We want to work with the Israeli Left to build a future based on equality and justice for all. But not at any cost.
I was recently asked about what kind of conditions need to exist to for real Arab-Jewish partnership to exist in the Israeli Left.
Opinionated, smart Palestinians (I try my best to be one of them) will do all they can to avoid this question. That makes sense, since any attempt to rise to the challenge is actually roundabout way of admitting that such partnership is possible. This takes the Arab, and the Jew for that matter, out of their comfort zone.
Left-wing Israeli Jews are already in an uncomfortable position, and they have stopped dreaming of taking power long ago. At this moment they are busy trying to position themselves as victims of the Right’s persecution. I understand that the feeling of perpetual, stinging defeat over having no potential Jewish political partners is too difficult to bear, and thus they must find a different partner. And yet, Israeli Jews still have an easier time than Arabs in fantasizing about a left-wing Arab-Jewish partnership.
Tired of cleaning up the mess
One of the reasons is that we Palestinians have one last outpost that won’t be occupied by any Israeli: we are the ultimate victims of the Zionist enterprise. This becomes all the more complex when taking into account that our status is a result of the doings of the socialist-Zionist founders of the Zionist movement. They are the ones who carried out the Nakba of the Palestinian people. And yet their descendants now find themselves a minority in Israeli society. It is hard to wrap our heads around this concept, I know, but the time has come to deal with this fact — at the very least on a theoretical level.
I will go out on a limb and try to rise to the challenge: how can we built partnership, alliances, or coordination between Palestinian and Jewish citizens against the violent rule of the Right?
I do not take this challenge on because I am especially brave. On the contrary, I am actually afraid. The last two years, full of incitement by politicians — including our prime minister — and a never-ending list of anti-Arab laws has led to this fear. Blaming Palestinians in Israel for the ills of society, including the Holocaust, means that fear is inevitable.
But these generalizations...Read More