Tomorrow’s Palestine: Secular and democratic

At a time when most efforts in support of Palestine are (rightfully) focused on ending the genocide in Gaza, it is crucial not to forget the root of the issue – the existence of a settler-colonial state that defines itself as “the nation-state of the Jewish people only”. The One Democratic State Initiative, a Palestinian political organisation, published a public declaration named “Tomorrow’s Palestine” (فلسطين الغد) that sheds light on what a free Palestine would look like and that was signed by over 20,000 Palestinians.

The declaration does not only refuse non-solutions that politicize identities such as the two-state proposal or bi-nationalism, but also calls for a return to the historical Palestinian vision for liberation, namely, the establishment of one secular and democratic Palestinian state. It explains that such a state would be secular in that it would not claim religious legitimacy and would refuse to grant or deny rights on the basis of one’s religion, in full rupture with Zionism and its sectarian nature; that it would be democratic in that it would be a state for all its citizens, not as a duplicate of capitalist colonial models, but as a functional administrative tool, whose society actively takes part in politics; and Palestinian in that it would honour the Palestinian right to self-determination and right of return, and that, in line with the multicultural Palestinian heritage, it would extend Palestinian citizenship to all Jews who wish to drop Zionism and remain in Palestine as equal citizens.

As the declaration itself states, “this state will be the culmination of the liberation of Palestine, including the liberation of the Palestinian people from Zionist colonisation and the liberation of Jews from Zionist ideology. It is thus the fundamental antithesis to the Zionist project.” Interestingly, it also draws attention to the danger of the Zionist political vision to the whole world, explaining that “by proposing a model for the establishment of states on a sectarian basis, Zionism also forms a danger to all societies in the region and the world which face sectarianism and identitarian rifts”, a theme that is as relevant as ever in today’s Europe.

The declaration concludes by calling for “involvement in political organisations that carry this radical vision for liberation and return to a democratic Palestine, from the river to the sea”. The One Democratic State Initiative extends this call for political involvement to sympathisers of our cause in Europe and invites them to join political organisations who share our secular and democratic vision for tomorrow’s Palestine, such as DiEM25, and encourages current DiEM25 members to be active in their organised political work for the democratisation of Europe.

This article was written by the One Democratic State Initiative and has been republished with permission

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