"Of course, last visit I shopped here many times. Then I had come from Saudi Arabia."
That seems like an apropos introduction to this picture I snapped a couple of weeks ago:
The license plate is hard to see, but it's Jordanian. The car was ahead of us at Hizme/Jerusalem "city line." I've decide to call it that and not "border."
A sizable percentage of our customers in Yafiz, a moderately priced "clothing for the entire family store" in Sha'ar Binyamin, just north of Jerusalem is Arab, Muslim Arabs. We also have Christian Arabs, lots of Jews and also some of the Christian Zionist volunteers from North America who do volunteer work, primarily Jewish agriculture in the area.
Like all businesses, the business comes in waves. Due to the Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha, and the beginning of winter for all, it has been more like a tsunami. At least that's how we, the hapless staff, felt at times the past few days. No doubt that morning shift will think the store had been hit by hurricane winds, because by the time we closed to customers, our energies were more depleted than the shelves. We didn't do a total clean-up.
When you enter our world, you enter one that the "experts," the Leftist academics, ideologues, diplomats, journalists refuse to recognize. The only places where Jews and Arabs can safely work and mingle are in places like Rami Levy and Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin. The Arabs wouldn't be bringing their children and babies to treat them to fancy holiday clothes if they didn't like the quality, prices and atmosphere. They wouldn't be bringing their visiting family and friends from various Arab countries on shopping sprees if the price and ambiance weren't right.
In all honesty, I work in a world I had no idea existed. When agreed to work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin, this aspect wasn't even mentioned. And as I approach my two year anniversary working there, I must say that there has definitely been an increase in Arab customers. The other day one told me that he's buying a lot for his children, because the stores in Shechem aka Nabulus triple their prices before the holidays.
Unlike most of the Israeli Leftist "coexistence groups," there's no condescending here. A customer is a customer.