image1 (2)On February 22, 30 students gathered at Northeastern University to listen to Kasim Hafeez, a former Islamist radical from Pakistan, discuss how he became a die-hard Zionist.  Allison Moldoff, a CAMERA Fellow at Simmons College in Boston, “wanted students to learn about Kasim’s story and develop a better understanding of Anti-Semitism in the Muslim world.”   Allison worked with CAMERA and Northeastern Hillel to make sure the event took place. She hoped “that students who were neutral on Israel would attend and subsequently gain a more complete understanding of the importance of being pro-Israel.”

Indeed, according to Allison, though many of attendees heard about the event through Hillel, “there were some students from Hillel who came who really hadn’t had much of a stance on Israel; they were more neutral. I think Kasim really helped them to understand the importance of Zionism, especially as Jewish students.”

The event, said Allison, was a major success. She reported that all of the students who attended were impacted deeply by Kasim’s story.  Allison even reported that she’d,

“had a student come up to me at the end and say she never really knew how to speak with someone who was anti-Israel because she just couldn’t understand their thought process, but after hearing Kasim’s speech, she said that she really understood the perspective and how to counter it. Kasim gave students tips on how to respond or communicate with anti-Israel students, and many students who attended were actually taking notes. One of the best parts was the dialogue at the end. So many students asked questions! I think we had over 30 minutes of Question and Answer.  Then I closed the event and offered students who wanted to talk to him to stay. The Hillel director at northeastern said that that was the most dialogue that she had ever seen at an event!”



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