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Listening to the Displaced Narrative: Politics, Power and Grassroots Communication Amongst Palestinians Inside Israel

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Understanding the channels through which political ideas are constructed and shared at an everyday level should be central to any study of community politics. Amongst the Palestinians who represent 20% of the Israeli population, yet who have no space to express national identity at state level, the grassroots arena becomes a primary site for communication of national/ist politics. This article explores multiple ways in which the 1948 Nakba is represented and mediated amongst Palestinians inside Israel in the face of six decades of Israeli silencing of Palestinian politics. Using ethnographic research I demonstrate how reflecting on grassroots political communication – as opposed to offi cial party rhetoric - contributes to an understanding of how Palestinians construct ideas and identities as citizens in the Israeli state. In communicating ideas about the 1948 Nakba – which of all themes the Israeli state is most keen to suppress – displaced Palestinian voices continue to challenge the Israeli hegemonic narrative.


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