First some background:

The staff of the pharmacy are Arabs. We have a good rapport and we even converse in Arabic (they kindly help me when necessary).


We actually enjoy a uniquely mutually beneficial relationship. I bring large amounts of coins for them to change into paper bills. I have access to these coins from a charity box (pushka) that I use to collect charity daily in my synagogue.

The Organization that I volunteer for is called “Honenu” (It’s worth looking them up).

Honenu provides free legal aid to Jews; civilians and military who find themselves confronted and challenged by the legal system as a result of confrontation of a national nature with aggressive Arabs. Honenu also supports the families of Arab terror and demands strict enforcement of the law against terrorist perpetrators.

In the charged, polarized atmosphere today it is easy to see how some people label their work as political and “Right” wing.

So be it. Labels are the least important thing – the work is.

For me, they are playing a unique role in an Israel today that tends to be especially punishing to Jews who stand up for national rights and pride. One can argue this point but knowledgeable observers would mostly agree.

My philanthropist activity in shul has allowed me to make some very interesting observations about my fellow members and perhaps about greater Israel society today.

I have my “steady customers” who wait to contribute and thank me for the opportunity’, I have my sometime or never “customers” and then I have my never ever with a vengeance.

The latter are the ideological opponents to what they see as a “Right wing cause” There is nothing else that draws the ire so

I get complaints, insults, arguments, loud attempts at shaming – you name it. If looks could kill.

I am certain that if I collected for, let’s say. counseling and rehabilitation for Arab terrorists, they would either contribute or at least not object and throw tantrums.

I used to wear a “Kahane shirt to shul.

Can you imagine their reaction?

If I had worn a shirt with Arafat’s or Stalin’s face there is no doubt that this crowd of Leftists would not get as angry. No doubt whatever.

How do you explain that? Where does the hate come from?

My experience has allowed me another interesting observation.

The hard core of Leftist opposition to my activity are mostly from England. Some are American, .

Why would that be?

It must have something to do with either English education/culture, or Jewish life there or the meeting of the two. It would be an interesting study.

Let me bring you back to the pharmacy.

When I entered this morning, one of the more vocal opponents to my activity was there too.

I greeted the staff in Arabic and emptied my pushka on the counter.

He had a hard time taking this scene in. He left and then returned a few minutes later.

He just had to warn the Arabs about me.

Raising his voice, he pointed a finger at my pushke and asked them, “do you know what his organization is! Look it up! Do you know who you are helping!

They were surprised by his outburst but beyond that not interested in his anger or what he was trying to say.

My Leftist friend left in an angry huff.

My Arab partners and I had a pleasant parting.

As Rav Kahane always said, “the Arabs understand him and he them, but both don’t understand the Leftist.

Right again.


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Shalom Pollack, a veteran Israeli tour guide, served in the Israeli Navy and lectures on the Mideast.