Newsletter for May 31, 2007
|Hasbara Fellowships Newsletter|
Group picture of Hasbara Fellowships Canada (left)
On May 7th, 34 students from 14 Canadian universities made their way to Jerusalem to participate in the Hasbara Fellowships program in Israel. The Hasbara Fellows met with influential Israelis such as Jerusalem Post journalists Khaled Abu Toameh and Gil Hoffman, and Palestinian Media Watch founder Itamar Marcus. The students toured the security barrier, the Golan region, Israel's southern borders and more. They learned about Israel's humanitarian aid and visited the Save a Child's Heart house. The participants also enjoyed a spectacular group Shabbat in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Hasbara Fellows are returning to their campuses well prepared for an exciting year of Israel activism! Check out our Hasbara Fellowships Blog.
Students on a recent Hasbara Fellowships trip (left)
Registration is still open for this summer's Hasbara Fellowships Activism Training Program in Israel! Past programs have met with Israeli leaders such as Shimon Peres, Natan Sharansky, Dore Gold and Bibi Netanyahu. You will acquire effective Israel activism training, learn from fellow activists from campuses across North America, meet top Israeli politicians and leaders, and gain specific programming ideas and campaigns to bring back to your campus. Come explore Israeli and Middle Eastern history and politics and sharpen your activism skills!
Registration is still open for the August 5th-August 21st program. Top pro-Israel university activists from across North America are invited to APPLY NOW for this summer's programs.
Yom Ha'atzmaut was the word on the Stanford University campus, as the Stanford Israel Alliance celebrated Israel's 59th birthday. Over 200 students came out to celebrate Israeli music, art, and food, in addition to learning from an array of material from Hasbara Fellowships. UCLA celebrated Israel's 59th Independence Day with a phenomenal festival on Bruin Walk. Over 3,000 students viewed booths offering Israeli food, music, t-shirts, CDs and a souvenir sale. The Israel week culminated with a special 250 person Israeli Shabbat dinner. Kol Hakovad to incoming Hasbara Fellow Shirley Eshag-Hay and to Hasbara Fellow Lauren Winkler for organizing the week-long celebration.
At UC Davis, students had a chance to experience Israel 360, the dynamic multi- media presentation about Israel... from A to Z! Over 50 students came out to view the presentation, taught by Senior Campus Coordinator for the West Coast, Elran Tsabag. Israel 360 engages those who knew little about Israel by highlighting exciting components of Israeli history, geography, and culture. Special thanks to Hasbara Fellow Brian Levine, who helped promote the event, and congratulations to Emily Wasson, who won the iPod raffle drawing. Click here to bring Israel 360 to your campus in September!
The Greater Sacramento Jewish community celebrated Israel's 59th Independence Day with a huge celebration at the California State Capitol. Of course, nobody could keep away from the Hasbara Fellowships table, which showcased the hit Flags for Humanity campaign - everyone loved it!
On May 13th, the Stanford Israel Alliance, Stanford Hillel and Hasbara Fellowships hosted Harvard Law Professor and Israeli advocate- author Alan Dershowitz. With a packed house of 1,300 students, Dershowitz spoke about Israel's right to exist, the regional and international threats posed, and the dangers that pose a threat to us on university campuses across North America.
Professor Alan Dershowitz(left)
Professor Alan Dershowitz spoke at Northwestern University on May 9th to a packed audience totaling over 350! Students and community members were treated to an in-depth discussion concerning global affairs.
Hasbara Fellows Gabi Lupatkin, Ariella Newberger, and Alison Schwartzbaum hosted Nissim Rueben, an Indian Jew of the American Jewish Congress. Mr. Rueben spoke to a diverse and captivated audience about the unique and deep relationship between Israel and India. Mr. Rueben touched on issues of commerce, technology and culture and also discussed the current status of the Jewish community in India. An event that brought together the pro-Israel and Indian community is the first in a series of cross-culture programs to be showcased by Hasbara Fellows at Brandeis in the semesters to come.
The Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning selected the lecture given by Israeli Arab Journalist Khaled Abu Toameh at the George Washington University as one of the ten best events in the Washington DC area for the 2006-7 school year! Hasbara Fellows Harry Baumgarten and Sharona Getz put together the spectacular event and were presented with an award for their efforts. Over 120 students, community members and Hillel professionals were in attendance. The event was cosponsored by Hillel, the Student Alliance for Israel, the Jewish Student Association, the Israel Campus Coalition of Greater Washington, and Hasbara Fellowships. The event was an enormous success - Congratulations GW Fellows!
Everyone knows about Wikipedia, a place to go to get the 'real' scoop. How often do you use Wikipedia to look up subjects you know little about? Now imagine how often other people use Wikipedia to look up subjects related to Israel.
Wikipedia is not an objective resource but rather an online encyclopedia that any one can edit. The result is a website that is in large part is controlled by 'intellectuals' who seek re-write the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. These authors have systematically yet subtly rewritten key passages of thousands of Wikipedia entries to portray Israel in a negative light.
You have the opportunity to stop this dangerous trend! If you are interested in joining a team of Wikipedians to make sure Israel is presented fairly and accurately, please contact email@example.com for details!
Britain has become in recent years the battlefield in Israel's fight for its existence as a Jewish state. The number of British organizations calling for the boycott of Israel, their public campaigns, and their constant comparisons between Israel and the apartheid regime of South Africa have made the battle for British public opinion particularly significant. In the face of boycott proposals by Britain's National Union of Journalists, by a group of British doctors and a group of architects, and in the wake of the Anglican Church's decision to divest from companies cooperating with Israel, even the Israeli left has no choice but to fight back.
Taking off the gloves in this debate involves knowingly foregoing the kudos that British academia lavishes on all who are willing to express anti-Israel stands. The British University and College Union has even had the temerity to proclaim that Israeli lecturers who disown the policies of the Israeli government will not be boycotted. It is British academics who should lose sleep over this McCarthyistic demand. Academic freedom means first of all an open exchange of opinions, without coercion, and not shutting people's mouths.