Endorsing some sanctions against Israel, Beinart calls on progressive Jews to take on establishment Jews

“The appeal is sectarian: to Jewish progressives, not Americans as such. Beinart doesn’t completely trust non-Jewish critics of Israel”

He might want to read an interview with William Nassar and others like him, “Je suis juive et mon fils est fidayi”…

” This movement of “traitorism,” has been followed by well-known individuals like Ilan Halevi, Uri Davis, and Tali Fahima, Jewish Israeli citizens who supported or joined Fatah. Little work, however, has been done to identify and analyze communities of Palestinians with recent Jewish ancestry, if not by faith, then by familial ties. These people belonged to one constantly interacting and dynamic community in the former Ottoman Empire stretching at least from Syria to Egypt and did not form a part of the Israeli identity, by choice or by chance. Instead, as Palestinians and refugees, they opted to struggle directly against Zionism in the period directly after the Nakba. These individuals pose a direct counterpoint to the mainstream narrative, even within anti-Zionist frameworks, which erases the full histories of Palestinian Jewry…..

Although not numerically large and very difficult to identify due to conversion and other factors, a surprisingly high proportion of Palestinian Jews actively joined and led the Palestinian national liberation struggle: Fatah members William Nassar, Nabil Nassar, and Samir Abu Ghazaleh, and PFLP leader Kamal Nammari among them. Odette Nassar, the mother of William and Nabil, identifies at least 550 families of Jewish women married to Palestinian refugees whose “sons are, or will be, fedayeen.”[2] The narratives and histories of these individuals contribute to a better understanding of the conception of identity in a pre-Zionist, multi-ethnic, and multireligious Ottoman Palestine, and help the anti-Zionist movement globally to reframe its struggle as one not between religious groups, but rather a direct confrontation between settler colonialism and an indigenous population of all religions.

William Najib Nassar, noms de guerre Louie al-Jabi, George Habayeb, Nidal Mansour, Abu Mohammed, was born in Jerusalem in 1946 to a Palestinian Christian father, Najib, and a Palestinian-Egyptian Jewish mother, Odette. Two years later, during the Nakba, Nassar and his family were in Alexandria, Egypt where his father was pursuing a Master’s in archeology. The family had to relocate to Ramallah where much of their extended family had fled from Jerusalem. Beginning as a student at St. George’s School in East Jerusalem and inspired by the achievements of Gamal Nasser and other Arab nationalists, Nassar was active in the Jordanian section of the Ba’ath Party from the age of fourteen. He rose to be the head of the party branch within his school. In 1965, Nassar joined al-Asifa, the military wing of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) in which he remains until today. As part of Fatah, and against the wishes of his parents, he travelled to Lebanon, Syria, Germany, China, Spain, Algeria, and other countries to train new fedayeen and receive military training himself. In 1968, during a commando operation near Jerusalem, Nassar was captured, imprisoned, and tortured. He remained in Israeli military prison for twelve years before being released in a prisoner exchange in 1980. After imprisonment, Nassar went to Tunisia to join the exiled leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization where he remained, before he was able to return to the West Bank after the end of the First Intifada. He is the author of the autobiography, Taghribat Bani Fath: arba’un ‘am fi matahah Fathawiyah, available in Arabic.

Alexi Shalom (AS): I understand your mother was Jewish and she was from Lebanon. Can you tell me about her, how your parents met, and what she thought about your activity in the resistance movement?

William Nassar (WN): Let me begin by saying that I never felt Jewish. My mother rarely spoke about her Jewish past, but she had good contacts with her family, and she used to go visit them and they all spoke Arabic, and they never sympathized with Israel. My older aunt lived in Lebanon; she got married to a Jew from Lebanon, and had two sons. Both of them were very close to us, and I never felt that they saw anything different between us. Her daughter got married later on to a Muslim, and she had one son and three daughters, so they are all Muslims. Her son got married to a Lebanese Jew and they had one son and one daughter, but her son died young and his wife took the children and went to Israel, so I do not know anything about them. My only uncle from my mother’s side after 1956 went to Paris and lived there. He had two sons. They lived there. I visited them once. We were always on good relations with them; we never spoke politics. They were never sympathizers with Zionist ideas. They lived in Paris. They refused to go to Israel”


Source Article from https://mondoweiss.net/2019/05/endorsing-progressive-establishment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=endorsing-progressive-establishment

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