Jewish Philanthropy: Arab Israelis Shun Meeting with Jewish Donors & The New JewPosted: January 7, 2009
Arabs, Meet Jews; Jews, Meet Arabs
It is a simple fact of Israeli society that Arabs and Jews do not meet. They may exist simultaneously or come across each other in daily life, sit next to each other in university classes, or in a cafe, but for the most part, we do not have relationships with each other.
Israel is not an apartheid society (far from it), but it is a stratified one. An Israeli Jew is not fluent in the life of an Israeli Arab and cannot tell you his concerns. Only an Israeli Arab can do that himself.
Therefore, we need to hear the voices of Arab leaders and the real people they represent in order to understand their needs.
In an article for Global Voices Online about the prohibition on Israeli journalists traveling to enemy Arab states, I wrote:
“So I ask you: with governments setting tight strictures on media relations, how can journalists expect to get a real story? If they can’t talk to us and we can’t go and visit them, how can journalists be expected to accurately and truthfully report on the perspectives of real people living their lives?”
There is no way around it. We need to talk to each and learn from each other if we are ever to make meaningful coexistence work