Valentine/Palestine Day

Posted: February 15, 2014 in New Perspectives: Israel/Palestine

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Once upon a time.. someone decided this will be the beginning of every fary tale. And in every story there comes a moment when you have to find the one to marry, settle and make a family. What better time to think of love and future than Valentines day? Sweet hearts, pink bows, chocolate and candies wrapped in purple, roses and romantic dinners are few of the commercial traditions of our capitalist society. Every year on 14th of February Valentines Day in such a way that it became part of the unconscious mind of the population.
The legend says Valentine was a priest from Ancient Rome and the one who contested Claudius the second’s decision to forbid marriage for soldiers. He considered that single men were better soldiers and more powerful fighters as their mind was fully concentrated to war. Valentine understood the injustice surrounding this order and confronted the emperor by performing secret marriages. Unfortunately, his benevolent acts have been discovered and he was killed on 14th of February. According to another legend Valentine sent the first card to his secret lover, signed with the message “Be my Valentine!”

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Word by word, with every year the Valentine tradition became all about love, feelings expressed and proofs of commitment. This is a rather complicated issue for Palestinian nationals in Israel for when it comes to freedom of expression and the right to marry the right one. While for us aspect comes first followed by family or financial situation for an Israeli-Arab the future wife will not be chosen according to any of these aspects. First, they need to know if the Israeli authorities will allow the two lovers to live together.

According to Boston Globe, the biggest problem for the Israeli government is that many Israeli-Arabs, with Palestinian ethnicity want to marry Palestinian from Gaza and West Bank. The relationship between the two territories is sensitive enough to test love with every opportunity as in the last decades, the Israeli government did not allowed Palestinians to cross the borders and see their families. Why? Because they considered marriage certificates are used as tickets for terrorist attacks.

For ordinary people, the restrictions imposed provoked the rise of wonderful love stories with endless feelings and the promise to reunite two destinies.

According to the reference mentioned above, Israel has around 1,6 million Palestinian citizens. More than half live in West Bank and Gaza are the rest of them are caught in between, united by their kinship but separated by the most powerful, democratic wall.

Rumours say there are thousands Palestinians living illegally in Israel as they are treated to be deported any minute only for the simple fact of loving someone from the other side of the wall. Still when love is true there is not concrete, distance, cuture or nationality that can contest!

 

Happy Valentines Day!

References:

Andrei, C (2014) Customs and Traditions , Available at: http://www.ziare.com/life-style/valentine-s-day/traditii-si-obiceiuri-de-valentine-s-day-1074652 (Accessed: 15th February 2014).

Matei, M. (2013) Palestinian lovers and their drama, Available at:http://www.manager.ro/articole/analize/ce-drame-traiesc-indragostitii-palestinieni-din-cauza-restrictiilor-impuse-de-israel-39349.html (Accessed: 15th February 2014).

Written by Antonia D Hruscovschi 

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