Five anniversaries

Nov 30, 2017No Comments »

Five Anniversaries and their Alternatives: 2017

by Ran Greenstein, Jadaliyya, 29 November 2017

The year of 2017 is a year of landmark anniversaries. By definition, every year is, but the symbolism of round figures seems to justify an extended historical reflection. This should cover both the importance of key historical developments as well as alternative pathways that opened up at the same time, whether realized in full or not.  

1.  It is 120 years since the inaugural congress of the Zionist movement, which set itself the target of establishing, “a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law,” through “the promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Palestine of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers.” It identified the need for “preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary, in order to reach the goals of Zionism.” It did not mention the indigenous population living there at the time, including local Jewish communities.

2.  It is 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which set the contours of the current conflict by asserting,

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

While the Declaration noted the existence of indigenous people, it referred to them in negative terms only (i.e., “non-Jewish”), entitled to civil and religious but not political rights.

3.  It is seventy years since United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Palestine into two independent states, one Jewish and one Arab, against the wishes of the majority of the Arab population of the country.

4.  It is fifty years since the June 1967 war, which established Israeli domination over the entire territory of Mandatory Palestine, while keeping the local residents under military rule, without access to basic human and political rights to this day.

5.  It is thirty years since the First Intifada, which consolidated Palestinian resistance and the quest for an independent state in the 1967 occupied territories as a key goal of the national struggle.

These dates and the developments they unleashed had implications for different actors in the country, the region, and globally. In what follows I discuss some of these implications for settlement and resistance in Israel/Palestine, and point to alternative political perspectives, developed at the time and subsequently, which may continue to serve us today.

Read full article at Jadaliyya here >>

Select from blog archive

Select by tag

Comments are closed.