Knowledge and compassion are “critical tools to break the cycle of perpetual conflict and mutual demonization,” Benjamin Rogers, director of Middle East and North Africa initiatives at the American Jewish Committee, told JNS.
That’s why AJC released an Arabic-language video, whose title translates to “What Ties Jews to Israel?” The video is the 11th in AJC’s Arabic-language educational video series titled “About the Jews,” which has received more than 45 million views worldwide. They are aimed at raising awareness in the Arab world about Jewish life and history in the backdrop of rising antisemitism worldwide.
Jewish identity is inextricably tied with Israel, and religion, community and land have been defining aspects of Judaism since the time Moses and the ancient Hebrews escaped Egyptian slavery, according to the video.
“Although they lived in exile at times, the Holy Land remains central to Jewish identity as a pillar of their history and collective dreams,” per the video.
The video is primarily “an educational tool to explain the Jewish people’s connection to the land of Israel,” Rogers told JNS.
“Arabs and Israelis, Muslims and Jews, must find ways to better understand our unique and interconnected histories in hopes of creating a better future,” he continued. “This series attempts to do that by offering a Jewish voice in Arabic and English that is both authentic to our values and constructive in our search for more meaningful dialogue.”
The video stresses that “the idea of Israel as a Jewish homeland need not negate the connection of Palestinians.”