May 10, 2019

THE POPULATION BOMB:

Younger Arabs embrace Palestinian identity, redefining Israeli citizenship (Reuters, May 09, 2019)

Loudspeakers blared nationalist Arabic music across hillsides in northern Israel on Thursday as children ran across a field waving Palestinian flags.

The scene was a rally for members of Israel's 21% Arab minority. The Israeli term for them is Israeli Arabs, but many now reject that label, identifying instead as "Palestinian with Israeli citizenship," or simply "Palestinian."

Each year they hold a gathering to mark the Nakba -- or "Catastrophe" -- when Palestinians lament the loss of their homeland in the 1948-49 war that surrounded the creation of the modern Jewish state.

Related: Two views of the Gaza protests, from each side of the border fence

The event is a celebration of Palestinian identity that, Arab politicians and academics say, reflects a change in thinking over the decades. [...]

Shouting over the music, Rula Nasr-Mazzawi, 42, a psychologist, said many of the first two generations of Arabs in post-1948 Israel were too scared to discuss matters of identity openly.

"But now we are seeing the younger generation, the third generation, more and more identifying very frankly and very loudly as Palestinians," she said.

"The term Israeli Arabs is mistaken, it's not accurate. We are Palestinians by nationality, and we are Israeli citizens."

In an interview earlier this year, Ahmad Tibi, an Arab member of Israel's parliament with the Ta'al party said: "The term Israeli Arabs is mistaken, it's not accurate. We are Palestinians by nationality, and we are Israeli citizens."

He added: "They are saying Arab Israeli or Israeli Arabs in order to say that we are not Palestinians. We bypassed that. We are part of the Palestinian people, and we are struggling in order to be equal citizens."

Posted by at May 10, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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