‘Qalansawe, Palestine: one of ten towns slated by Donald’s Trump’s Middle East “Peace” Plan to be transferred from Israel to a future Palestinian state. To fully understand what this means, it is helpful to see Palestinians as though they exist within a totem pole that was created by Israel. There are different levels of existence into which Palestinians are born, levels that were determined by their oppressors, first the Zionist movement, and then the State of Israel. The refugees who live in the squalor of the camps in and around Palestine are at the bottom of the totem pole. Then, there are the Palestinians residing in areas of Palestine occupied by Israel in 1967 and referred to as The West Bank and Gaza. And then there are those who live within the original boundaries of Israel and possess Israeli citizenship – these are the ones slated for transfer. At the top sit Palestinians living abroad as equal citizens in countries across the globe.
“Forgotten Palestinians,” this is the title of a book by Ilan Pappe, which describes in great detail the fate of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Generally speaking, there are two points of view about the position of the Palestinian citizens of Israel: That of the oppressor, Israel, and that of the Palestinians themselves. Within Israel, there are two parallel conversations about this oppressed community which, it is worth mentioning, never took up arms and what resistance they have put up came as a result of the theft of their lands and destruction of their country and that was done through the political and cultural avenues afforded to them by the state. Depending on the period and the people engaged in the discussion, Palestinian citizens of Israel are either a fifth column or a thriving minority with all the rights of citizens. However, neither one of these is an accurate description.
Israel was never happy with the fact that there were Palestinians who remained within the boundaries of Palestine at all and certainly not within what became Israel in 1948. In efforts that began in the early twentieth century and intensified gradually until reaching a crescendo in the 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign, Zionist forces in Palestine did everything in their power to rid the country of its original people, the Palestinians.’