Don’t Believe All the Stories About Israeli Jews and Arabs

Don’t Believe All the Stories
About Israeli Jews and Arabs

© David Burton 2021


     With all the stories about the upsurge in most recent violence in Israel, one would get the impression that all Arabs and Muslims in the region were attacking the Jews of Israel. As is usually the case with media reports about Israel, a good many of these reports were misleading at best and deliberately false in some cases. I wrote earlier about the relations between most Israeli-Jews and Israeli Arabs (Friends of Israel – Christians, Muslims and All Honest People, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu: Article 450, 10 December 2020.) The reader may want to read this earlier article for a more balanced perspective on relations between Israeli-Arabs and Israeli-Jews.

     Today, we are witnessing a crisis in the relations between Israel and the “Palestinians” of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip which can only end worse than when it began. But, in spite of the animosity and hatred stirred up by the unprecedented attacks on Israel and it peoples, mostly by the “Palestinian” terrorist leadership in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, there has not been a total spread of enmity to the majority of Jews and Arabs of Israel as one might infer from press reports from the region.

     On 14 May of 2021, I received the following from a friend living in Tel Aviv:

     “I want to thank each of you who have asked how I am and your comforting thoughts. As always you have touched my heart. Today I took my 6:30 am walk along the sea and stopped at the Carmel Shuk (outdoor marketplace) to pick up a few things for the weekend and upcoming holiday of Shavuot.
     “Sadly, as I write this the conflict continues, but I have to believe that most of us want to get along. At the shuk, I received a big 'hello Susie’ from the the Russian at the cheese market, the Arab, who owns the nut store, and the Israeli who sells me fruits and vegetables. We have to believe, hope and want Shalom. Please take the time to read the shared article {see below} - we don't want the extremists, on both sides, to define who we really are.”

     The Facebook post referred to above reads as follows:

“I want to believe

     “I want to believe that the real people of Tamra[*] are those who opened their doors and organized a refreshment station for the pilgrims of Har Meron after the tragedy, while fasting during Ramadan, and not those who beat a Jewish man who only wanted to get home, to within an inch of his life.
     “I want to believe that there are more people like Michael Ben Zikri, who rescued a Bedouin woman and three of her children from drowning, losing his life in the process, than those who sought to evict families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah during Ramadan in order to impose a Jewish settlement in the heart of the neighborhood.
     “I want to believe that the tens of construction vehicle operators from the Arab villages surrounding Nahariya, who came to the city’s aid during the flood, working through the night, without being asked, to save those trapped in their cars and transport them home, delivering them with their scoops to the balconies of their apartments, and then helped clear the debris, represent the will of their communities, and not those in Akko who attacked a Jewish man, leaving him in critical condition.
     “I want to believe that the hundreds of Jews who visited a Mosque in East Jerusalem that was fire-bombed by Tag Mehir, represent the relationship most Israelis want with our Arab neighbors, more than the La Familia thugs who wreaked havoc in Bat Yam and lynched an Arab man who just wanted to get home to his family in Jaffa.
     “I want to believe that the compassion and dedication shown by the many Arab doctors and nurses during the last year for their Jewish patients, even reading them the Haggada of Peasch for those who could barely breathe, characterizes their true essence, and not the rioters in Ramle and Lod who descended on a Jewish suburb, attacking them with rocks and Molotov cocktails.
     “I want to believe that the Israeli volunteers who shuttle Palestinians needing treatment to Israeli hospitals from the border on their own time and at their own expense, exemplify the true spirit of Jewish values, and not those who participate in the Dance of Flags on Yom Yerushalayim, who march through the Muslim Quarter, vandalizing property and intimidating the residents, to rub their noses in their loss of dignity and to impose upon them Jewish Supremacy.
     “I want to believe this, because I believe that WE must determine how we live, not those on the fanatic fringes. When the hostilities cease – and they will - there will be a morning after. And we will be left to once again live with each other, (or beside one another), one way or another. And WE must choose how we do that. Because neither of us is going anywhere.
     “For twenty years, we have rebuilt trust and respect. We have slowly grown closer to one another. We have built understanding and cooperation.
     “And we cannot afford to have that taken away from us and to go back to living in an atmosphere of distrust and resentment, fear and suspicion, like we did after the Second Intifada. I want to believe that today we are both better than that. I want to believe that we will no longer allow the extremists to determine the nature of our relationship, and that sanity will overcome zealotry."

[*] Tamra is an Arab city in the Lower Galilee near Mount Meron. It is an ancient village on hill. Tamra was captured by Israeli forces from the Arab Liberation Army and the Syrian Army in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Tamra achieved local council status in 1956 and was declared a city in 1996. At the end of 2007 the city had a total population of 27,300. In 2001, the ethnic makeup of the city was almost entirely Arab (99.6% Muslim), with no significant Jewish population.


  14 May 2021 {Article_475; Israel_51}    
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