I want to share a recent experience, but I must give a background story first….As most of you already know, I live in Israel. I am Jewish by faith.I live in Jerusalem, not far from the local university. As a result, I am always meeting students from abroad and from all over Israel. My home has always been an open house to many of these students and they frequently come for meals, to watch TV or to use the Internet. I love this exposure to young people, it keeps me young.About six years ago I met a young law student from the northern part of Israel. We became quite close friends after a very short time. He is a Palestinian Muslim. This in no way ever was an issue to our friendship. He was living in the dorms of the university when I met him, about a block from my home.
When he finished his studies he had to move out of the dorms. He called me that day saying that he had to speak to me. We arranged for him to come over to the house. He had an idea, but by the time he got here he informed me that what he was thinking was nonsense and could never work.I finally convinced him to tell me what his idea was and to let me be the judge if it was nonsense or not. He thought that he could move into my home, but then realised that it was a dumb idea, impossible, unheard of….. I asked why he thought that. His reply was that he is an Arab and I am a Jew and we cannot live together because of that. I asked him if he had a problem with me being a Jew; he said he didn’t. I told him that I had no problem with him being an Arab.He moved in with me that very day. I told him that I was not in a landlord mode, so if he moved in with me he would be treated like a son, not as a tennant. He had no problem with that.He was very happy to be able to remain in Jeruslem and was fortunate enough to start up his own private law practice.
About a year later the Intefada started here. I was not sure what the situation between us would become as a result. He was also unsure.The horrible situation only brought us closer together and we both understand fully the plights of either side of the struggle.His family has accepted me as a full fledged member of their family. I go to his village often and am more than welcome. My family has met him and they adore him as well and he is always welcome in their homes.
Two years ago he was married to a lovely young lady from his village. Because of the situation at her workplace she was not able to move to Jerusalem at the time, so he remained with me and she stayed in his parents home. He went there every weekend and every other chance he got.Last year they became the proud parents of a gorgeous little boy, my grandson. Two months ago, twin girls were born. Our living arrangements remain the same because of the work situation, he is with me during the week and with his ‘other’ family on weekends. It is difficult for them, but there is no alternative at the moment.
A group of visiting American journalists and psychologists heard about the two of us. They wanted to meet us and interview us. We agreed and we all met in the home of his parents in an Arab village in northern Israel about a year ago.They were fascinated by our relationship and closeness despite all odds against us. They made us feel very special. I never felt we were doing anything special, two human beings, two friends living in the same home as family. What seems so special about that? But he is an Arab and I am a Jew and it cannot be, its impossible, unheard of. I find that very sad, it should be the norm, not something special.Anyhow, because of these latest developements,meeting with the journalists, we have now become Israels hottest tourist attraction… it’s a great feeling!


  1. Dusty Dog said,

    October 29, 2005 at 13:36

    Wow! You published your story on your blog. I am so happy to be reading it again. I have never met you, and I have never met your Arab “son”, but I love you both. I really do.

    Next year in Jeruselum? Maybe?

  2. DesertPeace said,

    October 29, 2005 at 15:55

    You are more than welcome to visit… and I don’t mean Maybe!

  3. Ilena said,

    June 10, 2007 at 10:10

    I find it fascinating, hearing about an Arab and a Jew living together.I agreed with you, that it’s sad at the same time cause should be the norm. Until you said “anyhow, because of these develpments, meeting with journalists, we have now become Israels hottest tourist attraction . . it’s a great feeling!” It contradicts what you said. That you feel sad, ’cause it should be the norm.

    “israel’s hottest tourist attraction” ..

  4. Desert Peace said,

    June 10, 2007 at 10:34

    Yes ilena, it’s sad, even sadder that the situation gets ‘special attention’.

  5. Anonymous said,

    October 26, 2007 at 16:24

    Arabs and Jews are more or less the same anyway. The artificial divide is enforced by the Zionists and their fellow ideologues.

  6. Anonymous said,

    October 26, 2007 at 17:12

    I am a 28 year old african american male. I just wantd to say it truly warmed my heart to read that in a place where the practice of hate is the norm, two families have said I will not follow like sheep, and instead truly follow what has been taught….we are all human beings deservin of compassion, love, family and a safe place to lay one’s head at night. NO ONE should ever have to worry about bombs or bullets coming through thier walls, or dying on the way to the market or school. The sad thing about this story is that you are seen as such oddities, and that other jewish families have not followed in your footsteps.

    It is truly sad and ironic that the europeanjews thier have so quickly forgotten the past, and have also forgotten the moral debt that is owed by them. How many non-jewish families at great risk took in jewish families and helped them during WW2? I hope more families on both sides remember the past and decide on a personal level to do something about it.

    One man can not change the course of a river with a spoon…. but a million men all armed with a spoon can change the course of any river.

    Peace to all in the region.

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