Sunday, June 03, 2012


י"ג לחודש השלישי תשע"ג

I was in Nazareth for the first time a few weeks ago, on business.  It appeared to be a quaint town, tucked away in the hills, overlooking the Ye'ezri'el Valley.  The view was amazing.

My work is associated with English language education, a field considered to be neutral, if not positive by Arabs.  We were not a threat to them, or they to us.  Business is business.  The staff of the school where we were operating was very helpful, and our fellow teachers all very nice.

My experiences dealing with Arabs in Yaffo and in the Shomron (Samaria) kicked in.  I was never the first to break eye contact.  I held myself confidently.  I presented a pleasant attitude, though, because,…you know, it's business.  But, I also I carried a knife, because you never know.

Remember the summer, 2006, when Hizbollah was raining rockets on Israel, the residents of Nazareth cheered, even when they hit targets within Nazareth itself.  That was more than enough for me to take precautions. 

All I have ever heard about Nazareth is that it is filled with churches.  Well, I saw quite a few mosques, but I do not remember seeing any churches.  When I heard the chiming of church bells later that afternoon, only then did I experience the presence of churches.  I saw quite of few priests and nuns in Jerusalem this week; whereas, I did not see any today in Nazareth, none who were recognizable anyway.

Two huge banners hung in the middle of Nazareth's tourist section, quoting a statement from the Quran declaring Yesh"u's divine origin to be false.  On one hand, I do not have a problem with Muslims fighting avodah zarah (foreign worship).  We can learn a lot from them, in this regard.  Who doesn't remember video footage of the Taliban controlled, Afghani government blowing up huge stone Buddhas of Bamiyan?  People from around the world were appalled.  But, the Taliban stuck to their guns; they did what they believed was right.  The opinions of outsiders did not affect them.

Likewise, the Muslims of Nazareth did not appear to be concerned with what such banners could do to the town's tourism industry, not to mention its public image, something on which co-dependent Jews place quite a bit of emphasis.

If Jews were to put up similar banners, decrying the identical message, shouts of bigotry and the oppression of "freedom of religious expression" drown out the citation of religious sources. 

In one of the classrooms, there was a drawing which incorporated the flag of the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], with the English words "Palestine will be free!" interspersed amongst the Arabic.

This is a Nazareth Municipality school, which recently won an award for the teaching of "coexistence."

Apparently, something went wrong somewhere, and was either missed, or more likely, ignored, by the "coexistence" education judges.

When Jews have expressed similar hopes and beliefs for Yehudah and the Shomron (Judea & Samaria), they have been arrested for hasatah, incitement of racism or violence.  Often these Jews were simply quoting prophetic sources, just like the Muslims with their banner (להבדיל).

But, what do fearful co-dependent Jews care about prophetic, or halakhic, sources, when such sources might upset the goyim?

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