What makes the recent events in the battle between Israel and Palestine peculiar isn’t the violence—we’re all used to hearing about that. I think what’s really startling the West (Israelis included) is that they’re finally realizing it’s not just Arabs that can be violent. The logic of the racialization of the Arab, specifically the Palestinian, is diminishing before our very eyes. I vividly remember the day that I learned I was a Palestinian-American. Not in the sense that my dad had a darker skin color or that we went to Mosque sometimes or that we would randomly fast during Ramadan or that Arabic would be spoken every now and then. I’m talking about realizing that there’s no such thing as just being Palestinian, that being a Palestinian actually means a lot of other things. I’m talking about the day I learned things about myself that I previously had been unaware. This day was September 11, 2001. On this day I learned that being an Arab meant that I was inherently violent and angry and irrational. On this day I learned that Arabs don’t respect women like the rest of the world. That our highest glory is to that of dying in the name of Allah. Oh yeah, and we love blowing ourselves up. Shit! This was all news to me.
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