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The Exceptional Conversion of an Arab, Avishai Chanti

Published on Tuesday December 1st, 2020

Within 13 hours after its publication, this Facebook post attracted millions of “likes”. This is certainly not a coincidence.

Avishai Chanti is an Arab in the process of converting to Judaism. When one reads the young man’s words, it is difficult to remain indifferent. “Let’s begin like this: I’m an Arab in a Jewish body, and I am currently converting to Judaism. Before I start my difficult story, I must emphasize that I come from a loving Arab family, I do not hate Arabs, not at all. I like Arabs, but only those who think like me, those who think exactly like Jews, like any other normal person who hates those who want him dead. One who hates terrorists or anyone who prevents us from living together.

In my opinion, any person living in this country is obligated to hate anyone who dares harming us. By “us”, I mean the Jewish people without any exception. We are united with a common goal and if anyone forgets it, he or she does not belong in the State of Israel: Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc. This is a State for Jews, and we must all respect it as they all respect us without exception.

I’m known to all as an Arab, and appreciated by all as such; I feel it in all 248 members of my body. I have decided to convert, not in order to be liked, but for myself. I come from an Arab family who grew up alongside Jews, I have always been proud to belong to this dignified and moral nation – the Jewish people, a people which suffered greatly, a people that everyone tried to fight since the times of the Tanakh. Nevertheless, this nation remains patient, tolerant and strong. They always and I insist, always, are ready to help those who ask for their protection.

After growing up by your side, dear Jews, I understood to what extent I wanted to be part of this tiny land, to what extent I want to wake up every morning, wear Tefillin, pray and go to synagogue. I want my children to grow up as Jews, with the tradition of a noble and tolerant nation. A people which me and all my family will be proud to be part of. I have fallen in love with this people.”

At this point, Avishai speaks to the Jewish nation in order to reassure himself that he will be received with open arms, and will not rejected as if nothing happened. I will not lie by saying that I’m not afraid, I’m not ashamed to say that I need support and proof of your kindness to feel good with what I have publicized” he writes.  

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