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‘Sister?’ More of ‘My Adventures with Arabs’


Israelis and Arabs shopping together.

Israelis and Arabs shopping together.
Photo Credit: Shiloh Musings

I think that this should be a new periodic “series” on this blog, “My Adventures with Arabs.” As many of you know, I have much more contact with Arabs than most Israelis.

I work in Yafiz, Sha’ar Binyamin where Jews and Arabs work and shop together.

The gulf between Jews and Arabs is much smaller in may world than in the world of many other Israelis, including the Extreme Left. That’s especially because I meet ordinary Arabs, the relatively apolitical who shop in Yafiz and Rami Levy because of the quality goods and low prices. And this isn’t a paid advertisement.

Money does make the world go around.

It’s the nature of man to put a price on everything, whether it’s barter or actual money.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said that economic development in the Arab world is the key to peace, but unfortunately when he’s in power, like now, he forgets that principle.

Recently I had another of my unforgettable meetings with an Arab customer at Yafiz. As is my norm, I first speak to the Arab customers in Hebrew and then try English if they look at me with blank uncomprehending stares. This Arab woman, with her hair and neck covered in the Muslim way was of my daughters’ generation and really perked up when she heard me speak English.

“Your English is so good.  Where did you learn it?” “America, and yours?” “Me, too, in America.”

And then she gave me a quick summary of her life and why she is now living “nearby,” which is also how I described my home location.

A Jewish Israeli man watched mesmerized by the scene of the two of us, obviously Jewish and Muslim, chatting away in such a friendly way. He just had to comment on how surprising it seemed to him. To me he spoke Hebrew, and to her he spoke Arabic, and we had this very amusing three-way, trilingual conversation. The young Arab-Muslim woman kept referring to me as her “sister.”

I found this very interesting. It was obvious that this woman felt more in common with me and my Americanism than she felt with the other Arab women where she now lives. I did say that if the politicians would just leave all of us alone, we’d have peace, and she agreed with that.

True peace will develop slowly between people, like a very long pregnancy. But this sort of “pregnancy” won’t require a painful birth. It will be more of a metamorphosis. Negotiations and treaties will stop or seriously delay the process. So let’s send all those politicians, negotiators, mediators etc back to where they come from and let the slow process begin or continue. It will take a long time, so be patient. Our great-grandchildren or later generations will enjoy it.

Politicians just bring war, hatred and chaos.

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


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6 Responses to “‘Sister?’ More of ‘My Adventures with Arabs’”

  1. Jerry Raketti says:

    Oh and it could happen but for' Politics of hate.

  2. Marie Benghazi Noybn says:

    you got along because you had both spent time in America, where religion is not the focus of life and no one is bombing anyone… it is harder to keep that dialog going when you are actively trying to kill eachother. She was likely a secular muslim who had not been indoctrinated in hatred for Jews like "religious" muslims are. Reminds me of an old comedy movie… this doltish govenor is asked to comment on the situation in the middle east (movie made in the eighties) He replies "It would behoove both the Jews and the Arabs to settle their differences in a Christian manner!" It was meant as a joke but the point is telling. Lets be honest though… the muslims are the "odd man out" the only ones that are pushing the hate.. the Jews just want to be left alone, the Christians dont care what anyone else does, and never even cared about the muslims until 9-11… the muslims… well their words say one thing but their actions say another.

  3. She was wearing a scarf in the Muslim manner, and I wear one in the Jewish way, which made us "stand out." I don't know if she wears hers from her own religious convictions or to stay safe. She didn't raise her children to speak Arabic, which is why she now has them in her "village" to learn the language.

  4. Robert Kidwell says:

    Surely politicians cannot make peace, only harm, but Israel's enemies will not stop Jihad until Israel is destroyed,even if Israel gives Jerusalem itself. Of course Israel shall never be destroyed again ! chosen of the Most High G-D. Peace shall never come until Hashem makes peace.
    It appears the prophesy of Zechariah 12:1,2,3 is unfolding before our very eye's.
    The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:
    2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
    3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
    Shalom

  5. Judy Matott says:

    For heavens' sake DO NOT TRUST JOHN KERRY. He & his wife contribute millions of $$ to Oxfam & TIDES Foundation; both groups pro-Palestinian. Can't trust Mr. Obama either; he lies to his own people & speaks from both sides of his mouth. ISRAEL SHOULD NOT RELEASE TERRORIST PRISONERS IF IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF ISRAEL. NETANYAHU IS A LEADER WHO KNOWS HIS PRIORITIES. Mr. Obama knows how to golf & travel, but not how to govern. .

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