Stop in to the Rami Levi Supermarket at the traffic circle where Highway 60 intersects with the road into Gush Etzion. There you’ll see plenty of Palestinian Authority Arabs – observant and not – shopping and working together with Jews of the same ilk. Nearly all are residents of Judea and Samaria, living in towns near each other.
In Jerusalem, all of the top hotels employ Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Authority Arabs among their staff – as do all of the medical centers and hospitals. This year’s valedictorian at Haifa’s Technion University was an Israeli Arab woman in the medical school.
In most of the supermarkets in Be’er Sheva, Negev Bedouin Arabs and Jews shop and work together freely.
For that matter, take a drive over to the northern Negev city of Arad, up on the ridge overlooking the southern end of the Dead Sea. In either, sitting in the coffee houses you will see Negev Bedouin, Sephardic Jews from Brazil and Argentina, Middle Eastern Jews from Morocco and Tunisia, Ashkenazi Jews from the U.S., the UK and Canada, Sudanese, Russians who are Jewish and not, Ethiopian Jews, Black Hebrews and various tourists passing through.
The universities throughout the country are also all fully integrated – in fact, this has caused infinite difficulties at times with protests and political battles that rival the crazy fights that go on in the Knesset.
Really, Mr. Kerry, have you ever bothered to step outside your vehicle and into any other place in Israel for more than the five seconds it takes you to enter your hotel or conference destination? I do understand the security issues, and sympathize – but to toss around inflammatory words without having any idea whatsoever what daily life is actually like for the average Israeli, Jew or Arab, is simply irresponsible for a man in your position.
Oh, and by the way, while we are on the topic – one can have a “two state solution” with the Palestinian Authority without Israel having to hand over its sovereignty and its safety into the hands of bloodthirsty terrorists who are holding PA politicians hostage over the matter.
I’m just sayin’ . . .
In fact, the United States and nations in Western Europe have been doing it for years. You all have autonomous territories such as Puerto Rico, S. Thomas, Grenada and such.
There is no reason that Israel cannot come to a similar arrangement with the PA, which would ensure both their security and ours – and take the administrative and economic monkey off their backs once and for all.
It might also save Mahmoud Abbas’s life, since he is likely to be assassinated if he were to declare peace under any other circumstances. But I suppose that having been here in the neighborhood for a while, maybe you have figured that out by now. I have a sneaking hunch that even Ismail Haniyeh and Khalid Mashaal face the same dilemma from Iran these days. They’re all getting older and tired of having to face constant challenges to their authority.
Everyone is sick of it – but Iran has an endless supply of fresh blood, more weapons and money. So does Al Qaeda – the Salafi organization – and between the two, they’re about to tear Gaza right down the middle, something Hamas never expected and really doesn’t want. Of the three, crazy Hamas is actually the “moderate” in Gaza – isn’t that a scary thought these days?
So the best deal, the one that might help all of them out, would be for Abbas to take the heat (he’s 79 years old anyway, after all) and be the bad guy for saying he’s giving up and “forcing” the Israelis to “take over” the PA. It is Abbas who represents the PLO, as well as Fatah and the PA, to the United Nations. He can get it done.