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WATCH: Why Arab youth increasingly identify as Palestinian

What makes young Arabs who live in Israel define themselves as Palestinians? How do Israel’s divide-and-conquer policies make it difficult for Palestinian citizens to formulate a unified identity? Part two of Rami Younis and Israel Social TV’s inside look at the changes taking place among Palestinians inside Israel. Watch part one here.

Read more:
WATCH: ‘Israeli Arab’ or Palestinian?
A new activism, a new politics, a new generation of Palestinians in Israel
From Haifa to Beirut: ’48 Palestinians challenge regional isolation

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    1. i_like_ike52

      The term “Palestine” has two meanings: (1) The territory that Jews also call Eretz Israel. It today has the following geopolitical entities: (a) Israel (b) Palestinian Authority (c) HAMAS-controlled Gaza Strip, (d) the Kingdom of Jordan.
      Thus, anyone living in this territory can be called a “Palestinian”…Jews or Arab, Christians, Druze, Muslims, etc
      (2) The geopolitical entity called the “Palestinian Authority”. Anyone who is a citizen of that entity can be called a “Palestinian”.
      What about Israeli Arab?..they are indeed Palestinian according to the first definition, but then again so are the Jews living in the area, but in order to distinguish thems from the Palestinian Jews, we can call the Arabs if they indeed identify with their Arab culture, language, etc. However, according to the second definition, i.e. citizenship in the Palestinian Authority, but they are NOT citizens of that authority.
      Of course, Israeli Arabs can identify themselves anyway they want, and if they want to identify as “Palestinian Israelis”, they can, but then so can Israeli Jews use exactly the same term “Palestinian Israeli”, although it is redundant, but then again, these Palestinian also have to grant the right of Israeli Jews to identify themselves they way they want to and so they would have to agree that the term “Palestinian” IS NOT EXCLUSiVE to the Arab population.

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    2. Bruce Gould

      @I_Like_Ike: I’m begging you, please, please, please say something coherent.

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    3. R5

      Really don’t see the argument for a “Palestinian” identity in the post-colonial world. Before British colonialism, the area was Ottoman Syria for centuries. I can understand wanting to be defined as Syrian/Shami, but using British colonial borders to create an identity seems totally antithetical to the conceptual of “Palestinians” being an indigenous nation.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Baladi Akka 1948

      Why do you speak in Hebrew, Rami, and why do Rawan Bisharat speak in Hebrew during your interview ? Rafeef Ziadeh speaks about the colonization of our language, I guess that’s it ….

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    5. i_like_ike52

      Some interesting points from the film:
      (1) Constant references to the “occupation begun in 1948” shows the Jewish population of Israel that no compromise peace agreement would ever solve the problem of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, even the change of Israel from being a Jewish state to a “state of all its citizens” which would still be the arena of Arab resentment against the large Jewish population. The more Israeli Jews are exposed to this way of thinking among Israeli Arabs, the more they will realize that political concessions will do nothing to ease the tensions, in fact, they will increase them because the appetite increases with the eating. This will push more and more Jews to the political Right.
      (2) The claim that the “Palestinian national identity” is supposedly strengthening among the Israeli Arab population would seem to go against the trend in the wider Arab world where sectarian and particularly Islamic identity is growing at the expense of a pan-Arab nationalist identity. Just look at the fratricidal slaughter going on in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, etc.
      (3) The claim that Israeli government policy is responsible for the the divisions in the Israeli Arab population also goes against what we see around us in the Middle East. The Arab population of the country has been fractures for generations, starting long before the creation of Israel. Just think of the internal war that occurred during the British mandate period between the Husseini and Nashasibi clans which lead to much bloodshed. Both Israeli Arab and Palestinian societies have long history of clan rivalries. It is true that Palestinian society doesn’t have the Muslim sectarian tensions that Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other countries suffer from, but there are other fissures that have made the creation of a truly democratic Palestinian government in the PA possible. It is true that the formerly badly divided Israeli Arab political parties managed to unite and even increase their vote, thanks to Avigdor Lieberman and his insistence on increasing the electoral threshold, be we see tensions between the BALAD faction and the others, so we will have to wait and see if indeed this united party can thrive in the long run.

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