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PA daily: Prosecute all patrons of normalization with Israel

Op-ed by Atef Abu Al-Rab
Headline
: “Two Neighbors - a project of normalization through embroidery, and a threat of Palestinian heritage theft”
      “’Palestinian and Israeli women embroider coexistence’ - this headline caught my attention and attracted me to read the article, so that I could expose the extent of the scheme against our people, and the advantage being taken of the citizens’ needs, in order to create entities capable of coexisting with the occupation.
In spite of all the boycott-campaigns against Israel, and the criminalization of the normalization implemented by different groups, the occupation and its machine incessantly cause breaches among our people’s ranks, at times relying on money, and at other times encouraging marginal social strata and making them feel important through foreign funded projects. Like the rest of the normalization initiatives, this project is called Two Neighbors, out of an attempt to break down numerous barriers, create a common ground, and train women with a limited income in the art of embroidery, taking advantage of the fact that most sectors of our people are marginalized. The joint project was set up by an American couple who visited here and liked the idea of a collaboration intended to design modern clothes - that is, Israeli [clothes] - while exploiting the Palestinian embroidery in a way that would add newness to these clothes.
The final result is a joint product which is sold, and the workers receive a somewhat lucrative salary for it. However, the truth is that the price of this kind of project is extremely high. On the one hand, these projects strive to cause breaches in the Palestinian society and create non-Palestinian sources of authority for some groups, including women and young people. On the other hand, [the project] sends a message to the world that the two nations live in security, peace, and good neighborly relations, and therefore the Palestinian conflict with the occupation is not an essential matter. This is the most important thing the occupation is trying to portray to the world - that there is no conflict with the Palestinian people, for the two people live in accord in all different areas [of life]. However, the most dangerous issue is the eradication of the Palestinian heritage’s uniqueness, and the implication that the heritage and folklore in Palestine is something the Palestinian people share with the occupation forces.
With this, the occupation achieves something that is extremely dangerous, as it disseminates ideas implying that the Palestinian embroidery is a Zionist legacy, and that they have the right to market this embroidery as a Zionist Jewish legacy.
In light of these attempts and many like them, [we] should prosecute all the patrons of normalization, expose their disgrace to the Palestinian people, and help groups that became entangled with normalization initiatives, in one way or another.”
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