“It’s a Zionist conspiracy,” an educated Arab man exclaimed after I informed him that Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) consider all Arabic-speaking Israelis to be “Arabs.” So, why is what seems to be a boon to the Palestinian cause instead looked as an act of villainy? The answer has to do with self-identity and the notion of nationality. In general, Muslims of the Middle East have never fully bought into the Western idea of nationality. That much is evident by the present crumbling of the post-Word War I artificial states created by the Sykes-Picot Agreement, namely Syria, Iraq, Lebanon…
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