Last week, the life, times and writings of Frantz Fanon were examined, with specific focus on his concept of recognition. Fanon, with literary deftness and intellectual mastery, managed to save Hegel from his racialised self and utilise his master/slave dialect in a conceptual apparatus that explicates the pitfalls of the neocolonised mindset.
Fanon asserted that colonised populations tend to internalise the sneering images imposed on them, and thus as a result these images, along with structural relations, come to be recognised as natural. Settler colonialism operates through the elimination of indigenous people’s existence on the land. Without this reducible element, settler colonialism cannot operate. Settler colonialism it not interested in exploitating the natives, rather it attempts a totality though eradicating its negation, the existence of indigenous people, and reducing them to an invisible, a persona non grata. This is why the Palestinian-Israeli impasse should not be seen from the angle of a particular event, rather as a structure that operates on the elimination of indigenous Palestinians as an entity. The desire for recognition on its own terms of the overarching colonial structure can be seen as a form of misrecognition as it reinforces the dominance of the oppressor, seeking its legitimacy from the very source of the dilemma, making the coloniser appear to be the final redeemer: ‘’that is, I will compel the white man to acknowledge that I am human.”
In the second part of this essay series, I will trace the socio-historical development of the Palestinian National Movement and its quest for recognition. By picking apart various tactics for recognition, I expose the source of the symbolic capital of the current intifada, and where the failure of the current Palestinian leadership has presented more obstacles to the fundamentals of Palestinian recognition.