Christian Living

Jerusalem Dateline

Changing Israel's Image: One Tour at a Time

What's the image that comes to mind when you hear the word "Israel?" For many people, they think about riots, guns, and violence. They think about an intractable conflict with no end in sight.

But did you know Israel is one of the hi-tech wonders of the world? That most visitors never see any violence? That cafés are packed in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem?

Once people come here for the first time and see for themselves, they get an entirely different perspective of Israel. I've heard numerous testimonies of people who come here, feel safe and discover an amazing country.

One group changing Israel's perception is America's Voices in Israel. Their mission is to "… strengthen American understanding of and support for Israel …"

The way they do that is by inviting American celebrities, television, and film actors and actresses, evangelical Christian leaders, and others to Israel for a comprehensive tour of Israel. From chefs to generals to strategists, they get a perspective they wouldn't on CNN. The results are eye opening.

We met recently with two members of their most recent tour that brought over American Hispanic leaders. Here's two clips from our interviews with two of the most watched Hispanic broadcasters in the United States.

Here's the first with Raul "El Gordo" De Molina. "El Gordo" co-hosts Univision Network's #1 rated entertainment news show, "El Gordo y la Flaca." Believe it or not, it has more viewers in its time slot than ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX combined. He talks about what people need to know about Israel.

We also talked with Mario Kreutzberger, better known as "Don Francisco." He's the host of one of TV’s longest running variety show "Sabado Gigante," one of the most popular shows in the history of Spanish-language television. He's also the son of Holocaust survivors. He talked with us about the uniqueness of Jerusalem and Israel.