Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Real Life Here in The Middle-East

Living, in Shiloh, the eye of the storm, my perspective is rather different from those who write mainstream newspapers or "rule" from the spacious offices of the United Nations etc.  For the past year, I've been interacting with Arabs very frequently as an ordinary salesperson in Yafiz (Rami Levi's clothing store) in Sha'ar Binyamin, north of Jerusalem.  Jews and Arabs mingle, work and shop daily.  Tension is minimal, maybe because those who can't abide such a situation don't come.  But the truth is that the good prices seem to be the unifying factor.

Most of our Arab customers pay cash.  They not only come from the nearby villages but from Ramalla, Shechem, Jericho, Jordan and much further away.  Some Arab store owners use our sales to stock their own stores.  It doesn't surprise me to read that Arabs invest in Israel, more than in their own neighborhoods.  They're saavy shoppers on the whole.

I also wasn't surprised to read that Jordan's Hashemite King Abdullah has been meeting with Abbas to try to block Hamas.  His kingdom is in danger.  If the "Arab Spring storms" spread to Jordan, he may not survive.

For many of the local Arabs, living near Jews is life-saving.  You don't read about these things in your regular paper, do you?

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