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A Conversation on Settlers and Natives

  • Knox Hall # 207 606 West 122nd Street #207 New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

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Please join us for a conversation on settlers and natives with Dr. Raef Zreik following his recent article, “When Does a Settler Become a Native? (With Apologies to Mamdani).” 

Zreik discusses decolonization in general and decolonization in Palestine in particular. One way to consider decolonization is by asking, as in the title of his article, “when does the settler become a native?” But what kind of question is that? Is it historical — how much time needs to pass for the settler to become a native? Sociological — what changes must the settler go through to become a native? Ethical — what actions must the settler undertake in order to become a native? Personal — does it suffice for the settler to start feeling like he was a native? And what is the role of the native himself in this entire process?

The article is in part forward-looking, but it does not aim to offer concrete solutions; at best, it can offer conceptual directions. In the case of Palestine/Israel, the article does not advocate a definite solution in the form of a “one-state solution” or a “two-state solution.” It does not offer a clear institutional arrangement; rather, it offers an approach that aims to transcend settler-colonialism as a dynamic order, and to move beyond the settler-native opposition. As such, the article is a conceptual one — offering ways to think about the issue without committing to a clear constitutional-institutional position. 

Dr. Raef Zreik is Senior Lecturer in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory at the School of Law, Carmel Academic Center - Haifa, and academic co-director of Minerva Humanities Center at Tel-Aviv University