Be Proactive

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

— Margaret Mead, anthropologist

Goals

  • Set a pro-peace and pro-Israel tone on campus
  • Create a climate where there is always something happening related to Israel
  • Israel supporters can and should come from all sides of the political spectrum and represent all facets of the student population
  • Do not sit back and wait for others to assail Israel. Instead of reacting, it is important to set the agenda.

Tactics

  • Promote activities related to Israel
  • Israel should not only be viewed through the prism of the conflict – every aspect of Israel should be explored, discussed and celebrated on campus
  • Bring speakers to talk about current events, archaeology, Israel’s high-tech industry, advances in medicine, and in the environment
  • Sponsor cultural activities such as dances, art exhibitions, and concerts
  • Get involved with the campus media. If you aren’t on staff, send in op-eds. Don’t wait for someone to attack Israel, start beating the media drum by sending in letters and articles today and continue until the year ends.
  • Join your student government – use your position as an opportunity to create positive programming to advance understanding about the Middle East
  • Build relationships and organize events with other groups on campus: College democrats, republicans, Christian groups, ethnic organizations, Greeks, Progressive groups.
  • Educate yourself and your fellow students. Read Myths and Facts: A Guide to Understanding the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
  • Engage in dialogue: learn all sides of the conflict so you can respond in a clear, calm and educated manner

Messages

  • Mutuality – You  need to demonstrate that you truly desire the best for everyone – not just Israelis, but also Palestinians. Your communication must convey an understanding that the current state of affairs challenges the safety and human rights of all people in the region – including neighboring Arab peoples – not just the Israeli people.
  • Israel isn’t perfect - American students have no obligation to defend every Israeli action and they have every right to express an independent view. They do, however, have an obligation to put issues in the proper context. So long as you have a love of Israel, it is possible to have legitimate concerns, as every citizen of Israel does. Critics, however, who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, who speciously denigrate Zionism as a form of racism, and whose intent is not to improve Israel but to destroy her, are simply trying to use the academy’s guarantees of free speech to cloak their bigotry.