Friday, July 17, 2015

Why We Should Celebrate The Fact That Arabs Shop in Jewish Stores

As you must all know by now, I work in Yafiz, Sha'ar Binyamin. It's a "clothing for the entire family store," which is part of Rami Levy Discount Supermarket business empire. Sha'ar Binyamin is a sprawling shopping center which reminds me a lot of the sort that sprung up in rural and suburban America in the 1950's. Besides having branches of Rami Levy and Yafiz, you'll find a toy store, pharmacy, medical clinic, book store, furniture store, camping goods, a bakery, police station and lots more.

Most of the staff and customers are Jewish from nearby communities and even Pisgat Zeev, Jerusalem. But it's no secret that many Arabs work and shop in Sha'ar Binyamin. It's even on the "must see" list for tourists from Jordan and other Arab countries, sort of like the Japanese and other tourists I've spotted in American outlet malls. When I see men in very proper conservative dark suits, they are always Arabs visiting from abroad. I frequently see them snapping pictures of our clothes and then consulting on the phone as to what to buy the family back home wherever. I've been told more than once that our selection of children's clothing is far superior, price and selection, to anything they can get in their own stores. As as their full shopping carts attest, they like the food and prices in Rami Levy, too.

Recently a friend mentioned that a friend of hers confided that she doesn't want to shop in Rami Levy and Yafiz anymore "because there are too many Arabs." This has me very upset for a very simple reason. I am very happy to see and facilitate Arab shopping in Jewish stores. For much too long, ever since the 1967 Six Days War, when the IDF for the State of Israel and the Help of Gd liberated our Historic Homeland, all of the commercial dealing have been in the other direction.

Israelis and Jews flocked to the Arab markets and stores looking for bargains and unique items. Many Israelis, even those who claim to be far to the Right on the political spectrum, hire Arabs as builders and gardeners and have them repair their cars.

Some of them are the same Israelis who avoid (we won't use the "B" word) stores like Rami Levy and Yafiz. And I've never heard of someone who won't visit a Jewish home that was built by Arab contractors and laborers.

And don't forget that the Har Nof massacre was by Arabs employed in that very Jewish neighborhood. Many stores and businesses on the pre-1967 side of the "greenline" employ Arabs. And you will find Arabs shopping all over, though they are usually dressed more western/European than those who shop in Sha'ar Binyamin. Sometimes it is only when I hear the customers speaking among themselves that I know for sure that they are Arabs.

Please think about what I'm saying. It is good that Arabs shop in Jewish stores and return some of the money they have earned from Jews. And it is also good that Arabs from foreign countries have no problems shopping in Jewish stores and also posing for selfies with Hebrew signs in the background.


sarah leah said...

I never shop at Rami Levy anywhere - and this is a big reason why I don't.

Batya said...

Your choice; we don't have to agree on everything.
I prefer Rami Levy to those who have Arabs work on their homes.

sarah leah said...

It's not an either-or. I NEVER have Arabs working on my home, or in my home. I don't take delivery from supermarkets that use Arab delivery guys. I'm consistent in it. And it isn't the only reason I don't shop there at Rami Levy's - but it is a major one.

Sharbano said...

I've often wondered what the situation would be if it weren't for Britain and France's actions. Both of these countries created much of the problems in the Middle East, especially in the matter of borders, but also how they handled various situations.
In these times I wonder also if the situation wouldn't have improved if it weren't for the US and Europe's stoking the flames by the the necessity to have "peace in our time" and forcing to sides together when the time isn't right. No one can Force two peoples to "accept" each other, by fiat. I don't believe the US or Europe initiated the Begin/Sadat dialog. SINCE that time though we have had every leader INSIST that the two sides come together. What seems evident to me is when there are times that the situation seems to Begin to coof off THEN you have world leaders RUSH to the microphone and INSIST the two sides begin talks. There Are Jews and Arabs who Can get along, at least to some degree, and if these leaders Really want "peace in our time" they should be cultivating Those relationships and expand from there. When some Arab leader comes and wants to fan the flames they should be told by these world leaders they are an impediment to peace and should leave. But I don't think they are in pursuit of peace. They can't be SO ignorant of the facts and events that stare them in the face. This was on parade in the Press conference with Netanyahu and the Brit. If his concern was so great why does Britain vote the way they do at the UN. The BEST their votes can be is "Abstain". I consider it more likely that their desire is to Punish Israel And Jews in any way they can. It happened after the Balfour Declaration and hasn't subsided until this day. Their desire is to continue to stoke the flames for as long as there is an Israel.

Batya said...

We agree on that