Israel Advocacy 101 February 5, 2013: Israel Action Network Advocacy group releases manual IAN FACTs to fight delegitimization of Israel



Advocacy group releases manual to fight delegitimization of Israel

Source: JTA, 2-5-13

Click here to download FACTs

The Israel Action Network released a new manual aimed at fighting the delegitimization of Israel.

The advocacy group created by the Jewish Federations of North America put out a document called IAN FACTS aimed at countering efforts to isolate the Jewish state….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News August 9, 2012: Need an Israel Advocacy Idea? Ask Herzl



Need an Israel Advocacy Idea? Ask Herzl

Source: Jerusalem Post, 8-9-12

When it launches next month, Ask Herzl will serve as a resource for Israel advocates who want “ready to run” programs for their campuses….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy Op-ed March 1, 2012: Dore Gold: Now playing on a campus near you Israel Apartheid Week ignorance, lack of regard for facts



Now playing on a campus near you: ignorance, lack of regard for facts

Source: JWeekly, 3-1-12

Anti-Israel hatred on campus crests each year during an event called “Israel Apartheid Week.”

With its ominous name and programs that thrive on ignorance and blind disregard for the facts, tens of thousands of college students are urged to rise up against Israel — painfully evoking the types of racist characterizations of the Jewish people that defined attitudes once heard in Europe in the middle of the last century.

This year’s display of anti-Israel fervor is currently occurring on or near campuses around the United States and Europe. In Berkeley, there were two main events this week, and three more next week. Starting Monday, March 5, IAW will also crank up in Canada, the Arab world and South Africa.

These campus initiatives were incubated in 2001 at the first Durban Conference, proclaiming “no apartheid South Africa in the 20th century and no apartheid Israel in the 21st.” This battle cry sparked the BDS movement calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions to punish Israel, and it all evolved into an invective-loaded campaign that found a degree of favor on campuses coast to coast, not to mention among some labor unions, churches, media and cultural institutions.

But it is based on a lie.

Typically, those hurling these charges against Israel hope that their audiences are ignorant of the facts. In apartheid South Africa, blacks were not allowed to use white hospitals, they could not attend white universities and they could not participate in the South African parliament.

Visit Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem today, or any other hospital or health facility in Israel, and see Jewish and Arab doctors caring for Jewish and Arab patients. Witness for yourself at Hebrew University or any institution of higher learning as Jewish and Arab professors teach students of different backgrounds. Go to the Knesset, and observe the debates involving both Jewish and Arab parliamentarians.

Given this reality, Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge on the South African Supreme Court, wrote in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 2011: “The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”…

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter  activities such as Israel Apartheid Week   images/courtesy of

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter activities such as Israel Apartheid Week images/courtesy of

No nation has fought racism more consistently than the Jewish people, whether through the anti-apartheid activists in the South African Jewish community or through those American Jews who joined the civil rights movement. When Israeli medical teams rushed to international disaster zones in Turkey (1999), Kosovo (1999), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2008) and Haiti (2010), helping the afflicted regardless of their race or creed, they were driven by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam….READ MOR

Israel Advocacy 101: Salomon Benzimra The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel — Online book prepares students to defend Israel at university



Online book prepares students to defend Israel at university

Source: Jewish Tribune, 11-29-11

The advocacy group Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights (CILR) has published The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel by Salomon Benzimra, in Kindle format. Although it is suitable for any mature reader, the book was written specifically to prepare Jewish high school students to defend themselves against “the defamation, lies and distortions” about Israel they will face in university, Goldi Steiner, CILR chair, told the Jewish Tribune in a telephone interview. The book is fact-based and educational, not political, and it debunks the current “global definition of [Jewish Israelis as] occupiers and settlers.”

Benzimra, an engineer, spent almost two years writing the book, which is based in large part on Howard Grief’s book, The Legal Foundations and Borders of Israel Under International Law. Grief’s juridical assessment, in which he attested to the veracity of Benzimra’s work, is included in the book.

Benzimra’s book, wrote Grief, “performs a very important mission in bringing to light the relevant historical and legal facts any beginner or true scholar of the Middle East needs to know regarding the exclusive national and political rights of the Jewish people and the state of Israel to the land of Israel, formerly Mandated Palestine, under international law.

“Mr. Benzimra’s work is well structured and organized, easily understood and incisive. Most important of all, it presents an accurate and comprehensive picture of all the significant events that took place, decisions taken and agreements concluded leading up to the establishment of the independent Jewish State of Israel in May 1948.”

The book was also endorsed by Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s vice premier and minister of strategic affairs; Andrew Roberts, historian and founding member, Friends of Israel Initiative; and Tomas Sandell, founding director, European Coalition for Israel. Within five days of its debut on Amazon, the book was rated No. 1 in the Top 100 Hot New Releases on International Law and it has remained either at the top spot, or high on the list, since then.

Steiner said CILR members  “have been dealing with top-level Israeli officials.… Our aim is to have [the book] incorporated into the Israeli school system at the high school level.”

To that end, the book has been translated into Hebrew, for future publication.

This “educational guidebook” also features numerous references for further study as well as more than 100 hyperlinks. It is available in English at, for use on the Kindle, Macintosh, PC, and some other devices.

For more information, visit

Touro Under Scrutiny Over Israel Class from Jerusalem Online U



Touro Under Scrutiny Over Israel Class

College Faces Questions About Credits for Advocacy Session

Source: Forward, 11-17-11, issue of November 25, 2011

Touro College, a New York-based Jewish university, came under pointed questioning by curriculum experts after the Forward revealed that it granted academic credits for an online course put together by a pro-Israel advocacy group.

College or Chutzpah? Jerusalem Online U. portrays itself as a legitimate academic program.

jerusalem online u.
College or Chutzpah? Jerusalem Online U. portrays itself as a legitimate academic program.

Touro offered students credit for taking Israel Inside/Out, an online class cobbled together with materials like interviews with pro-Israel activists and professors provided by Jerusalem Online U, a pro-Israel education and advocacy web site.

“I am not coming up with anything quite like this, where one side has a point of view and an institution has decided to partner with them,” said Russ Poulin of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Cooperative for Educational Technologies, or WCET, which promotes effective standards and practices for on-line learning in higher education. “It doesn’t mean that it isn’t out there. It just means I’m not aware of it.”

“If Touro College has pretentions to be a serious academic institution, this is not a course that students should get credit for,” added Zachary Lockman, a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, about Touro’s Israel Inside/Out course. Lockman reviewed the course syllabus on the Forward’s behalf.

The Touro professor who approved Israel Inside/Out rejected the criticism of the course. “I see no reason to be ashamed of it,” said David Luchins, chairman of the political science department, while adding it was not his decision to partner with Jerusalem Online U.

Touro College, a Jewish-oriented institution that reaches out especially to Orthodox students, offered students nationwide a chance to earn academic credit by completing the course.

Jerusalem Online U is an advocacy group originally affiliated with Aish HaTorah, an ultra-Orthodox religious outreach program. Aish HaTorah’s founder, Rabbi Noach Weinberg, convinced Touro’s founder, Bernard Lander, to adopt the program in 2008.

While officials at Touro insist the material meets academic standards, a Forward investigation found, among other things, that the program’s syllabus, posted at Jerusalem Online U’s website, told students, “This course will train you to be an Israel advocate and arm you with the knowledge necessary to combat anti-Israel rhetoric.” Jerusalem Online U removed this advisory soon after the Forward inquired about it. In several instances, materials used by Jerusalem Online U in its Israel boosterism reappeared in Touro’s academic offerings.

Despite the debate, students are getting credit for the course. According to Jerusalem Online U founder Rabbi Raphael Shore, 150 students have received college credit for courses taken through the program. (Touro officials estimate a lower number: between one and two dozen students per year for the past three years).

What’s more, 38 universities in the United States and Canada have accepted transfer credits for the class from Touro, meaning students may be effectively substituting advocacy for rigorous learning at colleges from coast to coast….READ MORE

University of Miami: Students support Israel through art, advocacy for Buy Israel Week



Students support Israel through art, advocacy

Source: Florida Jewish Journal, 11-16-11
UM’s Hillel has hosted Israel advocacy events in the past. During Buy Israel Week, a group within Hillel, the I-Team, will host an advocacy event.

Israeli artists and art work will be featured at the University of Miami during Buy Israel Week.

The I-Team Fellowship, a selective Israel advocacy group within UM’s Hillel composed of students dedicated to generating and sustaining a positive Israeli sentiment on campus, will host an advocacy event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 30 at the Whitten University Center’s “The Rock,” 1306 Stanford Drive in Coral Gables. The event will include art, music, food and a discussion on Israel’s culture through the perspective of artists.

Jordan Magid, the I-Team’s chair and a student intern at UM Hillel, was both surprised and excited to hear that the event fell on the same week as Buy Israel Week when contacted by the Jewish Journal.

“It added a whole new dynamic to the event and will give us more opportunities to provide an interactive and engaging environment on campus with more of a purpose to motivate people to buy Israeli products,” he said.

Magid added that the event will now have potential to be a platform for Israeli goods to be promoted….READ MORE

Is Jerusalem Online U. A Real College?



Is Jerusalem Online U. A Real College?

Course Blurs Line Between Academics and Israel Advocacy

Source: Forward, 11-7-11

College or Chutzpah? Jerusalem Online U. portrays itself as a legitimate academic program.

jerusalem online u.
College or Chutzpah? Jerusalem Online U. portrays itself as a legitimate academic program.

…On on its website and its promotional materials, Jerusalem Online U hardly portrays itself as a center for neutral academic inquiry. In fact, it boasts an explicitly pro-Israel mission that seems distinctly at odds with academic principles. In one advertisement for its services, the Jerusalem Online U site’s blog features a video of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling Congress last May that “Israel is what is right” about the Middle East. The words “Be a Part of What’s Right” appear onscreen as he speaks.

The course does include video clips and reading assignments from Palestinian academics. But compared with the Israeli input, these inclusions seem tokenistic and, at times, cherry-picked. For instance, the only reading from Columbia University historian Rashid Khalidi — a prolific critic of both Israeli policy and Palestinian leadership — is an article about the Palestinian “failure” of 1948, in which he calls the Palestinians “strikingly incapable of concerted planning and effective collective action.”

In one Israel Inside/Out video session, a narrator informs students that Israel is “vilified” by the international media. “How is it that people do not see the critical role that Israel plays in the world?” he asks.

Jerusalem Online U is a product of the brave new world of online education, a world in which many educators are still feeling their way. In this world, Jerusalem Online U appears to precariously straddle the realms of academia and advocacy. Founder Raphael Shore, a Canadian rabbi living in Israel, says that, its name notwithstanding, the program is not a university but an education portal, offering classes on Israel, positive psychology, Judaism and cinema. And yet, one of Jerusalem Online U’s major selling points is that it offers courses for academic credit through Touro College, an accredited Jewish university in New York City. Now in its third year of operation, Jerusalem Online U has more than 2,000 “graduates” from 300 universities across America, according to the website. Shore told the Forward that 150 of these students have received academic credit for their work online. Officials at Touro, on the other hand, estimate a much lower number, between one and two dozen per year for the past three years.

Shore is quick to acknowledge the strong pro-Israel component of Jerusalem Online U, but he claims that the organization doesn’t let its advocacy work bleed into its academic material. For the Israel Inside/Out course, he said, Touro political science professor Alan Mond uses a series of videos produced by Jerusalem Online U about the State of Israel. These videos are also used in Jerusalem Online U’s advocacy programs. The main difference, Shore said, is that in the Touro class, the how-to videos titled “Israel Advocacy” and “Communicating for Israel” are omitted. The Touro class is also supplemented by assigned readings from high-profile Palestinian, Israeli and American Jewish academics and politicians. And yet, the syllabus on the Jerusalem Online U web site for the Touro course claims, “This course will train you to be an Israel advocate and arm you with the knowledge necessary to combat anti-Israel rhetoric.”…READ MORE and Alan Dershowitz Gather Organizations and Individuals Around the World to “Step Up For Israel”


ISRAEL & ZIONIST EDUCATION and Alan Dershowitz Gather Organizations and Individuals Around the World to “Step Up For Israel” to Launch an International Step Up For Israel Campaign at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City

Source: Business Wire, 10-3-11 ( ), a leading online source for Jewish and Israel learning worldwide, announces the launch of “Step Up For Israel,” a national, grassroots Israel education campaign ( ).

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,

Amy Holtz, president of, 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 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, has had over 3,000 students on more than 300 college campuses take its courses. is headquartered in New York with offices in Philadelphia and Jerusalem. For more information, visit .