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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Chloé Simone Valdary’

Pro-Israel Event on New Orleans Campus

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

With the help of many friends, on Sunday, March 30, that African American Christian Zionist college student the pro-Israel world has been marveling over for more than a year, Chloé Simone Valdary, pulled off another huge student-led pro-Israel event in New Orleans.

Chloé Simone Valdary, pres. and founder of Allies of Israel and creator of Declare Your Freedom

Chloé Simone Valdary, pres. and founder of Allies of Israel and creator of Declare Your Freedom

Declare Your Freedom 2.0 was held at Tulane University, with over 400 in attendance. Last year, Valdary organized the first DYF, and held it at her school, the University of New Orleans.

The purpose of DYF, Valdary told The Jewish Press, was “to continue to say without compunction or regret that we are Zionists, and also to celebrate Zionism – the civil rights movement of the Jewish people.”

Valdary is a dynamo, but she also had lots of help from fellow Zionists Maor Shapira, Becca Leifer and Nicki Etseckson, all three of whom are students at Tulane.

Simon Deng, human rights activist, former child slave in the Sudan, at DYF 2.0

Simon Deng, human rights activist, former child slave in the Sudan, at DYF 2.0

The four Zionist college students put together a program which included speakers such as Brooke Goldstein, director of The Lawfare Project; Sudanese human rights activist Simon Deng; Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a Syrian American, founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy  and CAMERA on campus’s Samantha Rose Mandeles and Alan Mendoza, the executive director of the Henry Jackson Society.

The day-long event interspersed music and serious speakers. The music included a beautiful jazz rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah performed by Assaf Kehati. Other performers were Los Rakas, Pep Love, Zion I, Shi 360 and the Ori Naftaly Band.

As a victim of the true horrors of genocide in his native Sudan where he was a child slave, Deng spoke powerfully about the grotesque irony of people who claim to be human rights activists and focus their ire on Israel, yet completely ignore real genocide in places like the Sudan.

Jasser spoke about the need for reform in the Muslim world, while Mendoza also addressed the hypocrisy of groups like Students for Justice in Palestine who pay not attention to the complete deprivation of civil and human rights for so many in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Zach Stern of ZOA and Samantha Rose Mandeles of CAMERA at DYF 2.0

Zach Stern of ZOA and Samantha Rose Mandeles of CAMERA at DYF 2.0

 

CAMERA on Campus coordinator Samantha Rose Mandeles talked about the great work CAMERA does with pro-Israel students on campuses all across the country. In particular, Mandeles was full of praise for the DYF festival in carrying on the torch for freedom.

DYF 2.0 March 30, 2014

DYF 2.0 March 30, 2014

The student organizations which helped make DYF 2.0 happen were Allies of Israel (Valdary’s group), Tulane United for Israel and McNeese State’s Israel Alliance.

Declare Your Freedom 2.0, Tulane University, March 30, 2014

Declare Your Freedom 2.0, Tulane University, March 30, 2014

Sponsors of Declare Your Freedom 2.0 included CAMERA, the Zionist Organization of America, Standwithus, The Israel-American Council and the Leadership Institute.

The murals were created by Artists 4 Israel.

 

Anti-Israel Blogger Defends His Racism Against Black Zionist

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The Jewish Press first featured Chloé Simone Valdary on our site over a year ago. She is the African American Christian Zionist student founder and president of the University of New Orleans’ Allies for Israel. She helped organize and also ran a major pro-Israel event there last spring.

Valdary has only become more sophisticated and deeply devoted to Israel over the past year.

She’s been to Israel several times, attended numerous pro-Israel events, written sophisticated op-eds, articles and prose about the Middle East.

In addition to being a junior at the University of New Orleans, Valdary is also the assistant director of special programs at the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel. She is also currently in the final stages of preparation for her second major pro-Israel event, Declare Your Freedom, to be held in New Orleans this spring.

This past week an outcry arose from New York Israel supporters when it was discovered that the Jewish Museum in New York City planned to provide a platform for Judith Butler, well-known member of the virulently anti-Israel crowd.

Butler last aroused an outcry when she spoke in favor of the BDS movement at Brooklyn College, almost a year ago. BDS is the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel, which promotes economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

Valdary wrote a letter to Brooklyn College students last year, urging them to rise up and speak out against that anti-Israel event.

Many active in the New York City area pro-Israel community met Valdary when the college student was recently in New York. She, along with this unofficial yet effective group, was part of the emailing, phone calling and tweeting against Butler that resulted in the Jewish Museum rescinding its offer of a platform for Judith Butler at the Jewish Museum.

In a blog entry Valdary penned at the Times of Israel, she called out Butler for her anti-Semitism, and included herself in the “we” of Zionists. Her article was published on Feb. 21. This is the final paragraph:

So in this endeavor for morality and justice, we, the proud Zionist community of America, rose up. We lit up the phone lines of the Jewish Museum in New York and demanded that this event be canceled. We organized on social media, we emailed, we protested. We, this people, with a history, and a creed, and a culture, and a cause,  which we intend to perpetuate with every fiber of our being, rose up and affected positive and meaningful change. And we have every intention to continue this fight for the right to be free.

Not surprisingly, those who support Butler’s view of the Middle East conflict, those who support the BDS movement and who are willing to “understand” what drives the terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, do not agree with Valdary.

Richard Silverstein, however, a fairly well-known, member of the Israel-is-always-wrong clan but who is generally considered to be too much of a crackpot to invite a response from Israel supporters, crossed a line that shocked many, even considering Silverstein’s inglorious history.

In a tweet sent at 8:48 ET, on Feb. 21, Silverstein suggested Valdary was manipulated by Zionists, referred to her as a “Negro,” and wrote that she would be making “Uncle Tom” dance with joy, presumably because he saw her pro-Israel activities as sucking up to white folks. This is the tweet:

Anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein uses racial slurs to attack an African American Zionist

Anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein uses racial slurs to attack an African American Zionist

Guess What: 2013 Was a Great Pro-Israel Year on US Campuses!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

For years those engaged on the pro-Israel side of the battle for hearts and minds of American college students have watched in horror as anti-Israel forces – whether they call themselves “pro-Israel” or not – metastasized on campuses.

The Israel-demonization events, the infiltration by Israel vilifiers into what were formerly at least moderately pro-Israel institutions, and the disruptions of Israeli or pro-Israel events, were met almost always with either complicity or a hands-off response from the academic administrations, faculty, and often eventhe organized Jewish leadership on campuses.

Things were so bad that Arab Israeli journalist Khaled abu Toameh famously wrote that on his speaking tours of U.S. campuses, he found more sympathy for Hamas than he does in Ramallah.

This is how abu Toameh analyzed the ugliness spread across American academia:

What is happening on these campuses is not in the frame of freedom of speech. Instead, it is the freedom to disseminate hatred and violence. As such, we should not be surprised if the next generation of jihadists comes not from the Gaza Strip or the mountains and mosques of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but from university campuses across the U.S.

But things were beginning to look quite different in 2013.

There has been a sea change on U.S. campuses this year, carried out by those who refused to back down when false claims of Palestinian Arab victimhood or Israeli brutality were raised.

Hallelujah. So we are fortunate to be able to write a list of Top Twelve Pro-Israel Bright Lights on U.S. campuses. What follows is the first installment. Part II will run later this week.

*******

1. Far and away the most significant example of this refusal to accept the tired meme of Israel As The-Worst-Human-Rights-Abuser -And-Biggest-Enemy-of-Peace is The Backlash to the American Studies Association’s vote to boycott Israeli Academic Institutions.  We now know that 95 universities across the United States have rejected and publicly condemned the ASA boycott of Israel.

That includes the most prestigious private schools, state schools, schools at which anti-Israel activity had been flourishing, and almost every other kind of American academic institutions. Condemnations poured in from the likes of Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Yale, University of Chicago, Penn State, Northwestern, Goucher, as well as industry-wide associations of professors and of universities. Several schools, such as Brandeis, Penn State, Kenyon and Indiana University summarily withdrew their membership in the ASA because the boycott so clearly reflected a loss of the association’s mission, an affront to academic freedom and a discriminatory singling out of a single nation for condemnation.

2. and 3. A tie for second place goes to two relatively new leaders of at least nominally Jewish institutions, each of whom staked new ground, rejecting their predecessors’ policies for tolerating abusive positions towards Israel.

Eric Fingerhut became president and CEO of Hillel International this past summer.  For years, many Hillels across the United States have chosen an aggressively passive response to anti-Israel events on campuses, choosing to have their own quiet events instead of confronting viciously anti-Israel events filled with misinformation and lies about the Jewish State. Hillels have even welcomed some of the worst offenders into their buildings or even their own events, in the hopes of showing the enemy that they are really good people. It’s been a disaster.

This past fall the Hillel group at suburban Philadelphia’s Swarthmore College decided it would publicly challenge the pro-Israel guidelines set by Hillel International.  Students bridled against being forbidden the “right” to invite speakers who engage in “demonization, delegitimization or applying double standards to Israel,” or support the economic and legal warfare movement known as the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel.  Swarthmore Hillel students voted unanimously to reject the guidelines and declare theirs an “Open Hillel.” And then they received a surprise.

Who and What is Behind the Pro-Israel ‘Boycott Israel’ Video (Video)

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

A music video called “Boycott Israel” went viral last week.  Stop groaning, this one exposes the hypocrisy behind the boycott Israel movement rampant on some campuses, and which is slowly seeping into the high schools.

This video, made by “Here is Israel,” goes to great length, cleverly, to expose the hypocrisy of all those anti-Israel “activists” attacking Israel, while ignoring scores of horrific, certified abuses in dozens of other countries.

The refrain is:

Boycott Israel, if you think that’s just/ But unless you have double standard you must/ Also boycott the rest of the nations/ With allegations of human rights violations/ We’re not perfect but if you think we’re the worst/ First take a look at the rest of the earth/ Don’t pick and choose to pick on the Jews/ Pick up the paper and read the news/

Ahem.  Yeah.

In perfect reggae cadence the hip hop/reggae/musician, spoken word performance artist Ari Lesser rat-a-tats and rhymes his phrases.  He lines up what Israel does, and then challenges the Israel attackers to justify not focusing their laser beams of hatred on, oh, say, “North Korea, I don’t think you’ll see-uh a country unfree-ah,” or how about “Boycott Japan/ slaughtering thousands/Of helpless innocent whales and dolphins.”

Lesser goes after the expected villians such as Cambodia, China, Syria and Saudi Arabia. But how many who congratulate themselves for being up on human rights wrongs realize how shut down freedom is in Belarus, or the deaths caused by pesticides in beautiful Costa Rica, or that in Ecuador, the indigenous people have had the land confiscated?

And Lesser doesn’t allow his own home country, the USA, off the hook.  The USA gets a dishonorable mention for the detentions at Guantanamo Bay.

So who is behind this incredibly catchy, well-researched music video that appeals to the very audience so likely to grab on to the global hate Israel craze, without demanding too much background information?

The Jewish Press spoke with those involved with Here is Israel on Monday, October 14.  We wanted to know whether it made sense to title a video that actually opposes boycotting the Jewish State, “Boycott Israel.”

“There was some controversy around giving the video that name, yeah,” Chloé Simone Valdary, director of promotions, marketing and branding for “Here is Israel” acknowledged. “But here’s the thing, the BDS movement [economic and legal warfare movement against Israel] is growing on certain campuses in the Northeast and in the West.

“And what irks pro-Israel activists the most is the hypocrisy of all those promoting BDS without really having any understanding of what goes on in the world.”

“We wanted to attack the hypocrisy, but not in a preachy way.  We knew it had to be edgy but still educational,” Valdary explained.

Valdary speaks from experience.  An African American Christian student from the University of New Orleans, Valdary burst onto the national scene last year with her very visible activity and leadership of NOLU’s Allies for Israel.  And she hasn’t stopped her dynamism on behalf of the Jewish State.  She’s stepped up her activities and involvement with a broad range of pro-Israel organizations on campuses across the United States. She’s also visited Israel several times over the past year.

CREATOR OF HERE IS ISRAEL

The west coast’s Darin Weiss sought to utilize his expertise in film and production to support Israel in a way that wasn’t being adequately plumbed. What animates Here is Israel is the promotion of Israel through art, music and film.  It is an Israel advocacy organization, but it will not just be fighting against anti-Israel propaganda.  Some of its productions will simply be promotion and raw celebration of Israeli culture.

When Darin Weiss was putting together his concept for a new Israel advocacy organization several months ago, Valdary was one person to whom he turned.  They connected in July, and “Here is Israel” went live in September.

For the lyrics, performance and musicality, Weiss turned to Ari Lesser and Yirmiyahu BenZion.

THE CREATION OF THE VIDEO

The song “Boycott Israel” was written and performed by Ari Lesser, an American musician with a long background in hip hop, rap and reggae music.

“Music has the power to catch people, to affect them, to allow them to step back and realize, Whoa! I’ve been brainwashed into thinking Israel is a demon among nations,” Lesser explained to The Jewish Press.

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

Monday, January 14th, 2013

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/african-american-pro-israel-group-on-new-orleans-campus-fighting-antisemitism/2013/01/14/

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