On Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a list of companies with ties to the settlements. We knew we didn’t have to wait long to hear the list besmirched with that go-to word when it comes to any form of Palestinian resistance, however nonviolent: terrorism.
We Palestinians are used to being called terrorists. It’s bad enough on its own. But perhaps even worse is the tendency in the right wing pro-Israel camp to designate as terrorism any form of Palestinian resistance, from a poster to a refusal to purchase goods to a list. It’s not only inaccurate and racist; it de-incentivizes Palestinian non-violence, and conveys the message that from the point of view of these advocates, there’s no difference at all between violent terrorism and nonviolent resistance.
This past Tuesday, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held a joint press conference near the United Nations to push back against Trump’s catastrophic “Deal of the Century” and revive the peace process on more serious and genuine lines. They suggested reviving the negotiations of 2008 between the two leaders, which had inched closer to a mutually satisfactory resolution to the conflict.
But instead of embracing the desire to negotiate, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, slammed the joint event as a Palestinian act of “diplomatic terrorism,” a term Danon often uses to describe any form of Palestinian diplomacy, such as when the International Criminal Court decided to probe into suspected Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories last December.