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Interview with Lela Gilbert, Author of “Saturday People, Sunday People”

Posted: January 18, 2013 at 10:00 am   /   by

Lela Gilbert has authored or co-authored more than sixty books including her latest release Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner (Encounter Books, December 2012) and the award-winning Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion (Oxford University Press, 2008) with Paul Marshall and Roberta Green Ahmanson.

Along with Hudson Institute colleagues Paul Marshall and Nina Shea, Ms Gilbert recently co-authored Persecuted: the Global Assault on Christians (Thomas Nelson, 2013).

On January 13, 2013, the Arizona Chapter of Republican Jewish Coalition sponsored an interview with Lela Gilbert at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

In her new book, Gilbert documents a story that the international media have virtually ignored: the persecution and pogroms that drove more than 850,000 Jews from Muslim lands between 1948 and 1970—the “Forgotten Refugees.” Their experience is now repeating itself among Christian communities in those same Muslim countries. This cruel pattern embodies the Islamist slogan calling for the elimination of “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”

Surely there has never been a more important time for Christians and Jews to be allies.

The full video below, including introductions and questions, lasts 90 minutes. The interview itself begins at 10:00 on the YouTube timeline.  Posted below the video is a high-level listing of topics so that readers can skip to particular topics of interest.

0:00:00  Introductions
0:08:15  Helen Freedman’s Introduction of Lela Gilbert
0:10:00  Interview Begins — Why Lela chooses to live in Israel
0:14:30  Lela’s early experiences with Shabbat, her neighbors, local shops, etc
0:18:05  The story of the 2005 Gaza disengagement and the aftermath
0:27:05  The myth of “disproportionate response”
0:31:35  The 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries — the Grand Mufti
0:40:40  The plight of Christians in the Middle East — murders, pogroms, refugees
0:47:50  The issue of Israeli “settlements”
0:53:30  The Christian attitude toward Jews
0:57:20  Temple Mount denial, the international media, and the “cultural intifada”
1:03:50  Ancient rivalries between Muslims and Jews
1:08:50  A ‘thank you’ from Helen Freedman
1:10:10  Questions – Do Muslims themselves look down on Palestinians?
1:12:44  What kinds of questions do you get from non-Jewish groups?
1:14:10  Comments on (1) disproportionate response, (2) the religious conflict and the Koran
1:16:12  The feeling of being wounded
1:18:06  Why doesn’t the media help straighten out the truth?
1:20:30  Have you spoken on college campuses?
1:22:16  Hitler and Muslims have been clear about their intent?  Why are so many ambivalent?
1:27:10  Using the name “West Bank” vs “Judea and Samaria”
1:28:45  How can one live in Israel without speaking Hebrew?
1:30:10  Do you ever speak to liberal Jewish groups?
David Leeper

David Leeper

David Leeper is a retired engineer living in Scottsdale, AZ, with his wife of 45 years. He is currently a volunteer science teacher at In his 40-year career he held positions from lab technician to technical vice president at Bell Labs, Motorola, and Intel. He holds 16 patents in telecom technology and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. During his career, he wrote mainly for technical journals including Scientific American. He began writing for in 2011.
David Leeper


  1. phoenixlaw says:

    In speaking about the “settlement issue,” Ms. Gilbert seems to have forgotten to mention that the settlements are illegal under international law, and that more than 650,000 Israelis now live in these illegal settlements, all built on land stolen from the Palestinians.
    Ms. Gilbert also failed to mention “Kairos Palestine,” a document produced last year by Palestinian Christian leaders which details the suffering and apartheid forced upon then by the Zionist Israelis.
    In other words, Ms. Gilbert’s little talk was aimed only at an audience which only wants to hear about a lily-white Israel who, of course, can do no wrong.  Pure BS.

  2. Econ101 says:

    What a shock!  “Phoenixlaw”, this site’s unofficial resident Israel-hater / Jew-hater is back with his usual one-sided drivel about Israel living on “stolen” land.
    Phoenixlaw himself (herself?) lives on land “stolen” from Mexicans in the Mexican-American war.  And the Mexicans “stole” it from the native Americans, probably the descendants of the Hohokam people who once lived in this valley.  Many of those descendants still do.  To use one of his favorite phrases, that’s all “fairly well documented”.  But he never talks about it.  Nor does he ever mention the 1.5 million Palestinians who are citizens of Israel.
    Onen day, when phoenixlaw tells us he’s moved away, donating his land and property to descendants of the Hohokam, he’ll have some credibility.  In the meantime, he’s just a 24-karat hypocrite.
    And if he really believes land rightly belongs only to its prior inhabitants, he’s backing the wrong side.  Jews have lived in Israel continuously for over 3000 years.  He can look it up — that too is “fairly well documented” in a book called the Bible.  
    In the meantime, we can only presume he approves of the persecution of Jews and Christians alike since he’s silent on that subject as well.

Interview with Lela Gilbert, Author of "Saturday People, Sunday People"