PALESTINIANS HAVE A VOICE BUT NOT A VOTE

Jewish Israelis living in perpetual denial should take note when they head to their polling booths this March, for their sake if not for ours. The looming fork in the road for us is signposted “Palestinian Statehood” or “Civil Rights for All.” While the idea of the former is dispensable, the coming of the latter is inevitable.

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NO CHOICE:

THE PEOPLE WHO CANNOT VOTE SPEAK

Israel pretends its society is a normal, US-style melting pot, but there are only two problems – there is nothing remotely “normal” about Israeli’s societal composition and, furthermore, the pot’s ingredients, by policy design, have yet to melt. The destructive societal divisions amongst Israel’s population shines through during every election; this time around is no different. While Israel’s nearly five-decade military occupation of Palestinians is slowly, but surely, ripping Israel out of its global comfort zone, not one electoral contender has peeped a word about how the occupation will come to an end.

Likewise, while racism inside Israel against Christian and Muslim Palestinians—full Israeli citizens—has reached levels provoking even some Jewish Israelis to call it fascism, Israel’s political parties are acting as if it’s business-as-usual. The only bold and somewhat refreshing electoral move, thus far, is Avraham Burg’s joining of the Hadash Political Party, and even there the debate immediately focused around Palestinian political parties running in a single slate, or not, instead of the seismic shift that Burg’s move represents amongst Israel’s Zionist personalities.

Bottom line for us Palestinians ‘living’ under Israel’s boot of occupation: Historically, in the USA and many other places, when a population is long disenfranchised, unrest ensues, forcing greater equality.

Jewish Israelis living in perpetual denial should take note when they head to their polling booths this March, for their sake if not for ours. The looming fork in the road for us is signposted “Palestinian Statehood” or “Civil Rights for All.” While the idea of the former is dispensable, the coming of the latter is inevitable.

~Sam Bahour

Originally appeared in Hebrew AT

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