Voice of the Jewish News: We’re helping sow the seeds of peace
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Analysis

Voice of the Jewish News: We’re helping sow the seeds of peace

It’s no surprise some remain cynical about the Abraham Accords, but the recent voyage to Israel by Bahraini and Emirati youth shows there's a bright future ahead

Jewish News
Credit: Itamar Eyal
Credit: Itamar Eyal

This week’s formal opening of Israel’s Abu Dhabi embassy was a moment 10 months in the making – and one few thought they would ever witness.

It’s no surprise some remain cynical about the Abraham Accords, as often they do with attempts at interfaith relations in the UK.

To what extent is dialogue reserved to those already sympathetic with engagement? Do those noble advocates of normalisation in the Arab world represent a quiet groundswell of opinion or are they just a small minority? Are the conversations going deep enough and are they covering prickly topics enough to withstand the bumpier times that will inevitably arise?

Jewish News and multi-award winning film-maker Malcolm Green last week set out to find answers to these questions, and to explore the undeniable and often unexpected commonalities between Arabs and Jews. 

For our documentary film, Finding Abraham, we followed a group of young Emiratis, Bahrainis and Moroccans visiting Israel for the first time following an invitation from NGO Israel-is.

It was a fascinating week-long journey that underlined the importance of such grassroots engagement among leaders of tomorrow. 

We should never lose sight of the fact that such a open, public visit simply could not have happened just a year ago. 

The conversations we witnessed and friendships we saw springing up point to growing understanding and even lasting friendships among this group. 

Those conversations have continued via social media on a daily basis since the cast returned to their countries. It’s these low level chats, whether about the relative temperatures in Tel Aviv and Dubai or the latest viral video, rather than the act of opening an embassy, that is the difference between this normalisation and previous peace accords with Egypt and Jordan.

On whichever side of the political fence you sit, that is a cause for celebration. Jewish News was proud to be on the frontline to witness these seeds of peace being sown.

But such visits are not in themselves enough. Only by moving beyond those who might start off sympathetic to the idea of normalisation and together exploring the most uncomfortable ideas that might still separate Jews and Muslims or Arabs and Israelis can we be sure these seeds will grow and flourish as they can and should.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments