Often times the relationships we see between Palestinians and Israelis is that of negativity. The mainstream media highlights the ever-mounting tensions between the two regions, only showcasing the negative relationships.
In a recent Israel Collective film, the crew spoke to a Palestinian man living in Israel, who believes that the God of love is what can unite the two people groups.
The Israel Collective, a group “dedicated to building vibrant relationships between American Christians and the people of the Holy Land,” works to unify the two people groups under the teachings of Jesus.
In the video, Zak Mishriky shows the Israel Collective around his families store: Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts.
“This is a very interesting coin that has Paleo-Hebrew on it,” he said, holding up the coin to the camera. “This is Hasmonean or Maccabees, you know 100 B.B., and has Hebrew.”
Mishriky’s family has been in Israel for over 300 years, selling artifacts that tie ancient Israel with the present.
“I grew up on the border of a refugee camp located in Anathoth (East Jerusalem); the same place where Jeremiah, the Prophet was born. I was the oldest child of four children,” he writes on his antique shop’s website. “Because of the family situation, I had to find ways of contributing to the day to day expenses.”
“We are Palestinians, we grew up in Jerusalem,” he explained to the Israel Collective. “My business first is Biblical antiquities. You know my vision is to have gifts that are connected to the Bible.”
“We’re respecting the law, and working hard, and we’re getting prosperous in Jerusalem, like anywhere else,” he added.
He explained that over time his family saw that Israeli’s were trying, and that made the family want to support them.
“Not to look on an identity, but to look on human beings and that they are made in the image of God,” he explained.
“This is the oldest coin I have, it’s a 4th century B.C. Judah, or you know, Yehud. I don’t know if the camera can see this but next to this, next to the eagle here,” he said holding up the coin, “it has three ancient Hebrew letters.”
“It says “Yehud, like Judah, or Jews. Like Jews were here under the 4th century B.C.” he explained.
Mishriky explained that this meant that the Jews were in the region in the 4th century B.C. and that the fact that Palestinians and Israeli’s had to be enemies was ignorance.
“You know, people were like, one day were enemies, and we said that they were our enemies,” he added. “Then just like meeting them, and understanding that they’re trying very hard not to have another Holocaust, and they’re doing their best to keep the law and give equality for their people.”
“It made us appreciate them more. Our hearts were open, and we saw that their hearts were too,” he added. “You know to people in the land, even if we are not Jews.”
Mishriky explained to the Israel Collective that at the end of the day, God calls his children to show love and compassion to all people.
“You will not understand it if we don’t understand that God is love,” he explained. “God did all of this as a reaction of His love. God keeps His covenant because He is a loving God.”
“God, you know, takes care of His people because He is a loving God,” he explained. “God sent His son to manifest love He is love.”
Mishriky pointed out that he loves selling Biblical antiquities because they prove the Bible to be true.
“And the Biblical archeology proves the Bible,” he said. “And these items just open up the Bible. You know you see something and you can understand the verse in a better way.”
“If my first identity is Christian,” he ended with.