“Oppressive pines: Uprooting Israeli green colonialism and implanting Palestinian A’wna” by Ghada Sasa


This article provides a comprehensive overview of Israeli green colonialism, denoting the apartheid state’s misappropriation of environmentalism to eliminate the Indigenous people of Palestine and usurp its resources. I focus on the violence of ‘protected areas’, encompassing national parks, forests, and nature reserves. This article argues that Israel primarily establishes them to (1) justify land grab; (2) prevent the return of Palestinian refugees; (3) dehistoricise, Judaise, and Europeanise Palestine, erasing Palestinian identity and suppressing resistance to Israeli oppression; and (4) greenwash its apartheid image. I situate Israeli green colonialism within the broader histories of Western environmentalism – particularly its perpetuation of the human–nature binary – and Zionism. Furthermore, I identify various means through which Palestinians and their land resist this phenomenon. I also explore Palestinian environmentalism, which is influenced by the concepts of a’wna (collaboration), sumud (steadfastness), and a’wda (return), in addition to the Islamic concept of tawhid (unity). I offer it as an alternative environmentalism, which is holistic, anti-racist, feminist, socialist, and nonlinear, while rejecting the trope of the ecological savage. Overall, the intrinsic link between all humans, and them and the environment must be recognised, to realise a just and sustainable society, in Palestine and beyond.

Sasa, Ghada. (2022). Oppressive pines: Uprooting Israeli green colonialism and implanting Palestinian A’wna. Politics, online first, 1-17