Palestinian Journalists Syndicate expels member for normalizing ties with Israel

The decision to expel Mismar was taken because of her participation in the Joint Memorial Day Ceremony, which took place last month.

Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (photo credit: MEDIA LINE)
Palestinian Journalist Syndicate
(photo credit: MEDIA LINE)

Palestinian journalist and peace activist Rafa Mismar has been expelled from the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) on charges of promoting normalization with Israel.

PJS, which is dominated by members of the ruling Fatah faction headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement that the decision to expel Mismar was because of her participation in last month’s joint Memorial Day Ceremony.

Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day

The Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day takes place every year on the eve of Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorism.

 Palestinians, Israelis and politicians attend a memorial ceremony commemorating the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Tel Aviv on May 3, 2022, as Israel marks the annual Remembrance Day, on May 3, 2022. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90) Palestinians, Israelis and politicians attend a memorial ceremony commemorating the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Tel Aviv on May 3, 2022, as Israel marks the annual Remembrance Day, on May 3, 2022. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)

The ceremony was initiated by Buma Inbar, whose son was killed in Lebanon in 1995, and other peace activists, together with the Combatants for Peace movement. The first ceremony took place in 2006.

This year’s ceremony was broadcast from two sites: Bet Jala (near Bethlehem), hosted by Mismar, and Smolarz Auditorium in Tel Aviv University, hosted by Yossi Zabari, a spoken-word artist.

Mismar’s participation in the event drew criticism from several Palestinians, including journalists who called on the syndicate to take punitive measures against her for allegedly promoting normalization with Israel.

“This participation exceeds normalization to the point of accepting inferiority and identifying with the narrative of the occupation and promoting it.” 

PJS

The syndicate said an investigation it conducted found that the Israeli-Palestinian ceremony was a “normalization conference that equates between the killer and the victim and disregards the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Mismar’s participation in the ceremony and other meetings with Israelis indicates her “insistence on proceeding with the policy that is rejected by our people, institutions and unions.”

Noting that its regulations prohibit members from engaging in normalization activities with Israelis, the syndicate said that Mismar’s participation in the ceremony coincided with the killing of Palestinians, including journalists, by the IDF.

“This participation exceeds normalization to the point of accepting inferiority and identifying with the narrative of the occupation and promoting it,” the syndicate explained.

It claimed that the Palestinian journalist and peace activist had ignored a request from PJS to appear before a special panel to explain her actions. She also failed to renew her press card for several years, the syndicate added.