The two recent terrorist attacks in Jerusalem were perpetrated by Israeli Arabs: employed, relatively affluent, moderate residents of Israel. Olmert declared that the security barrier doesn’t stop attacks by Israeli Arabs. Several important rabbis imposed a ban on hiring Arabs because of the danger to Jews. An Arab woman sued a human resources company in Yaffo over her rejection, and more suits will follow.
The situation is disgusting. I always feel uneasy about refusing the services of Arab cab drivers in Jerusalem or bypassing Arab sellers at Mehane Yehuda market. They are hard-working people, many of them nice, and some decent. They don’t hate me the moment before I stare at them and walk to another taxi, and my offense is unwarranted on a personal level. It’s still more unpleasant to walk out of a coffee-shop because they don’t happen to have Jewish waiters. But I feel there is no choice.
We want our land without Arabs. Even if they had been the best people around, a nation of Albert Schweitzers and Mother Teresas, we would still have had to drive them out. It is not an issue of free will; we must observe the explicit commandment. Whoever was living on the land which God gave us should be driven out of it. Unlike the Amalek, who attacked us unjustly, the natives fought us justly. They fought for the land they consider theirs. Therefore, we don’t exterminate them but only expel. There is no issue of right or wrong. It is a divine commandment which is beyond good and evil.
Luckily, Arabs are far from good neighbors, so we don’t twist our consciences by expelling them. Israeli schools teach young Arabs noble nationalism—by Jewish example, to be sure, but Arabs readily apply it to themselves. Affluent, lacking full-time employment and provoked by Jewish weakness, wavering, and concessions, young Arabs are heavily anti-Israeli. Just like us, they are fine with individual Jews. Jews buy Arab falafels, Arabs sleep with Jewish girls. It’s all fine on a personal level. It was also fine in Hebron days before the 1929 massacre.
Sociologists fail to explain why masses radicalize. Mongols lived barbaric lives for millennia, then suddenly became in Gumilev’s words, “passionaries,” conquered half the known world, and went back into oblivion. The Palestinians were moderately hostile, erupted in the Intifada, and then went back to their day jobs. This cycle is repeated intermittently. In Hebron, Jewish nurses treated Arabs for free. What closer relationship can we imagine? In 1929, the patients murdered the nurses. Don’t expect your Arab bread-seller to be better than that.