Damn dust in the eyes again.
No one from Kibbutz Eilon batted an eye last Friday when Hadil and Mahmoud Mazal—from the Bedouin village of Arab al-Aramshe on the border near Lebanon—were warmly welcomed as new members of the kibbutz.
The couple, who had been renting in the kibbutz for the past year, enjoyed the support of 116 members out of a total of 124 when it came time to vote.
Mahmoud, 49, and Hadil, 32, are both nurses by profession and have three sons, Yazan, Adam and Amari. Hadil works at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, while Mahmoud works for the National Insurance Institute and Clalit Health Services.
“In 1994, someone from the kibbutz studied with me and after college, I went to live on the kibbutz until 2000. The decision to become members was made after the children were born,” said Mahmoud.
“My father actually grew up on a kibbutz from age 10 as an adopted child of a Polish family on Kibbutz Matzuva and to this day he is known by the name Asher. He was a shepherd for the kibbutz and lived there until he was 30. Our decision to move to the kibbutz was completely accepted by our families and my mother even congratulated us. We are totally involved in kibbutz life.”
Mahmoud’s first project for the kibbutz was the establishment of an emergency medical center staffed by doctors and nurses, including him and his wife. Hadil also took a project upon herself and established a recreation center for kids and their parents.
“We believe in coexistence, love the sense of togetherness and the level of love, warmth and compassion. Our grandparents always supported kibbutzim in the area and the village always had a connection with them, even supplying flour and food,” said Mahmoud.
According to Hadil and Mahmoud, there is no disputing that the kibbutz provides s level of education and quality of life that their village did not.
“There is a pool here, a gym, friendlinessm, support to mothers, peace of mind, communal meals on Friday nights and most importantly, accepting others as people,” said the couple.
David Shteft, the kibbutz secretary, said that the couple successfully passed all the criteria. “We have 114 plots of land for those who wish to be accepted into full membership, and to date, we have absorbed 50 families from all over the country.”
“I have known Mahmoud for 20 years,” says kibbutz security coordinator Moshe Amsalem. “The entire family is an inseparable part of the kibbutz, and we see them as part of our lives.”
Can you imagine Jews being accepted in to a palestinian Arab commune? Live ones, that is.
Yeah me neither.
In the meantime, let’s see if any mainstream media outlets pick up this story.