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Send an important message of acceptance by not outlawing the Palestinian flag

The Palestinian flag (credit: Makbula Nassar / Wikimedia Commons).

Members of the Knesset are expected to vote on banning flags of enemy states, including the Palestinian flag. I hope that they vote down this proposal.

A Jerusalem Post editorial makes an excellent argument against the ban, stating that, “A strong, confident country is not spooked or unnerved by someone else’s flag. Israel’s sovereignty is not at risk because of some Palestinian flags.”

I would go even farther than that. Israel should welcome the Palestinian flag. It is the symbol of the Palestinian nation, i.e., the Palestinian people. A nation is bigger than a state, and it is certainly bigger than the terrorist organizations that use the Palestinian flag for their own purposes.

Jewish extremists were recently filmed chanting “death to Arabs”. Israel’s foreign Minister Yair Lapid called them a disgrace. He also said, “The fact that there are extremist elements for whom the Israeli flag represents hatred and racism is abominable and unforgivable.” Yet, Lapid did not call for a ban on the Israeli flag. That’s because he rightfully makes a distinction between what the flag symbolizes (the nation of Israel) and those who wave the flags (in this case, far-right Jewish extremists that Israel’s Defense Minister would like to consider designating as terrorists).

While groups like Hamas may be the enemies of Israel, the Palestinian nation is not the enemy of Israel. Many Palestinians cross into Israel daily and help Israel by working in factories, construction, the food industry, and more. According to the Jerusalem Post, over 100,000 Palestinians work for Israelis. These are not enemies of Israel.

The objective of most Israelis is to one day live at peace with the Palestinians. Most Israelis do not see individual Palestinians as their enemies, yet individual Palestinians see the Palestinian flag as their flag.

Much of the world demonizes Israelis by claiming they are the reason why there is no peace. Prove them wrong! By accepting that the Palestinian flag be flown in Israel, Israel would be sending a strong message that it does not consider the Palestinian people its enemy. I urge members of the Knesset to send that message.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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