“Inside Israel, we are Palestinians too.”
When solidarity protests erupted across the country in May, a Palestinian resident in the city of Lydd (or Lod, as Israel renamed it) told AJ+ that local Jewish Israelis marked their homes with red paint so they could be targeted for attacks by armed settlers.
This is part of a much larger project happening in Lydd, where ultranationalist Jewish Israelis have been moving into the city for over a decade with resources and support from the state. The group is called the Garin Torani, or “Torah Seeds,” and its goal is to create a Jewish majority in Arab-majority neighborhoods. Residents we spoke with say that while the city has welcomed these Jewish settlers, it has also ignored the basic needs of Palestinian citizens.
In the aftermath of recent violence that left two people dead, one Jewish and the other Palestinian, new levels of mistrust and generational trauma are haunting these residents.
AJ+ went to Lydd to find out how Palestinians with Israeli citizenship are challenging the country’s de facto policy of divide and rule while demanding freedom from colonial oppression.