In early March, Dumisani Washington came to speak for the University of Connecticut’s Emet for Israel group, Huskies for Israel. Washington addressed his involvement in the U.S Civil Rights movement, diversity in Israel, and why the African American community should support Israel. These subjects kept the sixty five students in attendance engaged, as they spoke to popular historical and current issues.
Huskies for Israel students held the event with the goal of educating the UCONN community about the many different demographics living in Israel. This meant that the event was also aimed toward African American students who may not have thought about their connection to the Jewish state.
Dumisani’s interactive and engaging presentation kept students on their toes. Several thought-provoking questions were asked throughout the evening, mainly regarding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in the audience aggressively questioned why Israel was geocoding Ethiopian Jews through birth control. This false claim was effectively refuted by Washington. He opened up about civil rights throughout the State of Israel, even though the figures he mentioned did not support the uninformed opinions of SJP members in attendance.
Huskies for Israel were pleased to have an engaging, interesting, and well-educated speaker present on UConn’s campus to foster healthier dialogue on Israel.
The event was co-sponsored by Hillel.