|Uri Davis at the IHRC conference in London, Summer 2006|
Uri Davis (b: 1943), a Jewish citizen of Israel who grew up in Kfar Shmariyahu, was elected in August 2009 to the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, the biggest grouping in the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Today (2009), when he is married to a Muslim Palestinian, Davis describes himself as "a Palestinian Hebrew of Jewish origins" but his autobiography, published in 1995, was entitled Crossing the Border: an autobiography of an anti-Zionist Palestinian Jew. In any event, it is worth noting that, when he was born in Jerusalem, Palestine was still undivided.
Davis is a founder of MAIAP (the Movement Against Israeli Apartheid in Palestine). He is also involved in several other organizations, including MIFTAH (the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy) and Al-Beit (the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Israel). For almost forty years, he has worked to expose the truth about Israeli "democracy". He is probably best known for his book, "Israel: An Apartheid State" (Zed Books, London, 1987; Media Review Network, Pretoria, 2001), which analyses Israeli legislation and shows that Israel is merely a herrenvolk democracy -- a state which offers first-class rights to only a subset of its citizenry.
He is an anthropologist who, in addition to a PhD in Philosophical Anthropology, also holds a BA in Arabic and Philosophy and an MA in Philosophy. Dr. Davis is an honorary research fellow at the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (IMEIS) in the University of Durham (United Kingdom) and at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) in the University of Exeter (United Kingdom).
Now, being married to a Palestinian Muslim who is not allowed to live In Israel, Dr. Davis treats his residence details as private but, in the early years of this century, he lived in Sakhnin, an Arab city in northern Israel. His choice of residence at that time was indicative of his committment to a future in which all residents of Israel/Palestine will enjoy equal rights. It should be noted that, as a Jew, Dr. Davis is free to live anywhere in Israel, while there are many places in which his Arab neighbours in Sakhnin, would not, precisely because they are non-Jews, be allowed to live. Indeed, in this article, Dr. Davis tells us that the city of Karmiel, located less than 20 minutes north of Sakhnin by car, was declared, on its establishment in 1964, as a place in which only Jews could live.