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Conference on Israeli Arab identity with participation of Israeli politicians: "Our children are waving the Palestinian flag on every inch of the lands that have been occupied since 1948"

Headline: “At a conference at the Arab American [University] – emphasizing the importance of establishing the national identity and strengthening the Palestinian existence in the Interior”

“Participants in the conference that was held by the Arab American University in Jenin agreed yesterday [March 16, 2019] on the importance of the role of the national movement in the Interior (i.e., Palestinian term for Israel) – in establishing the national identity, strengthening the Palestinian existence, and creating a national network that includes academics, activists, and political elites – which has succeeded in building a national philosophy for the Palestinian existence on the ground.

[Arab American] University President Ali Zaidan Abu Zuhri, Jenin Governor Akram Al-Rajoub, Democratic Front for Peace and Equality in the Interior candidate for the 'Israeli Parliament' elections [Israeli Parliament Member] Ayman Odeh, [PA] Minister of Local Authorities Hussein Al-A’araj, a number of representatives of the official and civilian institutions, members of the academic and administrative committees, and students of the university participated in the conference…

Al-Rajoub pointed out that the situation in which the Palestinian people is currently living is among the most difficult conditions they have experienced, particularly since the occupation is making efforts – with regional and international support – to uproot Palestine from the minds of its children, and he said: ‘However, after 70 years of occupation, the occupation authorities have woken up and discovered that our children are waving the Palestinian flag on every inch of the lands that have beenoccupied since 1948,and discovered that they did not succeed in removing Palestine from the hearts of its children, and that their plan has failed.’

He added: ‘The occupation has always attempted to establish the statements of its first leaders, that the adults will die and the young people will forget, but reality confirms that the [Palestinian] people is continuing to preserve its identity, culture, and cause’…

Odeh said: ‘The ruling Israeli establishment has attempted to create a figure called “the Israeli Arab,” in other words, to garble his national and civilian affiliation; and at the same time this establishment is aspiring to build the state of the Jewish people. The [Palestinian] national movement has fought to create the figure of the Palestinian Arab, and this is its basic role, when Palestinian Arab figures have participated in inculcating a principle that we are part of the Palestinian Arab people, and have preserved the Arabic language and national identity– such as [former Israeli Parliament Member and poet] Tawfik Zayyad and others.’

He emphasized that the Palestinians of the Interior are not just members of the Palestinian Arab people, but are also members of the cause, and all that is done against the cause will have implications for the Palestinians who remained in their homeland in 1948.

He commented on events that took place on various dates, and confirmed the significance of the national movement in the Interior in order to preserve the Palestinian identity and the heritage, and how the Zionist movement attempted to erase the national movement’s role, but the Palestinian Arab people’s awareness did not provide the Zionist movement with an opportunity to realize its goals.”