Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Is There a Melting Pot in the Middle East?
Nadene Goldfoot
What is exciting about being an American is learning to live with people of all colors and all nationalities. I found the same thing happening in Israel. Though the country is unimaginably tiny, the diaspora of Jews have returned from every corner in the globe along with non Jews as well from exotic countries. Blacks from Ethiopia moved into the apartment building across the street from me in Safed. There were many English friends with various accents living there, also. My boss was from Morocco. My neighbors were from Arab countries. Many Arabs are living in Israel and are citizens. They have representation in the Knesset with their own party. Others I met spoke French or Spanish. It was an exciting place to live and to meet people. Besides all the people one can meet, the television is full of programs from other countries. I enjoyed viewing movies from Lebanon and Egypt as well as oldies from the USA. England had racier programs than I had ever seen in the states. People in Israel thought you were uneducated if you only spoke one language. One appreciated differences there.

I am taken back with the fact that the West Bank in now governed by Palestinians, and we only have about 500 Jews living in Hebron with thousands of Arabs. These few Jews have just suffered from the Peace Now Movement who demonstrated that they should get out of there. Is there no tolerance for somebody that is not an Arab? That this is happening in what is part of Israel is showing that they have no understanding of a democracy. If Arabs live in Israel, why can't Jews live in the West Bank?

Now days a Jew can be a tourist in Egypt. Jews cannot go to any other Muslim country, however. The odd thing is that Jordanians have been coming into Israel to work, but we can't go there. There is no give and take. It's all take and no give, yet they except Israel to bend over backwards on all accounts.
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