Monday, October 16, 2017

  • Monday, October 16, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

YNet reported:
A small, unlikely “dream team” delegation comprised entirely of minorities in Israel is preparing to embark on a trip to the US and Europe as part of a concerted effort to debunk the campaigns circulating on university campuses slamming Israel’s treatment of different groups in the country.

Hailing from different locations across the country, the participants are vocal in their common belief that Israel affords them equal opportunity.

Expressing their love for and faith in the state, they are determined to disseminate their message and counter the smear campaigns against Israel that have permeated college campuses, often spearheaded by the Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Dima Tiya, 25, is an Arab Muslim, originally from Qalandiya and today is a resident of Kafr Manda in the lower Galilee.

“The State of Israel is important to me on a personal level and is important for all minorities who live there,” Dima says. “I am happy to represent the state. My father is a liberal and taught me the meaning of co-existence.”

Qassem Halila, 24, an Arab Muslim originally from Iksal in northern Israel explained that he had agreed to take part in the initiative despite the resulting ostracization he has faced from family and friends.

“I pay a heavy personal price for my opinions. My cousin kicked me out of the house, another uncle stopped me from being invited to a wedding, and I was even kicked out of the family WhatsApp group,” said Qassem.

Despite his estrangement, nothing could throw the national character of the country into dispute. “Thankfully, my parents support me. At the end of every week I go to my village and believe that this is a Jewish and democratic state. I feel equal in everything and I have no feelings of discrimination,” he insisted.

Bassem A’yid, a 59-year-old Palestinian from Beit Hanina in east Jerusalem, who is also embarking on his new journey as an Israeli ambassador, emphasized the damaging impact that boycott movements are having on the Palestinians themselves.

“The BDS is endangering the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians,” A’yid complains. “I have come to defend the Palestinian economy and not to endanger my life with my opinions. I intend to say this any place I want in the US.”

Jonathan Alhori, 25, an Arab Christian from Haifa who is the son of an officer in the South Lebanon Army, stated the importance of the mission, believing it would serve as an eye-opener for many misinformed people.

Already many of these Arabs are getting death threats on social media.

 But the "moderate" Fatah party is really upset. Ma'an quotes prominent Fatah leader Hatem Abdel Qader as condemning these young Arabs who ignore what Mahmoud Abbas wants them to say.

Abdel Qader described the group as stray and outcast and desperate  He was especially upset at the members who say that the boycott of Israel negatively affects the economy of the Palestinian people, saying this was a false allegation and a failed attempt to mislead international public opinion.

"If Israel thinks that this empty group can cover up the nakedness of the occupation that has become exposed to the whole world, or beautify its ugly face and polish its shattered and distorted image," he said, they are mistaken.

Which makes one wonder why he feels so threatened by them if he knows that they will have no impact?

Perhaps he is much more frightened of the truth than he is of a small group of Israeli (and Palestinian) arabs.



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