Friday, March 24, 2006

Salamat,

It's a beautiful day in Bethlehem; sunny and pretty warm. though its beginning wasn't that lucky for me. I arrived to the DCO (District Coordination Office Checkpoint) in Beit Jala and found out it was closed 2mins before my arrival. No cars or pedestrians were allowed in or out of Beit Jala.

Anyway, i promised a story about the elections:

I was sitting with my friends, Khaled, Alaa and Ahmad (all Palestinian Israelis) in Jerusalem, and we started discussing news about the elections and the results of recent polls. The conversation developed to become a debate around "whether it is essential to have Palestinian-Israeli (PI) Members in the Israeli Parliament - The Knesset.

Khaled, who is a very smart practical law-student, asked Alaa and Ahmad to mention one law that was suggested by any PI Member of the Knesset (MK) and confirmed by the Knesset without the power of the High Court for Justice (the supreme court in Israel).

Alaa and Ahmad, not less smart or impressive, i promise you, mentioned many changes in Israeli laws, that were conducted by PI MK's. Khaled wouldn't accept this answer.

Alaa and Ahmad's claimed was that if it wasn't for PI MK's, the Palestinian identity inside Israel would have been lost and that's because of their field work and continuous struggle to keep the people aware of the Zionist plan to "kick them out" in 56' and 67'. (many issues i'm mentioning in general coz i can't explain them all at once, but i'm ready for answering inquiries).

They said that there's a huge importance for PI presence in the Knesset, and it proved its value when the PI MK's constructed the "Blocking Bloc" (i don't know the expression in Eng so i translated that literally, it's the group that would prevent a decision from being passed in the parliment) in the vote on the Oslo Agreement in 93'.

Khaled also said that ubfortunately, MK's like Tamar Gujansky or Dov Hanin (Israeli's in the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality) represent him as a Palestinian Israeli more EFFECTIVELY than Palestinian Israeli MK's like Barakeh or Bisharah who haven't achieved any results in Legislation.

Now, i can understand what Khaled is saying. He's a practical person, who believes the goal is what matters. He suggested that Palestinian Israelis have to choose Israeli (Jewish) members to represent them, coz it is the only way to assure accomplishing anything.

I said that this way Palestinians inside Israel may adopt the view saying they could never achieve anything by themselves, and this means low self-esteem. Moreover, it supports the goals of those who claim we don't deserve to be part of the parliament or the state.

I do believe PI MK's can make a difference. Their effect might be minor, unfortunaely, but not having them at all would achieve more negative results than positive. I think it is much harder to be a Palestinian Israeli MK than a Jewish MK, but it's just a part of the difficulties facing us as a whole minority in this country...

We deserve to be heard, and issues on our schedule should not arise any complaints or sighs. The Israeli Knesset, like the state itself, marginalizes the issues that are critical to us as citizens in Israel. We have to fight this in a smart way.

Hopefully, i'm gonna relate to the worrying figures i saw in a poll conducted by the Center for Fighting Racism in Israel (Manager: Baker Awawdeh) which showed racism is not a bad word in Israel..

9 Comments:

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Farmer's wife said...

This is a difficult one. I can see Kahlid's point that only an Israeli can stand up for the Palestinians, as he would be the only one other Israelis would listen to. But if the Palestinians in Israel dont stand up for themselves, then they will be accused of not tryping peacefully and democratically to change things

 
At 2:35 AM, Blogger Askinstoo said...

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At 7:45 AM, Blogger الفلسطينية said...

i would have to disagree with khaled. if we dont stand up for ourslves who will? and i doubt an israel represntative would ever cater to the needs of his/her palestinian constituents- only so many of them have made racist remarks regarding palestinians.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger watan said...

fero...
i haven't ever though that i'd like reading all this much "english writen lines" but u made me do t.. ;)
i appreaciate ur work
i'll keep watchin't
good luck

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger Rob said...

I'm enjoying reading your blog, you present an interesting and valuable point of view.

I don't know enough about the situation in Israel and Palestine to have an opinion about the question you pose, but it does bring a point to mind:

As a Palestinian living in Israel, you clearly face many difficulties (and it is good that you are blogging to let all of us know about them). My question, however, is this: is it possible for an Israeli to live in Palestine, difficulties or not?

It seems to me that it is perfectly fair to point out the ways in which Palestinians are second-class citizens in Israel. This is wrong and we should all work to see it change. At the same time, however, one would have to acknowlege the equivalent situation if the tables were turned.

Please keep up the good work.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

Dearest Fayrouz

Thank you for your blogsite. I love the reads. As a Canadian married to a Palestinian, I am quite sensitive to the whole situation in Palestine and the struggle that Palestinians have faced and continue to face. A few years ago, I witnessed firsthand the disgusting inhumane treatment that Palestinians receive in their own country and it took all the strength in me to not say anything.

We were lucky to be able to see Bethlehem on our visit and I felt such a connection to this wonderful city and it's people.

Keep up the good work Fayrouz. If you don't mind, I am going to put your blog as a link on my own.

Lisa

 
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At 1:01 PM, Blogger Khaled said...

Hey Fayrouz... and everyone.

Looking at the situation and how it has been ever since there were Arab MKs I got to the conclusion I got to. The situation today is not better than before, I guess it is clearer because people now hear about it. I don't credit the MKs for that. I think a nation can be heard and even in a better way today as a mass than a pathetic representation that does not represent the feelings of the people. If we are talking about the social side of the Arab mintority in Israel, no law was passed in the Kenesset in their favor. What was good and created in the Kenesset was never addressed for the Arab minority and never proposed by an Arab MK.
In my opinion the presence of the Arab MKs is doing more harm than helping in today's reality. The people are less active and involved because they rely on the representation that is not achieving anything and maybe because they can't in the context of the Kenesset. Only a mass movement can do a change (many examples from East Europe and South America nowadays) and since everything else failed so far, it is time to try the hard way for a change and do something on the basic level of contributing to devolop the people in education and finance. People have to have the stable ground before they attempt to work together as a collective that can't be ignored anymore and that is why they have to achieve their security by gaining financial and educational basis. I started going in that direction the moment I was able to, I urge the rest to do the same. Educate as much as you can and where you can, then people are more aware to the reality and to their rights and are more able to fight for them.

 

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