JERUSALEM, Israel – Even during war. Jerusalem is seeing an influx of visitors. Israeli evacuees, as well as people from around the world are coming to help among them this week.
An Iraqi Muslim running for the U.S. House of Representatives, Dalia Al-Aqidi, traveled from Minnesota to see the situation for herself and contribute to Israel’s war effort.
“I decided to come to Israel to show solidarity with Israelis, show solidarity with the Jewish people, and to give the message that you are not alone, Al-Aqidi told CBN News. “You are suffering from the exact same illness and hatred that we Muslims have been suffering for for ages from radical Islamism and from terrorism.”
Deputy Jerusalem Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum invited Al-Aqidi to visit a re-purposed theater manned by hundreds of volunteers helping an estimated 30,000-plus evacuees receive basic necessities.
Hassan-Nahoum explained, “This is where we have almost 20 departments of different types of help for the evacuees mainly, but also for families whose husbands or sons have gone to the front lines: psychosocial trauma care; behind me there is a shop with clothes and books and toys for evacuees to take anything they need, so they don’t lack of anything. Just thousands of volunteers poured in to help.”
Baghdad-born Al-Aqidi, a former journalist, joined volunteers handing out donated items to the Israeli evacuees now housed in Jerusalem.
“I covered Iraq when ISIS entered the city of Mosul, “she recalled from her war experience. “I’ve seen the atrocities of ISIS, and I’ve seen the atrocities of Al-Qaeda. ISIS and Al-Qaeda combined doesn’t even go to what Hamas did since October 7th. So when we hear resistance, no – these are pure terrorists. Good people around the world should fight.”
Al-Aqidi added, “My heart aches when I see on tv the children, the Palestinian children. It breaks my heart, but guess what, they’re not the victims of Israel. They are the victims of Hamas, they are the victims of the Islamic Jihad.”
In Hassan-Nahoum’s assessment, international media coverage can be fickle concerning the only democracy in the Middle East.
“From the mainstream media we’d have about 4 or 5 days of sympathy, after (that), they turn on Israel and attack our right to defend ourselves. I think we’re the only country in the world that has to defend the right to defend ourselves,” she stated.
Al-Aqidi maintains, “Anybody has the right to defend itself. If i am a mother and they take my daughter and they parade her in the street” I would eat these people. These Hamas terrorists have no morals and we have to stand on the right side of history.”
Al-Aqidi is in a fierce political race to unseat Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in Minnesota’s 5th House District..
“I came from Minnesota. Basically, it’s ground zero for anti-Semitism. I came to give a message to the Israelis, to the Jewish people – that yes, you hear Ilhan Omar. but Ilhan Omar speaks for herself – Ilhan Omar does not speak for her constituents. Ilhan Omar does not speak for the good people of Minnesota who are watching the news, who are seeing what’s what’s happening.”
Al-Aqidi described her very personal stand against radical Islam.
“When ISIS entered the city of Mosul in 2014 and the terrorists persecuted all the Christians there, I went on air and I said I am a Muslim Sunni. I’m against that. I’m going to wear the cross. And yesterday I took this – the Star of David – and I’m putting it here until we all reach peace.”
Hassan-Nahoum said the war has helped to unify Israel’s politicians and she expressed her gratitude to Christians supporting Israel.
“The response and the organization and the collaboration between people who are political opponents has been truly, truly heartwarming, from the horror of what we’ve experience,” Hassan-Nahoum shared. “I want to thank all the support we’re getting from the Christian community all around the world. We know who our friends are, and we thank you, and we feel your embrace.”