Israel Advocacy News February 19, 2013: Creating A New Vision For Israel On Campus at Brandeis University’s Visions for Israel in an Evolving World (bVIEW)



Creating A New Vision For Israel On Campus

On Jan. 27, Aaron David Miller, a Middle East analyst and an adviser to six secretaries of state, spoke to arguably the most important people in the American Jewish community. They were not lay leaders, rabbis or presidents of Jewish organizations.

Miller spoke to 250 students from more than 15 universities who were gathered at Brandeis University for the first Brandeis Visions for Israel in an Evolving World (bVIEW) conference. Those who came to Brandeis were not ordinary students; they were leaders of organizations, many of which were pro-Israel groups, at their universities….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News February 3, 2012: University of Pennsylvania students prepare to counter BDS conference



Penn students prepare to counter BDS conference

Students mobilize against conference that they say is a clear effort to delegitimize Israel.

Source: JPost, 2-3-12

BDS Israel

By Courtesy

A Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) conference scheduled to be held February 3-5 on the University of Pennsylvania campus has mobilized pro-Israel student groups, as well as off-campus organizations, to counter the anticipated torrent of anti-Israel activity.

Penn’s administration has distanced itself from the conference, but it maintains that student groups have a right to hold events, even if many in the community do not endorse the views expressed.

PennBDS, a registered student group that was established earlier this academic year, seeks to advance a BDS agenda among members of the Penn community.

Pro-Israel student leaders at Penn say the conference is a clear effort to delegitimize Israel, and they are working to counter it.

Penn Hillel director Rabbi Mike Uram said the conference provides an opportunity to “dramatically increase and deepen the pro-Israel campus coalition for Jews and non-Jews to help better understand Israel and give positive messages.”

He said the BDS movement has limited support, while the pro-Israel response will involve thousands of students in the coming weeks. The organized response to the conference sets the scene for a semester of programs and activities that “will create fertile ground and an up-kick for pro-Israel sentiment on the Penn campus.”…READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News February 1, 2012: National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference at the University of Pennsylvania Reveals Its Real Agenda



BDS Reveals Its Real Agenda

Source: The Jewish Exponent, 2-1-12

A controversial online video promoting this weekend’s National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference at the University of Pennsylvania was pulled by organizers at the height of their effort to advance their agenda targeting Israel.The flap over the video highlights the charged nature of the issue and suggests the tenor likely to be heard at the conference, which is sold out, with more than 300 people expected to attend.

The video contained a clip of the Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi, who called for a boycott of “all Israeli goods”; in other venues, he’s called for a full cultural boycott of Israel.

At least one professor, Eve Troutt Powell, withdrew her participation after the video went live. It is no longer available online, and Powell declined to comment.

The speakers on the agenda include some of Israel’s most strident opponents, with activists who claim that Israel’s occupation in the West Bank “recalls the Jim Crow laws of the American South” and that Israelis are “incapable of empathy and compassion for other people.”

The fact that the national movement to boycott Israel, known as BDS, is holding its conference here, at the region’s most prestigious university, has set off alarm bells in the local Jewish establishment. In response, pro-Israel groups on campus have organized dialogues and programs to help better educate students about Israeli society. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, in partnership with Hillel and other groups, organized an event featuring Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

The long-term impact of the conference, if any, remains to be seen, including whether it will affect the Middle East debate, the efforts of pro-Israel students on campus or the decade-long attempt to liken Israel to apartheid-era South Africa….READ MORE

The Feb. 2 “We Are One With Israel” event featuring Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is at full capacity due to an overwhelming response. Community members interested in participating in this program can go to at 7:30 p.m. for a live streaming from the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

See Also: Clergy Condemn BDS

See Also: Dershowitz Comes to Penn

Israel Advocacy News January 31, 2012: Jewish students react to University of Pennsylvania BDS Conference



Jewish students react to BDS Conference

Hillel representatives plan to spread awareness about Israel in anticipation of the conference

Jewish students plan to use this weekend’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference as an opportunity to spread awareness about Israel.

Though many Jewish students see the views of the BDS conference against Israel as inflammatory, they do not plan to respond in a hostile manner.

Friday evening, when the conference is set to kick off, Penn Hillel and other students will have already begun their own programs to “educate and engage with students about Israel,” said College sophomore and Hillel’s Israel Sector Intern Josh Cooper, who is helping to coordinate some of the programs.

However, the activities are not meant to be a “direct response to the BDS conference,” Cooper said. “We don’t want to make [our response] about who can ask the angrier questions, or who can make the louder point.”

On Thursday, Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz will deliver a lecture — titled “Why Israel Matters to You, Me, and Penn” — at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts. Hillel serves as one of the event’s many sponsors, and over 750 members of the Penn and Philadelphia communities are expected to attend the public lecture, according to Cooper.

The event will comprise of a keynote speech followed by a question-and-answer session. A small dinner reception will precede the lecture, giving campus leaders an opportunity to speak personally with Dershowitz.

Though Dershowitz criticized BDS initiatives as being “far too broad a tactic to be used both fairly and morally,” he still encouraged an open-minded discussion.

“Let’s have a conversation,” he said. “Let’s see if we can change each other’s minds.”…READ MORE