Palestinian Liberation in the Context of Conflict Resolution

There are multiple narratives of the founding of Israel and indigenous right to the the land from Zionist and Palestinian perspectives. These narratives are rooted in deep religious ideology, conservative approaches to Jewish liberation, indigenous rights, and differing understandings of territorial history. (1) There is also a large division of national allegiance, in which many Muslim states in the Middle East support Palestinian liberation and adhere to an anti-zionist ideology, as well as unwavering U.S. and other Western support for the success and safety of the state of Israel. Like many other politico-religious conflicts we have examined in class, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may appear to be a “religious” one over Judaism and Christianity, while in reality it is actually a political conflict over imperialism and the rapidly progressing genocide of Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.

Throughout the entirety of Christendom, Jews in Europe have faced violent persecution from Christian powers. This continued from the medieval accusations of Jewish blood libel to the Final Solution of the nineteenth century’s “Jewish Question”; the devastating event we now understand as the Holocaust. Due to the trauma of persecution, Zionism as an ideology developed in the nineteenth century as a solution to “The Jewish Problem” in Europe, in which its founders understood that in order for Jewish safety to exist, they would have to cooperate with imperialist and anti-semitic political powers.

Zionism was incredibly orientalist, as the ideology’s founder Theodore Herzl claimed the western Jews would “cleanse” the Middle East from it’s “filth”. (2) Today, Israel still implements these blatantly racist ideologies against Palestinians, as well as  MENA and Ethiopian Jews who suffer from systemic and violent persecution from white Jewish leaders in Israel.

Israel was declared as a state in 1948 due to the British Mandate of Palestine, which Palestinians now understand as al Nakba (the disaster in Arabic). Palestinians were forced to flee, die, or live in exile from their homeland due to the establishment of Israel as an ethno-religious state. The fight for land between Palestinian’s claim to territory and the Israeli government justifying their imperialist and violent actions to further settle and acquire land in the West Bank for Jewish peace and liberation. Therefore, control of land is at the very center of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in which the conflict is perpetuated by immense violence and destruction.

The religious significance and history of Israel, especially the holy city Jerusalem, creates further conflict between Israeli and Palestinian claim to the land. Both the state of Israel and the Palestinian government claim Jerusalem as their capital. Control of the region has led to immense violence. Due to the 1967 Six Day War, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) captured of the eastern quarters of Jerusalem, and political attacks have continued to occur on the holiest of sites over the possession of land.

Another factor that contributes significantly to the conflict is the U.S.’s devotion to deliver economic, military, and political support to the state of Israel. The U.S. continues to give over ten million dollars a day, while still claiming to act as a mediator and diplomat between Israel and Palestine through peace delegations and Camp David. Israel receives 1/5 of the U.S.’ total foreign aid, and conservative pro-Israel lobbying groups such as AIPAC and Christian Zionist organizations support the U.S. government in maintaining this relationship. There is also a deadly exchange between the two nations of military and police tactics, “first responder to terrorism” training, as well as weaponry and police trip to encourage transnational exchanges. (3)

As an American Jew, I do not support the state of Israel and its violent tactics for Palestinian land and genocide. Resistance movements organized by Palestinians and American Jews, as well as supporting the BDS movement, are essential towards ending the violence for land possession. We must center Palestinian voices and find new ways to obtain Jewish liberation that does not include colonial violence while advocating for Justice in Palestine.