Thursday, 31 May 2007

"I only get in with Jewish taxi drivers"

I had a meeting yesterday with one of Jerusalem's best known Moving Companies to discuss our upcoming moving date. The owner of the business came over to my flat - a charming guy with very good English, a proud list of service guarantees, and a sweet smile. He presented me with his perfectly-written English language handbook and proceeded to give me his pitch.

“We are the best and most reliable movers you will find in Israel. I pay my workers very well so they enjoy working for me. Some have worked for me for many years and wouldn’t do anything to risk their jobs. They move your belongings with care, there has never been an instance of theft from my guys and at the end of the job they will not ask for a tip. If you want to give them one, it is entirely your choice. I give you a fuller level of insurance than anyone else so you don’t have to worry. You can get a cheaper price elsewhere, but you will end up losing in the end when they damage your belongings, steal your valuables and bully you into giving a massive tip.”

And if I wasn’t sold yet he gave me his killer-punch. “I don’t employ illegal workers. Only people with Israeli citizenship. And no Arabs.”

Fantastic! No Thais and Poles without proper paperwork, and no Arabs who, naturally, would steal all my valuables.

The sad fact is that this pitch works for most people - plenty of times I've heard people say that they avoid getting in with Arab taxi drivers. If he pays so well and has maintained his staff for so long, why not interview Arab workers as well, and if they’re good, employ them. Does he really think that a hard-working Jerusalemite Arab who is getting paid twice as much as his neighbour would risk anything that could cost him his job?

What it comes down to in the end is a smart businessman tapping into widespread racism. I guess it’s hardly surprising that the man on the street thinks like that when prominent figures such as Former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu feel its ok to advocate carpet-bombing Gaza to root out terror. They’re only Arabs after all.

7 comments:

Ploniella said...

did you challenge him about it? would have been interesting had you said that you only use companies that employ Arabs...

Calev said...

Jonny - once again another piece that shows how left wing you have become...

Daniel said...

Considering that during our move many of our valuables were stolen by the arab movers I think he has a great selling point. I would certainly consider only using a company like that in the future!

Zvi Halpern said...

Oh Jonny, it's true, you're such a left-winger these days! Don't you remember the good old days when we'd sit around and talk for hours about how morally inferior other races were...and how killing them all off would make our lives so much easier? Man, come back to the right wing! Life's so much less complicated.

Shuli said...

Is only employing those with valid working papers that bad? You point out elsewhere on the blog the high tax burden shouldered by the vast burden of hard-working residents.

Some years ago we met an advisor to Binyamin Netanyahu over a Friday night dinner in London. The extent of the "black economy" is so bad that the country's finances could be eased simply by cracking down on those earning an undeclared income being prevented from claiming benefits too, never mind chasing the lost tax!

Jonny Steel said...

how can I turn down an invitation like that, Zvi. Let's meet up for a couple of pints of xenophobia. Perhaps you might like to wear that orange shirt I gave you. After all, orange is the new black.

shopping user08 said...

oh jonny. If only you knew how many people say that they found things missing after working with arab movers