Reality Check: Students Get Up-Close View of Israel

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The nation of Israel is constantly fighting international legal and public relations battles.

Twenty-three Regent University law and government students recently participated in a special program in Israel designed to give them an appreciation for the complex realities the Jewish State faces every day.

"We hope the students recognize that everything they hear on the news is not correct," Regent Law Professor Robert Ash told CBN News. "We also have the situation that we want them to understand what's actually going on over here. And we want them to understand the legal aspects of it."

The three-week program included classroom study at Jerusalem's Hebrew University where professors from Regent taught on international law and the doctrine of war.

"You know I couldn't believe - after reflecting on after what we learned - how ignorant I was of where came from, how it became a nation, why it became a nation - the Biblical basis for it as well as the legal basis for it, " law student Ernie Walton said.

"You actually experience what you're reading in the textbooks, and you see the experience not only in the field trips but you see it lived out when you do your tour. And it's not just the holy sites. It's many other things that relate to the culture of Israel," said Dr. Joseph N. Kickasola of Regent's Robertson School of Government

The students visited Sderot, the Israeli border town that has been targeted and struck by thousands of terrorist rockets from the Gaza Strip.

They heard about everyday life is like in the Jewish state from Israelis who are involved in government, politics and legal affairs.

"We've made some wonderful contacts," law student Faith Collins said. "We were able to go and sit in on an Israeli Supreme Court case and were addressed by one of the justices."

After a private briefing at Israel's foreign ministry, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel values Jewish-Christian relations - especially with the students.

"I think it's very important to see that American students, especially from Regent University, who come here and then they can really advocate and really defend what they see here," Ayalon said.

"We really want to develop Christian leaders to go out and change the world," student Lacee Kee Badders said. "And I think that it helps to teach you the foundations of your faith in a way that you really can't understand without coming here and seeing and learning the history that's out there."

Founded in 1978 by Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, Regent University is one of the nation's academic centers for Christian thought and action, with a multitude of on-campus and online programs available worldwide.

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Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

Chris Mitchell and Julie Stahl

CBN News Jerusalem Bureau

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