Two days ago I read an article in the indepenependat news paper.
It said Israeli council leader says Arabs should be barred from israeli swimming pools.
Immediately it gripped my attention because I always swim in israeli swimming pools.
True enough the council leader says that arabs should not be in Israeli pools due to cultural and hygiene cultural differences. He pointed out that Arab women swim in their clothes instead of bathing suits.
Well, if you put it that way sure I've seen them but of course as an Arab I had to be biased to my side and completely disagree with my opponent.
That night I visited the swimming pool that I go to . Its in Naveh Yakouv (An Israeli settlement) right beside beit hanina (where I live). The swimming hours are divided into three : Men, Women and mixed.
Normally extremist religious jews live there but we go to the pool anyway.
I got to the pool around 8 pm at the girls only time. I got ready and as I was walking through the door I saw my and most other girls biggest fear a cockroach. Now dont underestimate the power of an extra large cockroach to freak me out. It was the biggest ive ever seen.
Due to hygiene differences Mr. Israeli counsel leader ?
The pool is not clean at all quite the opposite. Its is one of the dirtiest I've ever been to. Green walls, wet floors and broken showers. I remember when I used to swim in my schools' swimming pool which is for arabs only. It's quite luxurious next to this.
I got a shock when I first walked in to the pool. It was completely filled up with girls. There was no place to fit in between them. The girls were wearing clothes instead of bathing suits and I need to point out that all the girls were jewish. They were walking around with their pajamas and underwear completely sticking to their bodies. Non of them were wearing swim caps. Why were these women wearing their clothes ? Is it due to harassment or money issues ? There were no men around. As I know, some Arab women wear clothes while swimming only when men are there.
So Mr. counsil leader even jewish girls wear clothes in swimming pools and yes even with them it looks disgusting.
No I am not implying that if jewish girls wear clothes while swimming that Arab women are allowed to do the same thing too. That would be a fallacy but I do want to show that well there is no real difference. All religious people are more or less alike at least in my eyes.
I couldn't start practicing because girls were all over my lane.They were not swimming. They were sitting on the lane lines!
They were completely oblivious to the common rules of any pool. Even when i went to the lifeguard she just shrugged and said they dont listen. They came out as uncultured ignorants a thing my people is being accused of.
I believe it was cultural differences he said.
Unlike what people think Israel is not just these hot women dancing in the beach in Tel Aviv. Truly I dont see these in jerusalem. It is filled up with very relgious people that have weird customs just like any other religion. I try to ignore them but some of them are just very vulgar while others are quite nice.
Mr council leader,
I would love to visit an arab only swimming pool but the closest one is in Ramallah behind a border that was built by your country. I have to wait for an hour at a checkpoint that you built. Not an option.
I'd love to find an arab only swimming pool just like your Israeli only swimming pool but your country doesnt allow us to build roofs on our heads. What about swimming pools or training centers ?
After I read that statement I went to my friends asking them about those "hygiene differences". It would sound stupid if we went personal becuase each person is different so i looked up these differences in religion.
Again Mr. council leader, arabs are not only muslims. These mistakes seem inevitable for you. So I looked up how it is for muslims and Christians.
I asked my christian friends and they told me that there is nothing hygienic they do I thats asked for in religion. I asked them about periods and religious holidays they frowned not knowing if there is anything special to do.
I've looked up Judaism and found out that all the regulations are exactly like Islam. I've studied Islam for 10 years but I am not a muslim so I am unbiased. Muslims and jews clean up the same way. As much as you wont like it Mr. council leader Judaism and islam share more similarities than christanity and Judaism.
Now about the "cultural" reasons.
I will point out that just like not all Israelis wear bathing suits in pools not all arabs wear clothes in swimming pools. Truly when I visit an arab swimming pool in the west bank I dont find girls in clothes.
This discrimination that is pointed out by you is only filled with stereotypes. Counting a whole nation as religious is like saying all cats are white. I wouldnet expect such a mistake to be done by a person with such a rank.
So Mr. council leader I hope I've clarified a few things. Ff you want we can discuss this further over mint tea while I show you my collection of swimming suits. Hint ? Yes, theres bikinis.