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Why I went to Israel

Why I went to Israel

Harron Moghul, a Fellow at the New America Foundation and Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University’s Department of the Middle East, South Asian and African Studies, reflects in the Huffington Post about why he traveled to Israel and what he learned:

Yes, I confess: I went to Israel. With the Shalom Hartman Institute, which is proudly Zionist, unlike me, and entirely opposed to “BDS” (boycott, divestment, sanctions), unlike me. More than that, I didn’t go alone. I went with 15 other American Muslims leaders. They had their own reasons, just as I had mine: America — and the Iraq War.

Back in college, I was the very picture of the earnest activist: “Enough demonstrations and we’ll change the world!” I helped bring tens of thousands to the streets to stop a belli without casus. Forget the Arab street: This was the American street. But Operation Iraqi Freedom, a war as unnecessary as it turned out tragic, proceeded as if our numbers meant nothing.

We were steamrolled. Ignored. Disregarded. Even though we were in the right, even though we could’ve saved our country so much harm — and Iraq so much more. I wondered what I might do to prevent this from happening again. For one thing, I needed to contribute to the conversations that led to these kinds of decisions. That meant I needed to be in the rooms where they happened. But I also needed to bring more than my identity to the table.

Because I was usually reduced to an identity. Muslim. Pakistani. Foreign. Other. Which meant biased. Partial. Insufficient. This is why Reza Aslan gets challenged (not very successfully, I happily might add) over his ‘right’ to write a book about Jesus, while Duck Dynasty gets to pontificate about radical Islam while looking like radical Islam.





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Emily Windsor

It’s surprising how little real information there is about the structure of the “Jewish” conflict, the why’s behind millennia of enmity.

Tomorrow night I’ll be on Aquarian Radio with the Anthropologists Sasha and Janet Lessin. We’re going to talk about, “Who and what comprises a ‘Jew’? because Sasha and I are both “of the bloodline” ourselves.

In the process we hope to sort out national and hereditary gifts and liabilities so we can form a more functional picture of this set of disputes, and thereby lead to some new options and peace-able closure to the problem of Racism vs. Ideological purity.

Everyone here is welcome to listen in, and over the second hour, we will accept call-ins from 6-7pm PST, 9-10pm EST

JC Fisher

“Yes, I confess: I went to Israel.”

If I could speak to Mr Moghul, I would tell him that this opening sentence is going to put many people off from reading the rest of his essay. I don’t doubt there are contexts where such a “confessional” opening might be appropriate, but I don’t think a blogpost at HuffPo is one of them. My 2c.

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