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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jews and Arabs, Can We Live Together-Nearby Peaceably?

I had been thinking of writing about my day at work.  I work at Yafiz (of Rami Levi) in Sha'ar Binyamin, north of Jerusalem.  There are two parts ot my job.  One is to keep the stock neat and attractive and the second is to help the customers choose/buy our clothes.  The media has made a big deal about the fact that Arabs shop in the Rami Levi stores in Gush Etzion, Mishor Adumim and Sha'ar Binyamin. In Jerusalem you can find Arabs shopping in the downtown stores and in the malls. It's not newsworthy, but I figured that some of my readers would be curious to know how I deal with Arab customers.

A customer is a customer. I'm there in Yafiz to sell clothes. I didn't think about the chance of Arabs going into the store when I took the job. Before I became an English teacher I worked in a bagel store and sold ready-made bagel sandwiches, salads, pastries and sodas to hitech workers in Har Chotzvim as part of my job. For the first few months I sometimes had a driver/assistant, a young Arab who was also the pastry chef. I didn't expect to have to work with an Arab, but his job made mine easier. We got along fine.

And now at Yafiz when there are Arabs looking at our stock, I go over to help, the same as I do for anyone. Sometimes it's hard to tell they're Arabs unless they're talking to one another or on their cellphone. They don't usually shop alone. The men have no problem speaking to me in Hebrew, but the women need English, and some of them aren't really fluent. We manage. They like the clothes and the prices.

So, it was rather ironic to get this video from IMRA.



Arab threatens Jewish teenagers singing and carrying Israeli flags in Jaffa

At 3:11 in the recording posted 15 January 2011 apparently filmed that day, the Arab says "next time it won't pass this way.   Next time it won't pass this way. I repeat to you."

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Jaffa Arabs threaten to murder the Torah Garin in the city
The Jewish Voice (01/20/2011)
http://rotter.net/forum/scoops1/30407.shtml
For more photos and details
http://www.hakolhayehudi.co.il/?p=3333

Islamic organizations in Jaffa incited a Torah garin, after last Saturday's march of hundreds of Jewish teenagers who came for Shabbat to the city.  They called my wife and told her with an Arab accent: we know where you live, we will murder you." The Arabs complain that the garin triggers provocations, but videos and photos taken by the Arabs themselves prove the opposite.

A procession of hundreds of Jewish teenagers on Saturday in Jaffa, that marched singing by the sea, led to calls to hurt the members of the garin, including telephone threats and threats to massacre the garin members. The Torah garin in the city, organized a Sabbath program for Jewish teenagers from across the country. The group marched on Saturday toward the sea to read the "Song of the Sea" [AL: read that Sabbath from Exodus in synagogues]. The procession made its way to raising the flags of Israel and singing in the streets of Jaffa. Arab shouted insults at the procession and threatened that "next time it will not pass."

"Another attack on the mosque will bring slaughter"

Dozens of Islamic organizations gathered Saturday night at the community center in Jaffa, and developed courses of action against the Torah garin. Proposed strategies presented at the meeting were land purchases, creating conflicts with the "settlers", as they term them, and creating a popular uprising. Phaedrus Muhammad, a local reporter in the city, reported.

The head of Islamic Movement in Jaffa, Sheikh Suleiman Dali said that "another attack of the massacre of hikers will bring slaughter as the residents and worshipers will not be silent over the continuation of the provocations", the Arab news website UMNET reported.

Ze'ev V., a resident of Jaffa city and a member of the Torah garin said that yesterday Arabs called his home and threatened his wife with murder.
"Someone called from an concealed number with a clear Arabic accent, and told my wife that he knows exactly where we live, he will kill us." The couple contacted the police and filed a complaint.

The Arabs claim that the marchers threw stones at the mosque. Photos from Arab sources illustrate that this is a lie.

To make things clear.  This is Jewish Land, a Jewish State. The Arabs must accept it.  There's nothing wrong with our entering all neighborhoods and cities.  At the same time, we must treat everyone properly and politely, Jews, Arabs, tourists etc.  I don't see any conflict in my selling to Arabs with my politics and ideology.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey -- jews and arabs lived together peaceably before oslo.

Batya said...

a, not true, but things were better than today. Many Jews felt comfortable shopping in Arab towns and stores, not now. The meeting place today is like what I experienced yesterday at Yafiz.

Shy Guy said...

Absolute nonsense and ignorance spewed by Anonymous.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
A few questions:
Does anyone else think that lumping "Jews, Arabs and tourists" together is strange?
Can a Jew safely go into an Arab city to shop, not that I'm in favor of giving business to Arabs?
Why do the Arabs deserve our politeness?
Has everybody here been keeping up with the letters from rabbis and others forbidding sale of houses to Arabs, encouraging Jewish women not to work or associate with Arabs etc.?
I've read about fights between Arabs and Jews at "Rami Levi" and also calls for Mr. Levi to stop employing Arabs. What is the genuine situation?

Batya said...

Hadassa, there are a lot of questions I can't answer. Sorry
The supermarket, like just about every other in the country, does employ Arabs.
The Arabs who shop in Yafiz are from the upper class, the type you'll see shopping in Israeli malls. It may be that the ones who shop in Yafiz don't have the "papers" needed to easily get into Israeli cities. They are polite, and many buy a lot of clothes. There's no "small talk," so I don't know any more than what I see.

Hadassa said...

Shalom!
I say let them shop in Ramallah and Taybeh and stay away from us.

Batya said...

Hadassa, there's hardly a big business, or even a small medium, which doesn't hire Arabs. There aren't enough Israeli Jews willing to do certain types of work. So I'm glad that there are Arabs as customers for two reasons. One is that they are paying the Jewish owners and the second is that having ordinary (upper class in the case of Yafiz) Arabs in the stores makes it safer for us.

Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world. It's not a very safe world either.

JDL London Canada said...

And just when you thought it was cohesive with arabs in galut ... have a look at the gathering 'storm'. My thoughts: If they're selling (peaceful coexistance)it; I'm not buying it ...

http://vimeo.com/18743965

Batya said...

Egypt is now cracking. Anarchy is getting closer.