This Hotel Was a Model of Jewish-Arab Coexistence – Until an Angry Mob Arrived

Evan Fallenberg spent almost a decade developing the Arabesque boutique hotel in Acre’s Old City. Now, days after it was destroyed by rioters, he wonders if the ancient city's renaissance was too good to be true

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Before Evan Fallenberg sealed the doors and windows of Arabesque – the boutique hotel he had lovingly built that was vandalized by an angry Arab mob in the northern coastal city of Acre Wednesday night – he was so overwhelmed that he paused to sit on the stone steps at the entrance. 

“All I could do was sit down on those steps,” he told Haaretz in an interview on Thursday. “It was just too much to take in. As I was sitting there, I insisted that the door be kept open: I wanted everyone passing by to acknowledge the destruction in some way. And they did. Neighbors stopped in. A few cried and some apologized – even though it wasn’t their fault. They were upset, they were distraught. And they spoke. They told stories of their own experiences and they told stories about Arabesque back when we first started.”