Defender of Israel Responds to Racist Attack

Chloe-Simone-ValdaryToday’s FrontPage Interview guest is Chloe Simone Valdary, a junior and international studies major at the University of New Orleans (UNO). In her short time on campus, Ms. Valdary has distinguished herself as a passionate defender of Israel and Zionism, creating the organization Allies of Israel, one of the lone pro-Israel groups at her university. Ms. Valdary is also the assistant director of special programs for the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel (ISBI) and blogs for Arutz Sheva and the Times of Israel. In addition to being featured by the Jewish Press,,, the Jerusalem Post, among others, Algemeiner named Ms. Valdary one of the top 100 people positively affecting Jewish and Israeli life. Recently, Ms. Valdary’s advocacy has elicited the ire of anti-Israel activists, one of whom resorted to racist attacks against her. 

FrontPage Magazine: First off, thanks so much for speaking with FrontPage. You’re doing such impressive work fighting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic extremism on campuses today, which is very serious and, unfortunately, growing. When did you decided to take on this cause and what was the trigger for you?

Chloe Simone Valdary: I grew up in a philo-Semitic house. I am a Christian, but one of a different breed, some may say. I grew up observing Shabbat, keeping kosher dietary laws, and observing the Holy Days like Succot and Yom Kippur. So I was always learning about Israel from a historical standpoint. Throughout high school, I became fascinated with Jewish literature. I remember picking up a book called “Choose Life” by Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum from my library. It was a collection of sayings from famous people which were all very positive and inspiring. 

Another important moment in my life was watching the film “Freedom Writers.” I can now say retrospectively that film changed my life for ever. Because what occurs in that film is a class of students changing their lives for the better, and the turning point in the film is when they begin to learn about the Shoah. So that had a huge impact on me. 

Moreover, I read the works of Leon Uris voraciously. So I identify each of these events as one of several precursors to the life I lead now. At any rate, these instances spurred within me a fascination and admiration for the Jewish people, and in college I decided to do a research paper on the modern day state of Israel, particularly as it pertains to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was then that I discovered the level of anti-Semitism in the Middle East and also resurfacing in Europe. This was the trigger that led to my activism on and off campus. 

FPM: Can you tell us about your organization at the University of New Orleans and its mission statement?

CSV: The name of my organization is Allies of Israel. We are a two-year-old organization. The Allies of Israel Association (AIA) strives to educate students on college campuses about the history, geopolitics, and foreign policies affecting the age old Arab-Israeli conflict. The AIA supports the existence of Israel as a Jewish State and aims to create positive dialogue amongst college students. AIA recognizes the growing threat of global anti-Semitism and seeks to combat this phenomenon through education, the media, and if necessary, by means of the law. Working together, we can end the unjust demonization of the sovereign state of Israel.

FPM: What is the atmosphere like at the University of New Orleans (UNO) campus? There were reportedly protestors at your pro-Israel event “Declare Your Freedom.” What happened? 

CSV: UNO is very calm, actually. Before I created Allies of Israel, there were no pro- or anti-Israel movements. Even today, B”H, there are no anti-Israel groups, no Israel apartheid weeks, and no BDS movements on campus. Our first Declare Your Freedom (DYF) event actually took place last year in January, and even that protest was mild. People found out about it the day of and apparently staged a silent protest, which just appeared to be the students leaving to go to class. One person stood up and held a sign that said, “Justice for All.” So it was comparatively mild. 

However a month after that, we actually partnered up with StandWithUs and brought some Israeli soldiers on campus to speak, and that was when we saw an anti-Israel backlash. Students came from all over the city to protest this event, in part, I think because they were angry at us for having the DYF event; they found out about that at the last minute. Many of the Arab students voiced their support for Hamas and it was just a rough time. They also staged a walkout. But most of these people didn’t actually go to UNO. They just coalesced together for this one event. Besides that, there has been no anti-Israel activity on my campus at all this year.

I do, however, work extensively with students in Tulane United for Israel. (Tulane University is 20 minutes away from UNO.) There is a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group on that campus and while they are comparatively mild, they’re extremely corrosive in their narrative. They have brought in rabidly anti-Semitic speakers, one of whom actually claimed that Israel and America were involved in a world conspiracy to enslave all the peoples of the world. So Tulane’s campus is a bit of an issue we may have to deal with in the coming semesters. 

FPM: How do you feel traditional pro-Israel campus voices are equipped to deal with the increasing aggressiveness of Israel boycotters? Did this also motivate you to start Allies of Israel?

CSV: To my knowledge, I dont think I was aware of any BDS movement when I first started AOI. It was more of a global battle I thought I was fighting as opposed to a regional one. Iran was in the news a lot. And again, it was mostly that research paper that was in the back of my mind.  

I think in the past, pro-Israel groups have sort of made the mistake of being responsive as opposed to being assertive. What I mean by this is that we would respond to Israel Apartheid Week as opposed to preempting Israel Apartheid Week and illustrating on our campuses what a disgrace it actually is. But I think the tide is turning, and I think we’re learning to be more assertive on campus, and thats a great thing. I’ve certainly noticed it, and I think the tide is turning in the battlefield of ideas on college campuses. People aren’t afraid to speak out against SJP any more. People aren’t afraid to call BDS what it really is. We are becoming emboldened and I hope that trend continues in the future.

FPM: This brings up a great point. One of the aspects of your message that is so bold is that you are not afraid to make the clear association between the boycott movement, so-called “anti-Zionism” and anti-Semitim. This is something that many defenders of Israel are reluctant to be vocal about. What really cements in your mind the belief that the BDS movement is a front for anti-Semitism and what do you say to those in denial? 

Chloe Simone Valdary: Well I think you know for all intents and purposes BDS is overt about being anti-Zionist. Omar Bhargouti, the founder of the movement has said he wants a “Palestine next to a Palestine,” so its not like it’s a mystery in terms of what their intentions are. So I wouldn’t even say the BDS movement is a front for anti-Semitism. It is simply a manifestation of anti-Semitism, as it calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, and the end of Jewish civil rights. 

Moreover I would add that, generally speaking, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, because to espouse this idea that Jews are not allowed to have self-determination in their ancestral homeland is to promote the abrogation of Jewish civil rights. This is a point of fact. To those proponents of BDS who are in denial about the BDS movement — well, they’re either willfully ignorant of the situation (because they ignore what the founder of their own movement declares) or they really do know what the movement stands for, but they think it is more politically expedient to feign ignorance. 

FPM: Perhaps the biggest indicator of your effectiveness as a pro-Israel activist is the invective you’ve received from the opposition. Recently, you were the victim of a racist attack by writer Richard Silverstein over your opposition to BDS-supporter Judith Butler being invited to the Jewish Museum of New York. Can you tell us a bit about what happened?

CSV: Sure. Last Saturday morning, a friend brought it to my attention that a certain Richard Silverstein accused me of being a “Negro Uncle Tom” because of my support for Israel. Initially, I was unsure as to why I should pay attention to this, but then I realized that Silverstein was actually read and followed by certain people in the journalistic world for some inexplicable reason. I realized that in the past he had apparently written for the Huffington Post and the Guardian, and so I realized this was a serious issue and it wasn’t just some random person making racist slurs at me. So, I began to fully process what the accusation was and the implications of such an accusation. Many in the social media world came to my defense; I truly have many friends which I am eternally grateful for, who really stood up for me, so that was really sweet to see. 

At the same time, I didn’t personally really want to engage Silverstein on Twitter, which was the main forum where all the communication was taking place. So I actually worked with a few other people in my close circles and we developed a strategy on how we wanted to officially respond to him. I decided that I wanted to be the one to write a response on my own behalf in the Times of Israel, which I did. And after I wrote it (it’s called, “In Defense of Liberty,”) it sort of fizzled out I suppose. Although to a certain extent, people are still berating Silverstein for what he did and he seems to be digging himself even deeper into an immoral quagmire, so we’ll see how long that will last. But as far as I’m concerned, I have spoken my piece so my dealings with him are over.  

FPM: In addition to your work at UNO, you’re also involved with the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel. Can you explain the connection you see between the black and Zionist causes and what draws you to this interesting intersection?

CSV: Yes, I am the assistant director of special programs at the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel. Like the black cause, which has historically been about freedom, in the most basic sense of the word, the Zionist cause entails that very same notion of the pursuit of freedom. Both these causes began with a real fundamental premise, namely, that man is free, he derives his freedoms from a Higher Authority, and, as such, no man on the face of the earth has the right to take those freedoms away from him. And this is where these two causes are in point of fact one and the same. The black cause posits that the black people are first and foremost free and equal. And since we are free and equal before God we possess certain innate rights, which cannot be taken away from us, and if these rights are threatened, it is our moral duty to pursue justice and oppose such measures. 

Likewise, the Zionist cause posits that the Jewish people are free and equal before God, that that freedom means that there are certain inalienable rights the Jewish people possess, which can never be infringed upon or taken away from them, and that when such rights are threatened, it is the moral duty of the Jewish people to resist such unjust measures.  

The responsibility comes with the acknowledgement that we are first and foremost free, and this is a key component of these causes, which I cannot stress enough. A free human being must, by definition, express him or herself in a manner most befitting of that freedom. This means that we must distinguish between right and wrong and we must act on that distinction, and pursue what is just. If we were not free, if we were slaves to the opinions of mankind, we would not act upon such notions of moral and evil, but would instead be swayed by the opinions of our peers.

But this is not freedom. This is not acting out of one’s own volition. Neither is cowardice a trait of free individuals. If we are cowards and do not speak out against injustice, then we are slaves to our deepest fears of public opprobrium. This entails, as you can imagine, being scared to speak out against BDS, being scared to speak out against Israel Apartheid Week, and being scared to call these pitiful movements precisely what they are.  But we are not cowards, nor are we shackled bondsmen. We are free. So we will speak out against these gross injustices and episodes of slander against our people. Hence the black cause and hence the Zionist one. An attack on one is an attack on the other, and we saw this with the Silverstein ordeal. These causes are both one and the same. 

FPM: Clearly, there are many prominent anti-Israel figures who are African-American and claim to represent the black community. For instance, Abdul Malik Ali, who calls Jews “Nazis” and says their “days are numbered,” is regularly brought on campuses. Louis Farrakhan is of course another well-known figure in the same vein. No one brings race into the equation with these individuals and their worldviews. What do you think would prompt over-the-top reactions to black solidarity with Israel, such as we saw with Silverstein? 

CSV: Silverstein has a certain view of the world which posits that blacks must think, act, behave, and be a certain way. To deviate from this “way” is to deviate from what it means to be black according to his definition. The figures you mentioned are acting in accordance to what Silverstein thinks should be the definition of black behavior; therefore they are not ridiculed. 

FPM: Does the criticism deter you in any way or give you more resolve?

CSV: With regards to the whole issue of racism, it made me very angry, and so I suppose it did strengthen my resolve in that sense. 

FPM: What sort of plans are on the horizon for you in terms of your activism? Any important events in the works? 

CSV: Allies of Israel is working with Tulane United For Israel and McNeese State University to put on “Declare Your Freedom 2.0,” the second annual pro-Israel festival in New Orleans. It will take place on March 30.  The purpose of this festival is to declare our support of Israel and Zionism and Jewish civil rights. It will hopefully be the largest pro-Israel student-led festival in New Orleans. Speakers and artists will be present. There will also be giveaways, food and drinks, a cultural exhibit, and just a good time all around. Im looking forward to it. 

FPM: Any final words for fellow students or critics? 

CSV: Only a word for fellow Jewish students who may feel intimidated on campus by the onslaught of defamation coming your way: You must show the world that you are Jews. Unabashedly. And unashamedly. And you must show the world that you are Zionists. Brazen, audacious, fearless, Zionists. The legitimacy of your existence is not contingent upon the dissenters’ approbation or their hatred of you. The fact of the dawn of your civilization in a land flowing with milk and honey is neither up for debate nor dispute. It is already etched in the soil of Eretz Yisrael. And it is already flowing in the blood of your veins, in the heartbeats of your future children, in the dust of your skin.

So you see you must be bold, you must be courageous. You must call out liars when you encounter them. You must speak, you must shout, you must chant, you must protest — you must live free.

FPMChloe, thanks so much for speaking with FrontPage. It was a pleasure to hear your story and we wish you the best of luck.

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  • Nakba Now
  • Veracious_one

    There is a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group on that campus and while they are comparatively mild, they’re extremely corrosive in their narrative.
    Islam is a corrosive religion and the Muslim students won’t remain mild….no doubt they are planning to disrupt future pro Israel events….I hope the University doesn’t cower in fear of potential Muslim violence and cancel the events….
    This woman has taken the time to study and research Israeli history, something more students should be doing. She is not swayed by Muslim misdirection and coercion….She has my admiration and support…I wish her well..

  • freestateyank

    What a remarkable young woman. Thrilled to read this article.

    • Steven Jeffrey Ross

      she is a disgrace and a phoney if you ask me !!!

      a warmonger actually is what it is !!!

      After discovering this woman today I am ashamed to be a 52 year old Jew

  • Shmilfke

    Wow! This woman is incredible!

  • StanleyT

    We need to stand behind this woman and show her how much we appreciate her wisdom and courage! She is truly amazing and we owe her a huge debt of gratitude. I urge everyone to follow her on Facebook and to publicize her events.

  • antioli

    She thinks Jews should be more aggressive. No body else is when they are attacked except Muslims Leaders and Black Leaders. Attacks on Crusaders(Whites) go unchallenged chronically . White privilege( Such an advantage, immunity, or right held as a prerogative of status or
    rank, and “Exercised to The Exclusion or Detriment of Others.”) is a racist concept designed to stain White people as a criminal class; never mind “The Painting With Too Broad a Brush ” usually evoked by the so called “Progressives” to counter” over generalities” .

    When the leaders are timid, the folks will be also.

  • rxpc

    Thank you Chloe for your work on behalf of Israel at the University level. You have restored my faith in our educational system.

  • Rochelle Owens Playwright

    Chloe is informed, courageous and inspiring! As for Silverstein’s obsessive anti-Israel propaganda–a clear example of the “Stockholm syndrome”–which numerous Jews demonstrate. You don’t have to be black to be an “Uncle Tom”.


  • Habbgun

    If you’re Richard Silverstein and you are reading this there is only one possible nonracist conclusion in your mind. The black girl was coached in her answers. Gotta be.

  • yoyonana234

    I saw the video, she is smart! Is fascinating! And she says the truth!

    who talks about the oppression of the Palestinians. Some historical information
    would not hurt.

    you know who are the Palestinians?

    you know that the largest mosque in Gaza was a synagogue less than a hundred
    years ago? Did you know that a hundred and fifty years ago, most of Gaza’s
    population was Jews and Christians? The Jewish population in Gaza ended with
    the pogrom of 1928. The last Christian murdered three years ago after Hamas
    came to power.

    understand the present we need to learn about the past. That is why this
    information is for people who think and are not afraid to ask hard questions.

    made a short presentation on two UN organizations dealing with refugees. UNHCR
    organization caring for refugees from around the world.

    UNRWA organization who cares for Arab refugees who fought against the Jewish
    state – Israel.

    is also a page of the changes made to UNRWA’s refugee definition in recent
    years after I published the presentation

    read this short article and visit all the links to get more information..

    And this article.

    also the Interior Minister of Hamas indicates that the historical facts which I
    present are true. From his explanation, it is understandable that was made a
    deception of identity theft.

    so, what are the real causes of the Arab war against Israel?

    Here’s a real explanation from the mouths of imams in mosques.

    is very important to know that Branding the Jews and their state Israel as
    “occupiers”, gives Arab the legitimacy to remove the occupier in any
    way they choose, including terrorism
    against civilians. Therefore they insist to preserve and to leverage this
    branding. But anyone who is interested in reaching a peace must be recruited
    for switching it off.

    here you have a person who explains it the best way.!

    also Sheikh Palazzi

    Dr. Tawfik Hamid, who was a member of Alkaaida. Now he loves Israel and is trying
    to change Islam in order to achieve peace.

    more point. During this period when UNRWA was created, there were a million
    refugees that the UN did everything to forget about them.

    • JottoL

      “The last Christian (in Gaza) was murdered three years ago.” This false statement appears to be all too typical of the level of information found in these comments: See:

      • Bklyn Farmer

        Try some new B$ Troll:

        Christians in the Palestinian territories have dropped from 15 percent of the population in 1950 to just two percent today. Bethlehem is no longer controlled by Israel, but by Palestinians, often hostile Muslims who accept traditional Christians who have been Christians for generations, but if a Muslim turns to faith in Jesus, he may be killed by his own family members. A pastor who was shot and left for dead at a church which was attacked 14 times. in this kind of atmosphere and partially as a consequence of these attacks, thousands are leaving the cradle of Christianity. if current trends continue, only the relics and holy sites will be left in another 15 years. The Christian community in Bethlehem will cease to exist
        The Palestine Liberation Organization’s ambassador to the United States has stated that any future Palestinian state should be free of Jews.

        A former Palestinian intelligence officer has reportedly been sentenced to death after it was revealed he had sold his home to Jews. Muhammad Abu Shahala, who worked for the Palestinian Authority reportedly confessed under torture to selling his home in Hebron on the West Bank to a Jewish man.

        700,000 Jews have been forced out of Arab nations. Jews are the victims of hate-motivated murders and, according to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Jews will be banned from any future Palestinian state.

        • JottoL

          Thank you for your detailed response, Bklyn Farmer. It is certainly true that the Christian population of the West Bank has dropped precipitously so that it is now estimated to be around 1%. To say that this is due to Islamist pressure ignores the response one gets if one actually enquires of Christian Palestinians as to why they emigrated. While there is indeed growing pressure and conflict with Islamist groups in the West Bank, most Palestinian Christians I have talked to cite the lack of professional work opportunities, the loss of farm land and the discriminatory practices imposed upon them by the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Force.

          Nor is it true that the PLO ambassador or any other official of the PLO has said that no Jews would be allowed to live in a future Palestinian State. What he and others have said is that Jewish people who wish to continue living in areas under the control of such a future state would be required to be citizens of that state. Citizens of Israel would not be granted a permanent residency status. This parallels the practice of Israel regarding its Arab residents. Put simply you are confusing the meaning of the word Israeli, i.e. a citizen of Israel with the word, “Jew.”

          • Bklyn Farmer

            USA TODAY: PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews
            WASHINGTON — The Palestine Liberation Organization’s ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that any future Palestinian state it seeks with help from the United Nations and the United States should be free of Jews. Maen Areikat, the PLO ambassador, said during a meeting with reporters sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor.

            In Bethlehem not long ago 80 percent Christian is now but one-third Christian under PA control. For the first time in nearly two millennia, the most identifiably Christian town on earth has lost its Christian majority. The same changes have taken place in two other famously Christian towns, Nazareth and Jerusalem. In Nazareth, Christians went from 60 percent of the population in 1946 to 40 percent in 1983. Jerusalem Christians in 1922 slightly outnumbered Muslims (15,000 versus 13,000); today, they number under 2 percent of the city’s population. As you know this is happening throughout the entire Middle East with the exception of Israel where the Christian population is actually increasing.

            Discrimination against, hostility towards and intimidation of Christians by Palestinians has taken a number of forms. From 1949 to 1967 Jordan occupied the West Bank; its laws forbad Christians from buying land and houses in the Old City of Jerusalem; all schools were closed on Muslim holidays; mosques were deliberately built near churches. The Palestinian Authority formulated a Constitution in 2003 that declared that Islam was “the official religion. ” The Constitution also declares that in a Palestinian state the principles of Islamic Sharia law are to be the main source of legislation. The statement that “respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained” is contradicted in practice by the attacks and condemnation of Christians in mosques, sermons, and publications of Islamic groups. Furthermore, the Palestinian legal and judicial system does not provide protection for Christian land owners, and enforces discrimination in educational, cultural, and taxation policies.

            More drastically, Christians have suffered direct harassment. They have been intimidated and maltreated; money has been extorted, land and property confiscated, and Christian women have been abused, raped, abducted and been subjected to forced marriages. Attempts have been made to impose the Islamic women’s dress code on them.

            The Palestinian Authority has denied Christian, as well as Jewish, ties to Jerusalem. Christian holy sites have been disparaged or insulted. The Palestine Liberation Organization in July 1997 evicted monks and nuns from the Holy Trinity Monastery in Hebron. Palestinian gunmen positioned themselves in or near Christian homes, hotels, and churches during fighting against Israel. The most notorious example of Palestinian insult was the takeover on April 2, 2002 of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem by over 150 gunmen who used the Church to fire against Israeli soldiers who ought of respect for the Church did not return fire. Priests, monks, and nuns were essentially hostages of the Palestinians who apparently stole gold and other property including prayer books.

            Theft of Christian land and property as well as desecration of Christian institutions and disparagement of the religion has occurred. There are allegations of Christians being forced off their land by gangs upheld by a corrupt judiciary. Businesses have had to pay protection money to maintain their existence. Individuals who have converted to Christianity have been threatened. Armed Muslims in September 2005 crying “Allahu Akbar” attacked the Christian city of Taibe, setting fire to homes and businesses and destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, after a Christian man dated a Muslim woman from a neighboring village. The woman had already been poisoned by her own family in an “honor killing.”

            Christian graves in the Gaza Strip have been dug up. Anti-Christian graffiti has appeared, and Christian cemeteries and statues have been defaced. A Muslim mob in February 2002 attacked churches and Christian shops in Ramallah. The First Baptist Church of Bethlehem was firebombed on at least fourteen occasions, and the pastor, Naem Khoury, was shot. In Gaza in June 2007 a leader of the Baptist Church, one of the oldest in the area which contains Gaza’s only Christian library, was kidnapped and murdered. The Sagrada Familia school in Gaza was fired, and the nun’s building in the Convent of the Sisters of the Rosary in June 2007 was looted, and holy images and sacred books were burned.

  • herb benty

    God Bless you Chloe!

  • Rachel M Brooks

    This Woman should run for President…She is great, what a smart lady….Hashem must love very much….WE LOVE U…..555555555

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Give her time. Maybe she will.

  • putinsaidnyet

    This woman has the guts the looks and the brains that Silverstein sorely lacks. Silverstein is an irrelevant grub.

  • One4Zion

    wow..this woman, she is so beautiful inside and out…she has blood of BenGurion, of Rabin , of Jabotinsky , of Wingate, of MLK running thru her veins… her words almost made me cry…what a monument of a woman, what a precious human being… I wish I could meet her one day and tell her how much she means to me…it’s like having Hertzl walking among us…

    • Arthur

      How dare you put her, Ben Gurion, Jabotinsky and Herzl in the same category with that traitor Rabin?

  • Zvi

    I like this woman. +1, all the way. Heck, +1,000,000!

  • Steven Jeffrey Ross

    finally…regarding what I say is one of the most rediculous statements I have ever read…I AM JEWISH…Please explain this sentence to me….“Islamic colonialists who raped and pillaged the Middle East“…and if and when you can explain what you wrote in that sentence I will do everything I can to stop the movement that is now beggining to discredit you completely because we real Jews living in the Peace Loving World still believe there is a way to work all this out…Now…If you can prove to me HOW it is exactly and what proof you have of our Supposed Muslim Brothers and sisters raping and pillaging the Middle East…I am still loooking for it and would love to have it because it would allow me to put that Old Hate Back in my heart and return to being a miserable tyranical racist I once was !!!

    I want proof that Israel has just been abused far too much now for anyone to think we need to take responsibility for dropping bombs on a U.N school and killing 15 little kids !!!

    I want proof the Muslim Guy I work with is wrong and that his people brought all this on themselves !!!