Though relations between Israelis and Palestinians have been marked by violence in recent weeks, a glimmer of positivity was seen over the weekend when a Muslim religious leader demonstrated simple human kindness to his fellow Israelis.
Sheikh Ahmed Jumah said he’s opening his home in northern Israel to residents from the south of the country to allow them a brief respite from the stress of living under the round-the-clock threat of incoming Hamas rockets.
The Israeli news site Mako reported that Jumah recently completed his Islamic law degree at Hebron University and now works in the Shariah court which mediates domestic and religious issues for Muslims living in northern Israel.
He said he has two empty rooms in his house in the village of Sulam and that anyone who wants is welcome to take shelter there.
“Anyone who turns to me, ‘Welcome!,” he said. “The gate of the house is open, welcome.”
Jumah noted that residents of his Arab village are not hostile to Jews and that he is not concerned about any backlash to his offer of hospitality from his neighbors.
“It’s my personal decision, and I’m not forcing anyone,” he told Mako.
One of Jumah’s Jewish friends, Uri Schlossberg, vouched for the sheikh’s bona fides, describing him as a unique person.
“Residents of the south have nothing to fear from visiting him or the village,” Schlossberg said. “He’s a man of peace through and through.”
“I maintain living together and co-existence with Jews because in the end we are all Israelis,” Jumah said.