The disavowal of founding violence is deeply embedded in the settler mindset in both the U.S. and Israel. Descendants of settlers strive to maintain this disavowal, laboring daily to forget that their/our presence in the place they/we call home is predicated on genocide, dispossession, and structural violence. For American settlers who support Israel, this disavowal is doubled. They run from their complicity in the U.S. colonial project while simultaneously perpetuating a false narrative of Israel as acting on redemption instead of displacement, on return instead of ethnic cleansing. It is difficult to ignore connections between the settler violence of the U.S. and Israel when these states openly collaborate to build identical surveillance systems and border walls, when Israeli settlers draw explicit comparison between their settler project and the U.S.’s genocidal concept of “Manifest Destiny,” or when one sees a map that directly ties the confiscation of land in one settler state to the confiscation of land in the other. The inability to reconcile one’s own role in settler violence, in either or both places, produces the kind of emotion that might induce someone to vandalize a solidarity mural near the top of its thirty-foot tall frame. In sum, this emotion also likely drove the perpetrator to act in honor of the hallmark of the settler mindset: simultaneous erasure and disavowal.
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