‘Annexation has made the Palestinian struggle anti-colonial once again’

Dr. Honaida Ghanim believes that while it will be hard to stop annexation, this moment presents an opportunity to bring the struggle back to basics

Honaida Ghanim

Meron Rapoport writes in +972:

As a child, Dr. Honaida Ghanim used to play a game with her friends: they would skip from one side of the Green Line to the other in her home village of al-Marja — one minute they were Israeli Arabs, the next Palestinians.

Ghanim, now a leading Palestinian sociologist, researches this liminal experience of Palestinian citizens of Israel, who in themselves represent borders, neither here nor there. Her book on the subject, “Reinventing the Nation: Palestinian Intellectuals and Persons of Pen in Israel, 1948-2000,” is based on her doctoral dissertation.

Ghanim herself embodies this liminality, living in Ramallah and teaching at the Palestinian Forum for Israel Studies (MADAR). Well-grounded in Palestinian politics on both sides of the Green Line as well as Israeli-Jewish politics, Ghanim’s research and insights have shaped her perspective on annexation. While noting that the Green Line was erased some time ago and that annexation is already happening, she nonetheless sees an opportunity for the Palestinian struggle to return to its roots in anti-colonialism and justice.

Can Palestinians stop annexation?

“Regional and global conditions, as well as internal Palestinian divisions — between Fatah and Hamas, between Gaza and the West Bank — have created a problematic situation that does not favor the Palestinians. The international community’s will to prevent annexation is limited, while the Americans have embraced it. The intersection of all these factors means it will be very difficult to stop annexation.

“Nonetheless, an alternative long-term solution has opened up, which is based on justice rather than statehood. The unintended consequences of annexation could be to create new conditions and to restore the recognition that this conflict is tied to colonialism — the “fewer Arabs, more land” project aimed at crowding out Palestinians. But this attempt to erase the Palestinians has failed.”

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