Israel Advocacy News February 4, 2013: Petition aims to have Facebook pull anti-Israel page



Petition aims to have Facebook pull anti-Israel page

Source: JTA, 2-4-13

A Facebook petition to remove an anti-Israel page that uses an expletive in its name has 75,000 likes, the removal campaign’s creator says….READ MORE

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



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