This article forwards an analysis about Israel/Palestine in relation to race in global context, through the case study of the UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) process (2001–2011). Although the WCAR has been widely framed as “antisemitic” we demonstrate this interpretation is unfounded, through highlighting legitimate claims for Palestinian human rights and other oppressed and racialized groups – in particular African-descended peoples seeking reparations for Atlantic slavery. The argument draws on 25 interviews undertaken with civil society delegates from Canada, the US and Israel/Palestine who participated in the WCAR process. Extending the work of Charles Mills we conceptualize an Israel/Palestine Racial Contract, and argue the WCAR process can serve as a microcosm to demonstrate suppression of Palestinian claims, the resistance to this suppression, as well as the potential of civil society alliances that identify Palestinian claims in a consistent and solidaristic anti-racist framework.
Abigail B. Bakan and Yasmeen Abu-Laban “The Israel/Palestine Conflict and the Challenge of Anti-Racism: A Case Study of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism.” Ethnic and Racial Studies (Special Issue on Race and the Middle East) 44, 12 (2021): 2167-2189.