Luna Khalil Saliba debated at great length whether to share on Facebook what she and her fiancé, Raid Ashkar, have been going through in their attempt to rent an apartment in Jerusalem. For months, they had been unable to find a place simply because they were Arabs. The final straw that led Saliba to tell all was a text message from a Jerusalem landlord that made her realize that even if they somehow managed to find a non-racist property owner, the neighbors might make their lives miserable.
“Hi. Your name tells me you are an Arab,” the woman wrote. “I have no problem with it. On the contrary. I am in favor of encouraging ties between Jews and Arabs. However, I once had two Arab tenants and the neighbors really abused them.”
Friends of Saliba from Israel Army Radio, where she served military duty as a producer, urged her to expose the attitude of Israelis toward two Arab citizens who have swam courageously against the tide only to realize that even an army uniform does not grant Arabs entry into Israel’s increasingly radicalized society.