Saturday, September 21, 2013

Limits, Can Jews and Arabs be Friends?

I work with Arabs.  It's part of the reality of my job, a simple job.  Regular readers know that I'm an ordinary salesperson in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin.  Sha'ar Binyamin, for those who don't know, is an Israel-Jewish shopping center/industrial zone just north of Jerusalem.  Arabs do not need "papers," special permits to work and shop there. Therefore, especially in the two largest stores the large discount supermarket Rami Levy and Yafiz-Clothing for the Entire Family, you'll find Jews and Arabs interacting all the time.

There's a comfortable camaraderie between Jews and Arabs, both staff and customers.  Arab tourists also shop there and act very polite and friendly. No matter what our politics, we try to put it all aside and just do our jobs, and I figure that if the Arabs really didn't want us here, they wouldn't shop in our stores.

There's a limit to the friendships relationships between Jews and Arabs.  At least there should be. On Friday a young Jewish man who worked with Arabs in a restaurant in Bat Yam was murdered by his Arab friend  and fellow worker.  They had traveled together towards the Arab's village by taxi.  I wonder if they had done that sort of thing before.
The soldier's family reported Friday that he went missing and failed to make contact since the morning hours. The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and the police, began a strenuous investigation, and came up with intelligence information indicating that the soldier had taken a cab together with an Arab man who worked with him in a restaurant in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv.
The Arab is named Nadal Amar, and he is a resident of the village of Bayt Amin, near Kalkilya. The two had taken the taxi toward Shaarei Tikva, which is close to that village.
I consider myself a realist, a pragmatist.  This isn't the first time a Jew was attacked or murdered by an Arab he had trusted.

As far as I'm concerned there's a big difference between working with Arabs in a Jewish owned store and hiring Arabs to work in my home, or having Arabs working in Shiloh, whether a group working at a building site, or just one or two doing a small job.  There's no way that a guard can really keep track of what's happening.

Being polite, friendly, helpful etc does not have to require letting down our guard. 

My condolences to the family of Sgt. Tomer Hazan

This tragedy should be a lesson for us all.


NormanF said...

Sgt. Tomer Hazan is the archetype of the Stupid Jew that so needlessly afflicts the Jewish people and causes them much harm and suffering! Especially when dealing with a hateful and cruel people like the Arabs.

Jews who let down their guard come to a sad end. We can all agree Sgt. Hazan didn't deserve to be murdered. He's the victim, after all! But that didn't excuse him from exercising common sense and being careful around Arabs.

Arabs hate Jews and would kill them when they're given the opportunity. Going into an Arab town was asking for trouble. Had the young Jewish man used his head - he would still be alive today.

Jews live in a murderous neighborhood. They need to safeguard their own lives and minimize their interaction with the enemy to the absolute minimum. Hopefully, Hazan's fate will serve as a lesson to the rest of the Jewish people that real peace with the Arabs is not in the cards any time soon and is not a license for Jewish recklessness in the face of danger.

Batya said...

amen, thanks Norman.

Lady-Light said...

Terrible tragedy. I agree with Norman, but the reason this happened is that we are a people who want to believe that most people are good, and we want to trust others. It is hard for a Westerner (it should be easier for an Israeli) to understand the vicious, barbaric mentaliy of the Arab. It is culture shock of major proportions. So I also agree with you, Batya; "friendship" can only go so far...

Batya said...

Yes, LL, part of the Leftist "dream" is that there can be peace and good neighborly relations between Arabs and Jews here in the HolyLand. That sort of dream is terribly artificial-"drug" induced.

Anonymous said...

If you doubt you can turn your back to someone than you can't be friends with them. We know what happens to Jews who turn their backs to Muslims..

Batya said...


Anonymous said...

As the saying goes from pre-state Jews who understood the mentality of the Arab population - "inviting one into his tent with one hand and stabbing in the back with the other". Maybe sounds stereotype, but reality shows the truth. But, do believe that the lack of self-respect on the part of 'Jewish' leadership of the State breeds contempt from the Arab mentality. Heeding the Torah by expelling the inhabitants within when State was founded would have prevented all the mess and gained respect from both the Arabs and the world.

Batya said...

a, true