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March 30, 2018 1:51 pm

Meet the Trump-Loving, ‘Hatikvah’-Singing Israeli-Arab Man Who ‘Buys’ the Jewish State’s Chametz Before Every Passover

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A Passover Seder table. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Ahead of Passover, the Hebrew weekly newspaper Makor Rishon interviewed Hussein Jaber — a 53-year-old married father of four from the Arab town of Abu Ghosh — who is known for “buying” all of Israel’s chametz every year.

A translated portion of the interview is below:

Makor Rishon: A childhood cultural memory?

Jaber: As a kid, I loved to watch again and again “The Godfather,” with Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. Brando is the best actor of all time. He played the role of the godfather perfectly. I really wanted to be like him, someone who influences others.

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Makor Rishon: An artist you like?

Jaber: Umm Kulthum, the Egyptian singer. She was followed by many fans in all of the Arab countries, with songs full of content. Not like today’s singers.

Makor Rishon: A figure who inspires you?

Jaber: Menachem Begin. He was an honest man and faithful to his principles and the country.

Makor Rishon: With whom would you like to sit for a beer or coffee?

Jaber: I don’t drink alcohol, but I would happily sit for a coffee with Donald Trump, the man who made it big even though no one believed in him. I would thank him for his courage to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Some were afraid of this, but he did it very easily. Afterward, I would ask him about his plans for the Middle East.

Makor Rishon: A song that moves you?

Jaber: “Hatikvah.” At events and ceremonies, when “Hatikvah” is sung and everyone stands, I am excited anew every time.

Makor Rishon: With what do you fall asleep?

Jaber: A newspaper. I’m very connected to politics in Israel and the world.

Makor Rishon: Recreation activity with the family?

Jaber: Trips in nature — it doesn’t matter where. In the Galilee, in the south, and also in Sinai and Sharm El Sheikh.

Makor Rishon: A dish you can’t resist?

Jaber: Mansaf — rice with mutton. My mother, of blessed memory, cooked the best mansaf. To my delight, my wife learned the recipe from her, and makes it just as well.

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