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The Jewish-Israeli Left can participate in the Palestinian struggle, but not as a partner

Israeli Leftists want the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in this country to become an integral part of this Israeli society. But they see their fellow Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank belonging to a different country. 

A Palestinian man and a Jewish woman are both participants at a Jaffa protest rally. The Palestinian calls out, “Yafa Arabiyeh Falastaneeyeh!” (“Jaffa is Arab-Palestinian!”). The Jewish woman doesn’t like this. She takes him aside and explains that this is a joint Jewish-Arab demonstration. Thus, according to the woman, there is no place for a chant of “Jaffa is Arab,” just as there is no place for a chant of “Jaffa is Jewish.” The Palestinian responds that he disagrees with her characterization of the demonstration and rejects her opposition to his chant, explaining that he won’t compromise on this point.

This was a pretty typical incident involving a Jewish leftist who espouses the views of Hadash, the Socialist Jewish-Arab party. Ostensibly, the woman was protesting nationalist chants at what she thought was a “joint” demonstration composed of Jews and Palestinians (all citizens of Israel). But the fallout from that incident revealed the illusory nature of Jewish-Arab political partnership in Israel .

Later that same night there was a discussion about the incident described above among the Palestinian activists, who decided they would continue with similar chants during upcoming demonstrations. The Palestinian activists also decided to publish a post on Facebook in which they clarified their intentions, adding that those who objected were obviously under no obligation to participate. The post ignited a big debate, with dozens of responses for and against.

A demonstration commemorating Land Day, Jaffa, March 30, 2014. (Photo: Keren Manor/ActiveStills.org)

A demonstration commemorating Land Day, Jaffa, March 30, 2014. (Photo: Keren Manor/ActiveStills.org)

The Jewish activist tried to defend what she had said to the Palestinian activist under the rubric of freedom of expression, but this was clearly not the issue here. I happen to like and appreciate this activist very much. But the political tent in which she grew up has always been problematic and rather detached from reality. Sometimes its views conflict with the Palestinian narrative and goals, and this is the source of the problem.

The Jewish “Hadash-y” Left (which I deliberately differentiate from Hadash, the Arab-Jewish political party) always liked to “educate” others. There are few Palestinians in Israel who have not endured this unfortunate pedagogic experience. The incident at the recent demonstration illustrates that Hadash-y activists are so stuck in their Marxist-influenced point of view that they’ve completely ignored both history and current reality. Those who attempt to link the Palestinian struggle to other struggles within Israeli society, like that of the Ethiopians, are playing down the issue and even undermining the Palestinians’ goals.

Jaffa, Hebron — the same uprising

The new generation of Palestinian activists are not afraid, and they won’t let anyone minimize or undermine their struggle. Most of the Jewish-Israeli activist Left tend to regard the struggle of the Palestinian people who live within the 1948 borders of Israel as that of a disadvantaged ethnic minority against the entrenched racism of the establishment. They seem to believe that the problems of the Palestinians in Israel would be resolved if only the government would expand its national spending programs for disadvantaged minorities.

There is nothing more patronizing than the word “disadvantaged.” Everyone knows that in the contest of advantaged versus disadvantaged, the advantaged win. By defining the Palestinians of Israel as a disadvantaged minority, the Jewish-Israeli left is willfully ignoring the real issue, rather than facing and dealing with it.

This attitude is also problematic because it speaks to a crude division between Palestinian citizens of Israel and the wider Palestinian world. Palestinians are not a minority in this land. Israeli Leftists want the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in this country to become an integral part of this country’s society. But they see their fellow Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank belonging to a different country. The lack of understanding and empathy—this willful blindness in the face of history—is outrageous and insulting. This is not to say that we should refuse to work with the state’s institutions as a means of effecting change. But we must not forget about the wider context, within the reality of the military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

A Hadash party sign in Arabic and Hebrew: Equality (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

A Hadash party sign in Arabic and Hebrew (“Equality”) (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

At the Hadash demonstrations in Tel Aviv, where most of the activists are Jewish, the participants act as though the occupation started in 1967, with the Six Day War. As though my grandfather threw a party to celebrate the expropriation of his land and the forced exile of his family during the Nakba of 1948. But when Hadash organizes demonstrations in the Galilee, where most of the activists are Palestinian-Arab, the participants relate to the occupation as a continuation of the events of 1948—and rightly so.

In other words, the slogan “Jaffa is Palestinian” is no different from “Hebron is Palestinian,” which is a sentiment that the Jewish activist described above would certainly approve of. Those who ignore the fact that the racism and discrimination against Jaffa’s Palestinian residents is the direct result of the events of 1948, who behave as though we were all equal, are distorting the struggle. In effect, they are demanding that the Palestinians reject their history.

When Avigdor Liberman and the racist political Right demand that Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel refrain from chanting “Yafa Falistineeya,” they are at best being ridiculous. That’s analogous to the Republican party accusing Black civil rights activists in the 1960s of racism. The idea is absurd and grotesque.

The behavior of the Palestinian activists is not always beyond reproach. One can understand, but not justify, the strident calls coming from some, who want to exclude Jewish activists from their demonstrations. The Jewish activist I mention above told me that many of the Palestinian activists took it upon themselves to tell her personally that they valued her participation at these political demonstrations. Their encouragement is welcome, even though it was not expressed in a public forum.

The Palestinian activists must clarify that they are the ones leading the struggle, and that for now it includes Jewish participation. Why participation and not partnership? Because, as the recent incident described above shows, even the most dedicated Jewish activists refuse to acknowledge their history as colonial conquerers (even if some of their best friends are Arabs). As long as this remains the case, we are very far indeed from building a true partnership to end the occupation and establish equal rights for all people living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Read this article in Hebrew on Local Call here.

Grappling with intolerance at demonstrations: a dialogue
Jaffa, habibti, our relationship is complicated
In this struggle for liberation, is ‘solidarity’ the right word?

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    1. Michael W

      Hebrews, conquerors of Palestine.
      Arabs, natives of Palestine.

      Rami, I’d like to know what you think of Josephus?

      Reply to Comment
      • Dov

        Natives? You mean, the Arabs that came to the land in 638AD in the Islamic conquest? I don’t care about either side but that’s quite simply a historical falsity.

        Reply to Comment
        • Felix Reichert

          Oh come the fuck on, Dov.

          So I guess the people living in Great Briton aren’t Natives either?

          Because, you know, they consider themselves Anglo-Saxon, but the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain only began in the fifth century AD.

          What about the people of Poland, the Czech-, Slovakian-, Slovenia-, Croatian-, Bosnian, Macedonian- and Serbian people?
          They all consider themselves Slavs, but the Slavs only settled in these countries in the 7th century AD.

          So surely a Polish person isn’t a native of Poland either?

          Etc. Etc. Etc.

          Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        What does Rami think of Josephus?

        That Josephus was a Palestinian, probably an ancestor of the famous Palestinian Al-Masri family.

        Reply to Comment
        • Michael W

          Al-Masri family?

          Reply to Comment
      • עיניים לראותEYES2C

        Your rejection of true partnership in the CURRENT struggle is very negative.

        I say that as a person who worked as a photographer in the Communist daily, in Arabic,
        AL ITTIHAD for some years.

        I shot the photo for the poster calling to the mass protest against Israel’s Land robbery, on 30 March 1976, and I felt that I was doing an equal service for both Arabs and Jews.

        Blacks, Coloured, Asian and Whites worked TOGETHER to defeat APARTHEID. Jews like Ruth First, Joe Slovo, Helen Suzman and Arthur Goldreich took part in it together with their brethren. Ruth first was killed by a letter bomb sent by BOSS-Apartheid’s
        Bureau of State Security.

        In the U.S. the joint action approach ruled the struggle to defeat RACISM.

        I think that you should reconsider, if you don’t want to befriend the Shin Bet and be called a Quisling.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn9

      I am still not clear about how “Jaffa is Arab and Palestinian” is not a racist chant while “Jaffa is Jewish and Israeli” would be. Or is it that racism is acceptable for Arabs and it is something they are not willing to compromise on?

      The article is probably accurate though. Jewish lefties don’t really understand that their Arab “partners” really don’t see any place for them in the country they wish to come into existence. Their Arab “partners” appreciate the support of such useful idiots but in their struggle to “establish equal rights for all people” they leave no room for any right for the Jews to actually have their own opinions. As this article demonstrates theirs is a vision of an wonderful outcome with the kind of wonderful Orwellian equality where some are deemed more equal than others. Upon reaching such an outcome the Jews would be given a choice – live as second-class citizens as long as their political views are acceptable to Arabs or be expelled. Certainly a wonderful outcome that all Jews should rally around.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Pierre

      Edit :”Because, as the recent incident described above shows, even the most dedicated Jewish activists refuse to acknowledge their history as colonial conquerers”
      So I never be a soldier in a war against Palestinians, never occupied Palestinian territories and I’m a “conquerer”? In what? And after you hope one state for all with this way of thinking? I will not excuse myself to be a Jew and to live here. If you don’t understand this how to blame Israeli Jewish to not understand you? If you really want one state, ask for equal right and vote for WB and Gaza but stop blaming jews to live here.
      If you don’t understand this, I don’t want your one state solution with only Arab view of this country.

      No thanks

      Reply to Comment
    4. Vadim

      Silly opinions like the ones expressed in this article are probably the main reason why we’re still in a conflict.

      I especially liked –

      “Israeli Leftists want the 1.5 Palestinians who live in this country to become an integral part of this country’s society. But they see their fellow Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank belonging to a different country”.

      Some Palestinians reside in Israel, while others don’t. Moreover, some of the Palestinians outside Israel live under a rule that wages war on Israel. And those pesky leftists can’t understand how Israeli Palestinians wish to both remain Israeli (with full rights) and identify with Israel’s enemies.

      Oh the cruelty, the insult, the “willful blindness in the face of history”.


      Reply to Comment
    5. Translation

      Is this an accurate summary of 972mag views?

      Arab bigotry against Jews is OK.

      Muslim bigotry against Jews is OK.

      Palestinian bigotry against Jews is OK.

      But everything Israelis do is evil and racist, and Israel needs to be erased as a state.

      Reply to Comment
    6. The Trespasser

      “Israeli Leftists want the 1.5 million Palestinians who live in this country to become an integral part of this Israeli society.”

      Since there is not even one Palestinian who lives in Israel, I’d recommend Israeli Leftists to attain better grip with reality.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Dazed and Confused


      Who said that Germans don’t do comedy well? This satire by the German Green Party is perfect!

      (Hahaha! I also hate when those anti-Nationalists act so goddamn anti-Nationalist! LOL!)

      Reply to Comment
    8. richard witty

      This article very sadly ultimately supports the arguments of the israeli far-right, that there is no possible NEW cosmopolitan society but only the old.

      Its not honoring ones ancestors to not proceed with one’s new.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Philos

      Rami, it’s nice to see you’re learning from the Israeli nationalists how to silence critics, and the notion of the superiority of your nationalist cause. Well, excuse me for the pedagogic lesson I’m about to impart. The ANC abandoned the class struggle and its Marxist principles in favour of the ‘national objective’ alone. The result has meant political freedom for SA’s blacks but their material condition has either stagnated or worsened since the end of apartheid. True, there are now black South African bourgeoise and they have enjoyed the fruits of the ‘rainbow nation.’ So too have the white bourgeoise who are doing better now than they did from apartheid.

      Is that the outcome you want? Everyone free in one-state but just as poor and disempowered as before?

      Nationalism is a disease of the mind and has only ever served to solidify the hegemony of the bourgeoise. It is you, sir, who needs an education in Marxism rather than the phony red of ‘national liberation.’ Did the so called ‘Labour Zionists’ serve the interests of Jewish labour or of Jewish capital? Why should anyone want to participate in a struggle that will merely diversify the ethnic make-up of the ruling class and do nothing for the common folk regardless of what they’re racially, religiously or nathionally categorized as?

      Get over yourself

      Reply to Comment
      • Marcos

        Thank you Philos. I was so stunned by this piece I did not have the words to comment. I second yours.

        Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        As you address the South African experience, instead of the ANC you should look at Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness movement, they didn’t want any Whites in their organization because as Biko said: ‘when there are Whites around they tend to take over our struggle’ (I’m paraphrasing). That goes for the Palestinian struggle too. Personally I’m fed up with ‘progressive’ Jews talking for the Palestinians, and they tend to talk alot…. and they tend to be invited more than Palestinians to speak our case.
        I totally agree with Rami in everything he wrote. More power to the (Palestinian) people !

        Reply to Comment
        • The Trespasser

          More power to fake people? Makes no sense at all.

          Reply to Comment
        • Philos

          I’m not ‘progressive’ (I’m a socialist) and I’m not a Jew (I’m atheist), however, I am an Israeli citizen of Iraqi ethnicity.

          You fail to address the substantive critique I made. What’s the point of your struggle if, say, after 15-years after achieving it Palestinians are still poor and disempowered? What is the qualitative advantage of having a Palestinian bourgeoise over a Jewish one? They’ll be less racist about their exploitative labour practices? Great. Freedom reigns.

          The tragedy of Martin Luther-King is that his entire socialist legacy has been forgotten and buried so that Uncle Tom’s like Barack Obama can lecture working class and poor African-Americans to “pull their pants up” because they (barely) got the right to vote in a black millionaire who despises them only for their poverty and not the colour of their skin. King wrote and said repeatedly that the civil rights struggle cannot be separated from the struggle against class inequalities for all people otherwise it was just an exercise in futility. When one surveys the condition of African-Americans today one sees that he was absolutely right.

          Nationalism is an illusion. It won’t solve the pittance of a wage earned or the hunger in your belly. Here’s a better chant: “Jaffa is a workers city!”

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            “Jaffa is a workers city!”


            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            When I mentionned ‘progressive Jews’ I wasn’t thinking about you particularly but in general.
            I know that you’re of Iraqi origin (I’ve been reading this blog for a very long time….), you might say you’re not a Jew but your ancestors came to what I consider occupied Palestine because they were Jews, and you have privileges in the State of Israel (even if you left) as a Jew.
            Rami’s article deals with what I’ve experienced as an Palestinian female: Israeli or Western feminists who genuinly think we have more things in common than I have with any male Palestinian no matter how macho he might be. I don’t by into your analysis: we are first of all oppressed as an ethnic group, class oppression is coming second, a Jewish worker still has more power than any Palestinian bourgeois in the State of Israel.
            at-thawra hatta an-nasr !

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            Erratum: ‘buy’, not ‘by’

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            ” we are first of all oppressed as an ethnic group”

            You, first of all, do not exist as an ethnic group.

            Reply to Comment
          • ben

            This is absurd. A poor Jew in Israel, who lives in complete poverty is not better off or more powerful than a wealthy or upper-middle class Palestinian citizen of Israeli with an elite education and a good salary.

            Are you seriously arguing that an old holocaust survivor living in squalor or a poor Israeli Jew with no high school or university education in the “peripheria” living on minimum wage is more powerful than a successful Palestinian citizen of Israel who is a businessman with a nice house, car, a University degree from abroad, and children with elite degrees as well?

            You live in a distorted, nationalist movie. Wake up.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            @ Ben
            I should have used the word ‘rights’ instead of ‘power’ though the two are libked. The fact is that your poor Holocaust survivor still has rights that that my family members the Galilee can’t buy for money. And please, don’t tell me what it’s like to be a Palestinian citizen in the State of Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • ben

            I have no way to tell you what it’s like to be a Palestinian in Israel — nor do I want to try to tell you. But I can tell you that you have internet, a computer and impeccable English. Do you know how many poor Israeli Jews have none of those things? You dismiss class and education as if they don’t matter. Jew does not automatically equal power, wealth, and privilege… especially in Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Marcos

            @BA1948, it seems like you are bending over backwards and splitting hairs to create a scenario in which you become a victim. We live in modern times. The world you wish to dwell in no longer exists

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            In this then we disagree. If you want a national struggle then obviously other oppressed people in Israel / Palestine cannot be partners or participate. I think if you look at the outcome of other ‘nationalist struggles’ you will find only disappoint and betrayal. Nationalism won’t put bread in your mouth. It will only make you feel better about the hunger in your stomach because that other hungry guy, from the Other nationality, is inferior.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            @ Philos
            I’m talking about the right of return to our land, about rebuilding the villages from where our parents and grand-parents were exiled/expelled, I’m talking about getting back the land that was stolen from Palestinians to build Jewish-only towns, and you talk about my empty stomach. And know what: I’m not particularly ‘nationalist’, I’m pro-justice ! By the way, I think the ANC has been far too generous with the White settlers in post-Apartheid South Africa, they didn’t do much to repair psst injustices.
            Amandla !

            Reply to Comment
          • Lisbon Portugal

            Baladi Akka, you want to build villages? That seems to be a very impractical goal. I think you are a little full of yourself, many people can not get enough food. You dismiss that so you can build villages. People don’t want to live in villages any more. For those that do, there are plenty. This Peter Pan fantasy helps nobody.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            I think the right of return is the only moral way to rectify the injustice of 1948, however, rebuilding villages and returning to rural way of life is not realistic. I also fail to see how kicking out the impoverished residents of Or Yehuda is any kind of ‘justice’ except the punitive vengeance of Old Testament justice. This is part of the illusory poison of nationalism. An impossible vision of recreating an idyllic past, and justice as vengeance.

            The right of return means the creation of mixed cities, towns and villages on already existing infrastructure, and the creation of a few new settlements. For it to work there needs to be a process of reconciliation that tries to dilute out the poisonous nationalist ideologies everyone has been raised on. Israelis and Palestinian identity are heavily structured and validated on the Other. Removing the Otherness from the formation of our collective identities is going to be very difficult process.

            Finally, sharing and owning the means of production is the only way to ensure democracy and a prosperous future for everyone. Redistributing capital and property to some Palestinians on the basis of private ownership won’t solve anything in the long run. All the ANC had to do was democratize the SA economy. This would’ve been enough to ‘punish’ the white capitalists that profited from apartheid. I don’t know what you imply by the ANC being too easy on the white’s but poor black people slaughtering poor white people is not justice. Unless you mean you’re ‘pro-vengeance’ in which case nationalism has everything you need. Fantastic visions of the idealistic past as the future. Simple solutions. Vengeance and justice. Heroism. Martyrdom. Death and poverty.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            In case it wasn’t clear to you before, let it be quite obvious now. The overwhelming majority of the Arabs you find in the Israeli “left” are Palestinian nationalists first and foremost and that includes many activists Hadash. They have a common enemy with you only as long as you are bashing Israel, Zionists or Jews in general but share few of your goals and little of your ideology.

            This is true for the Jewish “socialists”, the Jewish “communists” and the Jewish “liberals” that are derided in this article. The “common struggle” is an illusion and all of you who choose to side with Palestinian nationalists against Israel are useful idiots. This is true both for people on this blog and for other authors who want to side with Haneen Zoabi when she declares that kidnapping civilians is not terrorism because doing the morally correct thing of condemning her as the terror-supporting Palestinian nationalist she is might undermine the “common struggle”.

            How are you so blind when your “partners” in the “common struggle” make no effort whatsoever to hide their views of you being absent from their desired future?

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Well, K9 so long as they’re not chanting “death to leftists” at their rallies like the Jewish nationalists then I guess they are our allies

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            No, they are even worse. They have no use for you whatsoever. You have no existence in their ideological worldview. Their chants are far more sinister. You are not even a legitimate human being whose existence needs to be acknowledged. Your fate were your ‘alliance’ to ‘succeed’ would be like that of the communists in Iran after the revolution, worse probably since in their eyes you have absolutely no capacity for redemption. You will still be a Jew, an interloper, your presence detested, your voice forcefully silenced as its very sound would be illegitimate. Maybe they will be humane and truck you out to Iraq to start your new life.

            Wonderful allies you have chosen. The kind of allies that would consider your murder to be justified and legitimate were one of their number to rise to the occasion and your murderer treated as a hero. After all, you are not really human to them, just a symbol of injustice, with one fewer the better for their world.

            Best of luck.

            Reply to Comment
          • Philos

            Thanks for the exposition on the thinking behind mobs of right-wing settler fanatics when they chant “death to leftists” – now I know exile or gulag won’t work. Good ‘ol fashioned Stalin-esque ‘liquidation of the mitnachalim’ it will have to be.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Funny, that is what your Arab “allies” think too though they include you in the mitnachlim.

            Reply to Comment
          • bb

            Since when is Iraqi an ethnicity?

            Reply to Comment
        • Pat Nguyen

          Baladi: I think that the Palestinians have confused themselves with all the politically driven terms. For example, I am used to hearing about Jewish and Arab Palestinians as subgroups of Palestinians. Now, since it suits your posting, you have forgotten that there are Jewish Palestinians to partner with. Please help me understand.

          Reply to Comment
    10. Colonial Conquerers? Just Palestinian mythology and propaganda.

      I wonder what Rami thinks of the mention of Israel on the Merneptah Stele in 1207 B.C.E.? Where were the Palestinian Arabs then?

      I wonder what Rami thinks of the 9 Israeli and Judean Kings mentioned in the Assyrian annals while not one Palestinian, king or otherwise is mentioned?

      I wonder what she thinks of Pliny the Elder’s description of Jerusalem during the first century B.C.E? Where were the Palestinian Arabs? Where is Tacitus’ mention of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel?

      I wonder if she is aware after the Balfour Declaration was made King Hussien on 23 March 1918, through Al Qibla, the daily newspaper of Mecca, attested that Palestine was “a sacred and beloved homeland of its original sons,” the Jews;

      I wonder if she has ever read the San Remo Declaration or the Mandate for Palestine acknowledging the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land and their rights to settle and develop the land of Mandate Palestine in order to re-establish their home?

      Now ask how the Arabs came into possession of the lands of Israel. It was by violent conquest, imperialism and colonial settlement of Arab people in the lands of Christians and Jews. The Ottomans were only the last of the last violent and imperial conquerors of the land of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Oy, the disease of nationalism. You’re certain your ‘roots’ stretch back into antiquity? You want to meet a descendent of the ancient Israelites? Go to Ramallah. The fact that the nationalists on the Jewish side can’t admit that they’re likely descendants of all kinds of converts (including the Khazars) and that the Palestinians can’t admit that they’re probably descendants of Jews is sad and pathetic. Genetic studies and everything we know about human migration stops at the doors of the holy Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Indeed, both sides can’t maintain their pathetic national narratives without the Other

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Ramallah was founded in the 16th century by Christian Arabs from what is now Jordan. You are not very likely to find a descendant of ancient Israelites among them.

          Additionally, your conclusion is silly. If the Palestinians disappeared tomorrow it would have exactly zero impact on the Israeli national narrative. ‘A land without a people for a people without a land’ and ‘god promised Israel to the Jews’ and ‘ancient Jewish homeland’ really do not require the Arabs one bit.

          On the other hand, everything in the Palestinian national narrative is built on the persistent ideological attempt to reject and destroy Israel. Without Israel the Palestinians, like the surrounding countries, would have no national identity whatsoever.

          Reply to Comment
        • ben

          Philos- I’ve been following your posts. You’re smart. Too smart to buy into a the debunked Khzar theory. Please google peer-reviewed genetic studies of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jews’ dna published in numerous scientific journals and by reputable universities.

          There are more genetic similarities between present-day Ashkenazim and Mizrahim than there are similarities between Ashkenazim and Germans, Poles, Russians or Turks. Most Ashkenazi men have the same middle eastern Y-dna haplotypes as Palestinian men. Do the research.

          Reply to Comment
        • Jax

          [Oy, the disease of nationalism.]

          And I’m 100% certain Palestinian nationalism is totally exempt from this characterization, right?

          Reply to Comment
    11. shachalnur

      Nothing to fear but fear itself.

      Right and left have always been two sides of the same coin,controlled by the same forces,and will never lead to a solution,only more wars.

      Israeli’s and Palestinians will collaborate when faced by a common threat,not before.

      And that moment might come very soon.

      It’s not a matter of left or right,it’s a matter of fear or beyond fear.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Daniel Ben-Chorin

      Thanks Rami, I will be sure to bow and kiss the feet of the next Palestinian activist I come across

      Reply to Comment
    13. ben from Jaffa

      The lack of historical perspective and the refusal to accept current reality is unbearable.

      Jews will never leave Jaffa. Jaffa will never be just Arab, nor should it be. It will, like Jerusalem or Haifa or Akko or Hebron or any other city with both Jewish and Arab histories that stretch back centuries, always a mixed city. Palestinian nationalism that defines a place as Palestinian, and Palesitnian only, is just as problematic as any other type of racist nationalism.

      Chanting that Jaffa is an Arab city and ONLY an Arab city reminds me of the 1921 riots in Jaffa against the city’s Jewish residents that resulted in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs, 146 Jews and 73 Arabs were wounded.

      When will Palesitinian activists stop pretending that the land we all live in has only been inhabited by Palestinian Arabs since the beginning of time? Judaism and Jews are also indigenous to this place. Judaism and Jews have always been here. Deal with it.

      The occupation must end. Racism must end. Oppression and disregard for human rights MUST end. But Yafo/Jaffa will never be Palestinian Arab and only Palestinian Arab.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Bar

      Rami is absolutely right about Israeli leftists playing underlings to their Palestinian leaders. After all, if you subscribe to the notion that Israel was born in sin, you have to accept that your moral status is inferior to the noble Arabs.

      Rami, you should also demande jizya from Jewish leftists. Teach them their place!

      Reply to Comment
      • ben in jaffa

        That’s problem with activists like Rami. They never tell you what place Jews would have in their fantasy one-state solution of Falesteen from the river to the sea. They never address the fact that they want Jews, of all backgrounds, to be apologetic, second-class citizens. I wonder, in a one-state, democratic solution, what does Rami propose doing with the Jews who live in Jaffa? After all, “Yafa Arabiyeh Falastaneeyeh!”

        Reply to Comment
    15. Deiten

      Wow, so many pretty “facts” you have there.

      By your “logic”, the “original” indigenous people of a nation have the inalienable right to reclaim their land at any point and rule over it, even though they have either a) not lived there for hundreds of years b) are in the minority.

      In that case, may I suggest we better hurry up and return the land and political power of the Americas, New Zealand, Australia etc to their respective indigenous peoples.

      Screw all the generations of non-indigenous people who have built their lives on those lands for hundreds of years. The lands never belonged to them in the first place. They were all taken from the rightful owners by barbaric acts of violence.

      Obviously, the indigenous peoples should be kind and give them the option of leaving, but if the non-indigenous ones should dare to mount any form of rebellion, why then they should have absolutely no right to complain in any way about the logical consequence of being treated as secondary citizens with little no no human rights to speak of.

      They would, after all, with their rebellion, have proven that they are prone to violence and cannot be trusted, and so would naturally have to be policed at all times and should not be allowed many freedoms, or they would obviously simply attack the rightful indigenous owners with those freedoms all over again.

      It’s not like the non-indigenous peoples would be leaving the already merciful indigenous people any other choice, right? That is simply what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you, right? Why should one treat ungrateful swine as equals? The horror.

      Reply to Comment
      • Deiten, you refer to unalienable rights. Does a Jewish exile have an inalienable right of return to his home country? At the time of 19th century which saw concerted efforts to have Jews return to the area of Jerusalem and other areas of what had been ancient Israel, Jews had no rights, much less an unalienable right of return to their former country. Under the law of the conqueror and the law of the sovereign, the conqueror and sovereign made the rules and determined who could or could live in its country of territory.

        President Franklin Roosevelt summed up this principle when he stated:

        “You know this is a protestant country, and the Catholics and Jews are here under sufferance. [Its] up to you to go along with anything I want.”

        The Ottoman Empire tried to block Jewish emigration at the beginning of the 20th Century by passing a law that Jews could not buy land. All other nationalities of the Empire and foreign nationals could buy land, but not Jews. Evner Pasha told the British that if the British consented to return Palestine to the control of the Turks the Jews might expect the same treatment as the Armenians, ie genocide.

        The Jews successfully lobbied the French and British governments to permit the establishment of a Jewish home for Jews in what would become Mandate Palestine. Under the law of the conqueror the British and French were allowed to make such a commitment.

        The Balfour declaration was then enshrined as a sacred trust of civilization with the Covenant of the League or Nations and the unanimous passing of the Mandate of Palestine by the 44 Nation states of the League of Nations.

        The Covenant of the League of Nations redrew the map of the middle east and set up mandates under which the lands of the Ottoman Empire were divided 99% for nation states of the Arab people and 0.6% for a Jewish home with a significant Arab population.

        The international community thus gave the descendants of Jewish exiles the right to return, settle and develop the land of Mandate Palestine and participate in government by means of the Jewish Agency.

        The returning Jewish revenants did not illegally dispossess the existing Christian or Islamic population who lived there during the Ottoman period. They retained their religious and civil rights. The Jews bought land and developed the Jewish community for its home.

        If it was not for the violent actions of the Arab community, there would have arisen a bi-national state of Jews and Arabs. The pogroms and massacres of Jews in the 1920s and 1930s and the hatred and fear of the Jews which permeated the Arab population due to incitement of hatred by Arab leaders doomed any chance of a bi-national state. The Peel Commission of 1937 recommended separate states for two peoples and alluded to the Arab massacre of the Nestorians as the possible fate of the Jews under any Arab state.

        On November 29, 1947 the United Nations approved a plan for partition, which the Palestinian Arabs rejected the next day by killing 7 Jews followed by a pogrom in Jerusalem followed by armed militia attacks against two Jewish communities in the next 7 days. The whole country became engulfed in a civil war the Arab aim of which was to destroy the nascent Jewish state before it arose and to kill or expel its Jewish citizens. Arab mercenaries funded by the Arab League flowed into Mandate Palestine to help the Arab Palestinians carry out their aims. The Arab armies joined in as soon as the last British troop ship departed from Mandate Palestine.

        The war resulted in the defeat of the Arab Palestinians, the Arab Liberation Army and most of the Arab armies. Palestinian Arab society was crushed. The majority of the population who had lived in territory controlled by Israel had fled, retreated under Arab instruction or were expelled by Israeli forces. The Arab nations in accordance with their threats before the war compelled to leave or expelled 900,00 Jews from Arab countries. Over 600,000 of these Jews made their way to Israel. Jordan annexed what became the West Bank and Egypt controlled Gaza with an Iron fist.

        The 1947-49 wars also resulted in the complete ethnic cleansing of the West Bank of Jews and the erasure of Jewish culture. The 1967 war reversed the 1948 and the again the revenants exercised their right of return to settle, build and develop the land which the League of Nations had given them.

        Up until 1979 very few Jews (12,000) were allowed to live in the West Bank and Gaza, but after the Jewish State made peace with Egypt and the Palestinians refused Israel’s offer to accept autonomy, followed by statehood, and used its army and terrorists to continue to attack Israel, the Likud party withdrew opposition to the return of Jews to Judea and Samaria and allowed them to exercise their right of return.

        This remains the situation today. The Jews continue to exercise their right of return, settlement and development. The Arabs continue to live in Gaza and the West Bank. Israel has ceded control of Gaza completely to the Palestinians. The West Bank and Judea and Samaria remain disputed territories over which there has been no final agreement between the parties. All they have is an interim agreement, which provides no solution to the current situation.

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    16. Pat Nguyen

      I feel assaulted when I get the 972 popup for donations after reading this editorial.

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      • Bar

        Why? Isn’t this article a natural outcome of the views presented on this site day in and day out?

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        • Pat Nguyen

          In my opinion, this piece was out of bounds for 972.

          As a news story and with fair balance, I could understand the publication. As part of their editorial, however, this is way beyond anything I read here.

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          • Bar

            I disagree. This article is exactly on topic for this site. I often challenge writers here to press the PA and their Palestinian friends to come to a point where they would be willing to compromise. After all, it’s been made abundantly clear by at least two recent Israeli PMs that Israel is willing to compromise. And yet, you almost never see Israeli “leftists” pressing their Palestinian friends to compromise because that would be viewed as a cardinal sin and they would be perceived negatively. A number of articles are published here daily and I don’t recall seeing any that lecture the Palestinians or describe them negatively.

            Why is this? Well, look for example at Norman Finkelstein after he spoke out against BDS. After years of being glorified by the anti-Israel Muslim groups like MSA, SJP, EI, etc., suddenly he was a Zionist pig according to articles by anti-Israelis who began excoriating him. His speaking engagements on campuses dried up.

            What happened to Finkelstein is an unspoken but tacitly understood rule in the Jewish/Arab left: You don’t challenge the Palestinian narrative and your job is to be the Jew who dares to challenge the Jewish narrative. You are the shill, not the leader.

            Jewish leftists know their place in the pecking order and don’t dare to stand out because they will be excommunicated and vilified by their Palestinian and (more rabid) Jewish colleagues. They are not true partners but there to serve the “authentic victims,” the “indigenous refugees of illegitimate European colonialism.”

            And why? because their own views reveal that they believe they are from the oppressor colonialist group. Their guilt offering is to promote someone else’s agenda, not their own and that’s why they get inferior status. And this is what we read daily on 972mag.

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          • Pat Nguyen

            I am not sure how you can disagree with my experience, but you can be right if that is your goal.

            This is the first 972 article that I ever saw that explicitly told the Jews to learn their place or go away. Before this opus, it was merely an unwritten rule.

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    17. Great great Rami!!
      From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

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    18. Ruth

      Yalla, let’s see responses to this piece from +972’s Israeli Jewish writers…

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    19. JG

      “it’s been made abundantly clear by at least two recent Israeli PMs that Israel is willing to compromise. ”

      Only in has.Bar.a’s magical dreamland.
      Those blatant nonsense will not become the truth by repeating the same shit all over again. Don’t believe the lies of the murders.

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      • Bar

        Dude, Olmert and Barak both offered deals to the Palestinians. Period. You don’t like the deals? Fine. The point is the deals were offered…and they stick in the craw of the anti-Israel crowd and their leftist Israeli/Jewish underlings because they make the Palestinian lie about what they really want so obvious.

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      • Marcos

        Hey, you heard Rami. Beat it!!

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    20. Sinjim

      And just like that, constituents from the Israeli Jewish Left chime in to prove Rami’s point. In your uselessness, you even surpass the Left in the US, another settler-colonial entity founded on the ruins of a native population. Kudos on this most astounding of feats!

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      • Marcos

        You are ungrateful sir. They are not ungrateful as they provide a fig-leaf for your outrageous policies. See JVP for details

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    21. Ben Zakkai

      To the moderator: Yesterday I submitted a comment critical of the author’s point of view, has it been lost? If so I’ll try to reconstruct and resubmit it.

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    22. Ben Zakkai

      Okay, I’ll try again.
      Many of the 1960’s African-American activists were quite racist, notably the black separatists or nationalists like the early Black Panthers. It seems like the author of this piece is pretty racist too. If he objects to regarding Jaffa and Hebron as being in different countries and says he wants equal rights for everyone from the river to the sea, then apparently he supports a one-state solution. Why, then, use the slogan “Jaffa is Arab Palestine”? In a civil state, shouldn’t every city and town welcome people of all religions and ethnicities? And if the author champions a rights-based ideology, then why must Jewish supporters with similar views be, if not excluded from the struggle, at least relegated to supportive participation rather than full partnership? I’d also be curious to know how the author regards Israeli Arabs who don’t self-identify as Palestinian, and how he views the role and rights of the Palestinian and Jewish diasporas, respectively. But based on what he’s already written, I think any Jewish Israeli would have to be crazy to support him, whether as partner or participant or just the guy who brings the pizza to the weekly meetings.
      Two additional notes: First, while no one should ask either Jews or Palestinians to reject or deny their history, it’s also not fruitful to wallow in past suffering and nurture old grievances rather than turning the page to plan for and create a better future. 1948 Palestine is gone, never to return. Second, I regard the Occupation as beginning in 1967 rather than 1948 for two simple, powerful reasons: One, the essence of occupation is military rule by a foreign power, which is not the condition of Israeli Arabs, who are rights-bearing citizens even if they still suffer legal and illegal discrimination. Land expropriation, while awful, is not the touchstone. Two, according to international law, Hebron is occupied but Jaffa is Israel. Indeed, if Jaffa is Occupied Territory, then so is New York City.

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      • The Trespasser

        According to international law, Hebron is occupied since 2012 and not 1967.

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    23. Charles

      “In other words, the slogan “Jaffa is Palestinian” is no different from “Hebron is Palestinian,” which is a sentiment that the Jewish activist described above would certainly approve of.”
      What an ignorant thing to say. I completely oppose the occupation of Hebron by Israel but of course, like Jaffa, is a city with a historic Jewish population.
      Some of the descendents of the Jews pushed out last century are active in the far left – Is Haim Hanegbi still around?

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