Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Reaching out to Arabs in Hebron. But where's the other side?

From Israel21C:

I cannot bring myself to be as ecstatic about these sorts of initiatives as the well-meaning organizers are. All I can think is - where are the people creating similar initiatives on the Arab side? Why are all of these types of programs created by Israeli Jews?

A few other things bother me about this video.

For the past 10 years, it has been officially forbidden for Israeli citizens to visit the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron.

Really? I saw the houses of a few hundred Israeli citizens in Hebron, and their friends in Kiryat Arba visit them all the time!

You can refer to it as a "majority Arab city" or whatever, but calling it a "Palestinian city" is an insult to those who believe that Hebron is Jewish, and it was Jewish way before any Arabs were around.

Also, note that even the organizer himself is afraid to walk around the Arab section of Hebron with a yarmulka on his head. Are Arabs afraid to walk around Israel with keffiyehs?

Moreover, note that Jew cannot visit the Muslim part of the Tomb of the Patriarchs. However, I witnessed Arabs visiting the Jewish side when I was there.

And mentioning only that it is the burial ground for Abraham, while ignoring the five or more prominent Biblical figures who are there as well, plays to the Muslim narrative of the second-holiest place in Judaism.

Altogether, I like Israel21C, but their desire to be politically correct in this case ends up insulting Jews more than they intended.