A cafe in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israeli businessmen are picking up on the growing trend of potential customers asking them if their employees are Arabs.
The phenomenon has increased sharply since the wave of knifings and terrorism attacks began in September.
The latest bloody attack took place last week when two Palestinians from the West Bank village of Yatta murdered four diners at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market.
Roi Mizrahi, owner of the delivery company Ask5, told The Jerusalem Post that some clients would ask if his services would include Arab workers. “But now, I get asked every day.”
“We don’t want to get into politics,” he said, adding that he is only concerned about providing professional service to customers.
He explained that his company works with subcontractors who hire workers from all kinds of backgrounds.
He said in some cases the issue was a make or break factor in whether a deal would close.
Moti Akshoti, who works in plaster construction, said, “Since the start of the wave of terrorism, the third question from customers that call me is checking if I come alone or with a team that includes Arabs.”
During the past few months, he said, there is a trend of customers checking whether employees are Arabs or Jews.
Yosi, a house painter with 20 years of experience, confirms the trend cited by Mizrahi and Akshoti.
The wave of attacks have created fear among customers about Arabs entering their home, he said.
“People ask me if I come with Arab workers, and say frankly, if so then they are not interested. You can understand that customers are concerned for their safety,” he added.
Makbula Nassar, an Israeli Arab media personality, told the Post that this phenomenon “reinforces that Arab society should worry about young people and their integration into employment and training.”
“The situation is explosive,” she said, adding that we cannot “wait until racism is over or there will be peace.”
Nassar said many young Arab Israelis face a difficult occupational and personal situation.
“A person who does not have a job or livelihood or something to strive for in life will never have belief in their society and country.”