(Photo: Chloé Simone Valdary/Facebook)
Chloé Valdary would seem like the most unlikely person to start a pro-Israel group on her college campus. She is an African-American Christian attending the University of New Orleans, which has fewer than 100 Jewish students. But even with no cultural relations, the young woman decided to take the lead in starting the group "Allies of Israel."
Valdary was inspired to do something about anti-Semitism her freshman year after writing a paper on the Arab-Israeli conflict. The group she started already has nine members and is planning an event called "Declare Your Freedom." The Jewish Press recently wrote a profile on the college sophomore and her movement:
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."
Read the full story here.
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