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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Cheshvan 5, 5765, 10/20/2004

      Arabs for Israel


      There numbers may be small, perhaps even tiny. But their voices are beginning to be heard, and it is time that Israel and the Jewish people do more to reach out to them.

      I am referring to the budding new movement of Arabs who support Israel. I know that at first glance you’ll think I am fantasizing, and perhaps the word “movement” is not yet truly applicable here, since we are talking about a handful of brave individuals who have stood up and made their views known.

      But despite the cultural barriers, the ideological pressures and even the hate mail that they receive, there are a growing number of Arabs and Muslims speaking out against the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism so prevalent throughout the Islamic world.

      In today’s Jerusalem Post, I wrote a news article about one such figure: Nonie Darwish, who grew up in Gaza learning to hate Jews, but who now speaks out across the United States against Islamic fundamentalism and in favor of support for Israel. She has even launched a website which is well worth visiting and publicizing.

      Another brave soul speaking out is Walid Shoebat, a former Palestinian terrorist who is now a ‘Christian Zionist’. Shoebat has addressed numerous Jewish and Christian organizations, and has spoken out against the establishment of a Palestinian state. "The occupation is not Israel occupying the land which supposedly belongs to the Arabs," he says. "The true occupation is of the minds of Palestinians, of teaching them hatred for Jews. That is the real occupation." Mr. Shoebat also has a website that is both eye-opening and intriguing.

      Of course, we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that the level of hate for Jews and their state throughout the Muslim world is in any way diminishing, and this is something we must stand on guard against with all of our might.

      Cracks_in_the_wall_1 Nonetheless, it is refreshing, and even encouraging to see that even the formerly impenetrable wall of Arab hostility towards Israel is at last beginning to develop some fissures and cracks from within.