Settler colonialism, memory politics, and the Trump–Netanyahu deal
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational politics, 2023, 1-7. 10.1057/s41311-023-00527-8
Azmi Bishara’s Palestine: Matters of Truth and Justice is essential reading for understanding Palestine today. Initially, the book was supposed to be an English translation of a lecture on what Bishara calls the Trump–Netanyahu deal. Fortunately for the English reader, the lecture is now upgraded with eight chapters that build on decades of Bishara’s political and intellectual engagement with the question of Palestine. These chapters contextualize Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” within the longer history of the region and its geopolitical transformations. The task is ambitious but wonderfully executed. One leaves the book with a deeper understanding of contemporary developments, informed by the weight of history, and with a vision for justice in Palestine/Israel. Addressing all these dimensions in one symposium, let alone one contribution, is impossible. I will therefore focus on a specific topic that runs through the book, namely, the politics of memory in Palestine/Israel. In his introduction, Bishara notes that the book's different themes will be discussed in conjunction "with the questions of memory and forgetting" (p. 9). Below I will discuss four of these themes: the theoretical framework of settler colonialism, Bishara’s analysis of the Trump–Netanyahu deal, Palestinian resistance to the deal, and Bishara’s vision of justice in Palestine/Israel.