Eine palästinensische Stimme – aus Israel

Der Journalist Atallah Mansour im Gespräch mit Sheren Falah Saab

Jahrzehntelang war Atallah Mansour eine bekannte Stimme der linksliberalen Tageszeitung Haaretz. Nun kommt der palästinensich-israelische Journalist (Jg. 1934) in einem ausführlichen Interview (9. Februar 2023: Israel’s Left Doesn’t Want Arabs to Be Part of the Fight’ – After 34 years of covering Arab society for Haaretz, veteran journalist Atallah Mansour is now more fearful than ever) zu dem Schluß, daß die Lage der arabisch-palästinensischen Israelis nie so gefährdet war wie heute. Das Nationalstaatgesetz von 2018 machte sie zu Bürgern zweiter Klasse. Die geplante ‚Revolution‘ der neuen Regierung hat nicht nur fatale Folgen für den rechtlichen Status aller Minderheiten in Israel, sie wird diese weiter sozial und politisch diskriminieren.

Hier Auszüge aus dem Gespräch:

”Mansour, the first Arab journalist to work in Israeli media, began his career at Haaretz in 1958 and covered Arab society over the next 34 years. “I wasn’t in anyone’s pocket nor was I a spokesman for any particular community. I did my work as a journalist,” he says. From the start, he understood the challenges involved in covering the Arab community for the Israeli media.”

My meeting with Mansour took place at his home in Nazareth several days after another round of protests against the judicial revolution planned by the Netanyahu government. Like many Arab Israelis, he expresses fear and uncertainty about the plan. He says that compared to all the other events of his long career, including the Second Lebanon War and the second intifada, “the situation this time is different from anything I’ve seen.”

“The changes this right-wing government is now proposing didn’t happen suddenly but have been taking place gradually and over an extended period of time,” he says. “In July 2018, they submitted the nation-state law [Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, which critics say turns non-Jews in Israel into second-class citizens] – that was the first breaking point. … The Declaration of Independence takes into account minorities, among them Arabs, and recognizes the principle of equality, human dignity and freedom, even if it is only in theory. But the nation-state law doesn’t relate to equal rights for minorities – even the Druze who serve in the army aren’t mentioned. The nation-state law erases minorities – we’re no longer thought of as equals. That’s the worst thing that’s happened, not just on the level of the law. We’ve seen the consequences of it and they are far-reaching.”

Even the Joint List broke up.
“That happened as part of changes underway in Arab society. I voted for the Joint List – it’s the only choice left for me – but over the years we’ve seen support for Hadash [whose roots are in the Communist Party] weaken. Once they were as strong as the sun; today, they’re barely candlelight. Meanwhile, the Muslim tendencies have strengthened throughout the Arab world – the United Arab List and Mansour Abbas are part of that phenomenon.”

Do you still believe in the two-state solution? Do you think it’s a realistic scenario?

“There’s no other solution apart from two states. But if there really isn’t any readiness to compensate the families that were expelled from here, it will never happen. Peace has a price and Israel needs to make an effort. Annexation, if it happens, will ultimately harm the State of Israel – it will no longer be the same country. How long can the Palestinians remain without equality? The number of Arabs when the state was established was about 160,000. Today we are 2 million, and we are still fighting for full equality of rights.”

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