"I’m willing to do anything for this country"

Aharon Machluf

Location: King George Street Market, Tel Aviv

Residence: Rishon LeZion

Age: 69

The encounter: 
I bought some cheap t-shirts at a discount store in Tel Aviv. When Aharon wanted to put them in a plastic bag for me, I declined because I already had my own bag. “Oh, you’re one of those green ones!” he scoffed. Nevertheless, he agreed to be interviewed.


What are you doing here right now?
I’m just keeping my friend company. I’m retired, so I have nothing to do. My wife is at work. How much time can I spend home alone?

What is your occupation?
I have been retired from the police force since 1999. I worked in Tel Aviv, my job entailed everything to keep the public order: from parking tickets to dealing with whores and murderers. My favorites were the Arabs: I liked to take care of them: to "spoil" them; to make sure they’d be good children... But it didn’t help: they still misbehaved.

How do you describe your religious or national identity?
I am an Israeli patriot. I’m willing to do anything for this country. And of course I’m a Jew: a secular Jew. My parents were religious but I turned out secular. I’ve been secular my whole life. That’s just the way I was born. I never believed.

Can you tell me a bit about your family? 
I’m married. I have three sons, and six grandchildren. My wife has three daughters and eleven grandchildren.  I’m a widower and she was divorced. We’ve been married for six years. My oldest grandson is twenty. He’s in the army. He’s a good soldier. I feel safe knowing he is guarding the borders.

Where is your family from?
I’m from Libya – we used to have a wonderful president there: Muammar Gaddafi: a real sweetheart! My parents escaped from Libya during the war. They crossed through Egypt on camels and donkeys. They came to Israel in 1944, when my brothers were little. My brothers are lucky; they’re getting money because they’re Holocaust survivors. It’s not fair: I don’t get any because I was born here.

What are your hopes and expectations for the future of this land?
I hope we’ll have peace one day. But that’s just a dream: when they have found a cure for cancer; that’s when they’ll find a solution for all the Muslims in this country. There’s no cure for either problem! The only solution I can think of...  if I tell you what it is I wouldn’t even want you to write it down.
Regarding the elections: what was will be. Nothing changes. It’ll be all right. I’ll vote for Bibi Netanyahu. I’m very happy with him. Is there anyone who can do better? Tsipi Livni?! Herzog?! First of all he must be a real man; then he can try to become prime minister. Not just every loser can become prime minister.
I’m afraid of the Arabs. I worry they’ll gain more and more power in the world. Do you know how many Muslims there are? There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world! How can we fight against them all? Let’s just say, a good Arab is....how to put it?... an Arab who’s asleep and doesn’t wake up. You can’t be friends with the Arabs. Even if he’s your friend, whenever he has a chance he’ll stab you in the back.