Our Israel

Angry over Hamas assault, influential Palestinian blogger says he is Israeli first

Arab Israeli travel blogger Nuseir Yassin declared Monday that in the wake of the Hamas terror attack that killed hundreds inside Israel, he now sees himself as Israeli first and Palestinian second.

Yassin, who is famous for the “Nas Daily” videoblog, has over 21 million followers on his Facebook page.

In a post to his X (formerly Twitter) account, which has 96,000 followers, Yassin wrote that the weekend assault has changed how he sees his national identity and that he does not want to live under a Palestinian government.

“Sometimes it takes a shock like this to see so clearly,” he said.

Hundreds of Palestinian terrorists, led by Hamas, breached the border from the Gaza Strip in Israel early Saturday and rampaged lethally through the surrounding region, killing over 700 and injuring over 2,000. In addition, Hamas fired over 5,000 rockets at towns across Israel. Gunmen also kidnapped over 100 men, women, and children from Israel whom they took to Gaza as captives.

“For the longest time, I struggled with my identity,” wrote Yassin, 31, from the Lower Galilee town of Arraba. “A Palestinian kid born inside Israel. Like…wtf. Many of my friends refuse to this day to say the word ‘Israel’ and call themselves ‘Palestinian’ only.”

“But since I was 12, that did not make sense to me,” he said. “So I decided to mix the two and become a ‘Palestinian-Israeli.’ I thought this term reflected who I was. Palestinian first. Israeli second.”

“But after recent events, I started to think. And think. And think. And then my thoughts turned to anger,” he continued. “I realized that if Israel were to be ‘invaded’ like that again, we would not be safe. To a terrorist invading Israel, all citizens are targets.”

He noted that among the people killed by the terrorists were 40 Arabs “killed by other Arabs.”

“I do not want to live under a Palestinian government,” he said. “Which means I only have one home, even if I’m not Jewish: Israel.”

“That’s the country I want to see continue to exist so I can exist,” Yassin wrote. “Palestine should exist too as an independent state. And I hope to see the country thrive and become less extreme and more prosperous. I love Palestine and have invested in Palestine. But it’s not my home.”

“So from today forward, I view myself as an ‘Israeli-Palestinian.’ Israeli first. Palestinian second.”

Yassin, who grew up in Israel but moved to Singapore last year, has gained millions of social media followers through his travel videos. He has previously been the target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, which called for a boycott of Nas Academy.

JTA contributed to this report.

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