This piece was contributed by our Emet for Israel Liaison at the University of Windsor, Trevor Sher! We are so proud of UWJSA and Trevor!

The University of Windsor Jewish Students Association was privileged to be able to bring guest speaker Elliot Chodoff to campus on January 19th to talk about conflicts that are happening in the Middle East and strategic threats to Israel’s security. Mr. Chodoff is a political and military analyst specializing in the Middle East conflict and the global war on terrorism, and his publications have been widely disseminated in Canada and the U.S. Mr. Chodoff is also a Major in the IDF reserves and serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Population for the Northern Region of Israel in Home Front Command.

Chodoff1The event was well attended. We had over 60 people come out to hear Mr. Chodoff speak, primarily students but also including the President of the University, the Dean of Students, a couple of professors, and a few members from the Jewish community. There were also a few naysayers at the event – particularly the members of our campus’ Palestinian Solidarity Group (PSG) – but during the speaking part of the event everyone remained attentive and respectful.

Mr. Chodoff spoke about a broad range of topics. He talked about the assignment and nature of state borders of Middle Eastern countries; he talked about how the stability of regimes in the area is unpredictable based on our historical understanding of how regimes rise and fall and how this makes his job as an analyst difficult; and he talked about the civil war in Syria and the ISIS crisis in Iraq. He finished by discussing strategic threats to Israel’s security, which included a discussion of Hamas and Operation Protective Edge, Hezbollah, and Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. chodoff3

The Q&A part of the event was where things became interesting. We had a number of people ask intelligent and productive questions; however, there were a number of others who asked loaded questions that were solely designed to slander Israel and/or the speaker (e.g. one girl asked “how did a hate monger such as yourself get the opportunity to speak at a social justice school such as ours?”). The best moment of the event may have been near the end of the Q&A, when a girl put up her hand and said that she was a neutral uninformed party who came to the event to learn, and that she was astounded by the severity of the anti-Israel hate that was being spewed by some of the attendees.

On the whole, the event was extremely successful. We had a large number of people come out to learn about Israel and the situation in the Middle East, and feedback after the event was quite positive. Events such as this are essential in the fight to dispel misinformation about Israel, and we want to give a huge thank you to CAMERA for helping us make this event possible.


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