“Let us call the agreement by its real name: an instrument

of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles.” –Edward W. Said

The most influential Palestinian intellectual of the 20th century uttered these words when the so-called ‘peace process’ between Palestinians and Israelis, under the ‘guidance’ of the overlord in Washington, began in Madrid in 1989 and culminated in the 1993 Oslo peace accords. Said was sufficiently prescient to foresee how a powerful national liberation struggle had now morphed into an apartheid scenario that would sustain a brutal Zionist occupation and control by other means.

The difference surrounding the asinine ‘deal of the century’ presented by Trump and company this time is that the White House was not even able to co-opt a single Palestinian, no matter how irrelevant and politically bankrupt, to even partially endorse this insidious imposition on the Palestinians. The normally tepid and compliant putative Palestinian ‘President’ Mahmood Abbas was even compelled to denounce this ridiculously insulting ‘deal.’

The Question of Palestine, after most other national liberation struggles had achieved their formal political independence from their colonizing regimes, has remained a larger-than-life symbol of a David versus Goliath scenario where a defenseless population has refused self-erasure merely because Empire and Zionism desire such an outcome. Israeli Prime Minister Gold Meir said once, “There are no Palestinians.” It has been precisely that Zionist mentality, from the very inception of Israel, that has kept the Palestinian spirit of resistance against overwhelming odds - alive.

While the global justice movement has recognized Palestine as the ‘meta-signifier’ of both the ruthlessness of repression in the modern world, and on the other hand, the miraculous courage of a people’s indefatigable resistance to not only merely survive, but to actively confront Imperial-Zionist apartheid occupation – it should also be noted that the three clowns, Trump, Kushner, and Netanyahu, and their ‘deal,’ is also a significant marker in our era’s ongoing ‘age of transition.’

 For if anything so starkly demonstrates the end of the Eurocentric ‘one big story’ of enlightenment, progress, and human and civil liberties, it is the way this ‘deal’ has been so brazenly announced to the Palestinians and the world. Going against more than five decades of UN Security Council resolutions, even the normally timid Secretary-General of the UN - usually handpicked by Washington - of his own accord had to make clear that this deal is the antithesis of both the UN’s and the US’s own historical position, and therefore should have no relevance to resolving the question of Zionist occupation and colonization of Palestine.

Sure, Europe isn’t doing much - it is pretty much a basket case right now gliding along in autopilot, trying to adjust to a rapidly de-centered West that will become increasingly irrelevant to resolving the multiple cascading crises confronting at least three-quarters of the world’s population.

This is the last decade of the American empire, do whatever it may with it. That does not mean that the US will no longer deploy violence gratuitously to accomplish some bogus aims. But an effective empire, as the US has been for a very long time, has had numerous client states to do its dirty work for it. That will end this decade and if the neo-con faction of the American establishment wants to take a third go at it (after failure after failure over the past two decades), they can try to halt and restore American power by more insane interventions that are destined to only backfire and accelerate American decline.

The deeper significance that the story of this ‘deal’ announcement is that Palestine also harkens us back to the period before the epistemic-racist-sexist modern-world-colonial-capitalist world system began in 1492 and over the course of the long sixteenth century (1450-1650). Like Andalusia, without a shadow of a doubt the most spectacular experiment in pre-modern times of harmonious co-existence and flourishing of different religious communities alongside each other, Palestine had also represented precisely this communitarian mosaic throughout the 500 years plus period of Western hegemony - until the settler colonial state of Israel was born in 1948.  However tragic, it takes ‘inquisitions,’ ‘Reconquistas,’ and ‘deals’ celebrating deepening settler colonialism to remind us of the hypocrisies, delusions, and the mythologies of this brief but murderous five hundred plus years of global coloniality.

The positive side to the madness is that we are now heading to a world system which, though unpredictable in its exact outcomes, should be compel us to be much more clear-headed in distinguishing between what Carl Schmidt called our ‘friend’ and our ‘enemy.’ And those friends and enemies need not have any religious or racial connection to us at all. After all, the Saudis and the Emiratis seem more Zionist than the Israelis themselves.

The clarity necessary in this period where the under-interrogated assumptions of predatory corporate colonial-capitalist modernity are being rapidly unsettled needs to be grounded in visions that transcend the ‘sacred cows’ of modernity. It is essential to see the utility of transcending the nation-state as the unit of analysis in resolving the myriad forms of crises and oppression afflicting each and every corner of the globe.

The question of Palestine would be good start. The naked subjugation of the Palestinians being envisioned in this ‘deal’ - that treats them worse than the ghettoized Bantustans of South Africa under the White Apartheid regime there - ought to be a reminder that, though seemingly counterintuitively, these are not moments of strength of the Anglo-Zionist empire, and the universalizing hegemonic Eurocentric project in general, but a moment of profound weakness - a sinking Titanic, and wounded tiger that knows nothing but further stubborn, suicidal aggressiveness. The sooner the Western, and especially American, ‘exceptionalists’ come to terms with this, the less costly and bloody it will be for them and the rest of the world’s peoples. Meanwhile, the task for the rest of the world is to highlight the steadfast Palestinian crucible for liberation as a model that can inspire ‘alternative modernities,’ based on epistemological and philosophical worldviews that center justice, solidarity, human dignity, and self-determination at their core. The genocidal project of ‘Whiteness’ may be in crisis and coming to an end, but it is the responsibility of the Global South and the Islamicate World to offer just and sustainable alternatives that not only will finally be able to defend the non-West from predatory and brutal imperial interventions, but can help rescue the ‘West’ - defined by Talal Asad, not as a geographic entity, but as a universalizing hegemonic project - from itself.