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Discourses around Settler colonialism in Palestine

By Thomas Clarke-LIPR Ambassador of Peace from Netherlands

Introduction

Palestine is recognized by the United Nations as a de jure sovereign state, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, at the intersection of three continents, in the heart of Eurasia. Being the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, it has been the theater of dynamic religious, political, cultural and trading developments for over thousands of years, and is argued to be one of the richest locus of human culture altogether. Archeologists unearthed eleven thousand-year old remains of settlements in Jericho, claiming the very first ones in recorded history (Ighbareyeh et al, 2015).

We will take the foci of Foucauldian discourses, ‘governmentality’ and policing technologies to understand how Israeli settlement is not only a matter of present-day colonialism but prevails, unchallenged if not supported by the international community.

I will conduct a thick description of the case study of settler colonialism in Occupied Palestine. We will unpack the larger geopolitical context through analyzing discourses put forward by powerful Western nation-states to not only witness the inconsistencies apropos of upholding objective and non-partisan international human rights (HR) law but also to note how those power relations led to both impunity for the most powerful and the deprivation of basic human rights for determined communities.

The Israeli praxis will be followed by a discussion around the most relevant arguments within the application of the legal and political theoretical framework in the context of Zionist settler colonialism, before concluding and assessing recommendations, opening up a critical questioning on the future course of action of international stakeholders.

Theoretical framework

Colonialism, the ‘Enlightenment’ era and other historical processes which I will not elaborate further have slowly but surely developed this idea that the “West” has developed internally to such an extent that it affects its relationship with the rest of the world in a hierarchical fashion. Indeed, we will see how this dichotomy instigated by the West has been facilitated by the formation of language (or “discourses”) in which differences between itself and the “others” are rendered salient. To grasp power relationships, French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984) extensively studied “discursive formations” albeit it is Style Studies’ precursor Leo Spitzer who was the first to coin “discourse analysis” (Elden, 2016).

Foucault does not see simply discourses as systems of language, rather “institutionalized patterns of knowledge that govern the formation of subjectivity” (Arribas-Ayllon & Walkerdine, 2008). The theoretical meaning does not refer to speech or writing but pertains to the particular way entities are ‘represented’/’representing.’ Discourse theory pertains to the interconnected relationship between the way we speak and write in our everyday lives and how they are shaped by the structures of power in our society and vice-versa because our society is defined by struggle and conflict, our discourses reflect and generate conflicts. Discourse is fascinating in how it differs from traditional distinctions between theory and practice (thought and action) and could be encapsulated by ‘produc[ing] knowledge through language’ (Hall, 1992).

Foucault explains that these so-called discursive formations are intrinsically linked to positionality. Discourses can be produced by any individual in many institutional settings but they are not about the relationship between the author and his claims, rather Foucault explains that whoever deploys a statement ought to position themselves as if they are subject to the discourse. For instance, if I were to portray Palestinian leaders as “terrorist” or “freedom fighters”, the positionality hence the discourse would drastically change. Discourses are nearly identical to ideologies, however Foucault argues that while generally ideologies are grounded in ‘false’ statements, discourses are effectively based on science and ‘true’ statements about the world (Hall, 1992). However, Foucault is not as simplistic as to argue that there are clear boundaries between truth and fallacy. Actually he explains quite the opposite; when referring to moral, social, political statements, it is the ways “facts” are constructed which determine positionality, hence the importance of languages and discourses. Deciding what is ‘true’ and what is ‘false’ is the fruit of the interpretation we bequeath to the words we use. Foucault realized that resolving the dilemma of discerning (true) science from (false) ideology within social discourses was impossible as most factual statements contain ideological components, but most importantly by recognizing that this positionality is an issue of power. In effect, those power relations are the ones determining the “truth” in the debate: “there is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not […] constitute […] power relations” (Hall, 2001). Foucault explains that the debate over discourses’ truthfulness is less meaningful than its effectiveness in practice, because if regulating bodies embody one particular discourse, the latter naturally becomes a “regime of truth” (Hall, 1992).

Drawing from this acknowledgment of the predominant space power has in the discursive formation, Foucault coined the term ‘governmentality’, or the conduct of the conducts in the 1970s (Busse, 2015). The post-structuralist thinker is interested in ‘how’ power is exercised rather than ‘why’. Appreciating that power is everywhere, relational and ‘exercised’ rather than ‘possessed’, Foucault puts an emphasis on states’ power over governing the ‘self’ and ‘others’, no matter how it suits the public dogma. He perceives governments as actors undertaking to conduct individuals throughout their lives by placing them under the authority of a guide responsible for what they do and for what happens to them” (Foucault, 1997). These activities stem from the ‘reason of state’ born in the eighteenth century, the art of prioritizing anything which could strengthen the state and its power and that sought to intervene into and manage the habits and activities of subjects to achieve that end (Rose et al, 2002). Foucault scrutinized the governmentality of liberal states and noticed thereof the first ‘reason of state’ wherein there was a clear separation between the state and society. Foucault also coined the term “biopolitics” which is the state’s use of political power to control people’s lives. Foucauldian “biopolitics of otherness” (or “logic of elimination”) are especially relevant in our case as we will see how empowered communities use identity politics to discrepantly affect other communities (Fassin, 2001; Abu-Rabia-Queder, 2019).

In setting up the theoretical framework, it is quint essential to note that following the demise of the Shoah, the United Nations (UN) promulgated the Universal Declaration Human Rights (UNDHR) outlining scores of articles (such as Article 1[1] and 2[2]) setting international standards for human rights (UNDHR, 1948). Further, the 1948 UN Charter expounds the universal principle of self-determination. These human rights standards are not legally-binding and in fact were only intended to instigate moral and legal basis for national constitutions, laws and regulations (Leuenberger, 2013). Scholars would argue that if the UNDHR and its subsequent minimalistic agreements have had any effect, it would lie in how it reshaped the discourse of global policy-makers, leaders and activists perceive justice and politics, rather than establishing legally-binding norms (Leuenberger, 2013).

I would like to expand the theoretical framework beyond Foucauldian theories and touch upon West Indian French philosopher Franz Fanon’s (1925-1961) work. The latter scholar has worked on decolonization efforts and emphasized how the “germs of rot” caused by imperialist endeavors ought to be dealt with corresponding violence (Fanon, 1961). By embodying a new form of humanism based on reciprocal recognition, Fanon states that there are ethical commitments bound to every human being’s equal rights to have their human dignity recognized by all. The scholar alerts how colonized subjects may cultivate colonial alienation which is a phenomena wherein the subjugated people ingrain

[1] “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”,

[2] “Everyone is entitled to all the rights [of the UNDHR], without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs […].”

(Fanon, 2007). Drawing from Foucault’s biopolitics, Fanon used Achille Mbembe’s “necropolitics”—the use of political (and social) power to impose how people ought to live and how some must die (Sheehi & Sheehi, 2020).

Thick descriptive case study of Settler colonialism in Occupied Palestine

The Palestinian region has been dominated by many peoples across time such as the Ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Ancient Greeks, Romans and Byzantines until the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. World War I had reached a critical threshold in 1917, however the Allies, especially the British foresaw an opportunity in Palestine to fasten Israeli support and therefore enacted the Balfour Declaration that same year, aimed at the establishment of a “national home to the Jewish people” (Balfour, 1917).

 

One can witness the flourishing of a new imperial endeavor namely Zionism. Founded by Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), it is the political movement aiming to create a state for the Jewish people. For the past thousands of years, the Jewish people have been unequivocally subject to consistent annihilation hence the pursuit for a secure home. However, Zionism is colonialism. Herzl wrote to Cecil Rhodes, the Cape colony (modern South Africa) Prime Minister and strong believer in British imperialism to ask for her support, calling Zionism “a colonial program”[1] (Sayeg, 1976; Cohen, 1945). We witness how the dominant discourse mainly advertised a Jewish liberation movement while Zionism also encompasses a genocidal/ethnic cleansing movement—80% of Palestinians in what became Israel in 1948, were ethnically cleansed—and a settler-colonial movement.

As a consequence of its WWI defeat, the Ottoman Empire was forced to bequeath Palestine to its newly-victorious British counterpart. Western occupation began forthwith while the “British Mandate” period was made official by the League of Nations in 1922. This power vacuum is the fruit of decades of Zionist advocacy across the West. Following World War II, the British government desired to terminate its mandate over Palestine. The United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1947 a Resolution recommending the partition of Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state alongside an international zone, including Jerusalem’s peculiar status, due to its symbolic and religious background.

We witness yet again the salience of Foucauldian discursive formations even before the state of Israel was officialized. Framing themselves as a “victim-community” and constituting a “martyrology” was quintessential in the discursive formation of the ‘national’ Israeli community (Zertal, 2005). The UN General Assembly[2] needs a two-third majority to pass the resolution. Because of a reputed lack of votes in favor, the latter was successfully filibustered by Zionists, thus the vote was delayed by three days. Across the world there were concerns of human rights’ breach. However, the United States exerted “diplomatic pressure” upon skeptical states via threats of large aid cuts (Liberia, Philippines, France) or promises of substantial amounts of money (Haiti) to change the vote in Israel’s favor and to “do the right choice” (UK Parliament, 1947; Quigley, 1990, p.36). Western ‘governmentality’ expressed here by the most powerful states were salient in adjusting policies to their interests regardless whether they defy international law principles. Even a Zionist lawyer named Benjamin Akzin acknowledged how this resolution was not a matter of “law” but a “political solution” (Quigley, 1990).

Although the resolution could have very well been refashioned to fit international law acknowledging the breach of international principles and with regards to Palestinians’ and Arabs’ categorical refusal of the partition, the UN carried by Zionist-friendly Western powerful states decided that this resolution was in the best interest of all. The US-Israeli relationship is absolutely key in this context. Israel has been the largest recipient of military and economic aid from the US between 1976 and 2004, with an average of $3billion annual grants (Sharp, 2010). These tight-knit relations embed US foreign policy whose goal is to have a grip in the ‘strategic’ region, notably due to its massive oil reserves and other political goals (Lewis, 1999).

Anthropological studies, such as Sally Merry’s “ethnography of the practice of human rights” have identified the sophisticated legal loopholes international stakeholders uphold to effectively transform and adapt transnational ideas of human rights to their behests. By being too abstract and general, international human rights law can easily be ensnared within power relations stemming from political and cultural hierarchizations. It can be catered to any social or geopolitical contexts and incorporates a seemingly imaginative phenomena applicable to specific given cultural and/or social realms (Leuenberger, 2013, pp. 76-77). The UN Security Council is charged with ‘international peace and security’ and ‘peacekeeping’[3]. Since its initiation, the UNSC has witnessed no less than 53 vetoes from the United States alone pertaining to the resolution on the Palestinian question (UN, 2021). This highlights how the international power dynamics reflect the hegemonic governmentality and serve hegemonic ‘national’ interests leading to legal deadlocks whenever counter hegemonic resistance occurs.

We can assess the creation of the State of Israel as the mere fruit of overt use of bargaining power and literal breach of international principles, such as the principle of self-determination of the Palestinian people. Arguably more importantly it highlights how discourses, power and positionality matter.

The atrocities were only beginning; consequent to the mind-boggling UN resolution, Arab countries (Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Syria) joined Palestine to fight against the Zionist settler colonialism. Under the international community’s scrutiny, the war lasted less than a year with Israel not only coming out victorious, but also expanding its territory and effectively land-grabbing almost 60% of what was proposed to be the Arab state in the UN resolution, let alone the seizure of West Jerusalem initially integral to the ‘international zone’. Following the 1948-49 ‘Arab-Israeli War’, Israel authorities forced no less than 700,000 Palestinians to flee—around half of the pre-war Palestinian population. Indeed, over five hundred Palestinian villages were depopulated leading to Palestinians’ mere geographical erasure. Let alone, the destruction of the Palestinian society and homeland dispossession, Palestinians were denied the right to return, argued by Israel’s government as “political issue” rather than a human right (Lapidoth, 2001). This political stance illustrates both the use of discourse and Foucauldian ‘governmentality’ and calls attention to the role of the Israeli state in infringing people’s liberties, through the state’s alienation from society and disregard of transnational agreements. The mere fact of embodying state sovereignty entitles legal, political and military officials to instigate whichever bill fits best their interests. In sheer contrast, the 1948 Israeli settlement is remembered by Palestinians as the ‘(al-)Nakba’( -النكبة‎ ), meaning ‘catastrophe’, ‘disaster.’

1948 is the perfect example of looking at the power of terminology which embeds the dominant discourse: by naming the historical moment ‘independence’, Israel facilitated the narrativization of history. In contrast, Palestine remembers this historical moment as a national, if not regional, cataclysm due to the destruction of the Palestinian political entity and its geosocial space. However the Palestinian narrative of constituting a leaderless, under-armed forces against a well-trained and -equipped army did not proliferate outside the Middle East until recently. Subject to historical processes and stemming from positions of power, terminology and narratives truly reflect power relations.

This is flagrant in Western popular media source: discourses of Israeli domination become so mainstream, they mute and marginalize alternative, counterhegemonic, (pro)Palestinian views. For instance, the BBC has consistently ordered reporters to call the killings of Palestinians “targeted killings” under the aegis of ‘national security’ instead of ‘assassinations’ (Peteet, 2005). In contrast, the less-pernicious Palestinians are “nothing but murderers”. By embedding ‘common sense,’ discourse legitimizes the violence and actually holds the victim more accountable to HR law than the oppressor. The mere presence of so-called ‘terrorists’ within a community opens a space for legitimate use of ‘torture’ and contempt (Peteet, 2005). Palestinian narratives are silenced in a systemic fashion to structure how the conflict is understood. The latter further embeds the popular, official discourse and ultimately the historical memory. Colonized spaces are portrayed as ‘in need of democracy’ and as ‘threats to world peace’, and the colonized communities as backward, dangerous and under-utilizing their own resources. Further, the extent to which Israeli domination has embedded popular discourse leads the resistance to the occupation as terrorism. Indeed, the dominant narrative’s “objective[ness] and legitima[cy]” create a “hierarchy of credibility”, leading any voices who challenge the dominant discourse to be received with thorough contempt (Peteet, 2005).

Seeking to ‘repair’ the 1948 catastrophe, Arab countries started war against Israel in 1967. The ‘Six-Day’ war was a sharp Israeli victory, prompted yet another exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and a subsequent confirmation of the durability of the Israeli colonial apparatus. The staggering defeat—al-Naksa (relapse)—highlighted the Israeli military’s strength in stark contrast with the decentralized, weak Arab nationalist armies. The governmentality of the US-backed Israeli military lead the Arab nationalist and libertarian doctrine to soar with regards to Arab states’ support for Palestine (Albzour, 2019).

The 1970s represented a major shift in the way the international community acknowledged Palestine, or the decreased lack thereof. The discourse on Palestinian statehood transformed from nothing to the UN recognizing the recent Palestine Liberation Organization as Palestine’s “sole legitimate representative” in 1974 (Al-Shuaibi, 1980). This organization’s ideology takes its roots in Fanonian theory—positioning themselves as colonized intellectuals, and valuing the anticolonial struggle centered around national consciousness, rather than nationalism (Quenzer, 2019). Although it appeared rather unfruitful, PLO and all the other non-state actors pledging the Palestinian cause, such as the Fedayeen, and intellectuals upheld Fanonian views on armed struggle and saw its potential for genuine and radical change in the anticolonial resistance. Arab nationalist discourse is built around the rejection of settler colonialism in Palestine and aimed at the liberation of the “Arab land of Palestine” (Albzour, 2019). Fanonian thinking fits perfectly in the Palestinian cause, both backing national movements aimed at disengaging from the colonizer. Between 1987 and 1993 the first Intifada took place, a generalized nationalist revolt against Israel, giving birth to the Declaration of the State of Palestine in 1988 and ended with the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords and the creation of the Palestinian National Authority. In 2000, the second Intifada began and resulted in Israel building a separation border and the Israel disengagement from Gaza. However, Israel has retained a military grip across all occupied-Palestinian soil, effectively making Israel the world’s longest settler colonialist authority in modern times. It was only in 2012 that Palestine’s “delegation” status was invited at the UN General Assembly as a “non-member observer state”.

[1] In 1897, the World Zionist Organization implemented “The Jewish Colonial Trust, Limited,” called its settlement department the “Colonisation Department” and concluded with a “practical program” officially calling for three actions “Organisation, Colonisation & Negotiation”.

[2] only comprised of 56 member states at the time

[3] is constituted of fifteen nonpermanent members and five permanent members, namely three Western states, e.g. France, Britain and the USA, alongside Russia and the People’s Republic of China; the latter permanent member have veto power—discarding any given resolution.

We can analyze the effect of terminology and discourse within the governmentality of Western states and media corporations. There is a clear discrepancy in how states are held accountable to human right law, a double standard regarding HR law enforcement. For instance, Palestinian leaders such Yasser Arafat were requested to condemn the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) for guerilla attacks, otherwise leading to the suspension of the PLF-US “dialogue.” This demonstrates how the dominant discourse holds victims more accountable than the oppressors (Massad, 1993). Further, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah is an interesting figure, this Marxist Christian Maronite Lebanese political activist joined the ranks of the Fanonian Lebanese Armed Liberation Forces (LARF) when the latter bonded with the PLF. Expelled from both Palestine and Lebanon in 1982 by Israel, the LARF claimed responsibility for ‘terrorist attacks’ in Paris in the 1980s. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah was taken to court for alleged complicit murders of US military attaché Charles Ray and Israeli diplomat Yaakov Bar-Simantov. He was referred to as “le terroriste Ibrahim Abdallah” by ( French media and French government, effectively discarding his Christian first name in order to increase stigmatization, ultimately embedding this Euro-centric, Islamophobic dominant discourse (La Croix, 2003; DILA, 1986). The only legal basis for the sentence being his belonging to the organization, a French court sentenced Abdallah for a life sentence in 1987. In 1999 Abdallah became eligible for parole and consequently requested parole seven times. Every request was refused like in 2012 when a sole signature from French PM Manuel Valls would have released Abdallah from lock-up (Collectif Vacarme(s) Films, 2021). Through unclassified US government leaks, we learn how American ‘governmentality’ came in clutch to argue that under ‘national security’, Abdallah ought to remain in prison for fear of being greeted home as a “hero.” Then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contacted then-French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and diplomatically but coercively, expressed American interests: “we hope French officials might find another basis to challenge the decision’s legality [of releasing Abdallah]” (Hillary Clinton Email Archive, 2013). French governments have systematically emulated American ‘(national) interests’ showcased by 38 years of Abdallah’s detainment, who just turned 70. I am not engaging in legal debates where Abdallah’s activism is legitimate because of the Palestinian cause. One should be subject to unbiased, lawful adjudications, destitute of political gains. It is striking to see the double standard of human rights, the lack of self-accountability of the most powerful states and the use of literally any illegal mechanisms to uphold subjective hegemonic ‘national interest’.

Hanafi (2009) coins Palestinian “spaciocide” and the lack of accountability of Western powers in their responsibility thereof for instance through how the West describes the Palestinian occupation as a “low intensity conflict.” This terminology is skewed in two regards. First, it grounds its typology in simply taking into account the number of casualties. Secondly, reducing the Palestinian situation as a “conflict” entails that both parties are more or less on an equal footing and legitimizes Israeli settler colonialism as not breaching international law. It further stigmatizes Palestinian resistance to the oppressive apparatus and is dramatically misleading with regards to the Palestinian army and leadership. The continued illustration of Palestinians as primitive and violent legitimizes their everlasting displacement, political exclusion and displacement. As Palestinian riots or any resistance are portrayed as terrorist, the contrary is impossible: for example in 1994, an American doctor called Baruch Goldstein assassinated 29 worshippers in a Mosque in Hebron. Settlers made stickers which read ‘Dr Goldstein Cures the Ills of Israel’, and it is no shock to see that US or Israeli media preferred ‘extremist’ rather than ‘terrorist’. With the intention to deny human dignity and identity which recognizes individual human beings as such, Israelis commonly refer to Palestinians as generic Arab names such as ‘Ahmed’ or ‘Fatima’ (Hanafi, 2009).

Another popular Western discourse—which amplifies discrepancies between what is reported en masse by states and the media in contrast to the more nuanced reality—is how ‘Hamas’, the ‘Palestinian Resistance Movement’ is portrayed across the media. Most Western countries consider Hamas a terrorist organization, while they proclaim themselves a liberation movement. The EU criteria for ‘terrorism’ are multifold nevertheless encompass “attacks upon a person’s life which may cause death” and “attacks upon the physical integrity of a person”, “kidpanning”, etc (OECD, 2014). Most Westerners’ perceptions of Hamas are identical to Israel thus reduced to mere terrorism. Hamas’ and Palestinians’ liberation discourse is marginalized and well-inserted in alternative discourses. Westerners’ chief reason for labelling Palestine and Hamas as such, roots itself in the notion that “violence” should not be the proxy “to achieve change” (Aljamal, 2014). This is where Fanonian theory differs, defending the inevitability of the use of violence in resisting the colonial apparatus. Western perception is largely grounded in how Israel perceives the movement which inhibits self-accountability and self-assessment, ultimately not addressing the widespread systemic structural injustices. In other words, the international community perceives this conflict through the oppressor’s lens hence facilitating the colonial regime if anything. Since its advent, Hamas has killed 1212 Israelis, while Israelis have killed 1800 Hamas members, let alone the 15,000 Palestinian deaths in 1948 alone and multiple exoduses. Further, Hamas has captured no more than 14 Israeli soldiers, while nearly 5,000 Palestinians are imprisoned in Israeli jails. Many would consider Israel a terrorist organization. Finally, Western governments decision to call Hamas a terrorist organization is unfounded. Reducing Hamas to terrorism annihilates the national liberation narrative. The core claim of Hamas is being occupied, which is by nature intertwined with violence, hence the reason why violence is perhaps the sole pathway to end the occupation (Aljamal, 2014).

Discussion

For over seventy years, the State of Israel has legislated and implemented widespread ethnic cleansing, apartheid politics and settler colonialism. It is common sense to wonder how in spite of international agreements assumedly guaranteeing the wellbeing of all, atrocities remain unchallenged by the international community. Here we witness the quintessential salience of naming mechanisms and use of words in public discourse.

Systemic violence rule is integral to colonialism thereby leading to breaches in international human rights law. The use of dominant discourses and specific terminologies enabled the West to not only remain unchallenged and not held accountable by international courts, they were able to posit themselves as morally superior. Peteet (2005) argues that the use of the words “terror” and “terrorism” are the nucleus of these power relations. Interestingly the American ‘war on terror’ and Guantanamo practices coincided with the increased settlements in the West Bank. This is the case because the use of those words legitimizes the alienation of a given community. In this context and the realm of governmentality, state violence against civilians is never called terrorism, rather justified under the guise of ‘national security’, ‘self-defense’ and ‘legitimate retaliation’. Instead, terrorism is assigned to anyone engaging in any acts of resistance, legitimizing the social construction of a ‘target’ instantly liable to violation of human rights and military intervention. In opposition the Palestinian discourse embeds an understanding of the conflict as a colonial one, legitimizing violence as an act of resistance to dispossession and occupation of a well-armed, -financed and -trained state.

Through discourse analysis, we witness the intersection with Wallerstein’s World System’s Theory, critical theories and dependency theory as Palestinian struggles are minimized, unofficially excluded from transnational political agendas and utterly stigmatized as terrorist and deprived of morality. Western relentless vilification simply stems from Palestinian political essence’s very nature which goes against the states which have the most political bargaining power. In other words, power is a bargaining tool and whichever actor detains the most can mold international law to its interests and take action in a purely performative framework.

Conclusion

I find the Palestinian state of affairs profoundly unsettling in many regards. The very nature of Zionism and its exemption from any legal consequences simply owing to its political relation with the United States and the West boggles my mind. I have a hard time grasping how national interests, whether economic or political,  can ever surpass basic human rights enforcement. Taking WWII, the Holocaust and the libertarian nature of the Zionist effort into account, one would hope that genocide will never repeat. However this is fallacious, as the same movement which was executed to ‘save the Jewish people’ resulted in yet another thorough, sophisticated ethnic cleansing and genocidal politics. It is nearly impossible to challenge the dominant discourse as it is so well-engrained in both micro and macro realms. Nevertheless, especially in our mass media epoch, appreciating the value of discourses is key to understanding that conflict situations are far more nuanced than dichotomous, and whose human rights are being neglected.

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