Palestinian Demands Should be the Foundation for Decolonization

A Palestinian activist climbs the Israeli Apartheid Wall in the West Bank. (Photo:

By Ramona Wadi

The Palestinian Authority now has a tangible proposal from the US, partly as a result of perpetual waiting. On several occasions waiting was touted as the reason for Mahmoud Abbas’s diplomatic delays and refusal to connect with Palestinian aspirations.

However, since US President Donald Trump laid bare his agenda with his unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Israel has been able to employ an overt approach to its violence and expansion, while the PA must accept fragments or nothing at all. So far there is no mention of Palestinian resistance as the means through which decolonization can come about. As a result the PA has not attempted to alter its limitations. If it does, it will destabilize its entire structure.

The US plan consists of an almost permanent exclusion of Palestinians from Palestine. Having altered the status of Jerusalem enough to set a precedent and for Israel to lay claims, it is ridiculing the UN’s non-binding resolutions which refute changes to the city’s status. In the event that a Palestinian state is created Palestinians would have to contend with a town outside of Jerusalem for its capital – media speculation has mentioned Abu Dis as the option.

Besides allowing Israel to expand its security narrative to the extent that a Palestinian state would still be subjected to the colonial enterprise, Trump has proposed two other concepts which seek to terminate Palestinian claims to historic Palestine. The plan calls for the recognition of separate national homelands for Israelis and Palestinians, ostensibly to promote a semblance of mutual recognition. It also puts forward a ludicrous proposal that Palestinian refugees should have the right to return within the borders of a Palestinian state, rather than to historic Palestine.

The premise of achieving mutual recognition is already erroneous. It is only possible to make such claims due to the fact that there is still no global intent, let alone consensus, to define Israel as a colonial entity without legitimacy. If one takes into consideration the marginalization of Palestinian refugees whose plight has been incessantly exploited, it is clear that mutual recognition cannot exist in a context that favors the settler-colonial state and its inhabitants.

If justice is to be served the Palestinian right of return should extend to all of historic Palestine. Israel will not redefine itself, yet it is resistant to suggestions which accurately describe its existence. This fact has been ignored by the PA and the international community in order to prioritize a failed diplomatic script which even now remains a point of reference.

A case in point is the intermittent declaration of countries recognizing Palestine as a state. Apart from justifications of “timing” in delaying the symbolic recognition, there is also the implication of recognizing a Palestinian state based on the two-state compromise. In the current circumstances, with the two-state solution having been exposed as a move to facilitate Israeli colonization and which has been declared obsolete because there is no longer a need for such a veneer, what have countries recognized? For countries whose recognition is still pending, what do they intend to recognize? If there is no unified intervention from Palestinian leaders that stipulates the people’s demands as the foundations upon which decolonization can be achieved, countries are merely recognising Palestine’s disappearance in accordance with US and Israeli demands.

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to

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1 Comment

  1. 100 years of residence of two peoples on a narrow strip of land proved that Jews and Arabs can not and should not live in one country. Every nation must live in its own country. This is the essence of the UN decision on the partition of Palestine.
    ALL Jews were expelled from the Gaza Strip and from areas A and B.
    It’s time to ALL 6 million Arabs of Palestine to obtain the citizenship of the Palestinian National Autonomy.
    Only then will begin economical, political and physical separation of Jews and Arabs.
    Without this, peace in Palestine is impossible.

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