Advocating for Palestine in the Policy World

The Palestinian people, their fundamental rights, and their aspirations for sovereignty are facing a historic moment of vulnerability. Whilst the root cause of this predicament is the Israeli apartheid regime − which many scholars and experts identify as having emerged from a Zionist settler colonial project that gained traction in the early twentieth century − this vulnerability has been exacerbated by recent global political trends. Right-wing populism is on the rise and is taking hold in powerful states, including the United States, Brazil, and Hungary. Similarly, Israel has just elected its most right-wing government to date, with an election campaign that featured new levels of racism and bigotry. Moreover, in an effort to drum up support days before the election, Benjamin Netanyahu promised to annex the West Bank.

It has never been more important to advocate for Palestine in the international policy world. But Palestinians are at a severe disadvantage. Israel has long been able to violate international law without consequences, largely due to global political interests but also because it has been successful in advocating its main policy narrative, namely, that Israeli “security” trumps fundamental Palestinian rights. This narrative relies heavily on dehumanizing Palestinians, a tactic easily accomplished in a global climate of Islamophobia, one replete with “War on Terror” discourse that puts the safety of the West over the lives of people in the Global South. This has forced Palestinians in their advocacy efforts to focus on the basics, promoting the idea that the Palestinian cause is a just and moral one, arguing that Palestinians are entitled to fundamental rights, and maintaining that those rights must be guaranteed by the international community.

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