We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

A Jordanian-American’s Life Changing Journey from Anti-Zionist to Zionist

by Ilana Shneider Monday, Sep. 07, 2015 at 10:13 PM

Abe Haak – a Jordanian-born Palestinian Arab, faculty member at NYU where he teaches translation and Arab journalism, a leading voice in pro-Israel advocacy and frequent contributor to The Times of Israel and The Jerusalem Post – discusses his life-changing journey from confirmed anti-Zionist to Zionist and pro-Israel advocate.

Abe’s parents were born in British Mandated Palestine. In 1948, after the re-establishment of the modern State of Israel, his mother fled to Jordan. His father, who was born in Nablus (Schechem in Hebrew), remained there after the Jordanian annexation of 1948 and received Jordanian citizenship. He later moved to the so-called “East Bank” or present-day Jordan, where Abe was born.
Throughout his childhood, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments were pervasive in his family, a result of the Arab leadership directing all of its emotional and political energy on blaming Israel for their misery and underdevelopment.
He recalls that when he was growing up in Jordan and other parts of the Middle East, the only expression of Palestinian nationalism and identity was a call for the destruction of Israel. Abe internalized the notion that Israel was a colonial entity and Jews “were awful people who were out to destroy the world”.
When he moved to the US as a teenager, his worldview began to shift. “The US changed me. It gave me the intellectual and emotional space to start doubting, thinking, reading and exploring alternative narratives.”
While on a trip to Chicago to visit friends, Abe met an Israeli graduate student with whom he got into an argument about the Israeli-Arab conflict. The student challenged him to find a single instance of Jews stealing land from Arabs before 1948. When he got back home, he began researching the conflict but couldn’t find any evidence to corroborate his claim of land theft, which was one of the pillars of the Arab narrative. He began to doubt his own knowledge. “If Jews didn’t push the Arabs off the land, what else was not true?” he wondered.
He delved into secret research in the hope of confirming the Arab narrative and his own assumptions, but to his surprise, each time he examined Israel’s alleged “crimes”, he was shocked to discover that Israel came out “cleaner” than when he first started the research. He realized that what he was taught throughout his childhood was a lie.
At the same time, he was also beginning to develop an American identity, which distinguished his path from other Arabs who come to the US with the same emotional “baggage” but didn’t leave it behind and didn’t change their views on Israel. Instead, they held on to the grudge, hatred and false narrative of expulsion and dispossession throughout their whole lives, and transmitted it to their American-born children.
“What differentiates me from the others is my refusal on being deceived, even if the deception is done by the people I love. For me, knowledge and truth – not tribal or family loyalties – are paramount” he explained. He felt an urgent need to pierce through the veil of disinformation, to put the missing pieces together and to debunk anti-Israel propaganda which was used by Arabs to blacken Israel’s image. “No matter how many times a lie is repeated, it’s still a lie”, he said.
The final nail in the coffin of his life-long held beliefs was the collapse of the Arab narrative of Jews as “alien colonialists”, combined with Arab denial of the Jewish historical connection to the land of Israel. “To understand the Arab psyche, one must understand that Arabs have an amazing capacity to deny facts before their eyes. Most Arabs are living in a massive bubble and a collective conspiracy to deceive. You can safely assume that everything you hear about Israel in the Arab press is a lie”, said Abe.
He felt that he finally had to choose between becoming a man of the world or to remain a prisoner of his upbringing. He chose the former.
His transformation from an anti-Zionist into a Zionist happened gradually, and without developing negative feelings towards Arabs. Abe insists that his pro-Israel stance is also a pro-Arab stance and that the Arab obsession, hatred and rejection of Israel is the biggest obstacle which prevents them from achieving their full potential. “This is a human rights issue, a right or wrong issue and not a nationalist or tribal issue. There is a great injustice being done. Arabs are self-victimizing and their suffering, which is very real, is self-inflicted because their leadership took them down a path of confrontation and war.”
Over the years, Abe also developed an admiration for early Zionists who came back and established a first world society in in the midst of an extremely hostile environment. “Israel maintains a record of human rights unequalled in the Middle East. By rejecting Israel, Arabs are rejecting the best they could be” he says. He describes his feelings towards Israel over the past two decades as “intense love”.
Abe believes that most Westerners fall for anti-Israel propaganda due to lack of knowledge. They are fed a small part of an emotionally engaging story, and without researching the conflict, they make up their minds early with very little factual information. As a result, they make a huge emotional investment into the anti-Israel narrative, to which he refers as an emotional trap.
Abe takes his task to educate Westerners who are repeating false history and are drifting into overt anti-Semitism very seriously. When presented with indisputable facts, people are often shocked when, for example, they discover that Palestinians have been languishing in refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria for 67 years and are denied citizenship just because their ancestors were born in British Mandated Palestine. “The reason there are still misinformed people out there is because we are not getting the message out. Most Western anti-Zionists are not aware that Palestinians in Lebanon cannot buy land or open a shop, and cannot practice in 72 professions even though they are born there and they die there. This is the real Apartheid.”
Abe is optimistic that even hardcore anti-Zionists can be transformed when presented with facts. “There is no alternative to patience and hard work. We have to be better truth tellers than they are because they are better organized and they will always outnumber us. For us, failure is not an option because we can’t lose North America to BDS. We lost Europe already. North America is where the propaganda war around Israel is happening and we have to do a good job. We can’t give up. We have to win the anti-Israel propaganda war and we will, because we have the truth on our side.”
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

911 : establishment terror J22 11:18PM

Actor Patrick Kilpatrick Discusses and Signs his New Book Dying for Living J22 10:42PM

The Attack of Corporations and the Rich on the Rest of Society J22 2:36PM

bataclown J22 12:32PM

bataclone J21 8:08PM


Mobile Royale Hack Online Generator - Get Unlimited Crystals J21 3:03PM

Unification, séparation et fragmentation J21 2:48PM

Testing Upload J21 7:10AM



Chemtrails and Prince J20 2:43PM

Wages For Housework J20 2:41PM

Tutelle comportementaliste J20 9:18AM

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM



Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy