So an Israeli walks into a café in Syria and he says, “I’ll take a cappuccino.”
Sounds like the beginning to a good joke. But what would happen if an Israeli walked into a bar in Damascus? Would he be served? Would he be thrown out? It is highly unlikely that we will ever know, as Israelis are not allowed to visit Syria. However, Israel has nearly 2,000,000 Arabs who live within its borders and that doesn’t even include Palestinians. These are passport-holding citizens of Israel.
How does Israel treat her Arab citizens? To be honest, it would be understandable if they were harassed to some degree (I said understandable, not acceptable) as most of the Arab states and Persian Iran are hostile towards the Jewish state and her Jewish citizens.
Not long ago, a television program sought to find out. The name of the program is What Would You Do? They set up hidden cameras in a café and hired an Arab actress and an Israeli actor. The Arab woman would walk in and ask for coffee and the Israeli would say, in front of his Jewish customers, “I don’t sell to Arabs.” The purpose was to see how the Jewish customers would react to the blatant racism.
The results were heartwarming. The Israelis (in every case…at least the ones they aired) came to the defense of the Arab woman. The Israelis gave the racist owner a piece of their mind and the one woman who appeared to be indifferent and said nothing, did something as she leaves that will bring tears to your eyes.
The result was not unexpected. I have lived here for nearly nine years and while you can surely find racism towards Arabs, it is not even close to the level that an outsider might expect, when one considers the constant conflict between the nation of Israel and her Arab neighbors. Despite being the greatest victims of racism the world has ever known, Israelis, by and large, are not racists. In fact, if you turn on a typical comedy show, most of the humor is making fun of ourselves, not others.
Hopefully this video will get forwarded, shared, posted and tweeted around the world so that people can see what an eretz nehederet (a wonderful country) Israel is—for Arabs and Jews. It is a fact that Israeli Arabs have more freedoms and human rights than any other nation in the Middle East will offer them.