At the start of the lockdowns, many Palestinians commented that the world now finally understood what life was like for them. Particularly in the West Bank and Gaza, the curfews, the closure of public spaces, the inability or difficulty to travel, lingering anxiety and perpetual uncertainty are features common to Palestinian life. However, this new global reality reflects only a fraction of the Palestinian experience of suffering from nearly a century of ongoing settler colonialism.
Australian scholar, Patrick Wolfe, described settler colonialism as “a structure not an event” and its driving logic as the elimination of the indigenous people. This ongoing settler colonial process is often referred to by Palestinians as al-nakba al-mustamirra (the ongoing catastrophe), and further manifests itself through expulsions, confiscation of land, incarceration, military bombardments and ghettoization processes across historical Palestine.
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