28 August, 2006

Israeli blogger's question

An Israeli blogger, Lirun, has posted the following question to bloggers in the UAE:

never having been to dubai - was wondering what your impression is of israelis.. do you hate us.. are you indifferent?

would love an insite..

curious peace seeker from telaviv


Bearing in mind that Lirun is a peace seeker, and that he puts this question to us politely and in good faith, please express any answers you may have for him honestly but not abusively.


archer14 said...

I'd love to offer him a copy of Gulf News. It provides the most euphemistically challenged news in the most articulate manner.

When hes done with reading that, he can move over to Komics for Kretins - Kretin times

marwan said...

Honestly, Lirun? I think there's a good case of the 'oblivious American syndrome' here in the UAE. Most folks have no idea (or inclination to find out) how Israelis think, feel and live.

Its thanks in part, to all mention of Israel being nonexistent/skewed - much like the way American media hardly reports on the Middle East.

So when people are forced to think about Israel, they do so with the labels they've been handed, rather than through their experience of interaction.

Anonymous said...

Since Dubai is made up of expatriates, people have all kinds of views on the state of Israel and Israelis.

I have known Israelis in person, and like many people in this world, they are good people. I also see that your government is unfortunately run by extremists -- which doesn't make it any different to me than Iran for instance.

Does that make me hate you? No, not really. I kind of feel sorry for you, is what I feel (as a people). As individuals, I couldn't judge of course because I don't know you (and how else could I judge you?).

Michelle Nickelson said...

I really don't think one can say "All Israelis are bad" just as one can say "All Arabs or Americans are bad."

A country's government does not always reflect the people. In addition, how can you hate anyone or their culture/religion across the board without knowing them?

I do have a question for him however. There was the photo where Israeli children were writing on bombs that would be used for lebanon. Who sactions this nonsense?

How can any sane person think this is a good idea? I am realy curious does he think these photos are staged and if they are real, WHY? Who would encourage children to do this?

Anonymous said...

As a person of palestinian descent, and at the same time as a person who has been in direct contact with Israelis and more specifically Zionists, I would like to say that I dont hate you as an Israeli, its just that what "Israel" stands for has had a direct and devestating effect on my family primarily and consequently on me and the way I was brought up. From my experience, Israelis, especially pro-peace Israelis are decent people in general, the problem as someone here already mentioned is the media, but as we say there is no smoke without fire, the State of Israel has time and time again affected the lives of millions of people in the Middle East in a very negative way, so for those who have never actually met an Israeli I can understand why they would have negative views of Israel, now as for Zionists and Zionism I know first hand that as long as this concept and Ideology exists there will never be an understanding between Israelis and Arabs, its as automatic as fire and gasoline.

Tim Newman said...

Speaking for myself and myself only, I can assure Lirun that I view Israel in a very positive light, and fully support not only its right to exist but also its right to defend itself against attacks on its soldiers and civilians.

I believe Israel shares with me the universal values of free expression, multi-party democracy, freedom of press, freedom to associate, and sexual equality. It is these qualities - the very foundation of a liberal democracy - which lead me to support Israel in the manner in which I do.

That, and the fact that the IDF has some damned good looking women in it.

Woke said...

"do you hate us.." seems like a funny question.
I can hate you or any individual for some reason or the other. Not a complete nation composed of thousands of individuals.
And I have to agree with mn in terms of the govt not exactly representing the views of the citizens.

Israel might seem to have the foundation of a liberal democracy compared to the Arab nations, but in my opinion it is not one of the nations (or atleast the govt is) that believes in peace and is willing to listen before acting unilaterally.

Anonymous said...

Tim, Israel is no better than any country in the middle east when it comes to equality in anything, Israel discriminates ethnically against non jews by the mere fact that its a state for jews, arabs live in sub standard and under developed areas, their rights to purchase real estate are curbed. In addition to this, Israel has a huge problem with human trafficing and forced prostitution, look here:

As for Lirun you need to look at the issue from a different prespective,If you are an Arab you cannot but help feeling animosity towards Israel, especially since it has altered the lives of many Arabs from the day it was created.

The Media is biased here but I dont feel that the people are as mislead as they are in the US for example, after all they are very aware of their own situation, many Palestian refugees live here and they know first hand about the situation, just like people in Israel, you cannot be ignorant when a missle is slamming through your roof I am sure. So for the people who keep talking about media bias, yes its there, but it doesnt have the same choke-hold on people's opnions that you see in America or in some parts of Europe.
Personally I have had the chance to meet Israelis, both pro peace and hardcore Zionists, I see hope when I talk to the pro-peace camp, but every time i bump into a hardcore zionist I think there is no way we can live with these people.

Tim Newman said...

Tim, Israel is no better than any country in the middle east when it comes to equality in anything,

So Israel is no better than Saudi when it comes to equality of the sexes?

Anonymous said...

..."do you hate us.." seems like a funny question.
I can hate you or any individual for some reason or the other. Not a complete nation composed of thousands of individuals...

@Woke: you seem to be relatively new to the Middle East. In this region, it is possible to hate an entire nation, rabidly, virulently, to the point of wanting nothing more than seeing the entire race/ethnic group wiped off the face of the earth. Without having met one of them. Without having tried to understand their thinking, their fears, their basic humanity (which they share with us)...just based on what one has been fed from birth. National leaders can (and do) go on live television speaking of the complete annihilation of a whole nation, and they will be wildly cheered by the crowds. In fact, for instant popularity in the Arab world, this may be one of the best things to do.

In some parts of this region (referred to by Tim Newman), school textbooks teach children who or what Jews are and how they should be dealt with (there are blogs dedicated to issues such as this). In other parts, school plays, dramas and cartoons teach children who the Jews are and how they should be dealt with or treated.

So yes, it is very much possible to hate an entire nation, an entire race while knowing, or even wanting to know, little or nothing about them.

As some others on this site have sometimes pointed out, this hatred is often "dressed up" as revulsion for Israel's "actions". But live here for a while, Woke. You'll get to know people. How they think. And you'll soon be able to distinguish between hatred of "actions" and and the absolute, total hatred of an entire race or nation, based purely on their ethnicity.

Anonymous said...


I'm glad you speak for yourself and yourself only. I would dread to think that someone who has lived in the Middle East would think the way you do.

Israel and its people most certainly have every right to defend themselves against aggressions. However, the way you put it, obviously implies support for recent actions, which shows a rather incredible amount of arrogance and down right stupidity. Don't play with people's emotions unnecessarily.

The state of israel has certainly gone a long way in establishing equality among its 'jewish people', very much like apartheid S. Africa did to its white population.

Does that mean that the little rights Israel provides its Arab citizens worse than most Arab countries provide their own citizens? Probably not. However, just because your neighbor is a murderer doesn't mean it's okay for you to be a robber.

Grow up.

archer14 said...

Shiver me timbers, fellow atheist. Would you kindly read him the Miranda warning too, that would sound good.

AM said...

Hi Lirun,
Nice to see you here :)
You can read my opinion on my blog, what I think of you, it just happened that I blogged about the same subject more or less today.
Leb in Dubai

UAE ALIAS said...

Well tell ur Isreali friend incase he want to come to Dubai not to tell where he is from, because UAE real Arab Muslims HATE THEM like HELL, what about going to Europe or USA for good , they LOVE them there... no matter some folks here will say about we are peascefull and stuff I really know the real deal and know that we HATE Israel and all the Zionist, I know myself I know my family and I know all my friends and I know no one of these will welcome you over here!we have now prob with jews, but zionists are welcomed to be spelled!

1234dsfs said...

As long as Israel doesn't recognize and implement the Palestinians' right to a free and a sovereign nation, I don't recognize Israel or even their right to exist as a free and sovereign nation. This is the opinion of most of the ordinary Arab population - and the problem, most of them don't have a platform to express their views.

So Israel is no better than Saudi when it comes to equality of the sexes?

Ever heard of the common argument that you guys keep on stressing: 'talk of the middle east and you bounce it back on the West'. Looks like you are doing it too.
Mark commented:

Israel discriminates ethnically against non jews by the mere fact that its a state for jews, arabs live in sub standard and under developed areas, their rights to purchase real estate are curbed.

Why cant you directly respond instead of beating around the bush.

rosh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rosh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rosh said...


Short response to your question, No - I do not believe the entire population of Israel or all Jewish people, is evil, hence, "hated" across Arab countries. Ofcourse, there exists a strong dislike (to a lesser extent hate) for Israel amongst the Arab countries

UAE is perhaps the most open minded and progressive amongst most Arab nations. As someone who was raised in the UAE and have had the opportunity to study, work and live in the west - I do not hate all Israeli's - surely I do not hate the men & women who go to work every day, earn a living, and fend for their children. I do not hate, the thousands of innocent children in Israel, the men/women who rally for peace & equality.

However, I do not support, Israel's government and it's army's actions & atrocities against the Arabs in general. I am not implying, ALL fault lies with Israel - however, the extent of provocations & the reactions from both sides, could never justify Israel's absolute bombardment and killing of Arab land, homes and lives. The issue is about land, occupation - taking away someone's home, their land, their future and livelihood. Unfortunately, given Israel's consistent and ongoing practice of, all the above, Israel is often perceived as an aggressor - hence, almost never viewed favorably.

This does not mean, there is no hope for peace. I believe, bearing occupation and harm caused to each other - Israel is perhaps more progressive in most of it's ways of life than most Arab countries, hence have the upper hand/advantage to bring in equality and a true peace process - so that, the general population in large, on both sides, can reach a reconciliation, do away with the killing - extend an olive branch to start a long lasting peace process. I have close and understanding friends, both Jews & Muslims, who get along fine with each another. Yes, they have an occasional difference of opinion, however, there isn't the level of hate & animosity we often see in the Middle region - hence am optimistic similar sentiments "can" exist between Israel and Arabs.

Anonymous said...

Tim, what you mean be equality of sexes?

And when you say you fully support Israel's right to exist, do you full agree with the way State of Israel was created?

Will you still fully support my right to exist in your home if I expel you from your home?

I don't have any problems with Jews. They are also human beings like you & me. All of us are children of Adam. What I am against is dirty politics played by both parties in the conflict.

Lirun said...

hey everyone..

thank you for your thoughts..

its interesting.. there seems to be a spectrum of opinion.. which can only suggest that your media coverage and general levels of awareness are healthy and reasonable..

i was offered a job in your region a couple of years ago for a crazy amount of money..

spooked by the unknown i declined..

i guess we have a lot to learn about eachother.. we probably have more in common than we realise..

without responding to all the specific ideas.. i guess i identify as a zionist because i love israel and consider it my homeland.. but i am also very pro peace and seek peace with all of my neighbours as well as the palestinians in what a manner that will assure us (including the palestinians) all a dignified and secure existence..

thank you again for your time and thoughts.. thank you also to the dudes running this blog for escalating my query into the form of a post.. much appreciated as a sweet act of peace..


Anonymous said...


Talking about Saudi Arabia, I would just like to say that I am not going to sit here and defend what I don’t agree with. Secondly I am not Muslim so I am in no position to criticize the way people live their lives and practice their beliefs, Saudi does not occupy Palestine Israel does, that’s why I criticize Israel, and as someone already mentioned here, since Israel does not recognize our existence, no Palestinian or self respecting Arab should, until Israel finally recognizes Palestinians and reverses its genocidal actions. As Ahmed mentioned lets not beat around the bush and lets just stick to the issues being discussed. If you want to talk about gender bias we can do that somewhere else, and we would probably agree on many issues there.

More importantly here is the response to Lirun's question, its evident that the majority of people here don’t hate Jews regardless of the propaganda you are fed that we sit our children and teach them that Jews are evil, and that they kill us and make blood cake from our blood and all that stupid crap, this is hate, the real question is, do you hate us? I think many Israelis do, and many Jews do, this is because of the Zionist effect. It is only natural that media bias tilts in the direction of public consensus but it is up to the intellectuals and anyone with a mind of his own to think for themselves. One of the most disgusting things is how pro-Israelis frequently accuse Arabs of mindless brain-numbing hate to the point of suicidal tendencies; this is such a racist interpretation of things. They imply that Arabs are basically savage animals who just hate Jews, their lives revolve around the destruction of Israel and sadly this perception is finding a following amongst many Jews. There is a reason for the "hatred" I think you will hate me of I hurt someone dear to you or made your life unbearable to the point of desperation. Have you ever seen the image of Jewish settler kids in Hebron attacking an old Arab lady and pulling her religious head cover? Now this is hate, im pretty sure this kid has been conditioned to hate, evident by his actions.
To sum up, every coin has two sides, and if people can agree on basic morals and bottom lines then there can maybe be a first step, namely recognizing each others existence, it has become a reality albeit, heavy and costly for the Palestinians, talk about the understatement of the century.

Anonymous said...

Mark, very well said.

Lirun said...


thank you for the effort and elaborate response..

not sure what your sources are but you dont appear to be that well informed about our side of the sentiment..

the vast majority of jews does not hate arabs.. this will clearly either surprise you or seem blatantly wrong.. but its true..

we are not brainwashed to hate you.. many of us simply do not agree with your take on politics and current affairs - just as i dont accord with your description in your comment - as someone who lives in the very spaces you purport to describe.. all i can do is offer my perspective that we are not the nazis that the brainwashing (you claim to have resisted) apparently has convinced you that we are nonetheless..

but disagreeing with you does not make me hate you.. and you disagreeing with me doesnt make me hate you either.. nor does harsh criticism or even condemnation.. even the deaths and severe injuries suffered by my friends and family.. (yes i too belong a vast majority of people affected by the years of conflict) still doesnt make me hate you or any other arab for that matter..

it may be that many israelis have become somewhat jaded but for some reason hate is not evoked in this instance..

i am actually hopeful for peace..

you speak of genocide and i dont blame you.. we (jews and local arabs) are culturally very different.. we deal with our pain in very different ways.. i am not saying this to invite argument.. i am merely reflecting my observations as an israeli.. we use the media differently and we have different strategies to cope with our pain.. i can only begin to imagine how ugly my country looks to you through your screens and papers..

i would dare to guess that most of us know little about the UAE in israel - except for the extreme wealth that radiates from there and the land reclamation efforts where obesely rich holywooders seem to buy houses.. from my personal friends' experience i believe that a lot of money is being invested in state of the art infrastructure both physical and logical and advanced systems are being put in place to modernise trade and commerce.. standards that make many technology-enamoured israelis like me salivate..

culturally however i know little..

i know nothing substantial about the history of the UAE or about the composition of the people..

before posting on my own blog today i was thinking about the many veils of our region.. not just on women's heads but also across our borders and minds and mindsets..

i was thinking that maybe if we all had more mature geography teachers at school who taught us more about eachother - we would be shrouded by less mystery and we would suffer less false impressions.. ;)

like for example the impression i had of lebanon before the war that it was a rural and under developed state - or yours that zionism is necessarily israeli imperialism and cannot be a conciliatory movement.. as a zionistic israeli i can tell you that i love my homeland so much that thinking of its saturation with blood saddens me deeply.. i believe in a two-state solution and in profound bilateral cooperation with a strong and proud palestinian state as a viable and feasible solution.. some of my compatriots may disagree - but it doesnt make us hate eachother.. in my country im allowed to disagree with whoever i like and not compromise my social or political popularity.. my boss at work is a passionate religious man who is very right winged.. i am a moderate "secular" zionistic surfy hehe.. we get along fine.. even though he knows that the things he is most passionate about revolt me in some ways.. it is career neutral (and by no means limiting) for me to voice our difference at work with all of my passion..

anyway - perhaps i am just dreaming again.. but it is of peace that i dream and i am not the only one..

peace for me and my family my friends my city and country and all of my arab neighbours.. equally


Anonymous said...

I have lived in Tel Aviv and Dubai ... people are beautiful in both places (and of course some of them aren't). Anyone who speaks of hate - my message to you is this: When are you going to realise that each life is as valuable as another and that we are all the same. We share the same feelings even if we express them in different ways. Let humanity and love win, not the politicians. Peace in the Middle East. Bring it on, starting with public opinion.

Emirati said...

Israel while being a great country which I would like to visit someday is an Illegitimate Country which has caused a regional headache. I would not mind doing buisness with them however would not like to see any progression of ties beyond that (except say, if a palestinian organization would see fit to attack the UAE).

With regards to the Israeli populace, I have no problem with anyone of any race. My problem is with countries and governments. I believe there should be no serious political ties, except if the Palestinian people themselves are supportive of it. The UAE should take off the rule not allowing Israelis into the country.

rosh said...

Emirati said "The UAE should take off the rule not allowing Israelis into the country"

thought they did do away with this rule?

Lirun said...

unfortunately i am not allowed..


i am also a national of other countries but this statement is quite clear..


oh well i guess you guys wont have top of the range SMS voicemail or convreged billing systems for sometime ;)

may we all have peace soon.. including with our palestinian cousins..

everyone deserves the latest in voicemail technologies - i probably shouldnt joke about the suffering of others

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