Image: cover of Le Petit Journal, 1929. “Trouble in Palestine: fanatic Arabs massacre Jews in the streets of Jerusalem.”
The concept of “settler colonialism” has been applied with almost unique vehemence against Israel.
But the fact that Jews are the indigenous population of the Southern Levant can be proved with ease. In contrast, historical and genealogical evidence shows Palestinians descend primarily from three primary groups: Muslim invaders, Arab immigrants, and local converts to Islam.
The Muslim conquest of Byzantine Palestine in the 7th century CE is a textbook example of settler-colonialism, as is subsequent immigration, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries under the Ottoman and British Empires. The application of the concept to Jews and Zionism by Palestinians is both ironic and unhelpful.
Islam and the European Empires (ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2014) / Motadel, David
Read “Palestinian Settler-Colonialism” / Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies
Alex Joffe is an archaeologist and historian. He is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum.