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 February 5, 2013: Which campuses are problematic?



Which campuses are problematic?

Source: Jerusalem Post (blog), 2-5-13

Last year AICE published the study, Israel and the Campus: The Real Story, which exploded a number of misconceptions about Israel and the universities. We found, for example, that anti-Israel activity has not changed dramatically since the late 1960s….READ MORE


Israel Advocacy News August 9, 2012: ‘StandWithUs’ Launches New Israel Advocacy Program for Teens



‘StandWithUs’ Launches New Israel Advocacy Program for Teens

Source: Arutz Sheva, 8-9-12

The pro-Israel education and advocacy group StandWithUs is launching a new program aimed at training teenagers from around the United States to become leaders on their future college campuses….READ MORE

StandWithUs launching new Israel advocacy training for teenagers

Source: The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A., 8-8-12

The pro-Israel education and advocacy group StandWithUs is launching a new program to help train 48 teenagers from around the U.S….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 News February 15, 2012: David Bernstein’s The David Project a new strategy for Israel advocacy on campus



A new strategy for Israel advocacy on campus

Source: Washington Jewish Week, 2-15-12

David Bernstein’s The David Project has created a new strategy for Israel advocacy on campuses.
David Bernstein’s The David Project has created a new strategy for Israel advocacy on campuses.

David Bernstein has seen the same old story so many times on college campuses. Anti-Israel sentiment seems to be met with confrontation instead of discourse and relationship building.

That, he felt, had to change for attitudes towards the Jewish state to even stand a chance of changing.

Combatting growing attacks on Israel’s legitimacy on college campuses requires breaking the cycle of rallies and protests in favor of targeting outreach to campus influentials, according to a new white paper released last week by The David Project, a leading pro-Israel campus organization.

“A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges” lays out a new strategy for Israel advocacy rooted in relationships with key campus stakeholders and organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

The white paper finds that “campus activism by Israel supporters is generally not strategic,” and that campuses are predisposed toward “radical political views.” This allows “anti-Israelists,” those who believe Israel is an illegitimate state, to be increasingly successful in their efforts both in influencing the thinking of future generations of Americans and in using the campus as a venue to disseminate “anti-Israelism” into the wider culture.

The David Project’s new approach to campus advocacy focuses on breaking the cycle of rallies and protests that engages only extreme viewpoints. Hosting intimate discussions, dinners for campus leaders and one-on-one outreach efforts will attract students who are not yet politically involved and help them develop informed opinions about Israel that are free of misinformation and bias….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy 101: UN vote prompts educational campaign on campus



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: Canadian Jewish, Israel advocacy groups reorganized



Canadian Jewish, Israel advocacy groups reorganized

Source: JTA, 6-9-11

A reorganization and streamlining of Canadian Jewish and Israel advocacy groups has been approved.

The boards of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy and United Israel Appeal Federations Canada earlier this month green-lighted a major revamping of communal organizations.

The new, as yet unnamed super agency will assume the role of Canadian Jewish Congress, the Canada-Israel Committee and other groups.

For months, Canada’s Jewish community has expressed concerns that the Canadian Jewish Congress, founded in 1919, would cease to exist under the changes.

The new organization “will continue the work of all the agencies that it is succeeding or that are being folded into it, including the whole range of traditional Congress activities,” Shimon Fogel, CEO of Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy, told JTA.

Fogel said the Canadian Jewish Congress leaders were involved in the process. “This isn’t a hostile takeover.”

As for a name for the new entity, “that’s a process that’s still being studied.”

Local Jewish federations will also be affected by the change, Fogel said.

“It transforms the relationship to an explicit partnership between the federations at the local level and the national agency in terms of delivering advocacy service to the community, and represents an opportunity for the federations to engage more directly in the advocacy process.”

Fogel said he rejects concerns that the changes reflect a shift away from domestic lobbying and more toward Israel advocacy.

“This isn’t about changing the agenda. This is about delivering on that agenda in a more efficient and effective way. Nobody’s abandoning any of the elements of one organizational agenda in favor of another,” he said.

Israel Advocacy 101: Strategies to Help Identify anti-Israel ‘Jewish’ Groups



Strategies to Help Identify anti-Israel ‘Jewish’ Groups

Source: Allon Friedman and Elliot Bartky, American Thinker, 5-22-11

  1. Actions Have Consequences.  Many organizations claim that, among other things, they exist to help preserve or strengthen Israel’s virtuousness andmorality.  Along related lines, they also often argue that Israel must choose between being a democracy and a Jewish state.  We say it is no accident that the only democracy in the Middle East is a Jewish state.  Is it a perfect democracy or wholly just?  Of course not.  Yet we need not apologize for Israel’s imperfections.  No nation is perfect, so why must the Jewish state be the only one called to perfection?  Such demands serve only to turn it into a pariah state.  While it may indeed be difficult to gauge the true intentions of any particular group, it is in fact a superfluous exercise, since what is ultimately important is the outcome of its policies.  When the New Israel Fund or J Street or a host of similar groups publicly endorse the Goldstone Report, condemn Israel’s so-called “blockade” of Gaza or promote anti-Israel divestment campaigns, they contribute to an atmosphere that fulfills Natan Sharansky’s 3D test of anti-Semitism — delegitimization, demonization, and double standards.  That’s all that really matters.  Claiming they are out to strengthen the Jewish State when their actions have the demonstrably opposite effect is perfidy, plain and simple.  Groups that act in this manner have effectively ceded their place at the table, despite morally obtuse entreaties to the contrary.
  • 2. “If I Am Not For Myself, Who Will Be For Me?”  Israel advocacy requires an appreciation of how the Jewish people, against all conceivable odds, miraculously overcame unique and monumental challenges to reestablish a nation in their historical homeland.  It also requires one to confront the fact that Israel faces singular existential threats that, if anything, have grown over recent years.  These particularist concepts are recognized and internalized by authentic lovers of Zion.  In contrast, the core mission and policies of groups whose goals are universalist in nature are all too often opposed to the interests of the Jewish nation.  We are not interested in questioning the intentions of those who say they support Israel while simultaneously supporting policies opposed to Israel’s interests.  In fact, it is all too easy to understand how those caught up in utopian ideals of peace and universal brotherhood find it difficult to support a Jewish state established for the security and welfare of one particular people.  That universalism often engenders emotional indifference (or worse) towards Israel is painfully obvious to any of its genuine supporters, especially in times of crisis, regardless of their political or religious persuasion.  Take Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the recently retired head of the US Reform movement, as an example.  Though a self-described “dove” whose views on many topics differ sharply from his more religiously or politically conservative counterparts, he nonetheless severely condemned J Street’s stance on Israel’s 2008 defensive incursion into Gaza as morally deficient and utterly lacking in empathy for Israel’s terrible predicament.  Unfortunately, the universalist point of view increasingly holds sway in Jewish communal organizations, resulting in an impaired ability to generate the type of empathy for Israel’s struggles and challenges that is needed during this difficult period.
  • 3. “Peace” Out.  Some groups are wily enough to understand how strongly language influences thought, so they frequently take Orwellian liberties with the English language to mask their true intentions.  A tipoff to such groups is when they condemn Israel by appropriating for themselves concepts that are universally revered, such as freedom, justice, dignity, equality, and human rights.  Especially common is the use of “peace,” which after being stripped of its meaning, has been adopted by the Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace movement, Americans for Peace Now, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Jews for a Just Peace, Orthodox Jews for Peace, ad infinitum.
  • 4. Follow the Money!  If actions speak louder than words, then among the loudest of actions is how a man spends his money.  Similarly, an important step to understanding a group’s ideology is to follow its money trail.  Though J Street, for example, attempts to portray itself as a stalwart ally of Israel, it is funded in large part through such overtly anti-Israel sources as American and Muslim allies of Saudi Arabia, George Soros, pro-Iranian lobbyists, a leader of the Arab-American community, and a bevy of U.S. government Arabists.  Is it conceivable that J Street duped these donors into believing it was something it really wasn’t?  We wouldn’t bet a dollar on that one.