Philip Weiss Interviews Rashid Khalidi: The Hundred Years’ War On Palestine A History Of Settler Colonialism And Resistance 1917-2017

by | May 13, 2020

Rashid Khalidi on why a century of settler colonialism with American support has failed to defeat Palestinians

The book is compelling for its understanding that Zionism and its friends have waged a century of aggression to secure an anachronistic settler-colonial project without being able to do so. And it tells a personal story. Khalidi chronicles the effort by his great-great-great uncle Yusuf Diya, a former mayor of Jerusalem, to convince Theodor Herzl to abandon his scheme in 1899 because Palestine was already populated. Herzl said not to worry, Palestinians will do fine thanks to the arrival of Jewish “intelligence” and “financial acumen”: “[N]o one can doubt that the well-being of the entire country would be the happy result.”

Khalidi relates his own work on the Madrid conference of 1991 that led to the Oslo accords in the 1990s. Khalidi was highly skeptical about the peace process then, and today deplores it as a delusion. The book describes meetings Khalidi had with Yasser Arafat in which he warned about Israeli control of the occupied territories. It also characterizes leading American peace processors as biased, having a “strong personal affinity for Labor Zionism.”

 

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