What Would You Do? – The Israeli Version

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One short, pithy description of the difference between Islamist and Israeli societies has been placed in the mouths of many speakers. One version is attributed to Hezbolah’s Nasrallah. In an interview after a prisoner swap between Israel and his group, he remarked: “We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.”

We now have a new touchstone of the difference between Israel and her neighbors, suitable for the new “visual learners,” (i.e. people who have stopped reading). It will remind you of the YouTube a short while ago for a US television show that placed a hidden camera in a bakery, and staged a confrontation between a racist worker who would not allow Jewish customers to hang a sign on premises. Reactions of the customers ranged from denouncing the worker and storming out, to agreeing with him.

Now watch the Israeli version.

A second part offers the stats compiled over repeated trials. Of 180 customers, only 5% supported the shopowner. Another 42% remained indifferent to the scene. The largest group – 53% took action on behalf of the Arab.

Imagine this taking place in Gaza, Beirut, Damascus, Mecca, or Amman, with service denied to a Jew.

This video ought to be shared with all people who advocate for Israel in the public arena, or simply with friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.

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17 Responses

  1. Raymond says:

    President Bush spoke of the soft racism of lower expectations. I think he was making a valid point by saying that. Notice how while we discuss the virtues of our fellow Jews serving our enemies in our stores, that those same enemies will literally not even let us set foot in many of their countries. Just by virtue of the fact that I am a Jew, I am not allowed into Saudi Arabia. Bibles are banned from that same land of those Eternal Friends of ours. But isn’t this a double standard? Why do we collectively have the expectation that we Jews will behave with the utmost civility, yet do not make those same demands on our enemies? By having these differing standards, our enemies get away with horrible discrimination and acts of brutal violence against some very innocent human beings.

  2. Ori says:

    Dovid 2, entering Saudi Arabia on a valid visa is fairly safe, as long as you obey their laws (at least, from what I heard – I never needed to do that). However, non Muslims are not allowed in Mecca. Sir Richard Burton pretended he was a born Muslim to visit it. Had he been caught, it would have been a crime, quite possibly a capital one. That is recklessly risking one’s life.

  3. dovid 2 says:

    Ori, does parnassa fall within the parameters of “great need” and my showing up in Saudi Arabia would not be considered “recklessly risking one’s life”?

  4. Ori says:

    Aaron, using the technique used by Sir Richard Burton (Burton, Richard Frances, Personal Narrative of a Pilgimage to el Medinah and Meccah (1857) – you can google for it). But unless there is some great need, it can’t be a religious Jew. Recklessly risking one’s life is against Halacha.

  5. Aaron says:

    A Jew can get to Mecca? How?

  6. simairkodesh says:

    Whew,this is not a simple real-life test especailly for those who have been involved as victims or medical individuals at terror attacks. A more accurate trial would be to photograph this in Yerushalayim, Jenin or Sederot.

  7. Miriam says:

    such a frighteningly high percentage of the adherents of that group, fully support murdering our Jewish people….

    You don’t have any statistics. Do you live in Israel? The atmosphere beyond the Jerusalem-West Bank corridor is far more civil – this was shot in Holon. I agree with Ori that Israeli Arabs are not the same as freedom-deprived Gazans. In fact many of them are terrified at the idea of being annexed into a Palestinian state and losing what they have within Israel (even though they do suffer quite a bit of discrimination in the job market here – it’s a much bigger decision to hire an Arab than to sell them coffee).

  8. saulking says:

    Sarah, is your question for real? or perhaps ask about a secular, nontzinus Jew in a charedei store? As a frequent visitor to Israeli cities (from north to south), I have never encountered racism in stores to religious jews.

  9. Raymond says:

    Ori, I am glad you go that far in respecting the free market, although I am not so sure I would approve of some massive boycott. Let’s say, for example, that a given store openly refuses to do business with Jews. Well, that is at their own peril, for soon they will probably go out of business due to not putting profits ahead of their prejudices. So his faulty business practices would serve as his own self-imposed boycott. Meanwhile, I cannot fault a Jewish store owner for choosing to not do business with a group of people when such a frighteningly high percentage of the adherents of that group, fully support murdering our Jewish people. I would no more want to do business with such a group, than I would with nazis or any other group whose reason for living, is to kill us.

  10. Ori says:

    Raymond, I agree that this form of discrimination should not be illegal. It should result in people boycotting the shop, not in government involvement.

  11. Raymond says:

    True, that it is our responsibility as Jews to civilize the world. However, what if it comes at the price of our lives? What if the students we are trying to teach, are too savage and brutal to even want to learn from us in the first place, and in fact, want all of us to be dead?

    As for what I would have done personally in that particular situation, I will admit that I probably would have served that Arab woman. A human being is a human being, and we are to judge each individual on his or her own own merits. At the same time, however, I do not believe that any government has the moral right to force any given business owner to serve this or that group of customers. Private business owners should have the right to deal with customers they feel sufficiently comfortable to do business with, just as long as they hang up a sign somewhere indicating their right to refuse service to anyone.

  12. dovid 2 says:

    Raymond,

    L’maasse, what would you have done? Grab the Arab woman and throw her out of the store, join in with the storekeeper and encourage him not to serve her, or what?

    It’s interesting to note that no one mentions in this blog (frum, isn’t it?) that of all the participants, only the Arab woman was dressed modestly, or better said, the Jewish actress in order to impersonate an Arab woman must dress b’tzinah.

  13. Ori says:

    Raymond: Our enemies refusing to do business with us, makes no sense, given that, to paraphrase American Founding Father John Adams, our Jewish people are the greatest civilizing force the world has ever seen. But our refusing to do business with our enemies, does make a whole lot of sense to me, as I would not want to have anything to do with a group of people whose stated central purpose on this Earth is to blow us up.

    Ori: If we’re a civilizing force, wouldn’t be want to do business and interact with people so as to civilize them? Uncivilized behavior includes trying to kill us. Besides, we’re talking about Israeli Arabs here. Mostly, they are Israeli citizens who live in peace.

  14. Raymond says:

    Our enemies refusing to do business with us, makes no sense, given that, to paraphrase American Founding Father John Adams, our Jewish people are the greatest civilizing force the world has ever seen. But our refusing to do business with our enemies, does make a whole lot of sense to me, as I would not want to have anything to do with a group of people whose stated central purpose on this Earth is to blow us up.

  15. Sarah Elias says:

    Lovely. I wonder what would happen if it was a chareidi. What would the percentages be? Have they ever tried it?

  16. Miriam says:

    It’s a great piece. But I do wonder, had the shop owner refused but with more subtle language, how people would have reacted. The “anti-Semite” in the CBS clip isn’t quite as blunt, though he still makes his position quite clear.

  17. Samuel Svarc says:

    It’s hard to imagine it happening in those Arab cities because of the five mentioned, in one Jews are forbidden by Islam, in another being identified as a Jew is life threatening, and in the remaining three, while not as dangerous, carry realistic threat to life or limb (some more, some less).