Palestine: A Case of Settler Colonialism
The conflict over Palestine is a century-long war involving a settler-colonial movement–Zionism–which succeeded in forming a national entity–The State of Israel. The term settler colonialism may not be well known but it accurately describes what has happened to multiple regions of the world from Ireland to Canada and from New Zealand to Palestine where indigenous populations have been subjugated and displaced. In the case of Palestine, the Zionist movement was supported by superpowers, first Britain and then the U.S. President Truman was told by State Department diplomats that an overtly pro-Zionist policy would harm U.S. interests in the Middle East. To them, Truman said, “I am sorry gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism. I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents.”
Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University and editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. His articles appear in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and many other journals. He is the author of Palestinian Identity, Brokers of Deceit, The Iron Cage and The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine.