Nazareth-born political and social activist Abir Kopty has objected to her inclusion in Haaretz's "66 Israeli Women You Should Know" project, a tribute to women marking Israel's 66 years of independence.
"I was included in this list without knowing about it," Kopty wrote on her blog. "Firstly, it is NOT an honor to me, at all, to be included in anything that has to do with the day Israelis celebrate colonialism of my land and displacement of my people.
"Secondly, I’m not an 'Israeli woman,' not an 'Israeli Arab.' How many times should we repeat this?"
Haaretz described Kopty as "an Israeli Arab political and social activist [with] more than 18,000 followers on her blog and roughly the same number on Twitter, where her main message has been: 'Down with the occupation.'
”Born in Nazareth in 1975, she served on the city’s municipal council and was spokeswoman for the Mossawa Center, which promotes equality for Israel’s Arab citizens. Kopty is also active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, better known as BDS, which many consider to be the bane of Israel’s existence these days. During the social protests that swept through Israel in summer 2011, Kopty helped set up 'Tent 48,' drawing attention to the ills of the occupation.
"She holds a master’s degree in political communication from the City University of London and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Berlin, where she is exploring (no big surprise here) the role of social media in the political participation of young Palestinians."
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