Finding reasons to stop statehood

Palestinians don’t have a state. Why?

There is a deeper structural and philosophical reason why the Palestinians remain stateless—a reason more profound than the political narrative would indicate. It is best explained by associate Johns Hopkins professor Jakub Grygiel, in his brilliant essay, “The Power of Statelessness: the Withering Appeal of Governing” (Policy Review April/May 2009). In it, Grygiel does not discuss the Palestinians in particular, but rather the attitude of stateless people in general.

Statehood is no longer a goal, he writes. Many stateless groups “do not aspire to have a state,” for they are more capable of achieving their objectives without one. Instead of actively seeking statehood to address their weakness, as Zionist Jews did in an earlier phase of history, groups like the Palestinians now embrace their statelessness as a source of power.

Yes, the millions of Palestinians in Palestine itself and in the Diaspora actively work against forming a state. This kind of theory – used to justify simplistic and racist nonsense – is more about allowing Israel to continue its brutal policies because the Palestinians are supposedly happy to remain stateless.

And it lets Israel off the hook for its ongoing tactics of splitting the Palestinian population.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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