As Palestinian terror in Israel continues, coexistence is threatened, as more & more Jewish patrons are afraid to allow Arab workers near their homes, drive them in taxis, or perform personal services.
By Gad Lior and Telem Yahav
With the continuation of the wave of terror which has swept across Israel, recent months have seen the rise of a phenomenon in which Jewish clientele specifically request only Jewish workers in a myriad of services.
Particularly in the wake of the terror attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona market which left four dead and 16 wounded , the phenomenon threatens the livelihood of thousands of Arabs and, consequently, Jewish-owned business which employ them.
With conspicuously greater frequency, Jewish customers, affected by the fear of terror, demand that companies refrain from sending Arab workers to their homes.
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Many business owners and commercial organizations are facing this request which is particularly commonplace in fields such as paint and renovation companies employing Arabs, on goods transfer companies, on gardening companies, cleaning businesses and the like.
“This phenomenon has existed for a while now, but it has become increasingly common over the last few weeks,” said National Trade Organization Chairman, Ezra Atiyah. “Business owners come to us and tell us that they are losing a lot of work and profit since most of their workers are Arabs.”
“Since the wave of terror started, customers who call me are already asking, by their third question, whether I am coming alone or with a crew and if the workers are Arab,” says Motti Akshai from a renovation and plastering company. According to Akshai, this trend has already existed for a few months.
Roi Mizrachi, who owns the website ‘ask5’ which specializes in the transport of goods, said that over the past few months, a prevalent demand during conversations with his customers was, “But without Arab movers. I don’t want Arabs in my apartment.”
The phenomenon does not end with home renovation services or goods transport, but has also made its way onto Israel’s roads. Indeed, more and more people ordering cabs are reluctant to use Arab drivers while some fearful Jews insist on Jewish drivers only. So serious has the situation become, one manager of a large cab company is forced to inform his Arab workers that he has hardly any work for them.
“Jews are no longer prepared to have (Arabs) come and collect them, and they are definitely not prepared to have them take their children to afternoon activities or to their grandparents’ house. When they flag the cabs down in the street and notice that the driver is an Arab, they put their hand down,” the manager explained.
“There are always lunatics on both sides,” says Ahmad who lives in Lod and describes how Jews and Arabs coexisted peacefully. “In general it is young people who don’t understand what they are doing. Is someone going to go and commit a terror attack during work? I need this work. Why would someone go and do something like that? We simply want to work and to make a living.”
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