More Arab Workers, More Arab-Jewish Business Ties, Less Stabbings

My family that is still in America is worried that I’m going to be stabbed any day now. Maybe I will, but I doubt it. The general reflex when attack waves happen is to clamp down. Arab workers are no longer allowed in my town. That is really bad timing because the community pool just started undergoing renovations, and then the stabbings started, so now the pool is unusable and won’t be finished any time soon because Arab workers may not enter.

The local butcher, Basar HaShomron, is looking for Jews to replace its own Arab workers.

This is when the nationalists start coming out of the woodwork and accusing anyone who uses Arab labor of being a self-hating Jew. And endangering the community.

I shop at the Arabs. There’s a village called Nabi Elias (Eliyahu HaNavi in Arabic) that has little hole in the wall shops of vegetables, eggs, meat, a little 7-11 type Arab Kwik-E-Mart. I don’t buy the meat obviously, but we get eggs and olive oil there, mainly. Sometimes vegetables, though I haven’t lately because of Shmitah and I don’t know where they come from exactly.

Beyond the money-saving, I shop at Nabi Elias on principle. The more business between Jews and Arabs, the less stabbings and attacks in general. This is not the inane Shimon Peres theory that if you give them luxury they stop attacking. In other words if you take money from Jewish taxpayers and give it to an Arab government, everyone will be happy. No no. No peace results from one government giving money to another government. Shopping at the Arabs is based on the common sense theory that business owners want to make as much money as possible, and therefore will protect their businesses and customers from attack.

There are no rock attacks or shooting attacks in the area of the Nabi Elias market because if some stupid Arab kid dares throw a rock at passing cars in the vicinity of shop owners looking for customers, the shop owners will beat the snot out of the kid for ruining business. The rock attacks usually take place around Azun, or between Azun and Nabi Elias on the stretch of road with nothing on it.

So Thursday I was coming back from a meeting in Herzliya and decided to go shopping for eggs. I get 120 eggs at a time for 80 shekels. That’s 66 agorot an egg, because there is no State supervision on them, no minimum price controls to support egg farmers, and no sales tax. Eggs stamped by the State cost a shekel and a half usually, more than twice what I pay. And I eat between 3 and 5 whole eggs a day, so it’s not trivial. I also got olive oil, which is much more hearty than the industrialized Jewish stuff and 33% cheaper.

That’s the usual. Thursday I decided to get something extra. I bought a live chicken and had the guy put it in a box for me. Then I drove home and put it on the balcony. Then I quickly did a rerun of hilchos shechita in the שמלה חדשה, prepared my knife, checked it, got some dirt, shechted the chicken, defeathered it and gutted it, washed it and salted it, and we had chicken soup for Shabbat.

I’ve had my knife sitting in my drawer for years and finally decided to use it. My girls got to see a real shechita and pluck some feathers, and my wife got to do the mitzva of כיסוי דם, covering the blood with earth, for the first time.

Back to the Arab point, a good way to reduce attacks is to promote business. Where there is business, there are less attacks. Not that attacks and murders have not happened around joint Arab/Jewish business, but most happen in no-man’s land where there is no trade going on.

Therefore, just empirically, a good solution to lessening attacks is to buy Arab. It’s understandable if this makes you scared or uncomfortable, and I don’t mean or recommend going over to Shechem and painting the refugee camp red. Within reason. More importantly, the State, both local and national, needs to loosen restrictions against Arab labor, not tighten. If you object to that, then at least the State should get rid of welfare and minimum wage so Jews will do these jobs instead, but the state makes that impossible for Jews so Arabs must be hired instead.

Ultimately, Jews and Arabs should be allowed to build and settle wherever they want and trade and exchange between each other without interference, so that if I wanted to, I could buy land or real estate in Azun, and some Arab in Azun could buy real estate in Karnei Shomron.