Israel Needs A Bigger Message

Tags: Zionism, Israel Engagement, Media, Diaspora, Activism, Antisemitism

By David Suissa
The Jewish Journal
Jan 9, 2014

"Students for Justice in Palestine"

I’m repulsed by these anti-Israel groups on college campuses that pretend to care about oppressed people in the Middle East. They don’t. What they really care about is undermining Israel. Groups like Students for Justice in Palestine, for example, have no interest in engaging in a constructive debate about Israeli-Palestinian co-existence. What they live for is to single out Israel and crush it.

No wonder UCLA Chancellor Gene Block quickly released a statement last week opposing the vote by anti-Israel students that singled out Israel in a divestment resolution. Maybe he saw how crazy it is to go after the only democracy in the Middle East while tens of millions of poor souls throughout the region are living under brutal dictatorships.

I remember interviewing Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh a few years ago, after he finished a tour of campuses across the United States. When he asked pro-Palestinian students, “What makes you pro-Palestinian?” they had nothing good to say about Palestinians. All they could say was, “Israel is an apartheid state,” “Israel is a violent oppressor,” etc.

It’s only gotten worse. Anti-Israel groups on U.S. campuses have become so brazen that their actions have started to backfire, as we saw with Chancellor Block’s statement.

But what about the pro-Israel movement? What’s the best way to respond to the hypocrisy and bad faith of these anti-Israel groups?

Here’s a tip — not by going into the mud with them. Not by simply responding and reacting. Not by letting them frame the debate.

Defending Israel against unfair resolutions is important, but it’s not enough. What the pro-Israel movement must do is ambush the enemy with a big, positive idea — an idea that will galvanize the movement and empower all students on campus, Jewish and non-Jewish, to support Israel.

Yes, of course, it’s a pipe dream to expect the Arab world to look to Israel to transform its societies. But that’s not the point. The point is to transform the debate about Israel.

Read the full article HERE

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Tags: Zionism, Israel Engagement, Media, Diaspora, Activism, Antisemitism