What’s going on in Israel? A conversation with Israeli civil rights lawyer Calev Myers

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What’s going on in Israel? A conversation with Israeli civil rights lawyer Calev Myers

April 3, 2023 -

Israeli civil rights lawyer Calev Myers speaks with Dr. Mark Turman on The Denison Forum Podcast

Israeli civil rights lawyer Calev Myers speaks with Dr. Mark Turman on The Denison Forum Podcast

Israeli civil rights lawyer Calev Myers speaks with Dr. Mark Turman on The Denison Forum Podcast

Calev Myers, a prominent Israeli lawyer, discusses with Dr. Mark Turman his civil rights advocacy, efforts to support justice in Israel, and the origin and solution to the civil unrest against the Israeli government.

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Show notes:

Calev Myers begins by talking about his career and the founding story of the Jerusalem Institute for Justice, which focuses on Hamas’ abuse of Palestinians while also advocating on behalf of Israeli citizens (4:21). He discusses the relatively peaceful coexistence of Israelis and how to communicate inter-religiously (15:31). Myers elaborates by unfolding the origin of modern Israel and the specific issues he’s dealt with in their Supreme Court (19:47). He then talks about ARISE, a group that helps make business connections and grows Israel economically, which combats an insidious boycott movement called “BDS” (33:52). He shares some of ARISES’ success stories (41:55). Myers and Dr. Turman then consider the current protests and unrest, starting with Israel’s lack of a founding constitution and the imbalance of power in its government (47:44). Myers closes with how we can pray for Israel (1:04:04).

Resources and further reading:

About the hosts

Mark Turman, DMin, is the executive director of Denison Forum. He received his DMin from Truett at Baylor and previously served as lead pastor of Crosspoint Church.

About the guest

In 2004, Myers became a partner at Yehuda Raveh & Co., a law firm. In 2004, Myers also founded the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ), a human rights group active in Israel and its adjacent territories, and has presented reports on their behalf before governmental bodies.

In 2009, Myers became a founding partner of the Jerusalem City Center Branch of Yehuda Raveh and Co., which primarily serves foreign clients investing or donating in Israel. Myers’ legal practice focuses primarily on corporate and intellectual property law, as well as non-profit law, immigration law, and civil rights.

Myers is the Founder and Chairman of ARISE – Alliance to Reinforce Israel’s Security and Economy and serves as the Chairman of the Anti-BDS Commission of the Israel Association of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce.

Transcript

Transcribed by Otter.ai

 

Mark Turman  00:10

Welcome back to the Denison Forum Podcast. I’m Dr. Mark Turman, your host, we’re glad to have you with us for conversations about culture and faith that matter. And today we have a very interesting, exciting opportunity to talk about what’s going on in the country of Israel, and why it matters and how it impacts all of us. We are looking at insight in Israel, if you will, and our guest today is Kolev Meyers, let me introduce him to you. He is an Israeli attorney, senior partner at Yehuda Raven and company law offices, one of Israel’s top tier commercial law firms, where Kolev manages their city center branch in Jerusalem, former deputy president and current member of the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Jewish Jewish lawyers and jurists. Kalev is also founder and chairman of arise Foundation, which connects international business people to Israel, advancing economic development and diplomacy. You can read more and find out more about them at a rise for israel.com. Kalev is also founder and former CEO of the Jerusalem Institute for Justice. We’re going to talk to him about that in just a moment. and Israeli institute that upholds justice advocates for marginalized communities and promotes freedom. The institute aims to improve the quality of life for individuals in Israel and throughout the Middle East. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about the justice ministry that he founded. Also his work with the arise business foundation. And then we’re also going to talk a bit about current events going on in Israel, that will hopefully give us a better understanding of what’s going on and also how we can pray. So we look forward to the conversation Kalev Welcome to the Denison Forum Podcast. Kalev Meyers, welcome to the Denison Forum Podcast. We’re glad to have you this morning. Hey, it’s great to be with you coming from Jerusalem. Right? Is that where you’re located today?

 

Calev Myers  02:17

Yes, we more exactly in the Judean Hills about 25 minutes outside of Jerusalem, but it’s close enough Jerusalem area.

 

Mark Turman  02:23

Right. Okay. Well, people that have been to Israel will identify that Well, I think, but I’ve already shared a little bit of your professional background. By way of introduction. Tell us a little bit about you that we wouldn’t read in the professional resume. Who is Kolev? Meyers otherwise?

 

Calev Myers  02:46

Yeah. So probably the most special thing about me is my family. I’m married to a wonderful woman, Shelley Meyers. She is a very gifted songwriter, and musician. You can find her YouTube channel, just Shelley Meyers, S H E L I m y ers. She takes what you would call worship music. So you know, mostly Psalms from the Hebrew scriptures and puts them to modern, modern music, most of the Christian communities in Israel sing her songs. And so she’s just one. She’s also professional parenting counselor, which means she’s just been a fantastic mother. We have five children, ages 26 down to 13. And, and that’s really the joy of my life. So I don’t think you’d see that in my resume. But yeah, it’s definitely the most the most important thing in my life.

 

Mark Turman  03:37

Wow. That’s, that’s awesome. So yeah, you must have a very busy household with five kids. How many boys how many girls?

 

Calev Myers  03:46

We have? We have four girls and one son. Yeah, the son actually, he’s the same age as my oldest daughter. But he came a little bit later we we adopted him as foster parents. He was 16 when he joined our family, he’s been with us now for for 10 years. Now. He’s actually independent. He lives down the street, but we’re his family in this world. So yeah, and so yeah, but our biological daughters or are all girls. One of them is married, one’s about to get married at the beginning of May. And so yeah, we’re in an interesting period of life.

 

Mark Turman  04:21

Fantastic. Well, that’s, that’s great to know. I have a daughter myself who’s considering adoption and so great to know. But I was I was struggling to come up with a one word description of what I know about you. And I don’t think there’s one word that’s going to cover it. So we’re going to talk about a wide range of things. I’m just thinking about titling this podcast insight into Israel. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Israel four times now, twice in the last six months in fact, and just love being in the country love walking in the places where God did so many of his amazing things, especially obviously coming into this spring season for Christians and the places where Jesus walked in where Jesus suffered and died for us Christians, obviously, holding that very dear, especially during this time and the celebration of Passover coming for Jews, and obviously, and even Ramadan for for the Muslim community, but want to start if we could just with some of the background that you have and work that you’ve done relative to justice work as an attorney. Tell us about the founding and work of the Jerusalem Institute for Justice.

 

Calev Myers  05:34

Yeah, absolutely. So, so I’ve been practicing law now for about 22 years, and I’ve been a partner in one of the one of the largest law firms in Israel. Now since 2004, so about 18 years. And, and I, myself, my mother is is, is Christian, and my father is Jewish. And so I do belong to the community of Christian minorities in Israel. And I’m really the only person from our community that’s a partner in one of Israel’s larger law firms. And so for that reason, a lot of a lot of fishing organizations and Christian owned businesses active in Israel have come my way. And so I just I represent the vast majority of certain Protestant Evangelical, I would say, organizations in Israel, both for profit and not for profit, I’m a legal adviser is a Baptist Convention in Israel and the Anglican Church in Israel in the Assemblies of God in Israel and Hillsong churches. And so from, you know, some of the more traditional ones, some of the newer denominations in the International Christian Embassy, if you came to Israel, you probably visited the Garden Tomb, they’re a client of mine, and I’ve done legal work for CBN and TBN, and Daystar, and God TV, and so it’s a today I have a team about 10 people. And if you take all the money that’s either invested or donated by evangelicals in Israel, we probably represent 99% of it. And so, you saw I live in a very interesting intersection between people who share a common faith and an interest in connecting Israel doing doing business in Israel. twice in my life, I started in nonprofit organizations to kind of leverage the relationship and the resources on this intersections of relations, to to advance things that are important to me on my heart, the nonprofit level, the first organization, Jerusalem’s to justice, which you mentioned, and very simply, I began that as a young, legal advocate, to be a platform if you if you believe in Jesus, and so for any persecution, discrimination or harassment for your faith in Israel, that Palestinian territories, you can come and receive pro bono legal representation. We broadened out that, you know, those activities to broader freedom of religion, projects that benefit all the citizens of Israel, no matter what religion you belong to, and also general human rights advocacy, one of the things we recognize in the early years is that, contrary to common rhetoric, the primary abusers of Palestinian human rights are not it is not Israel and Israeli government, the Israeli soldier at the checkpoint, or a quote unquote, settler building a home somewhere in Judea, and Samaria, it’s the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas, if you really look at your take, you know, 30, some odd human rights defined in the international Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. And you say, you know, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, you know, freedom from torture, and degrading treatment, etc, who is really abusing the the rights of Palestinians is primarily their own leadership. And so, but nobody talks about is that Jerusalem is who justice became. And it’s still until this day, I believe, the only organization in this region that systematically researches documents and exposes the abuse of Palestinian human rights by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. And we’re talking about 1000s of arbitrary arrests per annum hundreds of cases of torture and degrading treatment executions without trial. I mean, the list goes on and on. And it’s really kind of the disappointing thing is how much money they’re receiving from Western liberal democracies, including the United States. And so you know, that they I presented my reports before many governments around the world that support the Palestinian Authority, including Congress, people on the Appropriations Committee of the United States federal government, calling on them to don’t stop helping the Palestinians, but precondition all this funding on on human rights reforms, you know, like, for instance, it would be quite reasonable to ask the Palestinian Authority to get rid of the statutory death penalty for selling land from from you know, Muslims to Jews or to Christian or even converting from you know, Islam to any of those other religions that But not me right now. So as so. So yeah, so those are type of issues. And we jumped into that just as a way to, at first to protect Christian minorities in the Palestinian Authority, but it really affects everybody. And so what we do with Jerusalem is his job is unique because we’ve challenged the Israeli government on issues. So they take responsibility and make life freer and better for Israeli citizens. And we challenge the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, they take better responsibility and make life free and better for the Palestinians, instead of kind of the common, I’d say, the common road of blaming the Palestinians for all of Israel’s problems and blaming Israel, for all the Palestinians, say, Wait a second, we have two administrations and governments here, and each of them can could improve what they’re doing in various ways to help their business. Let’s let’s focus on that.

 

Mark Turman  10:46

Right. And that’s, that’s one of the things that makes Israel and Jerusalem a very unique place is the intersection of three of the three World’s Greatest religions, right? Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. When I was there, just a few months ago, one of the Israeli leaders that I was talking to working with he was making the point, just as you were saying that, yes, there are obviously real issues between Israelis and Palestinians. But that was really pale in comparison to the, to the issues that Palestinians have with themselves, and that they’re struggling with, and that they’re trying to find, in many ways a consensus view of how the world is and how they fit into it. And is that a fair statement that they’re, they’re trying to figure that out in the midst of living in this intersection, particularly in Israel, where these three great cultures and religions and faiths come together? Is that that part of what their struggle is?

 

Calev Myers  11:52

That’s very accurate, and I would say so. So whereas Israel is a a Western liberal democracy, and, you know, just the fact that we’ve had half a million people on a, you know, almost daily basis demonstrating in the streets because of the fine tuning they want to make to our legal system. We could talk more about that, but their voice being heard without being harassed by the police, without, you know, with complete freedom of expression, freedom, demonstration, and everything else. Is it really a testimony to Israel’s democracy, and those are Jews and Arabs and Christians and and and Druze and Bedouins and all everybody demonstrating together everybody for the benefit of Israel, the Palestinian Authority is a dictatorial police state. And so when you have a dictatorial police, they think of, you know, other countries in the world where you might have two cartels or heads of cartels vying for who is going to actually control the the, you know, authoritarian government, as exactly we have in the Palestinians. It’s very tribal, you have a Fatah, or the PLO, was established by Yasser Arafat. And then, you know, Mahmoud Abbas is a came after him in the leadership there. And then you and then you have Hamas, which is, which is ruled by Islamic fundamentalists. And they’re in control of Gaza right now. And they’re constantly fighting between them as to who should be in control the Palestinian Authority, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip, in 2006. And they took all of the appeal of leadership and you know, shot and shot them in the kneecaps and threw them off of, you know, 11 storey buildings, where he wasn’t, wasn’t a peaceful transfer of power. So you can imagine so, so the blood feud, let’s call it runs very deep. The vast majority of people who are killed every year by violence and Palestinian Authority is Hamas killing PLO, members of PLO members killing Hamas. I think they hate each other much more than either of them dislike Israel. And so that’s what’s happening there. And the Palestinian, the Palestinians themselves, pay a heavy price for this. And it’s not a very easy thing to be a Palestinian living in the Palestinian territories.

 

Mark Turman  14:08

And it’s, it’s something that we get only a very small glimpse of, and often a skewed view, you know, we and that’s one of the one of the wonders of traveling to Israel for various reasons with the biblical pilgrimage or tourism, whatever that might be. One things you’ll learn is, is it’s not usually like what you think it is through, through, you know, international media outlets, that type of thing. I remember the first time I was there for a biblical study tour. We were a little bit surprised that we had not only an Israeli tour guide, but we had a Palestinian bus driver, and our guide, got on the bus and introduced himself introduced our bus driver and said, you may you may think that we hate each other, but we’ve known each other for more than 20 years, we’ve worked together for 20 plus years, and we’re very good friends trust each other explicitly. Even though we Do not share the same faith and obviously have some political differences as well. But that doesn’t mean we can’t live in proximity with each other work in proximity with each other be very good friends and, and have a significant level of trust. And that’s not something that you commonly see through the images and stories and pictures that we that we traffic in most of the time here in the United States. I’m sure you’ve had experiences similar to that.

 

Calev Myers  15:31

Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, I’m, you know, my mother’s Christian, my father’s Jewish my best friend from law school is it’s a moderate Muslim, great guy from from Nazareth. He comes from a salt of the earth family. His grandfather was the first Arabic judge in Israel. We’re very, very close name is Mohammed de Nominet. I live my neighborhood that I live in. It’s a it’s a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. 99% of the residents are Jewish, but we live next to an Arab village, which is where I do most of my grocery shopping, and other errands and, you know, get my hair cut and everything else and we, you know, we do we live life together and peace and coexistence. But it’s not only at the street level. We have an Arab judge on our Supreme Court currently, Christian Eric judge. We’ve had Muslim Arabs before and our Supreme Court of you know, around 20 out of 120 members of our Knesset are Arabs, Arabic speaking either Muslims Druze, Bedouins, very integrated into our society the president of the largest bank in Israel right now Bank Leumi happens to be a Christian Arab. And so yeah, absolutely, we all we don’t really have a choice but to live together over here and as much peace and harmony as possible. And it’s much better than you get, obviously, you know, in any kind of standard media. You today, unfortunately, people just you know, they want to tell the bad news and be sensational, and you know, anything any, anytime anything goes wrong, you know, that’s what they show about Israel. But on a day to day basis, there’s actually a lot of peaceful, peaceful coexistence, right, I actually, you know, when I think between Christianity and Judaism, people talk about the interfaith dialogue, I actually see that as interfaith dialogue because Christianity was birthed out of Judaism. If Jesus isn’t the Jewish Messiah, then he’s nobody’s Messiah. So I mean, it’s always prophesied by Hebrew prophets. And you know, and that’s the whole basis of Christianity, right. And so, there’s, there’s a very deep level of, of understanding, I would say, both at the theological level of obviously, their disagreements, certainly regarding the Jesus and who he is, and, and, you know, who is the Messiah and, and so on and so forth. But, but we have a lot in common and Judeo Christian ethics and values, we, we share a lot in common, I would say, you know, the Muslim community believes in a different book. So it’s a little bit different, you know, the, the relationship there is less interfaith and more interfaith, and, you know, as far as they’re trying to understand each other. And, obviously, if you go back to Abraham, then, you know, we’re all cousins, but, but nonetheless, the Quran is different than the Bible. And so it’s a little bit different. But there are many, many, many moderate people on from these, these three, these three monotheistic faiths that that know how to do life together over here and get along,

 

Mark Turman  18:37

right. So before we leave the topic of justice, work and Justice Ministry for oppressed individuals and groups, like you’ve talked about, I know you you’re very familiar as as we would be with Micah six, eight in the call to justice and to love mercy, as we walk with God. That That sounds like kind of the background and foundation of what the institute would be about. Are there some predominant issues two or three, maybe that are really at the forefront of what the institute would be contending for right now on behalf of individuals or groups. I? It sounds to me like if you’re familiar that the Institute is similar to other organizations that we partner with here at Denison forum, such as Alliance Defending Freedom and First Liberty here in the United States, it sounds similar to that in some ways, arguing cases before the Supreme Court, religious liberty issues, that type of thing. Are there a couple of predominant justice issues that you’re seeing in in your environment?

 

Calev Myers  19:47

Yeah, I mentioned a few of them. I do want to mention, by the way, just for the sake of being fair and honest that I founded the Jerusalem zoo justice and and let it for Yes. For 13 years, and then I transitioned out of leading that. And when I started, I started an organization. That’s something else I still supported. I actually donate to the Jerusalem Institute, from time to time they consult with me and so on so forth. But I’m not. So I’m not officially representing them or, you know, speaking on their behalf at the moment, I just, I just have to say that, but I can mention three areas of advocacy beyond the, you know, Palestinian human rights, which I mentioned earlier. One has to do with immigration, you know, when Israel was created, it was, you know, basically, the first Zinus understood the problem of anti semitism, which, you know, if it’s terrible today, it was horrific 100 years ago. And you know, which the anti semitism at that time, which was sweeping through Europe, eventually culminated in the Holocaust was absolutely horrible. But the design has started coming, you know, 30 or 40 years before that, and with this idea of our chance of being free from anti semitism will be to build a Jewish state once again, with the Jewish majority in the land of Israel to return to our homeland. And, and so I say that to say that by and large, Israel was created, certainly after the Holocaust, and in terms of a place that if you suffer from anti disagreement, anti semitism, discrimination anywhere in the world, because you’re Jewish, there’s one place you can come to be completely free of that. And you know, live your life and freedom and prosperity. And so because of that, our first government our Knesset, which are named for the parliament, had to decide who is a Jew for the purpose of easy streamlined immigration to Israel. And that’s a complicated question. You know, if I asked if I was to ask our listeners who is a Jew, I probably find 1000 listeners I probably get 1000 There’s right. So like, biblically, when when, according to it seems like you were a Hebrew, which eventually became called Jewish and because the tribe of Judah is primarily the tribe that came back from the Babylonian dispersion, but you belong to the Hebrew people, if your father was was a Hebrew, basically. So if you look at the biblical genealogies, it’s the son of the son of the son of the son of the son of wives it rarely there are rarely mentioned. And there’s many cases of people who had had non Hebrew spouses such as Abraham with Contura, as well as Joseph from marido snot and Moses with C polar, the Midianite. And you know, Ruth and boys and we know all the stories right and so you and however, that tradition chained changed about 200 years after, after the Christ, with the barcode for reason, revolt, which is the last kind of strong revolt of the Jewish people against the Roman Empire. At that time, many, many Jewish women were many Jewish villages were sacked, Jewish men and women were raped and it was difficult to tell who the father was. So rabbis made a decision from now on, we will recognize you as Jewish if your mother is Jewish period, that rabbinical tradition is held until today. So if you’re an Orthodox Jew, and you want to ascertain whether or not I’m Jewish, she’ll ask one question, Is your mother Jewish? That’s okay, let’s fast forward to 1948. And, you know, with the foundation of the State of Israel in the 1950s, they decided to make a law called the Law of Return, which determines who’s Jewish for the purpose of immigration to the Jewish state? And we had to they had to decide our first Knesset we go according to the very narrow orthodox so only if your mother’s Jewish you can America, Israel, should we do something broader? And at that time, our political leadership wisely referred to the Nuremberg laws, the Third Reich was determined who would be Jewish and as we sent to the gas chambers, and then Hitler went in according to a two generation test. If any of your grandparents or either your parents are Jewish, whether paternal or maternal, you, you’d be sent to the concentration camps. So our Knesset said, well, so they ended up passing a law that said, if any of your grandparents are either your parents or Jewish, you can immigrate to Israel. That law was then challenged with a famous case we called the brother Daniel Case. So there is a a Daniel roof housing was a Jewish from both both of his parents, saved by Catholic family in the Holocaust. This is in the late 60s. He saved in the heart of the Catholic family ended up converting to Roman Catholicism becoming a Roman Catholic priest. He wanted to emigrate to Israel in the late 60s, as as a Jew, even though he was a Roman Catholic priest. And our government said like they said, like it who is a Jew is a difficult question, but you can’t be a Roman Catholic priest to be Jewish. And this went to our Supreme Court and the Supreme Court made a decision based on the black and white Law of Return which said if any of your parents and your grandparents or their parents are Jewish, you can immigrate he ended up getting permanent residency in Israel. Our Ultra religious parties got very concerned that May we might see a wave of emigration of Roman Catholic priests. So they changed the law of return at that time, in 1971, so since 71, until today, it basically says the same thing, which is, if any of your parents or any of your grandparents or either of your parents are Jewish, you can immigrate unless your mother’s Jewish and you’ve willfully changed religion. So somebody like Dan and roof 1000, who has a Jewish mother, but he’s decided to officially join another religion, no longer eligible. So fast forward to today, you have many people like me, who have a Jewish father, non Jewish mother, maybe they their parents are Jewish, but they have come to faith that Jesus is the Messiah? Are they Jewish for the purpose of immigrating to Israel? These are the type of cases that I’ve I’ve handled many times. And the Institute has handled these cases over the years. So that’s just the end. It’s a it’s a challenging, is it? And one of the things that complicates that issue is just that there’s a very difficult history between institutional Christianity and the Jewish people. You know, today, let’s say as an evangelical Christian sitting in Texas, I think you’re in Texas, right? You know, yeah, there’s so there’s so much support and love for the Jewish community for Israel, so much interfaith dialogue is wonderful. But if you go back some centuries, you know, you’re going about your 20 or 30 years, the only thing you really learn about Christianity and Israeli schools was the, the inquisitions, the Crusades, the Holocaust, Hitler using Christian propaganda, you know, God forbid, and what he was doing and so, so that that is complicated situation for Christian minorities in Israel. And so we’ve had a lot of those cases, we also took up human trafficking and, and, you know, that whole issue of human trafficking and prostitution, prostitution was not illegal in Israel until 2019. Oh, no, it was illegal to to pimping, quote, unquote, by yourself, human beings, but the actual act of prostitution. So, you know, we, the Jerusalem zoo dress has helped lobby through a lot. It’s about a 10 year project to make prostitution illegal. And Israel’s eventually passed in 2019, according to the, what we call the Nordic model, which was first adopted in Sweden and Norway, in those, you know, those countries, which is criminalization of the client, so to recognize the fact that the real victim within prostitution is the woman, and, you know, statistically, like over 90% of women who go into prostitution were sexually abused at some time in their life. I mean, it’s right, you know, and then, and then lost their self esteem to the point of being willing to sell their bodies and endure horrific treatment and pain in that industry, and so, in jurisdictions, like some jurisdiction in the United States, where you, you know, both the prostitute and the client, and the pimps are criminals, the one who’s arrested many times is the prostitute prostitute because she’s the easiest to apprehend. And and, and then you have the police working against her and the social workers trying to help her. And so there’s, there’s not consistency within the system, when you put the focus on criminalizing the clients, which we succeeded to pass in Israel, that both the police, the law enforcement agencies, and the social workers work together on behalf of the woman. So we really think this is the best solution. And, and we helped, we helped lobby that through and so I’m glad to say that prostitution is illegal today. It’s, it’s a criminal offence to purchase X services from another human being man or woman. So it’s the client who’s the criminal in that situation. And now Now the institute is working on, you know, helping to legislate and push through public budgets and programs for rehabilitating women who are now breaking out of breaking out of the prostitution cycle. So that’s good. And and I also just want to mention that trafficking has gone way down Israel used to be a significant a significant destination for human trafficking. They would they would kidnap women in Eastern Europe and smoke and then take them down around Africa, smuggle them across the Israel Sinai border, our southern border, and, and put them to force the second lever. But that pretty much came to a complete halt in 2010. Because we built a fence a security fence on our entire southern border. It might sound similar to stuff you guys

 

Mark Turman  29:25

we’ve heard about such things for sure, here in Texas, especially

 

Calev Myers  29:29

are hard drugs and press and human trafficking was coming across our southern border as well. My fence was in our fence is a complete fence, no holes. I mean, it’s patrolled by our army and so on and so forth. It brought down human trafficking effectively to zero because you would have to, you’d have to traffic a woman against her will through the very strict security at banglori on airport to get her in today, which is virtually impossible. Yeah. So yeah, so that that definitely worked for us. I’ll just mention one other. I mean, sure, wherever Right. So the the Christian minority they definitely the Christian minorities in Israel are probably between 203 100,000 people, including all the denominations, the Orthodox, the Catholic, the Messianic Jews, the Protestants, etc. Out of a population, 9 million. So it’s, you know, it’s pretty, it’s pretty easy a small community, the community of Jewish believers in Jesus who are believers from a Jewish descent, whether you call them Messianic Jews, wherever else, we have a smaller community, you know, 20, or 30,001 case that we worked on was getting licensing public licensing for a school, a Messianic Jewish school in in Israel, all the teachers, all the students in a messianic theater about 120 kids grades, first through through ninth grade, actually, so it’s both elementary and middle school. And that that that took, that took some illegal work, actually, because at first the request was denied based on the fact that we didn’t have enough students. At that time, you know, this is six years ago, you needed to add, you needed 120 students at least, to be licensed as a school, they only had 80, you know, and that was the main reason that it was denied. And then, you know, we represented them, and we said, look, when you’re dealing with a very, very small, unique minority, within a society like this, then you should be able to bring down those relative numbers pro rata to their actual representation within the public and, and, you know, give them the right like any other community to have their school that’s recognized by the government. And we actually won that. And so those type of cases of you know, representing this community and making sure that everybody, including Christian minorities, can participate in and enjoy freedom of religion, Israel, I’m happy to say let me just say this, I’m happy to say that the Institute to by the best of my knowledge has successfully handle about 1500 cases over the last 2004. So it would be over the last 18 years, including 27, Supreme Court victories, we do have a very good legal system with an independent judiciary, that upholds civil rights. And so we’re very thankful for that. And I have I, as a civil rights lawyer, have the all the tools at my disposal to you know, protect and advance the rights of these communities.

 

Mark Turman  32:23

Yeah, well, great, great work. And obviously, some similar issues the world is, is more similar than dissimilar all around the world. So we have our unique forms of issues around immigration, for sure, as well as a lot of commonality in battles with things like sex trafficking and, and other topics that that we could talk about. So you know, just so much, so much good work being done there, not only here and there, but around the world, just trying to help people to have a better life and in a freedom that they have a right to inherently and so just just grateful for that. But that also kind of connects to what you are doing today, which is leading the arize Foundation, which doing some research, just to get ready for today’s conversation, some incredible stories of economic development partnerships, internationally back into Israel, and how that fosters and facilitates diplomacy, the art of different peoples different nations getting together. Tell us what, what prompts a lawyer who’s been doing civil rights work to get into something in this area, people can find it at a rise for israel.com. And would encourage people to go check that out. But what prompted you to get into this area of work?

 

Calev Myers  33:52

Yeah, thank you. Thank you for bringing that up. And so it is because I’m a civil rights lawyer that I got actually I actually started getting into this area of work because an insidious campaign started somewhat somewhere back around. I don’t know, I think it must have been around 2012 ish. A campaign called BDS which stands for boycott divest sanction, they started going to public forums, university campuses, and international forums around the world and claiming that Israel is, first of all, it’s an apartheid state, which like, like I explained earlier, couldn’t be further from the truth. So here, I’m a civil rights activist, right. And I’m advocating on behalf of minorities in Israel and winning cases and achieving you know, freedom of religion and civil rights and, and human rights and seeing we have Arab judges on the Supreme Court and Muslims in our Knesset and you know, a vibrant democracy. Is it perfect No, but but like any other country, we have our issues but you know, that we’re you at this very far from an apartheid is definitely a mis misuse of that term, gross misuse of that term. And basically saying that, you know, until certain goals are met by the The fundamentalist Islamic agenda, you know that number one all of the descendants, right? So we had this conflict in 1948, where about 850,000 Jews were forcibly expelled or voluntary left Arab nations around Israel came into the fledgling Jewish state receive citizenship, etc. At the same time about 750,000. What we refer to as Arab Palestinians, either for were forcibly expelled or voluntarily left into the Arab nations around Israel, we had a population exchange. But these populations of refugees had a very different destiny, the Jews that came into the Jewish state receive full citizenship Jobs got integrated, so on so forth, the Arab Muslims that went into Arab Muslim states received nothing and until today, they’re kept in a forced refugee status. Because the Arab League said we will never grant any of these people citizenship, that would be a de facto recognition of the legitimacy of the Jewish state. So you know, the support. So what they’re saying is until Israel receives in his full citizenship to all the descendants of Palestinians from 1948, which are now around, you know, depending on who you ask between five to 7 million, which obviously means Muslims would become majority, Jews would become the minority and the one Jewish state in the world would cease to exist. Until that happens, we need to boycott Israeli companies, boycott Israeli professors on our on our campuses, and sanction them in every in every way possible, blacklist them in international forums and everything. This really bothered me as a civil rights advocate. This is it’s a completely disingenuous campaign built on lies and propaganda that serves a fundamentalist Islamic agenda, which doesn’t help the Palestinians right, with the thing that would help the Palestinian descendants of the refugees, whereas these Arab Muslim nation as we take responsibility for these Arab Muslims, which by the way, are now in their third generation, they were actually born there, they should be able to receive jobs, receive citizenship, receive political rights, and everything else to keep them in a forced refugee status, saying that one day we’re going to send them all back to Israel. It’s it’s really terrible. And it doesn’t it doesn’t help any anybody. On top of that, there’s, if you look at the the Palestinians in the West Bank, let’s say they’re 1.5 million people. Again, we can argue over demographics, but more or less 1.5 million people 10% of them. So 150,000 Palestinians are gainfully employed in Israeli companies and Israeli jobs, where they make salaries, which are five times higher, 5x, higher than the same position they would receive in the Palestinian Authority, and on average, put food on the table. For you know, 10 people, this is the Palestinian, the Palestinian economy is completely based on Israeli jobs. In all the cases this campaign actually succeeded in getting a factory shut down. That was active in the West Bank, the only people who lost their jobs were Palestinians. Those factories were then transferred over what we call the green line into Israel proper. And all those jobs were given to Jews. So anyone who says let’s boycott Israeli companies sell Palestinians has no idea what they’re talking about. As you as you can see, this really bothers me because it’s such an insidious, and and terrible campaign. Now, it bothered me for another reason, my great grandfather, Abraham Meyers, his family came from Darmstadt, Germany, which was the first city that Jewish businesses were boycotted in it by the Third Reich in in Germany. So the fact that 100 years later, we haven’t learned any lessons. And there’s still this campaign, or some of that has made its way into legitimate International, you know, forums and companies, and so on and so forth. It really bothers me, you know, that you would you would boycott a company just because it’s owned or managed by Jews. And so what do we do to combat all that? I figured the best way to combat the boycott campaign is very simply by creating more business connections between businesses in Israel. And Christians around the world who follow Israel are interested in Israel and are excited about Israeli technology and want to want to get connected. And I took about four years of my life starting in 2017. I transferred, transitioned out of leading Jerusalem to justice started arise. And I went and mapped out all these Christian business networks, the International Christian chambers of commerce, football business, full gas and businessman Association, the CEO forum that Euro partners there’s, you know, probably 20 or 30, at least major organizations like this with their networks, evangelical Christian business leaders, and I reached out to them and invited them to intense business to business matchmaking events. We had our flagship event pre Corona was a big summit. It was a two to three day Summit. Last one in 2019. We had 550 business people for 47 Different countries created so that was so yeah, Christian business networks on the internet. She’ll say on the Israeli side, we worked with the Federation of BI national Chambers of Commerce Ministry of Economic Affairs, the big venture capital funds. And, and we put together hundreds of pre arranged face to face, I’d call business speed dating. Based on our feedback forms, 10s of millions of dollars worth of transaction came out of this activity, which is really exciting to us, because those are connections, those relationships, and it just makes this this stupid, terrible boycott campaign completely impotent. You guys got it, you’re in creating business, which is the opposite of what they’re trying to do. So now, we then transitioned after Corona into doing innovation tours. So we’ll take small groups of a bit of organic business people, from a church from a community from a business network, and you know, 20 to 30 people and bring them to Israel, usually 50 50%, five 0% of our content is Bible. So if you’re coming to Israel, you should probably learn something. You know, what happened here? And that’s very inspiring story. Yep. And then 50%, is we, we profiling it in a positive way the business people come in exactly what their interests are, you know, what kind of connections might be interested in them. And then we try to expose them to presentations of Israeli innovation companies in their area of practice that they can benefit from, make those connections and, and great, great relationships, leads, connections, investment, trade deals comes out of this. So that’s wonderful. We also have now that we’ve with after the signing of Abraham Accords, we’ve invited business people from the United Arab Emirates Bahrain, into our activities as well. And like you like you began with your question. We see business as a fantastic platform for peaceful coexistence. And many are former Prime Minister Shimon Perez said, politicians make problems business people find solutions. That’s

 

Mark Turman  41:55

what we’re trying to do. And it’s very, it’s very hard to hate somebody that you know, personally, right. And, and when you start being able to do mutually beneficial things in the context of business, that help people to prosper, help people to have jobs, help people to discover solutions to problems I was moving around on your website saw the story that just fascinated me, because this relates to something that I think a lot of our other listeners will will resonate with, which is just the problem of clean water. There’s a number of organizations, lots of churches get in, you know, I have a close friend that just went to Central America and spent most of a week working on trying to bring simple solutions for clean water into this, you know, under resource country and under resourced villages, because so much of the world just suffers without good clean water. 80% of the world’s diseases, I’m told are waterborne diseases. And I’m I’m learning on your website about this company that is part of arise that basically takes a small ATV and puts a water purification machine on to it and it can serve 20,000 People with clean water, a company called gal mobile. Tell us a little bit about that story or another story about what you’ve seen happen in arise.

 

Calev Myers  43:18

Yeah, well, let me say this, first of all that, you know, Israel has, as more PhDs per capita publishes more technical papers per capita has more university degrees per capita by a large margin than any other country. For that reason. We also have more startup companies, per capita, more r&d centers per capita than any other country in the world. So we Israel is like ground zero for high tech innovation today. Gao mobile, which you mentioned is just fantastic. They have a reverse osmosis unit that they put on the back RTV vehicle, you can drop anywhere and you put a pipe on any any kind of liquid

 

Mark Turman  43:54

like in salt, any pools, any pool of

 

Calev Myers  43:58

water, that’s right, and an on the spot, you’ll get very clean, pure drinking water from the other side. So you know in natural disasters, earthquakes, you know, hurricanes, even tsunamis. 80% of people die in the first two days from lack of water, lack of clean, drinkable water, so they can either parachute these things in or bring them on a ship or a plane. And it just save 10s of 1000s of lives, particularly in natural disaster events. They’re also distributing them through third world countries that just have poor poor access to drinkable water today and not anything connected to natural disaster. That’s an exciting one. In water Tech, we could also talk about water gin, which is air to water generation. So they have three different sizes of units. One of them is like a drinking fountain, which made us 50 up to 15 liters of water a day. So pretty much enough for a small office, you know with whatever five to 10 employees Their next unit is about the size of refrigerator. And just very simple electricity, like the type of electricity you need to run a refrigerator, basically. And that that’ll convert enough water for, let’s say, a whole floor of a hospital. Without just being connected to air, that’s all there are other units is as large as probably about the size of a small Jeep that can generate, I believe it’s 5000 litres of water a day, which is definitely enough to keep the whole village in Africa alive, connected to a simple generator doesn’t take a lot of electricity, and just creates water from air anywhere on planet Earth. These technologies are really amazing and waterjet is really is supported by a high net worth, Jewish Israeli philanthropist who said, My the goal of my life is within the next 10 years to make sure that nobody in the world dies from lack of water. And so there’s so much within the Jewish ethic that we have a principle called tikkun olam, which is the understanding that God put us on planet Earth, to fix it to the greatest, the greatest of our ability. In other words, creation is wonderful and beautiful, but because of mistakes of human beings, and you know the way there there are many broken things. And so our job our calling is to fix the broken things. And tikkun olam, fiscal is literally fixing the world. And this really dried, it’s really the basis of our culture of innovation, what can we do to make world better for humanity and, and so that’s why you’re seeing all this innovation. And I just love telling you stories, you mentioned the arise for Israel YouTube channel, you can go there and see about 50 different interviews, we put them out once a month with CEOs of Israeli innovation companies, a lot of leads come out of this. We’ve invested $0 in promotion over the last 12 months and that two and a half million views on those videos. So I were there inspiring stories there six to 10 minutes, but just you know, tell stories of great technologies, check that out. Also people who might be interested in supporting a rise, you go for rise to rise for israel.com. What we do is people who become monthly donors for our organization, we send small gift pack packages once a quarter with Israeli products, culinary fashion, you know, and cosmetic products, just the way that people like to integrate Israeli products and culture into their life. But it’s also another way of us supporting small businesses, right, so small businesses in Israel that would otherwise be under a threat of boycott, or now, you know, everybody who signs up for that is just as another order from a small business in Israel. You know, it blesses you because you get to enjoy these projects and blesses these companies. So that’s another thing we do and arise. Yeah,

 

Mark Turman  47:44

just just, yeah, just connects people, like said in really, as you were talking just reminds me of, of, obviously, the first couple of chapters of Genesis, right of being stewards of the creation of God, and now in a broken world, being stewards, who not only care for the world in great, great ways, but try to fix the world, because of its multiplicity of problems. But, you know, you mentioned some of the uniquenesses, of the of the Jewish culture. You know, Dr. Dennison, our founder likes to talk about how there are more Nobel Prize winners from the Jewish community than any other group by by far. And just an evidence really of the fulfillment of what God said in that original Abraham covenant. Right that I’ll bless you. So you can bless the world. And, and experiences and environments like arise are allowing that in enabling that to happen. And so I would encourage people to just invite get invested in that to check it out to go to a rise for israel.com and learn what this with this opportunity and conversation is all about. And see where God might enable them or allow them to be involved in it, just some amazing stories. And like said, when you’re working together to solve problems that matter, that brings down all kinds of walls and raises all kinds of bridges. And just being able to do that is such great work. I want to take a few minutes before I let you go just to talk about current events in Israel. And this could be lots and lots of conversation. We’re not used to seeing, you know, upwards of half a million people in the streets of Jerusalem. We’re used to seeing that in other parts of the world. But not used to seeing that in in the environment of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and that type of thing. I gotta tell you when I was in Israel back in October, that’s when the election was going on. That was when Benjamin Netanyahu came back into power as prime minister. But before we get into the details, give us if you can just the thumbnail understanding of how Israeli government works. It is a parliamentary system, which, for us as Americans is a little bit foreign. It’s really more about we have three branches of government. Parliament parliamentary system usually is basically understood as a two two branch system more or less with a prime minister. Give us a short course on that. And then tell us why why has Israel been so disrupted over the last week or two?

 

Calev Myers  50:28

Yeah, I’ll do my best to do this in a few minutes. You said that you said that accurately. The so. So in our parliamentary system, in any event election, we usually have between 30 to 35 parties that run in an election, okay, so it’s much different than the two party system in the United States. And and it’s primarily two parties, because you have some,

 

Mark Turman  50:51

we’re trying to try to see if we can even get to a third, but we’ve had multiple failed attempts at even getting to three, much less 30.

 

Calev Myers  50:59

And then out of those 30, the 35 parties usually between 10 to 13 actually get enough votes to get into the Knesset, you need a minimum of three of three seats, there’s about 150,000 votes to get across the threshold to have, you know, at least three seats out of 120 in the Knesset, the parties that actually cry and get across the threshold, then have to create a coalition government. So the leader of the largest party has the opportunity to invite other parties that are more similar to his to him politically. And policy wise, invite them to join the coalition are usually 61 out of 120, because the coalition government has to represent a majority within the parliamentary system, the head of each of the parties that joins the government. Right now there’s four parties in our government, the heads of each of those parties become a minister in a certain government portfolio. So there are ministers in the government. The rest of the people on the list are legislators for that reason, our executive and and legislative branches are enmeshed. You are ministers who have been elected basically as parliamentarians, that became ministers. And so it’s, I would, I don’t know if it’s exactly one branch, but it’s two branches that are very enmeshed, very connected, right? The only thing you have to balance that out with an assistant democratic checks and balances that are a judicial branch. Right, right. So if the government comes up with a crazy law, and you know, what is the power of our judicial branch to criticize or even strike down that law. And the reason that you’re seeing the demonstrations today, even though they’re probably 75 years too late, is that Israel never never created a constitution, our first Knesset was intentionally put together as one of his first jobs was to create a constitution but did not do that. It was such a controversial issue at that, at that time, one of the big controversies is, what does it mean to be a Jewish and democratic state? What is it because usually democratic democracy has right for every religion, and it doesn’t mention a certain religion, but again, in order to be a homeland, or asylum for persecuted Jews around the world, you know, we want to maintain a Jewish majority, in what other ways do we Is this a Jewish state? Right? We can do we know how is it democratic is was interesting, and, and our religious faction, political parties, religious factions have always been nervous about creating a, a secular constitution, which could take authority over basic issues that, as far as they’re concerned, are determined by, by Jewish scripture and rabbinic interpretation. So for that, for that reason others, our first Knesset never ended up creating constitutional it was supposed to, and it said, we’ll create basic laws which have laws that deal with basic constitutional rights and the right for human dignity, the right of freedom of, you know, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, basic, you know, right. Those eventually those basic laws will be joined together to create a constitution, but they never decided how a basic law could be determined. So now you have, let’s say, something at a constitutional level, which theoretically, you could strike down normal ones based on a basic law, but what are those basic laws can be passed with a simple majority in the Knesset, like any other law, right? So you have all these issues that were never dealt with properly. And they weren’t dealt with properly by anybody except for the Supreme Court, which in 1995, said, we have the right to strike down a normal law based on a basic law, they gave the Basic Law, this this level of constitutional authority within our system. And in 2021, our current Supreme Court justice as to how you would actually said theoretically, we could strike down a basic law based on the basic democratic values. And so the Supreme Court gave itself the ultimate authority within our system in a way that was never determined by our parliament, while the Supreme Court justices are appointed by what we call a professional Committee, which has a majority of jurists on it. So it’s a committee of nine people, five out of the nine people are jurists. There’s Three Supreme Court Justice justices and two representatives of the Bar Association, four out of the nine in the minority are politicians, to members of Knesset and to government ministers. So you have a guild of legal professionals, that self perpetuating itself by pointing people with a similar worldview, setting itself as the ultimate authority within our democratic system to strike down laws and basic laws. And everybody’s including myself said, this is out of balance, like we, we have to determine how can it based on love he created? How can it be struck down by the court? If it is struck down by the court? Is there a super majority in the Knesset that can overturn that? And and how should judges be appointed? The problem is, then this is the reason that we have all these demonstrations, that the current government is putting forward reforms that are way out of balance on the other side. So it’s kind of you know, in English, you have the same two rights don’t make a wrong. You know, you’re taking a system that has all the authority in the judiciary and giving all the authority to the executive, the coalition government will appoint the judges. They’re saying the coalition judgment can overturn any decision in Supreme Court to strike down a law with a simple majority of 61 real votes and out of 120 in the Knesset, that’s not a super majority. That’s a simple that that’s the minimum majority, you need to do anything, right? And nobody can. Nobody can touch a basic law. So soon as we call something in Basic Law, there’s no way to strike it down whatsoever. Which is also a concern, because what you can basically start calling any law Basic Law and give it this ultimate protection. So, you know, so do I think there should be reformed like most people in Israel, yes. But should it be that extreme? I don’t think so. And this is why so many people are out in the street, because they, they, they’re so concerned about preserving the nature and the character of our of our democracy in Israel, and to coming up with solutions, for instance, and let me just take the the issue of the super majority, right, so you want to overturn the decision of the Supreme Court by, by, by the Knesset Parliament,

 

Mark Turman  57:04

which is referred to this is referred to as the override clause, right? The override clause? Exactly. Yep.

 

Calev Myers  57:12

For me, I think like, if you said, you got an override clause of 80, real votes out of 120, perfect, you need 61 to set up a government. So you’re gonna need a few votes, a few things, you know, hands of the opposition as well. And so if it’s a basic right, or something that’s, you know, says, No problem. I have a problem with the override clause, but not such a simple majority. Right. So So these things need to be balanced. Let me just end by saying for, you know, the friends of Israel out there, and I know many of them, definitely Texas, but in the United States, in general and around the world. I think that what you’re seeing right now is the democratic system in Israel play itself out in a very effective way. Again, half a million people in the streets and a population of 9 million is a lot. It’s hard in anywhere in the world to get that number of people on the streets. In a small country like us, this is serious. So you’re seeing our system work its way, you know, work through this issue, maybe not to now in order to, you know, calm down the whole situation, put a complete freeze on the current legislative Blitz and said, Let’s sit down with the opposition party leaders. At the president’s house, our president has more of a formal position, the Prime Minister’s executive for this President is more of like a formal diplomatic position, let’s go sit down with the President and who can arbitrate a solution come up with legal reforms that will have a broad consensus. And so I have hopes that this process will actually bear good fruit. And I think for our friends around the world, I would just say, Just wait and see. I think at the end of the day, the reform that goes through will be will be a good reform. I think there’s Yes, it became extremely tense over intense over here. And, and but at the end, I think there’s goodwill on both sides of the both the opposition of the coalition and, and so I’m hoping that the the long needed legal reforms that actually are passed in the end, will be will be balanced and moderate, and we’ll find some kind of a good balance. You know, I was as as as a career as a lawyer works on a lot of commercial agreements, I would say, you always know you strike the right balance when nobody is happy. 100% happy.

 

Mark Turman  59:16

Exactly. Which relates to my world of ministry as well, when you’re when you’re in social cultural issues as well, when, when nobody is happy, nobody got everything they wanted, that usually means you’re about in the right spot. But you know, just in speaks to a couple of things speaks to the complexity of these kinds of issues that you just can’t, you can’t really grasp this with just a couple of headlines, you know, weeks months ago, people were saying that this was just Netanyahu is attempt to solve his own legal problems. It’s much much bigger than that much bigger than that, and much deeper and much deeper and like you said, Something is complex is you You know, it’s kind of mind boggling. We talk so much in the United States about our Constitution, the rule of law, the Constitution being this sacrosanct document, it just kind of is mind boggling to say, well, we’ve we’ve been a nation for 75 years, but we haven’t figured out how to get around to the Constitution yet. And, and some, you know, something has filled that vacuum, right, all of these basic laws have basically kind of connected themselves and been connected to form at least the, the fundamentals of some kind of a constitution to operate off of. But it’s, it’s also a testimony in some ways to the awareness of the Israeli citizens and, you know, reading some of the, and seeing some of the information that you shared that, you know, this really started with the common soldier and with the common person saying, you know, what, no, this is we’ve got to slow this down, we have to talk about this more, this is too far too quickly. And really, almost bringing the country to a standstill has been very unheard of that the airport would be shut down for a period of time, which affects the entire economy and regen. But but to see people just say, you know, no, we we want to have a voice in this and we want to, we want to see something more reasonable emerge out of it, which is a completely democratic experience. Right.

 

Calev Myers  1:01:27

Right. Absolutely.

 

Mark Turman  1:01:28

So yeah. So

 

Calev Myers  1:01:30

it’s actually a beautiful expression of Israeli democracy, right, happening right now.

 

Mark Turman  1:01:34

Right? Yeah. And a very, you know, I’ve heard you talk on occasion about what does it mean to be a Jewish democratic state? That’s a very, very broad, deep, difficult concept. A parallel to that would be if we were trying to be a Christian Democratic state, which some would say we have been, or we are or we should go back to? It’s the same kind of complexity, when you talk about respecting all people, even when they don’t share the same kind of faith overall, right? Yeah, I

 

Calev Myers  1:02:07

would say that that is my opinion, is it’s possible to be a Jewish and democratic state, or let’s say, in the United States, you know, as a Christian, as long as those things are different. It’s like saying a tree, a tree is both tall and green. These are measurements for two different things. One of them measures height, the other one measures color, right? So in what way are we so our government is, is democratic, our government is not Jewish, our religious culture is Jewish, right. So in our national anthem, we sing about the Jewish soul longing for a homeland and you on your dollar bill that says In God We Trust, there’s a religious culture, that’s, you know, the culture of the majority might like you might not like it. If you’re live in one of the 10 European countries that has across on their fly you you might not in your minority religion, you might not like saluting the flag, but that’s that is the religious culture of the majority. And in that sense, we are Jewish state, also in the sense that we were in a unique situation that we need to, we need to maintain a Jewish majority in our citizenship. So we have to be careful about immigration laws, there’s only because there’s only one state in the world with with a Jewish majority, and you don’t have to look very far to see anti semitism still alive in many corners of the globe. And so that’s still a relevant project. Right. Right. And so, yeah, but but but that doesn’t mean it should become a form of government. I don’t think any majority, the vast majority of citizens in Israel don’t want to be ruled by a Sanhedrin of Rabbi 2000 years ago, which wouldn’t be good for Judaism or, or the or civil society, just like I think if you had a council of pastors making decisions in Washington, it would probably be terrible for Christianity, as well as for the general public, I’d imagine. Right? So I think, you know, I think America has found a good balance of these issues, and Israel is only 75 years old and trying to figure out you know, exactly what we’re gonna do.

 

Mark Turman  1:04:04

Well, it’s just it just fascinating and very, very helpful. So one, one last question for you, which is, is there one or two ways Kalev that you would encourage us we’re often encouraged to pray for Israel to pray for Jerusalem. The Bible tells us to do that one or two prayer requests that you would suggest to us as we finish up today.

 

Calev Myers  1:04:28

I think definitely paying praying for the peace of Jerusalem I would say both internally like focus on that there’s actually a scripture you know, obviously Pray for the peace of Jerusalem which is a many people take that as a biblical command. But you know, we need those prayers both internally and externally because we have the civil unrest that currently again, regarding everything we just talked about, and creating the right balances within our system that you know, my prayer would be the God gives our our leaders much wisdom on these issues, but then protection international only as well, because I ran is a looming threat. You know, they’re, they’re getting very, very close to having a nuclear missile system. And that’s not something that we that’s not something we can take lightly. You know, we learned 100 years ago that when somebody says, I want to wipe out off all the Jews off the face of the earth, and also has a military ability to make that happen, we’re we’re in serious trouble. And, you know, we’re not where we were 100 years ago, we actually have a state we’re and some of those Advanced Defense Systems in, in the world, but none of us want to want to major war, right, war is ugly, and terrible, and, and, and nobody ever really wins. Both sides are going to suffer terribly. And and so you know, I think that I am praying to that, you know, and just God gotta continue to protect us. And we’d be able to continue building peaceful relations with with the moderate Muslim states around us. They want to do want to want to have diplomatic relations with us. Obviously, the biggest one that’s kind of on the horizon is Saudi Arabia, both Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi, Saudi Arabia, as well as Bibi Netanyahu have expressed a desire to move forward and eventually bring Saudi Arabians to the Abraham accords. That’s exciting for a very, very, very exciting for us. It seems like it might be getting a little bit off track right now. I don’t know how much we would have time to get into that. Right. But there’s more because of the way that Joe Biden is treating Saudi Arabia than anything has to do with Israel. But but they continue to pray that those peace agreements will move forward and that we would be protected visa vie, Iran, I think, would be would be a good thing to pray about.

 

Mark Turman  1:06:47

Yeah. Well, thank you for that. And thank you for the conversation today. So yeah, absolutely. So great to get to talk with you and, and to get to know you a little bit better. Thank you for what you have done and what you are doing and just want to thank our audience for being a part of the conversation if you liked and were helped and encouraged by what you heard today from Kalev. And from our conversation, please rate and review us on your podcast platform, share this with others so that they can find the conversation as well. And Kolev we look forward to a future conversation and learning more about your work and how things are going in Israel. Grateful for the conversation. Thank you today.

 

Calev Myers  1:07:25

My pleasure. Thank you for having me. And all the best

 

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