Justice for Jews and Israel
Handbook of Israel Advocacy
Pro-Israel activists seem to be too often protesting AGAINST a foreign government action or a Palestinian claim or grass roots initiative such a boycott initiative. Perhaps this is a vestigial cultural habit from the bad old days of protesting decrees and expulsion orders of the Tsar, the Pope, the Pashas of the Turkish Empire, and the rulers of Europe.
Proactive actions are usually more effective than defensive ones. Remember that the only way to "immunize" people against the infinite variety of lies and half-truths manufactured by the other side is to give them the same set of facts and the same orientation as you have. They need to have schema and an understand of the history that will make them question the atrocity stories about Israel and the fairy tales about IDF killing Palestinians to rob their organs. That can only be built up through proactive advocacy.
Here is a non-comprehensive list of important issues and subjects that can help bring our story to the people. The issues and topics can be used for university study weeks, petitions, demonstrations and letter writing campaigns.
The right of the Jewish people to self-determination
The right of the Jewish people to self-determination should be the core of any Israel advocacy campaign of course. Denying that right is the core of anti-Israel advocacy, no matter how it is disguised. It is logically impossible to advocate a state for Palestinians without admitting the same right of self-determination for the Jewish people. Fair-minded people will see your point. Refusal of Palestinians and Arabs to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people (and its equivalent "Right of Return" that would flood Israel with refugees and eliminate the Jewish majority) is the central issue preventing peace, and has been since 1947 and before.
Until Arab states recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people, there is no real justice for the Jewish people and the conflict in the Middle East is not over. To move toward that end, western governments should be encouraged to back the policy that peace requires recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish People.
Jewish national rights in Jerusalem
We have an unbeatable set of claims to national rights in Jerusalem, based on both ancient and modern history. Jerusalem is not a side issue. It is of central importance, because in the perception of the world and especially the Arab world, "Palestine" or "Israel" is mostly Jerusalem. Since the time of the crusaders and before, whoever controlled Jerusalem has been considered to control the entire land. Therefore in a sense, the issue of Jerusalem is about Israel's right to exist. It is an issue of national rights, not religious sentiment.
Those claims have somehow been eroded by myths of flying horses tied to the Wailing Wall. religious issues and a proliferation of empty and often non-constructive slogans have confused them. Learn the facts and use them to build a Jerusalem week program at universities, demonstrations for recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and other activities.
[W]hoever controlled Jerusalem has been considered to control the entire land. Therefore in a sense, the issue of Jerusalem is about Israel's right to exist.
A quick summary of the facts to get you started: History of Jerusalem. The United States, supposedly Israel's best ally does not recognize any part of Jerusalem as part of Israel, in order to appease Arab sentiment.
Be proactive for peace. This dictum should be the principle that guides all your advocacy. Peace is ultimately an absolute necessity for Israel. It is the Arab side that has consistently refused to make peace by refusing to recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination. That has been the basis of the conflict since 1947. As with the Jerusalem issue, extraneous claims and confused thinking have muddied the message. "Peace" plans that call for flooding Israel with refugees, giving up all rights to Jerusalem and denying that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people are not about peace with Israel. They are about peace without Israel.
Be Proactive for Peace
Plan a Peace in the Middle East event at your campus or a Middle East Peace day.
Jewish refugees from Arab countries
About 800,000 Jews were forced to flee Arab and Muslim countries with no compensation. Amazingly, no claims were made by the Israeli government for their rights until recently, and most people were unaware that this massive ethnic cleansing took place. A coalition of groups has been conducting a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of these refugees, with some success. Some information to get you started:
Human Rights in the Middle East
The plight of minorities in Arab and Muslim countries and suppression of religious and political freedoms is practically ignored by the UN and rights organizations.
Some materials that may inspire action programs -
Israel is a Normal Country
Too many people, including Jews, picture Israel as a war-torn desert. Sponsor initiatives that show people that Zionism and Israel are a success. We have a prosperous economy, successes in hi-tech, great beaches, good looking and intelligent young people, glamorous fashion models and wonderful tourist attractions. Initiate an Israel Day on campus. Invite people to come to for a visit, distribute articles about Israeli successes in hi-tech and Israeli humanitarian initiatives from Israel21c, show them films about Israel. Young Jewish people should be aware that they can visit Israel for free though the Birthright Israel program. Invite people who have been to Israel to relate their experiences. Write about daily life in Israel. Make people see Israelis and Zionists as human beings.
Fair Play for Israel at the UN
UN bias against Israel is institutionalized. It is not just a matter of anti-Israel resolutions, but more importantly, a set of institutions that were created in order to crank out anti-Israel propaganda. Nonetheless, the United States and other western countries continue to acquiesce in and pay for programs that are designed to demonize Israel and perpetuate the Arab Palestinian refugee problem, such as UNRWA, The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People ("Right" of return of the Palestinian refugees), the Durban conference that turned into a platform for Israel-bashing and anti-Semitism, and endless on-sided human rights resolutions.
Details and a link to a petition: The Question of Palestine
Several UN resolutions call for disarmament of the Hezbollah. However, UNFIL and the UN have made no attempt to disarm the group and neither has the Lebanese government. Syria smuggles in weapons to the group. They continue to threaten Israel and to hold the Lebanese government hostage to their program of terrorism and Islamism.
Get the Hamas out of Gaza
Hamas took power in a bloody coup. The group abuses the rights of Palestinians, does not allow for basic freedoms like freedom of the press, of opposition groups and activities. It tramples on rights of women, gay people and Christians. It wages war against Israel in line with its declaredly genocidal policy. In its charter, it calls not only for the destruction of Israel, but for the killing of all Jews to make the End of Times possible. Hamas leaders call regularly for the killing of Jews, deny the Holocaust and call it a Zionist lie and invention, and Hamas TV programs call on little children to sacrifice themselves for the homeland. They practice for "martyrdom" in hundreds of summer camps. Yet many political leaders and 'experts' advocate 'engaging' Hamas and recognizing it as an important factor whose consent is necessary for any peace process to succeed. Peace with Hamas is impossible unless it changes both its ideology and tactics. Unless they do change, removing Hamas is the only hope for peace.
Stop funding incitement
Demand that support for organizations like UNRWA and the PA be accompanied by a more critical approach and review of what they do with the money and by demands that they stop incitement against Israel. Point out that hundreds of schools run by the PA are named after 'heroes of the resistance' and 'freedom fighters' that killed little children in buses and restaurants in Israel and that these same 'heroes' are often praised in PA supported media.
Funding of peace groups
European and American governments and foundations should be investing in initiatives that promote peace and coexistence. Instead, funding is diverted to NGOs that claim that they are for peace but generate incitement and hate, advocate violent struggle and delegitimize Israel. The "peace" groups are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Ask for funding to be channeled to real peace groups that promote dialogue, coexistence and education for peace, according to strict criteria. Demand a stop to USA/European support for organizations that advocate against Israel and peace, call for sanctions and boycotts against Israel etc.
EU and its member states in particular, as well as other European states support a number of so called peace and human rights organizations that are one-sided at best and sometimes advocate against peace and a two state solution. Examples are the Alternative Information Centre, Adalah, Betselem, Al Haq, BADIL ICAHD, and many others. These organizations do not serve peace.
The Zionist Transformation of the Land
Until not long ago, it was still remembered that "Palestine" had been a poverty stricken, underpopulated country in the nineteenth century, in which Jews in particular, were targets of Muslim intolerance. Traveler after traveler reported the maltreatment of Jews, the emptiness and squalor of the land. The transformation wrought by Zionists in Palestine impressed even the most hardened critics. It impressed Winston Churchill even in the 1920s, and it impressed both the Anglo-American commission of inquiry and the UNSCOP commission.
Anti-Israel "narratives" have replaced these facts with a fictional tale of a prosperous nineteenth century paradise, wherein Jews and Arabs lived in peace, prosperity and harmony, under the gracious and wise rule of the Ottoman Sultan. It's up to us to help restore the truth. Israel is the only country in the world that has more trees at the beginning of the twenty-first century than it had at the beginning of the twentieth century. Making the desert bloom is not just a slogan. In one day, the Israel National Water Carrier pumps more water than was pumped in all of Palestine in the entire year of 1948. As a result of Zionist investment, Israel supports a larger Arab population than the land ever supported in the past.
Initiate an Israel Democracy Week at your university or community center, or start an advertisement campaign to educate the public. Tell people the facts about Israeli democracy, and about political repression in other Middle Eastern states. Israel is the oldest working democracy in the Middle East. Turkey and Iraq have joined us. Welcome. Israeli Arabs have more rights and more freedom than their neighbors in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria or Egypt. In fact, they have more rights than Arabs living anywhere else in the Middle East. They can vote in free elections and have recourse to fair courts and due process. Women and gay people are not subject to discrimination and repression. Like all Israeli citizens, they enjoy free speech and freedom of the press. They have complete freedom of religious worship. Most Israeli Arabs are unwilling to live anywhere else, including a Palestinian state, should one be formed. Palestinian Arabs rate Israeli democracy as the system they most admire.
Proud to be a Zionist
Besides Israeli democracy, there are many reasons to be proud to be a Zionist. Make sure people know them:
Israel redeemed the honor of the Jewish people. Jews are no longer thought of as passive, contemptible cowards.
Israel has fought for the rights of Jews in the USSR and elsewhere and has helped them to win their freedom, regardless of whether they came to live in Israel or opted to live elsewhere.
The Zionist community in mandatory Palestine, despite meager resources and Arab and British opposition, rescued hundreds of thousands of European Jews who would have otherwise perished in the Holocaust.
Israel has successfully absorbed millions of Jewish immigrants from all over the world - people of many races and backgrounds including Jews from Europe, Asia and Africa. Israel has also given shelter to refugees from Vietnam, and to Muslim refugees from Sudan and former Yugoslavia.
Not a single Jew remained in any of the places conquered by the Jordanians and Egyptians in 1948, including the old city of Jerusalem. There are more Arabs living in Jerusalem today under Israeli rule then have ever lived there in all of recorded history.
This material is copyright © 2009 by Ami Isseroff and members of the Zio-Web group. No part may be reproduced without permission in any form.
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Zionism - Definition and Brief History - A balanced article that covers the definitions and history of Zionism as well as opposition to Zionism and criticisms by Arabs, Jewish anti-Zionists.
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