In the simplistic Leftist mindset, we are all the same, and we just need to get to know each other for peace to happen.
Some Leftist group thought up a plan to teach photography to the women of Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem, Jews and Arabs. Ben-David decided to participate and describes her experience in an article that appeared in the Jerusalem Post.
I don't know what skills she learned, but the political lesson was identical to what the Arab worker had told me a few years ago. If she, or anyone else, publicizes photos of the Arabs, there will be big trouble for the Arab women who had participated.
I was starting to get really excited about my upcoming article. I figured I wouldn’t have to write much at all, as the photos would say all that was needed. I mentioned this to one of the Arab women who looked at me like I was insane.Arab society is patriarchal and violent. Good intentions and tolerance are seen as weaknesses. There will not be a grass-roots peace movement to change their society. Not only do the Arabs who work with Jews in business like Rami Levy always have to look over their backs to make sure their neighbors aren't going to attack, but even Arab customers can suffer repercussions. And this only gets worse when Israeli government officials talk "peace" and "Palestinian sic State," because if they are totally under Arab rule, the violence against the more peaceful and tolerant in Arab society, villages, cities and clans will only increase.
What she said next devastated me: I had no permission to publish any of my photos of those women at all.
I was dumbfounded. Why take all of these photos if I was going to do nothing but bury them in a folder on my computer? What were we expected to do with these photos if not use them in the way I had planned? Then I thought beyond my personal disappointment: What in the world was the point of the class if we could not share the experience with our people? All of our people. My people would, at most, look at me with disdain. But many would see the possibilities.
And it might make people think… What about the Arab women? Couldn’t they see this? Why would they want to waste such an amazing opportunity? I pushed the issue and what I discovered was most tragic of all: they were genuinely afraid – some even for their very lives – should anyone in their communities find out.
It was ironic: the Jews were afraid to attend the course for fear of getting hurt there; the Arabs were afraid to attend the course for fear of getting hurt at home.
There can only be true peace under full Israeli rule and sovereignty.