‘Anti-Palestinianism’: Why we should start using this term

We are all familiar with the term “anti-Semitism” and its meaning/s, despite the fact that some current application of the term can be seen as either a misuse or manipulation of the true meaning of the original term. It is time we get used to the term “Anti-Palestinianism”. ■ Anti-Palestinianism is just as morally repulsive as anti-Semitism or any form of racism and discrimination.

By Tomas Rowan*

Anti-Palestinianism is hatred towards or prejudice against Palestinians as Palestinians.

Manifestations of Anti-Palestinianism might include the denial of Palestinian rights to a state of Palestine as recognized by over 135 member countries of the United Nations. It frequently charges Palestinians with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Palestinians for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and may employ sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of anti-Palestinianism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

1. Denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination and nationhood, or actively conspiring to prevent the exercise of this right.

2. Denial that Israel is in breach of international law in its continued Blockade of Gaza, and the Occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

3. Denial that Israel is an apartheid state (if one includes East Jerusalem or the West Bank as part of Israel Proper) according to the definition of the International Convention on Apartheid.

4. Denial of the expulsion of approximately 750,000 Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba.

5. Denial that Palestinians have lived in this land for hundreds of years and have their own distinctive national identity and culture.

6. Denial that the laws and policies which discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel (such as the recently passed Nation-State Law, and The Spousal Reunification Act) are inherently racist.

7. Denial that there is widespread discrimination against Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Territories in matters of employment, housing, justice, education, water supply, etc, etc.

8. Tolerating the killing or harming of Palestinians by violent settlers in the name of an extremist view of religion or that to put it mildly, the way the demonstrations in Gaza have been handled is a catastrophe if not a Massacre.

9. Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Palestinians — such as especially but not exclusively, the myth of a Palestinian conspiracy to wipe Israel off the map.

10. Justifying the collective punishment of Palestinians (prohibited under the Geneva Convention) in response to the acts of individuals or groups. The Geneva Conventions also forbid Colonizing Occupied Land whether a Military Occupation is legal or illegal.

11. Accusing the Palestinians as a people, of encouraging the Holocaust with the not so Grand Mufti who was banned from Palestine in 1937.

12. Applying double standards such as claiming that the Palestinians do not want to negotiate while supporting policies which make negotiation impossible, such as forced expulsions and land expropriation.

13. Justifying mass reprisals against civilians also known as Collective Punishment an Internationally recognized War Crime.

14. Denying that “Administrative Detention” used against Palestinian Christians and Muslims is a.k.a. detention without charge or trial is also known as “Unjust Imprisonment” which is an internationally recognized Crime Against Humanity.

15. Denying Americans the right to boycott products from the Occupied Territories labeled as Israeli or disallowing Americans to Boycott a foreign power (BDS) under “Penalty Of Law” as a company or in an individual is not only anti-Palestinianism it is Anti American. In NAACP versus Claiborne Hardware American’s Right To Boycott was Upheld.

16. Denying that Israel may not be a legitimate State because Israel’s admission to the United Nations in 1949 was stipulated on a full Right Of Return for all residents of pre NAKBA Palestine. Denying that every Act, Declaration, Mandate, or Resolution has specified full and equal rights for all residents including minorities. This includes Balfour and others particularly slanted for Jews.

Criminal acts are anti-Palestinian when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property — such as buildings, schools, places of worship and burial — are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Palestinian or linked to the Christian or Muslim faiths of Palestinians.


Tomas Rowan was with UNRWA as a United Nations Refugee Affairs Officer in Gaza during the First Intifada. His novel of that period A Bar Mitzvah At Arafat’s will be published this summer.