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Israeli Arab dentists in Colombia conference singing anti-Israeli anthem

Dozens of Arab dentists who were hosted at an international professional conference in Colombia as official representatives of the State Israel refused to sing “Hatikvah,” their country’s national anthem, and instead sang the unofficial Palestinian national anthem “Fidai,” Israel’s Channel 20 reported Tuesday.



The Arabic word the word fidai is the singular form of fidaʼiyin, meaning those who sacrifice themselves. In the 1950s and ’60s, Arab infiltrators across the green line who ambushed and killed Israeli civilians were known as fidaʼiyin (later replaced by Sha’hids, which means roughly the same thing).

Here are two verses of Fidai:

With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my vendetta
With the longing in my blood for my land and my home
I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars
I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers

With the resolve of the winds and the fire of the weapons
And the determination of my nation in the land of struggle
Palestine is my home, and the path of my triumphal
(Palestine is my home, Palestine is my fire,)
Palestine is my vendetta and the land of withstanding

Or perhaps MK Ayman Odeh meant this kind of solidarity, whereby Israeli Arab dentists were sent to Columbia as representatives of Israel and they refused to sing the Israeli national anthem, choosing instead to sing “Mawtini”. At first, it was erroneously reported that they sang the Palestinian anthem “Fida’i” and in justifying their decision to sing Mawtini, they said that it is just a popular song in Arab culture. However, a Palestinian website tells the truth about Mawtini:

    Today, Mawtini is widely sung in Palestine, throughout the Palestinian diaspora and across     the Arab world. It is also the national anthem of Iraq, sung by Iraqis not only at official events     but also at anti-government protests. It is an anti-colonial anthem put to music by composers     in the employ of French colonial authorities, a national anthem that transcends national     borders – written in Lebanon with Palestine in mind and sung by people from Turkey to     Algeria. The story of Mawtini is as full of contradictions as that of the Arab region itself, torn     apart by colonialism and violence and looking for an anthem to inspire the dream of a better     future.

I cannot imagine any group of Jewish dentists, citizens of Canada, being sent to another country as representatives of Canada refusing to sing “O Canada”. Can you?


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