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  • January 20, 2013

    One person can make a difference

    African-American Student Starts Pro-Israel Group in New Orleans

    The research she did for her paper alarmed her, and Valdary resolved to do what she could to fight Jew-hatred.
    Chloe' Simone Valdary
    Chloe’ Simone Valdary
    Photo Credit: Lauren Clarice Cross

    There hasn’t been a lot of good news recently for pro-Israel watchers of campus culture, but in the unlikeliest of places, by the unlikeliest of Zionists, there is finally good news to share.
    The University of New Orleans has nearly 13,000 undergraduate students, fewer than 100 of whom are Jewish.  There are no Jewish studies courses, there are no Jewish services available and there is no kosher food available on campus.  But what UNO does have is Chloe’ Simone Valdary.
    Valdary, a sophomore, majors in international relations.  Her particular interests are history, religion, philosophy, politics and current events.  Although she is Christian, Valdary decided to write a major paper her freshman year on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    The research she did for her paper alarmed her, and Valdary resolved to do what she could to fight Jew-hatred.  She created an organization on Campus, “Allies of Israel.”  There are currently only nine members of the group, but the membership is likely to soar soon.  Their first major event will be held on January 28.
    For their kickoff event Valdary chose to aim high.  She contacted Dr. Daniel Pipes, the executive director of the Middle East Forum, and one of the best known and respected authorities on the Middle East and radical Islam.  To the delight of the Allies, Pipes agreed to be the keynote speaker at their upcoming Declare Your Freedom event, which she describes as a “pro-Israel, pro-America event.”
    The goal of this project, Valdary told The Jewish Press, is to publicly express a pro-Israel position, but also to talk about how to combat anti-Semitism in innovative ways.  She has a number of ideas she is already working on which she believes will have a real impact on the widespread hatred of which she only recently became aware.
    In an announcement for the January 28 event, Chloe wrote:

    In ‘The Town Beyond the Wall,’ author Elie Wiesel writes, “…to be indifferent, for whatever reason, is to deny not only the validity of existence, but also its beauty. Betray, and you are a man; torture your neighbor, you’re still a man. Evil is human, weakness is human; indifference is not.” I was moved by these words when I first read them during my freshman year in college. It was this writing along with the Scriptures and other sources that inspire me to try to inhibit this great injustice, Jew hatred, if you haven’t guessed it, that is permeating the globe.

    Pipes will talk about the threats Israel faces which non-Israelis and non-public officials can act against.  Such as, Valdary said, “the delegitimization of the state as made evident through such campaigns as BDS.”
    There is no formal Jewish organization such as Hillel at the University of New Orleans, but the Allies of Israel has a faculty advisor and several area rabbis and Chabad leaders have become involved with the group, which was formed with aid provided by CAMERA’s Campus Activist Project (CCAP).  CAMERA is the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

    Not only is Valdary an unlikely Zionist activist because she is not Jewish, she is also African American.

    So how did a nice non-Jewish New Orleans girl like her become focused on the Jewish world?  Valdary said it happened because she read – and loved – the Leon Uris book “Exodus,” the summer before she started college.  That book inspired her to write the in-depth research paper on the Arab-Israeli conflict in her spring semester.  As she tells it, the research opened her eyes and she became increasingly intrigued “by the level of anti-Semitism that facilitates the conflict.” She then decided

    to explore the conflict in the context of the constructivist paradigm of international relations which looks at norms and ideas and value systems.  It was through this research that I really began to discover how much anti-Semitism permeates the Middle East, and it really began to terrify me because many people are unaware of this phenomenon.  It is a distant one that doesn’t much affect us here in the USA and that distance often dissuades people from getting involved.

    Okay, but how is it that this non-Jewish, non-white young woman found the question of hatred against Jews so compelling?
    Her answer sounds like something that should come from a much, much older person.  But older doesn’t always mean wiser, and this 19-year-old has much to teach her elders.
    She told The Jewish Press that she admires the Jewish community because “it is the Torah and Jewish values that have built the bedrock of Western civilization which is a fact that is too often understated.”  Her family, she said, is very supportive of her efforts.  In fact, it is to her parents that she points in ultimately explaining her commitment to Israel.  Valdary said, “I think I acquired my love for Israel and my desire to speak up for good from the values my parents instilled within me at an early age.”
    Valdary ends the announcement for the January 28 event with, “‘We must,’” as Lincoln stated, “have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us to the end, dare to do our duty.”   Wow.  With focus and fortitude like that, Israel’s allies are greatly strengthened by the likes of Chloe’ Simone Valdary.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 7:51 pm | 15 Comments »

    15 Comments to One person can make a difference

    1. Canadian Otter says:

      Important interview with Eldad. – While the Likud refuses to disclose its new platform, here is an extended interview with ARYEH ELDAD of STRONG ISRAEL. Sorry it is way off topic but the election is almost here and this should be of interest to those still unsure of who to vote for. It is also interesting for us foreigners, because he speaks frankly about several subjects that other candidates avoid. Eldad adresses issues such as the than 60,000 illegal Arab houses this side of the Green Line, the infiltrators invasion of Jewish neighborhoods, why Israelis should not fear economic boycott, Netanyahu as the worst PM regarding settlements, and much more.

      And this: “Someone should start a serious investigation into the infiltration industry. This is a well organized effort that brings in millions of dollars. If we followed the money there, we could put a stop to it. One illegal is captured by Bedouins in the Sinai, and suddenly somebody comes up with $10 thousand to ransom him – it’s a mystery to me, where all this money is coming from.”
      http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bad-boy/2013/01/20/0/

    2. yamit82 says:

      INN “In Israel, Obama’s second term is viewed with foreboding on both Left and Right. Polls have shown that a majority of Israelis do not trust Obama and sense that he is hostile toward the Jewish state.

      Leftists predict that Obama’s pressure on Israel will be so great that Netanyahu’s new government will not last very long before being toppled. Nationalists see this pressure as precisely the reason for forming a tough, nationalist government.”

    3. yamit82 says:

      @ Canadian Otter:

      See: http://www.israpundit.com/archives/52367#comments

      Clash on the Right: Eldad v. Feiglin

      MK Aryeh Eldad (Strength to Israel) and Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin (Likud) traded barbs today over ideological purity and compromise in politics.

      MK Aryeh Eldad (Strength to Israel) and Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin (Likud) traded barbs today over ideological purity and compromise in politics.

      Arutz Sheva reported Eldad as saying that Feiglin was “stuck in the Likud.”

      “Feiglin is sentenced to a true moral dilemma, if he betrays his true principles and supports the Netanyahu government in ideological no-confidence votes he will lose all credit,” but if he votes for a no-confidence vote after the destruction of an outpost – which Eldad himself will submit – “he’ll be ejected from the Likud faction and become a faction of one.”

      Feiglin responded on his facebook page slamming Eldad for not having popular support and implying that he lacks the influence that comes with being part of a larger, governing party.

      “My friend Aryeh Eldad claims that I am stuck in by the Likud,” Feiglin wrote, “he has the freedom that a rabbit in a cage has, to do everything that it pleases and not to be concerned about anything. He is right – in the real Israeli arena it’s going to be very hard – but the public interest testifies to who here is stuck.”

      Eldad recently broke away from the National Union before it merged with the Jewish Home party. He and his National Union colleague Michal Ben Ari formed the Strength to Israel party.

      It is not clear whether the Strength to Israel party will get enough votes to break the vote threshold to get into the Knesset.

      Feiglin recently won the 14th spot on the Likud’s Knesset list (prior to the merger with Yisrael Beitenu and is practically assured a spot in the Knesset.

      His Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) movement aims to to take over the Likud and lead the State of Israel.

      As of late, however, Feiglin has taken on a much more conciliatory tone towards Likud chairman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he supports Netanyahu for the leadership of the country. http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/clash-on-the-right-eldad-v-feiglin/2012/12/05/

    4. Joe Hamilton says:

      This American black woman is quite rare. According to a survey by the anti-defamation league ,black Americans have the highest percentage of negative opinions of Jews in general of any of the major racial/ethnic groups in the US. 38% of “African-Americans” i.e. black Americans hold a negative opinion of Jews.Maybe she passed “The Israel Test” which refers to George Gilder’s book of the same name . He is a white Christian American who couldn’t be more pro-Israel/Pro-Jewish. He is a well-known economist whose premise is antisemitism is based on envy of Jewish accomplishments. In his opinion, Jews have advanced human civilization more than any other group.The “Test” is the opinion of non Jews toward Israel and Jews in general. But it is really about whether people and societies look upon high achievement with admiration and aspire to learn from high achievers or as is usually the case ,they are jealous, and hostile. Gilder believes for any society to advance they must try to learn from those people and societies who are very high achievers in order for their own society and or themselves to improve their productivity and accomplishments. I would guess this young woman is very bright and thus feels confident she can succeed in his life and instead of being envious of a tiny group of people who achieved tremendous discoveries and accomplishments which benefit all humankind, she feels they should be admired and emulated.

    5. Shy Guy says:

      yamit82 Said:

      “My friend Aryeh Eldad claims that I am stuck in by the Likud,” Feiglin wrote, “he has the freedom that a rabbit in a cage has

      ZING!

      As of late, however, Feiglin has taken on a much more conciliatory tone towards Likud chairman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he supports Netanyahu for the leadership of the country.

      How twisted and misleading. Moshe Feiglin is not conciliatory. He is for the Likud winning as many votes as possible. And he’s made it clear that he’s certainly not for Shelly Yichemovitch turning the country into a socialist utopia nor for Tzippi Livni to turn the country into ashes.

    6. Canadian Otter says:

      @ yamit82:
      Thank you for the link.

      Human nature being what it is, Moshe Feiglin may now find it more compelling to prove others wrong than to do what is right.

      After investing so much time and energy on his plan and defending it for years, he would find it very hard to yield to evidence and change course. It will be up to voters to lead him away from Likud.

      But the country will suffer one more time from his misplaced support for a party that is too ashamed, or too deceitful, or too arrogant to disclose its own secret political platform to the voters before the election.

    7. Canadian Otter says:

      CHLOE SIMONE VALDARY –

      It is heartening to read this story, how a student’s independent research lead her to actively support Israel.

      This example may point the way to a private initiative encouraging learning about Israel among US students.

      Now that Chloe’s efforts are well known, maybe the government of Israel could extend an invitation to her and her group to visit Israel, as a small gesture of appreciation.

    8. Linda Rivera says:

      So nice to have good news! Thank you Chloe, for your wonderful commitment to G-d and the Jewish people!

      “it is the Torah and Jewish values that have built the bedrock of Western civilization”. Absolutely!

    9. Marina says:

      Wow! Reading this brought tears to my eyes. What generosity of spirit this young woman has, I am touched beyond what words could express for what she is doing.

    10. issy kahane says:

      surprised UNO does not have LOUIS ARMSTRONG chair for JEWISH studies. Satchmo had a great love for the JEWISH peoples

    11. Marlene Langert says:

      A large majority of the jews who live around the Washington,DC area, where I live , are liberals and proud of it, although they refuse to tell you why they think as they do. They could learn a lot from the wonderful , thinking, studying, investigating young lady. I qvell for her and her parents. G-d bless them.

    12. Michael Devolin says:

      “He is a white Christian American who couldn’t be more pro-Israel/Pro-Jewish. He is a well-known economist whose premise is antisemitism is based on envy of Jewish accomplishments.”

      I don’t understand why people use the term “white Christian American”. Wouldn’t “Christian American” suffice? And Christian antisemitism is a manifestation of an “envy of Jewish accomplishments.” so I find it rather odd that this “white American Christian” remains a “white American Christian” while, simultaneously, he propounds that envy is the primary source of antisemitism. I must assume he knows very little about Christian antisemitism. And the easiest way to become a Christian antisemite is to become a Christian. Some people are just so blind. I’ll never understand it.

    13. BethesdaDog says:

      @ Marlene Langert:

      I know the Washington Jewish community well and have, for 40 years. It is a semi-disaster, with the influence of radical reform Jewish rabbis, JStreeters, and nutty liberals. given what I see in this area, much of the Jewish community is a lost cause. I think Baltimre is dfferent. I have familial ties in that city, and I think the people are more cohesive, have better values, care more about their Jewish identity and commitment to Israel. ADL used to have quite a presence in D.C. during the heyday of challenging the Nazis, Liberty Lobby and “General” Hassan Jeru-Ahmed. It is nothing now. An ineffectual, emasculated organization run by the paranoid clinging Abe Foxman, who is way past retirement age, and his zany liberal lay leadership in D.C. I don’t even know if the Jewish Community Council exists anymore–it probably hasn’t had effective leadership since the days of Isaac Franck, as I recall. Solid, committed philanthropists like Charles Smith, David Lloyd Kreeger, Abe Pollin, Milt Polinger, the Gudelskys, Gewirz’s, and so many others, with no crazy whacky liberal agenda, led the community. Solid Rabbis like Joshua Haberman (but not his predecessor, who was a leader of the American Council of Judaism.) Now, you’ve got all these Ivy-educated lawyers with their crazy liberal pro-Obama values. I find, more and more, that politically-conservative Christians are more reliable than Jews on Israel.

    14. Marlene Langert says:

      @ BethesdaDog:
      @ BethesdaDog:
      Boy, Bethesda Dog, are you ever right! I used to belong to a congregation that I had to withdraw from because the rabbi is so in favor of the Palestinians and he touts JStreet, David Schneyer at Am Kolel. It has been quite painful. I had finally found a congregation where I could be Jewish and Spiritual and I had to leave because it is so very leftist. I agree about Foxman and the others. They belong to the “Here is my gun, I will now get on the train for you group. I thought “NEVER AGAIN” was never, but the cowards are giving up when it is quite evident that the leftists want the United States and Israel both gone and will settle for nothing less. I also agree that far more CHristians aree for Israel and for conservatism than jews are. I also believe that the majorit of jews no longer believe in g-d!

    15. steven l says:

      The whole world wants to tell IL who to vote for while bashing the Jews.

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