From Anti-Semite to Zionist

(Jewish Chronicle-UK) Kasim Hafeez - Until recently I was anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Until recently, I was the one doing the hating. Growing up in a Muslim community in the UK, I was exposed to materials condemning Israel, painting Jews as usurpers and murderers. There was also constant, casual anti-Semitism around me. My father would boast of how Adolf Hitler was a hero, his only failing being that he didn't kill enough Jews. What changed? In Waterstones one day I found myself in the Israel and Palestine section where I picked up a copy of Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel. I decided to buy it, eagerly awaiting the chance to deconstruct it so I could show why Israel had no case. As I read Dershowitz's systematic deconstruction of the lies I had been told, I felt a real crisis of conscience. I couldn't disprove his arguments. I decided to visit Israel to find the truth. I was confronted by Jews and Arabs living together, by minorities playing huge parts in all areas of Israeli life. It was shocking and eye-opening. This wasn't the evil Zionist Israel that I had been told about. It is time to stem the tide of Israel bashing before it becomes even more mainstream and consumes even more people like me.

2011-10-14 00:00:00

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