Arabic or Hebrew?

Thought I would share an interesting if a bit weird conversation I had over Shabbat dinner yesterday.

I was invited to a good friends house for dinner on Friday night (his wife is an amazing cook!).
Amongst his guests was an American gent about my age and in Israel  for as long as me.
We had much in common. Much, but not a very central thing in my view.
How did I find this out?
Well, in conversation he mentioned something that rather upset him.
He related that when he visited the Hula bird sanctuary last, he noticed that the various information signs did not include Arabic. How can Arabs enjoy the site? (Actually, all Israeli Arabs are taught to read Hebrew and do so).
He was determined to get to the bottom of this injustice and right the wrong. (by the way, as a tour guide I never noticed any tourist site that did not include Arabic on the signage)
As I listened to his words that sprang from the heart, my thoughts quickly moved to another place in Israel where an indigenous language is glaringly absent. It happens to just be the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people. It is the Temple Mount.
On that site, there is no Hebrew signs, just Arabic and English – exactly as in the days of the Jordanian occupation.
Israel does not want to “upset” the Muslims so we hide our  Hebrew language in our most holy of sites.
Think about it.
Now THAT makes me more upset than the lack of Arabic in the bird sanctuary
I asked my dinner partner if that upset him as much as the dismal situation in the bird sanctuary?
He just gave me a blank stare. No words.
I did not pursue the conversation for the sake of  tranquility at the table.
Now here is an intelligent thinking person, who actually chose Israel as his home.
I have to wonder what does his Israel means to him?
One knows much about a person by what upsets him.
So what is it?
I don’t get it.
I would love to get an intelligent answer.
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About the Author
Born in the USA.MA - International Relations, Aliyah - 1977. A tour guide published hundreds of articles and lecture on Israel and the ME. Israel Navy veteran, Passionate about Israel and the Jewish people.
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