Abe Haak, an Arab born in Jordan, will speak at the University of Kansas on April 11 to share his story of how he became an Arab Zionist.
Haak, who moved to America when he was a teenager, said he once had a conversation with an Israeli about the conflict, which made him want to research the creation of Israel and what started the Palestinian conflict. After researching, he began to realize he admired the State of Israel and could no longer be anti-Zion.
Now living between New York and Minnesota as a college professor, Haak speaks at conventions and talks about his experiences as an Arab turned Zionist. Though Haak has no specific religious affiliation now, he has said he believes Israel is an important and special place.
“I wanted to bring someone who was different, I didn’t want to bring the typical person who is Jewish,” Cohen said. “I think it’s very important what he has to say because hearing it from a different point of view gives more understanding than what a lot of Jewish students at KU are used to hearing about Israel.”
Cohen said she believes Haak’s background will help students and other Jews who have maybe only heard about Israel from fellow Jews find more reason to support or at least understand Israel’s place in the conflict.
The Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) Fraternity at KU will host the event, co-sponsored by KU Hillel and the SSI chapter at the University of Kansas. The event takes place at 6:30 pm on April 11 in the Woodruff Auditorium of the Kansas Union. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Other Israel events and programs will take place throughout the week led by KU Hillel and SSI.