West is a hypocrite. This is not news. Arab leaders are compromised. That is not news either. They are all collective enablers of the massacres unfolding in broad daylight and gloomy nights. The shrunken strip of Gaza – referring to it as ‘Gaza’ in literature is itself a form of erasure – is picturing a blood bath in front of all the power elite. Where else does the news lie, then? In the deafening silence of academia. It stabs the hardest. This silence reiterates the impunity long granted to Israel’s blatant war crimes.

De-coloniality is not a metaphor. It has been reduced to become a metaphor. It has morphed into an eggshell, a space filler in the academic context.

The de-colonial theory should not just be limited to merely criticizing colonial projects in texts; they should rather be a source to dismantle the geopolitical colonial order that exists. Why does the past become a guide for academicians, but the colonial present fails to get the same attention? It is important to understand the complex colonial power matrix that creates colonial ideologies created and perpetuated in the world. But beyond this comprehension that the global order preserves the epistemic and structural continuation of coloniality that includes repressing the ‘othered’ voices that try to put the genocidal actions of colonial actors, it is action and practice that De-colonial thought should translate into.

The action and practice of countering the colonial perpetuation of knowledge, which has long legitimized coloniality on the pretext that the world outside Europe – and later the United States – needs to be brought under the rules they defined. One of the central distinctions between those who get to be human and those who do not and are forced to reduce to non-beings is established by the access to and capability to leverage human rights. This social conditioning to accepting coloniality and accepting Western notions of ‘assimilation’ and ‘civilizing’ needs to be challenged with alternate discourses.

The intellectuals working on the Middle East – particularly Palestinian – literature do not seem to be putting an effort to contribute through what they own. The academic space. It is a downright failure of academia to generate counter-notions even after years of coloniality. The same academicians who build their careers on the struggle of Palestinians as ‘subjects’ of academic curiosity to load up research papers and satisfy their conscience are either dead silent in the current genocide or are presenting indifferent apologist half-statements. De-coloniality should be a praxis on the ground, not confined to desktop folders, bookshelves, and international conferences.

Academia has unmasked its impotence in this critical liberatory and De-colonial present point.

The persistent genocidal campaign in Palestine should awaken everyone from a deep slumber. The international law on human rights and democracy has nothing ‘universal.’ The world outside the center – or the ‘empire,’ i.e., West – is accountable to so-called rules. The coloniality must be repelled with a substitute system constructed by an agency outside the empire. While this is done, it is also important to fight coloniality with the rules drafted by the empire.

The foundations of Israel’s colonial project are more than seventy-five years old. Palestinians have faced dispossession since 1948, the grounds for which were laid even earlier. The illusion of peace constructed in the discourse over this time has conditioned the world to sectionalize the atrocities to the reduced number of years. This dehistoricization of Israel’s settler regime helps to continue the planful ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians living in the territory that historically belongs to them only.

Israel hoped to efface the memory that the land it occupies had belonged to Palestinians for recorded history. However, the resistance from Palestinians in their struggle to keep the history, culture, and indigenous knowledge alive has breathed a new life into the fight for liberation. The reclamation of looted histories is important to continue to fight for De-coloniality. Why was Edward Said ostracized? What is Mahmoud Darwish’s birthplace? Just the answers to questions like these become smack to apartheid Israel’s occupation.

Education has been a threat to the aims of settler colonialism. The literacy rate in Palestine stands above 97%. Education brings with it critical thinking and network building and enhances political consciousness. In turn, this builds the capacity to transfer the tools for liberation. This haunts Israel. Palestine has produced the best historians, journalists, storytellers, and archivists in the world, along with many other experts. The academia outside fails to document the truth of Palestine. The academia also fails to acknowledge them. Therefore, Palestinian literature should rightfully be the first and only resort to learn about the systemic genocide.

It is crucial to recognize the sovereign voice of the ones seeking liberation and also to let them decide on their own the forms, means and ends of their liberation.

Israel’s systematic attacks on universities, journalists, libraries, and institutions preserving the Palestinian essence in Gaza is a glaring reflection of its ultimate objectives. Eliminating all of what is Palestine, all of what makes Palestine Palestine. For the audience complicit in condemning Israel, the emotional convenience that comes with legitimating Israel’s criminal actions in Palestine provides an easy replacement for facing the crystal-clear reality.

No part of mass crimes is ‘two-sided.’ No part is complicated to answer. The unified statement from all universities in Palestine obligates all Higher Education Institutions around the world to augment and amplify the Palestinian narrative on occupation. The Palestinian historians, thinkers, and the ones in the diaspora should be allowed the manifestation of their agency in academic spaces against the prevalent genocide.

Academic freedom is a myth. Anti-Palestinian racism is evident in academia. The hegemons of knowledge keep the knowledge production in their stranglehold. The working definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance serves as an instrument to silence Palestinian voices, which conflates condemnation of Israel and Zionism with anti-Jewish racism. Adania Shibli, a Palestinian writer, had her award at the Frankfurt bookfair canceled, a prominent example of shutting down Palestinian voices.

The settler colonialism is rooted in both the imposition of Western normative authority over indigenous lands and the erasure of knowledge of indigenous people and narratives that come from Palestine. The genocide is accompanied and thus accelerated by epistemicide – the destruction, marginalization, and distortion of knowledge that is not historically Euro-centric or, today, West-centric.

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