Israel Advocacy 101: UN vote prompts educational campaign on campus

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

UN vote prompts educational campaign on campus

Source: Canadian Jewish News, 10-6-11

The Palestinian Authority’s plan to seek membership in the United Nations for an independent state has prompted Hasbara Fellowships groups on North American campuses to educate students about the road to peace in the Middle East.

A large part of Hasbara’s educational campaign is a new, tongue-in-cheek video called “Friend Request Pending” that emphasizes Israel’s efforts for peace, which have been largely rejected by Israel’s Arab neighbours.

The video, which has already been viewed close to 60,000 times, begins when Israel creates a Facebook page and is “looking for friends!”

Israel sends a “friend request” to Egypt, to which Egypt replies, “You are no friend!”

Israel then sends a gift of “milk and honey” as a gesture, but Egypt responds with “bombs.”

But Israel, unrelenting, writes, “Come on, look what friendship can do for us,” and sends another gift, the Sinai Peninsula, in exchange for peace and its recognition of Israel.

Israel goes through a similar process with Jordan, and it, too, accepts Israel’s gesture.

But when Israel sends a friend request to the Palestinians, offering them land and other concessions, the gestures are rejected time after time.

The video ends with a simple request from Israel to the Palestinians: “Let’s talk!”

According to a Hasbara press release, the video “communicates that Israelis want peace and have proven it. The obstacle to Middle East peace is the lack of a responsible peace partner in the Palestinian leadership. Bypassing direct talks with Israel and defying the United States, the PA is turning its back on previous commitments to co-operation, in an effort to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish State.”

Currently, the UN General Assembly vote on the declaration of an independent Palestinian state, as well as the UN Security Council vote on full Palestinian membership, has been postponed indefinitely.

McGill Friends of Israel president and Hasbara fellow Eliana Schwartz is one of the Canadian students who are promoting the Friends Request Pending campaign.

The 20-year-old, second-year McGill University political science and Jewish studies student said that in addition to spreading the video throughout social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, students have set up tabling sessions to field questions and promote a message of peace.

Schwartz said they presented a poster that said, “You don’t get to real peace without talking to your neighbours,” – a parody of the tagline for the film The Social Network, which was “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

She said they also presented a map of the Middle East, using Facebook idioms, images and phrases to illustrate the kinds of relationships Israel has with its neighbours.

“We chose to do it this week, with everything that’s happening [with the upcoming UN vote] while it’s still relevant,” said Schwartz, adding that information cards with facts about Israel and the Middle East conflict were distributed to passing students.

“This was a bit of a controversial campaign, so not every reaction was positive. I also think that sometimes Jewish students are scared to approach tables that seem overly politicized, but we tried to make it fun…”

Schwartz said that although the subject matter is heavy, they tried to keep a positive tone.

“At the McGill Friends of Israel, we try to stress that Israel wants peace, rather than stress that our neighbours have refused.”

Israel Advocacy 101: UN Palestinian Authority Vote Prompts Israel Educational Campaign on Canadian University Campuses

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

UN vote prompts educational campaign on campus

Source: Canadian Jewish News, 10-6-11
The Palestinian Authority’s plan to seek membership in the United Nations for an independent state has prompted Hasbara Fellowships groups on North American campuses to educate students about the road to peace in the Middle East.

A large part of Hasbara’s educational campaign is a new, tongue-in-cheek video called “Friend Request Pending” that emphasizes Israel’s efforts for peace, which have been largely rejected by Israel’s Arab neighbours.

The video, which has already been viewed close to 60,000 times, begins when Israel creates a Facebook page and is “looking for friends!”

Israel sends a “friend request” to Egypt, to which Egypt replies, “You are no friend!”

Israel then sends a gift of “milk and honey” as a gesture, but Egypt responds with “bombs.”

But Israel, unrelenting, writes, “Come on, look what friendship can do for us,” and sends another gift, the Sinai Peninsula, in exchange for peace and its recognition of Israel.

Israel goes through a similar process with Jordan, and it, too, accepts Israel’s gesture.

But when Israel sends a friend request to the Palestinians, offering them land and other concessions, the gestures are rejected time after time.

The video ends with a simple request from Israel to the Palestinians: “Let’s talk!”

According to a Hasbara press release, the video “communicates that Israelis want peace and have proven it. The obstacle to Middle East peace is the lack of a responsible peace partner in the Palestinian leadership. Bypassing direct talks with Israel and defying the United States, the PA is turning its back on previous commitments to co-operation, in an effort to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish State.”

Currently, the UN General Assembly vote on the declaration of an independent Palestinian state, as well as the UN Security Council vote on full Palestinian membership, has been postponed indefinitely.

McGill Friends of Israel president and Hasbara fellow Eliana Schwartz is one of the Canadian students who are promoting the Friends Request Pending campaign.

The 20-year-old, second-year McGill University political science and Jewish studies student said that in addition to spreading the video throughout social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, students have set up tabling sessions to field questions and promote a message of peace.

Schwartz said they presented a poster that said, “You don’t get to real peace without talking to your neighbours,” – a parody of the tagline for the film The Social Network, which was “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

She said they also presented a map of the Middle East, using Facebook idioms, images and phrases to illustrate the kinds of relationships Israel has with its neighbours.

“We chose to do it this week, with everything that’s happening [with the upcoming UN vote. while it’s still relevant,” said Schwartz, adding that information cards with facts about Israel and the Middle East conflict were distributed to passing students.

“This was a bit of a controversial campaign, so not every reaction was positive. I also think that sometimes Jewish students are scared to approach tables that seem overly politicized, but we tried to make it fun…”

Schwartz said that although the subject matter is heavy, they tried to keep a positive tone.

“At the McGill Friends of Israel, we try to stress that Israel wants peace, rather than stress that our neighbours have refused.”

Israel Wants Peace – Friend Request Pending

JerusalemOnlineU.com and Alan Dershowitz Gather Organizations and Individuals Around the World to “Step Up For Israel”

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

JerusalemOnlineU.com and Alan Dershowitz Gather Organizations and Individuals Around the World to “Step Up For Israel”

JerusalemOnlineU.com to Launch an International Step Up For Israel Campaign at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City

Source: Business Wire, 10-3-11

JerusalemOnlineU.com ( http://www.JerusalemOnlineU.com ), a leading online source for Jewish and Israel learning worldwide, announces the launch of “Step Up For Israel,” a national, grassroots Israel education campaign ( http://www.StepUpforIsrael.com ).

The campaign launch will take place on October 3rd at 7pm, at Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 E. 87th St., New York City. It will feature a screening of Crossing the Line, a short film produced by Raphael Shore that exposes the organized movement on North American campuses to delegitimize Israel. Shore will introduce the film, and Professor Alan Dershowitz will speak after the screening. The event is free and open to the public.

Step Up for Israel, chaired by Professor Dershowitz and former Israel Ambassador Dore Gold, is designed to create broad awareness of the growing anti-Israel movements on college campuses and hopes to provide all Jewish high school students with a minimum 4 hours of basic Israel education.

“Anti-Israel propaganda, pressure, and intimidation are the norm in college, not the exception, and it has become vital that parents and their children understand what is occurring and know how to respond effectively before they experience it themselves, as was the case for me and many others,” said Jessica Felber, West Coast Director, JerusalemOnlineU.com.

Amy Holtz, president of JerusalemOnlineU.com, advises, “Many parents don’t realize that their children could be confronted by a one-sided, anti-Israel perspective when they get to college.” While Holtz says that the problem does not exist on all campuses, she believes that “responsible Jewish parents must prepare their kids for what they might see and hear about Israel, just as they prepare them for other challenges they might face on campus.”

Recognizing how crucial it is that American Jews actively confront the movement to delegitimize Israel, leaders from the successful Soviet Jewry movement are actively promoting the campaign. “We have great hopes for this campaign, the film, and for the recognition it can drive home to the public…” said Pam Cohen, Former National President of The Union of Council for Soviet Jews.

The campaign is receiving broad participation. Step Up For Israel is being run by The Greater Miami JCRC; The United Jewish Communities and JCRC of Metro-West; The Albuquerque Federation; the Atlanta community; and synagogues, churches, and organizations across the world.

About JerusalemOnlineU.com

JerusalemOnlineU.com reconnects students to their Jewish identity and teaches the importance of Israel through engaging and stimulating online, film-based courses. They currently offer courses in Judaism, Israel, and Positive Psychology and Judaism. College students may be eligible for college credits or a stipend upon completion of the course. Breaking beyond the bounds of the traditional classroom and embracing the power of technology, JerusalemOnlineU.com has had over 3,000 students on more than 300 college campuses take its courses. JerusalemOnlineU.com is headquartered in New York with offices in Philadelphia and Jerusalem. For more information, visit www.JerusalemOnlineU.com .

SOURCE: JerusalemOnlineU.com