Stateless citizenship: Palestinian citizens in the context of liberal-Zionism

Saturday, February 8, 2014 - 00:00

Today, one-fifth of Israel's citizen population is Palestinian-Arab. Totalling more than 1.6 million citizens, the collective situation of the Palestinian-Arabs in Israel is, at best, paradoxical. On the one hand, as non-Jews they are denied both national membership, and state membership given Israel's self-definition as a Jewish state. On the other hand, this community is also distanced from the rest of the Palestinian population through the same legal, political and social dimensions. Israel continues to deny the existence of its Palestinian-Arab citizens as an indigenous population, a national group, or even a national minority. Far from integration into the Israeli regime, Palestinians are placed in a paradoxical situation where, as Arab citizens of a Jewish state, they are both inside and outside, host and guest, citizen and stateless.

The talk examines the policies and practices of exclusion facing Palestinian citizens in the Zionist regime. We look at the rise of racist and discriminatory laws in the Israeli Knesset that target Palestinian citizens, particularly since 2009. Also examined are the common liberal defences of the Zionist project and the placement of Israeli democracy alongside other Western nations. The discussion dissects the widely held image of Israel as a progressive multicultural society and looks at Israeli policies and practices that place it apart from other liberal democratic states. Taken together, the aim is to challenge liberal-Zionist arguments designed to counter voices of criticism against the Zionist regime.

The talk will be followed with a Q/A period moderated by Justin Podur.

Copies of Shourideh's recently published book Stateless Citizenship: The Palestinian-Arab Citizens of Israel (BRILL, 2013) will also be available in hardcover.

Image: Wadi Nisnas, Haifa. Copyright Shourideh C. Molavi (BRILL, 2013)

About the speaker
Shourideh C. Molavi is a student and writer based in Toronto. For the past nine years she has worked with numerous civil society groups of the divided Palestinian community in Gaza City, Nablus, Jerusalem, Haifa, Ramallah and Bethlehem. Much of this work has been with the Palestinian citizens of Israel and Haifa-based NGOs, including Mada al Carmel: Arab Center for Applied Social Research and Adalah: Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights, where her efforts were directed at challenging and exposing liberal-Zionist rationalizations for Israel's racist and exclusionary policies and practices.

Need to know:
- Doors open at 6:50
- $5 donation (suggested minimum)
- Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
- Please avoid using strong-scented products due to sensitivities

Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) with Zatoun oliveoil+za'atar dipping.

Beit Zatoun
612 Markham St. (Bathurst subway)
Toronto , ON
43° 39' 11.6136" N, 79° 22' 59.4624" W
Ontario CA

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