June 27, 2023 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) has released a video, "What Ties Jews to Israel?" (“Ma allathi yarbut al-yahud bi-Isra’il?” in Arabic), the 11th installment in the organization’s Arabic-language educational video series, ‘An al-Yahud (“About the Jews”), which has received more than 45 million views worldwide.
The video released today emphasizes that the unique connection between Jews and the land of Israel does not negate those shared by other religions and peoples. The video is also available in English.
The video discusses the inseparable connection between the Jewish people and Israel, their ancestral homeland. It highlights that for almost 4,000 years, Jews have had a unique bond with the land, which is an integral part of their identity. Despite periods of exile, the Holy Land has always remained a central pillar of their history and aspirations.
It also notes that Israel is a diverse society that accommodates multiple religions. Jews recognize and respect the historical and spiritual ties that other religions have to Israel. The country's declaration of independence guarantees freedom of religion, ensuring that Muslims and Christians have equal rights alongside Jewish citizens.
In addition, the video explains that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is not rooted in religion and that a just, secure, and sustainable peace is essential to the welfare of both peoples, and that freedom of worship for all communities must be a part of any future agreements.
“Many in the Arab world see the State of Israel as an expression of modern Jewish nationalism–the story of millennia-old Jewish spiritual ties to the land, the place it holds in our Jewish identity remains largely untold in Arabic,” AJC CEO Ted Deutch said. “However, this story must not be used to negate the ties of other religions and peoples to the land.”
The ’An al-Yahud series, launched in 2020, has been viewed by large audiences in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. The project’s Arabic-language social media channels now have more than 830,000 followers, reaching between 1.5 million and 2 million people per month.
The previous 10 videos focused on the origins and beliefs of the Jewish people; the history of Muslim-Jewish relations; the Holocaust; Jewish ties to Jerusalem; the antisemitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion; Israel’s remarkable diversity; a profile of American Jews, the basics of antisemitism, what Jews think about peace, and what Jews think about non-Jew. Each film also is available in English.
‘An al-Yahud builds on AJC’s extensive, longstanding engagement with the Arab and Muslim worlds. AJC representatives have regularly met during the past three decades with Arab and Muslim leaders across the Middle East and North Africa to exchange views on matters of mutual concern, among them the fight against extremism, advancing Muslim-Jewish relations, and deepening ties between Israel and Arab states. In 2021, AJC established a permanent presence in the Arab world, opening the Sidney Lerner Center for Arab-Jewish Understanding in Abu Dhabi.
In the U.S., AJC established the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council in 2016 with Muslim and Jewish community leaders, offering a platform for advocacy to combat hate crimes, religious discrimination, and other domestic policy issues of common concern.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.