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February 06, 1987 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A TISKET A TASKET

resident of the neighborhood,
said: "I identify with the (lef-
tist) Citizens Rights Move-
ment, but I am sick and tired of
what's going on. They are
blaming us for hitting Arabs,
as if nothing has happened
here."
This is perhaps the most sig-
nificant development in the
last year in relations between
Jews and Arabs here. The
hatred of Arabs is becoming
more "in" and calls for modera-
tion are more "out." The walls
dividing the old and new points
of the city are re-created — in a
metaphoric sense.
Police Minister Haim Bar
Lev said that Jerusalem still
was one of the safest cities in
the world. Perhaps so, but it
becomes more difficult to de-
pict the capital as living proof
that Arab-Jewish coexistence
is possible. Mayor Teddy Kol-
lek, who deserves perhaps
most of the credit for the
coexistence that had been
achieved, sounded almost des-
perate following the latest
stabbing. "I am enraged," he
told reporters. "I don't know
what to do — whatever is hap-
pening is very bad."
Kollek warned that al-
though he understood the gen-
eral rage, he was concerned
that if it were expressed,
Jerusalem would soon turn
into a second Beirut.
Perhaps one of the secrets of
coexistence between Arabs and
Jews has been the actual phys-
ical separation between the
peoples. The Old City is di-
vided among four ethnic quar-
ters — Moslem, Jewish, Chris-
tian and Armenian. However,
in the past five years, yeshivas
and Jewish families have
moved into the Moslem Quar-
ter, upsetting the delicate bal-
ance in the city.
This may not be the prime
motive for the recent wave of
stabbings. On the other hand,
it is doubtful that the immigra-
tion contributed much to
Jewish-Arab understanding
here. Judging by previous in-
cidents, Jews are attacked for
the purpose of attacking Jews,
be they residents or visitors.
This was the explicit testimony
of the three Arabs who killed
yeshiva student Amedi.
Stabbing has become fash-
ionable for two major reasons
— the lack of available arms in
the territories, and the fact
that this sort of terrorism
works. It is a quiet, inexpen-
sive weapon. The knives used
to kill Amedi were purchased
shortly before the attack at a
local store.
At the same time, this mode
of terrorism hurts most. Is-
raelis who had learned to live
with bombs on buses and gre-
nades at street corners find it
harder to bear the knife in the
back.
And as stabbings accumu-
late, Kahane counts additional
potential votes.

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45

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