Saturday, May 13, 2006

Life for an Israeli Arab

Michael J. Totten blogged about meeting an Israeli Arab named Samir. He noted as long as you aren’t dealing with Hezbollah psychopaths, Semtex-strapped “martyrs,” or Al Qaeda head-choppers, Arabs really are the most pleasant people you can find anywhere.

I believe that he is right. The Arabs that remained in Israel in 1948 are better off than most of the Arabs living in the elsewhere in the middle east, not just the "Palestinians", but Egyptians, Jordanians, etc, and it is because the government in those other areas are so bad. And of the three I just mentioned, the Palestinians have it worse than the Egyptians and the Jordanians, because they have the most corrupt government. I wonder why they want their own state. If they could just get rid of the extremists leading them, they would profit much better living under Israeli occupation. And if they got rid of the extremists and showed they really wanted to live in peace with Israel, the Israelis would be pushing them to begin choosing leaders who would govern them democratically, and forming their own state.
There’s nothing quite like going to a place where you can regularly and reliably pull up a chair (or a space on a carpet) with total strangers and share coffee, tea, cigarettes, and conversation while basking in the glow of instant warm friendship. Arab hospitality alone is reason enough to visit the Middle East instead of Europe on your next holiday....

“What’s it like for you as an Israeli Arab when Israelis and Palestinians are killing each other?” I said. “We don’t get involved,” he said. He then placed the tips of his index fingers on his cheekbones just below his eyes. “We watch.” “When there is, eventually, a two-state solution, do you want to live on the Israeli side or the Palestinian side?” “The Israeli side!” he said instantly and emphatically as if there were no other possible answer. “None of us want anything to do with the Palestinian Authority. They are corrupt. They are impossible. They are not straight. No one can deal with those people.” “Are the Israelis straight?” I said. “No!” he said. “But they are better. Which side would you rather live on?” he asked rhetorically. “Should I prefer Arafat and Hamas just because I’m an Arab?”
he makes a very good point. He prefers the Israeli side because their government is not as corrupt as any that the Palestinians have.

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