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Democracy protests that ignore Palestinians are just demos

TJI Pick
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Published: 4 April 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

If they only fight for equality among Jews, the democracy protestors are no different from Ben-Gvir, writes TAMER NAFAR.

Salaam, it’s me, the elephant in the room. My name is Tamer Nafar and I’m an artist, a Palestinian Arab, I was born and raised in Lod, an Israeli citizen. When I work on a new song, the first step is the draft, it’s called a demo. We record ideas and then return home for self-reflection and decide where the song is going.

While watching the demonstrations against the judicial coup from afar, the name “demo-cracy” came to mind.

It is a kind of popular struggle, but not all the way. The Palestinians hold popular demonstrations, the kind that sometimes end with deaths. The most powerful organisations in the economy don’t mobilise to protect us or give us days off work so we can protest, and in the end even the High Court of Justice, the symbol of your democracy, rationalises the killing.

You think it’s likely that Ben-Gurion International Airport would cancel flights to stop the demolition of a home in Lod?

To refuse to go into the army because of the legislation and the next day to mobilise on behalf of the same High Court that robs us of our land is pretty selective. It’s to decide when we are democratic and when we are Jewish.

There can only be coexistence as a result of the process of co-resistance. I want to see the pilots refuse to bomb a neighbourhood in Gaza City  and take part in a march against the Judaization of East Jerusalem. I do want to see teachers marching for egalitarian education, for Blacks, Mizrahim, LGBTQ people and even for recognition of the Nakba.

But if it’s only for equality among Jews, then understand that this is Jewish supremacy which subconsciously believes in everything Itamar Ben-Gvir believes in; the only difference is that he’s more vocal.

Without Palestinians, Protest in Israel Is Just Demo – Not Democracy (Haaretz)

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The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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