One delegation member told ‘The Jerusalem Post’ that she was harassed and insulted after story was played up in Arab news outlets.

Jonathan Elkhoury
Jonathan Elkhoury. (photo credit:SEAN ZVI)


Members of an Israeli-Arab delegation set to travel to the United States to meet students in a public diplomacy mission received threats from Arab media after The Jerusalem Post published plans of the delegation on Wednesday.

The Reservists on Duty (RoD) organization was set to send a team of six Arab minority groups in Israel to the US as an answer to the BDS campaign against Israel and its policies towards the Arab speaking minorities, mainly within the green line.

The story was widely translated to Arabic in media such as Quds website, Alhayat newspaper and in social media. One delegation member, a young woman named Dima Tumma from Kufr Manda, told the Post that she was harassed, insulted and people cursed at her and her family.

Tumma said, “I am not intimidated, but this is brainwashing from some of the media. I’m paying a high price to be offended and it’s unpleasant. One website wrote that the state of Israel had recruited me and paid me to participate in the delegation, which is a lie.”

Another member of the delegation Khazem Khaliliyah, an Arab Muslim from Iksal in the Galili, told Yediot Aharonot that he had to leave his hometown and move to Tel Aviv. He said people with large followings on Facebook have called him out and that he received threats to be “burned alive.”

Next week the RoD campaign will cross the Atlantic, this time heading a small delegation of citizens who wish to become the next thing in “Israeli hasbara” (public diplomacy).

Jonathan Elkhoury, an Israeli-Christian resident of Haifa, took part last May in a turbulent event about Israel held at the University of California, Irvine. It was “Israel Apartheid Week” on campus and Elkhoury was part of a delegation of the Reservists on Duty organization, defending Israel’s reputation.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post