American Jewish Committee is using social media to increase the Arab world’s understanding of the Jewish people.
By United with Israel Staff
American Jewish Committee (AJC), the leading global Jewish advocacy group active on social media, created a series of videos in Arabic, called “An al-Yahud [About the Jews]” to deepen understanding among Arabs about the Jewish people. Their first video was launched last week.
“While our joint visit to Auschwitz with the Muslim World League secretary general represented a watershed moment in AJC’s engagement with Arab leaders, this new initiative offers us an unprecedented opportunity to reach those in the Arab world who may never have a chance to meet a Jew, including the many millions of young people who may be curious to hear a Jewish perspective on the subjects they encounter on social media,” David Harris, CEO of AJC, said in a statement.
The organization impacts opinion and policy through its close relationships with government officials, diplomats and world leaders. It works to combat anti-Semitism and extremism and to defend Israel in public forums.
AJC organized the historic visit of senior Muslim leaders to Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp last month as part of the 75th anniversary commemoration events of its liberation.
“For more than three decades, AJC leaders have regularly traveled to the Middle East and North Africa to meet with Arab and Muslim leaders and exchange views on matters of mutual concern, among them the fight against extremism, Muslim-Jewish relations, and deepening ties between Israel and Arab states,” according to the statement.
The videos explain Jewish history, the Jewish people and various aspects of contemporary Jewish life. The second video, due to be released in mid-February, will cover the history of Muslim-Jewish relations. Additional videos will be released every few weeks.
The savvy organization has built Arabic-language pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote its videos and encourage interaction.
“This innovative new video series will enable us to expand the conversation by telling the Jewish story to the Arab world from a Jewish perspective, which many viewers may never have heard before,” Harris said. “By harnessing the power of social media, we will seek to directly engage hundreds of millions of Arabic-speakers in the Middle East, in North Africa, and across the globe, laying the foundation, we hope, for deeper ties between Jews and Arabs in the future.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succeeded in building positive relationships with Iranians after using social media platforms, with Farsi subtitles, saying that Israel is not the enemy, but, rather, their own regime is causing their suffering. Today, many Iranians are turning on their leadership, looking towards a return to their more moderate past, due, in part, to Netanyahu’s outreach.
“For us, the single most important interreligious challenge in the 21st century is the transformation of Muslim-Jewish relations,” said Harris. “As AJC continues its deeply-rooted commitment to promoting Christian-Jewish relations, we also embrace the immensely significant challenge of deepening friendship and cooperation with Muslims around the world.”
English version of AJC’s inaugural video.
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