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Present Absentees: Sami Abu Shehadeh

Panel: The beginning of the end of national identity

April 30, 2019 at 3:48 pm

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

Sami Abu Shehadeh is a former member of Tel Aviv-Yaffa municipality council.

A historian of the modern cultural history of Jaffa city Palestine. At present he is the CEO of the Yaffa youth movement association and a member in the political office of Balad party.

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.