by Sarit Catz
Sunday night I attended the annual CAMERA Gala Dinner. CAMERA is the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, a non-partisan media-monitoring and research organization promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. The food was very, very good. Really good. My-skirt-was-tight good.
But that wasn’t the best part. The dinner honored Khaled Abu Toameh, a courageous Arab Muslim journalist who declared, “I’m not pro-Israel. I’m not pro-Palestinian. I’m pro-The Truth.”
Attendees also heard from keynote speaker Douglas Murray, associate director of the Henry Jackson Society. The Society is a cross-partisan, British-based think tank supporting a strong commitment to freedom, liberty, constitutional democracy, and human rights. Though not Jewish, Murray frequently defends Israel as it is aligned with those values, being a free liberal constitutional democracy that respects human rights.
Murray made a number of important points in his address that resonated with those of us who care about advocating for Israel. Among them:
1. Take on opponents of Israel wherever you find them — on campuses, in the media, in the political arena, in the churches, in non-governmental organizations. They are everywhere and so must we be.
2. Be proactive, not just reactive. Make the case for Israel affirmatively; don’t wait to be confronted and then figure out what to do. There are a lot of excellent things to say about Israel. Say them.
3. Don’t preemptively concede by starting your argument with “Yes, Israel has its problems, but…” Every country has its problems, nobody listens past the “but,” and your opponents will never reciprocate. You will never hear anti-Israel partisans say, “Sure, Hamas wants to kill all the Jews and violently oppresses women, gays, and religious minorities, but…,” or “Of course, the Palestinian Authority is a corrupt regime that jails journalists, bullies Christians, and tortures prisoners, but…”
And finally, Murray added the most important point. The truth is on Israel’s side. This is a fact that can never be forgotten.
The Israel and World Affairs Committee of the Community Relations Committee of Greater MetroWest NJ is engaged in robust Israel advocacy programs. We are rolling out our second Step Up For Israel film series. If you would like to bring these films to your synagogue or organization, please let us know.
We are recruiting for Write On For Israel, an incredible two-year program that trains high school students to become advocates for Israel through journalism and includes an eight-day mission to Israel.
And, on May 19, we will again present Will You Know How to Stand Up For Israel on Your College Campus?, an interactive morning program preparing high school students to respond to anti-Israel activities on college campuses and put them in touch with organizations and resources available to them.
In addition, our informative website, Campaign for Truth (www.campaignfortruth.info), houses a wealth of information that can prepare you not only to counter false accusations against and misinformation about Israel, but also to proactively argue the case for the one and only free Jewish state.
Take on opponents of Israel, be proactive, never concede, and always remember the truth is on Israel’s side.
Please join the CRC. Get involved in our work. If you have any questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org.