Hamas War

Friday, May 29, 2015

An Important Reason to Study Arabic Here in Israel

I agree with MK Oren Hazan (Likud) that it is important for Jewish Israelis to know Arabic but not for the reasons he gives. (Hat tip: Rafi)
"In our daily reality, with Jews riding the buses in Judea and Samaria and hearing the Palestinians – they are usually afraid,” Hazan said. “With global terrorism and radical Islam on the rise, the lack of knowledge and understanding leads to fear.” (Arutz7)
Honestly, and I'm not embarrassed to say this, I don't think that there is anything wrong with being afraid. That's because terrorism and harassment on these buses and all over the country mostly comes from Arabs. We must be like flies on the wall and understand what they are saying when they think that we don't understand.

For our personal and national security, we must be able to understand what Arabs are saying to each other. They don't have to hide, because so few Jewish Israelis know enough Arab to penetrate behind the smile and willing service. We are at a terrible disadvantage, because they understand Hebrew, but we don't understand Arabic. It's a security issue.


There are stories of Arabs warning other Arabs to get off a bus or not to get on, because they were warned. It would be much safer if ordinary Israelis understood Arabic. And it would be best if we could keep that knowledge under our hats.


Yonathan Gormezano said...

You are right. It is very important to know what goes on around you, and to understand what the Arabs say in the media for local consumption; maybe this will cure us from peace delusions marketed by the Israeli left.

Also, Arabic being the lingua franca of much of the middle east, it is an important means of effectively communicating with regional elements who accept us and want to live in peace with us, especially the non-Arab minorities.

However, learning Arabic does not mean appointing radical Arab teachers, who peddle palestinian propaganda in the classroom. There are still enough old Jewish Iraqi immigrants who speak excellent Arabic who could help to teach a new generation of Jewish Arabic teachers.

YMedad said...

I think that statiscally Muslims are engaged in terror more than Arabs.

Batya said...

YG many of the North Aftican Arabic speaking Jews can be trained to teach Arabic.
YM aren't there christian arabs among the PLO elite?

MAOZ said...

Excellent suggestion, Batya; and important caveat,Yonathan.
We should all take a cue from uncle Mordechai. (The would-be assassins discussed their plot within his range of hearing because they had no idea this Ish Yehudi/Ish Yemini understood their language. So he was able to convey a warning to Ahashverosh; thanks to which, later on etc. etc. etc.)

Anonymous said...

Most Jews should learn first to speak Hebrew.

G-d gave the Jews the Holyland and chose Hebrew as the holy language. You want same Jews to tell G-d he made a mistake and they're going out of their way to correct same mistake by learning Arabic?

What's important? For Jews to hear and now understand in Arabic From the river to the sea palestine will be free? or that Kotel doesn't belong to the Jews? No thanks

In Israel as well as the US there can only be one official language whether by custom or law. In truth, to succeed in the US, you must be fluent in English and to succeed in Israel you must be fluent in Hebrew.

Why should Israel not have Hebrew as its official language? The fact that out of courtesy israel also uses Arabic does not mean that Israeli Arabs should not learn Hebrew, because by not doing so they do not integrate into the country that feeds and harbors them. In every country there is an official language and it is the duty of those coming to live there to learn the language? Do Arab countries use Hebrew, or any other language of their minorities in official documents? It is only logical that because of reasons of national unity and cohesion Israeli people speak the language of he country, Hebrew. In many countries there are lots of immigrants and not because of that that country accepts that its official language be changed to, say, Croatian of Korean: it is those immigrants duty to learn the host country's language. Abiding to this new false demand from "liberals" is nothing but taking another step towards Israel disappearance: no language, no country. If Arabs do not like Hebrew, let them go to countries where they can use their language..

Batya said...

Maoz good example.
a Hebrew remains main language but knowing many languages has always been a Jewish trait.

in the vanguard said...

I think that learning Torah - INSTEAD of learning Arabic - would be much more appropriate and rewarding. We don't need to spy on the Arabs because God will divulge for us in different ways the plots against us.

By the way, do Arabs require their children to learn Hebrew; Do we require it of them at their schools?

This is quite nonsensical and we ought to rely on God. Period!

Batya said...

van, sorry to disagree, but in This World we need to use the tools Gd gave us including languages. I work with Arabs, and anyone with ambition makes sure that the kids know Hebrew well. It is a requirement in Israel.

ora said...

so how are your arabic skills, batya?

Batya said...

better than than were, Ora, but still worse than awful