Search the Lounge

Categories

« Asian Journal of Law and Society 2021 Graduate Student Paper Competition (October 1 Deadline) | Main | Regent University School of Law Faculty Hiring Announcement »

July 13, 2021

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

A short but reliable introduction to the Zionist variation on settler colonialism is found in chapter 4, “Zionism Is Not Colonialism,” in Ilan Pappe’s book, Ten Myths About Israel (Verso, 2017). In the words of Pappe, “Zionism was a settler colonial movement, similar to the movements of the Europeans who had colonized the two Americas, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.” He proceeds to distinguish settler colonialism from classical colonialism before depicting and analyzing Zionism “as a settler colonial movement and the Palestinian national movement as an anti-colonialist one.”

In this instance, the colonization is modern in means but often mythical in genesis, the belief (sometimes explicitly expressed) being that these are ancestral lands belonging to the Hebrews and thus they are entitled to reclaim them. As Pappe notes, in the cases of both Palestine and South Africa, the settlers do not belong to the same nation that supports them.

Thus, and moreover:
“Unlike conventional colonial projects conducted in the service of an empire or mother country, settler colonialists were refugees of a kind seeking not just a home, but a homeland. The problem was that the new 'homelands' were already inhabited by other people. In response, the settler communities argued that the new land was theirs by divine or moral right even if, in cases other than Zionism, they did not claim to have lived there thousands of years ago.”

In consequence, we find the logic of elimination with regard to the existing inhabitants: genocide or ethnic cleansing, permeated by a logic dehumanization. Again, the chapter by Pappe is, to my lights, quite helpful.

“ … Zionism was a settler colonial movement, similar to the movements of Europeans who had colonized the two Americas, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Settler colonialism differs from classical colonialism in three respects. The first is that settler colonies rely only initially and temporarily on the empire for their survival. In fact, in many cases, as in Palestine and South Africa, the settlers do not belong to the same nation as the imperial power that initially supports them. More often than not they ceded from the empire, redefining themselves as a new nation, sometimes through a liberation struggle against the very empire that supported them (as happened during the American Revolution for instance). The second difference is that settler colonialism is motivated by a desire to take over land in a foreign country, while classical colonialism covets the natural resources in its new geographical possessions. The third difference concerns the way they treat the new destination of settlement. Unlike conventional colonial projects conducted in the service of an empire or mother country, settler colonialists were refugees of a kind seeking not just a home, but a homeland. The problem was that the new ‘homelands’ were already inhabited by other people. In response, the settler communities argued that the new land was theirs by divine or moral rights, even if, in cases other than Zionism, they did not claim to have lived there thousands of years ago.* In many cases, the accepted method for overcoming such obstacles was the genocide of the indigenous locals.” — Ilan Pappe

* As Pappe reminds us, “Zionism “was … a Christian project of colonization before it became a Jewish one.”

On the history of the creation of the state, read Victor Kattan. There is no necessity in SETTLER colonialism to having a parent state, hence the material from Pappe. Do not infer from this that there is only one form or species of Zionism; as for the different kinds, please see my bibliography for same available on my Academia page.

See too the pioneering study by the “independent Marxist,” Maxime Rodinson, Israel: A Colonial-Settler State? (New York: Anchor Foundation/Pathfinder, 1973). For an introduction to Rodinson, please see this post: http://www.religiousleftlaw.com/.../maxime-rodinson...

Ediberto Roman

Good essay, Steve. As always, well-written. Now, let me raise a point or two. It was an aggressive piece, but I believe it could have done a better job explaining the term settler-citizen, not just referring to its use as a way of attacking Israel's existence. I do not reject your argument, but without more of an understanding how and why detractors use it, I am left a bit perplexed how the terms is an assault on Israel's existence. Mind you, I believe Israel should exist, but am often left perplexed by recent conflicts with the Palestinian people--of course, a separate issue, perhaps. In sum, as someone that used the term settle-citizen to describe the U.S.'s relationship with its island dependencies long before the term was fashionable, I would have liked to know what you believed it means, what it refers to, and the impact of its use.

Anonymous Bosch

Is the Arabization and Islamification in the 7th century following the conquest aptly characterized as having rendered Palestine a "settler colony"?

Isn't the real problem with characterizing modern Israel a settler colony the fact that it is the effort of the indigenous people to reclaim the land from those who not only stole it in the name of religious-imperialist conquest, but who also seized the indigenous people's holy sites (engaging in cultural appropriation and cultural erasure) and imposed legal apartheid upon them for centuries?

One problem with Steve's analysis, though, is that many people are willing to recognize that America (like other countries in the new world, amongst others) is a settler colony. Yet most of those people don't think America is ispo facto completely illegitimate. (It's decidedly not in their self-interest to say so, of course). So, what Steve needs is that extra explanatory element showing HOW the "settler colony" narrative is used differently for Israel than for other modern states - which it most certainly is. Hint: it involves the weaponization of norms America itself has help ram down the world's throat since the the time of the League of Nations...

Anonymous Bosch

"In this instance, the colonization is modern in means but often mythical in genesis, the belief (sometimes explicitly expressed) being that these are ancestral lands belonging to the Hebrews and thus they are entitled to reclaim them..."

A case in point. Who owns what? What are the authoritative norms governing who may claim what? Look at the implicit/crypto-normative characterization of the illegitimacy of the Zionist's claim, just like the assumption of the legitimacy of the claim of the then-current occupiers.

"In consequence, we find the logic of elimination with regard to the existing inhabitants: genocide or ethnic cleansing, permeated by a logic dehumanization."

Do you reckon that this explains Dhimmitude, or is that a temporally prior (text-based) hatred and belittling? Does it nonetheless help to explain why the Arabs rationalized stealing the Jews' holy sites and banning them from them? For the occasional massacres of Jews in Palestine in the middle ages?

"In fact, in many cases, as in Palestine and South Africa, the settlers do not belong to the same nation as the imperial power that initially supports them."

This is just dumb. The British beat the Boers and loaded their people into SA. The Dutch had supported the Boers beforehand.

"Unlike conventional colonial projects conducted in the service of an empire or mother country, settler colonialists were refugees of a kind seeking not just a home, but a homeland."

Not for those who saw themselves loyal to the British Crown in all of the UK's settler colonies. Indeed, who saw themselves as British for decades after their respective states' foundings. To claim that those are just "classical" colonies rather than "settler" colonies is to make nonsense of the difference between British India and Canada.


So, Pappe's account of settler colonialism - unsurprisingly - doesn't add up. At all. Regardless, at what point, Patrick, do you have to just admit to yourself that you're simply not interested in the truth and more concerned with propagandizing and blanketing yourself with ideological delusions that make you feel good and powerful? When you reach that realization, how do you think you'll go about reforming your life?

anon

I remember hearing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, many years ago and when he was in office, explaining his objections to the Jewish state of Israel.

Basically, it went like this. Europeans were not natives of the land of Palestine. After the wrongs in Germany and Europe, they poured into Palestine and demanded that it be declared theirs. The problems created by Germany, he said, were European problems. Why should the Palestinian people pay for this, he asked.

He was very sincere. He couldn't understand that reason that all these Europeans would suddenly declare the land of others to theirs.

Of course, the rationale he explained left out the important historical references that Lubet's essay includes and other such relevant references.

But, more importantly, there is a deeper issue here. Migration and dispossession of peoples has occurred and continues to occur all over the world. The attitudes of others toward these movements depends not so much on consistent principles (despite Reich-like attempts to derive immutable racial and ethnic distinctions) but on politics and tribal hatreds.

What is at the core of the "Israel question" is the "Jewish question." And, in the debate, folks always show their true colors and the real basis for objection.

anon

Meanwhile ...

https: [//] www [dot] jpost.com/archaeology/2000-year-old-freedom-to-zion-coins-found-in-binyamin-region-673677

The comments to this entry are closed.

StatCounter

  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad