An Arab at the World Conference Shabbat

I shared the following as part of the Shabbat* service at the World Conference:

My name is Victor Nicassio. My Arab name is Amin Khoury. I am from Los Angeles, California, in the United States. Since the last World Conference, good work has been done on building an Arab-Jewish alliance in RC. I would like to say a little about the Arab RC constituency in the United States, about the alliances we are building with Jewish Co-Counselors, and about Shabbat.

The families of some of us Arab Co-Counselors came from Lebanon and Syria to the United States before the First World War. The State of Israel did not exist then. Almost none of us remember hearing comments about Israel in our families.

Other Arab Co-Counselors are from families who were living in the Middle East in 1948 or who arrived in the United States during the 1940s. In these families there were strong feelings about Israel and the conflict with the Palestinians.

Many Jewish families around the world celebrate Shabbat each week. Many of us at this conference, maybe all of us, have participated in Shabbat as allies of Jews. Shabbat brings people together. We have celebrated Shabbat at Arab workshops and at mixed workshops. These have been rich and joyful experiences. 

Arabs and Jews continue to have Co-Counseling sessions together and separately. The unity we are building is a powerful contradiction to scapegoating, blame, and division, which only serve to keep our peoples oppressed and exploited. In gatherings like this World Conference, we get to be family and strengthen the liberation movements of all our peoples.

Victor Nicassio
Los Angeles, California, USA


* Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath. At RC workshops it has become a tradition for the whole workshop to observe Shabbat on Friday evening, as a way to contradict anti-Jewish oppression.


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07