Nakba, Mob Violence, and Inequality: the Past, Present, & Future of Palestinian Citizens of Israel 


Nakba, Mob Violence, and Inequality: the Past, Present, & Future of Palestinian Citizens of Israel 

Recorded on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Listen to this conversation as a podcast and subscribe to FMEP’s podcast, “Occupied Thoughts,” on iTunes | Soundcloud |Spotify

featuring Hana Amoury (Activist), Orwa Switat, PhD (Urban Planner), & Rami Younis (Director/Writer) with Sarah Anne Minkin (FMEP)

This past May, Palestinian citizens of Israel took to the streets to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians under attack in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. As many Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line and in the diaspora spoke of a new Palestinian unity, Palestinian demonstrators inside Israel were met with violence from organized gangs of Israeli Jews, leading to clashes that caused many casualties, including deaths. Israeli police not only failed to protect Palestinian citizens of Israel, but in the aftermath of the protests and clashes, police targeted thousands of Palestinian citizens with arrest. Jewish Israeli politicians incited against them and the mainstream media was flooded with articles warning of the end of “coexistence.” 

What really happened in May and what has changed since then? How does the narrative of Palestinian integration into Israel – especially into the Israeli economy – relate to those events and their aftermath? How do Palestinian citizens of Israel see their struggles relating to the struggles of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, and elsewhere? Why did Jewish mobs attack Palestinians in some cities – Lyd, Jaffa, Haifa – but not others? And how does the history and present reality of the Nakba shape Palestinian citizenship in Israel? 

To shed light on these and other issues, join Hana Amoury, expert in civil society struggles and resident of Jaffa; Orwa Switat, expert in national minorities and urban planning and resident of Haifa; and Rami Younis, writer and director currently finishing a film about Lyd, his hometown; with FMEP’s Director of Programs & Partnerships, Sarah Anne Minkin. 

Participant Bios

Hana Amoury, a resident of Jaffa, has been active for two decades in various struggles, amongst them: the struggle against the establishment of the Separation Wall in the West Bank, the housing and land struggle in Jaffa and most recently in the struggle against crime and weapons proliferation in the Palestinian society. Hana worked and volunteered in various civil society frameworks, including Sadaka Reut, a small organization promoting binational partnership in the seeking of a shared equal and just society. Recently, Hana worked in the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung as a project manager steering the foundation’s strategy towards the Palestinian society in Israel. 

Orwa Switat, PhD, is a scholar and practitioner in urban planning. He has two Bachelor’s degrees, in philosophy and political science, a Master’s and PhD degrees in urban and regional planning, from the Technion – the Institute of Technology. His research is centered on the relations between states and minorities in planning and the position of social and minority groups in planning theory and practice. He also works as a consultant for cultural and social integration in city, neighborhood, and historical urban centers plans and as a consultant for social change organizations that promote rights, justice, equality, democracy, gender empowerment, political activism, alternative planning, community empowerment within Palestinian communities. He lives in Haifa. 

Rami Younis (Director/Writer) is a Palestinian filmmaker, writer and a journalist from Lyd. Most recently, he was a 2019-20 Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School. As a journalist, he mainly wrote for the online magazine +972 and served as both writer and editor of its Hebrew sister site, “Local Call”, a journalistic project he co-founded, designed to challenge Israeli mainstream journalism outlets. Rami served as a parliamentary consultant and media spokesperson for Palestinian member of Knesset (Israeli parliament) Haneen Zoabi. Rami is also co-founder and manager of the first ever “Palestine Music Expo”: an event that connects local Palestinian music scene to the world wide industry. He’s currently finishing his first feature film: Lyd In Exile, a Sci-Fi documentary he’s been working on that tells the story of his hometown, is expected to be out and ready within the next few months. He tweets @RamiYounisPS. 


Sarah Anne Minkin, PhD is the Director of Programs & Partnerships at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. She is an expert on the intersection between Israeli civil society and Palestinian civil rights and human rights advocacy as well as the ways that American Jews approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She leads FMEP’s programming, works to deepen FMEP’s relationships with existing and potential grantees, and builds relationships with new partners in the philanthropic community. She is an affiliated faculty member at University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Right-Wing Studies. She tweets at @saminkin.

Resources shared during event: 

Follow our participants: 

From Rami Younis: 

Orwa Switat: 

See the map & pictures that Orwa put together regarding the violence in May:

Hana Amoury → “Opinion | Not ‘Clashes’ or ‘Riots’: Here’s What’s Really Happening in Jaffa” →

FMEP held many conversations around the May escalations and Palestinian citizens. See: 

On the Nakba, listen to FMEP’s conversations:

For more on the escalations and mobilizations in May in ‘48 Israel → 

To get a sense of some of the discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, check out Adalah’s database of laws which codify discrimination: