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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Unbelievably Difficult Challenge for Pro-Israel Students on Campuses

Yesterday, I met, listened to, spoke to and observed a few dozen young campus activists who were trying to learn and absorb tools to enable them to not only cope with the terrible malignant anti-Israel atmosphere in university campuses around the world, but to try to find the magic potion to change the minds of the enemy Arab activists they study with. Yes, that's a very difficult, almost insurmountable challenge even for the most knowledgeable expert in history, psychology, propaganda and public relations.

I attended the Israel Advocacy Seminar run by David Bedein, with the assistance of Gail Winston and the "Winston Israel News" in memory of her late husband Manny.

The seminar was organized to help the students mostly on foreign campuses throughout the world, although it was attended by people of all ages. Today we are all in a position to advocate for Israel. That is the beauty of social media.  Even a simple email gives one a very powerful tool. I spoke to the group about blogging, telling them that with a blog they own and run their own internet newspaper or magazine. It can be done without expending any money. You don't even need a computer. A tablet or smartphone will do the trick.


Considering that I'm old enough to be the grandmother of the students, I was very curious about the world they live in. They were pretty quiet when given the opportunity to question Noam Bedein of the Sederot Media Center,

Nobody asked Bassam Eid of Activists for Human Rights in the Palestinian Authority the question that ran through my mind about the legitimacy of the term "Palestinian" after hearing what he had to say. Bli neder, not an oath, I'll blog about that in another post.

The speaker who really woke them up was the factual and blunt Sha'i Ben Tekoa, author of the invaluable book Phantom Nation: Inventing the "Palestinians" as the Obstacle to Peace. His invaluable information was received by many as if it was a diagnosis of cancer. Today's young students were there to get an easy to swallow pill to counteract the anti-Israel atmosphere, professors and activists on campus, and Sha'i informed them that there was no easy cure. No simple pill, slogan or formula. They begged him. They argued with him.



I just wanted to cry, to hug them. 
Kids, the world hates us. You're not going to change them. All we can do for you is to try to make you stronger and clarify the facts.



There were also older participants who couldn't or wouldn't accept the simple fact that it's useless and dangerous to negotiate with the Arabs, since their word can't be trusted. I agree with Sha'i Ben Tekoa that this is a fact and not racism.

Sha'i gave the history, well-documented, about the myth, lie, fallacy of Arab Palestine. I strongly suggest reading his book or getting him as a speaker in English or Hebrew. Certainly check out his site. And listen to him here, which is the basic talk he gave to us.


I didn't stay until the end of the program, my loss for sure.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Batya, I just wanted to say ASHRAICH!!

The blogging that you do is incredibly important.

I want to qualify what you said: much of the world hates us, much of the world sides with Arabs on account of oil interests, then there there is the indifferent lot, but there are some who love us. They may be a small minority but they do exist. In my travels I have randomly met people who on discovering that I was Jewish told me very emotionally how much they love the Jewish people and Israel.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the plight of Jewish students on campuses, I think the first point they should make is this:

If someone cares about all humanity and they speak out equally with respect to the carnage in Syria, the 5000 killed in Nigeria this year alone, etc, etc, then they have moral credibility and they are worth a debate.
See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

However, anyone who speaks out only about the deaths of civilians in Gaza, but not by the tens of thousands all around the globe, simply has no moral credibility. They should be asked why is it only when Israel is involved that they speak out.

Batya Medad said...

A1, A2, thank you both

Rickismom said...

came from HH- very intersting

Batya Medad said...

RM thanks