Our Ethnonationalism Panel with JStreet

August 10, 2019

While our media focuses on the latest inflammatory tweet by President Trump, we encourage the public at large to take a step back and recognize that this kind of bigoted rhetoric is just a symptom of a much larger problem. This problem - the rise of rampant and violent nationalism - is what truly deserves our focus and collective efforts to resolve. Nationalism isn’t just an American problem, it’s a world-wide phenomenon. We held a panel on Ethnonationalism in Israel and America in partnership with J-Street, a leading pro-peace, pro-Israel voice in the Jewish Community, to discuss this issue and its ramifications specifically in America and Israel.

“Whenever anyone says ‘we are better than them’ THAT is ethnonationalism. It is that kind of racism that we’re all dealing with” - Salam Al-Marayati

MPAC President and co-founder, Salam Al-Marayati, moderated the panel which hosted Josh Lockman, Southwest Regional Director of J Street, Hedab Tarifi and Rabbi Ken Chasen, Leo Baeck Temple. Throughout the evening, the panelists drew parallels between what is happening in America today, with the rise in hate crimes towards our communities, and with what Israel is doing in Palestine.

Some of the most important takeaways from the night were:

  • Trump and his advisors have not supported the 2 state solution, nor have they met with Palestinians or proposed a new solution to the conflict. Some believe that this is an inidcation of the governments hope for Palestinian statehood to die. 
  • Hate is the common thread between Israel and America today. The segregation in Israel is based on ethnonationalism and this is an indication of where America is headed today if we do not take proactive measures to counter it.  
  • Whether we support the one-state solution or the two-state solution, we need to start having difficult conversations now. If we rush either method, the potential for relapse will increase significantly. 

“Hate toward ‘the other’ is the reason behind all of these discriminatory laws. Only by ensuring justice for everyone, can we obtain peace.” - Hedab Tarifi



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