Several Arab families decided to act on Hizbullah Chief Hassan Nasrallah's "recommendation" and leave rocket-stricken Haifa during the war in south Lebanon. They traveled to Palestinian towns like Bethlehem and Ramallah, and even to east Jerusalem, but soon after decided they had rather return home and face the rocket menace. The reason: The bad treatment awarded to them in hotels, restaurants and stores, as well as ongoing harassments of their wives and daughters on the part of the local residents.
"We walked around town for a while, but the attitude we encountered on the part of the locals was horrible. The youngsters on the street started harassing our wives and daughters and used shocking expressions that I cannot even bring myself to pronounce," he said.
Another Haifa resident, who went with his family to Jerusalem to escape from the rocket threat, said that the local merchants blatantly took advantage of the situation and inflated the prices in stores. A bottle of mineral water that usually sells for about NIS 4, for instance, was being sold to the Haifa tourists for NIS 10.
"They told us, 'you are worse than the Jews.' We heard expressions of joy over the fact we have fled our homes, and some even tried to attack us. We were disgusted and decided to return to Haifa," he said, stressing that he used to be a regular donor to the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza.
According to him, after that day and the humiliation he experienced in Bethlehem, he does not plan on donating even one shekel. "We thought we are one nation and that what really hurts them, hurts us too. We went to demonstrations for them and we donated a lot of money to them because we thought they are our brothers and that is our obligation. But, what we found was exploitation and undeserving treatment toward someone supposedly from the same nation," he told.
Thursday, August 17
An inside view, thanks to Ynet News of how some Palestinians are relating to their northern Israeli Arab brethern who fled south to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to escape the Katyusha barrages. Does the Arab saying "The friend of my enemy is my enemy" (or is it the other way around...) ring a bell?