"And They Call This Coexistence"

Ferrah Merali shines a light on Palestinian rap:

Rap in Israel-Palestine is its own animal, tied up in all the complexities of the region’s larger conflictincluding, for example, discrimination against Palestinians from Arab countries. The Middle East’s Arab nations have historically been loath to allow Palestinians to settle on their soil, in an effort to force Israel to recognize the refugees’ right of return to their ancestral lands. Arab-Israeli artists complain of another prejudice: Middle Eastern record companies won’t sign them because they hold blue Israeli identity cards and passports.

“Living in occupied Palestine, having the blue ID, we feel like we don’t have an identity,” says Safa Hathoot of Arapiat, the first all-woman Palestinian hip hop act. “Here in Israel people treat us like a Palestinian, and outside Israel, they treat us as Israeli.”