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Same Old, Same Old

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As a Palestinian, U.S. president Donald Trump’s talk of travel restrictions, refugee and Muslim bans, and wall-building strike me as eerily familiar. Through his appointment of David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel, his stated intention to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and his bolstered military aid package amid devastating budget cuts, he has made clear his commitment to supporting Israel. Yet, quick as people are to condemn Trump’s positions on a slew of issues, few have spoken out about how his commitment to Israel fits in with the rest of his bigoted policies. In this centennial year—100 years since The Balfour Declaration, 70 years since we were ethnically cleansed from our homeland during the establishment of Israel, and 50 years since the June 1967 War (the Naksa)—many of us, descendants of refugees, remain barred from entering our homeland. Considering the Israeli policies that make it impossible to return, and the echoes of border control cropping up in American political rhetoric, I asked Palestinian-Americans from all walks of life to reflect on what this presidency means for us.

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