learn about what's happening in palestine, and how to help


palestine is a country located in the levant in western asia. it borders lebanon, syria, jordan, and egypt. currently, it is being occupied by the state of israel, a jewish ethnostate established by zionists in 1948.

note: this carrd should not be the only thing you read to educate yourself about palestine, it is simply meant to be a short introductory source for people who don't know palestinian history and politics. i've linked additional sources and further readings you can check out here.also check out decolonize palestine which is much more detailed than this carrd. the website is made by palestinians and covers palestinian history/politics and also debunks common zionist myths.

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is this a religious conflict?
what is zionism?
what are the two solutions?

is 'palestine vs israel' a religious conflict?

while religion certainly plays a role, it is more about ideology. people who reduce palestine vs israel to a religious conflict are misinformed at best and intentionally distorting facts to suit their own agenda at worst. many people, in the west especially, think of this as a 'muslim vs jewish' religious conflict between two people, but that is simply untrue.

for one, not all palestinians are muslims — many are also christians, druze, samaritans, as well as agnostic and atheists. palestinian jews also exist. not all jewish people are religious either, and many jews are also atheists. rather than a religious conflict, it's one of imperialism and settler-colonialism. framing it as a religious conflict between muslims and jews can also lead to islamophobia or antisemitism.

what is zionism?

zionism is a racist settler-colonial ideology that advocates for a jewish ethnostate built on palestinian land. zionism as an ideology is inherently anti-palestine because it is only feasible through the ethnic cleansing and constant uprooting of the palestinian people. zionist founders admitted that zionism is a settler-colonial project and that in order for a jewish state to be established, the palestinians need to be ethnically cleansed from their homes and homeland.i recommend reading the diaries and writings of early zionist founders — theodor herzl, ze'ev jabotinsky, david ben-gurion, and more, to understand how they advocated for ethnic cleansing of palestinians.

for a jewish state to exist, there needs to be a jewish demographic majority; this means that palestinians will never be given the right of return. despite what zionists claim, palestinians will also never be equal citizens under the state of israel — liberation is the only solution to peace.

is anti-zionism antisemitic?

no. anti-zionism is a stance taken by palestinians, and by non-palestinians in solidarity with the palestinian people. while some anti-zionists can be antisemitic (just as some zionists can be antisemitic), the position itself is not. it is also not antisemitic to criticize israeli policies.

ilan pappé, an anti-zionist jewish israeli historian, explains in better detail on why anti-zionism is not antisemitism in this debate — 'debate: anti-zionism is anti-semitism'. it's an hour long debate that i really recommend watching.

antisemitism is weaponized against palestinians and allies who stand up for palestinian human rights by zionists as a way to shut down criticism of israel. by saying that anti-zionism is antisemitism, zionists label all palestinians as antisemites for not wanting to be oppressed, as well as anyone who supports palestinian human rights.

what are the two 'solutions'?

today, there are two main "solutions" — the two-state solution, and the one-state solution.

two-state solution

the two-state solution advocates for both israel and palestine to exist alongside one another as sovereign states. however, this solution is not really a solution at all because it is merely another form of zionism, and israel has never shown any interest in allowing a palestinian state to exist. palestinians lose more and more land every day, and israel has repeatedly shown that it has no plans to stop building illegal settlements in the west bank. even if a two-state solution were to become a reality, palestinians would still be at a major disadvantage and in constant threat.

one-state solution

the one-state solution (either a palestinian state, or a complete israeli state) advocates for one state in which both arabs and jews can live together. however, a one-state solution under the israeli government would essentially mean that the palestinian people would completely be under the state of israel in every way imaginable.

one palestinian state would mean palestinian liberation, and the complete abolishment of the state of israel. this way is the only way towards justice; both arabs and jews can live together without an ideology that specifically advocates for the ethnic cleansing of one of them. palestinians would be allowed to return home, and millions of palestinians would not have to live under occupation and apartheid.

books:— palestine: a four thousand year history by nur masalha
— the ethnic cleansing of palestine by ilan pappé
— the question of palestine by edward said
— the hundred years' war on palestine by rashid khalidi
— ten myths about israel by ilan pappé
— unfree in palestine by nadia abu-zahra and adah kay
— palestinian identity by rashid khalidi
— the origins of palestinian nationalism by muhammad muslih
— justice for some by noura erakat
— the palestine nakba by nur masalha

documentaries:1948: creation & catastrophe (andy trimlett, ahlam muhtaseb)
5 broken cameras (emad burnat, guy davidi)
jenin, jenin (mohammed bakri)
gaza fights for freedom (abby martin)


historic palestine

beginning of zionist colonization

balfour declaration

ethnic cleansing begins

nakba of 1948

six-day war

the first intifada

oslo accords

the second intifada

palestine in ancient history

a common zionist talking point is that palestine did not exist until the british mandate. however, this point is easily refuted by the countless historical documents and other evidence that prove otherwise.

the name palestine (filastin in arabic) was first documented more than 3200 years ago. the name was used by ancient egyptians, ancient assyrians, the romans, as well as the greeks.

there is countless material evidence (documents, maps, historical records, letters) that use the name palestine. it has been used consistently from ancient history to current day.

"didn't arabs colonize the levant in the 7th century?"

this is another popular zionist talking point; "the jews were exiled, and the arabs colonized the levant so really, it's palestinians that are the real colonizers."

what people who use this talking point do not understand is that palestinians, along with many other shami (levantine) arabs, are an arabized people. they are not the arabs who colonized the levant, but are indeed part of the indigenous levantine population. they are people who simply began to identify as arabs after a long period of arabization took place.

what this means is that palestinian arabs are the same people that have living in palestine for thousands of years. their identifying as arabs does not make them any less indigenous to the land.

the beginning of zionist colonization in palestine

arabs and jews have lived alongside one another for centuries in palestine and other neighbouring countries. zionists, however, began moving to palestine in the 1800s with the sole intent of establishing a jewish ethnostate — the state of israel. these zionists did not intend to live peacefully alongside the palestinian people, but rather they saw them as an obstacle they had to get rid of in order to establish a jewish state.

zionism began as a christian colonial project back in the early 1800s. the middle east was located at a prime strategic point; many european leaders, such as napolean, were interested in establishing an ally in the region that would ultimately benefit their own imperialist interests.

later on, zionism was adopted by a small number of the jewish population in europe. many jewish zionist figures, such as theodor herzl and david ben-gurion, admitted that for a jewish state to exist, the native palestinian population had to be dealt with; meaning, a jewish state could not exist with a palestinian majority population.

these zionist figures also admitted that zionism was a colonial project; the word 'colonial' was even used in the names of early zionist organizations in mandate palestine. they understood the colonial nature of zionism; they just didn't care how it affected the native palestinian people.

in 1902, theodor herzl approached several european leaders and government figures to gather support for establishing a jewish state. one person he wrote to was cecil rhodes, a man who played a major part in annexing territory in southern africa.

zionist settlers in palestine

zionist settlers began moving to palestine in the late 1800s, and one of the first things they did was begin buying land. this land was mainly bought from absentee farmers and landowners — even then, it only amounted to 7% of the total land in palestine. the jewish population in palestine also amounted to less than 10% of the total population at the time.

these zionists knew that with only 7% of the land and less than 10% of the population, it was impossible to build a jewish state. zionist leaders knew that to establish a jewish demographic majority, the palestinian population had to be ethnically cleansed from the land.

prominent zionists, such as theodor herzl, vladimir jabotinsky, and max nordau repeatedly referred to zionism as colonialism, and talked about ethnic cleansing of palestinians.

the balfour declaration

in november 1917, during the first world war, the balfour declaration was issued by britain's foreign secretary, arthur balfour. this was a letter sent by balfour to lord rothschild, a prominent zionist, ensuring britain's support for the establishment of a jewish state in palestine.

the balfour declaration was essentially one of the first steps taken by europe towards building a jewish state. it was issued in blatant disregard of the native population, and did not take the palestinian people and their wishes into account whatsoever.

after the balfour declaration, zionist settlers began moving to palestine in larger numbers and began building more and more colonies — most of them in northern palestine, and also along coastal areas. between 1917 and 1947, thousands of zionist settlers moved from europe to palestine. by 1947, a year before the nakba, the jewish population was around 33%.

the ethnic cleansing begins

the ethnic cleansing of palestinians had been planned for years. throughout the 1930s, zionists began an undercover survey of arab villages; this included aerial photographs, a detailed registry, and precise layouts of palestinian villages.

zionists also compiled an archive that included in incredibly precise detail: locations of villages, their religious affiliations, names of men living there, villages' relationships with one another, and a list of anyone who had retaliated against zionists or jews at any point.

although palestinians were being uprooted from their homes for years at this point, the ethnic cleansing itself began largely in december 1947, when palestinian villages and neighbourhoods began to be attacked.

in february 1948, five palestinian villages were emptied by the haganah, the zionist paramilitary force, in one single day. in march and april, more than 250,000 palestinians were exiled from their homes.

plan dalet

on the 10th of march in 1948, plan dalet was adopted by the haganah; this was a detailed plan to ethnically cleanse palestine of its native population.

tactics and methods included: laying siege, bombing villages, setting fire to homes and properties, expulsion, and planting mines in the rubble of destroyed homes so that palestinians could not return. rape was another tactic that they used; many palestinians fled their villages in fear of the women in their families being raped by zionist soldiers.

as part of plan dalet, each unit of the haganah was given a list with names of villages that they had to ethnically cleanse.

books to read: 'the ethnic cleansing of palestine' by ilan pappé