I experienced something similar when studying in a special course of studies for unlicensed teachers in David Yellin Teachers College. (The program was to officially certify/license us as teachers.) There was an Arab in the group who would say that she trusted us, our sincerity and honesty more than the secular Leftist Jews she lived with.
The other day at work, a Jewish fellow worker called me over:
"You must take a picture of this!"
She knew that I would enjoy the irony of seeing Arabs hanging Israeli flags all over the Rami Levy-Yafiz stores to celebrate Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, Israeli Independence Day. Many Arabs work in maintenance, and decorating the stores is part of their job. When I took out my camera, there was an explosion of Arabic as the workers discussed it. Then one came up to me and very politely asked me not to take his picture.
"They'll kill me. You know who they are."
"Yes, don't worry. You're not in the pictures."