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Chloe Valdary’s Suspect Pro-Israel Marketing

Chloe Valdary is an African-American, Christian Zionist, and University of New Orleans undergraduate who’s been embraced by the Israel Lobby.  It has showered her with Israel junkets (Aipac, CAMERA and ZOA have each sent her), funding ($6,000 per year from CAMERA), and lots of promotion (her video was produced by a group founded by the David Project‘s Charles Jacobs).  She blogs at the Seth Klarman-funded Times of Israel and the settler media portal, Arutz Sheva.

Demand Your freedom

Chloe Valdary’s Demand Your Freedom 2.0 festival poster

One of her signature projects is Declare Your Freedom 2.0 (here and here).  She’s hosted at least one previous event at her campus and there is another scheduled in New Orleans and at the University of Central Florida (though she’s not listed as the producer, the event features her ad copy and many of the same performers).  Valdary is soliciting contributions for these projects through a number of different pages on Indiegogo.  Last year, she raised $6,500 and this year she’s raised nearly $8,000 in total for a concert scheduled on March 30th.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with soliciting donations for a worthwhile cause.


But there is a problem if you are using false advertising.  You can see from the accompanying festival poster and tweet that she advertises hip-hop performers Los Rakas, SHI360 and Pep Love.  In her Indiegogo promotion copy for the same concert, she only advertises SHI360, and says he “may” come.  What kind of concert promoters advertises performers who may come?  You’ve either booked them or you haven’t.  If you haven’t you don’t advertise them.  So the question is: has she or hasn’t she?  Now that her integrity is on the line, let’s hope she produces what she’s promised; but not be too surprised if she doesn’t.

For the UCF concert, she also features Nosson Zand as a performer she “may bring” if enough money is raised.  I approached every performer she listed in her promotional materials.  Max Blumenthal directly asked Valdary and her patron, Brooke Goldstein of the Lawfare Project.  Each refused to respond.  Goldstein said Blumenthal would just have to come to the concert to find out.  Too cute by half.  Each of these artists requires a minimum of $10,000 to perform plus other expenses.  In addition to the three musicians, she lists Alan Dershowitz and three others as speakers.  Even if they all donated their fees (which is especially doubtful for Dershowitz), they’re simply not going to pay their own way to speak at her festival.  She’d require a minimum of $50,000 to put on the festival with this list of performers.  She doesn’t appear to have it unless a Sugar (or Milk and Honey) Daddy steps in.  And if there is a Sugar Daddy, then why is she using Indiegogo to solicit donations?

At first, I was willing to chalk this up to youthful naivete and a lack of knowledge of how the music business and concert production works.  But when I saw the festival poster which promised the three acts, I felt something more deceptive may be at play.  You simply don’t produce such concert promotion unless either you’ve booked the acts or you’ve thrown caution and discretion to the winds.

Valdary probably thinks she will draw a larger audience than the 100 who came to last year’s event if she produces such a slick poster and headline acts.  Perhaps she even thinks, misguidedly, that she might book these acts somehow, and can justify the poster in that way.  But no matter what her motivation, if hasn’t booked the groups and signed a contract, then she’s wrong.  And she’s misleading and deceiving the public, and being exploitative of the artists.

If you review this biography of Valdary offered at the Lawfare Project, you’ll see just how wholeheartedly she’s been embraced by the Lobby.  She’s a Lawfare Project Fellow (Ryan Mauro of the Islamophobic Clarion Fund is also a member of this august group).  She is assistant director of the Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, a vanity project of Stockton, CA. evangelical pastor, Dumisani Washington.  Washington is heavily affiliated with John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel.  IBSI at one time promoted itself on Facebook as a “non-profit group.”  But it no longer does, nor could I find an IRS 990 filing under that name.  She’s also director of marketing and branding at Here is Israel.  It seems little more than a Facebook account and YouTube channel touting ‘successful’ Israeli Palestinians to show Israel is a diverse, tolerant and just society.

Which brings us to the question: what’s going on here?  Why has the Israel Lobby annointed Chloe Valdary their Zionist of Color?  Could they not identify someone with more experience and maturity?  Someone with a greater sense of responsibility?

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Shoshana February 28, 2014, 12:38 AM

    [Comment deleted: please don't pretend to be a concern troll by introducing links and asking me what I think about them or why someone would say such things about me. I do not care, nor do I need you to ask me to respond.]

  • Shmuel February 28, 2014, 2:27 AM

    I’m glad you’ve finally made an ‘official’ distinction between MW and your stance. I used to read and comment there but felt such hostility and saw repetitive clichés there that were akin to hasbara in all but their POV and stopped wasting my time there.

    I know of course that u are not racist but your negro argument is flawed. As far as I am aware Afro Americans call themselves ‘niggers’ amongst themselves which does not permit whites to call them such. The should also apply to negro today even if they use it.
    In ‘ their’ vernacular: ‘your bad’!

    • Donald February 28, 2014, 4:58 PM

      I’m not glad. I disagree sometimes with the front page posts at MW, though chiefly when Phil goes off on some tangent about Jewish life in America that isn’t directly related to the I/P conflict. Or when he sees some deep significance in what some celebrity has done or said.

      The comments section is hostile, which makes it like virtually every comment section on every political blog that I’ve seen. Step outside the prevailing view there and you’ll get hammered. Sometimes fairly, sometimes not. It’s different here, chiefly because there are fewer commenters and Richard himself comes down hard on people that would be allowed to post at MW. I get angry at some of the views expressed in the comment section at MW, but the notion that pops up that they are somehow worse than other places is really just another double standard on this subject. Some of the MW commenters (by no means all) type really thoughtful comments, some of them really very good. It angers me a little to see people judge MW by the worst comments, as though you couldn’t do that with any blog comment section.

      Compare, for example, Peter Beinart’s no longer existing blog and its comment section. That comment section made the Mondoweiss comment section look like a graduate seminar in comparison. I liked a handful of the regulars, but they were drowned out by the rightwing Zionists, who virtually never typed anything worth reading. A few liberal Zionists posted, but most of their stuff was pretty weak. Or look at the comments at the NYT when they allow them. They probably ban anything that might sound antisemitic, but anti-Arab stuff gets through all the time.

      Where are all these wonderful comment sections that make MW seem so bad? Yeah, it can be bad, but look at everyone else.

    • Richard Silverstein March 1, 2014, 12:47 AM

      @ Shmuel: Again, as I wrote in my post, “Negro” is NOT the N-word. They are not analogous words or synonyms.

  • dickerson3870 February 28, 2014, 5:20 AM

    RE: “I called her a ‘Negro Zionist’ and Uncle Tom. I wasn’t surprised at the showering of lies and invective from the uber-Israelites. But I wasn’t prepared to have Phil Weiss, Scott Roth and Alex Kane of Mondoweiss chime in.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: I’m a Mondoweiss supporter, but I can’t agree with them in this case. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others frequently use Malcolm X’s concept of the “house Negro”.

    • donald February 28, 2014, 5:06 PM

      The difference is that people in the group are given more leeway to use explosive terms about other members of the group. I’m not black and there’s no way I’m going to use a term like “house Negro” to describe someone.

      Which is not to say that I think Richard is some terrible person–I’m a big fan of his blog. I just think he made a mistake here.

  • ben February 28, 2014, 7:54 AM

    I liked the article… This concert reads like a parody of waynes world two… “if you book them they will come”.

  • Lani Lowell March 5, 2014, 1:00 PM

    Zionist of color? You are way out of control here, and grasping at straws concocting ways to defame ms. Valdary. Plenty of music festivals are promoted ad hoc, which is of course besides the point. Ms. Valdary is educated with the facts, and astute at discerning facts from media sound bite fiction. Shonda to the Goyim is the term for you and your behavior that comes to mind here, especially as you attempt to commandeer Tikun olam as your moniker. you are just an alter cocker with a bad attitude .

    • Richard Silverstein March 5, 2014, 6:02 PM

      You’re a hasbara troll. I visited your Twitter account. Nothing but pimping for Valdary and promotion for Avi Mayer. Why should anyone take anything you say seriously? Wait, they don’t!

      As for calling me an “alter cocker” You either aren’t Jewish or don’t know anything about Jewish traditions, which actually value the wisdom of elders. A real Jew who honored her tradition would never engage in ad hominem ageist rants as you do.

    • Timsah March 22, 2014, 10:49 PM

      Lani

      Chloe, the black Zionist, is neither educated with facts nor astute. She doesn’t know the difference between slavery, Judaism, Zionism, or Judaism. She supports Israel’s racist policies toward blacks exactly like her without skipping a beat. She wears the Israeli flag like some idiot crazed basketball fan.
      She doesn’t care that as a black Christian woman she’s undesirable in Israel and most folks there just consider her a diseased “cooshi.” Let’s see how much zionist israeli love ($$$) she would recieve is she supported Palestine equally with Israel or condemned any Israeli actions towards Palestine.
      If she had any conscious or compassion she would advocate for those suffering in Palestine bit she would rather ridicule Israeli’s who have been jailed for their beliefs.
      Chloe is just another 40 shkalim sellout.

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