Hey, check this. I mentioned not long ago that Daniel Barenboim had been granted a Palestinian passport, making him, probably the first person to have dual Israeli-Palestinian nationality. Well, he wrote a little piece on it in the Guardian’s comment is free section, and I though I’d share a bit.

For my part, when the Palestinian passport was offered to me, I accepted it in the spirit of acknowledging the Palestinian destiny which I, as an Israeli, share. A true citizen of Israel must reach out to the Palestinian people with openness, and at the very least an attempt to understand what the creation of the state of Israel has meant to them.

May 15 1948 is the day of independence for the Jews, but the same day is al-Nakba, the catastrophe, for the Palestinians. A true citizen of Israel must ask himself what the Jews, known as an intelligent people of learning and culture, have done to share their cultural heritage with the Palestinians. A true citizen of Israel must also ask himself why the Palestinians have been condemned to live in slums and accept lower standards of education and medical care, rather than being provided by the occupying force with decent, dignified and liveable conditions – a right common to all human beings.

…[T]he citizens of Israel have just as much cause to be alert to the needs and rights of the Palestinian people (both within and outside Israel) as they have to their own. After all, in the sense that we share one land and one destiny, we should all have dual citizenship.

It’s a very simple message but one that so many people forget – despite our country of birth or ethnic origin, we are all humans, we are all the same, we share one fate, and perhaps borders and nationalities confuse the real issues. Sounds trite, but I haven’t read an argument yet to convince me it’s not true.

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