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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Arab woman and the rabbi

From Arutz-7:
The assistant director of the Kashrut department at the rabbinate of the northern Israeli city of Akko was attacked by Arabs on Monday evening.

The attack occurred as the man was standing and talking with the chief rabbi of the city of Akko, Rabbi Yosef Yashar.

"We concluded a working meeting this evening with the Kashrut department and as we stood near the building of the rabbinate, several young Arabs passed by, beat the assistant department head and fled," Rabbi Yashar recalled in a conversation with Arutz Sheva.

He said that he and the assistant director began chasing the attackers until "we encountered police officers nearby and they continued the chase and managed to arrest them."

Rabbi Yashar said that the attack is not a first, and that Akko's Jews have been suffering from violent attacks by local Arabs.
An Arab woman, Annette Haskia, was so upset over this attack that she met with the chief rabbi of Acre to express her disgust. They spoke in public; here is the audio and a rough partial transcript in English:



Anet Haskia: "..This is not my city [Acre] I don't live here but I have nephews and family [here] and by no means whatsoever do I want that they will start to think that the Jew is their enemy. Because he is not. I lived in the other side [the 'Jewish' side] for many years and that [perception] is wrong. I know that the Islamic movement is making inroads. It tempts the young. It buys [things] for them etc."

Rav Yashar
: "I am happy to hear your words. There is a saying [in Judaism] 'words of truth are recognizable' (ניכרים דברי אמת). ... I think that there is a certain reality here that we encounter and it completely doesn't matter if we want it or not. There is what one wants and there is what one faces. It could be that according to what one wants, Jews want to live in a Jewish-only environment and the Arabs want to live in an Arab-only environment. That is what one may want. But the reality is not like that. The reality is that we all exist here. Muslims are here and Christians are here and Jews are here. Now, what should be done? To expel?"

Anet Haskia: "No"

Rav Yashar: "Should Jews expel the Arabs?"

Anet Haskia: "No. Definitely not."

Rav Yashae:"Should Arab expel the Jews?"

Anet Haskia: "Definitely not. Definitely not".

Rav Yashar: "It is not realistic. It is not human..."

Anet Haskia: "No. Right"

Rav Yashar: "And one should not even think in this way".

Anet Haskia: "Indeed. Indeed. I agree with you."

Rav Yashar: "We have here... We are all here and need to stay together and live together".

Anet Haskia: "Indeed".

Rav Yashar: "Of course, how do we live together [in peace]? Only... there is only one formula: when everyone recognizes and respects the customs of the other and the culture of the other and the religion of the other then ones can live together."

Anet Haskia: "Indeed".

Rav Yashar: "If I respect your religion and you respect my religion then it is fine".

Anet Haskia: "Indeed. It was like that".

Rav Yashar: "Now, I want to live my life..."

Anet Haskia: "Indeed".

Rav Yashar: "... that no one would interfere, exactly as you want to live your life."

Anet Haskia: "Sure. Indeed. Indeed"

Rav Yashar: "So why should we disturb each other?"

Anet Haskia: "Also, why live in fear?"

Rav Yashar: "And it also doesn't disturb me... Someone came and said that the muezzin [muslim call for praying] disturbs him. To tell you the truth, the muezzin does not disturb me. Really, it doesn't disturb me... When one makes it very loud then, obviously, it is deafening. But in principle - I respect [it]. For them, the Muslims, the muezzin is calling, so that's fine. I don't see anything bad..."

A comment from someone in the 'audience': "Yes, but I lived in Wolfson. They put a loudspeaker in Wolfson..."

Rav Yashar: "... I'm not talking about provocations. The religion [Islam] does not tell them to make a provocation. Does the Islam tell them to make a provocation? To put a loudspeaker there to annoy [people]? No. You can put loudspeakers. There are rules. There is religion. There is tradition. There are laws. There is Halacha. Now, as you say, we respect [the use of muezzin]. It does not disturb me. When I see the Arabs celebrating Ramadan should I come and disturb them deliberately? Absolutely not. I respect them and I also come to them. I come to respect them. And I want that they will also respect me, let me celebrate my festive days. Now, if I cannot celebrate my festive days we have a problem here and you are right... I fully believe that those who behind this [the recent attack on the Acre rabbinate by Arabs] are [motivated by] political factors..."

Anet Haskia: "Yes".

Rav Yashar: "... They want to gain a political gain of this. I don't believe that the residents... the ordinary Arab resident would do something like that. What one thinks it doesn't matter. An Arab is allowed to think that he would prefer to be here without Jews. To think so is fine. But you cannot do it. You would not expel the Jews from here..."

Anet Haskia: "No".

Rav Yashar: "...And the Jews would not expel the Arab from here. It would not help. We will live here together..."

Anet Haskia: "Indeed. There is the reality"...

(h/t and translation O)