After the US has offered Indonesia an increase of aid by up to $2 billion if it normalised ties with Israel, the question of normalisation with Israel remains. But what do Indonesians think about it, and how are Indonesians divided about this issue?

Join a conversation with Gilang Lukman, the first Indonesian to study MA in Middle East in Oxford University and a Peace Advocacy Fellow of the Balfour Project, and get an idea why in Indonesia, despite living far away from the middle east,  Israel-Palestine is such a concerning issue among global conflicts, and how it divides communities there.

 Listen to Gilang speaking about:

  • Why are some pro Palestinian activists in Indonesia fascinated about the Hebrew language?
  • Why did the Palestinian embassy in Indonesia protest against the use of their national symbols?
  • How was the pro-Israeli camp emerged in Indonesia?
  • Is learning Hebrew providing an Indonesian Muslim the credentials to speak to the non-muslim population?
  • Why have some Christian Indonesians changed their name to Hebrew names, and have started greeting saying ‘Shalom’? and what does it say about them?
  • Why, for some Muslims, it would be theologically problematic to say “marry Christmas” but not “Chag Sameach”?
  • How does their own history of colonisation affect how Indonesians see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
  • What does “Jewish territorialism” mean (hint: Let the Jews have a state outside of Palestine…), and why is Gilang sympathetic to this idea?
  • What would Gilang respond to Israelis who feel that “there are so many Muslim states – why is it wrong to have 1 Jewish state?”?
  • Who are the 3 segments of Indonesian society who would support normalisation with Israel? 
  • Will there be any benefit in normalising relations with Israel for future Palestinian independence?

When Sarah went to Israel on one of Christian trips, she felt more connected to her Christianity. It was one of the reasons she decided to embark on her Hebrew journey. Join Sarah, my ginger British student from the SOAS Languages Centre, for an honest conversation about:

  • What's it like being a dyslexic and learning Hebrew?
  • How has the trip to Israel made her feel more Christian?
  • Is Christianity a Western religion?
  • Do religious trips to Israel promote pro Israeli views while avoiding the conflict?
  • What stands behind statements like "it's complicated" and "wait 10 years before having your political stance on Israel/Palestine".
  • How do people respond to you when you say you're English, and does British colonial history have anything to do with that?

 

Moritz is a Hebrew student, a Swiss rapper and a researcher. He wrote his master thesis on the confederation ('2 states 1 homeland'/'a Land for All') initiative which offers an alternative to the current accepted solutions for Israel-Palestine (1 state/2 states). 

He has lived in Tel-Aviv, interened for the Swiss Embassy there, and he has some insights to share with us. 

In this podcast, we will sing together  a beautiful Hadag Nahash song in Hebrew! And also, we will discuss:

  • Why did his Swiss friends working in conflict resolution call him a Zionist, while in Israel he was seen by some as an anti-Zionist?
  • Why are Swiss citizens who live in settlements treated by the Swiss embassy in Tel AViv and not by the Consulate in Ramallah? And what does that have to do with “don’t upset Israel”?
  • What difference is there between the Swiss foreign Policy and the Swiss parliament policy towards Israel?
  • What's the Role of Europe in maintaining or challenging the 2 states solution, when will the paradign change, and how would it look like?
  • Will the saying “it must get worse to get better” prove itself to be true? And is there anything the world, and Europe in particular could do to prevent that scenario?

Ruth Foster, a daughter of a protestant father and a Catholic Irish mother, studies Hebrew at Harvard university, after having spent time in East and West Jerusalem, an experience which taught her about her unspoken about history in Northern Ireland.

In our conversation, we have explored:

  • Why are Israeli and Palestinian flags flown in Northern Ireland, even today? Why is this happening?
  • Do protestants wave the Israeli flag because “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”, or does the mentality of being under a siege have something to do with it?
  • What common ground did the Zionist Jews and the Irish share in the beginning of the 20th century? Why have Irish Republicans sided with the Palestinian side?
  • Is the conflict in Northern Ireland mostly a religious conflict or rather an outcome of British colonisation and division?
  • How is the culture of ‘say nothing’ affect people’s mental health in Northern Ireland today?
  • What are the dividing lines between sacred and profane in modern Hebrew?
  • And lastly, what could the Irish language potentially learn from modern Hebrew?

 

This time we are honoured to speak with a professional faith leader and activist, MBE (member of the British Empire as we are soon to learn) Jane Clements, who started the British NGO FODIP (Forum Of Discussion on Israel and Palestine).

Join a fascinating, longer than usual (for a reason!) discussion in which we will explore:

  • How do events in Israel and Palestine affect faith communities in the UK?
  • Isn’t it better to simply avoid the big elephant in the room?
  • Who are the Evangelical Christians in the US and Zionist Christians in the UK? Was their influence on Israel’s politics recent, or not at all?
  • What do they wish for the Jews, and why do Jewish representative organisations, such as the Zionist Federation or the Board of Deputies, collaborate with them?
  • What’s the difference between the US intervention today and the British involvement in the days of the Balfour declaration?

Ole is my German student, and he studies Hebrew because he has an Israeli girlfriend.
Join our fascinating conversation and explore: 

  • What is the greatest benefit of interreligious relationships?
  • Can you be a different person, speaking in a different language?
  • How can children in Germany deal with the shame and guilt of German history, and how does one explain it to him/herself?
  • Are the oppressed the only victims in conflicts?
  • What message a German bystander has for Israelis who take part in the ongoing protest against Netanyahu?

 

Join a fascinating conversation with my British student Hannah, a researcher of Israeli and Palestinian literature, and explore:

What parts of her British colonial heritage has she encountered in her professional path?

What does the land, the trees and water symbolise in Israeli and Palestinian narratives? Which roles do the Jordan River, the Hula Valley and the Mediterranean Sea play?

How has Hannah seen the politics of language-learning in the Hebrew workbooks and material?

Giacomo, an Italian from Rome who lives in London, studied Hebrew at SOAS university London, then at Ben Gurion University, and at 'This is not an Ulpan' in Tel Aviv. 

He shares with us his experience with the Jewish community of Rome, and how that made him explore Jewish history, modern Israel and speak Hebrew. And he is quite fluent - as you can hear at the end of this episode..!

Join this fascinating discussion with an Italian who took his passion to fluency!

בפרק החמישי בפודקאסט 'דבר עברית - אהוב את ישראל?', נשמע את הסיפור של גילה: אמריקאית, יהודייה ומורה לעברית בבית ספר יהודי בקונטיקט.

 

מהי אותה הרגשה שקשה להסביר במילים? למה זה קרה? מה היא למדה (ומה לא) על ישראל כשחיה שם?

מה דעתה על הכיבוש כיום, ועל ארגונים יהודיים כמו 'ג'יי סטריט' (J-Street)?

סיפורה של יהודייה "בקטנה", שמצאה בישראל שייכות. 

In this episode, Magda, a Polish Hebrew student in the SOAS Language Centre, will speak about how she decided to convert with Reform Judaism, finding her Jewish ancestry which was unspoken about in her family;

We will also speak about how Jews and Israel are perceived in Poland today, and why is Israel normalised, while stereotypes about Jews still prevail;

While converting in West London Syangogue she studies Biblical Hebrew, Magda will explain why she decided to learn Modern Hebrew.

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