This story of ‘coexistence’ between an Arab and a Jewish patient in Jerusalem is heart-warming. But the Arab writer can’t get her head around the fact that, while she appreciates Arab culture, the Jewish patient is not an Arab. From Elder of Ziyon:
Al Watan Voice, which often features explicitly antisemitic articles, has an interesting piece by Helwa Zayekh about her visit to her sick mother at Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus.
She writes that sharing her mother’s room is a Jewish woman, adding that “this is normal, of course.”
The Jewish woman was born in 1930 and was clearly of Syrian descent. Her
daughter brought an iPad for her mother to watch Syrian TV drama,
speaking to her in Syrian-accented Arabic. While the Jewish woman
couldn’t talk, her eyes lit up when she saw her favorite Syrian actors
on the screen.
The writer says that she appreciates that Syrian Jews still appreciate
Arab culture, but then forces herself to add, “I was amazed at people
who could change religion into a nationality,” pretending that this
family was Syrian first and Jewish only by religion.
If Zayekh wouldn’t have added that sentence, she might have been accused
of “normalization” with Jews. Arabs like to pretend that Judaism is
only a religion, not a nationality.