not provided by this small space, the following theory of what happens can be presented. Let us start with the invading party:

Inside this invading party, a process of colonial settlements is created, mostly Western, with greed and a desperate desire to uproot peoples, and replace them after uprooting them. This is not the behavior of “returnees” after two millennia of diaspora as the Myth claims, but the behavior of the arrogance of power and self imposition as expressed also by those who build depending on the power of the reality, and are stringing in the alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem.

This is in contrast to the fact that the other side consisting of the indigenous people is subjected to comprehensive elimination in all aspects of life. If we take Jerusalem as an example, the first form of elimination you encounter is separating you from the land and Judaizing it. Second you to be eliminated by considering you as a non-Palestinian, but as a  “Jordanian Citizen residing permanently in Israel”. Third:  Your link with the general public of Palestinians is removed through restrictions and barriers; and fourth, your culture and institutions are eradicated and you are subordinated to the Israeli institutions in which you have no identity.

In this context, democracy is also used, so there is a democracy for the colonists. In contrast, this democracy is criminal against the original people. As Michael Mann wrote, this “democracy” is criminally proportional to the original people as it grows in favor of its “people”. It Does not flourish, nor flourish its democratic aspects except at the expense of the indigenous people, their land, their existence, their entity and their political, social, economic, cultural and legal structures. In other words, the democracy of the colonizer does not allow the emergence of a corresponding and threatening democracy that is the democracy of the colonized.

All of the above results in an internal expulsion of the original people, in addition to the external expulsion. You live in your country, but you are deprived of all the resources that you can own. You are chased all the time: Between keeping the identity card, or keep your house from being demolished.

They keep the family under threat of reunification laws designed to eliminate your existence. This is related to the division of Jerusalem between the Palestinian Jerusalemites, between them and the rest of their people in their areas of national authority and in the diaspora, as well as by an internal disintegration of the community, which is reinforced by differences in the agenda, familial and social disturbances and conflicts. The settler colonial power kills also your democracy that arises among the indigenous in a colonial society. Your possession of its resources represents a threat to the democracy of the colonists it holds, and therefore it might sustain any democratic outlet you have as an ethnic people.

There is no way to compare ourselves with them, since this comparison is politically wrong and practically harmful. They should compare with colonial settlement communities like America, Canada, Australia and others, not us as a people subject to them and pay every day the bill of blood and suffering, and lose the ground from under his feet inch by inch.

We compare with our corresponding liberation movements in the world to draw lessons from their successes and failures, as well as from our own experiences.

In this context, some compare us and them with all the resulting self-skin and the spread of despair and frustration. On the contrary, it is when we compare the situation with the liberation movements, especially the successful ones, which strengthen us and sharpen our hopes to move forward.

Moreover, our values ​​that respect generosity, courage, dignity and self-respect cannot be compared with the values ​​of the thieves of land, and those who exhaust the human dignity. Can we emerge from the framework of the skin of the self to the framework of the restoration of our lofty values ​​behind the fragmentation that is made for us and we should look at ourselves according to it as people of inferior position who have something that they are lacking every time. If we look deeply, we are not. How then did we allow them to divide us?

As Zionism blurs the difference between Jerusalem and the rest of the country in terms of colonial settlement practice, we must, on the other hand, re-establish the Palestinian national movement according to its original values ​​and make it a guide for our actions. There is no way to uphold the right and defeat the colonist prospects unless we do so. Then we will return from the case of expulsion in its internal and external forms and restore with this return control over our resources and our existence and our entity. Is there a program that leads and works in partnership with people and not on their behalf? Will the vanguard be carrying the program and re-lighting the path with the participation of the people to achieve it?


Dr. Walid Salem is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He was born in East Jerusalem in 1957 and teaches democracy and human rights at AlQuds University. He is a writer of thirty books and training manuals, and tens of research papers on Democracy, civil society, citizenship, refugees, and Jerusalem. He is also a consultant, evaluator, and trainer for several public and private bodies. Salem trained more than thirty thousand Palestinians on these issues since 1990. From 1993, he has been the Director of the Centre for Democracy and Community Development, East Jerusalem. He is the Coordinator of Middle East Citizen Assembly as regional network of experts and activists on citizenship issues that include participants from 19 countries from the region since 2004. He has lectured at several international conferences and seminars about democracy, Jerusalem, refugees, and development in Palestine.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 7 Jan 2019.

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