As a recent law graduate, 25-year-old Ariel Bryant offers a unique perspective on the political side of things in Israel. Having traveled there through the Passages program, she realizes the American media portrays Israel in more of a negative light than reality.
"It seems as though a lot of Americans and sometimes the students that we bring over will have a very critical eye toward Israel based on how a lot of the media outlets have portrayed Israel almost like a warmongering, aggressive country who's just harming innocent children, women, etc. in defense of their nation," she said.
However, Israel is more defensive of its land than it is offensive, Bryant says in the "Passages" series on the Charisma Podcast Network.
"For instance, IDF is called the Israeli Defense Forces. It's not the Israeli army; it's literally what they do. And Israel as a whole is defensive. They're defending their entire existence in the Middle East.
"So when you're actually there, and you hear from speakers who are Palestinian, and yet pro-Israel, sometimes it really changes your perception, and you realize that the American media and the international media has an agenda on how they're spinning the Israeli conflict, and it's tainted how we perceive it. But when you're actually there, you're seeing a different side of things."
Bryant went on to emphasize how gaining more firsthand knowledge of the Jewish culture in Israel has deepened her love for the people and helped her understand the background of her faith as well.
"I'd say it just brought me such a love for the Jewish community that I didn't necessarily have before. I think it is so important for Christians to understand the fundamental basics and background, that Christianity has ties with Judaism. And that's not something that I think is taught nor endorsed in many American Christian churches. So seeing that firsthand in Israel, how these two massive religions connect, was very impactful for me as well."
To listen to the rest of the episode on the "Charisma News" podcast, click here.
For more information about Passages, visit passagesisrael.org.
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