I was sitting in my family’s home in Haifa in 1984 when I watched a man who had just won a seat in the Knesset appear on television. In American-accented Hebrew, he reiterated the cornerstone of his campaign platform: All Arabs must be expelled from the land — by force, if necessary. In its televised campaign advertisement, his party had declared, “In the name of God and Israel, the Arabs must go.” I was 9 years old, Palestinian, Arab and a citizen of Israel. This man, Meir Kahane, wanted me gone.
Thirty-five years later, I am still here. Mr. Kahane’s party was banned by Israel’s High Court in 1988 and declared a terrorist organization in 1994.… Seguir leyendo »
Seventy years ago, the world changed around my family. The establishment of the state of Israel represented self-determination for Jews, but a catastrophe — “nakba” in Arabic — for Palestinians. In the area around the Mediterranean city of Haifa, where my family has lived for six generations, only 2,000 Palestinians of a population of 70,000 remained. My grandparents, A’bdel-Hai and A’dla, were among them. Their neighbors were expelled and dispossessed, and never allowed to return.
More than 400 Palestinian communities were destroyed entirely — each one carried the memories and milestones of the families who called it home. My grandparents and all those Palestinian Arabs who remained and became citizens of the state of Israel were placed under military rule in Israel until 1966.… Seguir leyendo »
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is expected to visit Washington this week to meet with President Trump, presumably to discuss the political philosophy they share: power through hate and fear. A government that bars refugees and Muslims from entering the United States has much in common with one that permits Israeli settlers to steal land from Palestinians, as a new law that Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition pushed through Parliament last week did.
Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Netanyahu used blatant race-baiting tactics to win his last election, in 2015. Since then, he has made discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel central to his agenda.… Seguir leyendo »
Arab citizens best described their status in the years following the establishment of the state of Israel as “orphans laid out on the table of villains”. Although the founders and leaders of the state promised full equality, in practice the Arab populations endured a severe military regime, restricting their mobility and prioritising land confiscation. Those who had been evicted from their villages were denied the right to return to their homes.
Despite these dreadful conditions, they never submitted to passivity and submissiveness, or extremism. Instead, they embarked on a courageous civil struggle, asserting their right to stay on their land, and to oppose the discriminatory policies that encompassed all fields of their life.… Seguir leyendo »