A view of one of, what I believe, is the silent majority. what a pity that they feel threatened when expressing the opinions.
JH. is not an ordinary man. J who was born in Haifa identifies himself firstly as an Israeli citizen: secondly as a Christian and lastly an Arab. An Israeli-Christian-Arab in that order. He has a strong conviction that the Jews have a claim on Israel. Two things make Joseph extra ordinary: his thoughts about Jews and his lack of fear in expressing those views.
He is 38 years old, married with 4 children, two sons and two daughters. After high school Joseph studied accountancy and business management at Haifa University. His acquired knowledge helped him build a business making custom made furniture in his workshop in Downtown Haifa. He speaks with pride when he says he owns is own home and can provide for his family.
J. admires the Jewish people and calls them ‘brilliant’. ‘From nothing’ he says ‘they have built a great nation’. He sees them as a people with unique God given abilities that think creatively and make good managers in business. He also believes that the Jews have a historical right to claim Israel as their national homeland with Jerusalem as the capital. These views would cost J. his life if spoken in the West Bank or Gaza: even in some Arab communities within Israel he could expect persecution by way of rejection. He states that many Christian Arabs feel this way but are too afraid of speaking out.
J. wants a strong Israel. When Israel shows weakness he says Christian Arabs feel insecure. With concern he sites the recent wars and compares them with the Yom Kippur war in 1967 when Israel took Jerusalem for its capital. Since 67 Israel have gained nothing from their battles. He highlights the recent war in Gaza and asks after all the losses on both sides what has Israel gained? Hamas lives to fight again. This he says is a weakness of Israel’s leadership and a recipe for disaster.
J. says to survive in Israel a man needs a dream. His dream is to enter into politics and have a place in the Knesset. He speaks of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King as men who had dreams and became leaders. Today he is a hard working carpenter: tomorrow could be a different story.