Good Morning, Israel: What About the Arabs?

Sometimes there is tension, but Jews and Arabs coexist peacefully in Israel.

Sometimes there is tension, but Jews and Arabs coexist peacefully in Israel.
Nati Shohat/Flash90

Boker Tov, dear readers!

Jews and Arabs live and work closely together in Israel, day-in and day-out. They are neighbors, coworkers, and sometimes even close friends.

But, after so many terrorist attacks, trust becomes strained, and all Arabs are often automatically compared to terrorists. On occasion, I catch my children exclaiming, “Those Arabs!” But then my husband will quickly correct them, “Be careful. Not all Arabs are terrorists. Your doctor is an Arab, the postman is an Arab, the taxi driver who brought us home last night is an Arab!”

I have to admit, the tension has done a job on me, as well. While on the bus or train, I catch myself constantly glancing at the Arab passengers (after a few years of living here you can easily distinguish between Jews and Arabs). What are they pulling out of their pocket? I hope it’s a mobile phone, and not a knife. But that’s life. We are all human, and a lot has happened that made us think this way.

Still, generally speaking, life for Arabs in the Jewish state remains good. They have a much higher quality of life here than in the neighboring Arab countries. Indeed, before the rebirth of the Jewish state, “Palestine” was a desolate place. It was the return of the Jewish people that saw this country blossom, and the Arabs benefitted as well. In fact, when anti-Israel movements like BDS try to harm the Jewish state, the ones they most hurt are the country’s Arab workers. But who cares, right? So long as they manage to smear Israel.

I am very happy that on Shabbat, when we religious Jews cannot work, there is an Arab pediatrician available at the local clinic. The Jewish pediatrician needs the break with so many children in our neighborhood. 

And so, after each visit, I make sure to say “Toda Raba!” (Thank you very much!) to both the Jewish and Arab doctors. I am glad that I can rely on them both to treat my children with utmost professionalism.

From the entire editorial team in Jerusalem, I wish you a wonderful Monday!

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