The Indigenous Palestinians

Monday, Mar 31, 2014 - Monday, Mar 31, 2014 | 3:00 pm

In a Harvard International Review article, “The Indigenous Palestinians,” Dr. Hatem Bazian argues that a political understanding of Palestinians should be developed through an indigeneity frame. He asks,

“How should we understand the Palestinians from the indigenous lens, knowing that the concept of indigeneity itself is evolving, and that an international legal structure is increasingly developing that might reshape the discourse related to Palestine and its people? …While the history of the Palestinians, as an indigenous group, is unique, it should not be separated from the broader global struggle of native and indigenous populations. Since the ushering of the new world by the “discovery” of the Americas in 1492, we have witnessed the systematic and industrialized process of dispossession and complete elimination of indigenous populations and cultures across the globe, with limited remnants of these affected communities visible today. Ravaged by greed, disease, and systematic military destruction, the indig- enous populations in the Americas, Africa, and parts of Asia faced the trilogy that caused the death of countless millions over the past five hundred years. From a broader perspective, one can begin to downplay the suffering of the Palestinians as an indigenous population, considering the circumstances of other native groups around the world and the history of genocide and total destruction visited upon them over the years.”

Read the article at the Harvard International Review. Dr. Hatem Bazian is a co-editor and founder of the Islamophobia Studies Journaland director of the CRG Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, and a senior lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at Berkeley.

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