Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner

Article excerpt

Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner. By Lela Gilbert. New York: Encounter Books, 201 3. 3 12 pp. $25.99.

Gilbert, an American and self-described Christian Zionist, moved to Israel in 2006 and stayed for six years. Offering original insights, interviews, historical narratives, and poetry, her book is primarily a memoir, rather than a scholarly survey, allowing the reader to discover the unexpected errors that are often reported about Israel. Of particular note are her ground-breaking interviews with everyone from Lebanon hostages to the chief of the architectural dig at the Temple Mount.

Gilbert begins with first impressions of Israel, its Jewish traditions, and holidays. She then explores a number of misconceptions and lies about Israel that the legacy media continues to report. For example, she demolishes the widespread accusation of Israel as an "apartheid" state through an interview with Malcolm Hedding, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and a former pastor of a racially-mixed congregation in South Africa. When that apartheid government tried to silence Hedding, he and his family fled to Israel. "Calling Israel an 'apartheid state,'" Hedding states, "is absolute nonsense! The country does not dehumanize its minority in the sense of apartheid!"

Wielding a broader brush, Gilbert exposes the delinquent global attention paid to nearly one million Jews expelled from Muslim lands from 1 948 to 1970. Sometimes called the "forgotten refugees," most resettled in Israel. …

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