Online University Confronts Anti-Israel Bias
JERUSALEM, Israel -- In today's Middle East, it seems that fewer young people stand up for Israel. A new online university hopes to changed that by providing both Jewish and Christian students with a better understanding of the Jewish state.
Israel is under siege at American universities and at campuses around the world.
"Israel really doesn't meet the requirements of a legitimate state," Keren Redleaf, founding member of the Coalition for Palestinian Rights, said.
Now a course from Jerusalem Online University gives students and others the tools to fight back.
"We are trying to give a perspective on not just the history of the ancient modern State of Israel, but also on the biblical, prophetic connection between the modern Jewish people and the Bible, how the ancient history connects with the modern, where it's going," Rabbi Ken Spiro told CBN News.
"The Israel Course, the Biblical, Historical and Modern Perspective," is a seven-part movie course that condenses the history and contribution of the Jewish people.
"We're dealing with such a complex situation and people tend to have very little information on and we know the media can be very, very biased," Spiro said.
Rabbi Ken Spiro, one of the film's creators, says they're taking a holistic approach on politics, religion and philosophy.
"We show one of our movies, "Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference," it's such a dynamic, creative, positive force in history, yet why Israel has been, the Jewish [people] have been, the most hated people in human history…."
"When people think about Israel, they think about war or religion or even falafel," Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, filmmaker and former Harvard University lecturer, told CBN News.
The Israel Inside course focuses on modern Israel, its advances and contributions to the world.
"But to me, when I think about Israel, I think about the triumph of the human spirit. Israelis, surrounded by enemies, turned the desert -- with hardly any natural resources -- into a flourishing, caring and productive society," Shahar said.
"In recent years, the Jewish people's connection to the Land of Israel has become somewhat of a contentious issue," Spiro explained. "But in fact every year more and more archaeology is unearthed that clearly demonstrates the Jewish people's connection to the Land of Israel."
Spiro said one of his favorite in the series is "The Edge of History."
"That's about prophecy and the end of days," continued. "It not only gives the whole sweep of what Jewish history is about, but what it focuses on is current events, what's going on now."
The final class teaches students how to stand up effectively on Israel's behalf.
"Every individual has the ability to communicate for Israel, to inspire people about Israel and to educate people about who Israel really is," the film explains.
Spiro believes using truth and little facts about Israel will help people make their own decisions about Israel and the Jewish people.