Friday, August 11, 2006

Abu-Issa's Crusade

Ok, I finally lost it...and I did it on somebody elses blog (sorry Sandmonkey)...

For the last 2 months or so I have come accross the term 'Israeli Arab' to describe the Palestinians who stayed behind in what became legislated into the Jewish state in Palestine, my rant went something like this:

"...I’ve decided to go on a crusade…no, not religious, not political …but semantic. If I have to read about ‘Israeli Arabs’ again I’m going to blow chunks! Please, call them what they are: ‘Palestinian’. Do you actually think that these ~Arab speakers~ refer to themselves as ‘Arab Israelis’?? Come down from that high wooden horse…

As well, when speaking of ‘Arabs’ can we specify please? Since after the First World War and the defeat of the Ottoman empire (see Wikipedia: Arab Revolt
) the Arab speaking world was carved into several countries like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, not to mention that little disputed region called Palestine which received it’s own special carving.

It’s my feeling that making general statements refering to ‘the Arabs’ tends to sound a tad racist. Kind of like using the term ‘the Orientals’ to refer to the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans, etc…".

Pass it on...


Tsedek said...

I think they should just be called Israeli.

tomer said...

Yes, quite a few refer to themselves as Israeli Arabs.

Sorry if that ruins it for their "brothers" who seem to call them traitors whenever they are pissed off.

Lisa said...

Abu-Issa, I agree with Tomer. I have many Arab friends who are Israeli citizens and residents. I always ask what term they prefer, and the answer varies all the time. Some prefer Israeli-Arab, some Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, some 1948 Palestinian, some Palestinian-Israeli. Some tell me simply, "I am Israeli and that's all."

I also agree with Tsedek that they should simply be called "Israeli."

As you know from my blog, I use different terms all the time. To be frank, I do so just for the sake of variety. There is no way to please everyone, and I certainly don't think that *any* of us can decide for individuals what they should be called, or that they should adopt a label that is imposed upon them.

I hope that someday we will live in a world without labels.

Abu-Issa said...

Thanks for your comment Tse ...and Tomer, thanks for coming back it's been a while since I heard from you.

Thanks for your comment as well Lisa, but I think you have to take into account that they may have been giving you the answer that would make you feel comfortable.

Here in Montreal, when someone asks me where I'm from I have to make a quick judgement call...will they understand that just because I'm Palestinian it DOESN'T mean I'm a terrorist or that I have a biological pre-condition that makes me want to kill Jewish people...or will they run away from me screaming for their lives. Some of my Jewish friends/co-workers upon finding out I'm Palestinian actually start looking at me like I have the plague.... they can't reconcile what they believe to be true with the fact that I'm actually a pretty nice guy.

Be honest...if you were for example in Lebanon right now and somebody asked you where are you from would you say you are Israeli ...or Canadian?


Abu Shaar said...

It is possible Tomer has had his hands full the last month or so.

"Israeli Arabs" or "Israelis", they remain second-class citizens because they are not Jewish in the Jewish state.

I read a recent story of the lack of sirens and bombs shelters in the "Israeli Arab" areas in the north.

Lisa said...

Sorry again, A-I, but I really have to take issue with you. You are making assumptions that are not based in fact. ;)

1. Some of my Arab friends in Israel feel comfortable telling me that they support Nasrallah, so I guess it is reasonable to assume that they would feel equally comfortable telling me how they define their identity.

2. If I were in Lebanon right now I certainly would not say I was Israeli, because I would probably end up getting killed. On the other hand, last night I met an ex-pat Lebanese friend for dinner in a Tel Aviv restaurant. He did not have to hide his identity in Israel because he knew he was safe in Israel.

Abu Shaar said...

How long did you have to wait for him to get past the security guards at the door?