Hot Topic: Israel
Campaign to Delegitimize Israel
In recent years, a concerted, organized and well financed campaign to delegitimize Israel has intensified. This campaign, which goes well beyond criticism of Israel's policies, distorts the history of the Jewish state, ignoring the national aspirations of the Jewish people to live in peace in a homeland to which we have been connected continuously for more than three millennia.
It is within this environment -- in which Israel is repeatedly blamed regardless of the facts -- that a global network of NGOs has emerged to urge the use of Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) as a tactic to isolate the State of Israel. This campaign, which has posed a significant challenge to the Israel advocacy community, has manifested itself in various spheres in which we work, including churches and campuses, as well as corporate, civic and cultural arenas. The Israel Advocacy Initiative (IAI) has emerged as the principal coordinating body for countering the campaign to delegitimize Israel, which has become a major priority for our community.
The IAI builds grassroots support for Israel. Launched jointly by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the IAI works with more than 150 communities to enhance the capacity of Jewish Community Relations Councils and Federations to meet local Israel advocacy challenges within a nationally coordinated and strategic framework. Learn more about the IAI.
Specifically in 2009-2010, the IAI worked tirelessly to devise advocacy strategies to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, counter the intensifying global campaign to delegitimize Israel, and interpret developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to community leaders. Although we hope and pray for a day when this advocacy is no longer needed and Israel is finally at peace, the increasing sophistication of Israel’s detractors demands that we keep the U.S. – Israel relationship strong.
WHAT DOES THE IAI DO?
- Builds support for Israel and for a vibrant US-Israel relationship
- Develops resources necessary for successful Israel advocacy
- Trains Jewish professionals, volunteers, high school and college students to effectively educate and reach out to their non-Jewish peers
- Enables our community to respond quickly and effectively to challenges posed
- Exposes non-Jewish influentials to the complexities of modern Israel
HOW DOES THE IAI MAKE AN IMPACT?
- Thousands of activists trained
- More than 100 communities served
- Israel divestment efforts thwarted in communities, churches, and on campuses throughout the country
- Nearly 100 key non-Jewish influentials shown the complexities of Israel firsthand
- Dozens of innovative programs funded through awarded micro-grants
IAI helps more than 150 communities, large and small, from coast-to-coast, build a strong U.S.-Israel relationship through: Interfaith and Intergroup Partnerships, Elected Officials, Speakers Bureaus and Advocacy Training. From fighting anti-Israel divestment, combating anti-Israel bias in newspapers, supporting pro-Israel voices at colleges and universities and in so many other ways, the IAI is there to help Israel. And you can help IAI by making a contribution here.