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The Accidental Zionist by Gary C. Gambill, The Jerusalem Post, Sept. 4, 2017
I was staunchly pro-Palestinian when I arrived at Georgetown University to begin studying for an MA in Arab Studies in the fall of 1995, or at least I thought so.
I had read Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem in college a few years earlier and accepted the basic conclusion that Israel's unwillingness to compromise had become the primary obstacle to Middle East peace.
If any place might have been expected to shepherd this eager young mind into accepting "progressive" orthodoxy on Israel, it would have been Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS).
There I received a solid grounding in post-colonial theory, revisionist historiography of Israel, and so forth.
Radical though their views may have been, I don't recall many CCAS faculty caring much what I thought of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and few were involved in the kind of campus activism that is de rigueur among academics today. The roster of guest lecturers hosted at CCAS's spacious, elegantly appointed boardroom was another story, however, and notices for anti-Israel events throughout the Washington, DC, area were routinely advertised on the center's bulletin board. Going to them was the cool thing to do, and I attended more than I care to admit.
However, while I remained sympathetic to the Palestinian experience, I found interacting with other sympathizers increasingly intolerable. My immersion into the anti-Israeli movement brought me face to face with peer antisemitism for the first time, primarily among European and American students who shared much the same liberal outlook as myself.
Oddly enough, I don't recall any disparaging talk about Jews (albeit plenty about Israel) from Arab students at Georgetown, some of whom went out of their way to befriend Jewish students and faculty. It was Western students who said the darndest things.
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For previous articles, go to
Backspin - the weblog of Honest Reporting
Haifa Diary - looking at life in the shadow of danger to all of Israel
A Soldier's Mother - experiences of a mother whose son goes into the army
Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem - what you want to know about Israeli commercial life and society from Michael Horesh
Good News Israel - News of Israel's Achievements and Heartwarming Stories from the Jewish State.
Elder of Ziyon -
The UK Anti-Israel Movement - by Richard Millett
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