Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (16 November 2017, 27 Heshvan, 5778)
As an Israeli, have you ever had an Arab friend, co-worker or a boss?
Most Israelis who have worked in factories, or restaurants, or anywhere else where Arabs are to be found have made friends with some of them. A lot of Arabs are quite pleasant to some degree. Many are not. This is the same with every other ethnic or religious group. One can learn a lot from the Arabs. Many of them also like being friends with Jews. There may be problems. They often have double standards. It is usually not done to even look at their females. [Their women however are also feminine and sometimes friendly. This can cause complications.] Though wishing to place their girls at a distance they will want to start up with yours. For Religious Jews this is not a problem. One simply draws the line. The problem is that at some stage or other one may be expected to somehow compromise national or religious or moral integrity. As we said a lot of them may be quite nice at a superficial level BUT they mostly will abide by the sentiments of their own majority.
In Israel Arabs can come to Jewish places to shop, eat, work, etc. It is not safe to go to theirs. I came to Israel in 1974. Then one could go to Arab areas. At some stage the Palestinians were subjected to incitement and things became different. We all changed but they more than us. Another point is that they feel threatened by the Jewish rule and presence. The Israeli government, for instance, by its own admission tried here and there by various means to empower Arab women. Both the Arab women and the men were offended by this. The presence of Israeli female soldiers at check points is offensive to Arab sensibilities. The tolerance of Israeli society to sexual deviance is not appreciated. In other words the liberal peace-loving left-wing humanist Israelis who may be in favor of co-existence actually work against it.
I understood from Arabs that they consider their own religion as more correct than ours. On the other hand many of them fear the God of the Jews. They think God in some way is with the Jews in Israel. They actually expect us to be better than we may otherwise be. If Jews would be more religious in the traditional sense the Arabs would be more inclined to accept them. The problem is that none of us lives in Utopia. We have to deal with things as we find them and not as they might be in some hypothetical other existence. We are in effect at war or in a lull between conflicts. In such a situation whoever is not for us is against.
4 For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
6 Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.