Hatem Bazian: Palestine … It is something colonial

BazianPalFrontfullHatem Bazian from the University of California, Berkeley has published a new book in the series Decolonizing The Mind. He provides a decolonial analysis of the occupation of Palestine. He presents a framework to understand and relate to the unfolding events from the late 19th century up to the present in a clear and unambiguous way.

In 1902 Theodor Herzl, founder of political Zionism, wrote to Great Britain’s Minister of Colonies Cecil Rhodes stating: “You are being invited to help make history. It doesn’t involve Africa, but a piece of Asia Minor; not Englishmen but Jews… How, then, do I happen to turn to you since this is an out-of-the-way matter for you? How indeed? Because it is something colonial.”

Palestine is the last settler colonial project to be commissioned in the late 19th early 20th centuries and still unfolding as we enter into the 21st Century. In centering Palestine’s modern history around settler colonial discourses Dr. Bazian provides a framework to understand and relate to the unfolding events from the late 19th century up to the present in a clear and unambiguous way.

Zionism settler colonialism has salient features such as the normative deployment violence, religious justification, having a garrison state to sponsor it, transforming the land and geography and constituting a new colonial epistemology related to it as well as the expulsion and negating the existence of an indigenous population.

The book offers a theoretical basis for approaching Palestine as a subject without falling into pitfalls of an internationally supported ‘peace process’ that on the one hand affirms the settler colonial rights, problematizes the colonialized and dispenses with the ramifications.

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Dr. Hatem Bazian is a lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, Editor-in-Chief of the Islamophobia Studies Journal and Director of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project Center for Race and Gender at the University of California, Berkeley.  Dr. Bazian is a co-founder of Zaytuna College, the first accredited Muslim Liberal Arts College in America, the National Chair of American Muslims for Palestine, Board Member of Islamic Scholarship Fund, and Board Member of the Muslim Legal Fund of America.