Last week, a friend who volunteers teaching English to kids in an Arab village near Karmiel mentioned an informal survey he’d done among the kids he teaches. He asked them, hypothetically, who they wouldn’t want living in their village.
He listed a whole bunch of different types of people: Arab Christians, Americans, religious and non-religious Jews.
It turned out that the main group of people that the kids didn’t want coming to live in their village was religious Jews.
Because, according to the kids, religious Jews hate Arabs more.
In other words: not because they hate us, but because they believe we hate them.
I was astonished, but actually this makes sense. They probably figure that the people who are most passionate about the religion are also the most passionate Zionists. And thus, the most passionate Arab-haters.
To me, being a religious Jew is totally about Israel. But it is not at all about hatred.
I always figured that when I made aliyah, I’d understand the situation here a lot more clearly. You know, being actually present on the ground, as opposed to being way off in North America.
That’s about as accurate as a flea expecting to understand a dog’s life just because it lives on the dog’s back.