The Matrix: Rights, government and daily life in Palestine

Some of 700 Palestinians waiting for many days to cross the Israeli-Jordan border stand behind wire fencing near the Allenby Bridge, 10 July 2002. Palestinians who want to spend their vacations or study in Jordan have to stay and sleep more than a week inside this shelter in the West Bank town of Jericho. Thousands of Palestinians have been stranded there for several days waiting for Jordanian authorization to cross into the kingdom, as Jordan imposed travel restrictions on West Bank Palestinians crossing into its territory via the King Hussein (Allenby Bridge) at the end of March, to preempt any attempt by Israel to expel them. AFP PHOTO/ ABDELHAK SENNA / AFP PHOTO / ABDELHAK SENNA

For Palestinians, governance depends on where you live and who you are. Efforts to fix this situation often end up only entrenching it further. This fragmentation of governance results in a structure of discrimination that is becoming more and more entrenched.

Governance can offer a way in to dismantle the current structure of entrenched discrimination. Rather than asking how the PA can better govern in the context of Israeli occupation, international policymakers should be looking at alternative models for governance that go beyond occupation. Such models, first, should build on the recognition of the existence of an apartheid regime, and, second, assume that governance is not centred around the idea of the state but around basic rights, intrinsically linked to the idea of freedom, equality and dignity.

Within this anti-apartheid framework, the focus shouldn’t be on the final settlement – whether the two-state or the one-state solution. As eloquently stated by Nadia Hijab and Ingrid Jaradat Gassner: “Whatever the ultimate political settlement, it should enable the Palestinians to finally be free from colonisation, to enjoy equal rights, and to have rights in and to their homeland, including the right of return to their homes and lands and compensation for what has been lost.”
Read article in Middle Eye