The Sunday View: Israeli Arabs or Palestinians in Israel – which is correct?

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The Sunday View: Israeli Arabs or Palestinians in Israel – which is correct?

Israel's Arab community, which makes up a fifth of the population, is changing what it calls itself

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

It’s been a generation since the last major Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Since then, there has been a major shift in the way Israel’s Arab minority describes itself.

More and more people are calling themselves “Palestinians in Israel” – a response, they say, to a more visible cultural divide.

“I have Jewish friends who tell me ‘you can’t be with my sister ever, only becauese you’re Arab,” says Saed, an activist who works the Peres Centre for Peace.

He used to call himself an Israeli Arab, but attitudes from non-Arab Israelis “gave me the feeling that maybe I am different, so I asked my father, he’s almost 80, I asked him ‘What are we, explain to me’.

“He told me: ‘I was born before Israel you can choose. It’s yours. Do whatever you want. No one can tell you what you are, it’s in your heart.”

Saed now calls himself a Palestinian in Israel.

He is one of many who describe themselves as Palestinians, even though they hold Israeli citizenship.

Saed’s case is one of several discussed in The Sunday View, a short documentary series from the Jewish News. Watch now at the top of this page.

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