The daughter of Egyptian and Iraqi parents, Rachel Wahba gravitated to progressive causes when she moved to the US. But she soon found out you could not be a progressive and also be a proud Jew and Zionist. She has witnessed a slide into outright antisemitism among her friends and colleagues. Read her blog in Times of Israel:
Antisemitism never stays in one lane. It is no longer limited to racists chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville or Nazis marching in Skokie. No group is immune to the “world’s oldest hatred,” repackaged today as “anti-Zionism.” We are told we cannot be both a Zionist and a Feminist, that we cannot bring a Rainbow Flag with a Star of David to a Pride Parade.
Given my background as a stateless Egyptian/Iraqi Jew schooled in International Catholic and Protestant missionary schools as a curombo gaigin (darky foreigner) in Japan, coupled with my particular personality, I resonated with all civil rights movements once I landed in California, on my Red Cross student visa.
With my layered background of my parent’s and grandparents’ flight from Arab lands because they were Jews, and my personal experience of anti-Jewish prejudice growing up in Christian schools, I heard the antisemitism in responses to my Magen David.
“Why do you have to make yourself ‘different’ by wearing that (Star of David)?’initially took me by surprise. And “does it have to be so big?”