I debunked Simon's absurd claim, pointing out the many thousands of Palestinians who have had contact with Jews either as employees, patients in Israeli hospitals, passengers in Israeli buses and taxis, shoppers in Israeli supermarkets and just being interviewed by other Israeli journalists.
LD recounts in an email an example of just how normalized relations could be between Israelis and Arabs, away from the tensions of the conflict and the incitement of the Palestinian leadership:
Last week M, Muslim contractor from the Bethlehem area, came by to see how we were. He was in Efrat on another job (for which he has to be escorted).Technorati Tag: Israel.
He was a subcontractor for a Jewish builder in the 1990s. He did a great job remodeling our house before we moved in 1996. One Shabbat there was a quick freeze in the area and many of the rooftop solar collectors popped their safety valves. There were geysers all over Efrat. M figured that on Shabbat we wouldn’t be able to fix it. He came by with a handful of valves, climbed up on the roof and fixed it. He wouldn’t take payment later.
During the work on the house one of his workers showed up with his six year old boy. We feared that they’d use him as child labor. When my wife brought the boy a cookie and asked the father about him, the man responded, “We wanted him to meet nice Jews.”
Then in came the PA to the territories, the suicide bombers into Efrat, and the relationships stopped.