Tag Archives: CCAP

Laurentian Israel Group Works With PRIDE

With a little Zionist chutzpah, our Emet for Israel group at Laurentian University, LUJSA, just pulled off a unique event with the LGBTQ alliance, PRIDE.

Entitled Half Off: Circumcision and Sex Toys, the Ultimate Games Night, the event was planned during PRIDE week—an entire week dedicated to celebrating and educating the campus about LGBTQ issues and life. The event was advertised by both LUJSA and PRIDE, and was even held during Israel Apartheid Week, right across from a display of anti-Israel propaganda!

Our Emet for Israel: LUJSA Liaison, Sidney, reported that the event brought new people out. Several of the newcomers mentioned the IAW display, and asked questions, which resulted in a productive discussion about the claims and behavior of the anti-Israel faction on campus.

Sidney recalled, “It was good to have a games night with PRIDE; they brought out new people, and I think it went a long way to build teamwork capacity for the future. I was also encouraged [by the fact] that we were having an event in the middle of the student center, even during Israel Apartheid Week.”

We love that our students are not deterred from building partnerships and standing strong with Israel even in sight of anti-Israel propaganda!

 

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U Chicago Student: Time to support Israel

Contributed by CAMERA’s Emet for Israel Liaison at the University of Chicago, Blake Fleisher. This article was originally published in the Hill, and is reproduced in full below. 

Miko Peled’s recent op-ed in the Hill, titled “Time to give Palestinians their country back,” was more rant than reason. Nowhere does he make a single argument for Palestinian Arabs receiving statehood. He presupposes they lost a country of their own, when in fact they largely fled British Mandatory Palestine between 1947-1949 to avoid being caught in the crossfire of the Arab armies and the Jews.

Arabs were not systematically expelled.  In fact, the Israeli Declaration of Independence, adopted in 1948, explicitly states, “We yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its bodies and institutions.”

Peled attempts to argue three false claims: (1) Israel has a policy of apartheid towards Arabs, (2) Netanyahu played dirty in his recent election campaign and (3) the United States should re-evaluate its ties with Israel.

Israel does not have a policy of apartheid towards Arabs. In South Africa, the black population was segregated, forced to use different (and unequal) facilities, and banned from voting. Jews and Israeli-Arabs shop in the same supermarkets and use the same restrooms. Israeli-Arabs vote in elections and have their own political parties. In fact, as a result of the March 17 election, the third largest political bloc party is the Joint List—a coalition of Arab parties. Arabs also serve proudly in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Supreme Court and in the Israel Defense Forces. Rana Raslan, an Israeli-Arab, won the Miss Israel title in 1999 and represented the nation in that year’s Miss Universe pageant.

Israel is not free from examples of racism and discrimination, but neither is any other Western democracy. Peled’s claim that Israel is an apartheid state is a blatant falsehood and degrades the reality black South Africans suffered under actual apartheid.

Netanyahu did engage in rough-and-tumble politics, warning his potential supporters that the opposition was bringing out Israeli-Arab voters “in droves.” Yet the organized “anybody but Bibi” coalition reportedly bussed Israeli-Arabs to the polls in pursuit of its goals. Netanyahu is hardly the first politician to use intense campaign rhetoric. American politicians have resorted to arguably stronger methods. Lyndon B. Johnson created a top-secret group to influence the perception of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential campaign.  According to Joseph Cummins, author of Anything for a Vote: Dirty Tricks, Cheap Shots, and October Surprises, “They put out a Goldwater joke book entitled You Can Die Laughing. They even created a children’s coloring book, in which your little one could happily color pictures of Goldwater dressed in the robes of the Ku Klux Klan.”  We might not like it, but negative campaigning has become an American specialty, one U.S. consultants have brought to Israel.

Peled claims that Netanyahu won largely due to publicity from his speech to Congress warning of a bad agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. He compared Netanyahu entering the House of Representatives to “Caesar entering Rome.” However, Netanyahu entered more like a soothsayer telling us to beware a dangerous deal that could leave Iran too close to a nuclear weapons “break-out.” He received widespread criticism for making his speech; many Israelis urged him to cancel.  Publicity from it cut both ways, but he was well received by many in Congress.

Peled’s grasp of Middle East realities is shaky. Iran seeks the annihilation of Israel, its “Little Satan,” as well as—eventually—the United States, the “Great Satan.” Just a few days ago, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called for “Death to America.”  Peled had the chutzpah to falsely accuse Netanyahu of making “promises to attack and kill Palestinian civilians,” when the Israeli prime minister has been warning of leaders who actually promise to kill civilians.

I agree with Peled on one key point: the United States should re-evaluate its ties with Israel—just in a very different way than he suggests.  We are witnessing dangerous instability in the Middle East.  Iran is pursing a nuclear program and vying to dominate “a Shiite crescent” currently stretching through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.  There is now a Salafi-jihadist “caliphate” in parts of Iraq and Syria, increased terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula, “Hamastan” in Gaza, and a chaotic Libya.  Contrary to Peled’s views, Israel is the shining star of freedom in a region largely devoid of it. It is time for America to support Israel even more.

Fleisher studies linguistics and Near Eastern languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on the Middle East and violent non-state actors.

Music Without Borders: Rita at GMU

This post was contributed by Cole Kawugule, a CAMERA Liaison for Emet for Israel at George Mason University. 

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Rita breaks it down at GMU!

11046635_10153207558186757_6001663464368648196_oOn February 26, the George Mason Israel Student Association, a CAMERA Emet for Israel group, CAMERA,and George Mason Hillel brought celebrity musician Rita Yahan-Farouz to campus! She came to campus for a night of music and culture for the students of GMU and the surrounding community.

Rita brought her beautiful music for everyone to hear, and performed a number of songs for the audience. She performed songs in Hebrew, Farsi, and English, so she covered every angle! In between songs, she told stories about her upbringing in Iran, the transition to life in Israel, and how her life has changed after becoming successful and traveling around the world. Throughout, she interacted with the crowd, starting at the front of the room and moving towards the back, encouraging the audience to sing along with the songs they knew and dance with her.

11021475_10153207559091757_5309435001955280633_oOne of our main goals with the event was to host an event that could be seen as cross-cultural. As
opposed to an event that was only focused on Israel, this also included Iran and some members of the Baha’i faith. We wanted to appeal to a wider audience than those who only were interested in Israel. We managed to draw in a large amount of community members by advertising other places besides just on campus. By reaching outside of our regular audience, we managed to bring in new faces and start to build partnerships, as we did with the Secular Students Alliance and the Baha’i Campus Ministry. In the future, we are going to try and host events that are as wide-reaching as this one, so we can have as big of an impact as possible on campus!

 

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Our audience!

Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO) Hosts Gil Cohen-Magen

Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO), the pro-Israel student group at Binghamton University, united with multiple student groups– including the Arts Club– to host Gil Cohen-Magen, an Israeli photojournalist who has documented key occurrences in Israel. Cohen-Magen discussed the difficulties of living in Israel during a war. Since the event was co-sponsored with multiple different campus organizations, it attracted a diverse audience which provided for vibrant discussion.

During the presentation, Cohen-Magen shared moving and impactful photos that he took of a military funeral in Israel and explained the way photos are chosen and published by publications and the bias that can potentially be involved.Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 7.34.16 PM

CCAP representative, Haley Silverstein, explained that “it was very exciting to have Gil come to campus…it was great to have a perspective from someone who was on the front lines because real evidence is the best form of Israel advocacy we could have wished for.”

Later in the semester, BUZO organized a stand-up comedy show titled “Because the Middle East is Funny” in an effort to create a light-hearted cultural event that would attract people from all walks of life.The event was a great success and provided the audience with a truly enjoyable experience!

We look forward to hearing about BUZO’s next successful pro-Israel event on campus!

Activism Ideas: Dragons For Israel Shares “Cookies For Peace!”

Dragons For Israel (DFI), the pro-Israel student group at Drexel University, hosted an event titled “Cookies For Peace” in an effort to share facts about Israel to the student body. During the event, members of DFI distributed cookies with facts about Israel to students passing by. DFI member and CCAP representative, Mia Smith, was excited that the group got to introduce themselves and engage the student (and faculty) body about DFI and what the group has to offer! Smith stated that DFI gave away 100 cookies, over 400 facts about Israel, and about 70 flyers during “Cookies For Peace.” The event was so successful that DFI accomplished all of this in only 2 hours!

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 2.58.19 PM“Cookies For Peace” gave Dragons For Israel a chance to engage the study body in a very hands on and direct fashion. Group members got to talk one-on-one with students and faculty, promoting their pro-Israel mission on campus. 

Smith expressed her appreciation for being able to organize great events like CFP, as she stated that “we are glad to have CAMERA’s support which makes Israel advocacy events on campus possible!”

Well done DFI! We look forward to hearing about your next successful pro-Israel event on campus!

Students Supporting Israel at IU Hosts Anat Berko

In late October, our Emet for Israel organization, Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Indiana University, held an event titled Inside the Mind of a Terrorist. The student group invited Anat Berko, author of The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers, to speak about her personal conversations with women and children who have attempted to become suicide bombers.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 7.59.00 PMAccording to our Emet for Israel representative from SSI, Amit Boukai, “the event was interesting because Berko discussed how her research about the involvement of women in terrorism applies to Israel as well as the rest of the world, as we are seeing a rise in Islamic extremism from ISIS and other terrorist organizations.”

Owls For Israel at FAU Host Ted Deutch and Izzy Ezagui!

Owls For Israel, the Emet for Israel pro-Israel student group at Florida Atlantic University, organized a student leadership dinner to kick off the year in a strong way. Student leaders united for the event to hear from Congressman Ted Deutch about the importance of the US-Israel relationship.

CCAP representative, Zachary Pastor, explained that the “event was very effective as it provided a way to reach out to many other student groups on campus to help them realize how Israel pertains to their specific causes.” The successful event attracted members of over 30 different student groups and the speaker provided new insight into the importance of the strong political alliance.Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 3.22.59 PM

Later in the semester, Owls for Israel organized an event entitled “Lunch & Learn” with Izzy Ezagui. During the “L&L,” he shared his positive experience as an IDF soldier with a disability, and how he overcame the often associated adversity. The event attracted and engaged over 25 students from various interests and backgrounds.

Owls For Israel hosted multiple successful events over the past fall semester. We look forward to hearing about their upcoming pro-Israel events this spring!

Why SJP is Antithetical to Stanford Values

This piece was originally published in The Stanford Daily on February 9, 2015 by Stanford student Sophie Schulman.  It is reproduced in full below. 

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“Don’t come back,” was the last thing I heard as I walked out of Stanford SJP’s (Students for Justice in Palestine) “Tears of Gaza” screening recently. The reason for this enmity directed at me? I asked two questions.

I did not phrase my questions antagonistically. I did not criticize the director. During the Q&A, I asked the director: (1) Did she document footage of Hamas exploiting Palestinian citizens’ suffering as a tool to bolster international hatred against Israel? (2) Did she observe the actions by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to save Palestinian lives throughout the ongoing war?

The film neglects to show Hamas’s use of Palestinians as human shields to protect terrorists from rocket fire in civilian centers. It also fails to show that before each of its air raids, the IDF dropped leaflets in Gaza to warn Palestinians of impending danger, and urged them to move away from targeted areas. Nor did it show some of the180,000 Palestinian citizens – 30 percent of whom are children – that have received care from Israeli hospitals, and the programs created by Israeli physicians to train Palestinian doctors. The audience does not learn that Hamas hijacks the humanitarian aid meant to be distributed to the Palestinian population for its own organization, namely for the production of terror tunnels and ammunition instead of the construction of infrastructures like schools, mosques and hospitals.

Some people in the film characterize the “economic blockade” as a deliberate tactic by Israel to inflict widespread suffering and collective punishment on the Palestinian citizenry. In reality, the blockade was and remains a security mechanism to defend the Israeli people against both the acquisition of firearms by Hamas and suicide bombers who find refuge in Gaza.

Moreover, by not mentioning Hamas, the terrorist organization that simultaneously serves as the government in Gaza, “Tears of Gaza” portrays the war as Israel versus the Palestinian people. If a movie described WWII as the U.S. versus the German people, and neglected to mention the Nazis, I would also stand up and question why the context was ignored. By the same token, when SJP and SOOP alienate Israel, they disregard that the war in Gaza is not a war against a people, but a war against a terrorist government, Hamas, that inflicts equal – if not worse – harm on its own citizens.

When one understands that Israel is fighting a terrorist regime, and not the Palestinian people, it is clear why Israel goes above and beyond to save Palestinian lives, even during the course of its war against Hamas. A former British Armed Forces Commander reported to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council that, “During its operation in Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare.”

When I tried to bring context to the conflict as portrayed by “Tears of Gaza,” I was stared down by SJP supporters, peers and faculty members in attendance, and told, “don’t come back.” I was ostracized and made to feel highly uncomfortable.

I am discouraged to know that I am not the only student who has felt silenced and marginalized by SJP; as a result, many students are afraid to speak up about similar personal interactions. The stories that I have heard and continue to hear concerning the divisiveness of SJP and SOOP events hosted in the wake of the ASSU divestment bill vote illustrate the strident climate and vitriol on campus that it breeds. Sadly, this has been the experience of students on other college campuses as well.

When students decide that their mission is so blindly committed to a cause that they do not make an attempt to present Israel’s rationale, they are the creators and propagators of harmful one-sided rhetoric. As perpetrators of this hurtful propaganda, they are not the vanguard of the solution, but rather an integral part of the problem. And when they go so far as to create and condone an environment that is hostile to and suppressive of intellectual inquiry and debate, they are violating Stanford’s mission to facilitate the free exchange of ideas and respect for diversity.

Ultimately, information without context is the root cause of the polarization between the two camps of beliefs on this campus, those against divestment and those for it. Information is malleable; when treated like a narrative, it changes the kinds of questions that you ask and the kinds of conclusions that you extrapolate. A one-sided narrative prescribes you to judgments that are highly misguided and offensive to many among our Stanford community.

Sophie Schulman ’15

Success with Elliot Chodoff at the University of Windsor

This piece was contributed by our Emet for Israel Liaison at the University of Windsor, Trevor Sher! We are so proud of UWJSA and Trevor!

The University of Windsor Jewish Students Association was privileged to be able to bring guest speaker Elliot Chodoff to campus on January 19th to talk about conflicts that are happening in the Middle East and strategic threats to Israel’s security. Mr. Chodoff is a political and military analyst specializing in the Middle East conflict and the global war on terrorism, and his publications have been widely disseminated in Canada and the U.S. Mr. Chodoff is also a Major in the IDF reserves and serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Population for the Northern Region of Israel in Home Front Command.

Chodoff1The event was well attended. We had over 60 people come out to hear Mr. Chodoff speak, primarily students but also including the President of the University, the Dean of Students, a couple of professors, and a few members from the Jewish community. There were also a few naysayers at the event – particularly the members of our campus’ Palestinian Solidarity Group (PSG) – but during the speaking part of the event everyone remained attentive and respectful.

Mr. Chodoff spoke about a broad range of topics. He talked about the assignment and nature of state borders of Middle Eastern countries; he talked about how the stability of regimes in the area is unpredictable based on our historical understanding of how regimes rise and fall and how this makes his job as an analyst difficult; and he talked about the civil war in Syria and the ISIS crisis in Iraq. He finished by discussing strategic threats to Israel’s security, which included a discussion of Hamas and Operation Protective Edge, Hezbollah, and Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. chodoff3

The Q&A part of the event was where things became interesting. We had a number of people ask intelligent and productive questions; however, there were a number of others who asked loaded questions that were solely designed to slander Israel and/or the speaker (e.g. one girl asked “how did a hate monger such as yourself get the opportunity to speak at a social justice school such as ours?”). The best moment of the event may have been near the end of the Q&A, when a girl put up her hand and said that she was a neutral uninformed party who came to the event to learn, and that she was astounded by the severity of the anti-Israel hate that was being spewed by some of the attendees.

On the whole, the event was extremely successful. We had a large number of people come out to learn about Israel and the situation in the Middle East, and feedback after the event was quite positive. Events such as this are essential in the fight to dispel misinformation about Israel, and we want to give a huge thank you to CAMERA for helping us make this event possible.

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Eagles For Israel Hosts Anat Berko

Eagles For Israel, the Emet for Israel student group at Boston College, organized a successful event where Anat Berko, author of The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers, was invited to speak about her personal conversations withScreen Shot 2014-12-16 at 1.48.08 PM women and children who have attempted to become suicide bombers.

Berko was able to connect with a diverse audience of about 40 students by discussing the sociological and psychological issues associated with terrorism. CCAP representative, Sonia Iosim, stated that “Dr. Berko gave a very interesting presentation on the psychological and cultural influences on women and children who become suicide Anat Berko Collage 4Dbombers. There was a great turnout and I think that everyone who attended was able to learn something new and shocking about the inner workings of terrorism.”

The student group managed to establish connections with other groups on campus as well as provide an evening of insightful conversation for all those who attended.

Later in the semester, the student group organized a Krav Maga event to teach students the Israeli martial art and attract a broad audience. Great job, Eagles For Israel!