The End of Settler Colonialism

The connections between indigenous people in Turtle Island and the indigenous people of Palestine run deep. Here on unceded territory in “Vancouver”, the unflinching solidarity from indigenous brothers and sisters has been essential in maintaining support for the five-month (and counting) battle against Israeli genocide and settler colonialism.  

In January of this year, a Liberation Conference was held that focused on and strengthened these bonds. It was a unique and inspiring event, that brought together inter-generational Palestinian and indigenous speakers and artists to share the experiences that unite them. 

Nowhere were the connections between the two struggles more evident than in the recent outrage over the comments and racist history of former BC Cabinet Minister Selina Robinson. Her final Zionist rant about Palestine being “a crappy piece of land” with “nothing on it”…“didn’t produce an economy” struck to the heart of settler colonialism logic. The centuries old traditions and lifestyle of indigenous people constituted “nothing” until settlers came to civilize and develop them. In the case of Palestine, to “make the desert bloom”. 

Robinson has now come full circle with the Zionist mantra, by finally leaving even her party caucus with (guess what!) a charge of “anti-Semitism” against her former colleagues. 

Ironically, Selina Robinson’s comments even included the feeble Zionist attempt of claiming indigenous roots to Palestine. No-one indigenous to a beloved land, no matter what state of “development” it was in, would ever label their home as “a crappy piece of land”. 

Zionists were openly colonialist from the beginning. Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, wrote in his book The Jewish State in 1896: “We should there form a portion of the rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.” 

The Assembly of First Nations, in a resolution in December 2023, has also grasped the obvious. According to media reports: “An emergency resolution advocating for a permanent ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, which recognizes the Palestinians as an Indigenous People under international law, passed unanimously.” 

By now, any decent peace-loving individual or organization should have recognized that Zionism is a deeply flawed and vicious settler colonialist enterprise. It is way past time for all those who claim to support Palestine to disassociate from this stain on humanity. As Zionism enters its final death throes and inflicts even greater horrors on Palestinian civilians, we know that their end is within sight.  

For years, the chair of Canada Palestine Association has noted that the brutal and arrogant behaviour of the Zionist regime will bring it to a miserable end .. “their end will be ugly”. Based on the inevitable resentment and hatred that Israel, its military forces, and its backers have engendered in the Arab world, compounded a thousand times in the last five months, that sentiment rings truer than ever. This resentment is also evident in many areas of the global South, as multiple leaders in South America, South Africa and beyond have taken clear stands against the naked Israeli aggression. 

Yes, the end of Zionism and its cruel brand of fascism will be ugly. It is a sad comment on the inaction of the leaders of the “international community” that this is now the only possible outcome in the region. 

(by Marion Kawas, cover photo Michael YC Tseng)