I am a Palestinian woman in Israel — you don’t get to define my labels

Israeli Arabs protest in northern Israel for the rights of Palestinian refugees, Apr 2018. (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

The mere fact that we live within Israel’s borders does not make us less Palestinian. We suffer from the same bitterly oppressive policies, even if our suffering is of a different nature and takes a different form.

By Maha Ighbaria | Haaretz | Jul 8, 2018

This is not the first time that I, a Palestinian Israeli, have fallen between the categories: Not Israeli enough on the one hand, as a Palestinian, and not Palestinian enough on the other, as an Israeli.

About a month ago I applied to attend a seminar for Israeli and Palestinian women to be held this summer in Germany. Two weeks later, I received an email from the organizers informing me that my application was rejected.

The reason, they explained, was that I called myself a Palestinian Israeli. The Israeli designation, I was told, was reserved solely for Jewish women and the Palestinian designation was solely for Palestinian women from the West Bank or East Jerusalem. So where do I fit in?

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