"Rouhana's book is indispensable for understanding the predicament
of Arabs living in a Jewish ethnic state. He writes with rare
integrity and impeccable scholarship on an issue that must be
addressed before peace will prevail in the Holy Land". -- Meron
Benvenisti, former deputy mayor of Jerusalem
What kind of relationship must be built between states and their
ethnic minorities in order to avoid intergroup conflict? This
fascinating book examines the situation of Arab Palestinian
citizens of Israel, analyzing how the Palestinian collective
identity has been shaped by social and political forces and how it
poses major challenges to Israel's policies, structure, and
Nadim Rouhana, who grew up as a Palestinian in Israel, draws on
surveys, interviews, and archival research to examine how the
Palestinian identity has evolved in response to Israel's three
guiding -- and conflicting -- principles: Israel as a Jewish state,
as a democracy, and as a state with deep security needs. He
discusses the consequences of Israel's ideology, policy, and
practices toward the Arab minority; the effect of major
developments in the Arab world, particularly in the Palestinian
communities in exile and in the West Bank and Gaza; and the impact
of changes within the Palestinian community in Israel such as
demography, level of education, socioeconomic structure, and
political culture. Arguing that in a multiethnic state, conflict
becomes inevitable unless citizenship emerges as a common and
equally meaningful identity to the various ethnonational groups, he
concludes by exploring the possibilities of negotiating a new and
common identity between Israel and its Arab minority.
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