It’s Not Easy To Be “Progressive”

When Israel is threatened, I, like any Jew who understands history should be, am threatened. I choose to remain a Jew in America, a Zionist in an anti-Semitic world, and a progressive in the San Francisco bay area. I grew up with no such “choice.” I was just a stateless Arab Jew stuck in Japan in Catholic missionary schools for too long. I was stateless because my parents had to leave their countries of origin. Iraq and Egypt are Jew-free today. We were already in Japan when Egypt cancelled my father’s passport. It was hard to explain our statelessness. Surely were born someplace weren’t we? What was our “nationality?” “Ask Nasser” my father snapped when a government clerk asked one too many

Rachel Wahba is a writer, psychotherapist, and co-founder of Olivia Travel/Companies. An Iraqi -Egyptian Jew, born in India, she grew up in Japan. 

The many dimensions of 

displacement and exile are a constant theme in her work as a writer, therapist, and in her activism as a Mizrahi Jew who grew up stateless. 

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© Copyright 2015 Rachel Wahba Writer, Speaker, Psychotherapist