Resources: Speakers for Master Chef Classes

Do you want to learn more about how to respond to BDS and to be an advocate for Israel? These experts are available to offer training:

Mitchell Bard

Mitchell Bard is the Executive Director of the nonprofit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and one of the leading authorities on U.S.-Middle East policy. Dr. Bard is also the director of the Jewish Virtual Library (www.JewishVirtualLibrary.org), the world’s most comprehensive online encyclopedia of Jewish history and culture. Bard holds a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and a master’s degree in public policy from Berkeley. He received his B.A. in economics from UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Bard’s work has been published in academic journals, magazines and major newspapers. He has written and edited 22 books, including Will Israel Survive?, Myths And Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East Conflict and 48 Hours of Kristallnacht. His latest book is The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.

What Dr. Bard can speak about: BDS issues, as well as the peace process,  the media, the Arab lobby, myths and facts about the conflict and more. Visit his web site – mitchellbard.com

Contact Information: Stephanie Kogan for details – aicepublicity@gmail.com

Omri Ceren and Andre Oboler

Omri Ceren is a political blogger and a PhD candidate studying communication and media at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication. His blog Mere Rhetoric – http://www.mererhetoric.com – focuses on the cultural, geopolitical, and economic aspects of the struggle between Western civilization and political Islam, and he hosts a weekly Internet radio show for One Jerusalem Radio. He also contributes regularly to Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism and Big Peace, and has been published in international outlets such as the Jerusalem Post.

Dr. Andre Oboler is the Director of the Community Internet Engagement Project at the Zionist Federation of Australia. He is a social media expert and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK, and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Political Science at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He is a former Legacy Heritage Fellow at NGO Monitor in Jerusalem, and edits ZionismOnTheWeb.org. While a student in the UK he served as National Secretary of the Union of Jewish Students and was heavily involved in the response to the UK academic boycotts.

What Mr. Ceren and Mr. Oboler can speak about: The sessions created by Andre and Omri will focus on political engagement and public argument through social media. Modules will examine the use of the web in mobilizing the international BDS movement, potential social media strategies for countering specific BDS efforts, and how new media technologies can be used to create a global anti-BDS pushback. In North America the sessions will be presented Omri.

Contact Information:  Omri Ceren – omri@mererhetoric.com; Andre Oboler – andre@oboler.com

Naftali Balanson

Using experience and expertise developed at NGO Monitor (see below), “Naming and Shaming 101” will teach skills necessary to implement this tactic in the fight against BDS. “Naming and Shaming” is not the only strategy, but it can be an effective tool in marginalizing pro-BDS activists.

A main component of the seminar will be developing strategies for maximizing impact of the material, including selecting best examples while setting aside weak ones that can detract from messaging.

NGO Monitor also provides useful resources that debunk many of the claims made by BDS activists in support of their campaigns, in particular detailed analyses of common misrepresentations of international law and allegations made by human rights organizations.

Naftali Balanson is managing editor at NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org), a Jerusalem-based research organization that generates critical analysis and reports on the output of the international NGO community and publicizes distortions of human rights issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has a Masters degree from Columbia University, and years of experience in informal and formal teaching settings.

What Mr. Balanson can speak about: This seminar will convey research methods that can identify key BDS activists on campus and their prior statements and activities: often self-proclaimed “human rights defenders” make partisan, or even antisemitic statements that reveal their true colors. Attention will also be given to uncovering the funders and supporters of BDS efforts, and methods for effective public condemnation of these key stakeholders.

Contact Information: email – naftali.balanson@ngomonitor.org; phone – +972-2-566-1020

David Olesker

David Olesker is the founder and director of the Jerusalem Center for Communication and Advocacy Training  (JCCAT). He is world-renowned Israel advocacy skills trainer, with three decades of experience with grassroots campus and community activists from five continents, as well as the staff of organizations like AIPAC and ADL.

What Mr. Olesker can speak about:

a)    What are the key flaws in the BDS argument.

b)    How to build coalitions that will nip BDS initiatives in the bud.

c)    How to run a campaign that will crush any BDS efforts that get beyond the planning stage.

d)    How to replace the divisiveness and negativity of BDS with dialog and pro-Israel activism.

Contact Information: email – jccat@iname.com; phone – +972-2-651-2610

Samuel Edelman

Dr. Samuel M. Edelman is the executive Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) in Los Angeles. His Ph.D. was from the University of Arizona. He is also and CSU Chico emeritus professor of Jewish and Holocaust Studies as well as Rhetoric and Communication Studies. He continues to lecture and teach on subjects such as Anti-Semitism, Genocide, Zionism and the Creation of Israel, and a variety of Communication topics. Edelman is the co-Director of the California State Center of Excellence in Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance Education and chief liaison to the State Taskforce. Edelman has numerous articles and book chapters on topics such as the Holocaust and cultural resistance, the Arab Israeli conflict, anti-Semitism and the new left, Jewish Christian dialogue, the history of anti-Semitism and Jewish rhetoric.

What Dr. Edelman can speak about:

a) Countering Propaganda

b) Using Fallacies of Argument to uncover false assertions

c) When Criticism of Israel becomes hate speech

d) What is rhetoric and how to use it in defense of Israel

Contact Information: spmeexecdir@gmail.com

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