Tag Archives: israel campus advocacy

CAMERA Fellows in Focus: Jonathan Manevitch

The CAMERA Fellowship program supports student leaders in developing and strengthening their pro-Israel activism on campus. With the school year underway, InFocus is giving you an inside look into the lives of the 2016-17 CAMERA Fellows who are working hard to promote the facts about Israel on campus.

Meet Jonathan Manevitch.

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Many of the CAMERA Fellows advocate for Israel on American campuses and some speak up for Israel at their Israeli university campuses. Many work together with other Israel advocates or students who are very educated about Israel to counter anti-Zionism on their campuses. Over in Scotland, Jonathan stands very independently as a CAMERA Fellow and as a representative of Israel in the face of anti-Israel rhetoric at the University of Glasgow. His task is not easy in the slightest and his dedication to be the pro-Israel voice of his region is not to be overlooked.

Currently a fourth year student at the University of Glasgow, Jonathan studies Political Sciences.

Jonathan is a graduate of the EUJS seminar at the United Nations where he first developed a passion for international humanitarian law under the auspices of Ido Rosenzweig of Haifa’s Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions.

Jonathan has always been interested in politics. As his knowledge and perspective on political issues have developed, his interest in Israeli and Middle Eastern politics grew. However, Jonathan did not remain solely intellectually curious about Israel-related issues. Soon enough, he took action and gradually rose as a student leader in his Jewish student community.

As he came to understand that Israel is often held to a much higher standard than comparable nations involved in similar situations, Jonathan felt increasingly compelled and passionate about defending Israel and sharing the truth on his campus and in his community. In addition, Jonathan eventually came to the realization that the United Nations have abandoned principles formulated in the UN Charter, making it unfit for function, especially with regards to Israel.

Jonathan has studied Israel and Israeli politics very thoroughly on his own. He is very excited to now be involved with CAMERA on Campus. As a CAMERA Fellow, he knows he will be an even more successful Israel advocate on his campus this year. Oftentimes Israel advocates feel overwhelmed and intimidated by opposing views from their fellow students. Between his advanced and vast knowledge about Israel and now the support of the international CAMERA community, CAMERA on Campus knows Jonathan will make a great impact at the University of Glasgow and respond knowledgeably and appropriately to conflicting views–CAMERA on Campus is very excited to see his progress!

Semester in Review: Brooklyn College

The Israel Club at Brooklyn College hosted Brooke Goldstein, a New York City-based human rights attorney, author, and award-winning filmmaker, for a discussion examining human rights issues in the Middle East with a focus on children in the West Bank and Gaza. The kickoff event, cosponsored by CAMERA and The Brooklyn College Chapter of The New York State Israel Public Affairs Committee (NYSIPAC), had a turnout of over 60 students, representing varying views. CAMERA Fellow and Israel Club Board Member, Hayeem Rudy, believed that “Goldstein’s talk shed light on the shocking violation of children’s rights perpetrated by extremist groups in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 5.35.15 PMLater in the semester, The Israel Club hosted a discussion with IDF Sergeant Benjamin Anthony, who talked about the ethical considerations that the Israeli military faces on a daily basis. This event was incredibly successful, bringing together over 80 students from across the Brooklyn College Campus. Rudy said that one student told him that this was the most eye-opening event he had ever attended at Brooklyn College.

Next semester, the pro-Israel club will continue hosting informative events, showcasing the great things about Israel besides the conversation about the Arab Israeli conflict. Rudy says that the group is “looking forward to bridging the gap between the students at Brooklyn College.”

Semester in Review: YOFI’s Successful Pro-Israel Events

The pro-Israel group at Baruch College, YOFI, has hosted numerous successful events this semester. To kick off the semester, YOFI hosted an informative event titled “International Branding: A Case Study on Israel.” The event taught students about the concept of branding and how they can apply that to current events in Israel. YOFI cosponsored the event with numerous pro-Israel groups on campus, helping students to understand how media and advertisements affect how they feel and perceive. EMET member Yuval Solomon stated that people came up to him and specifically said that although they had seen the news about Israel, that they never realized how difficult it was to combat the negativity Israel faces. Over 30 students were in attendance for this enlightening event!

1620362_1515193025395375_5095589539922553256_nIn addition to their great starter event, in early November YOFI hosted Kasim Hafeez for a candid conversation where he took students through his journey from a militant Islamist to an ardent supporter of universal freedoms. The event was co-sponsored by Hillel at Baruch, StandwithUs, Hasbara Fellowships, UJA Federation of NY, and the Jewish Agency, bringing a large and diverse crowd.

YOFI had a great fall semester! We look forward to hearing about the next pro-Israel events that the group will be hosting this spring!

 

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!

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.”

Clark University Hosts “Less Hamas More Humus: Featuring Noam Bedein and the Reality of Israelis Living Under Rocket Fire in Sderot”

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 5.29.46 PMAt the beginning of October, Clarkies Helping and Advocating for Israel (CHAI), the pro-Israel group at Clark University, hosted Noam Bedein for their Less Hamas More Hummus event. Bedein is the founder and director of the Sderot Media Center, a media advocacy center which portrays the human face of Sderot and Southern Israel under siege, to the international media and public. He came to Clark University to discuss the reality of Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 6.38.59 PMIsraelis consistently living under rocket fire and how this contributed to the continued stress and trauma of Israeli society. He also discussed what life is like for children in kindergartens that are systematically targeted and the hope that these children continue to cling on to.

CAMERA Fellow and member of CHAI, Seth Greenwald, stated that “we wanted to show people a narrative that is too often ignored, the reality of Israelis underfire. If it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead, so Sderot is often ignored due to the lack of casualties.”

An incredibly diverse audience consisting of over 40 people and many international students attended this event. Greenwald admitted that “It [the event] exceeded my expectations. The audience that we had was not only larger than at all previous events, but it was significantly more diverse. Also all participants seemed to have a genuine interest and respect for both Noam’s story and the people of Sderot.”

Madison Israel Club Promoting Israel Through Discussion-Based Events

This past semester, Madison Israel Club (MIC), the pro-Israel Emet for Israel student group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, orchestrated an event titled Less Hamas, More Hummus in an effort to educate students about Operation Protective Edge and provide a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges that Israel faces. The discussion-based event helped students to feel become engaged in the pro-Israel conversation.

10337720_774067672666959_5832514027789711774_nLater in the semester, MIC hosted an event titled Terrorism Financing and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict which was cosponsored by Jewish and Political Science organizations. The event, featuring Avi Jorisch, was intended to complicate students’ current understanding of the Middle East by providing a new perspective. Emet for Israel representative, Alexandra Zimmern, stated that “students were extremely interested in Jorisch’s talk on terrorism finance, as the event engaged dozens of students who are now joining the fight against Israel bias in Madison.”

MIC’s successful events generated awareness and attracted new members to the student group! Nicely done, MIC! We are proud of you!

 

Bulls for Israel Bring New Students In

Bulls for Israel, our Emet for Israel (formerly CCAP) group at the U10807042_741820409227311_1626151971_nniversity of South Florida, hosted a successful event entitled Understanding Israel this past fall semester, with the hopes of educating students about Israel’s culture and the impact it has on the world. The event consisted of three “stations” between which students rotated. The stations each had different themes, which included Jerusalem, Israeli culture (Bedouin, Tzfat), and Israel’s advancement in medicine, agriculture, and technology.

Emet (CCAP) Representative Julianna Konsulian said that multiple professors invited their students, so the majority of people who attended were new to the pro-Israel groups’ events. Konsulian also stated that, “the day after the event, a professor forwarded us an email from a Muslim student saying how much they enjoyed our event and that they learned a lot about Israel’s culture.”

10807006_741820345893984_91342130_nOver 60 students attended this event, and the majority of them were not very familiar with Bulls for Israel. Understanding Israel was so successful that multiple students in attendance expressed interest in joining Bulls for Israel.

Konsulian couldn’t be happier with the event. “We had a fantastic reaction from the audience, as students sent their professors positive emails after the event. There was a general agreement that the event was educational and enjoyable too.”

Great job to Bulls for Israel for hosting this incredible program!

CCAP’s Anteaters For Israel Spreading the Word at UC Irvine

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 7.22.58 PMAnteaters For Israel (AFI), our CCAP  group at UC Irvine, has been conducting successful events throughout the Fall 2014 semester. The group started the year off by tabling on campus to attract potential new AFI members while promoting a positive image of Israel after an extremely tumultuous summer.

The group took a creative approach to promoting a positive image of Israel by running a photo campaign where students passing by could fill out a poster with the words “I love Israel because…”

The tabling was a hit with approximately 65 new students who chose to sign up to learn more about AFI! The group proceeded to organize an interactive trivia event at a pub to welcome their new members.

Later in the semester, AFI attracted new and old members to a tabling event, which was held to build awareness and raise money for the Israeli charity, Save a Child’s Heart. That same night, AFI also held a vigil for the victims of the terrorist attack in the Israeli town of Har Nof and their families. CCAP representative and AFI president, Sharon Shaoulian, explained that, “AFI is doing our best to attract new members using a healthy balance of politics and culture to make supporting Israel feel like a privilege rather than a burden.”

Graduate Student at Missouri University Writes Strong Response to Saree Makdisi’s Anti-Israel Lecture

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We are so proud of Daniel Swindell, a graduate student at Missouri University, for his Letter To The Editor in response to Saree Makdisi’s lecture at MU titled “The Everyday Occupation of Palestine.” Read Daniel’s piece below:

Editor, the Tribune: I attended the Saree Makdisi lecture at MU titled “The Everyday Occupation of Palestine.” I expected a lecture on security checkpoints and other difficulties, and those were mentioned. But the flier didn’t mention that the lecture would include a denial of the Jewish historical connection to the land and that Makdisi would advocate for the destruction of Israel.

First, the introductory speaker explained the conflict as one between the “Zionist and the indigenous population.” Anyone who has heard of the Bible knows that Jewish nationhood, language and religion all originate in Israel, which means Jews are indigenous to Israel, and a minority has always remained. And, “Zionism is the nationalist movement of Jews.” But this statement means Jews’ movement to regain their nation is in conflict with the “real” indigenous population or that Jews are not indigenous.

Makdisi then advocated for Israel to be removed from the map and replaced by a new binational state. Or, as Makdisi asserted, “all that has to happen is to remove the borders.” Calling for Israel to be replaced with an entirely different binational state is the politically correct way of saying that Israel should be destroyed without sounding violent. Yet, trying to destroy Israel is the reason there has been so much bloodshed. As a Jewish alumnus of MU, words fail to express the moral disappointment of knowing six departments sponsored a man who came to inspire students to work for a world without Israel.

Daniel Swindell