Hope for Jewish-Muslim Relations in Jordan? An American Tourist Reports

October 18, 2004

Source: The Christian Science Monitor.


On October 18, 2004 The Christian Science Monitor ran a story by Margie Goldsmith, an "American... female... blond... with a Jewish last name" who traveled to Jordan. She writes about her learning about Arab-Jewish tensions in the country: "When I asked my guide, Ali, how he felt about Jews, he said that Jews, Christians, and Muslims had lived happily side by side picking the olives together until 1948. Following the establishment of Israel as a country, the longstanding harmony quickly unraveled for a variety of reasons, both religious and political. Arabs and Jews were taught to hate each other, Ali said. They learned it in school, in the newspapers, at home, and on the streets. 'We were taught that the Jews are our enemies,' said Ali... [Goldsmith then relates Ali's story of going to the U.S. and working for a Jewish used car-owner named Danny whom he came to befriend.] Ali paused, then added, 'I have met lots of Jews who were like Danny. I know the current situation in the Middle East is bad, and it needs somebody to save it because now people are starting to hate each other without anybody teaching them to do so.'"