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Palestine: Matters of Truth and Justice


Born out of a lecture on the ‘deal of the century’, Palestine: Matters of Truth and Justice offers a thought-provoking analysis of the Palestine-Israel conflict, settler colonialism, occupation, and the issue of Palestinian nationhood. In the book, prominent scholar Azmi Bishara advocates for a justice-based approach and makes the important distinction of approaching the issue at hand with objectivity rather than neutrality.

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Palestine: Matters of Truth and Justice is composed of two parts; First is a historical account and reflections on history, and the second addresses the Trump-Netanyahu deal, the concepts of settler colonialism and apartheid, and the question as to what comes next in the future.

The book begins by emphasizing the significance of the Nakba (Palestinian Catastrophe), not merely as a historical context but a central element in understanding the ongoing issue. Bishara delves into the Nakba’s impact and its symbolic importance. The book highlights the core problem as settler colonialism, which involved occupation, expropriation, ethnic cleansing, and the displacement of the native population to establish a Jewish state.

Azmi Bishara argues that the Palestinian question is a matter of justice rather than a policy dilemma. To him, justice, in the context of Palestine, revolves around achieving equilibrium between equality and freedom for both Palestinians and Israelis. Bishara presents two forms of equality: equal citizenship in a single state or equality between two separate, sovereign states.

He highlights that the Palestinian issue is the last remaining unresolved instance of settler colonialism. Meanwhile, Israel’s insistence on maintaining a state based on ethno-religious dominance and refusal to acknowledge historic injustice further complicates the issue.

With normalization of the occupation, an ongoing case of settler colonialism in Palestine has transformed into a brutal apartheid regime over time. He further talks about the overlap between the “Arab question,” and the “Jewish question.”

When examining the Trump-Netanyahu deal, Bishara highlights the economic and political incentives and alliances that influenced it. He addresses the embrace of religious Zionism in the Trump administration and its role in the deal, and underscores how regional governments have sought to sideline the Palestinian cause and normalize relations with Israel.

The book concludes by discussing potential future strategies for the Palestinian struggle. Bishara indentifies that the task ahead is not ultimately theoretical and abstract but also practical and strategic- depending on a number of factors including political actors, the strength of resistance and the nature of international order.

In summary, the book provides a comprehensive analysis of the historical context, complexities, and possible paths forward in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing the significance of justice as a fundamental aspect of resolution.

The book comes as a valuable source following the escalation on October 7 that developed into a humanitarian crisis with Israel’s heavy bombardment in Gaza. As an urgent path to longlasting peace is needed, Palestine: Matters of Justice and Truth may offer some answers.

Azmi Bishara, Palestine: Matters of Justice and Truth (Hurst Publishers, 2022) ISBN: 9781787387102, 360 pages