Shabbat in Eretz Yisrael and as is my custom on this Shabbat and every Shabbat, I go to the beach to enjoy the cooling water and the refreshing sea breeze.
Next to me in bright colourful skimpy bikinis, there situated themselves two beautiful young Israeli Arab women.
We exchanged common greetings (I talk to anyone:-)) and set to deepen the already evenly golden brown tan all three of us seem to have acquired.
One of the city inspectors, patrolling the beaches, approached us and reminded us to drink water so that we do not get dehydrated.
I told him I had forgotten mine. My beautiful beach neighbours seem to have also forgotten theirs.
“I will get a popsicle as soon as the vendor gets here,” I answered.
“So will we,” answered one of the young ladies next to me.
“Ok, ” said the inspector, “I will send him your way.” And left.
A few minutes later, all three of us were left with out mouths open.
There, in front of us was the city inspector negotiating his way barefoot on the hot sand, coming towards us.
In his hands were three popsicles!
Welcome to an “Apartheid” state called Israel!
The truth is, when girls are wearing bikinis, it’s hard to tell if they’re Jew or Arab and few people really care. You’d only notice if you spoke or listened for an accent and then again, most of them speak perfect Hebrew and with far less accent than my crappy Hebrew.
Another fine tale of normal, intermingled life in Israel. It’s not quite what you may have been mislead to believe.