The year 2021 and what used to be the land of Palestine is shrinking by the day. Today, Palestine means the State of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). A partition was decided by the United Nations (UN) as the Partition Plan in 1948, heavily influenced by the Zionist lobby beforehand. A partition violated ever since 1967, with the defeat of Arab armies by Israel within a week. Extremely sensitive topic in history for an entire Arab generation but above all a tragedy for the Palestinians.
According to the UN, this territory consists of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. And when the international community and others refer to a two-state solution, they mean that a future State of Palestine would exist in the OPT in peace alongside the State of Israel.
You need just a map to understand the absurdity and impossibility of such a solution under the current realities on the ground. The West Bank is being illegally annexed through Jewish-only settlements and Jewish-only roads. Also, Israel is actively and forcefully evicting Palestinians from their properties in East-Jerusalem to then give these properties to Jewish individuals through court cases. Not to mention that the Gaza Strip has been under siege since 2007, effectively cut off from the world, and is repeatedly being bombarded under the pretext of security or/and retaliation.
At the core of systematic oppression and racism lies an ideology. An ideology [Zionism] that gets conflated with a religion [Judaism]. However, let it be clear that when those in solidarity with Palestinians criticize Israel, the problem confronted is Zionism. Zionism is the pursuit of a Jewish-only state on the land of historical Palestine and further. Because the Torah says so, according to them.
To my knowledge, such an ideology exposes a colonialist project which has been — and continues to be — implemented at the expense of the Palestinians. In order to advance the colonization of the land, ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people is part and parcel of the policies issued by successive Israeli governments. Notwithstanding the adoption of an apartheid system [a crime under international criminal law] paired with racist laws, while proudly claiming to be “the only democracy in the Middle East.”
“Blatant and consistent violations of international law! Of ethics and morality! Of the noble norms and values of democracy!” academics, lawyers, human rights groups, activists and, of course, Palestinians have been saying in the past 71 years. Yet, full impunity and lack of accountability so far for Israel and its decision-makers. How come? Countless books have been written, but ultimately:
- Unconditional economic, diplomatic and ideological support from a world power government [the United States].
- A next-level sophisticated lobby and propaganda strategy inside and outside Israel [ensuring the support if not silence from the US, EU and other governments].
The steady harassment and overall suffering under the military occupation is an inevitable outcome of the Zionist ideology, and sustained through the two points mentioned above. What seems to be the uninterrupted pattern, as well as the strategy of this ideology is the structural depopulation of Palestinians from Palestinian land, houses and other property while ensuring fragmentation of Palestinians living in besieged Gaza, the military occupied West Bank, last-class Palestinian citizens inside Israel and those Palestinians living in exile as refugees.
So what can we do? For one, look into the statements of our governments on the situation in Israel and the OPT. If your government supports a two-state solution — like the Dutch government — while the Israeli government is violating every possibility of achieving a two-state solution, you are totally entitled to write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassy or your political party requesting to take action in the various forms available. Examples are imposing human rights sanctions as well as suspending trade originating from illegal settlements. Meanwhile, you can educate yourself on the topic, join peaceful demonstrations and share the violations happening to bring attention since many media outlets won’t.