Tag Archives: CAMERA on campus

MUFI’s Exciting Year Ahead

Michal Golovanevsky, President of CAMERA-supported group Mustangs United for Israel at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo has the following updates from her group:

CAMERA Boston Conference

Our treasurer, Jordan Kochavi, and I, had the pleasure of attending CAMERA’s Student Leadership Conference in Boston. CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, is one of MUFI’s closest and oldest partners, and this conference allowed us to get to know their staff and organization better. The conference covered the anti-Israel media bias around the world, history and background of the conflict in the Middle East, and most importantly, concrete ways and methods to combat anti-Israel sentiment on campuses.

We all learned how to be better leaders and Israel advocates, as well as made connections with dozens of wonderful students and professionals from all over the country, who we can rely on for ideas and support. In addition, I had the privilege of giving a presentation about our club to the conference, as an example of a successful pro-Israel organization. I received overwhelmingly positive feedback, admiring MUFI’s work and dedication, which is entirely attributed to the amazing board members that we have. The conference reassured me that we are on the right path, and that we will continue to achieve bigger and greater things.

Partnerships & Fellows

As in previous years, MUFI’s board members will be serving as campus fellows for several pro-Israel organizations. This year we have Charlene Niku, our Hillel Liaison, as the Jewish National Fund (JNF) fellow, Roee Landesman, our Vice President, as the CAMERA Fellow, myself as the StandWithUs fellow, and most recently — Jordan Kochavi, as the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) fellow. We will also continue to work closely with Chabad, Hillel, AEPi, and AEPhi, through our liaisons. We plan on strengthening our partnerships with other campus organizations such as the Multicultural center and the Office of Diversity & Inclusivity.

Future Events

So far, first quarter is looking pretty busy for MUFI, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Here are just a few of the events we have planned so far:

Early on, MUFI is planning an event sponsored by CAMERA with Dr. Clive Lipchin, the Director of the Transboundary Water Management Center at the Arava Institute in Israel. Dr. Lipchin will be flying out from Israel to present at Cal Poly about the Arava Institute. Specifically, Dr. Lipchin will be speaking about Israeli water innovation and technologies, and how this water innovation is used to promote regional peace between Israelis, Palestinians, and the other Arab countries. Lipchin is an incredible speaker and we are honored to be hosting him.

Coming up after, will be an IDF Soldier Tour, brought to us by StandWithUs, which we hope to host with the ROTC Army department. This event has been very successful in the past, and we are looking forward to continuing this tradition. Later in the quarter, Artists 4 Israel will be coming back to Cal Poly to do one of their coolest events — custom making shirts for dozens of students. In addition, we will be having several social events and tabling sessions around campus. Keep up with our Facebook page for more information about dates and locations of these (and more!) events.

Contributed by Michal Golovanevsky, President of CAMERA-supported group Mustangs United for Israel.

Defining the Campus Debate on Israel

At CAMERA’s 2017 Student Leadership Conference, young activists from around the world came together to learn about making a positive difference for Israel on campus. With 13 countries represented, we had a variety of perspectives contributing to constructive discussions.

Speaking to students from countless different campuses at the conference was also a chance to reflect on the collective successes in London from my own perspective. To many internationally, our year in London may have seemed as if it was filled with attacks and intimidation. However, despite the violent protest facing Hen Mazzig when he came to speak at University College London (UCL) in October 2016, we continued on with our programming for the year as normal. We did not let the actions of extreme, divisive anti-Zionist activists overshadow our efforts to make constructive changes to the situation on campus. We continued to hold events and start initiatives, including reaching out to new students. During Israel Apartheid week, we actively went about starting conversations with hundreds of students in London, beginning with falafel and cake but ending in positive dialogue and even new friendships.

British and Irish students in Boston at the Student Leadership Conference in August.

At hostile events, like when UCL Friends of Palestine hosted renowned anti-Zionist academic Ilan Pappe, we proactively started conversations to represent our own opinions. Pappe and other speakers used snide remarks, conspiracy theories and intimidation to convince the audience that Zionism was a racist endeavour. After the event, students stayed behind for hours to talk to us, as they were curious to hear a perspective which even they realised hadn’t been equally represented at the event. However, if we had not attended the event to show our outrage at the way we were mis-represented, the students could have left with a very different impression. Our greatest successes this past academic year have been when we take initiative and go out to speak to others and represent ourselves.

The CAMERA conference was also an opportunity to hear from other inspiring students who had great success on their campuses over the past academic year. The theme of the conference above all was that Israel activism is not just about taking a defensive position- but rather, about actively educating others. Even on campuses in the US where BDS campaigns have yet to spring up, students are taking proactive action by creating new Israel groups with the support of CAMERA.  When you initiate the conversation about Israel on campus, you can create a positive representation of Israeli society, as well as opening up opportunities for dialogue on neutral terms. In the UK, we are often too worried about bringing up the topic of Israel on campuses where the Palestinian society is dormant, for fear of the backlash it could have for Jewish students. However, now more than ever, the atmosphere is right for spearheading proactive discussion about Israel.

On British campuses, students of today are tiring of a focus on radical activities which discredit university politics as a minefield of extreme activists focusing on irrelevant issues. Tom Harwood’s strong contention for the NUS presidency and growing political movements for freedom of speech show that things are changing on UK campuses. Students want to be able to discuss issues in a civilised manner without descending into either radical boycott campaigns or excessive political correctness. We should use this opportunity to show that engaging with Israel in student politics is not about polarised debates and violent protests. It is about creating dialogue and a positive atmosphere for debate and engagement with the Middle East on campus.

We now have a unique opportunity to change the way student debates are framed by making civil conversations a highlight of our activity. Last academic year, we got past the fear of making people feel uncomfortable with our Zionist identities. We approached Zionism as it is, a legitimate movement for the national self-determination of the Jewish people.

This year, we must continue to define the debate on our own terms.

Contributed by UK Campus Associate Tamara Berens.

This article was originally published in Jewish News.

Defending Israel On All Fronts: Joshua Seed Joins IDF

CAMERA Fellow Joshua Seed.

CAMERA Fellow Joshua Seed.

The last months of senior year are a daunting period. Filled with the pressures of life after graduation, applying for work, pursuing additional degrees, and finding a place to live, the uncertainties of the ‘real world’ have most seniors avoiding the dreaded question of their future plans. As a recent graduate of Binghamton University, this process is all-encompassing as my Facebook news feed and social circles discuss recent acceptances to master’s programs at prestigious universities and impressive job offers at Fortune 500 corporations.

The process unfolding around me has been viewed not as participant, however, but as an audience member, the enthusiastic fan at a sports game who knows he will never play in the big leagues. While I watch those around me complete the GRE and undergo job interviews, my year instead consisted of weekly visits to the gym, interviews with army officers, and intensive Hebrew learning. This summer I leave behind family, friends, and the familiarities of North American life as I make aliyah (Hebrew for immigration to Israel), building a new home in the Jewish state and enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces.

Such a radical deviation from the ordinary path set before most college graduates naturally induces a number of questions. What are you running away from? What about your livelihood? How could you do this to your parents after all they provided you? The magnitude of the decision to leave the comforts of home and the communities that raised me to travel thousands of miles away and join a foreign army is not taken lightly or made hastily. In contradiction of those who challenge my appreciation for family and friends, the decision to make aliyah is made not in spite of these individuals, rather it is a lifetime dream that has been formed and nurtured through such people and the experiences they afforded to me.

Growing up in a home with a strong love of Israel and appreciation for Jewish education, the significance of the State of Israel to an often lachrymose picture of Jewish history became clear at a young age. Through the Zionism received from my parents coupled with formal and informal education about Israel at school and summer camp, I grew to understand just how remarkable was the Jewish return to Zion and the renewal of our people’s self-determination. Subsequent visits to Israel including a gap year after high school deepened this burgeoning relationship, opening my eyes to the country’s diverse people, who despite cultural and religious differences, built an open and vibrant society where personal freedom is championed and criticism is welcomed, if not encouraged.

Upon entering college, my relationship with Israel took yet another form as I sought to share my past experiences in Israel with fellow students through Israel advocacy work. As forces on campus attempted to disseminate misinformation about the Jewish state, I worked alongside a team of passionate students to present the true picture of Israel using the valuable strategies and resources that I received as a CAMERA Fellow. At its Annual Student Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference before the start of the school year, CAMERA trained its fellows to address and correct the lies often spread about the Jewish state on college campuses through letter writing and other mediums.

Students at CAMERA’s annual Student Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference, 2015.

Students at CAMERA’s annual Student Leadership and Advocacy Training Conference, 2015.

Training its fellows in Israeli history and current events through a range of prominent speakers along with a series of writing workshops to build opinion pieces geared toward campus publications, I left the conference with the skills necessary to convey our message effectively on campus, particularly in campus media. United by a common goal of sharing Israel’s story, the CAMERA on Campus staff as well as the new global network of CAMERA Fellows established at the conference became a powerful sounding board during my time in college, offering advice on how to tackle specific incidents such as biased professors or how to ensure that our limited words in an editorial piece are used most effectively.

Josh Seed(center) and other CAMERA fellows take a break at the 2015 CAMERA Conference, to visit Fenway Park.

Josh Seed(center) and other students take a break at the 2015 CAMERA Conference, to visit Fenway Park.

A precursor to my future plans to enlist in the IDF and defend Israel in a physical manner, the skills acquired at pro-Israel conferences and summits placed me in the trenches of Israel’s defenses on campus in the battle to shape college students’ perception of Jewish history. As Students for Justice in Palestine attempted to rewrite the establishment of the State of Israel and push a fictitious narrative surrounding Israel’s efforts to ward off decades of deadly terrorism, I together with other like-minded Israel advocates ensured that the truth was always easily accessible. When the anti-Israel group held a protest on the first day of classes condemning Israeli actions in Operation Protective Edge, a larger continent of Jewish students and their allies countered the libels by highlighting the party truly responsible for the summer’s bloodshed, the terror group Hamas. The hate and lies experienced during my time as a college student imbued in me a deep sense of responsibility for the Jewish state and her people which contributed greatly to my eventual desire to defend Israel as a soldier in her military.

At eighteen years old, Israeli teenagers are required to enlist in their country’s military due to Israel’s policy of conscription. Choosing to volunteer in the IDF as a 22 year-old American therefore comes as a shock to many Israelis who do not understand why one would trade the luxuries of the United States for an opportunity to be ordered around by a commander two years their junior. As surprising and unusual the choice may appear, my aliyah and enlistment in the IDF is a natural process, a decision made not in spite of those around me, but rooted in the very experiences and values taught by family, friends, Jewish education, and Israel activism. As I arrive in Israel today, I complete a chapter in my life 22 years in the making, fulfilling a dream of thousands of years of Jewish history to return and prosper in our ancestral land, the Land of Israel.

Contributed by CAMERA Fellow at Binghamton University Joshua Seed.

SAFI’s Immediate Success

SAFI, the Student Alliance For Israel-Madison, formerly known as Madison Friends of Israel, is the Emet for Israel group on the University of Wisconsin’s campus. Their kickoff event of the semester took place in early February, and since then they have gathered a good amount of attention from their fellow students. Unfortunately, a pro-Israel voice was becoming increasingly necessary in order to balance out the anti-Israel rhetoric on campus.

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The group has been incredibly successful in catering to their member’s needs and requests in learning more about the Jewish state. In the past few months, the group has created an Israel class, throughout which Israeli history, culture, and its current political climate is taught. The board has also established the SAFI Ambassador Program to give students a way of being more involved without committing to the course.

In addition to the kickoff event, SAFI has raised awareness about Israel through its weekly newsletter, a recent YouTube video it released, and its “Fun Fact Friday” social media campaign. Another effective initiative has been bringing speakers, including Joel Chasnoff, a comedian who presented the many facets of Israeli society.

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This CAMERA – supported group is looking forward to the many events and classes it will bring to the University of Wisconsin. At its inception, its main goal was to get more students to care about Israel, to begin asking questions about it, and to create a more balanced dialogue. Members are pleased that this objective has already been achieved to an impressive degree!

Hebrew U Students Join the Fight for Accuracy on Israel

 

LeEl Hayun

Lee-El Hayun

For Israelis, daily life can be intense. Most of us have served in the IDF during one operation or another. When driving, we stay clear of the areas where there is a high chance of having rocks thrown at our cars. Here in Jerusalem, we avoid walking around with two headphones in, to ensure that we are not caught off-guard in the event of a terrorist attack.

At the same time, students around the world who support Israel are facing a different battle.

Israeli students are largely unaware of what it’s like to be a Pro-Israel student on a college campus in the U.S., Canada or the UK. Nor are most of us tuned in to the difficult fight for accurate Israel-related coverage in media outlets around the world, and the subsequent effects biased coverage have on the public’s perception of the Jewish state.

This is why we opened the first CAMERA on Campus group at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Our goals are three-fold. First, we aim to educate ourselves about Israeli history and the competing political narratives about the conflict. We also want to increase students’ awareness of the challenges faced by Pro-Israel groups on campuses worldwide. And third, we hope to create ties with students from all over the world. These relationships will allow us to share our experiences, and will disseminate the truth about our country.

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For our first event, we focused on familiarizing our students with the challenges of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel) facing Pro-Israel students on campuses.

We started off the evening with a basic overview of the BDS movement by Jerusalem U’s Campus Director Yoni Mann, who shared with us the powerful short film “Crossing the Line 2.” Becky Sebo, featured in the film, then expanded on her personal experience as a student activist at Ohio University, where she was arrested on campus while speaking out against BDS. Lia Lands, Communications Associate for CAMERA on Campus, shed some light on students’ Pro-Israel activity and addressed the intimidating atmosphere they can experience. We wrapped up the evening with a panel of international students, who shared their experiences as Pro-Israel students on campus.

Becky Sebo is arrested at Ohio University.

Becky Sebo is arrested at Ohio University.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from the 50 students in attendance. Many were shocked to discover the scary atmosphere that exists on campuses for many students, and were quick to inquire about how they can help.

We come from all sides of the political spectrum, but we are united when it comes to sharing our beautiful homeland with the world. We look forward to working with all CAMERA Fellows and Interns at all universities as your boots on the ground. Together, we will make an impact.

Contributed by CAMERA Fellow Lee-El Haune of CAMERA at HUJI.

Apply for the 2016-2017 CAMERA Fellowship here.

Liz Wahl Discusses Media Bias, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


Former Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl, who was last seen on air delivering an unexpected resignation in 2014, spoke to UCF students about her reasons for quitting on March 28.

She discussed the importance of media literacy, particularly in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While Wahl said Israel is not blameless in the conflict, she believes that the European media has covered it in a way that is overly critical of the country.

Knights for Israel, a pro-Israel student organization, hosted the event where Wahl cited what she considered “blatantly biased content” about the Russia-Crimea conflict reported by Russia Today, also known as RT, as her reason for leaving.

“Personally, I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin,” Wahl said during her final moments on air.  “I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth. And that is why after this newscast, I’m resigning.”

Since leaving RT, Wahl has investigated potential media biases in the news coverage of other topics, particularly in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She partnered with Jerusalem U, a Jewish Educational Organization, to create a documentary called “Media 101: Reading Between the Lines” that explores the issue. It was shown before Wahl’s speech.

Ben Suster, a 21-year-old biotechnology major and the current president of Knights for Israel, said he organized Wahl’s visit as a way to raise awareness of the biased ISIS attacks.

“Has the suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan received as much coverage as the bombing in Brussels? Not at all. Not even close,” Suster said. “There’s a significant human element to the media we follow that we know so little about. They are prone to error, biases and inclinations towards narratives that advance their respective self-interests just like any other human.”

Many of the other attendees at the event shared Suster’s sentiments and were eager to hear the opinions of a professional journalist on the matter.

“It’s no secret that there’s a lot of bias in the media and that things are being altered all the time. It’s interesting to hear a perspective from someone who’s actually behind the scenes working for the media, who gave up her job because of the things that were going on [at RT],” said Rachel Sorsher, a senior psychology student.

Marc Diamant, a current member of Knights for Israel and 19 year-old computer science major, was excited by the event’s potential to generate an open discussion about the conflict and the way that it’s covered.

“Well, knowledge is power. Both sides of [the Israel-Palestinian conflict] demand to be told from their perspective – that’s how you come to your viewpoint,” Diamant said.

During the airing of “Media 101: Reading Between the Lines” and the Q&A session that followed, Wahl discussed her experience at RT, as well as the anti-Semitic attacks that followed her resignation.

“In the wake of resigning from RT, I began to face a lot of backlash coming from some unexpected sources accusing me of being part of a Jewish, Zionist, Neocon plot. Now I’m not Jewish, and I don’t have any connection to Israel. Being a journalist myself, I began to wonder: could the media have something to do with it?”

Wahl offered an acronym for media consumers to distinguish reputable, accurate news sources from those with an agenda: CLUMSY. Each letter stands for Censorship, Local Fixers, Unconscious biases, Media outlets, Social Media and You. Wahl said that examining each of these aspects of media can help consumers find the least biased sources available.

During the Q&A session, Adam Manno, a junior journalism major, asked Wahl if there might be a conflict of interest, because the documentary was produced by a pro-Israel organization. Manno also pointed out that the documentary featured only “two Palestinians…and about six or seven Jewish perspectives.”

“That’s a totally fair question,” Wahl said. “I was hesitant to work with a Jewish nonprofit organization because I thought that it would be perceived as biased, and then I realized that it was ridiculous of me to not want to work with an organization simply because they were Jewish.”

Wahl said that because she had been the target of anti-Semitic sentiments following her resignation from RT, she thought it was particularly important to partner up with Jerusalem U.

“Are there things that I personally would have done differently to make [the documentary] more balanced? Perhaps, but I think that the voices that we spoke to were very non-extremist. I think they were fair. Hate on either end is not appropriate,” Walsh said.

Part 1 and Part 2 of Wahl’s documentary, “Media 101: Reading Between the Lines,” can be watched on Jersualem U’s Vimeo page.

 

Originally published in Central Florida Future.

Apply for the 2016-2017 CAMERA Fellowship by May 1st! 

Letter: Israel Reporting Biased

“Hurt me with the truth, but never confront me with a lie,” read a poster held by a 20-something-year-old college student. The March for Truth began at Harvard Science Commons and dropped a mass of passionate ralliers at the British Consulate in Cambridge. Students from Brandeis University, Clark University, Boston University, Northeastern University, Suffolk University, Harvard University, Boston College and Wellesley College came together to take a stand against the ever-present bias in reporting on Israel’s politics.

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The students came together and supported each other as these difficult topics were discussed. Misha Vilenchuk, a Brandeis student and CAMERA intern, stood with an American flag tied to his back and an Israeli flag in his hand as he spoke about the slanted coverage coming from the BBC and the inexcusable slander that perpetuates their reporting.

“We have watched all too many times as articles slander our homeland,” he said.

As he led the marchers on the path to the consulate, he chanted proudly, “Israel, we stand with you.”

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Third-year Northeastern student and Huskies for Israel board member Allie Glushanok spoke about her experiences with anti-Israel reporting and her disappointment with the bias not only in the media but also on college campuses.

As students marched for two miles to the British Consulate, cheers of “Am Yisrael Chai (the people of Israel live),” “open your eyes, stop the lies” and “end the double standard” echoed from the masses.

The passion was palpable – at times, cars were cheering the marchers on with honks and waves. As the march passed storefronts, people handed out fliers about the cause. Activists from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), Stand With Us, Hasbara and many other organizations were in attendance, showing their solidarity.

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Northeastern has a community full of passionate students who can learn from the leaders who so successfully organized this event, working with numerous organizations and schools to create a unified front. We have the capacity to become a unified school by creating partnerships and coalitions with different student groups. Exclusivity and close-mindedness are not how we can make a difference on our campus. Instead, we can move forward by engaging in positive discussion with those whom we may not always agree with.

I am passionate about Israel and the media’s portrayal of her, not only because I am Jewish but because I believe in what the state stands for. As an advocate, I recognize the importance of speaking out. Every day, we are inundated with large amounts of information and we must take a stand against biased reporters who deliberately mislead us. We are the next generation of journalists, newscasters and talk-show hosts. We have the capacity to make a difference and to ensure we spread accurate and clear information.

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Contributed by Northeastern University CAMERA Fellow, Kaila Fleisig.

Originally published by Huntington News.

Jonathan Elkhoury Breaks Down Barriers on Campus Tour

CAMERA speaker Jonathan Elkhoury just completed a two week tour spanning 10 campuses. Read his amazing testament posted to Facebook below on the power of sharing the facts and being a proud Zionist.

CAMERA Speaker Jonathan Elkhoury speaks at Hunter University.

CAMERA Speaker Jonathan Elkhoury speaks at Hunter University.

How do I define success?

Success for me is knowing that the audience pro-Palestinian activists, supporters of BDS activists SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine- anti-Israel movement) are enthralled. They were listening rather than interrupting or protesting or exploding. They were not overly excited, but listened to what I had to say. And at the end some of them asked more questions and simply said Walla, this was new to us.

This success tells my true story about my ordinary life – as they are in Israel, with no need to embellish reality, without the need to go deep into politics, and people just listened and were interested to hear more. Then on their own time explore more.

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Success for me is over 10 lectures across the United States which taught me something important about myself – always to be who I am, to fight for my rights, for my country and the world – and be proud of my identity.

Yes, I risk losing some ‘Friends’ along the way, people might look at me differently even, my family and in my surroundings – what can be done – less accepting of me but in the end I am who I am and that’s the beauty of my story.

Jonathan’s tour was picked up by Ohio State University campus paper The Lantern and Binghamton University’s Pipe Dream.

Liberal Universities: The Heart of Intolerance

 

joelle Reid cameraoncampus blogI go to a liberal university. A university where in the post modern world, no statement is left unquestioned. Where nothing is fact, but merely a social construction. Reality is disputed to the extent that there is no actualization of concepts, they are simply all conceptions, built up by society

Simply asking to be directed to the ladies’ toilets seemingly is becoming the latest social crime, as at King’s, we pride ourselves on gender neutral bathrooms around all campuses; the term gender is seen as a fallacy in itself. I’m not condemning our uber-liberal outlook, on the contrary, having endless theories of the outlook of life with commitment to toleration and free speech, only enriches and broadens our previously theory-laden and apparently narrow minded education. This is the only time in our life we are encouraged to doubt all our pre-conceived thoughts and criticise anything we come across. But how liberal should a liberal university be? As one of the most famous liberals J.S. Mill said, a liberal society should be tolerant of all those who are tolerant, and therefore be intolerant towards the intolerant.

Last week, on January 20, 2016, King’s university students faced not only the intolerant but also the savage. The Israel society together with interested students, were bombarded by violent protesters bashing and breaking windows, setting off the fire alarm, chanting aggressively and physically abusing those present. All this for the simple reason of listening to a talk promoting peace by Ami Ayalon, the former head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service. Again, I am a firm believer of freedom of speech and debate, but in this case where multiple police cars had to be called in, and students had to be evacuated through a back door, we need to pull up our liberal barriers. When freedom of speech disturbs and attempts to censor other’s rights to a voice, this is where we need to put a stop to it. Ironically, these protesters were demanding that the members of the Israel society were fascist, when their sole aim was to repress speech and plurality at the university through coercion and intimidation.

Image of Kings Collge London Palestinian Flag

As an outsider at the event (as the room was already full to capacity by the time my friends and I arrived to attend the event) watching the monstrous scene take place on the opposite side of the street , reminding myself that I am a student at this university, I was disgusted. How could society listen to the views of a group that intimidates other students regardless of their views? How could a group use such violent methods and still gain credibility and legitimacy in an establishment like a university?

But most importantly, what should the Israel community do? Is it even safe to bring another speaker to campus? If this is what happens when a pro-peace, pro-discussion speaker is invited, I just wonder what would happen to someone slightly more controversial. Next thing we know, extremist groups with a certain amount of credibility will be able to ban other societies from functioning. They’ll protest that we express views which threaten the liberal outlook of the university, exposing students to vile fascist propaganda. This would be a real threat to the culture of free speech. So far they have not threatened us with this, but the institutions need to bear in mind the real watchword of liberalism. Intolerance is something that should not be tolerated. we’ll be banned from having any student society.

Contributed by Kings College London CAMERA Fellow, Joelle Reid.

This article has since been published in Israel Hayom.

Druze Delegation at NYU

On November 2nd, 2015,  New York University’s Emet for Israel supported group, Realize Israel,  hosted a delegation of Druze leaders from Israel.

The Israeli Druze Alliance brought a group of IDF soldiers of Druze descent and other leaders in the community to NYU in order to speak with students about what it’s like to be a part of the minority population of Druze in Israel. They spoke about their experiences in the IDF, why they support Israel, and much more. It was a unique opportunity provided to the NYU students to learn about an incredible minority living in Israel and how they contribute to the thriving Jewish state. It was also fascinating for the students to learn about the concept of the Druze religion and its secrecy.
Based on student accounts following the event, it is clear that they grasped the significance of this specific demographic group in Israeli society. Attendees learned that Druze-Arabs have a strong sense of loyalty to the country in which they reside, and they saw how this translates on a practical level in their lives. Some students may have even been pleasantly surprised to hear of the many Druze soldiers who take on high-ranking positions in the IDF. The event proved to be an eyeopening experience for the students, and through it they were able to gain a better understanding of how nuanced and diverse both Israeli society and its army truly are.

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