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The Other’s Other

Reflections and Opacities in an Arab College in Israel

Helen Paloge

A challenge, a mission, a hope for a better life for all in an embattled country. This was the author’s vision in The Other’s Other. The challenge turned out to be greater and different than imagined; the mission more exasperating; the hope, more complicated. The book offers a new perspective on the problematic encounter between Jewish and Arab Israelis through the experience of a Jewish lecturer at an Arab college in an Arab city in Israel. The author’s unique insights into Arab Israeli culture gleaned from conversations with staff and students, students’ work, and everyday contact offer a window on the often conflicting feelings; the ambiguities, ambivalent identities, and layers of reality; the questions, doubts and dilemmas that mark the struggle of Arabs and Jews living in one country. It is also a meditation on the rewards and difficulties of discovering and accepting the other – and oneself as the other’s other. Of coexistence.


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Chapter 7: Condemnation


The Other’s Other128 Notes 1 We know that in schools, children are encouraged to use the internet for investigation and communication. They are too often not discouraged from simply performing the copy/paste action once they find the material they’re looking for. But no teacher would actually permit this as a method of research, except in documentation and citation. 2 Seventy is the passing grade. Those 2 points have been made into a demilitarized zone, in which teachers and students meet and negotiate, usually to the benefit of the student. C H A P T E R S E V E N Condemnation Israeli Arabs move in a changing, multi-layered society. As a result, they have developed a complex world view incorporating layers of different values and understandings into a matrix unique to this part of the world. The Israeli society, of which they are a part, has become more open to incorporating Arabs even as it has become more conservative and racist. There are Arab doctors and lawyers working alongside Jews in hospitals and offices around the country whose concrete was poured and floors tiled by the fathers and uncles of this new Arab middle class. The Arab sector has also progressed, and has begun to provide a demand for professionals. The aspiring bourgeois minority, polished and groomed, with a Hebrew that rivals that of any well-educated Israeli, are also, however, the openly discriminated against second class citizens to whom some doors are closed due to issues of national and...

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