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Israeli cafe orders employees to stop speaking Arabic on the job

A branch of Aroma Espresso Bar in central Israel tells its Arab workers that speaking their mother-tongue is offensive to some of the customers.

By Yael Marom

Illustrative photo of an Aroma cafe branch in Israel. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Illustrative photo of an Aroma cafe branch in Israel. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A branch of “Aroma Espresso Bar,” one of Israel’s most popular coffee chains, told its Arab workers last week that they are no longer allowed to speak Arabic at work, following customer complaints.

“I am reminding you that our goal is to make our customers feel wanted, and not uncomfortable,” wrote the franchise manager of the Kfar Saba branch, in central Israel, in a WhatsApp message sent to the workers last week.

“It is important you understand that this is not against the Arabic language. By the same token, it could have been Russian or Ethiopian or any other language that the customers cannot understand. Speaking to people in a language they understand is a matter of basic manners,” she explained, requesting that the workers speak to customers in Hebrew only.

The Arab workers were also allegedly summoned in pairs to speak to the manager about the new policy. During these conversations, it was made clear to the workers that the rule applies to conversations among them that take place during work. Some of the workers, who were insulted by the decision, called the policy racist and said they would not stand for it. One of the workers even told the manager, “I am an Arab, this is my language. It’s an embarrassment that the company even takes these kinds of complaints.”

There are approximately 10 Arab workers at Aroma’s Kfar Saba Branch — nearly half of the total staff. The branch serves many Arab customers from the neighboring towns and cities, including Tira and Taybeh, including doctors and medical staff who work at the nearby Meir Medical Center.

Attorney Shada Aamer of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) explains that this kind of policy violates the 1988 Employment (Equal Opportunities) Law, which forbids discriminating against employees over their nationality, origin, religion, etc., and applies to all languages, whether Arabic, Russian, or Amharic. However, Aamer says, the language in question is also the mother-tongue of 20 percent of Israel’s citizens. “The court ruled that discomfort and suspicion toward the other who speaks Arabic is not protected by the law. Thus, for example, the benefit of Aroma’s employees cannot be used to protect the employer when he/she violates the Employment (Equal Opportunities) Law,” Aamer explains.

This is certainly not the first time Arabic has frightened both customers or the authorities, leading to an attempt to erase it from the public space. Late last year, the Dan bus company gave in to boycott threats and stopped its Arabic announcements in the southern city of Be’er Sheva. Also last year, Tel Aviv University forbade employees at one of its call centers from speaking Arabic with callers, even if the latter were Arabic speakers.

A Dan bus in Be'er Sheva, which includes station names in both Hebrew and Arabic.

A Dan bus in Be’er Sheva, which includes station names in both Hebrew and Arabic.

“The fear of hearing Arabic in the public sphere arises once in a while, and not only in places of work,” Aamer says.

In response, Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh told Local Call that the government’s delegitimization and erasure of both the Arabic language and culture led by the government is trickling down to some citizens. “Arabic is not only an official language of the state, it is also the mother-tongue of a fifth of its citizens, and there are many Jewish citizens who immigrated here from Arab countries — they are a natural part of this country,” Odeh said.

“I call on the cafe’s management and the entire chain to retract this offensive and illegal policy and to work toward mutual respect and strengthening the shared space we are trying to build here.”

In response to the above claims, Aroma Espresso Bar offered the following response:

Aroma forbids each and every one of its franchise to express any kind of racism, including preventing its workers to speak among themselves in a particular language (including Arabic, Russian, or Amharic). Clear directives on this issue have, from time to time, been sent out to the franchises. This was a case of an independent franchise, which sought, through inaccurate phrasing, to refrain from partaking in conversation that customers did not understand next to customers.

The message sent by the manager immediately thereafter clarifies this: “Of course if a customer speaks to you in Arabic you may answer him in Arabic, but the important principle is not to give people the feeling that they or their order are being spoken about and they cannot understand.

Of course, we clarified the directives once again for all our franchises.

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew. 

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    COMMENTS

    1. Ben

      Oh but trust us, we are different, unlike any other human beings on earth we have this special “ethnotheocratic democracy” concept and only we know how to make it work. The formula is top secret. Trust us. We can handle it. It will work out fine. What’s the problem?

      Reply to Comment
      • JeffB

        @Ben

        English only in front of the customers are policies are common in the USA. Not everyone likes to travel and be exposed to different cultures (though Israelis certainly do more than Americans). Over time these policies tend to increase the English skills of the staff so they speak less accented English and are more understandable to the customers. This incidentally has the effect of often raising the long term job earning prospects of those employees whose English improvs.

        In India, which is probably a more applicable example, English only policies in the workplace are common to avoid regional tensions. They avoid cliques forming among the workers which can lead to a hostile work environment and project failure.

        Not everything Israel does is racist. Take off the dark glasses. The language of Israel is Hebrew. The Arabs living in Israel need to be fluent and comfortable in Hebrew.

        Reply to Comment
    2. i_like_ike52

      And you call yourself and your USA democratic even though you tolerate David Duke

      Reply to Comment
    3. Firentis

      Search google for ‘can employers force employees to speak …’ and notice how prevalent this issue is in the Western world. What one doesn’t see in the articles written about companies doing this in other countries is some sort of generic extrapolation used to demonize a whole country. Welcome to how propaganda works.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Ike and Firentis: Yours are not valid comparisons. See Baladi Akka’s comment. Your comments are the true propaganda.

        Reply to Comment
        • Firentis

          There is a dominant language in Israel which is also the dominant language in Kfar Saba. Employees can speak whatever language they want in their free time, but when they are dealing with customers it is expected that they will act professionally and speak in a language that the overwhelming majority of customers will understand. Given that this policy is applied for all languages and not just Arabic it sounds like a sound one. If the employees wish to work elsewhere they are welcome to. In this case the chain even agreed to not implement such a policy and nonetheless it has been turned into an issue to tarnish the whole country’s image.

          This issue comes up in other countries and is dealt with in different ways. In most cases the company gets into a bit of hot water or the issue is taken to trial. The entire country is not put on trial because of the actions of one branch manager. This is called double standards and propaganda.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      It should be that way everywhere in Israel. According to me, Arabic is an ugly language. Arabs can speak Arabic in the towns of Eretz Israel where they are still the majority but not in towns where the Jewish are the majority.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        [Chuckle]
        The propagandists want to soothingly say “run along we are just like America, nothing to see here,” and then Halevy comes along and gives the game away. Straight from the horse’s mouth. Lol. Halevy you’re my greatest ally.

        Reply to Comment
      • JeffB

        @Itshak

        Gotta agree with Ben, dude you aren’t helping. Besides the fact in terms of pretty the Arabs have you beat. 🙂 Neither Hebrew nor Arabic is going to win against French, Italian, Portuguese, Greek and Japanese for best sounding languages but between the two…

        Reply to Comment
        • Itshak Gordin Halevy

          I was born in Egypt and as Jews we suffered there a lot. We have been mistreated, stolen and like one million Jews living in the Arab countries expelled.
          That is the reason why this language is ugly for us and we do not want to hear it here in the Jewish State. On the other hand a lot of people do not feel secure when they hear Arabic. Arabs can of course speak their language in their towns and at home.

          Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            You’re lying: One million Jews were not expelled from the Arab countries ! We know the hasbara, we’ve been down that road many times here. Every Arab country has it’s own story: Morocco which had the largest Jewish population pre-1948 still grant Moroccan nationality to descendants of Moroccan Jews, none of those leaving for Israel primarily in the 50’s have lost their nationality, the same goes for Tunisian Jews. Algerian Jews had French nationality, most left with the French in 1962 but around 20.000 Jews stayed (cf Benjamin Stora) and don’t even get me started on the Lavon-affair and the Mossad bombings in Iraq …. I happen to know quite a few Jews born in Egypt here in France: many Jews in Egypt were NOT Egyptian citizens but came there from Italy, Greece, Cyprus etc during the British rule (like the Greeks), those were expelled like other foreign nationals after the Egyptian revolution in 1952, some Egyptians Jews were exiled prior to 1952 because they were communists (just like non-Jewish Egyptian communists, expulsiosn that I of course don’t justify) others were told that if they left they were not allowed back (because of Zionist infiltrations) … some individual expulsion took place though.
            Read Eric Rouleau’s wonderful autobiography (as you lived in Switzerland, I guess you read French): Rouleau was born Jewish as Elie Raffoul in Egypt and became the most well-known journalist in France in the 20th century, in his autobiography he speaks about his departure from Egypt, and also about the departure of Jews from Yemen and Iraq, you’ll learn a thing or two about their ‘expulsion’ ….
            I’ll be more than happy to give you (Jewish) sources about the topic (every single Arab country just tell me which), what about the fact that the only time Jews were expelled in Tunisia was when the Tunes (indigenous Jews) asked the Bey to expel Grana Jews (from Livorno) from Tunis because of their bizarre habits, so they were settled in the suburb of Tunis …. Every summer thousand of Tunisian Jews still go back on holiday, not to speak about the pilgrimage to Djerba, many still have houses there, and the Tunisian governement regularly encourage Tunisian Jews to return home, what an expulsion !

            Reply to Comment
          • Itshak Gordin Halevy

            Every Arab State has its own story? We were second-class inhabitants (dhimis). In fact one million Jews were expelled from Arab countries (I was one of them as a kid). Some of them went to Europe, USA, etc and other to Israel. In fact, most of the Jewish communities in Arab countries have disappeared.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Baladi Akka 1948

      So some descendant of foreign settlers in historic Palestine want to prevent the indigenous population from speaking their native tongue even among themselves. Why said this isn’t a settler-colonial State ?

      Reply to Comment
      • JeffB

        @Baladi

        Yes Baladi that is absolutely correct. They want them to learn the language of the society that exists in Israel not the language that used to exist in Israel. The same way that descendants of the previous Mexican society in Arizona, New Mexico and California are encouraged to speak English and not Spanish in the workplace. The same way that people in Maine and Vermont 100 years ago had to move away from speaking French.

        That’s a good thing it means they want to assimilate you. It is how you get to civil equality.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          JeffB, these are specious comparisons. The Arab-Jewish , Arabic-Hebrew equation in the land between the river and the sea is complex and one of a kind, and not reducible to French, Mexicans, etc in the United States. Far too simplistic. You are expounding merely a politer version of Halevy’s supremacism. The closest semi-valid comparison would be French and English in Canada, where French and English have equal status by law in the government and complex efforts are expended to further this and equal treatment in general.

          Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            You are missing a key distinction.

            Itshak was arguing that Hebrew was in some sense an intrinsically better language.
            I’m arguing that Hebrew is a situationally better language.

            Those are not similar arguments. If an Israeli community emigrated to Iraq they might similarly need to speak Arabic in the workplace for much the same reasons I’m arguing for with regard to Hebrew. Hebrew is the language of the nation that inhabits Israel at this time. Situationally it makes sense to speak.

            As for Canada. Canada has a policy of coequal cultures. After a long period of French, English wars followed by almost two centuries of discrimination the French Canadians agreed to be fully Canadian and Canada agreed to a partial binational identity. It should be noted that French Canada helps anchor English Canada from just assimilating into the USA so French culture is a net benefit for both society’s cultural preservation.

            I’m not sure it is actually to French Canada’s advantage to have reached this agreement but everyone is mostly happy and it works out. The analogy with Canada would be Israel after some sort of vast military defeat where the Hebrew culture survived (something I think unlikely) but was absorbed into say a Levant state. The Levant state oppresses the Hebrew culture, then gradually grants it some sort of cultural semi-parity as the tension erodes.

            Israel hasn’t been through anything like that process and never made a similar agreement. At some points in the past it was moving towards a mulit-national identity but that has proven unworkable mostly after the absorption of Area-C, the political absorption of the Area-A and B and the failure to absorb Gaza. It has left the Israeli-Arabs in an impossible position. At this point assimilation seems vastly preferable. I’m not making a supremacist claim in general with this. I’m just simply stating that situationally that its a good thing that Israel is offering Israeli Arabs the opportunity to become fully Israeli and to have an untroubled relationship with the state in which they live.

            Reply to Comment
        • Baladi Akka 1948

          No “Jeff” is going to tell me what my family in the Galilee who lived there long before the State of Israel came around is going to speak among themselves neither in private nor in public !
          I already speak various languages, and want to study more but Hebrew is not on my list, maybe after Guarani and Wolof …
          PS. Maybe you should look up the meaning of ‘assimilate’ and how it differs from ‘integrate’, and who says Palestinian citizens in Israel want to ‘integrate’ either…. maybe they (or some/most of them) want to stay Palestinians.

          Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Baladi

            No one is arguing the Ottoman culture predates the Israeli culture. The country used to be mostly Arabic speaking. That’s not a point in dispute. Today it isn’t.

            The Slovene region of Austria 200 years ago used to speak Slovene today, 100 years later they mostly spoke German today very few can even understand Slovene.

            The Soviets managed to change the Belarus language and today its use even at home is disappearing. In another generation or so down to single digits.

            Or to pick a society near you, the Copts no longer speak their own language and instead speak Egyptian Arabic.

            Languages in an area can shift. Your ancestors didn’t always speak Arabic they shifted to Arabic.

            And yes I meant assimilate not integrate. As for wanting to stay Palestinian of course when asked they want to Palestinian. The goal of the state is to gradually undermine that want so it becomes less important while gradually increasing the difficulty. You never make the decision to fully assimilate away your culture. Instead everyday you make practical decisions which in just a small way effective erode how much is being passed on to the next generation. By the time the children are adults they have far less of the cultural context than you like but you don’t doubt you made the right choices. After a few generations there is little left to preserve.

            That’s how most of the world is at peace.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            “Ottoman culture”
            You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about !
            Just have to admire the chutzpah of some arrogant prick telling the Palestinians how they should ‘assimilate’ to the aliens who’ve stolen their land.
            Don’t waste your time responding ….

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Ottoman culture…the Slovenes…the Soviets…And yes I meant assimilate not integrate. As for wanting to stay Palestinian of course when asked they want to Palestinian. The goal of the state is to gradually undermine that want…”

            JeffB your obtuseness and insensitivity and blithe offensiveness leaves me speechless. You, like Halevy, end up being my ally. Just stand back and let you natter on. Really, I don’t mean to be impolite, but you’re doing an excellent job of showcasing why the Israelis can’t be trusted to deploy their “Jewish and democratic sovereignty” idea.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            I’m not going to feel any guilt about asking the Palestinians to go through the same process your grandparents or parents went through or my great-grandparents and grandparents went through. Its the same process that Americans who make aliyah go through. You can keep screaming about how outrageous the demand is but this is how countries live in peace. The only Palestine that exists is Gaza and that’s been a disaster. Palestine doesn’t exist, it is not going to exist. The country that does exist is Israel. What do you think “Israel is Jewish the way France is French” means? France originally had distinct nations: the Burgundians, the Aquitanians, the Neustrians they were all absorbed into Frankish culture and today that’s why France is a country and not a bunch of disconnected warring provinces.

            I’m not saying anything that Zionists have not been saying for 140 years. The only thing I’m saying is that it is time for that process to play out with the Palestinians. It is time to open up Judaism. Considering the alternatives that’s a generous offer. Permanent second class citizenship where Palestinians end up as residents with little say in how their society is governed is not being generous or “sensitive” to the Palestinians.

            It is many decades past the time that Palestinians started having the conversation about how they want to live in Israel.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            As a Palestinian living in France, I almost pee in my pants every time I hear the Zionist BS about “Israel is as Jewish as France is French”
            First time I thought it was some retarded dude, but I’ve realized it’s a hasbara talking point, so totally off the point that I wonder if you have the slightest idea about what being French is (and I’m not a French citizen, by my own choice, and for various reasons)
            You can’t be Jewish and an Muslim, you can’t be Jewish and a Christian, in France being French has nothing to do with your religion (if you have one or your ethnic origins), so we’ve got French Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Taoïst ect …
            You really gotta tell Hasbara Central to change that talking point, even an idiot can see how ridiculous it is.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Baladi

            I love how you got so self righteous as a Palestinian about what’s going on in Israel when you don’t even live there. If you are in France who cares if you learn Hebrew or not.

            France is Catholic. You can’t understand French politics and French culture outside the memes of Catholicism. While one can live in France as a Jew or a Muslim they can’t be fully French. That not to say they can’t be a French citizen, participate in France in many ways, advance French interests and be loyal to the French state but no you can’t be fully French and not be Catholic. You can be 80% French but not 10% French. That’s why France has had such a difficult time absorbing Muslims and historically such a difficult time absorbing Jews.

            But the current situation is irrelevant to the situation of the Palestinians. Palestinians are a much larger fraction of Israel’s population. A far better more recent analogy would be the Huguenots. That was both an ethnic and religious minority who had a developing self awareness as an alternative nation. They were persecuted out of political existence some emigrated some converted back to Catholicism. The small fraction no longer posses a definitional threat to France and so the United Protestant Church of France’s members live peaceably unlike their ancestors.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “France is Catholic. You can’t understand French politics and French culture outside the memes of Catholicism. While one can live in France as a Jew or a Muslim they can’t be fully French. That not to say they can’t be a French citizen, participate in France in many ways, advance French interests and be loyal to the French state but no you can’t be fully French and not be Catholic.”

            OK it’s time to stop pulling my punches. JeffB you can’t imagine how stupid you sound. They never taught you in school about the French Revolution and the Third, Fourth and Fifth Republics?

            You and I have had basically the same conversation over several articles here in the past few days and I am not going to answer all your replies. This here will suffice. You are a master at the irrelevant, off-base, inaccurate, deeply confused, misleading, obfuscating, and downright offensive historical analogy. you do it over and over. Willy nilly. We’ve had the Soviets and what they did to the Belorussians as one fine example of what the Palestinians should naturally submit to and all will be well, and now we have the Huguenots. And not just the Huguenots (and the god-awful, blood-soaked persecution they suffered) but this gem:

            “A far better more recent analogy would be the Huguenots. That was both an ethnic and religious minority who had a developing self awareness as an alternative nation. They were persecuted out of political existence some emigrated some converted back to Catholicism. The small fraction no longer posses a definitional threat to France and so the United Protestant Church of France’s members live peaceably unlike their ancestors.”

            Your model of peace and reconciliation is…persecution! Are you for real or are you an undercover false flag pro-Palestinian agent? I’m genuinely curious.

            Reply to Comment
          • JeffB

            @Ben

            You are getting caught in your contradictions. Your bluster about the 3rd, 4th and 5th Republic is just that. You had agreed to the example of France. We then start discussing how France became French and what French identity means. The fact that the real history contradicts your leftist propaganda is not a failure on my part to know history. Its a failure on yours to know history.

            You want to single Israel out as being uniquely bad. To do that you need to compare Israel to what other countries were doing during the same phase of development. That’s not France today but rather France in the early days of a unified consciousness. You can also consider how France responded to challenges to French identity when they were serious historically. We can pick other successful countries and you see the same thing, BTW including your example of Canada.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            JeffB,
            All you do as far as I can see is traffic in bad analogies. Really bad analogies. So now the guide for solving the I-P conflict is pre-revolutionary or medieval France? Or the worst instincts of the French far right, the same far right that eagerly cooperated with the Nazi death machine? I’m trying to picture Ze’ev Sternhell reading this. Again, you pile up one stupefyingly bad, and revealing, analogy on top of another. Though the Soviet suppression of the Belorussians was really choice, the appallingly persecuted French Huguenots as Palestinians may be the all time winner of bad analogies for solving the conflict. I have to hand it to you. No one else could have thought these up. It’s a one of a kind analysis.
            Even your least implausible or offensive analogies are strikingly facile. I don’t think you have any ear for how analogies work and don’t work and how far they work. Or any ear at all for the singularities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or any true sense of history at all, which would involve an awareness of how history does and does not repeat itself. And through it all is a striking narcissism: an inability to even tactically empathize with the other side. Again it is not my intention to be impolite, but you say outrageous things.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            I wrote a comment hours ago that apparentluy went down the drain.
            I commented on your “France is Catholic. You can’t understand French politics and French culture outside the memes of Catholicism. While one can live in France as a Jew or a Muslim they can’t be fully French” saying that you don’t know what you’re talking about neither do you know/understand anything about France.
            You’re basically saying that people like Claude Levi-Strauss, Emile Dürkheim, Marcel Mauss, Pierre Mendes-France, Leon Blum or Simone Veil were/are not fully French, I guess it goes for Lionel Jospin and Michel Rocard too, both Protestants …
            Then I also said that not even Marine Le Pen and the National Front would claim that kind of BS, that you’re aligning yourself with Nazis in European history, but then we already know that Zionism and Nazism share the ethnodifferentialist approach. That’s why we have to get rid of Zionism in historical Palestine !

            Reply to Comment
    6. JeffB

      @Baladi

      The Nazis argued that nationality was a racial immutable characteristic not a matter of choice at all. That was the very reason they want after descendants of ethnically Jewish converts to Christianity. I’m arguing the exact opposite that nationality while important is a matter of choice and mutable. Your position that the descendants of ethnic Palestinians are forever damned to be Muslim Arabic speakers alienated from their country and are incapable of changing gradually into Hebrew speaking Jews is far closer to the Nazi position than my belief in assimilation.

      That’s actually not shocking. Historically many of the ideas of Nazis were recast by the Soviets and then absorbed by the global left. In particular the anti-colonialist holds that land is a racial entitlement. There are good people (natives) and bad people (colonizers), the distinction is genetic (i.e. it is passed on generation after generation). The colonizers are incapable of living on the land they always “exploit it”… that’s Nazi racial philosophy shifted under Soviet authorship. That’s why BTW anti-zionism can usually rightfully be called antisemetic because it quite literally is intellectually descended from the anti-semitism clubs of the 19th century.

      Now in terms of your list of people. Great artists, thinkers, writers… often come from the margins of society not the interior. It is often by being able to see one’s society from the outside and somewhat in terms of other societies that creates the artistic insights. That’s the reason for example that the Jewish diaspora in the pre-Israel phase was so rich intellectually much more so than the Israeli culture. Jews are at home in Israel and aren’t in the right position to see those insights anymore. Arguably Palestinians are and it wouldn’t shock me at all if Palestinians become intellectual leaders among Arabs for many many generations. History does have a black sense of humor.

      Reply to Comment
    7. JeffB

      @Baladi

      Well interestingly enough I lost the reply to your reply where you lost the reply. So +972 isn’t discriminating on lost posts.

      Anyway, your claim about Nazism is false. The Nazi paradigm is that national differences are a racially immutable characteristic. That’s why for example they targeted German Christians with no ties to the Jewish community nor a Jewish identity merely because they had a grandparent that had converted from Judaism to Christianity. A belief in assimilation is the exact opposite of the Nazi position, that nationality is not immutable but rather is learned. People can consciously choose to adjust their nationalities and over a small number of generations cultures can change.

      Interestingly where you do see something descended from the Nazi position in the Israel / Palestine debate is on the European left, the anti-colonialist position. Anti-colonialism holds that there are a group of good people (natives) and a group of bad people (colonists). Natives cannot become colonists and colonists cannot become natives these are racially determined characteristics. Natives need to kill, oppress and drive out colonists they can’t be integrated… That is a land and soil racial ideology. And one I’d reject. As an aside Soviet anti-colonialism picked up where anti-British / anti-French Nazi propaganda left off so there is to some extent direct descent from Nazism.

      As far as your list of people. Yes, intellectual creativity often come from the tension of living on the borders of a culture. From the border one has a unique insider / outsider perspective to a culture that a person fully enmeshed in a culture doesn’t experience. The Jewish community after emancipation was a hotbed of creativity precisely because Jews were not fully accepted into European societies. Diaspora Judaism in America for is less creative than the American Jewish community of 50 years ago, because Jewish Americans are losing much hint of a distinct identity. As Israel Hebrew culture and its Jewish residents become more at home with each other the tension that drives Eastern European Jewish creativity is fading. Interestingly where you see this process in reverse is Palestinians in the Arab communities. As a Palestinian distinct culture has emerged from a distinct history their alienation from the Arab world has led them to become artistically, politically and culturally leaders introducing wonderful creative output to humanity. History does have its black humor.

      Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        @ Jeff
        I suggest you go see a shrink, you’re clearly not well at all mentally, and I’m finished ‘discussing’ with a racist jerk !
        You know ‘irhal’ in Arabic ?

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Lord almighty. JeffB your thinking is so splendidly confused and so seamlessly that one does not know where to begin, and it would be endless to try. It sure is original. You sure you’re not a false flag satirist?

        “…Your position that the descendants of ethnic Palestinians are forever damned to be Muslim Arabic speakers alienated from their country and are incapable of changing gradually into Hebrew speaking Jews is far closer to the Nazi position than my belief in assimilation. That’s actually not shocking. Historically many of the ideas of Nazis were recast by the Soviets and then absorbed by the global left. In particular the anti-colonialist holds that land is a racial entitlement….”

        Add to our burgeoning pile of Belorussians, Slovenes and Huguenots, the idea that the Palestinians need to become Jews? Hello?

        Again, I am not setting out to be unkind but let’s call a spade a spade. These statements, all of what you write not just this excerpt, in my view are not statements that can be taken seriously. They are kind of bizarre. They belong on a site devoted to a crank idea competition. The politest descriptions I can find are “cranky” and “blithering.” You have this singular style of blithely stating outrageous things or downright cranky ideas as if they made perfect sense if only people were more reasonable, just nattering away….

        Baladi, hopelessly muddled thinking and offensiveness is not a mental disorder.

        Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Lord almighty. JeffB your thinking is so splendidly confused that one does not know where to begin, and it would be endless to try. It sure is original. You sure you’re not a false flag satirist?

        “…Your position that the descendants of ethnic Palestinians are forever damned to be Muslim Arabic speakers alienated from their country and are incapable of changing gradually into Hebrew speaking Jews is far closer to the Nazi position than my belief in assimilation. That’s actually not shocking. Historically many of the ideas of Nazis were recast by the Soviets and then absorbed by the global left. In particular the anti-colonialist holds that land is a racial entitlement….”

        Add to our burgeoning pile of Belorussians, Slovenes and Huguenots, the idea that the Palestinians need to become Jews? Hello?

        Again, I am not setting out to be unkind but let’s call a spade a spade. These statements, all of what you write not just this excerpt, in my view are not statements that can be taken seriously. They are kind of bizarre. The politest descriptions I can find are “cranky” and “blithering.” You have this singular style of blithely stating outrageous things or downright crank ideas as if they made perfect sense if only people were more reasonable. Baladi, hopelessly muddled thinking and offensiveness is not a mental disorder. He doesn’t have that excuse.

        Reply to Comment
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