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May 20, 2018
Kamal Nawash

Israel-Palestine and Gaza.

Like many, I watched with horror as one unarmed Palestinian after the other was killed by Israeli soldiers for trying to reach a fence that segregates Palestinians from Israelis. In total, more than 60 Palestinian men, women and children were killed but unarmed Palestinians continued to walk towards the fence. Many Americans could not understand why unarmed Palestinians would walk towards the separation fence knowing they would be killed. However, the behavior of Palestinians in Gaza is normal human behavior and any human may do the same if presented with the same challenges.-

Israel will one day have to understand that segregation and racial inequality will not go unchallenged in the 21st Century. Segregation did not work for America and it did not work for South Africa.

The dispute between Israeli Jews and Palestinians is NOT complicated. Humans are created to know that they are humans and if they are not treated equally to other humans they will object. If humans did not intrinsically object to inequality then Blacks would still be slaves in America.


Israeli Jews must understand that whether secular or religious, Muslim or Christian, No Palestinian will ever accept the discrimination and persecution they suffer at the hands of Israel. By participating in fatal demonstrations, Palestinians are sending a message to Israeli Jews that unless Palestinians are given equal rights to Israeli Jews, no one in Israel-Palestine will enjoy peace in the long term.-

The Equal rights approach is probably the only solution for solving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that will help people forget about the pain of yesterday and focus on the joy of tomorrow. As an illustration, consider the experience of the few Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship. Israel refers to them as "Israeli Arabs." It is not coincidence that Palestinians who possess Israeli Citizenship do not fight Jews in the streets, do not burn tires, do not throw rocks and do not approach any fence where they may be killed. The question is why Palestinians with Israeli citizenship behave differently than those Palestinians who were NOT granted citizenship. It is because Israel gave them more rights than it gave their family members in Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinians in Gaza city and the West Bank were never granted Israeli citizenship and were forced to live as stateless people in their own country. Palestinians are not allowed to move from city to city, they are not allowed to travel using Israel's only Airport, they are not allowed to go to Israeli hospitals for treatment and they are not allowed to vote for the person who controls their fate, Benjamin Netanyahu.-

For further illustration, consider that the United States experienced a civil war due to slavery and then experienced the unrest of the civil rights movement. (Intifada). In the end, Americans understood that they had to give Blacks citizenship and equal rights or there could be no peace in America.-

Similarly, Israel will have to give Palestinians equal rights. No ifs or buts. Israel can start by giving the Palestinians of Jerusalem automatic citizenship and stop all efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes.-

Kamal Nawash is a civil rights lawyer in Washington DC who works for a system of equal right for Palestinians and Israelis.

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