In the ongoing quest for a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is time to critically examine the persistent practice of requiring Palestinians to repeatedly condemn their resistance efforts. As a neutral observer, it becomes evident that this one-sided insistence on condemnation deserves reconsideration. I aim to shed light on the issue, away from the influence of white supremacy and with a focus on a balanced perspective.
The demand for Palestinians to consistently condemn their actions during their struggle for justice is a long-standing concern. It raises questions about the imbalance in the expectations placed on different sides of the conflict. This imbalance is, in part, rooted in a systemic problem known as white supremacy, which has played a significant role in shaping the world’s perceptions of violence, resistance, and justice.
At the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies the ideology of Zionism, a form of settler colonialism based on the belief that settlers have the right to displace indigenous Palestinians and establish their own state. Embedded within this ideology is a problematic bias that portrays non-white communities as inherently prone to violence. This assumption incorrectly holds that the non-white world is inherently violent and that any form of resistance must be disavowed or justified. Palestinians are persistently pressured to prove that they are not inherently violent and to distance themselves from extremists and terrorists in the eyes of the Western world.
This bias, however, is not consistently applied. White individuals in the United States and Israelis are rarely subjected to the same demand for condemnation, even though their communities have also experienced acts of violence and extremism. This double standard is a clear reflection of the deeply rooted prejudice associated with white supremacy. White individuals are not expected to condemn violence because they are already perceived as “naturally good,” in stark contrast to the perceived violence of non-white communities.
The second reason for demanding Palestinian condemnation is to divert attention from the core issue of the conflict. This tactic shifts blame from the colonizers to the indigenous people, from Israel to Palestinians. It effectively obscures the fact that the root of the problem lies in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.
In 1948, powerful nations made a series of decisions to establish the state of Israel on Palestinian land, leading to the dispossession and suffering of the Palestinian people. This is the true original sin, the foundation of all the issues in Palestine. However, the Western world, which played a significant role in this historical injustice, is unwilling to acknowledge its part in it. Instead, it perpetuates the narrative of Palestinian terrorism and extremism to deflect from its own complicity.
It is time for neutral observers to challenge this narrative and reject the constant demand for Palestinian condemnation. It is essential to break free from this cycle and focus on the central issue: the original sin of 1948 when a state was imposed upon Palestinians, causing their displacement and hardship.
Our collective responsibility now is to educate the world about what occurred in 1948, shedding light on the injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people. We must redirect the conversation away from condemnation and towards the real cause of this ongoing struggle: Israeli settler colonialism. This balanced perspective offers an opportunity to reexamine the situation and work towards a just and equitable resolution for all parties involved.