There are many misconceptions and even lies about Israel that are being promoted by the media. People are told that Israel is an apartheid State and that Jewish relations with the Arab community are very negative. That is why we are interviewing Daniel Gwertzman for this podcast. Daniel is president of the AMI-Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies and Research, and he has lived in Israel for many years. He shares with us what relations between Jews and Arabs are really like in Israel and how positive they really are.
We hear so much on the news, especially in the US, about all the problems and conflicts between Arabs and Jews. But one thing we do not hear is the fact that many Arabs are Israeli citizens. On a daily basis millions of Jews and millions of Arabs live together in the State of Israel getting along, having their families, and being in the same places. Jews and Arabs ride together on the light rail system. They ride together on buses. And they are very courteous and helpful to each other.
Most of the people who work in Jewish hotels are Arabs. There are Arab doctors in Jewish hospitals, some of them heads of departments. We have Arab judges in Israel. There are Arabs who serve in the Israeli army, something they do by choice. Arabs attend universities in Israel—even religious universities—and they study in Jewish schools. Many Arabs are in high tech industries in Israel.
So this idea that Arabs have to walk on the other side of the street and are not in Jewish institutions is a lie. It is obvious to anyone who visits Israel that it is not an apartheid State. You might say, “Well those Arabs in Jewish institutions are Christians.” No, they are Muslims! Please come to Israel and see the truth for yourself. Help us break the lies and misconceptions about relations between Jews and Arabs.
- Joshua 3:14–17. “All Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.”
- Joshua 4:19. “The people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho.”
- Joshua 18:1. “The whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there.”
- “I went into a Jewish institution and an Arab lady waited on me. An Arab gentleman waited on me. It’s not strange at all. We work together.”
- “Many of these places that you read about in the Bible—they exist. You can go to Gilgal; you can go to Shiloh; you can go to all of these places. And in some of the places, they’re located in Arab villages, which preserve the names of the ancient biblical sites.”
- “I would encourage you to experience all the delights of Israel and bless the Jews and bless the Christians and bless the Arabs.”
- What we hear a lot in the news is really dealing with a different faction of people that we would call terrorists or extremist groups. These are people who are not part of Israel but live in Gaza or other areas surrounding Israel and are under Palestinian authority. But we never hear the story about Arabs living in Jerusalem and being a part of daily life in Jerusalem.
- This is the true paradigm about Jerusalem and Israel. Are there problems? Yes. Are there terrorists? Yes. But there are many good people who live there. And they want to live with their families in peace. They want to follow their religious practices without getting in the way of the religious practices of others or being disturbed by others in that practice.
- Jews and Arabs are coming together more often. The light rail system has been very beneficial to relations between them. Arabs take the trains to the Jewish areas to go to work, go shopping, or go to the doctor. They no longer just shop and work in their area now that they can get on public transportation so easily.