‘I am proud of my religion’ – Jerusalem girl
A Palestinian teenager has said she was proud to be an Israeli Jew in her new hometown of Lod and that the Israeli authorities should apologise for what she said were racist remarks about her religion.
Mahmoud Nader, 14, from the village of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank city of Hebron, spoke to Haaretz ahead of the launch of a new online book titled “I am Proud of My Religion.”
The book, which is titled “Emancipate the Palestinian People from the Occupied Territories,” was published last month by the Jerusalem-based nonprofit group Adalah.
Nader, who attends a nearby secondary school, told Haaretz she is an “Israeli citizen” and is “happy to be Israeli” and proud of her Jewishness.
She said she had a family member who was an Israeli citizen and that she is proud of the fact that she and her parents are Jewish.
The book comes after the publication of an article in Haaretz that said Nader was told that she was not allowed to use the term “Palestinian.”
“I was told by a teacher at the school that it’s illegal to say the term Palestinian.
I was told I’m not allowed in the school, because I’m an Israeli and I am proud to say it,” Nader said.
“And I said to myself, if it was a Christian or Muslim, I’d be proud of them.
But it’s not.”
Nader said she is now using her own pseudonym to speak out in solidarity with Palestinians who are facing discrimination.
The article was published on January 14.
The following day, Nader spoke at the Women of the Wall event in Jerusalem, where she said the Israeli occupation of the West Bank was causing a lot of suffering for Palestinians.
“It’s the occupation that is hurting the Palestinian people, because it’s hurting us in the way that we are here,” she said.
Nadar also said she hopes the book will encourage other young people in the West to speak up against racism.
“If people are listening to me and supporting this book, then we will be able to create a climate where more people will stand up and say things like this is not right and it’s discriminatory, and that’s what I’m really hoping this book can do for me and other people like me,” she added.