Joshua Shushan, restaurant operator

"They want us out of Tel Aviv, Jaffa and everywhere. They don't want us to live here."

Joshua is the proprietor of the cafe where we were conducting our interviews. He was very gracious and didn't even try to charge us rent for office space! He half volunteered and was half drafted to be interviewed.

"I don't hope for peace," he told us. "I hope for quiet."

Joshua Shushan
Pt. 1

6:21 minutes
Real Video (3.2 MB)

Joshua Shushan
Pt. 2

4:03 minutes
Real Video (2.0 MB)

Joshua Shushan
Pt. 3

2:45 minutes
Real Video (1.4 MB)

Joshua Shushan
Pt. 4

2:18 minutes
Real Video (3.3 MB)

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Summary of video clips:

Part 1: I'm 30 years old. This is the worst year that I know of. Because the Jews were a survivor country, now it's more difficult to live. Because of the terrorism? you take Israel in 1948, it was in the same situation as the Palestinians (today). We have nothing to lose, we fight, and we get whatever we want. The British had nothing to get from this area, no oil. The Jews were survivors in this time so they said okay, take it, and they went out. That I think is the problem between the Jewish and the Palestinian, basically. Israel is a small country, all around is Arabs. In the last 50 years we have shown the world, and the Arabs especially, how you can live a better life, even with a lot of problems. We came from all over the world -- my parents came from Morocco -- and built a very beautiful country for 50 years. I think, if not for the conflict bwtween Arabs and Israelis, it would be one of the best countries in the world. Even now, with the bad situation, it's good to live in Israel.

When did your parents come from Morocco? 1956. Were they fleeing oppression and anti-semitism? No. They lived very well. If you know the history of the Jews in Morocco, they lived very well. They came for the flag (Zionism). To build a country. Not for money, not for nothing (else). My father had a lot of businesses in Morocco. He closed everything to come to Israel. That's how this country was built. Now the situation is opposite. Now the Palestinians want a country themselves.

Do you think that's a legitimate aspiration? Yes. The problem is they want a country, but there are a lot of opinions inside. They want a country, they don't want the Jews, they don't want Israel. They don't want nothing. Between them there is a lot of conflict. If you know the history of Prime Minister Barak. He was the very worst for 60-70% of the Israeli people. He said to the Arabs, "We'll give you everything. You want East Jerusalem? Take it. All the limits of '67? Take it. No problem." They said "It's too fast. Why? And then came the intifada. Always we give them everything, and they say we don't want nothing. So what comes from this? They want us out of Tel Aviv, Jaffa and everywhere. They don't want us to live here.

Part 2: (Joshua is discussing Sharon.) What about when he went to the Temple Mount with a thousand people? This is a bullshit story. Why? Because Jerusalem is for all three religions; for Moslem, for Jewish, for Christian. So when he went was a reason (excuse?) to do something ... I'm sorry about it. You see, for me, there was a lot of Arabic influence, and I will tell you for sure, if you see Israeli boss and Arabic boss, how they treat their employees, you see the difference. The attitude. The money. The everything. I was a marketing manager. I was selling to the West Bank, Gaza, everything. The Arabic employees they don't get nothing. I don't say all Israelis are good. But basically, they get more and they prefer, if you ask them, face to face, to work for an Israeli boss. They don't talk democracy. They don't say nothing. They can't do nothing. They eat shit every day from res(?), they stole all the money (I think he's referring to money given to the PA as part of the Oslo accords) ... We don't want to kill them... I'm serving in the Israeli Navy. If you go in, if you observe the situation closely, this is not just an Israeli problem, it's also the government of Arafat and the rich people who stole all the money from Israel and the United States. They live like in Monte Carlo... Take the Israeli Arabs. In Israel the Arabs are very well educated. From whom? Ask yourself. Where do they become doctors? Where do they become lawyers? Because we give them to learn in our universities. So where is this question. Go to the Arab villages in the north. Ask them if they want to go to the Palestinian authority. Ask them. If one percent tell you that they want to go out, I'll lose whatever you want!

Part 3: In the two years you have been running this business, has business gone into the cellar? I'm not scared, because all my life it's like this (up and down). If you survive, it will be good times. The Israeli country, very happy people. People come out, they spend money. Even with the situation. The economy is down, but the economy is down all over the world... My business is down 20 per cent. It's very difficult. But we believe it will be good. I believe war is good all over the world, even in Iraq. Directly to Israel, directly to the Palestinians, directly for everybody. It brings new circulation. It's bad to say that, it doesn't sound good. But if you look at the statistics. In Israel it was every five or ten years a war, and after, good times. For both sides! After the second world war...I think it's okay. Too many people in the world. The land can't take it. I don't know what it will be, but I hope it will be okay. I travel a lot a lot over the world. I don't see that things are better there. Here in Israel, so you have the problem with the Arabs and others, but you have better things. You're not scared to go in the street, where ever you want. It's no problem, even with terrorism. You can sit here...I don't know. God knows.

Part 4: Do you have a solution to bring peace between Arabs and Israelis? They don't need peace. They need quiet... You live there, I live here; I don't hate them, I don't like them. Are you in the reserves? Hve you ever served in the West Bank? Yes, on a ship, in Gaza. What was it like? They are poor. They are all political; that's the worst thing... For them it's not good. For me it's ok; so I suffer a little bit. I eat good, I sleep good, I have a television, I have air conditioning, I have a car. I have education for my children... We are suffering, but they suffer more. In my opinion, Arafat wants (to be thought of as) the Ben Gurion of Palestine. Every year he makes problem, it makes problems 10 more years for their children.

Do you follow politics? Yes I follow politics. Do you want to know who I will vote for? This time, I will vote for Likud. Last time I voted for Labor. All my life I have voted for Labor. Why did you change? I'll tell you why. Barak was very bad prime minister for the Israeli people. He answered for the big question, what the Arabs want. They don't want nothing. They don't want us to live here..... I think today of my son. That's it. If I thought before about everybody, today I think of my son. So I think if there is a new leadership of the Palestinians, the Israeli people are prepared to renew talking and make peace. They are ready. They want it. But not in any way. They want to be fairl

You went to school in Tel Aviv. Were there Arabs and Jews together? Yes, no problem. I don't hate them, but I don't want them now. I don't trust them. I don't want to kill them, but I don't want to mix with them because I don't trust the things they want to do... See what happened. Israeli government gave them their leadership. Gave them everything to build a country, with American support, of course. And you know, the world doesn't understand. There will be terror all over the world. What we feel now, they will feel. It's only a matter of time.


Voices of Israel and Palestine










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Guest Book

Nov. 10-13

Nov. 14-17

Nov. 18-23

  • Elana Rappaport Schachter
  • Tova Saul
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  • Shabbot dinner
  • Sami Taha

Nov. 24

  • Tel Aviv restaurant owners
  • David Libon
  • Grazia

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