Caledoniyya

Israel: Love and Other Obstacles

I have become a hostage to #Jan25 – this we know.

Which is a pity, as Al-Jazeera is running a number of insightful articles on non-Egyptian subjects.

The following report by Mya Guarnieri explores the experiences of Palestinian-Jewish couples.

It is a lesser explored dimension of the Palestinian-Israeli dynamic and, as Mya concedes, an uncommon phenomena.

But when it does occur, couples are often surprised by their parents reactions, for even those who profess liberal outlooks struggle with acceptance:

Rona, a young professional Jewish woman in her early thirties who asked to be identified by a pseudonym, has kept her relationship with a Palestinian man a secret from most of her relatives for almost four years.

While her parents know and have met Rona’s boyfriend, Rona says that she is at a point where she is “actively lying” to the rest of her family.

“I don’t know how to articulate how they’d react, “Rona says. “I think that my aunt and uncle know that there is someone … and they definitely know that he’s Arab. But it’s more about my grandmother and her sisters and the older generation. It’s like if [I] were to bring home a mass murderer. It just doesn’t happen. It’s like: ‘Bring home somebody who is a total loser, but don’t bring home an Arab.”

Rona describes her parents’ political views as “moving more left but kind of traditional,” adding, “my mum always says that she thinks that the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 was a mistake and that [Israel] should have returned the territories.”

When she did talk to her parents about her boyfriend, who is a non-practicing Muslim, they sidestepped the issue of his race, focusing instead on “cultural differences”.

“I was like, ‘What are you saying? That he’s going to come home one day and want me to put on a hijab? Do you know what the cultural differences are?'” Rona recalls. “So I took immediate offense to this concept. I thought it was racist from the get go.”

Her parents also objected to the relationship because “it would be so difficult for us to live here together,” Rona says, due to the widespread discrimination they would face.

To read the full article, ‘Don’t take our girls…’, click here.

2 comments on “Israel: Love and Other Obstacles

  1. haitham
    January 30, 2011

    media media!

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