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'Essential Israel:' Professor Aims to Educate America on the Truth About the Jewish State


Dr. Rachel Fish is out to educate Americans about Israel.

She appeared on CBN News recently to talk about her new book, "Essential Israel."

Most Americans have formed their views about Israel and the tumultuous Middle East based on what they see or read in the mainstream media, she says, which provides a limited perspective at best and a completely skewed perspective at worst.

Fish, associate director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University, recently explained why it's so important for Americans to understand Israel's importance in the region and the world.

"America is deeply invested in the region of the Middle East and within that region we know that Israel is a very serious and important ally and friend to the United States," Fish told CBN News. "It is really important for Americans to understand that Israel is really the only democracy in the region at this time."

One place where this positive perspective of Israel is almost never heard is on American college campuses. There, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments are on the rise.

"What we find on the campus climate particularly is the hard left and the hard right are deeply entrenched in their positions and it's the vast majority in the middle, that 80 percent, who really need the educational and foundational knowledge about Israel," Fish explained.

Fish, along with her colleagues at the Schusterman Center, are helping educate that 80 percent by creating "Essential Israel," a compilation of essays that explore modern-day Zionism, Jewry, and the Israeli-Arab conflict.

"We worked with a group of experts who are Israel Studies faculty members and a handful of practitioners in all different types of communities in order to develop materials that are accessible and digestible to audiences beyond the academy," she said.

Fish believes if Americans want to continue seeing a strong relationship between Israel and the U.S., it's time for individuals to step up to the plate.

"America has a vested interest in what happens in that region for security purposes, it terms of international relations, oil production. All of these components matter to the world stage and so Americans must take initiative and absolutely be engaged in this conversation," said Fish.

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