CU-Monitor© 2018

A New Approach to Advocating for Israel

Anne Green

Jewish Boston

Wed Jul 18 2018

"Maccabee noted that pro-Israel groups respond “by talking about all the good things Israel does, like inventing drip irrigation and being the nation that has Gal Gadot, that created cherry tomatoes and has the best hummus.” He explained that this narrative doesn’t work to counter the narratives depicting Israel as aggressive, colonialist and murderous. “Neither does talking about Israel as the Promised Land or evoking the Holocaust.” "

"Maccabee went on to discuss the unique ways in which SSI at Columbia has responded to anti-Israel attacks. When the annual Israel Apartheid Week was held by anti-Israel groups at the school, SSI set up a giant Pinocchio balloon to call out the lies being spewed against Israel. The Columbia administration had it taken down, which led to a “Free Pinocchio” campaign on social media, which was picked up in the wider media. “Don’t be afraid to stand up,” he asserted. “It’s good to get media attention.” SSI also held a Hebrew Liberation Week, A Celebration of Semitism, focusing on Jews as indigenous to Judea. The group also set up a table on campus backed by a banner which read, “Jews are indigenous to Israel. Change my mind.” This was a challenge that led to meaningful dialogue among students. They also held a panel on “intersectional Zionism” featuring gay, black and other minority Zionists."

A New Approach to Advocating for Israel