In an op-ed in Palestine Today, Dr. Walid Al-Qattati starts off with an anecdote that in many ways symbolizes the entire Palestinian experience.
When he attended a school in the Sinai’s El Arish (then under Israeli control) as a boy in the early 1970s, a teacher asked him, “Are you a citizen or a refugee?” Qattati didn’t understand the question, so the teacher rephrased it: “Are you Egyptian or Palestinian?” Qattati answered him, “I am a Palestinian,” and he said, “That means you are a refugee.”
Qattati says that this made a huge impression on him, and gave him a reason for hating Israel for making him a refugee. But why, if he lived in El Arish, wasn’t he an Egyptian citizen? Why is his teacher treating him differently than other students?
Why is there no anger towards the Arab world for “othering” Palestinians?
Yet there isn’t. Instead, there is antisemitism.
The bulk of the article is a plea for Palestinians to return to revolution, and a culture of revolution in its media, with songs glorifying martyrdom and violence. Qattati is upset that many Palestinians seem to have abandoned that revolutionary spirit.
However, he concludes, there is something that all Palestinians have in common: “At least we – the Palestinians – can agree on one goal: to make the Jewish settlers unable to live among us, and not be able to remain in Palestine.”
He can say, without fear of contradiction, that all Palestinians want to get rid of all the Jews in “Palestine.”
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