May 1, 2015
Israeli Arab Receives Messages of Peace from Across the Arab World – Shlomi Eldar
M. is an Israeli Arab Muslim who served in the IDF. Last year, he came across a series of billboards sponsored by the Balad Party as part of its campaign against the recruitment of Israeli Arabs into the IDF, and decided to fight back. He decided to respond on Facebook, and made a page called “Tzahal bistaha” [“The IDF is worth it”].
“But instead of getting responses from the young Arabs to whom I was directing my personal campaign,” M. said, “I started to get photos and texts from young people around the Arab world. My jaw dropped.” Lots of photos and video clips were sent in from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and other countries with messages of peace and love.
One young woman from Saudi Arabia filmed a message for the people of Israel: “I know it is surprising that a Saudi Arabian citizen sends a message to the people of Israel….I hope the Arabs will be sensible like me and recognize the fact that Israel also has rights to the lands of Palestine.” One Egyptian police officer wrote, “We love, love, love Israel and its army.” He even added a picture of a heart with a Star of David in the middle of it.
A young man from Iraq sent a video with the message: “True, we are two countries that do not have friendly relations, but that doesn’t matter. I believe that the number of people who support Israel here will grow consistently.” “After I got the video from Baghdad, I asked the person who sent me the clip what it was that caused him to express support for Israel,” M. said. “He responded…’There are a lot of young people here who think like me. Everything that is happening to us here in Iraq – the killings, the terrorism, the veritable bloodbath – showed us that Israel has nothing to do with it.'” (Al-Monitor)
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)
Israel No Longer Arab World’s Major Problem – Evelyn Gordon (Commentary)
The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2015, conducted annually by the Dubai-based public relations firm, polled 3,500 Arabs aged 18 to 24 from 16 Arab countries in face-to-face interviews, asking, “What do you believe is the biggest obstacle facing the Middle East?”
Defying a long tradition of blaming all the Arab world’s problems on Israel, only 23% cited the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the region’s main obstacle.
In fact, the conflict came in fourth, trailing ISIS (37%), terrorism (32%) and unemployment (29%). In 2012, the figure was 27%.