In 1984, an Israeli army officer joined in an unusual partnership with the Palestinian mayor of a West Bank town. Born only 20 miles apart, these two men had never met each other, but they agreed to talk with Americans about a vision of peace in their land.
Mordechai Bar-On, the Israeli, had fought in Israel's 1948 war of independence, later becoming a career army officer and serving as a senior aide to Gen. Moshe Dayan. Mohammed Milhem had been mayor of the West Bank town of Halhoul, but after being expelled by Israel in 1980, he lived in exile in Jordan.
The Arab and the Israeli (60 min.) follows Milhem and Bar-On for five weeks as they travel across America, not to debate or disagree, but to advocate and explain their fundamental convictions: that neither side can be defeated by violence and that the only solution is to divide the land into two states, Israel and Palestine.
Speaking in dozens of forums, including synagogues, radio talk shows, and interfaith groups, the pair were sometimes applauded, often heckled. And even though they stood on common ground, they disagreed on many points. Their coast-to-coast speaking tour of the United States was as much a conversation - often agonized -- between the speakers as with their audiences.
Aired on PBS Frontline in 1984.