|Defenders of Zion/ Photo Credit Rami Shlush, Haaretz|
Last year I was invited to give a talk at Leeds University on Israeli apartheid and colonialism. In the subsequent Q & A session, one student asked me my opinion on Palestinian citizens of Israel voting in Israel elections.
I folded my hands, fixed a neutral smile on my face, tilted my head somewhat apologetically and answered, “I can’t answer the question because I am not a Palestinian living in Israel, so I can’t impose my views when I don’t face the struggle that they do in their daily lives.”
What a crock of bullshit. Afterwards, I told the same student my real opinion and garbled something about normalization, accepting the colonial master’s tool, and turning the whole cause into a matter of equal civil rights as opposed to an anti-colonial struggle for liberation, justice and self-determination.
The past two weeks I have inundated myself with dozens of articles in English and Arabic on the messiah-like role of the Joint List, why more Palestinians in Israel are voting this time, how boycott was the moral thing to do, how boycott is the outdated counterproductive thing to do, how the three Arab parties have skillfully rallied under one banner, how the three Arab parties are destined to break up once they secure their seats in the Israeli parliament, or Knesset because they loath each other, and so on. Communists hate the nationalists, nationalists and communists hate the Islamists, Islamists hate the communists, etc. How is Aida Touma, a communist member of Hadash and self-professed feminists, in a coalition with Talib Abu Arar, a member of the Islamists who is married to two wives?
It’s all a masquerading stupor, waving the flag of fake unity to get into the Knesset where no Palestinian Arab leader or party has ever made a positive difference to the lives of Palestinians in Israel. Haneen Zoabi serves as a reminder of how racist the Knesset is, with her perfect Hebrew “defending terrorists” and calling out her fellow MKs as fascists, but how is that an achievement? Ahmad Tibi the clown uses the podium to recite funny little poems in better Hebrew than his Israeli counterparts, but how does that alleviate the poverty that half of Israel’s Palestinian citizens live in?
Every Palestinian voting in the Israeli elections, not to be all melodramatic and sensationalist, has forgotten the roots of t
I won’t go into why I don’t support Palestinian participation in Israeli elections, “for the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” as Audre Lorde said. The point is that, even though the term “Arab Israelis” is an abhorrent one, unfortunately, it exists. It resoundingly exists. Those who see their life’s journey as one fighting for an equal Israeli state for all of its citizens, who speak like true Israeli leftists- those are not the Jewish Israelis, no. The Israeli left is the Arab Israeli, the one who calls for an end to the occupation of the 1967 borders, the one who opposes the construction of settlements in order to divert that money to improve the socioeconomic conditions of Israelis, the one who believes in the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside an Israeli one, the one who’s ego in so inflated he compares himself time and time again to Martin Luther King and the struggle for civil rights.
Israel has succeeded. Israel has divided and conquered us with such aplomb, such ingenuity, such simplicity. There is no one united Palestinian people. We are separate entities, in non-contiguous geographical spaces, with a different set of laws that govern our reality. Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem 1948 territories, refugee camps, diaspora. The best hope we have is to for each of the Palestinians in their separate areas, those who still care about romantic conceptions of liberation and justice and an end to colonization, fight until they secure those goals, and then we can form a confederate of Palestine. COP. A confederate of the republic of Palestine. CORP. Hamas will liberate Gaza, the poor sods in ’48 will get rid of house Palestinians and Zionists, a natural disaster will wipe out the West Bank for good, a Kurdish fighter will lead an army to liberate Jerusalem, an army of children will announce autonomy for the refugee camps in neighboring countries, and so on.
Anyway, this was all a rambling prelude to the top 15 quotes of the model Israeli Arab, Ayman Odeh-the head of the Joint List, a member of Hadash, a lawyer, and if he were younger, he’d be a Haifster. As it is, he’s a 40 year old father of three who “has a dream.” Sit back and enjoy these gems.
1) My ideological transformation was part of my political maturation, choosing to become part of the greater whole.
You assimilated to Zionism, a racist supremacist ideology premised on the massacres and ethnic cleansing of an indigenous population.
2) I tell you, I want two nations here by choice. I want two cultures here. It adds something important for me. We are all richer because there are two nations and two cultures here. Let’s focus on the positive things that unite us and not what separates us.
Positive things: we both enjoy drinking Tubi. Negative things: um..Zionism
3) Instead of wasting money in the occupied territories, money should be spent here in Israel for the good of all of us- for education, for health and for social programs.
Bravo! The model Israeli lefty has struck again!
4) Abu Mazen is a pragmatic person, a peace loving person, in everyone’s opinion-other than the opinion of the Israeli government.
Seriously beginning to question if Odeh is a closeted drug addict. Hallucinogen pills anyone?
5) We need to extend bridges to the Jewish community. Martin Luther King fought for blacks, and democratic whites where with him.
Except, in a twisted diseased society like Israel’s, where racism is institutionalized and drilled into their children, there are no democratic Israelis. They’re raving mad Ayman! On second thought, your idea of democracy is shit so maybe you do make sense here.
6) We will be an alternative camp, the democratic camp-where Arabs and Jews are equal partners, not enemies.
Can we equate all Jews with the ones in Israel? Is it so hard for Odeh to say “where Arabs and Zionists are equal partners, not enemies”? He won’t even notice it’s a conundrum!
7) It would be correct to say that the Arab citizens of Israel are among the pioneers of civil resistance in the world.
Cough, splutter, snicker. Pray, do tell us more about the amazing civil resistance Arab Israelis engaged in- I must have been living under a rock all these years!
8) We intend to march on Jerusalem, echoing the civil rights march in Washington led by Martin Luther King more than 50 years ago to demand justice and democracy.
Here it is folks, he’s dropped the big bombshell.
9) From Nazareth to Jerusalem, like Martin Luther King on 28 August 1963, I have a dream. We want the participation of tens of thousands of Arabs and Jews, because they’re clever.
Not sure I understand the “clever” part, but at this point I can no longer bring myself to care.
10) We recall that to this day, any Israeli withdrawal from an inch of Palestinian land has occurred through the political weight of the Arabs in Israel.
More hallucinatory talk. The last time Israel withdrawed from Palestinian land was Israel, which it then promptly blockaded for good two years later. And before that, more Jewish settlers colonized more Palestinian land in the West Bank. Great story.
11) An Arab who works and pays taxes is good for everyone.
Jeez, so much for the pioneering civil resistance part.
12) Just as Jews in the US joined Martin Luther King, I’m sure hundreds of thousands of Jews will join the struggle for civil equality in Israel.
Gotta love his conviction, bless his soul. Remember when hundreds of thousands of Jews (Jews again, not Zionists according to this fella) marched in protest of the high prices of cottage cheese? And when an Israeli Arab tent was set up, it got attacked with bags of feces? Good times!
13) I want Jews in the national symbols, but want to see my face there as well.
My ego brings all the boys to the yard, damn right it’s better than yaaars
14) We want to create a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders alongside the state of Israel.
Huzzah! The two state solution lives on in the delusional minds of shit-talking politicians!
15) I believe that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination, which the state of Israel has fulfilled.
And that, dear every Palestinian refugee, that was the sound of a huge phlegm-heavy spit landing right at the centre of your faces. Kkkkkhhh-tfoooo!
Oh ye droves of Arabs, descend upon the polling stations like model citizens, thinking that this is your way to stick two fingers up at the Israeli right-wing. I mean, Herzog promised to invite you all to his house and treat you like his equal, no? Oh wait, he’s also a right-winger dressed in the Israeli costume of a leftist politician.
Those Israeli Arabs are not my people, they do not represent an iota of what I stand for nor do I belong to them. If anyone asks, I’ll be watching the Nahal Oz video on repeat for the rest of the day.