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Enter the code as shown below:. Send message Please wait Copy Event URL. Events are social. Suddenly isolated from the rest of the Arab world, the Palestinian community inside Israel was subject to military rule until , while the government expropriated large swaths of land belonging to them and to other Palestinian refugees.
Because our schools are controlled by Israel, our Palestinian identity is mostly passed down to us at home, where we learn about our history and culture. Our sense of otherness is further reinforced through racist rhetoric and discriminatory policies in Israeli society and government.
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Senior politicians regularly propose plans that would push Arab citizens and villages out of Israel in a resolution to the conflict. We attend universities in mainly Jewish cities and work with, make friends with — and, yes, sometimes even marry — Jewish Israelis. This never seemed a contradiction to me. We have learned to cope with all of these challenges. I saw it as part of my reality and identity. Many Americans would assume that I am Jewish.
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I find myself having to explain my identity not only to foreigners but also to Jewish Israelis and fellow Arabs. At a conference in the United States earlier this year, a Jewish Israeli participant was confused by how I could be both Palestinian and Israeli. At the same conference, a Jordanian participant confronted me for hanging out with an Israeli attendee from Tel Aviv University, and for criticizing Hamas. The more friends I make from around the Arab world, the more difficult I find it to explain why I sometimes use Hebrew words here and there, why I have Israeli citizenship, and why I cannot personally boycott Israel.
I have found myself having to defend how I self-identify, and having to clarify my stance on the conflict. There is an expectation of me to support any group resisting Israel, regardless of their ideological and religious views. I am also expected to boycott Israel , even though it is where my home is, where my family lives, and where I can have a more significant and meaningful impact. The forced projection of these identities, and the expectations and assumptions that come with it — whether from Jews, Arabs, or Westerners — strips us of our right to define ourselves.
It compounds the marginalization we experience in our land by alienating us from ourselves, our history, and our lived experiences while we are abroad. It should be up to us, the people living the conflict, to interpret our own experiences and determine our own identity accordingly.
Anwar Mhajne is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. Twitter: mhajneam. A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters.
Her mind has been brainwashed to accept a false conciousness of a long lost Arab nationality that somehow went missing in history. Indeed, the fake narrative was invented in the s by an Egyptian Terrorist. I tend to agree with you. And you sound awfully black and white. Which to me is what is a false or fake view of history and current affairs. So how is it that you tend to agree with Lewis again? Nowadays, few disagree there is a Palestinian people. Here, I thought for years my father had been a cook, but apparently he was an inventor.
Far easier to fit into a square peg with no complexity and no nuance to your make up. But I think those who learn early on to find a balance within that complexity are far better prepared to find a space that is viable than the brittleness of absoluteness. I wish there were more people who came from such a sophisticated batch as you,Dr. We all would be better off if more people could see farther and deeper. Anwar thank you for putting into words exactly what happens to me when I travel as well. I have long struggled with my identity and come to the conclusion that whatever I say it will be misunderstood.
I now say simply that I am Palestinian.
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Often this is seen as offensive be by Israelis but to me it means that I bring Alice an identity that Israel is trying to diminish. Thanks for your article! Related stories Ceding the Palestinian narrative to
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