He grew up hating Israel and the Jews, with a father praising Hitler, but Kasim Kaz Hafeez – a British Muslim of Pakistani origin – changed his mind.
Israelism.se had the great honour of talking to this young man.
Here is the interview.
You ”grew up learning to hate Israel and the Jews”. How did this take place in every day life?
It was a constant drip of negativity and hatred towards Israel and the Jews, people would use Jew as an insult. Then of course at the extreme spectrum was my father how would praise Hitler’s murder of the Jews. As I grew older, radicalism in the British Muslim community also was growing, and it became much more prevalent. So by the time I got to University I was already committed to radical Islam and its anti-Semitic views, which were further nurtured on campus.
What happened that made you change your views?
Initially reading Dershowitz’ The Case for Israel, it was the first time I’d ever come across anything positive about Israel, and it exploded many basic myths I held as truths about the Middle East. Eventually as I carried on my research, initially to prove Dershowitz wrong, I mean for me, I couldn’t believe a Palestinian state had never existed, my narrative was it was there and the Jews stole it, this led me to eventually travelling to Israel to find out the truth, and the reality was more eye opening, more mind blowing than I could have imagined.
How did your family and the people around you react to this ”new you”?
Shock, confusion and suspicion. Firstly people think you joined Mossad out there or you’re being funded by millions of dollars by the Zionists, I mean you must get that too. Many just cut off all together and wanted nothing to do with me, but some actually sat down and tried to understand I could go from all the hatred to being outspoken in support of Israel, and many have now become at the very least more balanced on how they view Israel.
The biased news reporting regarding Israel, why do you think this is?
I thought the Jews controlled the Media? If they do they are doing an awful job (LOL). I think there’s a number of factors, I think for too long Israeli governments believed, hey the truth is on our side, people will realise that, sadly it’s not that simple, and the Palestinian Authority have worked hard in making their narrative THE Narrative. That narrative paints the Palestinians as powerless victims thus justifying almost anything they do, and Israel this military machine committing war crimes, and you say the lie enough it becomes true for many people.
People seem obsessed with Israel, why do you think?
It’s become the trendy cause, it comes with its own fashion accessories and slogans. Also there has been a massive spike in Muslim immigration from the Middle East where regimes have constantly used the Israel/Palestinian issue as a way to detract from their domestic failings, the Blame The Jews Regimes. So that’s been imported to Europe and there are so many organisations committed to promoting the Issue, making sure it’s always there.
At least in Sweden it seems as if there is no Israel without the Palestinians. That is, any good news (or ANY news really) is never being reported without mentioning the Conflict or the Palestinians. Do you also experience this?
Yes a 100%, you can’t talk about Israel without the Palestinians, it becomes frustrating, but I guess the media want headlines, and Jews, Arabs living together in Jerusalem isn’t going to get emotions running high. But it is strange, even in general conversation it’s impossible to just speak of Israel with out the Palestinians being mentioned. But the hatred is so intense for Israel maybe it explains it to some extent, I mean for me I’m pro-Israel and I have nothing against any Palestinian who wants to live in peace and would support them in any way I can. But people believe as so. As you say you’re pro-Israel you must be anti-Arab or hate Muslims, it tells us more of their mentality than my own.
What’s your view on the settlements?
Settlements will always be a particularly tricky issue for a plethora of reasons, but are they the biggest obstacle to peace? Not at all, that’s rubbish. Israel has demolished settlements in the Sinai and Gaza for the cause of peace, the obstacle to peace is the blind hatred, wanting to annihilate all of Israel. But when you read the actual facts about settlements it is shocking they cover less than 2% of the Judea and Samaria. I guess it’s just a convenient stick to beat Israel.
And how would this Conflict come to an ending?
Simply when the hate ends, when people understand each other and stop talking about driving them in to the sea or calling them animals.