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My name is Abdol, and I care about my country, the State of Israel

Israel's Arab citizens have suffered doubly in each war, and we win doubly with every step we take toward peace
Roy Alima/Flash90
Roy Alima/Flash90

My name is Abdol. I’m 29 years old, and a social and political activist. I don’t identify with any political parties because I’d rather identify with people. I care about my country. I care about living in dignity.

As an Israeli citizen, I want change. And yes, I care about my country because my future is here and nowhere else. That’s how I was raised — to be optimistic.

The future is in our hands. It is ours. We can decide to sit on the sidelines, or we can decide to be in the center of things, taking an active part. As an Arab citizen of Israel, I believe that Israel’s Arab citizens wish the Palestinian people well, as a matter of course.

But, and I mean this, I also believe that Israel’s Arab citizens wish the Jews, who live together with us in Israel well, since that is a condition of our well-being, too.

During wartime, one side wins and the other loses — it doesn’t matter which side is which — and the hearts of Israeli Arabs are torn, and they find themselves in an impossible situation. A state of peace is the only way that both sides can win.

Israel and Palestine and Israel’s Arab citizens can identify with this with all their hearts, with no reservations. We have suffered doubly in each war, and we win doubly with every step we take toward peace. Therefore, it is no wonder that the Arabs in Israel support peace unreservedly, and will continue to do so.

Peace between two peoples, between two national movements, the healing of the wounds of both peoples in the wake of all the wars — these are the deepest wishes of Israel’s Arabs. Harmony between nations and citizens, finding a way out of the tragic and ongoing quandary of war between the Palestinian people and the country where we live and will continue to live.

I have decided to be involved in everything that happens in my country, and not to be apathetic. I do not want to stand on the sidelines. I want to be in the center of change and transformation, and break out of the nationalistic box.

About the Author
Abdullah Abed al-Rahman, a Zionist and social activist, comes from the Israeli-Arab village of Abu Ghosh.
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