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Peter d'Errico: New book connects Native America with Palestine






Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine (Indigenous Americas) is a new book from Steven G. Salaita, who was ousted from an Indian studies department before he arrived on campus due to controversial remarks about Israel. Photo: Steven Salaita

A controversial Indian studies figure is out with a new book and Peter d'Errico offers nothing but praise for Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine (Indigenous Americas) by Steven G. Salaita:
Steven Salaita engages multiple layers of history, theory, and politics. The very title of the book raises complex challenges: He posits “inter/nationalism” as a mode of thinking about relations among self-determining peoples, differentiating it from “internationalism” as the name for a unified global order arranged by the dominant (and dominating) states.

The Standing Rock water protectors provide a good example of Salaita’s concept of “inter/nationalism”: “action and dialogue across borders, both natural and geopolitical…[among] heterogeneous communities…attached to particular land bases.” Standing Rock did not stand alone, but was joined across natural and geopolitical borders “in…contestation to the Western state.” To the extent the “Western state” represents the global “international order,” Standing Rock represents Indigenous Peoples worldwide.

Salaita’s subtitle links Palestine and Native America, implying not only that Israeli Zionism constitutes colonialism, but tying Zionism to American colonialism and positioning Palestinians and Native Americans as subjected to a single (though complex) colonial phenomenon.

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Peter d'Errico: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine: New Book by Steven Salaita (Indian Country Today 1/14)