The Palestinian Struggle Is Not About Rights Within a Legitimized Israel; It’s About Liberation and Self-Determination

The #BDS Movement is a nonviolent grassroots movement originating in the occupied territory of Palestine. Its overriding principles are consistency and commitment to universal human rights, and it has proven to be effective, as a tactic, not least for changing the conversation on Israel. [See What is BDS].

The fact that the BDS Movement is a rights-based, apolitical approach does not mean that it will not lead to a “solution” to the problem of the Jewish state in Palestine. Once the Palestinian rights under international law it highlights are restored, the Zionist project, by definition, will be dismantled.  [See Former Mossad chief fears for ‘future of the Zionist project’].

It is now up to Palestinians to push for that political “solution”, whether in the form of one state or two. Two is dead and buried. One democratic state means the end of the Jewish state. [Read What is Next in Palestine?]

It does not mean the end of Jewish people in Palestine. [Quite the opposite]. But settler-colonial Jews can be indigenized only AFTER all Palestinian rights are restored and reparations made to them. [Watch Omar Barghouti on “ethical decolonization.”]

The discourse on Palestine may be getting a bit confusing because of the human-rights analogies intersectional discourse now makes. [See Black-Palestinian Solidarity: Towards an Intersectionality of Struggles]

Sure, Palestinians have a great deal of commonality with Black Americans, but Black Americans are not demanding self-determination. Palestinians are.

The point is that the Palestinian struggle is not just about rights within a legitimized Israel; it’s fundamentally about return and self-determination in the homeland.

What Palestinians must overcome, along with Israel’s belligerence, is The Persistent U.S. Opposition To Self-Determination.


Rima Najjar is a Palestinian whose father’s side of the family comes from the forcibly depopulated village of Lifta on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. She is an activist, researcher and retired professor of English literature, Al-Quds University, occupied West Bank.

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Articles by: Rima Najjar

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