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Decolonizing Israel, Liberating Palestine

Decolonizing Israel, Liberating Palestine

Zionism, Settler Colonialism, and the Case for One Democratic State

by Jeff Halper

What if our understanding of Israel/Palestine has been wrong all along?

'Extremely convincing' - Electronic Intifada

For decades we have spoken of the ‘Israel-Palestine conflict’, but what if our understanding of the issue has been wrong all along? This book explores how the concept of settler colonialism provides a clearer understanding of the Zionist movement's project to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, displacing the Palestinian Arab population and marginalizing its cultural presence. 

Jeff Halper argues that the only way out of a colonial situation is decolonization: the dismantling of Zionist structures of domination and control and their replacement by a single democratic state, in which Palestinians and Israeli Jews forge a new civil society and a shared political community.

To show how this can be done, Halper uses the 10-point program of the One Democratic State Campaign as a guide for thinking through the process of decolonization to its post-colonial conclusion. Halper’s unflinching reframing will empower activists fighting for the rights of the Palestinians and democracy for all.

Jeff Halper is the head of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and a founding member of the One Democratic State Campaign. He is the author of War Against the People: Israel, the Palestinians and Global Pacification (Pluto, 2015), An Israeli in Palestine (Pluto, 2010), Obstacles to Peace (ICAHD, 2003 and subsequent editions) and Redemption and Revival: The Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century (Westview, 1991).

'It is fashionable to say that the two-state solution to Israel-Palestine is dead. Jeff Halper thinks it was never born. In this brave, thought-provoking and highly original book, he presents both a searching critique of Zionist settler colonialism and a compelling case for one democratic state with equal rights for all its citizens'

- Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford and author of 'The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World' (Penguin, 2014)

'Strikes at the core of the political revolution boiling under the surface in Israel/Palestine. Halper serves a generous helping of hope for anyone who cares about the future of this land'

- Shir Hever, author of 'The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation' (Pluto Press, 2010)

'An important chapter in the development of a conversation that will form the foundation of a just regime for the inhabitants of the country and the refugees'

- Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, founder and former director of the NGO Zochrot

'Jeff Halper harnesses his extremely sharp and original mind alongside his prophetic voice to change the international debate. A gem for both the novice as well as the expert, his book offers a brilliant analysis of Israel's colonial project and outlines what a decolonial horizon might look like'

- Neve Gordon, author of 'Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire' (University of California Press, 2020)

'This is the first serious contribution in drawing a path to the project of liberating Palestine'

- Awad Abdelfattah, Former Secretary General of the Balad/Tajamu Party and Coordinator of the One Democratic State Campaign (ODSC)

'Helps us to see light at the end of the tunnel. At a time when Israel is seeking to legalise its apartheid regime and colonisation of occupied Palestine, it is vital to imagine and discuss alternative futures'

- Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza al-Aqsa University

'A powerful and convincing case - a must read for anyone looking for fresh ideas of how to end the long and bloody conflict in Palestine'

- Ilan Pappe, Professor of History and Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter

'With informed lucidity, political sophistication and moral integrity Halper depicts the path from here to there. What is most unexpected, given present realities, is that this manages to be a book of realistic hope, the finest work of advocacy scholarship I have ever read'

- Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, and author of 'Palestine's Horizon' (Pluto, 2017)

'This is a serious work that deserves to be widely read. Halper is among the few who not only understands that we are at a critical historical juncture, but is also able to analyze its multiple dimensions and offer a transformative plan of action'

- Mouin Rabbani, Co-Editor of 'Jadaliyya'

'Amid a raft of failed policy choices, Halper's book is a cathartic practical vision of one possible way out of the protracted Israel-Palestine conflict'

- Sophia Akram, The New Arab

'Halper's book is informative, offering an in-depth perspective that is lacking and addresses the concept of memory within the political framework of decolonisation'

- Middle East Monitor

'An extremely convincing and persuasive argument that the only conceivable future for justice and peace necessitates a process of decolonization and equal rights for all'

- Electronic Intifada

'He doesn’t pretend that creating one democratic state will be easy but he contends that it is the only way for Palestinians and Israelis to gain long-term security and a viable way of life'

- Jordan Times

An essential and empowering text for anyone interested in the history and future of Israel-Palestine'

- Morning Star


- Labour Hub

'[Halper] reframes Israel as a settler-colonial state necessitating a clear oppositional political strategy with an end-game of actively decolonizing the whole political structure'

- Counterpunch

'A return to an explicitly anti-colonial Palestinian liberation politics'



- ‘Counterfire’


- ‘Against the Current’

Foreword by Nadia Naser-Najjab
Introduction: The Colonist Who Refuses, the Comrade in Joint Struggle
1. Analysis Matters: Beginning with Settler Colonialism Acknowledgements
2. Zionism: A Settler Colonial Project
3. Settler “Invasion” and Foundational Violence: The Pre-State Cycle (1880s–1948)
4. The Israeli State Cycle (1948–67)
5. The Occupation Cycle (1967–Present): Completing the Settler Colonial Project
6. Decolonization: Dismantling the Dominance Management Regime
7. Constructing a Bridging Vision and Set of Acknowledgements
8. A Plan of Decolonization
9. Towards Post-coloniality
10. Addressing the Fears and Concerns of a Single Democratic State
A Last Word: Being Political

Published by Pluto Press in Jan 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780745343396
eBook ISBN: 9780745343419

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