"If you ask someone in the Jordan Valley, they'll tell you they thought they were annexed a long time ago," Salem Barameh, Executive Director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, tells me in a Zoom interview ahead of the then-impending July 1st deadline that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had set as a deadline to start the legal process of annexing the Palestinian West Bank.
Even with the slipping by of the deadline without a formal announcement, Palestine remains under threat. Barahmeh discusses what annexation is, how it has been a multigenerational process, the current regime of apartheid, and the new social contract that young Palestinians are striving for today.
“Everything that’s happened in the last 2-3 weeks, the amount of killing that’s happening, annexation, the lack of the world moving to prevent these things or hold Israel accountable, stirs a lot of anger and frustration in us as young Palestinians,” says Barahmeh of his generation. “This is the only reality we’ve known. Every institution that we grew up under has lied to us, has oppressed us, or has taken our lives. And we’re so fed up. And there shouldn’t be a people anywhere around the world in 2020 that is not free or doesn’t have basic human rights.”