Brokers of Deceit, by Rashid Khalidi

Fall books

Language matters greatly.” Pal­estinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi opens his most recent book with these words, and in so doing he goes straight to the heart of why there is neither peace for Israelis nor justice for Palestinians.

Khalidi describes the history of U.S. involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as “a carefully constructed realm of obscurity, a realm in which the misuse of language has thoroughly corrupted both political thought and action.” This language, submits Khalidi, obscures the reality of a colonial settler project that has resulted in the dispossession of indigenous Palestinians and the ongoing abrogation of their rights. Khalidi argues that this obfuscation perpetuates the destructive illusion that the “peace process” consists of negotiations between equal parties rather than between a powerless, stateless, occupied people and a highly militarized state supported by the world’s only superpower.

 

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