My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XVI. Friendship and Politics
Social support in intercultural encounters is of utmost importance Ward et al. (2001) and luckily, not all of my Israeli friends reacted in the same negative manner. Some Jewish friends did support me during this period. Particularly striking was that my Israeli friends who originally came from the former Soviet Union were more supportive than other friends were. This compares with the finding from a study that showed that as compared to veteran Israelis, Arabs and immigrants from the former Soviet Union attributed procedural justice to law-enforcement authorities to a lesser degree. In general, immigrants from the Soviet Union felt less obliged to comply with the law, believed more strongly in the supremacy of other laws over state laws, and were more willing to take the law into their own hands when their interests seemed threatened (Yagil & Rattner, 2005). I will get back to the issue of dealing with the law in the chapter on power distance.
For Bashar it was difficult to understand why I made such a fuss about the event and shared the story with others. This was not only because he related to the event as something ordinary, but also because it involved an issue of privacy and public image. He believes that one should not share bad things about oneself, not even when one was the victim of something bad. As in the story about the netstick and our trip to Lod, in his view the incident was something to be kept private, since one’s name being associated with something bad could harm one’s public image. I will get back to this when describing the issue of honor. In my world, social scrutiny is lower than in his, and until this incident I was less aware of social scrutiny in my personal life. Therefore, I could usually share major events with others in my life, while taking in account only marginally the effect of such a disclosure on my social image—but not this time.