Israel's Supreme Court
Israel's Supreme CourtIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The first Arab justice on Israel's Supreme Court says the country is anything but an “apartheid state.”

Judge Salim Joubran, currently on a tour of the United States, told a group of attorneys and judges at the Miller Canfield law firm in Detroit on Tuesday that Israel is a diverse country.

The Arab judge added that he personally lives in Haifa, a city he described as a “unique mix” of Jews and Arabs where “respect and tolerance” are shared values.

In his neighborhood, he said, Muslims, Jews and Christians often share in each others' holiday celebrations.

“We in Israel pray every day for peace,” he said, according to a report published Wednesday in the Detroit Free Press.

Joubran, who also spoke at the Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, addressed similar audiences in New York and Washington DC.

Sponsored by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Joubran last week met for lunch privately with five U.S. Supreme Court justices as well.