"All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all," said Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. But in Israel there exists an entire industry of fear – in politics, in the financial sector and in the media. The prime minister flew all the way to New York with and a red magic marker to make people fear Iran. In order for military technology companies such as Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries to be profitable, it is crucial that you fear war, and to justify the Prawer Plan for the expropriation of Bedouin lands, it is crucial that you fear Bedouins.
As some who resides in Frankfurt, Europe's financial capital, and has been working in the German press for the past few months, I can say with a great deal of certainty that Israel's efforts to cause people to fear the "Islamic epidemic" are unmatched. For example, Zvi Yehezkeli's TV series "Allah Islam" presented Muslims as a threat to Europe's existence. Muslim society in Europe, and particularly in Germany, has contributed to the problems the Europeans are currently concerned with, but these problems exist in all segments of society, mainly among the immigrants.
More than 100,000 Germans chose to celebrate the "German Day of Unity," which was marked on October 3, in mosques! During the "Day of open Mosques," some 600 Muslim houses of prayer opened their doors to the public, proving that Muslims want to be an integral part of European society.
You will not hear of the "Day of Open Mosques" in the Israeli press, just as you will not be hear about the thousands of Muslim physicians who work in hospitals all across Europe; or about the Arab professor who is developing cancer medication at a university in Frankfurt and the hijab-clad teachers at the school in my neighborhood.
Frankfurt mosque open to the public (Photo: Anas Abu Daabes)
The truth is that I do not blame the media. Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourselves if you would really want to hear about such things, which shatter the stigma.
This same fear is used by most Israelis to promote hatred towards local Arabs. The news you are fed by Yehezkeli and his ilk continues to portray Arabs as violent, primitive, uneducated and unemployed people. How many of you have heard of the dozens of student unions and other organizations that have been established over the past few years in Arab villages and cities in the country to bring about social and political change?
What is it that makes you fear us all the time? When you hear about us it is usually in the context of violence or poverty. But, on the other hand, you never ask yourselves how is it that more and more of us are sitting beside you in the lecture hall at the university or competing against you for jobs.
You are welcome to visit my city, Rahat, to learn about the Rahat Academics Association, a volunteer group I head, which works on social projects to improve the city. I am proud to say that there are dozens of similar organizations all across the Arab sector. There is no doubt that our situation as an Arab minority is problematic, and great efforts our needed to improve our society. But despite this, I am certain that the many young, ambitious and educated people of our generation can turn the tables and effect change.
While my camera will document the visits of German families to the "Abu Bakr" Islamic center in Frankfurt and the work of Arab bankers in Europe's Central Bank, others will continue to invest millions to find a small corner and call it "Europe's back door."
My friends and I will change things regardless of whether you continue to fear me because I come from Rahat or because I am a Muslim who lives in Frankfurt. It is up to you to put an end to all this bad blood.
Anas Abu Daabes holds a bachelor's degree from Ben-Gurion University, is the chairman of the Rahat Academics Association and works for Rhein-Main TV in Frankfurt