THEY MUST GO Page 93
Chapter 4: Israeli Arabs: Fathers and Sons (and Daughters)
 
 
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Israeli Arabs: Fathers and Sons (and Daughters) 93

bnineteen years the Arabs of Israel were able to meet and talk bwith other Arabs who were not Israelis, who called themselves b“Palestinians,” and who openly spoke of the day when the hated bJews would leave. The Israeli Arab suddenly realized that he bwas neither meat nor milk, fish nor fowl. He was not an Israeli, bbut now he was struck by the awesome realization that he had bnot been a “Palestinian” all those years either! He was looked bupon by the West Bank “Palestinians” as a traitor who cooper- bated with, and accepted, Israeli citizenship from the Jews who bhad stolen the land from his people. In one fell swoop, all the bfactors that went into creating the new radical Israeli Arab came btogether. Things would never be the same again.

bNot only were there new contacts with the West Bank b“Palestinians,” but this was also the beginning of joint coopera- btion. Thus, Israeli Arabs participated in a “Palestine Week” bheld in 1978 at the Universities of Bethlehem and Bir Zeit. They bhelped organize it, and they printed and distributed a leaflet bcalling for support of the PLO. In defiance of the law several bIsraeli Arab students have begun studying in schools in the lib- berated territories. Indeed, Hanna Nasir, the PLO-backing bformer president of Bir Zeit College (near Ramallah) who was bdeported by Israel in 1974 for incitement, told a Kuwaiti news- bpaper in January 1979: “Despite all Israeli efforts to prevent byoung Arabs from within the Green Line [Israel] from both bstudying and teaching at the college, we have three lecturers bthere today from the region occupied in 1948 [Israel] plus sev- beral students.

b“One of the beautiful things is the renewal of ties between ball members of the Palestinian people living in the land of bPalestine, and this makes it easier to fight against the con- bquerors.”

bThis is quite true. The opening of the borders between the bState of Israel and the liberated areas was seen by the incredibly bobtuse Israelis as allowing the better-fed Israeli Arabs to dem- bonstrate the benefits of Israeli occupation. Of course, a child bcould have known that exactly the opposite would occur. The bIsraeli Arabs were suddenly given the opportunity to meet, regu- blarly, with their own people who were struggling for what the Is- braeli Arab understood to be a common goal: freedom.

bThe mayor of Hebron, Fahd Kawasma, said (January 22, b1979): “The Israeli Arabs have remained foreigners and their b 

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THEY MUST GO Page 93
Chapter 4: Israeli Arabs: Fathers and Sons (and Daughters)