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Decolonizing PalestineHamas between the Anticolonial and the Postcolonial$
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Somdeep Sen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752735

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752735.001.0001

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On the Settler Colonial Elimination of Palestine

On the Settler Colonial Elimination of Palestine

(p.20) 2 On the Settler Colonial Elimination of Palestine
Decolonizing Palestine

Somdeep Sen

Cornell University Press

This chapter situates the Gaza Strip within Israel's settler colonialism as a way of contextualizing the Palestinian anticolonial subjectivity. While recognizing the Nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948 as having begun the historical process of materializing the settler colonial “dream” of Palestinian nonexistence, it argues that the urge to eliminate the Palestinian community remains just as important today. While this conduct is characteristic of a settler colonizer, the Gaza Strip is often perceived only as representative of an extreme case of Palestinian suffering. Moreover, with a politically divisive organization at its helm and a decade-long siege still in place, the Palestinian coastal enclave is frequently placed outside the limits of any “normal” discussion of the politics of Israel–Palestine. Yet, the Gaza Strip in fact personifies the norm as a spatial representative of the effort to materially realize and naturalize the settler colonial dream of Palestinian nonexistence. Specifically, as Hamas-ruled Gaza has been indomitable in its armed struggle, the treatment meted out to it by Israel, by way of a siege that has continued despite the severity of the consequent humanitarian crisis and the ruthlessness of Israeli military onslaughts, demonstrates the extent of the settler's willingness to subdue any political act or ideology that acknowledges the existence of the indigene and thus insinuates the nonindigeneity of the settler.

Keywords:   Gaza Strip, Israel, settler colonialism, Palestinian nonexistence, Palestinian community, Palestinian suffering, Hamas-ruled Gaza

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