A prominent African-American Zionist used social media to blast a campus group for drawing parallels between racial violence in this country and the occupation of Palestinian lands by the Israeli military.
“I’m just like, wait a minute SJP. Let’s be real,” Chloé Simone Valdary said in the brief video, posted on both her Facebook and Twitter feeds on July 12. “The majority of people in your organization are Arabs. Let’s be real. Today Arabs still engaged in the African slave trade. I’m just putting it out there.”
“You want to exploit my people’s history?” Valdary said. “You want to exploit Jewish people’s history and twist and turn it to use towards your political gains?”
“Don’t act like you have solidarity with my people,” Valdery said, adding: “You need to stay in your lane.”
In recent years pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have intensified outreach to non-Jewish and African American communities, in an effort to built a wider base of support. Valdery has collaborated with both AIPAC and the Zionist Organization of America. In 2014, Tablet Magazine heralded Valdary as an “African American firebrand” who “wants to ignite a Zionist renaissance.”
The Arab slave trade across the Sahara is among the oldest slave trades in history. Forms of slavery continue today in countries like Mauritania and Sudan; in Sudan, for example, following the 1983 civil war large numbers of ethnic Dinka, Nuer and Nuba were captured, enslaved or exploited in other ways by Afro-Arabs from the north.
Valdary also mentioned Hamas and an Ethiopian Israeli who has been held hostage by the Palestinian political group for two years.
“Legitimately, there are Ethiopian Israelis in Gaza today that are still held by Hamas. Where you at, fam? You going to talk about that? That doesn’t really fit into your narrative?” Valdary said.