Jews and Arabs of Jaffa

2024-06-23 06:19:00 +07:00 by Mark Smith

There is so much horrible stuff happening in Isreal and Gaza at the minute it's important to highlight some of the inspiring things that are happening too. This is from This Week in Startups podcast recent episode - Startup Nation Deep Dive - Dan Senor Ep#1970.

First a bit of background, here are a lot of people in the west mouthing off without really understanding the history and the subtleties of the situation.

For example people claiming the jews haven't been in the region that long, that they should go home, when in fact there have been jews living in the region since the time of King David ~1000 BC. That's over a thousand years before Islam was even created.

Also many people don’t know there are many arabs that actually live in Israel, around 2 million in total. And they are full citizens. They can hold office in government, be on the supreme court etc. Some areas are extremely diverse. There are tensions now and then of course, but the bigger story, the one that gets missed is that jews and arabs have lived together for literally thousands of years. The current situation of conflict and hate is an anomaly. In the longer arc of time, it has not been the norm.

With that in mind, the story of how the people of Jaffa reacted to the October 7th attacks is quite something. Both communities essentially got together after the attack and created a task force to ensure peace in the region.

From the podcast (0:46:00):

Since October 7th, the Israeli Arab community has so locked arms with the Jewish community against Hamas, in ways that are, I will say, quite inspiring.

In a Jaffa, which is one of the most intermingled Jewish Arab towns, just outside of Tel Aviv, after October 7th the Arab community and the Jewish community were so concerned, because of the Gaza war, that there could be a flare up of tensions again between Jews and Isreali Arabs, that they created, on their own, a citizens bottom up community task force to work on security within Jaffa with each other. So literally days after October 7th, they formed this community, hundreds of them, and they basically said, "we need to stay closely connected. If there is a flare up in Jaffa in either community that threatens either community, we agree that we will work together to prevent that flareup.

And they then formed this task force, reached the mayor...THEY reached out to the major, it wasn’t top down, they setup like this Zoom call or WhatsApp call or something, they had like thousands of people from both communities.

The cohesion of both communities still persists to this day. It’s one of the most moving and inspiring stories coming out of Isreal.

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