Palestinians have the power to change Israel
By Ray Hanania
In this week’s column for the Middle East Monitor I write about the power that Palestinian citizens in Israel have to bring change to Israel’ racist, Apartheid government and participate in forcing the so-called “Jewish State” to respect the rights of Christians and Muslims.
Israel’s government war crimes are extensive and its encouragement of racism in society through practice, policies and laws, has made it one of the worst nations in the world to assert itself as being a “Democracy.” Israel claims to be a Democracy but it doesn’t practice Democracy. It’s society is built on principles of the worst forms of racism and religious hatred, disrespecting the memory and tragedy of the Holocaust survivors.
There are about 1.8 million Palestinians living in Israel’s racist society as “citizens,” even though they do not have equal citizenship with Jewish citizens. And there are nearly 3.4 million Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and about 400,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem. There are some 600,000 Jewish settlers living in illegal settlements in the Occupied West Bank and in Occupied East Jerusalem. The 600,000 Jewish settlers, most (but not all) armed thugs and terrorists who live on lands and property stolen from non-Jews, have voting rights inside Israel. Why shouldn’t the Palestinians living under occupation also have voting rights to vote in Israel’s elections?
Israel will hold elections in April. There are 13 Arab members of the Knesset. They represent the third largest voting block under the name of the Arab Joint List behind the racist Likud Party and the Zionist Union. If more Arabs would exercise their oppressed rights to vote in Israel’s elections, they could help oust the racist violent militants like Benjamin Netanyahu and replace the government through coalition with moderate Jewish parties with a moderate government that would pursue peace.
One of the pressures on Palestinians in Israel or to not vote or demand their right to vote living in the Occupied West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem is the concept of “normalization” which is prohibited y extremists in the Palestinian community. Activists use anti-Normalization rhetoric to suppress moderate voices for peace and to artificially elevate themselves as the false and dysfunctional and failed leaders that they are.
Israel’s has many hurdles to overcome to become a true Democracy. One of them is to force Jewish Israelis to recognize the principles of true Democracy and embrace human rights and the International Rule of Law. But they can’t do it without the help of Palestinian Arabs in and outside of Apartheid Israel.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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