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Switch to Forum Live View What is a person's "true identity"? - The case of Andreij Pshenichnikov
2 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2012 - 11:16AM #1
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

It's been in the news for a few days now: The story of the Israeli, ex-IDF career soldier, who wants to resign Israeli citizenship & become part of the Palestinian nation. As could be expected, nobody's really happy about this, except maybe what here is commonly called "the leftist press in the West".


The story is an interesting search for identity. The man was born in Tajikistan, 23 years ago, to Jewish parents. 11 years ago, the family moved to Israel. After ending his contract with the IDF, he worked as a waiter in Bethlehem, later as a construction worker in refugee camp Deheishe.


A sentence that struck me as particularly odd in this context are these words from Abdel-Fatah Hamayel, the governor of Bethlehem: "If people knew his true identity, there’s no guarantee for his safety." You can find this quote in the WaPo article linked below.


What's that suposed to be, one's "true identity"?


What's that in this particular case?


In my view, this man is just like any single one of us, trying to live a life in which he can be himself and not some mere image and hollow stance - only a little bit more self-aware of the problems involved in this effort than the average human. What "true identity" could people come to know about him?


www.washingtonpost.com/national/former-i...


www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/i...


Oh and, I'd appreciate it very much if we wouldn't need to rehearse again the eternal buzzword exchange ("there is no Palestinian nationality" etc.) but stay a bit focused on this case.


Thank you!

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2012 - 5:09PM #2
Miraj
Posts: 5,021

He should be patient.  Pretty soon, both will be one.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 16, 2012 - 7:24AM #3
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

I don't think patience is a good strategy for a young man in his early 20s.


If you start waiting, get accustomed to it, then one day your lifetime will suddenly end with nothing much having happened in it. Such frustration, or the anticipation thereof, bears things like the Arab Spring for good reason.


We're not on this planet to wait.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 16, 2012 - 4:32PM #4
Miraj
Posts: 5,021

Jun 16, 2012 -- 7:24AM, CharikIeia wrote:


I don't think patience is a good strategy for a young man in his early 20s.


If you start waiting, get accustomed to it, then one day your lifetime will suddenly end with nothing much having happened in it. Such frustration, or the anticipation thereof, bears things like the Arab Spring for good reason.


We're not on this planet to wait.




Well, sometimes you have no choice but to wait.  Adulthood is full of surprises like that.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 5:19AM #5
shmuelgoldstein
Posts: 2,503

Jun 15, 2012 -- 11:16AM, CharikIeia wrote:

A sentence that struck me as particularly odd in this context are these words from Abdel-Fatah Hamayel, the governor of Bethlehem: "If people knew his true identity, there’s no guarantee for his safety."


Why is that odd?


Oh, you are in liberal-minded, everybody-is-the-same Europe. I see.


Well, it's not like that here.


If Arabs in the PA or even in Jordan knew he is Jewish, then they may very well lynch the guy.


I know from personal experience.


And btw, it is policy for the Jordanian officials that any Jews coming in to the country should not have signs of being Jewish on him or her. The guys must remove their kippas (called "provocative head-covering"), and tefillin are not allowed in at all.


As for the PA, Israel law prohibits Israelis from going in, because Israel cannot guarantee their safety. In practice, this applies only to Israeli Jews, not Israeli Arabs. Now, *that*"s Apartheid !!


Jun 15, 2012 -- 11:16AM, CharikIeia wrote:

In my view, this man is just like any single one of us, trying to live a life in which he can be himself and not some mere image and hollow stance ...



You are sweet, and woefully naive.


It  doesn't work that way here in the Middle East.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 9:39AM #6
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

Jun 17, 2012 -- 5:19AM, shmuelgoldstein wrote:


Jun 15, 2012 -- 11:16AM, CharikIeia wrote:

A sentence that struck me as particularly odd in this context are these words from Abdel-Fatah Hamayel, the governor of Bethlehem: "If people knew his true identity, there’s no guarantee for his safety."


Why is that odd?



I think I explained that already.



Oh, you are in liberal-minded, everybody-is-the-same Europe. I see.



No, and what you say doen't make much sense. Those who deny individualism are the nationalists and tribalists, who think a "true identity" can be inferred by just looking at the most superficial surface.



Well, it's not like that here.


If Arabs in the PA or even in Jordan knew he is Jewish, then they may very well lynch the guy.


I know from personal experience.



Terrible. But then, why would "being Jewish" be a "true identity", while "being a construction worker in Deheishe" would not?



And btw, it is policy for the Jordanian officials that any Jews coming in to the country should not have signs of being Jewish on him or her. The guys must remove their kippas (called "provocative head-covering"), and tefillin are not allowed in at all.



Given what you just sketched, this seems to be a very smart rule. In the end, outward symbols don't matter at all, and it should be very easy to not insist on them.



As for the PA, Israel law prohibits Israelis from going in, because Israel cannot guarantee their safety. In practice, this applies only to Israeli Jews, not Israeli Arabs. Now, *that*"s Apartheid !!



Sounds weird. Does Israel also prohibit Israelis from bungee jumping, diving, or kitesurfing because it cannot guarantee their safety?



Jun 15, 2012 -- 11:16AM, CharikIeia wrote:

In my view, this man is just like any single one of us, trying to live a life in which he can be himself and not some mere image and hollow stance ...


You are sweet, and woefully naive.


It  doesn't work that way here in the Middle East.



So, one can't be a free individual, in the Middle East?


Are there any forces that work towards a situation in which one can be?

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 4:50PM #7
BDboy
Posts: 6,215

Jun 17, 2012 -- 9:39AM, CharikIeia wrote:


 Terrible. But then, why would "being Jewish" be a "true identity", while being a construction worker in Deheishe would not?




 


>>>>>> Good question. Right now Palestine is under occupation for over 60 years. Israel pretty much acts like typical colonial master when it comes to non-Jews in Palestine.


My guess is after going through so many changes in status, false promises of peace etc your average Palestinians have a little "Trust" issue with Jewish people.


I feel when this young man spends enough time with the locals, they will accept him. As PLO have few non-Muslims in their leadership (If my memoy serves me correct that does include at least one Israeli jewish person). There are number of Jewish organizations that support mainstream Palestinian cause and feel Palestinians have right to have their own state. They don't agree with Israeli policies as well. So this young man probably need to work with the locals to calm them down and everything will work out.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 4:52PM #8
ted08721
Posts: 3,776

What a good example not only to other Jews and Israelis but also to those that claim to be Christian

Moderated by rangerken on Jun 17, 2012 - 10:21PM
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 17, 2012 - 10:02PM #9
LeahOne
Posts: 16,478

"Right now Palestine is under occupation for over 60 years"


What is THAT supposed to mean, BDBoy?     I thought you were not interested in discussing 'ancient history'?

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2012 - 2:33AM #10
NahumS
Posts: 1,772

"Those who deny individualism are the nationalists and tribalists, who think a "true identity" can be inferred by just looking at the most superficial surface."


But our ethnicity is an essential part of our identity. As is gender. It's part of our DNA and there's nothing superficial about that. And it expresses itself in a myriad of ways.


When someone tells us not to wear a kippah (or a hijab, for that matter) they are saying that we can't be who we are. It is saying that our values don't count. That's an serious sign of disrespect.


Obviously, we are all individuals and we are all human beings and that transcends our ethnicity. But it's all tied up as to who we are.


This fellow has a problem. He may just be a peculiar character. But perhaps not...


I see this as a failure of Israeli society - even after his time in the army, he doesn't feel part of Israel, nor part of the Jewish people. I think that this indicates the shallowness of secular Israeli identity, that is disconnected with Jewish history, faith and tradition. Teaching someone Hebrew and sending him to the IDF just isn't enough ....


 


I went back and read the articles. He doesn't want to change his ethnicity - he just identifies with Israel's enemies.


I have no problem with a leftist who thinks that a Palestinian state would be in Israel's benefit, or who disagrees with Israel's policies. Or even someone who ideologically is not a Zionist.This is a democracy and as such, citizens have every right to hold their own opinions. And if he would rather be a waiter or construction worker in Bethlehem, that's his problem and the problem of the PA.


But supporting terror is treason and, if that is what he is doing, he should be in jail.

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