close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Measuring the effects

Opinion

November 21, 2020

The continuing demolitions in Wadi Hummus, and most recently the case of Khirbet Humsa, underline the need to create additional tools to put at the disposal of Palestinians to better record and then challenge the damage being wrought upon them. They reinforce the need to document and expose the costs of colonisation on the international stage. This should go beyond measuring just the transactional economic costs on gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national income (GNI) of the Israeli occupation, which the World Bank is already doing because such economy-focused efforts ignore the human context.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) recently took important steps to document and expose the real cost of Israel’s colonialism and occupation. Yet, these efforts need to be expanded. This includes reaching out to more of the countless Palestinian analysts who are better equipped to measure these costs than outside experts. Efforts to document and expose all costs of Israel’s colonialism should also include recording and sharing the personalised experiences of its victims. Any accounting that ignores the psychological and emotional scars, just because they are difficult to translate into numbers, or uncomfortable to acknowledge, will remain short-sighted and ineffective.

This information can be used to slow colonialism’s impact and plan out a future recovery. It is critical to stress this will need to be accompanied by action by the international community to put a stop to further displacement and replacement. That step is also the only possible way to finally establish the conditions for Palestinians to build institutions, foster a stable economy and improve their social wellbeing. This is also imperative because colonisation should not be normalised, sponsored or sustained in a world governed by international law. Ending Israel’s displacement and replacement paradigm is critical to regional peace and stability, too.

Rather than holding Israel to account for its ongoing colonisation of Palestine, the international community’s most powerful actors are choosing to justify and rationalise its crimes against Palestinians. As a result, Israeli policies that blatantly violate human rights and international law are starting to be perceived as “normal” and even “righteous”. Colonisation is one of the most easily recognised forms of oppression in the world. However, to this day, the international community never truly acknowledged the colonial nature of Israel’s occupation and allowed it to violate international law with impunity.

Excerpted: ‘Peace in Palestine cannot be achieved amid unlawful demolitions’

Aljazeera.com