Israel Advocacy 101: The David Project — White Paper: A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges

ISRAEL ADVOCACY 101

ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION

The David Project — White Paper: A Burning Campus?
Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges

Click here to download the white paper in .PDF format

Executive Summary and Background

1. The worst years of recent Palestinian violence against Israel (2000-2004) saw a dramatic increase in negativity toward Israel on American college campuses. It became clear to many that the anti-Israel campaign had more influence and impact and was better organized than most observers had perhaps previously thought, and that in some ways pro-Israel advocates were largely unprepared to respond to the stepped-up activism.

2. This was coupled with a realization that the parameters of opinion on Israel on many key campuses may have shifted over the past generation in concert with a growing hostility toward the Jewish state in Europe and the most influential institutions of the global left.

3. A range of organizations focused solely or in part on dealing with the problem of anti-Israelism on the campus were founded in response. These included faculty-focused organizations, like Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and student-focused organizations, like The David Project, both founded in 2002.[1]

4. A network was thus created of pro-Israel, campus-focused organizations, with a mix of strengths and capabilities and supported to at least some extent by established Jewish organizations. Up until recently, however, there has been little agreement about what the exact situation is for Israel on campus or how best to improve it.

5. Additionally, there has not to date been an attempt to conceptualize the campus specific situation for Israel in the United States or craft an overarching strategy for how to deal with it.

6. A conceptual framework for understanding the situation for Israel on American campuses and a strategy for improving it is thus necessary. The goal of this document is to fill this gap in order to assist the leadership and staff of the pro-Israel campus network and the wider Jewish community in developing a set of generally agreed upon principles.

7. The strength of this network is to at least some extent based on the practical independence of the individual organizations that comprise it. Tactical disagreements will no doubt persist. To maximize our impact, however, the network should strive to come to a shared understanding of the lay of the land.READ MORE

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