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December 3, 2014 3:17 pm

Jewish Professional Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Israel ‘Promotes Peace First and Foremost’ But Somehow, They’re Always in Conflict

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Professional ballroom dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Photo: Reporter.

Jewish professional ballroom dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy said on Tuesday he believes Israel promotes peace above all else, but the Jewish state still seems to find itself repeatedly in the midst of conflict.

“Whether contrary to what the world might see or feel at the moment, the Jewish nation promotes peace first and foremost and somehow they are constantly in conflict,” he told The Algemeiner in an exclusive interview. “I am hoping that there will be a day when everybody goes to sleep without worrying about any sort of rockets flying by or any of that and there’s no sort of retaliation.”

The former Dancing with the Stars competitor was born in Ukraine but raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he attended yeshiva in Borough Park. He enjoys visiting Israel and said his favorite part about the Jewish state is the Wailing Wall. Chmerkovskiy said the whole Israel “is very special and has nothing to do with Judaism” but rather “it has to do with a multitude of religions” coexisting together.

When asked what he loves the most about his Jewish heritage, Chmerkovskiy said he enjoys the freedom of having diverse friendships.

“My best friend is Muslim, that’s my favorite part about being Jewish,” he told The Algemeiner. “That I’m allowed to do that and I can be free to live a happy, unrestricted life and nobody frowns upon me.”

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