“The socialist Zionism of the Habonim youth movement was central to my early years, providing my base during the 1970s when the Jewish settlement of the Occupied Territories began. I need not belabor the point that from that date on, the Palestinian land that has been expropriated for Jews has grown by leaps and bounds and that the tactics used by the State of Israel to suppress the Palestinians have grown harsher and harsher,” Diner said.“Nor do I need to say that the exponential growth of far right political parties and the increasing Haredization of Israel, makes it a place that I abhor visiting, and to which I will contribute no money, whose products I will not buy, nor will I expend my limited but still to me, meaningful, political clout to support it,” Diner added.
“While in Israel this year I lost count of the number of times I was quizzed as to my religious heritage by random Israelis. The question,“Are you a Jew?” was asked of me more in a month than at any other time in my life. Refusing to answer caused some consternation – and where all interactions are guided by fears of the Palestinian majority, of the loss of “the Jewish democratic state”, I can see why. As a counterpoint I also experimented with purposefully telling Palestinians that I am Jewish, the primary reaction being surprise, then pleasure, and the short response: “welcome”.