From Land Day to Nakba Day: the Meaning of Return
by Hassan E.T. on May 13, 2018



An Old Story

The continuing “dilemma” of the Palestinian refugees has in recent weeks reared its head again with the ongoing Great Return March in the Gaza Strip. The central demand of the Great Return March, which on March 30th galvanized 30,000 protesters, is the right of return for all Palestinian refugees. The right of return has always been the limitation of peace talks, despite the recognition of the right in international law and among the United Nations. The Oslo period, following the Accords that were hailed at the time by US President Bill Clinton as a “brave gamble,” saw the the right rebuked by the Palestinian Authority, a Bantustan government formed out of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Nonetheless, Oslo’s failure – like the denouement of other periods of “peace” – has given way to multiple movements, like the Great Return March or BDS, demanding the repatriation of Palestinian refugees.

Any adequate understanding of the ongoing Palestinian protests – and reciprocally, the Israeli onslaught on non-violent demonstrators – must reflect the history of land expropriation by the Israeli state. In usurping 78% of Palestinian land and ethnically cleansing some 750,000 Palestinians in 1948, the Zionist militias of the Haganah, the Irgun, and the Stern Gang (the Haganah reflecting the Labor Zionist tendency, the latter two the Revisionist tendency) put into practice the integral logic of Zionism’s founder, Theodor Herzl. In the origin text of Zionism, Herzl’s Der Judenstaat (1896), the land question – phrased here as the question of how to remove land from native sovereignty and place it under the sovereignty of a colonial Jewish settler class – was addressed quite frankly: “If I wish to substitute a new building for an old one, I must demolish before I construct.”1

Unlike other settler colonial ideologies, whereby assimilation of natives was one tool among others to negate native land claims, Zionism has displayed a considerable inability to integrate Palestinians. Other settler colonies were produced in “the settling, a relatively open-ended historical production that […] was amenable to assimilation.” But national boundaries fitting those of Eretz Yisrael, while disputed in its reach, were already conceived of by the Zionist project before expropriation. Simultaneously, Zionist settlers did not have to go to Palestine and dispossess natives to become Jews,2 as some settlers of the US had to in order to become white: the settlers were said to be the genetic descendants of the founding nation in historic Palestine. The Zionist project did not preempt the period and logic of racialization but followed directly from it. For this reason, Zionism carried forth a strategy of outright exclusion, whereby the settler polity “was prerequisite to the physical expropriation of territory.”3 Zionism attempted to disappear the Palestinians from history; the Zionist colonial period would speak of a “land without a people for a people without a land.”

However, despite 70 years of the Nakba (the Arabic term for the “catastrophe,” or the time beginning with the establishment of Israel in 1948), the Palestinians refused to disappear.

Episodes of resistance to the Israeli state, like the one that has recently emerged in Gaza, are varied in their demands and make-ups, but point to the ongoing inability of Zionism to settle the Palestinian question and to reconcile an Israeli notion of return with the Palestinian right of return. Palestinians are not just another population who face racialized discrimination by Israeli settlers but are the “native repressed” that “continue to structure settler-colonial society.”4 This piece will look to examine the racial development of Israeli settlerism and reflect on both the original Land Day struggle and the present Gazan demonstrations in order to elucidate the priorities of solidarity organizers.

Racecraft, Antisemitism, and National Restoration

You are being invited to help make history. That cannot frighten you, nor can you laugh at it. It is not in your accustomed line: it doesn’t involve Africa, but a piece of Asia Minor; not Englishmen but Jews… How, then, do I happen to turn to you since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it is something colonial… [Y]ou, Mr. Rhodes, are a visionary politician or a practical visionary.” Theodor Herzl, Letter to Cecil John Rhodes (1902)

The common framing on parts of the left of Zionism as the culmination of “Jewish self-determination” rests on an ahistorical treatment of the emergence of political ambitions to colonize Palestine. This treatment usually rests on an “obvious” reading of Jewish theology, whereby religious notions of exile contain the kernel of an ancient nationalist aspiration. It is, therefore, not without some irony that rabbinical endorsements of Zionism came quite late into the history of the movement (the First Zionist Congress of 1897 only saw three rabbis, none from Eastern Europe, among the two hundred delegates).5 Zionism, as per Herzl’s vision, was a competing force, not an ally, to both religious and assimilationist Jews in Europe. However, even Herzl’s ideas about Jewish colonization were prefigured by a much older aspiration of European Christians to resolve the “Jewish Question.”

Inspired by millenarian notions of expediting the return of Christ and initiating the apocalypse, the 16th and 17th century saw the emergence of a biblical “solution” to Judeophobia through the deportation of Jews away from Europe and into Palestine. Regina Sharif in her important, yet under-cited text, Non-Jewish Zionism, traced the legacy of Israel’s establishment – as well as its current popularity in western nations – to an ideological foundation rooted in Christian Protestantism. Protestant Hebraism, the Reformation’s biblical interest in the Hebrew language, infused a new fascination in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies outlined in the Old Testament: the “Millennium was to be heralded by the physical Restoration of the Jews as a nation (Israel) to Palestine,”6 before their conversion to Christianity. These beliefs became increasingly popular, reaching figures like King James I and Oliver Cromwell, as well as religious communities like the English Puritans. Inspired by the teachings of the theologian Thomas Brightmann, the British parliamentarian Sir Henry Finch insisted in 1621 that, as per the demands of Biblical eschatology, Jews as a “Nation in general […] shall repaire [i.e. repatriate] towards their own country” by the restoration of historic Israel.7

Over time, this initial Protestant religious fervor enabled a strategic solution to administering colonial garrisons with a persecuted, surplus population, as with British settlement in North America or the US’ dealings with Liberia. Aided by cultural investigations into the “Hebraic people” (a topic that attracted the attention of cultural figures from John Milton to Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Napoleon’s campaign into Syria, at the end of the 18th century, envisioned a colonial response to the “Jewish Question” through the establishment of a Jewish colony in Palestine: “They will come in crowds not only to make industry flourish, but also the defray the cost of the revolution in Syria and Egypt.”8 Although Napoleon’s conquest was to fail, politicians and preachers across the Atlantic, like US President John Adams and Preacher David Millard, would aspire to a Jewish restoration to Palestine.

With the lessons taken from the administration of racialised populations established in the colonial encounter and the Enlightenment, European modernity transformed the philological category of Semitic into a racial grouping. Judeophobia was now transformed into antisemitism, Ashkenazi Jews – owing to their biological inheritance, not religion – carrying the seeds of an ancient Jewish nation.

The racial regime of antisemitism, along with the influence of the Haskalah, would inform Herzl’s political imagination. When his experience as a committed German Nationalist activist would come to an end due to anti semitic exclusion, he would initially aspire in 1893 to “resolve” anti semitism through a total conversion of Jews to Christianity. This “solution” would obviously fail and, by the time of the Dreyfus Affair the year following, Herzl would become totally disillusioned with assimilationism. He would not just become a convert to then then nascent and politically unorganized Zionist movement (then oblivious to Zionist settlements that had began with the First Aaliyah in 1882),9 but would inaugurate it in racial, rather than spiritual, thinking.

Zionism could not help but view Jews through this racial and national lens: not only were Europeans Jews ostensibly separate to European stock, they had been geographically dislocated from their national home, unlike the European races. Diasporic existence was detested, providing the grounds for figures contemporary to Herzl to adopt Hebrew – as opposed to Yiddish – as the national language (Herzl being in favor of German). In the eyes of the Zionists, Jewishness was immutable and prior to all other identities one might hold: “Jews in Poland were not Poles and Jews in France were not French. They were all members of the Jewish nation, dispersed and destined to be repatriated and united.”10

Zionism was conceived of as the perfect rebuttal to anti semitism: it would empty the Jews from Europe (the Jews that Herzl envisioned as “carrying the seeds of Anti-Semitism” into everywhere they went); it would accept that Jews were foreigners in the nations they inhabited (Herzl would notably have harsh words for the “assimilationists” of France and Hungary, the latter of which having given “legal sanction to mixed marriages”); it would land a “rootless people” (the “floating [Jewish] proletariat would become stationary,” Herzl envisioned)11; and, of course, this would all be carried out through a thoroughly European practice of colonialism (before the early 1900s, Herzl would suggest possible sites like Argentina, Uganda, or miscellaneous sites in Africa, although as Herzl noted to Ottoman officials, “we would prefer the expensive little area of Palestine”).12

This inversion would not be lost on other co-founders of the World Zionist Organization, like Max Nordau. Nordau, a physician and phrenologist by training and a soon-to-become intellectual figure in the Zionist movement, had suggested the “degeneration” of Eastern European Jews – shown through weakness and mental atrophy – in exile from their roots in Palestine due to miscegenation with Eastern European gentiles. The aspiration Nordau sought in Palestine was the total regeneration of Jews into Muscular Jews (Muskeljuden), whereby any Jew “who believes he is weak or is weak” can “have the muscles he wishes for himself.”13 More than just national restoration, Zionism promised the creation of a new Jew, in place of the old one.

Exclusion-By-Definition: Land and Labor

For western supporters – in France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, and the United States – the appeal of Zionism was obvious: it would ideally empty the West of its Jews (as the US had endeavoured with African Americans through Liberia), provide an imperial outpost in Palestine, and would, hypothetically, stem the tide of the revolutionary movements happening in Eastern Europe, assumed to be the responsibility of Jewish proletariats. Herzl knew his audience, telling the Grand Duke of Germany, “[M]y movement can help on two fronts: through draining off the surplus Jewish proletariat, and through harnessing international capital.”14 Stephen Halbrook documented the extent of the relationship between the parties, noting that Herzl would go as far as “agree[ing] with tsarist pogrom-organizers to repress information on the massacre of Jews at Kishinev in exchange for tsarist aid to Zionism, which would check (revolutionary) Jewish nationalism and drain the revolutionary parties of Jewish personnel, who would emigrate to Palestine.”15

This revolutionary energy would be channeled into other potentials in Palestine. Ironically, the early Zionist years would be dominated by the socialist tendency of Labor Zionism (which would remain the dominant tendency of Israel until its defeat in the 1976 elections). Racial regeneration would be established by the restoration of the land of Israel, “making the desert bloom” and producing the Israeli Sabra. Doctrinally, this would be enabled by “Hebrew Labor,” the popular belief in settler-only labor formations that would till the land of Palestine and produce the new Israeli-Jewish (or, as per the preference of early Zionist, “Hebrew”) man. Protests in the 1900s to the 1920s would call for the “conquest of all branches of labor in the land by Jews.”16 This policy would even be taken up by the Histradut – the National Trade Union of the Zionist movement.

The notable jewel of the initial Labor Zionist movement was the kibbutz, agricultural communes run by Jewish laborers. While the kibbutzim would enter the imagination of international parties and future Zionists as the progressive kernel of the settlement project, their initial purpose was quite concrete: as a “form of collective settlement,” it was “the cheapest and most effective way of colonising Palestine at the time.”17 One member of Kibbutz Sasa (built over the Palestinian village of Sa’sa’) would lament on the Passover of 1949:

Why are we celebrating our holiday in an Arab village? … Once there was an Arab village here. The clouds of Sasa floated high over other people one year ago. The fields we tend today were tended by others – one year ago The men worked their plots and tended their flocks while women busied themselves at baking their bread. The cries and tears of children of others were heard in Sasa one year ago. And when we came the desolation of their lives cried to us through the ruins they left behind. Cried to us and reached our hearts, colored our everyday lives… So we search for justification for the right to be here… It isn’t difficult to imagine how life must have been. Here a slipper, there a mirror, here a sack of grain, there a family portrait, a child’s toy… What gives us the right to reap the fruits of trees we have not planted, to take shelter in houses we have not built… On what moral grounds shall we stand we take ourselves to court? 18

The atrocity conducted by the kibbutzniks was neither the first nor would it be the last, as marginalized (along class or – with the importation of Mizrachi Jews in the 50s – racial lines) parties would be continually conscripted into a settler aristocracy.

Mapam, the 2nd largest party of the state in its early years, would fly the red flag at conferences and was close to the USSR until Stalin’s death. The trade unions that would form the basis of the Palestine Communist Party frequently disobeyed orders from the 3rd International to integrate Arab workers (in the 1920s, PCP had no Arabs in leadership position and very few Arab members). This was justified over the fear that “Arab membership would diminish its influence among Jews and ultimately destroy the movement.” The fears of the majority of the party would become realized when it carried forth a minor Arabization campaign: “Once Arabization became a primary focus of the party during 1923–1924, the party claimed to have only 20–30 percent of the number of members it had claimed just a year earlier,” and the Histradut would expel the PCP, which would undergo a leftward and anti-Zionist shift.19 However, when in December of 1947, the USSR gave recognition to Israel in the United Nations (soon shipping arms to the Haganah through Czechoslovakia), the party would be forced to justify the ostensibly progressive character of Zionism against “reactionary” Arab Nationalism and the PCP, now merged with other communist tendencies, and would re-establish its popularity with Jewish laborers as Maki (the “New All-Israel Communist Party”) in 1948. In addition to the validation of the Zionist movement, the labor movement of the new state would rest on the rejection of the Palestinian population in Israel (the majority having been cleansed in order to establish the state). For the Palestinians that remained represented by only the most “radical” segments of the Labor Zionist movement, their struggle would be limited to minor reforms, with many of their comrades complicit in their oppression.

The labor settlers, especially the kibbutzniks, had filled the ranks of the Haganah. It was no secret that the Labor Zionists, pre-Nakba, had envisioned “transferring” the Palestinians elsewhere, to some other potential “home.” In 1942, Ben-Gurion would even note that, “To the extent that I know Zionist ideology, this [population transfer] is part of the realization of Zionism, the perception of this Zionism is the transfer of the people from country to country – a transfer by agreement.”20 However, as would be openly acknowledged by the Revisionist Zionists under Vladimir Jabotinsky, transfer would not be done voluntarily. To the soldiers, the future working-class of Israel, the task was obvious: uproot the Palestinians. Palestinians towns like Haifa and Jaffa were cleansed by way of barrel and car bombs; Tantoura by arbitrary murder; Deir Yassin by rape and summary execution. The confidence of the militias was even demonstrated in their mission names – one task to clear out Arab villages in what would become the Northern District of Israel was entitled Operation Matateh, ‘Matateh’ being Hebrew for “broom.”

As the laboring class of the Zionist movement had made headway towards demographic purity, the project of settling the land provided the material benefits and the vested interests for Jewish laborers in the maintenance of the colonial apparatus. The pre-Nakba settlement project was carried out most successfully by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). The purpose of the JNF, founded in 1901 after the Fifth Zionist Congress, was to purchase land in Palestine. This task was made easier given the belief of national restoration that predated the pivotal settlement period: unlike the option to settle in Africa, settling in Palestine already denoted the imagined borders of Eretz Yisrael (the ‘Land of Israel’ in Hebrew). Crucially, the JNF, along with the Jewish Agency, stipulated that land acquisition was to be held as “the inalienable property of the Jewish people.” In addition, the land was only available for lease, not purchase, and the “land could not be leased to a non-Jew” nor “sublet, sold, mortgaged, given, or bequeathed to anyone but a Jew.”21

The exclusionary policies of the JNF would guarantee its success: before Israel, 85% of the Jewish settlements in Palestine were located on JNF land22 and the JNF would hold title of 53.8% of Jewish-owned land.23 Its success in excluding Palestinians even grounded the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which admitted that the “frontiers of the new state […] were largely determined by the success of the Jews in creating faits accomplis. All those parts to which the Jewish settler had penetrated were included within the state.”24 While the largest act of land expropriation were conducted by ethnic cleansing in 1948, the JNF was recognized in its contribution when, in 1960, it joined both a governmental land authority, meant to manage state and JNF land, and a developmental authority, meant to set land development policies, in an agreement with the Labor government.25 The JNF’s greatest victory was then in extending its policies of Jewish-only leasing to the entirety of Israeli state-owned land. In the present day, 93% of Israeli territory is under the ownership of the state,26 tied to preventing Palestinian-Israelis from building on Israeli land.27

A Home, Not a Land: the Internal Frontier

“I shall carve the name of every stolen plot
And where my village boundaries lay;
What homes exploded,
What trees uprooted, what tiny wild flowers crushed.
All this to remember. And I’ll keep on carving
Each act of this my tragedy, each phase of the catastrophe,
All things, minor and major,
On an olive tree in the courtyard of my home.” Tawfiq Zayyad, Palestinian Poet and Politician

In 1967, the Israeli state would occupy the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, the Golan Heights in Syria, and the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in historic Palestine. The occupations had fulfilled the expansionist fantasies of Labor and Revisionist Zionists alike, harkening back to David Ben-Gurion’s words at the 1956 Sevres conference: “the territories west of the Jordan will be annexed to Israel, as an autonomous region.”28 The expansions of 1967 would quadruple Israel’s territory from 20,000 sq. km. to 90,000, in just the course of a month.29 However, the surplus of Palestinians, both inside Israel and outside, had threatened Jewish demographic majority and would need dealing with.

The settlement project would expand impressively under the support of Labor, as the state occupation provided a new settler’s frontier. But the settlement project’s vision was not just concerned with the Occupied Territories: although Israel had stolen 78% of historic Palestine, Israelis in 1948 were still left with a nation that contained some Palestinians, despite ethnic cleansing. Palestinian-Israelis would be subjected to the Israeli Absentee Property Law, which would secure the property of internally-displaced Palestinians under the hands of the state and turn the Palestinian civilians into “present absentees.”30 In addition, Palestinian-Israelis were placed under military rule until 196631 and were banned from free movement until 1967, under the suggestion they would pose an internal threat to the state.32 These anxieties were never realized in the state’s first two decades, as popular struggle by Palestinian-Israelis would take the form of civil rights advocacy instead of revolution.

After the occupation, however, these fears would magnify. Near the end of 1975, the Gush Emunim – a religious settler’s movement under Rabbi Kook – sought to found a kibbutz in the West Bank region of Nablus.33 Established only the year prior, the Gush Emunim were now acting with no prohibitions from the state. The lack of response from the Israel, which would carry out its settlement program through the “informal strategy of annexation-in-denial,”34 and the Kook’s fantasies of conquest would ignite an uprising by Palestinians in the West Bank. This uprising would be characterized by Abdul-Azzi al-Hajj Ahmed as putting forth a new-found “confrontation and direct resistance to the soldiers of the occupation,” whereas prior movements in the Occupied Territories had been often confined to students and segments of civil society.35 Simultaneously, the years after the October War of 1973, which had damaged Moshe Dayan’s once universal popularity and deflated Israel’s conception of its strength, would see the increased militancy of Palestinians under occupation.

Before all this, the Palestinian-Israelis had been subject to a process of “uprooting”: the Zionist state would seek to sever the relationship between Palestinian-Israelis and their land, reducing fellaheen to evicted sharecroppers, taught to see land as solely “a means of production” instead of “as a homeland.”36 This process would meet great resistance in 1976.

Maki would split in 1965 over the question of Israel’s “right to exist”: the more critical faction would become Rakah. While the PLO lacked an influence over the Palestinian-Israeli population, the domestic Rakah would stand as one of the few viable parties for Palestinian-Israeli struggle, especially after the banning of Al-Ard (“The Land” in Arabic) in the 60s.37 In December 1975, Tawfiq Zayyad from Rakah would be elected as mayor of Nazareth, part of the Lower Galilee. The immediate response of Israeli press was one of horror. In the eyes of most “progressive” actors in Israel, Rakah had hoodwinked the people of the Galilee.

Shortly after Zayyad’s election, one leftist Zionist warned that an “open alliance between non-communist Israeli Arabs […] and a political party that is notoriously anti-Israel in its basic attitudes, is looked upon as an indication that the Arab population of Israel is siding with Israel’s enemies.” Mapam’s press would anxiously attribute the success of Rakah due to the increasing alienation of Israel and the growing popularity of the PLO.38

By January and February of 1976, the Knesset had declared a new goal of settlement expansion in the Galilee. Khalil Nakhleh would note of the motivation behind the decision:

The official rationale for the orders was explicit: demographically, Galilee is overwhelmingly Arab; the percentage of its Jewish population needs to be increased. In addition to the confiscation of Arab lands, armaments factories - in which Arabs are not employed for security reasons – would be moved to Galilee to enhance the Jewish economic base there. A Jewish state must become Jewish in all its constituent regions. Because of its goal, this new plan for expropriation became known as Yihud Ha-Galil, or the Judaization of Galilee. 39

The declaration was inspired by an internal report of the Ministry of Interior, penned by Israel Koenig. Suspicious of the Palestinians, feared as agents of dissent in Israel, he called for the expropriation of land in the Galilee and Jewish resettlement. One fake quote from the report was leaked to the press, asserting that “the Arabs of Israel are like a cancer in the heart of the nation.” The recommendations of the report were put to work in the “Judaization” policy in the Galilee, whereby an influx of settler institutions (towns, kibbutzim, community centers) would take over land uprooted by emergency ordinances and military demands.40 Abraham Givelber, Knesset MP from the Labor Alignment, would call for the “the speedy removal of the war industry from the centre of the country to central Galilee,” because:

the removal of these factories, all of which depend on Jewish Labor, would result in thousands of employees and their families moving to Galilee and these, in addition to the employees of the services sector, would effect a great change in the demographic structure of Galilee. The important point here is the Jewish Labor on which these factories depend, because other factories can absorb non-Jewish Labor and investment in them does not bring in any gains in the demographic field.”41

In response, Rakah would lead a popular protest, attended by lawyers, politicians, and students, in the village of Sakhnin in the Galilee. The protest would attack the decision of Israel to “close the said area [of “Zone 9” near Sakhnin] and then to confiscate it as a step towards dispossessing Arab peasants of their lands.”42 The government would push forward and, in early March, residents of Nazareth had made a call for a general strike on what would become known as Land Day, March 30th, expressing a vision of Palestinian land as not just land, but home.

Figures of Israeli civil society would voice the panic that had infected the public. Professor Shimon Shamir recalled that before the Nakba, the “Jewish population […] did not number much more than half a million,” while the “Arabs of Israel number more than half a million.” Similarly, he would suggest that the PLO – despite its lack of strength in Israel – had “created a problem […] of identity and loyalty.” An Israel weakened by the war of 1973 was no longer emitting an “image of strength and confidence” and had to throw out the “concepts that were permissible and meaningful” to “the Arabs of Israel in the past.”43 Others would admit that the only way to alleviate the situation, while the Palestinian-Israelis were under the influence of Palestinian nationalism, was to reduce the land confiscations and harassment by the security apparatus and clarify the relationship of the state to the Palestinians.44 The state was more than ready to clarify this relationship: on March 28th, the Minister of Police announced that his men were “ready to break into the Arab villages.”45

The Land Day demonstrations were met with violent suppression. The security forces would kill six Palestinians that day, in tandem to bludgeoning protesters and arresting Palestinians that had in their homes. One observer recalled:

We had no intention for any violence, all we wished was to declare that we oppose the expropriation of land. We were near Arabeh, the policemen started shooting without any real provocation on our side … They also announced a curfew over the village at night; most people had no idea what went on. Then the police broke into the houses and arrested young people whom they claimed did not obey the curfew … in the chaos demonstrators were killed and wounded. And then you stop and think: when did the police in Israel ever shoot at Jewish demonstrators? 46

Following the Israeli repression of Land Day, the left had taken to emphasizing Palestinian culpability in the casualties. Yigal Allon, Foreign Minister, would suggest the “accumulated bitterness” of the Palestinians had been “quickly exploited by professional propagandists inspired by quarters outside the borders of the Middle East.” The recently deceased Shimon Peres, then the Labor Defense Minister, had perhaps let more slip than expected when he proudly proclaimed: “We shall tear up all Arab violence by the roots.”47 While Israel had seized land in 1948, that land still needed to be settled.

In a stupefying response, the Secretary-General Meir Talmi of the socialist party Mapam would suggest that parallel to operations to “Judaize the Galilee,” the government should lay out plans to “Arabize the Galilee.” Others were less apologetic, like Victors Cygielman, who would suggest that it was due to the combination of factors of “underdevelopment of the Jewish villages,” the “struggles in Lebanon,” and the increased “feelings of insecurity” of the Israeli public that the need emerged to “breathe new life” into Nazareth, where Arabs now “number[ed] almost a quarter of a million, as compared with sixty thousand Jews.”48

Rakah, of course, would face the brunt of blame for prodding the Israeli psychological wounds of the Nakba. As the Israeli press envisioned it, the Palestinian-Israelis, now under the allure of a national struggle and in proximity to the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories, were demanding far more than civil rights. It was believed that Rakah’s leadership in the Galilee hid a “more dangerous objective” of “restor[ing] Galilee to its pre-1948 status” by politically galvanizing a region where Israel had settled too little. Some Israelis were so encouraged by the uprisings that they declared that the 1948 cleansing must be carried out to completion, “from the point of view of the desired demographic character of the Land of Israel.”49

While Land Day would see a major mobilization of protesters in Nazareth, celebration was short-lived. The 1976 Israeli elections, determined by a protest vote by the internally-marginalized Mizrahi Jews50 (who would also serve as the immigrant surplus for the state to settle the Occupied Territories),51 would see the ousting of Labor Zionism from office for the first time in the state’s history, while the Likud party (representative of Revisionist Zionism), under Menachem Begin, would take the helm. Along with Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, Begin would successfully expand the Jewish settlers in the Galilee.

Feeling comfortable in their triumph, Israel would leak wholesale the Koenig report. Population transfer, as had been advocated by lobbyists (including Ben-Gurion) for some time now, caught the ear of Begin by advisor Moshe Yegar, who noted that the events of Land Day were a “confirmation […] that there is no remedy for the problem [i.e. the Palestinians], in spite of what Israel has invested in the Arab minority, and that the only alternative is the complete separation between peoples by encouraging the Arabs to emigrate.”52 Incorporation of Palestinians into the Zionist nation – as was done out of necessity in 1948 – was a failure, and Zionism would continue to look for “viable” methods of exclusion. With the territorial thefts of 1948 and 1967, Israel had produced for itself two frontiers, both populated by natives: one was the Occupied Territories and the other was internal to the state. As the Palestinian population of Israel, now reaching a fifth of the total population, is regularly likened to a “demographic time bomb,”53 the experience of Land Day lays out a clear message:

We share the same fate as all the other 1948 refugees—the only thing that distinguishes us is that our displacement and forced transfer took place within the borders of the homeland instead of outside it. Though we have remained in our homeland, we share the same fate with our brothers outside. 54

The Gazan Repressed

I won’t come to you. But you, return to us! Come back, to learn from Nadia’s leg, amputated from the top of the thigh, what life is and what existence is worth. Come back, my friend! We are all waiting for you. Ghassan Kanafani, “Letter From Gaza”

Since the founding of Israel, the Gaza Strip has functioned as an internal sink (i.e. internal to historic Palestine) for displaced Palestinians. Initially, the Nakba heralded the influx of 250,000 of these refugees to Gaza. Today, despite a population of 1.9 million people, an estimated 1.3 million of the Gazan population come from elsewhere in historic Palestine, outside the meager 141 sq. km. of Gaza.

While Zionist fantasies assigned the important task of “making the desert bloom” to colonization, Gaza was systematically deconstructed in the years following the 1967 occupation. Political economist Sara Roy set out the paradigmatic analytic for this process in her work on “de-development,” a process by which an indigenous economy would be dismembered by the colonizing body. The forms of de-development would shift with the needs of the Israeli state, as per the ideological demands of “expropriation and dispossession; integration and externalization, and de-institutionalization.”55. Until the 1st Intifada, the Gazan economic sector was made auxiliary to Israel’s; following the Intifada, economic pressure and labor closures, whereby Gazan workers would be unable to work in Israel, were used to quell anxieties about Palestinian resistance and the potential ties being forged by Gazans and Palestinian-Israelis.56 When the Oslo Accords were put forth, the Palestinian Authority would replace the Israeli metropole in maintaining the closure policy and “securing” the Gaza statelet, while forgoing the original national aspirations of the 1968 charter.

The 2nd Intifada saw the contradictions of Israel’s settlement project come into the fore. While the IDF could work to suppress the popular uprising in the West Bank, differentiating settlers from natives would be difficult in the densely populated, microcosm of Gaza. In addition, the politically formidable Hamas 57 – a syncretic fusion between Islamic modernity, Hegel, and Palestinian nationalism – had outpaced the Palestinian Authority in terms of local popularity, due mostly to its refusal to concede to the two-state solution. Similarly, while Palestinians in the West Bank could be uprooted to Jordan, the same option was not available for Gazans towards Egypt. And while Israeli treatment of the West Bank could persist successfully, something would need to change in Gaza.

Ariel Sharon, the hawk who made his name in directing the IDF in its joint massacre alongside the Lebanese Phalangists of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, would de-settle Gaza, a biblically-insignificant piece of land compared to the West Bank. This decision enabled the two policies that have characterized the extreme, contemporary conditions of the Gaza Strip: 1) Israel could continue to maintain control of Gazan resources and borders, without the same international attention that fell upon settled lands; 2) it allowed for the compounding of de-development with the strategy of, as Ilan Pappe has coined it, “incremental genocide” – the state of Gaza could be strangled by resource theft, have its power generators and water facilities targeted, and be placed under economic siege, while the Gazan population could be lessened by bombs.58

The severity of the occupation, as well as the increasing desperation of Hamas,59 has provided few ways out for the Gazan population. The constant specter of another bombing campaign – like 2008, 2012, or 2014 – has been teased by an Israeli administration and opposition that are unified in their approach to the Occupied Territories. Meanwhile, Hamas has been levying heavier taxes and fines in order to sustain itself, and unemployment has reached over 50% in Gaza, with young men turning towards the ranks of militant groups as a response.60

Unlike the Land Day of 1976, the optimistic climate of the early- and mid- 70s has disappeared, while Israeli aggression has only escalated. Likewise, Gaza is no Galilee: after de-settlement, it is no longer a viable “frontier,” meaning the IDF does not have to restrain itself to methods made for expansion. However, the extreme circumstances surrounding Gaza has enabled a new series of mass-scale protests, organized by local activists and quickly endorsed by parties from Hamas to the PFLP, that have culminated into the Great Return March, having begun on March 30th (Land Day) and meant to end on May 15th (Nakba Day). The culmination of these circumstances – economic, social, and militaristic – has been the roots of the March, heightened in its urgency and message by the lack of institutional responses to military occupation. The March’s foremost demand is the right of return as mandated by UN Resolution 194, with the hopes of garnering international attention to the refugee demonstrators of Gaza resisting Israeli settler colonialism. One organizer explained it simply:

The situation in Gaza has become unbearable and we absolutely can’t live in Gaza anymore – that’s what prompted us to plan this march and that’s why we anticipate so many people to attend the protest […] We’re ready for every possible scenario, even if they start firing at us. Nowadays, to be a Palestinian is to be an almost dead person. Palestinians die every day and we know that’s part of our reality. I was at the Erez checkpoint back in 2011 [during the last return march]; I’ve seen the full force of Israel’s cruelty.61

On the first day of the march, 30,000 demonstrators came out and marched towards the buffer zone – the “no go” area, where “30-40 percent of Gaza’s total agricultural land is contained,” manned by the IDF.62 Palestinians came out in families, standing some 1000 meters from the buffer zone, with individuals getting closer. 19 protesters would be killed on the first day, with hundreds injured by live ammunition and caught in tear gas. The next Friday saw some 50,000 demonstrators and deaths climb to 32. April 13th and 14th saw the deaths of four more Palestinians, as a result of both snipers and Israeli shelling near the city of Rafah.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, likened by Ilan Pappe to Israel Koenig,63 would proclaim on April 8th that there were no “innocent people in the Gaza Strip”64; Avi Gabbay, head of the Labor Party, commended the IDF in doing “everything to reduce the number of casualties”65; the military would announce on twitter, “Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”66 Palestinians, regardless of the tools they used, violent or non-violent, are targets; Israel does not seek to control them, but rather to get rid of them.

The proximity of the native sovereign – marching to the buffer zone – tugs at anxieties at the root of Israel’s settler polity. The Jewish right of return, as per the Nationality Law of 1952, guarantees the right of land to every Jewish immigrant, “to every Jew who comes to settle,” in order to secure the continued existence of Israel.67 Multiple frontiers require an influx of settlers to achieve the “restoration” of a 3000 years-old Jewish nation. The fact that another population – with keys and land deeds – contest this restoration produces great trouble for the state’s continuity. Israel must do its best to keep Palestinians away from the borders, because the demand for the Palestinian right of return restores the native ties severed by the colonial sovereign. As Gabriel Piterberg noted in The Returns of Zionism, “The only facet of Jewish Israeli identity that is not fragmented is the agreement upon the sine qua non principle of distancing the Palestinians from the collective and, where possible, from the land.”68

While the Great Return March was generated by immediate demands in the Gaza Strip, it has re-introduced the “native question” back onto the international stage: “The contemporary Israeli malaise has been caused by the failure of the colonialist enterprise. The natives have returned. The Palestinians, counted as dead in 1949, are now alive, haunting every minute of Israeli existence.”69

Domestic/International

I remember how upset Ghassan Kanafani’s son was when he came to visit a few years ago and discovered that Haifa was so densely built up with factories and all, whereas he had imagined it to be full of orange groves. So we took him north, near the Lebanese border, to the al-Bassa area, to Iqrit, Bir‘im and Ma‘alia, in other words, to where the landscape is still untouched. There he felt that Palestine was still alive, and he said, ‘Now my soul has been returned to me.’ Wakim Wakim, interview

Radical political struggles in Israel – class, racial, or gender – have their limitations: they can only develop so long as they can safely exclude the Palestinians. The original socialist institutions of the state are by-and-large irrelevant: Mapam’s red flag was put to rest and the party followed in the 90s. Labor exploitation today is more readily conducted on Chinese and Filipino immigrants, than onto the Palestinian populace. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi mourned (although it should perhaps be a sign of hope) that “left-wing Zionism proves that socialism can be mixed with colonialism, at least for a while, but not for long.”70Anti-racism, perhaps no better demonstrated than in the course of the post-Zionist movement of the 1990s, could only address the Palestinians by subsuming their oppression into the same racism that afflicted the racially marginalized among the settler class. Israel’s sexually-progressive image may mean much for its Western liberal approvers, but for the Palestinians of the Occupied Territories, sexuality serves as a tool for security services to conscript local informants.71 It is by way of the Palestinian that settler society in Israel maintains its stability.

Given the inability of transformation to emerge from within Israeli settler society,72international solidarity with Palestine has taken on the form of a concrete struggle, through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, carried out in response to a call by Palestinian civil society in 2005. Inspired by the tactics used against the apartheid regime in South Africa, the BDS Movement envisions international economic pressure on all parties complicit in the ongoing apartheid governance, occupational practice, and settler dispossession conducted by the Israeli state. BDS has three ultimate demands:

  1. The decolonization of all Arab lands and the dismantlement of the Israeli Apartheid Wall
  2. Equal rights for all civilians of Israel
  3. The right of return for all Palestinian refugees

The persistence of the last demand lies at the root of the Palestinian issue, although we should be cautious in our framing. The grounds of previous Israeli-Palestinian treaties were based off the misnomer of “land for peace,” by which land would be partitioned and returned to a semi-autonomous Palestinian administration, for the guarantee of political demobilization of Palestinians and the revocation of the greater right of return: “A fraction of the Palestinian people (under one-third of the whole) may attain a fraction of its rights (not including its inalienable right to self-determination and statehood) in a fraction of its homeland (less than one-fifth of the area of the whole).”73

As has been shown by the continuing status of the Palestinian question, as well as continued Israeli dissatisfaction towards the Palestinian Authority (one might wonder if the Bantustans had ever received the ire of South Africa to the same extent the PA has from Israel), “land for peace” has failed to abate the colonial conquest of Palestine.

The PLO would revoke its solution for Palestinian refugees when it had conceded to the Oslo Accords, shifting much Palestinian support away from the PLO and towards outside parties. The erratic maneuvering of Hamas in the past year – in part from its shrinking economic and political alliances – has meant ambiguity on its stance towards the two-state solution. Ephraim Malevy, ex-Mossad director, would predict in 2008: “The Hamas leadership has recognized that its ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future. They are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967.”74 However, regardless of the directions of political leadership, the many Palestinians who form the constituency of Hamas or parties in the PLO, as well as of the Joint List electoral parties in Israel, still retain and demand the right of return. Just as significantly, those Palestinian refugees outside the borders of historic Palestine, unrepresented by any formal party, have little to lose but their call for repatriation.

While particular success has come from the BDS Movement, along with contemporary academics, in reviving the framework of apartheid in discussing Israel’s racialized law, it is ultimately native dispossession that animates the institutions of the settler society, anticipating the structure of Israel’s legal codes. BDS continues to grow in popularity, but its political horizons are susceptible – like the anti-apartheid struggle of South Africa – to a drastic narrowing. Some commentators – and even some activists – may wish to emphasize its opposition to the occupation of the Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza Strip. Others might note its opposition to racist laws. While all these goals are admirable and necessary components of a just solution, the oppression of the Palestinians is not reducible to occupation nor to racism. The “positive force that animated the Jewish nation and its individual new-Jewish subjects issued from the negative process of excluding Palestine’s Indigenous owners”75: the identity of the settler came into being by the elimination of the native. The only manner by which to abolish the settler polity is to negate both the logic of elimination and the frontier, to return the refugees and whither Israel by native repatriation.


  1. Theodor Herzl. Old–New Land (New York: M. Wiener 1941). 38. 

  2. It should be noted that the state of Israel would go through its own crises over Jewish identity, particularly in the importation of Mizrahi Jews in the 1950s. 

  3. Patrick Wolfe. Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race (Verso, 2016). 244. 

  4. Patrick Wolfe. “Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native” (Journal of Genocide Research, 2006). 390 

  5. Shalom Goldman. Zeal for Zion: Christians, Jews, & the Idea of the Promised Land. 273. 

  6. Regina Sharif. Non-Jewish Zionism: Its Roots in Western History (Zed Press, 1983). 16. 

  7. Ibid. 17-8. 

  8. Ibid. 51. 

  9. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel (Olive Branch Press, 1994). 36-8. 

  10. Ibid. 58. 

  11. Theodor Herzl. The Jewish State (American Zionist Emergency Council, 1946). Introduction. 

  12. Theodor Herzl. The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl (Herzl Press, 1960). 1330. 

  13. Max Nordau. Max Nordau’s Zionistische Schriften (Jüdischer Verlag, 1909), translation my own. 385.
    For more information, see also Joshua Umland’s “Max Nordau and the Making of Racial Zionism” (University of Colorado Boulder, 2013). 

  14. Theodor Herzl. The Diaries of Theodor Herzl (Grosset and Dunlap, 1962). 120. 

  15. Stephen P. Halbrook. “The Philosophy of Zionism: A Materialist Interpretation”. Settler Regimes in African and the Arab World: The Illusion of Endurance (Medina University Press International, 1974), edited by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod and Baha Abu-Laban. 26. 

  16. Beit-Hallahmi. Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel (Olive Branch Press, 1994). 107. 

  17. Ilan Pappe. The Idea of Israel (Verso, 2014). Chapter 4. 

  18. Beit-Hallahmi. Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel (Olive Branch Press, 1994). 167. 

  19. Tareq Ismail. The Communist Movement in the Arab World (Routledge, 2009). Chapter 3. 

  20. Ilan Pappe. Ten Myths about Israel (Verso, 2016). Chapter 5. 

  21. Walter Lehn. “The Jewish National Fund”. Settler Regimes in African and the Arab World: The Illusion of Endurance (Medina University Press International, 1974), edited by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod and Baha Abu-Laban. 49. 

  22. Ibid. 43. 

  23. Ibid. 50. 

  24. Abraham Granott. Agrarian reform and the record of Israel (London, Eyre & Spottiswoode), trans. E.M. Epstein. 37-8. 

  25. Lehn. “The Jewish National Fund”. 51. 

  26. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid” (United Nations, 2017). 34-5. This report – nicknamed the “apartheid report” – characterized the Israeli state as an apartheid regime, before being retracted by the United Nations in the spring of 2017. 

  27. Fadi Edayat. ‘Israeli Arabs Have No Choice but to Build Illegally’ (Haaretz, 2010). https://www.haaretz.com/1.5090513

  28. Nur Masalha. Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: The Politics of Expansion (Pluto, 2000). 11. 

  29. Ibid. 15. 

  30. Ilan Pappe. The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel (Yale University Press, 2013). 39. Chapters 1-2 provide a lengthier discussion of the role the Absentee Property Law, as well as revived Ottoman Law, played in guaranteeing “demographic shifts” in Israel pre-1967. 

  31. Military rule would frequently validate acts of large-scale violence on the parts of the Israeli authorities, perhaps none more infamous than the 1956 massacre in Kafr Qasim. Kafr Qasim, a village near Tel Aviv, was placed under curfew on October 29th (the eve of the British-Israeli invasion of Sinai), without the knowledge of the Palestinian peasants. When the peasants returned, they were massacred by border police, killing 49. 

  32. Ibid. 92-3. 

  33. Editorial Staff of the Journal of Palestine Studies. “Struggle for the Land” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 5, 1976). 229. 

  34. Wolfe. Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race (Verso, 2016). 247. 

  35. Editorial Staff of the Journal of Palestine Studies. “Struggle for the Land” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 5, 1976). 230. 

  36. Ibid. 231. 

  37. Al-Ard would emerge in 1959 out of the ashes of the Arab Popular Front, which had been suppressed by Israeli authorities. Al-Ard would argue for a united, secular state in all of historic Palestine and the right of return for Palestinian refugees (a platform that would foreshadow the PLO’s 1968 Charter). Given the Basic Law – Knesset (1958), all parties opposing Zionism were prevented from being represented in Parliament and Al-Ard was denied registration as an official political party in 1964. Rakah was not necessarily Palestinian nationalist, however: it framed – or perhaps subsumed – the struggle of Palestinians in historic Palestine as a “class matter,” first and foremost. 

  38. Khalil Nakhleh. “Israel’s Zionist Left and ‘The Day of the Land’” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 7, 1978). 96. 

  39. Ibid. 97. 

  40. Pappe. The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel (Yale University Press, 2013). 127. This quote, while falsely attributed to the report, was not only reflective of the recommendations of the report, but mirrored almost exactly the language of Meir Kahane, who was to be elected to the Knesset under the Kach Party in 1984. While Meir Kahane was later suspended from Parliament, contemporary figures, like Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, frequently deploy the vocabulary of parasitism, tumors, or beasts in describing Palestinians or African refugees. See https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-lawmakers-call-genocide-palestinians-gets-thousands-facebook-likes or https://www.timesofisrael.com/mk-apologizes-for-comparing-migrants-to-cancer/.  

  41. Editorial Staff of the Journal of Palestine Studies. “Revolt in Galilee” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 5, 1976). 193. 

  42. ibid. 194. Protesters were further inflamed by the plans to confiscate more than 4,000 dunums in Kafr Qasim. Some, like Knesset MP Yosef Sarid, would oppose the confiscation of land in the Galilee on the grounds that it would inflame Arab memories of the 1956 massacre. 

  43. Ibid. 195.  

  44. Ibid. 196. 

  45. Pappe. The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel (Yale University Press, 2013). 130. 

  46. Ibid. 131. 

  47. Editorial Staff of the Journal of Palestine Studies. “Revolt in Galilee” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 5, 1976). 196-7. 

  48. Khalil Nakhleh. “Israel’s Zionist Left and ‘The Day of the Land’” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 7, 1978). 98-9. 

  49. Editorial Staff of the Journal of Palestine Studies. “Revolt in Galilee” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 5, 1976). 199. 

  50. Perhaps no other writer is more notable than Ella Shohat, an ex-Israeli Arab-Jew, in describing the “othering” of Mizrahim by the initial Ashkenazi settlers. An initial member of the “post-Zionist” grouping, along with Benny Morris and Ilan Pappe, her work was based off her own biographical experience as an Iraqi Jew raised in Israel, as well as by the opening of archives by the state. Much of her research has opened historical interest into the housing struggles of the 1960s and 1970s of Iraqi, Moroccan, and Yemeni Jews. Mizrahi Jews would radicalize under the banner of the Israeli Black Panthers in 1971. In its time, it would flirt with anti-Zionism, even meeting a delegation of the PLO; however, it would effectively fall apart in 1973, during the October 1973 War. 

  51. Pappe. The Idea of Israel (Verso, 2014). Chapter 8. Ilan Pappe’s dissection of the post-Zionist movement, and in particular the way the issue of Mizrahi marginalization was framed in the 90s and 2000s, is one of the best English-language resources on the topic. As he puts it: “The scholars’ revelations about the scope and depth of past discrimination were welcomed by the community of Mizrachi Jews, who also accepted the allegations that the Mizrachim were still being discriminated against in modern-day Israel. Yet they detested the comparison with the Palestinians and rejected any non-Zionist visions of the future, such as cultural integration of the Jewish community within the Arab world.” 

  52. Nur Masalha. Imperial Israel and the Palestinians: The Politics of Expansion (Pluto, 2000). 79. 

  53. Gideon Alon and Aluf Benn. “Netanyahu: Israel’s Arabs Are the Real Demographic Threat” (Haaretz, 2003). https://www.haaretz.com/1.4802179  

  54. Wakim Wakim. “The ‘Internally Displaced’: Seeking Return within One’s Own Land” (Journal of Palestine Vol. 31, 2000). 32. 

  55. Sara Roy. Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (Pluto Press, 2007). 33. 

  56. ibid. 35-6. 

  57. The founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was not just assassinated by Israel in 2004, but ironically, funded by the state in the late 1980s, in the hopes that political Islam would pose a less politically resilient and more internationally unpopular alternative to the PLO. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/07/30/how-israel-helped-create-hamas/?utm_term=.6011882f1c91

  58. Ilan Pappe. Ten Myths about Israel (Verso, 2016). Chapter 5. 

  59. The past summer has seen the severing of Hamas from its donors in Qatar, while only recently have maneuvers begun to re-establish ties between Hamas and the Syrian Government since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. Last year even saw Hamas releasing a new charter, acknowledging the two-state solution and recognizing Israel. 

  60. Sara Roy. “If Israel were smart” (London Review of Books, 2017). https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n12/sara-roy/if-israel-were-smart

  61. Rami Younis. “Gaza ‘Return March’ organizer: ‘We’ll ensure it doesn’t escalate to violence — on our end’” (+972 Magazine, 2018). https://972mag.com/gaza-return-march-organizer-well-ensure-it-doesnt-escalate-to-violence-on-our-end/134104/  

  62. Sara Roy. “Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the Islamist Social Sector” (Princeton University Press, 2011). Postscript. 

  63. Pappe. The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel (Yale University Press, 2013). 127. 

  64. “Israel defence minister claims there are ‘no innocent people’ in Gaza as 30 Palestinians martyred” (The Express Tribune, 2018). https://tribune.com.pk/story/1680628/3-israel-defence-minister-claims-no-innocent-people-gaza-30-palestinians-martyred/ 

  65. “Arab MKs back Gaza protesters; opposition split on IDF response” (Times of Israel, 2018). https://www.timesofisrael.com/arab-mks-back-gaza-protesters-opposition-split-on-idf-response/  

  66. Ali Abunimah. “Israel admits, then deletes, responsibility for Gaza killings” (Electronic intifada, 2018). https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-admits-then-deletes-responsibility-gaza-killings  

  67. Wolfe. Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race (Verso, 2016). 247. 

  68. Gabriel Piterberg. The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel (Verso, 2008). 200. 

  69. Beit-Hallahmi. Original Sins: Reflections on the History of Zionism and Israel (Olive Branch Press, 1994). 161. 

  70. ibid. 101. 

  71. Philip Weiss. “Israel surveils and blackmails gay Palestinians to make them informants” (Mondoweiss, 2014). http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/blackmails-palestinian-informants/ 

  72. Despite a draft that conscripts the entire population, excluding the disabled and those with religious exemptions, draft dodging has yet to become even a marginal force within Israel. This should be no surprise, given the immediate benefits a “Jewish state” may provide to Jewish Israelis. 

  73. Fayez A. Sayegh. “The Camp David Agreement and the Palestine Problem” (Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 8, 1979). 40. 

  74. Roy. “Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the Islamist Social Sector” (Princeton University Press, 2011). Postscript. 

  75. Patrick Wolfe. “Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native” (Journal of Genocide Research, 2006). 390. 


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