Israeli activist addresses community


Allegra Drago/Chronicle

Israeli activist Noa Tishby expresses frustration with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement during her event with History Teacher Dror Yaron.

Allegra Drago

Israeli actress, activist and author Noa Tishby spoke during Community Flex Time about her book, “Israel: A Simple Guide to the Most Misunderstood Country on Earth,” and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Feb. 25. History and Middle East Studies Teacher Dror Yaron moderated the event hosted by Jewish Family Alliance (JFA) and Jewish Club.

Tishby began the event by saying she was nervous to speak to young people about Israel. She said this is a result of this being a difficult topic to have discussions about, and that she feels it is frustrating knowing many people do not have the correct information on a topic that is often misunderstood.

Throughout the event, Tishby interacted with students and faculty by asking questions relating to Zionism and apartheid. She said she believes Israel as a country still has to improve in many ways.

“When you have your facts right, you see that Israel is a non-perfect country, just like every other country in the world,” Tishby said. “But it doesn’t deserve the level of hate that it receives, and it certainly does not deserve to be canceled or dismantled.”

In an interview conducted after the event, Tishby said the topic of Israel is challenging to discuss in light of widespread misinformation in the media.

“I’m very well aware that a lot of what I’m saying that is fact-based is negating the popular belief,” Tisby said. “But it’s a popular belief nonetheless, and it needs to be challenged. To say social media is not affecting our opinion as humanity right now is disingenuous. It is targeting us to give us exactly what it is that we’re biased towards.”

Alanah Dakar ’22 said Community Flex Times are dedicated to bringing the school community together and giving sound to unheard voices.

“[JFA] fought very hard to have someone with such a strong reputation and someone who understands every angle of this conflict, whether it was Palestinian or Israeli,” Dakar said. “The event was understandable and thorough, with an evenly positioned explanation just touching the surface of the complex issue that is Israel and Palestine.”

Dakar said after information about the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict in June 2021 rapidly spread in the media, it was important to hear about the issue from an educated source.

“We chose [Tishby] because we were aware of the growing antisemitism within Los Angeles,” Dakar said. “We wanted to educate high school students and prevent any misconceptions from spreading social media.”

Though Dakar said she enjoyed the event, Zoe Shapiro ’23 said she felt Tishby’s tone was unfitting to the subject matter and that some of her remarks were inconsiderate.

“As a Jew, I felt honestly somewhat embarrassed [Tishby was] the representation the school had of a Jewish activist,” Shapiro said. “I felt her tone and way of speaking to the crowd seemed hostile, and some of her anecdotes I felt were inappropriate and thoughtless.”