Ifat Maoz Department of Communication

Nasser: Students’ Day is a day for Jewish people

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Nasser: Students’ Day is a day for Jewish people.

Avner: You’ve got representatives on the students’ committee, they should do something. Take your complaints to your representatives. I understand the facts, but the question is whether this situation cannot be resolved. I ask you why you feel uncomfortable. You tell me you have no leisure activities. It shows your own lack of action, that you aren’t organized.

Again, one senses the different axes that don’t meet, along which Nasser and Avner are moving back and forth: Nasser takes another step in brusquely stating that Students’ Day is for Jews. He thereby suggests for the first time the one-sided Jewish meaning of “Israeliness”: a students’ day is organized for the Jewish Israeli student population, but there are other Israelis whom the Jews disregard. Avner is defending himself, while trying to ignore the challenge presented by Nasser using the same attributional bias as before. Although Avner momentarily approached Nasser personally (“why do you feel uncomfortable?”), this seems to be a rhetorical question: he again answers the question by suggesting the explanation is inaction and lack of organization on part of the Palestinians themselves.

This ends the initial dialogue between Nasser and Avner. They have defined their frame of reference, a space where they “experiment” with each other. At this stage, it is clear that Nasser is more adept in his responses and Avner has to defend himself. They confront each other again toward the end of this encounter when the discussion in the group turns to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Here Nasser starts a monologue in which he expresses additional aspects of the collective Palestinian narrative:

Nasser: The Jews get very sensitive and feel hurt when they are criticized for being racist. We Palestinians live here, we are one people…We paid the price in order for the Jews to have a state. There are many sad stories. We are one people, but we have to live all over the world. What happened to the Jews is now happening to us because of your desire to establish a Jewish state; because of this we live in the Diaspora. We have [national] feelings, and we want to establish a state. I don’t want one uncle to live in the States, one in Jordan, another in the Territories. A Palestinian state threatens you. The name of this country is Palestine. This is why I am known as a Palestinian.

In contrast with Nasser’s earlier laconic expressions, this presentation of the Palestinian narrative is much more explicit, dramatic, emotional, and openly accusatory, claiming Jewish racism and that the Palestinians pay the price for the Jews to have their own state.

Avner: Tell me, do you want Haifa and Tel Aviv?

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