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Forward: Israel needs to speak Arabs’ language in order to win hearts, minds

February 19, 2011

The upheaval in Egypt and elsewhere in the Mideast has offered hope for the spread of democracy. But it has also reminded observers just how strong the anti-Israel sentiment is. And how important it continues to be for Israel and Arab states to build trust right now.

An article in the Jewish Forward stresses the need for Israel to reach out to Arabs and stress the need for cooperation. This new day requires a change in mindset, writes Nathan Guttman, as Israel has only a small number of Arabic language specialists.

[Shimrit] Meir, [director of The Israel Project’s Arabic media program and] an Arabic-speaking Israeli who is based in the organization’s Israel office, said that the message that needs to be delivered to young Egyptians is that peace with Israel has been beneficial to Egypt and will continue to be in that country’s best interest.

“Now is the time to say to the Egyptian people, ‘You need to choose between another war with Israel or more trade and prosperity,’” [Jennifer Laszlo] Mizrahi, [founder and president of The Israel Project,] added.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jack Wirtz permalink
    February 19, 2011 2:34 pm

    Are these Israeli peacemakers secular Jews or religious Jews? Knowing which they are is the true measure of the weight of their message. Leading up to this violence has been a steadily increase in violence against Christians (Copts).

    Their hands offered in peace will be cut off and their songs will be their epitaphs until the Moslem nations establish true freedom of and from religion; for even Egypt which recognizes Israel hangs any Moslem that converts to another religion and is a constant threat to Christianity which has been there since the First Century.

    On February 8, 2011 sectarian violence broke out in the hamlet of Elias Hanna, in Samalut, Minya province when some 80 Muslims attacked a number of Copts because they attempted to pray in a house belonging to the Diocese since 2007. The Muslim attack resulted in the injury of 5 Copts. Nearly 6000 Copts living in the hamlet of Elias Hanna and three other neighboring villages have no church.

    Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights Organization, presented on February 10, 2011 a complaint to the Attorney-General on behalf of the people of the Omraniya area, against the Governor of Giza, and the former director of security in, Giza accusing them of being the cause of the murder of three of the Ormaniya Copts and causing sectarian strife.

    On February 16 the Church of St. George in Rafah was torched, the walls of the church had written on them, “No to Christians in Muslim Land”

    Israeli P.M. Netanyahu correctly identified the situation when he said,
    “If the Arabs laid down their arms today, there will be peace tomorrow. If Israel laid down her arms today, there will be no Israel.”

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