Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘YOUSEF MUNAYYER

 

This Young Man Lost 3 Family Members in Gaza.

Here’s Why Their Stories Matter.

 posted July 18, 2014

We were sitting at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, with a handful of friends who had gathered for a picnic potluck, awaiting others who would be joining us shortly.

A Facebook message came through on my Smartphone from my friend Yousef Munayyer:

Hey Jen, just saw some news about a young man from the Shurrab family in khan yunis being the latest victim, Name is Tayseer. Have you heard from Amer recently?

It’s been almost two years since I was last in Gaza. But every day, especially during these times, Gaza is in me.

Amer Shurrab. Photo courtesy of Jen Marlowe.

Amer Shurrab was, as a matter of fact, sitting across the picnic table from me at that very moment. He had come for a few days’s visit from Monterey, Calif., where he is finishing his MBA.

Though we had planned the visit weeks before the shit hit the fan in Gaza, the timing of it felt oddly right. I think it felt somewhat comforting to Amer to be surrounded by people who had some notion of what he was going through, and the beautiful Pacific Northwest was allowing some respite from the obsessive news-checking and strangling stress that is inevitable when one’s family is under bombardment.

We had just returned to Seattle after spending the last two days in Olympia with Rachel Corrie’s family. (Rachel, a peace and justice activist from Olympia, had been crushed to death in Gaza in 2003 by an Israeli military bulldozer as she stood in front of a Palestinian family’s home in order to prevent its demolition.)

In between deep acknowledgment of the horror of the situation in Gaza, some of it spoken and some of it silent, we spent several hours on Mount Rainier.

Just a few hours earlier, Amer took his first ride in a kayak. And then, as we were waiting for other Seattle friends and activists to come and meet Amer, which had been the impetus of organizing the picnic potluck, Yousef’s message came through over Facebook.

I walked around the picnic table where everyone was introducing themselves and gently touched Amer on the shoulder, asking him to step aside from the group with me. He did, and I showed him Yousef’s message.

“Is he a relative?” I asked.

Amer’s face instantly clouded with fear and worry. “It may be my cousin Mohammed Tayseer,” he answered.

He immediately pulled out his phone, and walked up a path towards the woods so he could call his family with some measure of privacy. I stared at him for a moment as he sat on the railing of the path, head bowed down, cell phone pressed against his ear, and could think only about the incident that led to Amer and I reconnecting after many years of not having been in touch—the incident in January 2009 during Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” when two of his brothers were killed and his father injured.

In the months and years since that horrific event, I had grown very close to Amer, holding him in my heart as family. I had visited his family in Khan Younis twice—the second visit, tragically, was just two days after his father passed unexpectedly, due at least in part to the grief and stress related to the murder of his sons.

And now. And now, here was Amer, on the phone to confirm if the most recent killing in Gaza was another member of his family.

Amer continued to sit on the rail, head down, but his arm with the phone was dropped limply by his side. I approached.

“Was it your cousin?”

It was.

I went back to the group at the picnic table. Amer needed a few minutes alone, he told me, and he would join us when he felt ready.

The mood of the gathering shifted instantly. Where there had been casual, light conversation, there was now mostly silence laden with sadness, anger, dread, and, overlaying it all, worry for Amer, who was now sitting on a log by the water’s edge, head still bowed.

The only clear thought echoing through my mind in those next minutes: This is so unfair. This is so fucking unfair.

Amer’s father outside the car in which he was shot and two of his sons (Amer’s brothers) killed by the Israeli military in January 2009.

How I remember their humanity

Since the attack on Gaza started a few days ago, I have been frightened not only by the bombing, and people fleeing their homes in anticipation of a bloody invasion, but by the dehumanization of the very real humans in Gaza.

It’s happening as people label them “terrorists” or “Hamas supporters,” or placidly suggest that they are victimized only by Hamas using them as “human shields.”

It’s happening as they are spoken of only as numbers and statistics; and as people post photos of small children with heads blown open or limbs blown off, causing us to look at these children not in their human childness but as gory images.

I have been trying to resist this dehumanization, if only for a moment, by describing the Palestinian human beings I know in Gaza.

I’ve been going there for 14 years, first when I was working with a peace organization (which is how I first met Amer), and now for the work I do as a writer and documentary filmmaker.

I know pharmacists in Gaza.

I know doctors.

I know people who work for the United Nations, who work for humanitarian organizations, who work for human rights organizations.

I know people who run youth programs and I know teachers.

I know mothers who love their children with a fierce protectiveness.

I know a father whose 9-year-old son was executed while he was holding him in his arms—and who then struggled with how to raise his surviving children without being surrounded by trauma and violence.

I know a father who bought his little girls bunny rabbits so they would have something small and cuddly to hold; so his daughters could retain their own humanity and have a chance at growing up emotionally intact.

I know accountants.

I know taxi drivers who have invited me to their homes for lunch and introduced me to their families; whom I have dodged bullets with and brought cigarettes to during long months of siege.

I know small children who, while living in tents in horrible conditions, wake up in the morning and have their faces scrubbed clean by their big sisters and the sand brushed out of their hair with what little water there is so that they can go to school looking fresh and have a chance at learning.

I have friends who are new mothers and new fathers, just figuring out how to meet their infants’ needs.

Many of the young men and women I know I remember as teenagers: We used to gather at pizza restaurants in Gaza, and in later years gathered at beach-side cafes and smoked arghillas—reminiscing, talking, laughing.

It’s been almost two years since I was last in Gaza. But every day, especially during these times, Gaza is in me.

Insha’allah

I saw a rather large group approach and walked toward them to see who was joining us. It was my friend Kara and her husband Hakim, who is from Gaza. With them were Hakim’s 6-year-old sister Hiba and his mother.

Hakim had been working on bringing them to the U.S. from the Gaza strip for months but had managed to get them out, in the end, just a day before the bombardment began. Other friends from Gaza, one from the same neighborhood that Amer is from, joined us shortly afterward.


Standing on the Side of Peace: One man’s journey changed everything I knew about the Middle East conflict.

I sent a quick prayer of thanks for the new arrivals. There were people here who shared Amer’s pain. Hakim and his friends Anas and Mohammed lit coals on a barbeque and started to grill meat patties and chop peppers and tomatoes. Hiba found some sidewalk chalk and began to draw a stick figure of a smiling little girl under a big colorful tree next to a house.

Amer came back from his perch by the sea and soberly joined the group which had now tripled in size. It had the Gazan dialect of Arabic chatter intermingling with English and the wafting odors of grilled meat prepared with Middle Eastern spices.

Hiba gave Amer a rock she had specially decorated for him with the sidewalk chalk. People began to eat.

In some way, we needed to directly confront, as a group, what had just happened to Amer’s cousin, what was happening to every family in Gaza. We had to find a way to hold space for the pain and the loss. And to honor those who had been killed these last eight days, those who loved them, and those who were living in terror that they, or their family members, would be next.

And so, as the sun set and the mountains turned a deep purple, our group of 17 (six of them from Gaza) gathered tightly together around the picnic table.

Passing around a smartphone with the information loaded, we read aloud, one by one, the names and ages of every one of the 194 human beings who have been killed (at the time of this writing) in Gaza—as well as the one Israeli killed—since the assault began. A reminder that those killed are not numbers. They are people. Many of them children. Some of those children even younger than Hiba. Each one with a family. Each one an entire world.

The web-based list had not been updated in the last hour. Amer’s cousin was not yet on it. But we didn’t need a website to know his name. “Mohammed Tayseer Shurrab,” Amer said in a strong voice when the last name on the smartphone had been read.

Insha’allah, he added, this would be the last name. Insha’allah, the list would grow no longer. Then, as the mountains deepened from purple to black, Amer led us in a prayer for the dead. We held silence together for a moment. Anas and Hakim spoke about what this simple act of solidarity meant to them.

Then, we shifted our circle from around the picnic table to around Hiba’s chalk drawing. It was by the narrowest of threads that the 6-year-old girl was not, at that moment, shuddering under fierce explosions from bombs dropped by warplanes and drones.

The drawing: A smiling girl. A home. A tree.

What every child deserves to draw.

What every child deserves to know.


Jen Marlowe is a Seattle-based human rights activist and filmmaker and the author of three books, The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian’s Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker; Darfur Diaries: Stories of Survival; and I Am Troy Davis. For more information, visit Donkeysaddle Projects.

Interested?

Hey Vox: Can you Explain this Map?

Vox was co-founded by Melissa Bell and Ezra Klein, late of the Washington Post, and former Slate blogger Matt Yglesias (fun picture here! scroll down), the three of whom lured a posse of young-ish writers to join the staff, including, from the PostMax Fisher, who compiled the “40 Maps.”

Andrew Bossone shared this link

Another deconstruction of a bad @voxdotcom explainer map.

This one on Arabic dialects, by @meriponline

Vox is perhaps the most prominent of the new sites devoted to “explainer…
Chris Toensing published this May 24, 2014

In early May ,the website Vox made a small splash on the Internet with “40 Maps That Explain the Middle East.”

Vox is perhaps the most prominent of the new sites devoted to “explainer journalism,” a genre of primers that combine key data with brief analysis, often in attention-grabbing, multi-media formats.

The motivation for starting Vox, according to Klein, was to ameliorate the “anxiety” that he imagines readers must feel when approaching major news stories for the first time.

“There’s a problem in journalism,” he says in a YouTube promo. “We call certain topics that we cover the vegetables, or the spinach, as if they’re gross, and people should be reading them, but they’re not going to want to.”

“Explainer journalism” has drawn some fire for condescending to its audience, assuming as it does that readers don’t read regular coverage, at least not carefully enough to comprehend the story.

As James Hamblin puts it at The Awl, “An explainer is an article that breaks down an important topic into just the things you care about and need to know. It’s unlike all other kinds of articles in that way.”

Other critics complain that the genre is rather insulting to journalists as well, implying that old-school reporters are too lazy, jaded or unskilled to convey what readers need to situate daily news in proper context.

Says Democracy’s Nathan Pippenger: “This issue is even more sensitive when it comes to foreign affairs, since many old-fashioned print journalists (like Daniel Pearl and Anthony Shadid) have died in war zones in order to bring what Klein calls ‘vegetable’ stories to American readers.”

These objections notwithstanding, some might think that Vox is doing a service, explaining the background to current events in easily digested bite-size form. (MERIP might not exist, after all, if the corporate media was not often derelict in its duties.)

Alas, early offerings with regard to the Middle East suggest otherwise.

Yousef Munayyer, for instance, has thoroughly debunked a set of maps that purport to explain the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The adjacent map depicting the geographic distribution of Arabic dialects is equally misleading to the point of misinformation.

This map, which seems to have been compiled (or perhaps just lifted) from Wikipedia, is downright inaccurate in several places.

Chris Stone is associate professor of Arabic at Hunter College. Before he began his doctoral work, he lived in Yemen for three years, teaching English in the Peace Corps.

It would be bad enough, Stone says, “if the map claimed just one dialect for Yemen, but to claim that all of Yemen and coastal Somalia speak the same dialect is patently absurd.”

Yemeni dialects differ in pronunciation, cadence, vocabulary, idiom and syntax — not to the point of being mutually unintelligible but certainly to the point of requiring occasional translation.

The dialects spoken in northern Egypt and the areas marked olive green for Levantine countries (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) likewise vary considerably, sometimes from valley to valley and village to village.

In Sudan and South Sudan, respectively, the map identifies Nubi Arabic in orange and Juba Arabic in deep beige. The first reference is a flat-out mistake: Some of the Nilotic peoples in the north of Sudan identify as Nubians, and they may speak the distinct language called Nubian as well as an Arabic similar to that spoken in Khartoum.

Nubi is an Arabic-based creole spoken in a few East African port towns. Meanwhile, according to MER editor Khalid Medani, who is from Sudan, there’s a missing dialect — Nuba Arabic, “a creole spoken in the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan. It is a mix of Arabic and Nuba not Nubian. Folks often get those two confused.”

Juba Arabic is also a creole, Medani continues, “spoken by the Nilotic Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk, especially in Juba where it is the second vernacular.” The Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk are not Arabs, by the way — more on that in a minute.

Surely the oddest error of fact appears in mustard yellow for Judeo-Arabic, which the map locates (solely) in central Israel. Indeed, linguists do speak of such a thing as spoken Judeo-Arabic, in which Arab Jews sprinkle ancient Hebrew and Aramaic terms.

Judeo-Arabic, however, normally refers to a written language, namely, classical Arabic written in Hebrew script. More to the point, while there were small communities of Arabic-speaking Jews in Palestine before the creation of the state of Israel, the large majority of Israeli Jews of Arab origin hail from other Arab countries and, if they still speak Arabic, they speak the dialect of those countries.

“Jews from Morocco, Iraq and Yemen speak the same Arabic dialect?” Stone queries. “I smell ideology.” (Incompetence seems just as likely, since all of the information in this paragraph is in the Wikipedia entry for “Judeo-Arabic languages.”

Maybe that entry needs an “explainer.” Or maybe the title does, since the plural is right there in the third word.)

We could list some more inaccuracies.

A bigger problem with the map is that the uninitiated Vox reader might think that Arabic is the only or most important language spoken across these swathes of bright color.

Berbers in blue North Africa would beg to differ, as would Kurds in the greenish-yellow lands of North Mesopotamian Arabic, Armenians in Lebanon and several other religio-ethnic communities, among them Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews. And the Dinka, Nuer and Shilluk speak their own languages as the first vernacular, thank you very much.

The map’s cardinal sin, however, appears in the explanatory sidebar:

“Something to look at here: where the dialects do and do not line up with present-day political borders. In places where they don’t line up, you’re seeing national borders that are less likely to line up with actual communities, and in some cases more likely to create problems.”

In other words, Arabs are fighting other Arabs because of differences in dialect.

Sorry, Vox, this notion is cataclysmically wrong.

Leave aside the map’s implication that the conflict in Israel-Palestine is about the fact that Palestinian Arabs in the Galilee speak a different variety of their native tongue than the Judeo-Arabic speakers to their south.

Forget the idea that the Syrian civil war might be a clash of North Mesopotamian, Iraqi and Levantine dialects.

And don’t ask why civil strife continues to afflict central Iraq despite its uniform dark green dialectical hue.

Again, we’ll be charitable: Smart and patient Vox readers can refer to other maps in Fisher’s series and figure this stuff out for themselves.

But there are some other places where dialects do not line up with borders on the map and there is sometimes violent conflict.

One is the boundary between Morocco and Western Sahara. Nowhere in the “40 Maps” is there any clue as to the roots of this conflict in Spanish colonialism, the expansiveness of Moroccan territorial claims, the 1975 Green March, Sahrawi nationalism, the Moroccan Arab-Berber settlement of Western Sahara in violation of UN resolutions, the UN’s failure to enforce those resolutions, and French and US coddling of their client state in Rabat. Iron-deficient Vox readers are left to surmise that the conflict is about types of Arabic.

As for the two Sudans, indeed, the border between the state controlled by Khartoum and South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, roughly corresponds to the boundary line indicating where different sorts of Arabic are spoken.

But to suggest that the long civil war between north and south, or the decision of South Sudanese to secede, has to do with dialectical distinctions is to enter the realm of the ridiculous.

South Sudanese developed their Juba Arabic creole to cope with their northern rulers and do business with the northern merchants who set up shop in southern cities. Differences in dialect were a byproduct of conquest and conflict — not the cause thereof.

Again, we could go on. But why?

The kicker, as Stone says, is the map’s assumption of an “inverse relationship between linguistic unity and ‘problems.

Have the authors of the map not heard of India, where we are not only talking about a vast number of dialects, but actually different languages? What about Switzerland?”

In the end, this map reinforces the old Orientalist saws that Middle East conflict is understandable chiefly in terms of ethnic identity and that primordial ties are uniquely constitutive of politics (and certainly not the other way around).

If we can muster the energy, we may scrutinize a few more of the “40 Maps,” cursory inspection of which reveals more amazing feats of interpretive malpractice. Probably not, though — we should stay focused on our own efforts to go behind the headlines.

We do, however, have a question for Vox:

What good is “explainer journalism” if one fortieth of one piece requires 1,068 words of third-party explanation to correct just a few of its errors, without yet rendering it legible? (We’re not counting the words spent explaining explainers, or our editorializing here, just the “spinach” about the map itself.)

Please explain.

Note: Why Vox do not hire learned local people to do the investigations in the countries they want to explain?

Lopsided U.S. Visa-Waiver?

There is this perception that naturalized United States citizens often have a greater appreciation of their adopted country than those born on American soil.

YOUSEF MUNAYYER published in the Opinion Pages of NYT this October 28, 2013:

As a naturalized U.S. citizen who has traveled extensively, particularly across borders where the very notion of citizenship can be a contentious political idea, I have a deep appreciation for my navy blue passport. (Maybe allied countries should agree on passport color to make it easier for crossing borders?)

As I made my way, after a recent trip, from the plane through passport control in Newark’s Liberty Airport, I found myself awestruck.

“Welcome back,” said the immigration official, after scanning my passport, briefly glancing at a computer screen and letting me pass — a process that took about 30 seconds.

“That’s it?” I found myself thinking. I had only been gone three weeks and had already managed to forget what it felt like to have my rights as a citizen respected.

I’d just come back from traveling through Israel and the Palestinian territory it occupies.

In that part of the world, one approaches immigration kiosks prepared for a lengthy wait, inspections and harassing questions (this is true even with Israeli citizenship, which I also hold). The very choice of which travel document to present is considered a political act. The languages I spoke (or didn’t speak), my religion and line of work were all variables that could extend the time I spent at the border crossing.

But back in the States, it didn’t matter to the man at the kiosk that I had a funny-sounding name. It didn’t matter what my religion or ethnicity was. It didn’t matter what my political opinions were.

In a nation where citizenship is valued and discrimination is shunned, the re-entry process took only seconds. I was reminded of the tremendous value of my U.S. citizenship and the navy blue booklet I held in my hand.

I just wish Barbara Boxer would appreciate the value of U.S. citizenship as well. The senator is spearheading legislation that would dangerously devalue it.

The U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, backed by the pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, was introduced by Ms. Boxer and has 53 co-sponsors in the Senate. It legislates, for the first time, the inclusion of Israel in the U.S. visa-waiver program.

This means that Israelis can enter the United States without a visa.

Israel has long sought this prized designation but has always faced resistance from the State Department because the program requires reciprocity.

Israel has been known to routinely deny entry to American citizens, often Arabs or Muslims or others sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, under the usually bogus pretext of “security concerns.”

This discriminatory treatment of U.S. citizens prompted several members of Congress to write to Israel’s ambassador expressing concern that Israeli border officials were “disproportionately singling out, detaining and denying entry to Arab and Muslim Americans,” and requesting all Americans be “treated equally at Israeli ports of entry.”

Sandra Tamari’s case is one example. The 42-year-old U.S. citizen of Palestinian descent traveled to Israel in May of 2012 for an interfaith conference. Upon entry, she was required to provide her Gmail password to Israeli interrogators, who insisted on searching her personal account. After refusing to comply with this and other intrusive requests, she was denied entry and deported.

Numerous similar cases of U.S. citizens being asked for their e-mail and Facebook passwords prior to deportation have been reported. The case of Nour Joudah is another example. She was teaching English in a West Bank high school on a valid, multiple-entry work visa issued by Israel. When she attempted to re-enter Israel after traveling to Jordan for Christmas break, she was denied entry and deported.

Senator Boxer’s legislation, versions of which might pass in both the House and Senate, would allow Israel an exemption to reciprocity. In other words, Israel would get to determine which American citizens it permits to enter.

As an Israeli citizen who is also a Palestinian, I know this problem all too well.

I’ve witnessed firsthand the way Israel discriminates against its own non-Jewish citizens. I am routinely held up for questioning and inspection while watching Jewish Israelis zip by.

As an American citizen, I’m outraged that Senator Boxer and her colleagues are trying to pass a law that allows Israel to discriminate against U.S. citizens. All elected officials took an oath to defend the Constitution.

By legalizing discrimination against U.S. citizens they will violate that oath in both word and spirit.

Even if the problematic language giving Israel an exception is removed from the bill, including Israel in the visa-waiver program at all means that Arab-and Muslim-Americans will have to rely on ill-equipped government agencies like the State Department to enforce reciprocity.

And unfortunately, the State Department has been able to offer little assistance to U.S. citizens of Arab or Muslim origin who are denied entry to Israel, despite what our passports say about allowing Americans to “pass without delay or hindrance.” Instead, the U.S. government has regularly yielded to Israeli demands when it comes to the discriminatory treatment of Americans.

This is likely to continue. That means American citizens will continue to get turned away by Israel because of their ethnic background while the United States opens its doors to all Israelis.

This unequal treatment should not be permitted. Under no circumstances should the United States extend visa-waiver privileges to Israel, or any other state, unless it is willing to guarantee and demand equal treatment of its citizens and their protection from discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or national origin.

Yousef Munayyer is executive director of the Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development, a Palestinian advocacy group in Washington.

INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK TIMES

Israeli Citizens Not Equal: Israeli passport not enough for YOUSEF MUNAYYER

YOUSEF MUNAYYER posted on May 23: Not All Israeli Citizens Are Equal

“I’m a Palestinian who was born in the Israeli town of Lod, and I am an Israeli citizen. My wife is not: she is a Palestinian from Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Despite our towns being just 30 miles apart, we met almost 6,000 miles away in Massachusetts, where we attended neighboring colleges.

A series of walls, checkpoints, settlements and soldiers fill the 30-mile stretch between our hometowns, making it more likely for us to have met on the other side of the planet than in our own backyard.

Never is this reality more profound than on our trips home from our current residence outside Washington.

Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport is on the outskirts of Lod (Lydda in Arabic). Because my wife has a Palestinian ID, she cannot fly there: she is resigned to fly to Amman, Jordan. If we plan a trip together — an enjoyable task for most couples — we must prepare for a logistical nightmare that reminds us of our profound inequality before the law at every turn.

Even if we fly together to Amman, we are forced to take different bridges, two hours apart, and endure often humiliating waiting and questioning just to cross into Israel and the West Bank. The laws conspire to separate us.

If we lived in the region, I would have to forgo my residency, since Israeli law prevents my wife from living with me in Israel. This is to prevent what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once referred to as “demographic spillover.”

Additional Palestinian babies in Israel are considered “demographic threats” by a State constantly battling to keep a Jewish majority. (Of course, Israelis who marry Americans or any non-Palestinian foreigners are not subjected to this treatment.)

Last week marked Israel’s 64th year of independence. It corresponds to the Palestinians commemoration of the Nakba, or “catastrophe of 1948),” during which many of Palestine’s native inhabitants were turned into refugees.

In 1948, the Israeli brigade commander Yitzhak Rabin expelled 19,000 of Lydda’s Palestinians, of the town’s 20,000 native Palestinian population.  My grandparents were among the 1,000 to remain.

They were fortunate to become only internally displaced and not refugees. Years later, my grandfather was able to buy back his own home — a cruel absurdity, but a better fate than that imposed on most of his neighbors, who were never permitted to re-establish their lives in their hometowns.

Three decades later, in October 1979, this newspaper reported that Israel barred Rabin from detailing in his memoir what he conceded was the “expulsion” of the “civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000.” Rabin, who by then had served as prime minister, sought to describe how “it was essential to drive the inhabitants out.”

Two generations after the Nakba, the effect of discriminatory Israeli policies reverberates. Israel still seeks to safeguard its image by claiming to be a bastion of democracy that treats its Palestinian citizens well, all the while continuing illiberal policies that target this very population. There is a long history of such discrimination.

In the 1950s, new laws permitted the State of Israel to take control over Palestinians’ land by classifying them “absentees.” Of course, it was Israel that made them absentees by either preventing refugees from returning to Israel or barring internally displaced Palestinians from having access to their land. This last group was ironically termed “present absentees” — able to see their land but not to reach it because of military restrictions that ultimately resulted in their watching the state confiscate it.

Until 1966, Palestinian citizens were governed under martial law.

Today, a Jew from any country can move to Israel, while a Palestinian refugee, with a valid claim to property in Israel, cannot. And although Palestinians make up about 20 percent of current Israel’s population, the 2012 budget allocates less than 7 percent for Palestinian citizens.

Tragically for Palestinians, Zionism requires Israel to empower and maintain a Jewish majority even at the expense of its non-Jewish citizens, and the occupation of the West Bank is only one part of it. What exists today between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is therefore essentially one state, under Israeli control, where Palestinians have varying degrees of limited human rights: 1.5 million are second-class citizens, and four million more are not citizens at all. If this is not apartheid, then whatever it is, it’s certainly not democracy.

The failure of Israeli and American leaders to grapple with this undemocratic reality is not helping. Even if a two-State solution was to be achieved, which seems fanciful at this point, a fundamental contradiction would remain: more than 35 laws in ostensibly democratic Israel discriminate against Palestinians who are Israeli citizens.

For all the talk about shared values between Israel and the United States, democracy is sadly not one of them right now, and it will not be until Israel’s leaders are willing to recognize Palestinians as equals, not just in name, but in law.

This photo is of Young Jewish settlers mocking a Palestinian woman whose home was occupied by Israelis. They came to the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to celebrate Jerusalem Day in May 2010 in the face of those being displaced.
Below photo: Elizabeth Eckford, one of the nine students who mistakenly went to school alone on the morning of September 22, 1957, after attempting to enter Little Rock High School and being turned away by the National Guard with an angry Hazel Massery shouting behind her.

Yousef Munayyer is executive director of the Jerusalem Fund.

Note: For Op-Ed, follow @nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow @andyrNYT.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Blog Stats

  • 1,416,497 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 768 other followers

%d bloggers like this: