Why Rebels Must Be Middle Class

By Baram, Daphna | New Statesman (1996), September 20, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Why Rebels Must Be Middle Class


Baram, Daphna, New Statesman (1996)


How could a 28-year-old secretary, a devoted Likud voter with no record of political activism, find herself being interrogated for a month at the headquarters of Israel's security services? And how could she get herself sentenced to four months of "administrative detention" without trial, a punishment usually reserved for Palestinian activists? That is what happened to Tali Fahima this month, and her story tells us a great deal about Israel today.

Fahima began wondering about the roots of Israeli-Palestinian violence during the past year. She decided to meet Zakariya Zubeidi, leader of the Jenin refugee camp. She spent a couple of weeks in the camp, hanging out with him and other militants, helping with educational projects and fundraising for children.

After her arrest, the Israeli media described her as a new version of Mata Hari. Even the liberal Haaretz said that she was Zubeidi's lover, although there was no evidence. The security services leaked apparently groundless accusations against her: she had assisted in terrorist attacks, attempted to smuggle a bomb into Israel, and so on.

It is not unheard of for Israelis to visit Zubeidi, who has survived at least five Israel Defence Forces attempts on his life. I personally know of five lefty activists who have enjoyed his hospitality during the past month. None was arrested or interrogated. So why was Fahima?

The answer is that her profile does not fit the bill. The Israeli security services know what a lefty activist should be like: a student or academic from a middle-class background, preferably of Ashkenazi (European Jewish) descent, who is a member of one of the tiny leftist groups.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Why Rebels Must Be Middle Class
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?