Michael Yadegari Gets In The Mind of Israel

Michael YadegariI’m doing a law program in Israel right now with an interesting guy – Michael Yadegari, a Persian-Jewish law student from Los Angeles who did this program last year.

He is currently a JD/MBA student at Chapman University in Orange, CA and President of the Jewish Law Students Association and founder of Chabad at Chapman.

He spent his time here putting together a documentary, In the Mind of Israel, a non-partisan compilation of first-hand accounts about why Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, live in their country.

The video presents a vast diversity of perspectives and positions, representing a diversity of opinions that we rarely see outside of Israel. He interviews ordinary Israelis, members of parliament, soldiers, law professors, and students.

There are some political implications of the film, including options towards a peace process.   Those interviewed express controversial views from across the political spectrum, and helps highlights some of the enormous challenges Israel has within itself in determining what course of action to take for the future.  It includes some pretty strong statements, including,

The Arabic (sic) needs to die.

Others claim that Israeli politicians use the Palestinian issue for their own ends, and are not really interested in resolving the problem at all.  One Arab truck driver emphasizes that they already live together, and collective cooperation towards a solution is certainly possible.

Israel is not a monolithic country, but this film does help give a glimpse into the very complicated minds of those who live there.  Perhaps even more important than an international audience seeing this would be for Israelis themselves to talk to each other and resolve their differences, educate one another about misunderstandings, and move beyond the historical obstacles that have hindered progress thus far.

You can purchase a copy of the film here.