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Present Absentees: Professor As'ad Ghanem

Panel: The beginning of the end of national identity

April 30, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Address by Professor As’ad Ghanem at MEMO’s ‘Present Absentees: Palestinian Citizens of Israel & the Nation-State Law’ conference held in London on April 27, 2019.

Prof As’ad Ghanem is a lecturer at the School of Political Science, University of Haifa.

Professor As’ad Ghanem’s theoretical work has explored the legal, institutional and political conditions in ethnic states and conflict studies. He has published 14 books and numerous articles about ethnic politics in divided societies, including about ethnic divisions and Arab-Jewish relations in Israel.

In the context of Palestinian domain, Ghanem’s work has covered issues such as Palestinian political orientations, the political structure of the Palestinian National Movement, and the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His recent books include:‘Palestinians in Israel: The Politics of Faith after Oslo’ and ‘Israel in the Post Oslo Era –Prospects for Conflict and Reconciliation with the Palestinians’.

Panel: The beginning of the end of national identity

Palestinian citizens of Israel maintain a dual identity, blending Palestinian national identity with Israeli civic duty. This duality is born out in their daily lives and perceptions of self through bilingualism, integration into the Israeli workforce and consumption of Israeli cultural output. Yet this integration into Israeli society often runs contrary to their historical experience of the Nakba, which represents a burden not born by their fellow Jewish-Israeli citizens. The question of how this divergent identity fits into the broader Palestinian, or indeed Israeli, narrative has yet to be answered definitively.