Let’s Talk about Israel: Grappling with Dissonance in Jewish Identity

jerusalem-556044_1920“If the Arabs didn’t kill me, my wife would.” 

Did he just say that? 

After the split second necessary for me to process his words and maintain a neutral expression, I answer: 

“Why’s that?”

“She doesn’t want me walking through the Arab neighborhood.” 


We are talking, of course, about which gate to use to exit the kotel.

I think he means it as a joke, but it’s not funny.

On this visit to Israel, I have been floored multiple times by this kind of abject fear, prejudice and even hatred—veiled and otherwise—toward the vaguely-defined “Arabs.”