One person can make a difference
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.
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.
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.