When anti-Zionists discuss the Middle East, the topic of Israel’s existence rarely arises. It’s almost exclusively a pro-Israel talking point. We’re focused on national liberation, on surviving repression, on strategies of resistance, on recovering subjugated histories, on the complex (and sometimes touchy) relationships among an Indigenous population disaggregated by decades of aggression. That a colonial state – or any state, really – possesses no ontological rights is an unspoken assumption.
“Do you recognize Israel’s right to exist?” pretends to honour the downtrodden, but it is an altogether different proposition, transforming sophisticated ideas of liberation into a crude test of political respectability. Prioritizing the state as worthy of relief, as something to which we automatically owe deference, subsumes life to the imperatives of capital. Continue reading