The Arab and the Israeli


In 1984, an Israeli army officer joined in an unusual partnership with the Palestinian mayor of a West Bank town to travel across America for 5 weeks. 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. This one-hour film documents their journey.

L. Mohammed Milhem, R Mordechai Bar-On

L. Mohammed Milhem, R Mordechai Bar-On

Mordechai Bar-On, the Israeli, had fought in his country’s 1948 war of independence, and later became a career army officer & senior aide to Gen. Moshe Dayan.

Mohammed Milhem had been mayor of the West Bank town of Halhoul, but after expulsion by Israel in 1980, lived in exile in Jordan.

The pair traveled across the U.S., not to debate or disagree, but to advocate & explain their fundamental convictions: that neither side can be defeated by violence and the only solution is to divide the land into two states, Israel and Palestine.

Speaking in dozens of forums, from synagogues, to radio talk shows and interfaith groups, the pair were sometimes applauded, often heckled. While they stood on common ground, they disagreed on many points. Their coast-to-coast speaking tour was as much a conversation — often agonized — between the speakers themselves as with their audiences.

Aired on PBS Frontline in 1984.

Victor KingSteve York