Rioters Destroyed a Local Symbol of Arab-Jewish Coexistence, but Not the Good Feeling behind It

A few years ago, Evan Fallenberg, a writer and professor at Tel Aviv University, bought a run-down historic home in the coast city of Acre, fixed it up, and turned it into a small hotel he named the Arabesque:

[When buying the property], I did not think much about the fact that I am Jewish and my neighbors are Arab Muslims and Christians; I assumed that if I were a good neighbor, I would receive good neighborliness in return. And so I did, after some initial and fully understandable suspicions. Arabesque blossomed. . . . We became part of the community in the town’s Old City, attending weddings and funerals and iftar after-the-fast meals during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Two weeks ago, Arab rioters ransacked the hotel. Fallenberg continues:

Other than my neighbors, I was the first to see the damage the next morning. Every piece of glass, ceramic, or porcelain that could be broken was smashed, furniture was dismantled, mirrors shattered, televisions and air conditioners ripped to pieces. . . . That next morning, neighbors stopped in or passed by, shaking their heads in disbelief. A few cried, some told stories of their own, and everyone lamented the violence of the youths who had perpetrated such a crime, with fingers pointed in a variety of directions.

During my days of mourning, I did not see how it would be possible to revive Arabesque under the shadow of such anger and hatred. And why bother, if this could happen again? But also during those days, I was buoyed by the extraordinary outpouring of support and love and encouragement from around the world and—most notably—from my Arab friends and neighbors.

From everywhere, my son and I hear the same messages: we will clean up with you. We will donate. We will stay in the hotel when you reopen. For so many people, the death of Arabesque means admitting Jews and Arabs cannot live together. For so many people, including us, that is not a possibility.

Read more at NBC News

More about: Israeli Arabs, Israeli society, Ramadan


American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy