JIM MILES—One of the more striking ideas was the concept that even as Hamas is criticized for its sometimes coercive and violent control of Gaza, those very acts create and sustain the idea of ‘Palestine’. The inhabitants of Gaza recognize Hamas not just as Hamas but as the government, as the nation – as Palestinian. Even earlier than Hamas’ takeover of Gaza’s government, Sen discusses the idea that the the postcolonial moment began with the Oslo Accords, and in spite of all its flaws and the poverty of its intentions, it put into writing the concept of ‘Palestine’ – undefined and subject to many onerous conditions, but still – Palestine.
Liberation in this context starts well before Oslo. Palestine has been seeking liberation since the end of World War I: first from the British empire and its League of Nations imposed mandate; and subsequently from Jewish settler-colonialism during the mandate and on into the establishment of Israel.