The other day in the supermarket I had a conversation in my simple Arabic with a friendly fellow who prepared the fish that I bought.
He asked me why I learned Arabic. I said because I live amongst many Arabs and I want to understand and learn about them.
He then said, “we won’t be here for long anyway.”
I was surprised. Did he mean that he and others are planning to leave us? He seemed too happy to want to leave Israel for elsewhere.
I was puzzled. I asked him if life for an Arab like him would be better in any Arab country?
He then explained that “Ben Gvir wants to send us away to Jordan”.
I then understood.
He was trying to gain my sympathy and perhaps a political ally in his grievances against those “Jewish radicals”. He thought perhaps that he was speaking with a naive, uninformed, maybe Leftist Jew who would sympathize with the ` “minority” and “other” against small-minded oppressive Jews who stand between him and me.
The message was, there are no problems between Arabs and Jews. Certainly, Arabs are not the problem. The only impediment to peaceful coexistence is some really bad Jews who talk too much about this obtrusive Jewish thing and a Jewish state etc.
I got it.
I explained to him that Ben Gvir and others observe that Israeli Arabs vote for politicians for whom the Jewish state is unacceptable and work against it. He and many other Jews watched as Arabs viciously attacked and killed their Jewish neighbors in cities across Israel in May 2021.
He clearly was not expecting this response from his friendly Jewish conversationalist.
He did not have an answer at first. He then said it is because of the “unequal treatment” that Arabs receive in Israel. I asked him if he can give me an example of a particular grievance. “Are you treated well in your job? You seem happy.”
At this point, he wanted to end the conversation and with a big smile and a firm handshake we parted.
No luck with useful idiots today.
Maybe next time.
But the smiling young man that I met who does not accept the Jewish state is not the real problem.
It is the ignorant, useful idiots that he ensnares.
But much more than the naive useful idiots, it is Jews like deputy minister and former deputy chief of staff Yair Golan who hate the Jewish about the state that are the larger problem.
His type of self-hating Jews in high places is the real danger.
Arabs who are declared enemies of the Jewish state are not the problem.
Consider; Bedouins are rioting today in the Negev, sabotaging train tracks and main roads and challenging the Jewih state’s authority. They demand that the Jewish Nation Fund stop planting trees in the Negev. They claim, without legal proof, that huge swaths of the Negev belong to them and not to the state of the Jews.
Violence, and now for the first time irresistible political clout (the government coalition lives or dies by their word and vote) are their weapons. The government gave in to them – again. Tree planting stopped.
The police arrested a number of the Arab attackers including some women.
Yair Golan demanded that the females be released immediately because “Bedouin society is very sensitive to female incarceration”. We as Jews must understand ”. Golan is a sensitive Jewish soul, a lover of all mankind.
However, the same gentle Golan possessed far different sensitivities in 2005 as IDF commander of Samaria,
Jewish teens, boys and girls demonstrated at Amona to protest its destruction and expulsion by the government forces.
The police were instructed to be particularly brutal with these kids. They were to be taught a lesson once and for all.
Aryeh Eldad, a former MK, was one of the adults who stood with the thousands of youngsters. He was brutally bloodied by the rampaging police along with many others.
Yair Golan publicly and proudly expressed satisfaction about it.
According to Golan’s sophisticated understanding of society and cultures, it is not at all a “sensitive issue” to arrest and beat mercilessly young Jewish girls. Jewish society is OK with it. His high standards of morality and compassion are reserved only for violent Bedouin women.
The man in the supermarket is not the problem
My book, “Jews, Israelis and Arabs” deal with these issues exactly.