Chloe and Abraham each spoke to a crowd of 65 of CAMERA’s most active supporters in the south Florida region about our ongoing work on college campuses throughout the world.
Now in the 12th year of CAMERA’s flagship Fellowship program, and the 5th year of our revolutionary Emet Israel program (formerly CCAP), CAMERA is helping students at over 50 campuses to fight back against anti-Israel sentiment and mis-information.
Samantha used CAMERA’s extensive experience in dealing with anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses to help guide her in executing a workshop with students from Florida Atlantic University who were new to the world of pro-Israel activism. Samantha’s goal was to help develop their confidence and eloquence when discussing the Middle East, whether with peers or professors. Her Sunday afternoon visit with the students was organized by the Israel Fellow at the university, as part of a weekend conference for new student activists planned by FAU Hillel. Her session was designed to take knowledge that the students had gained during their weekend at the conference, and put it to use in discussions, debates, and conversations about Israel.
At the beginning of the session, students admitted that they felt that they were lacking in both knowledge and confidence to strongly refute the mendacious claims of anti-Israel detractors on campus; many said they had seen intimidating behavior and false information being spread on campus by anti-Israel campus agitators.
By pairing the FAU students and having them role-play for the rest of the group as a pro-Israel student and an anti-Israel student, Samantha was able tackle this problem; the participants practiced debating anti-Israel claims they had seen surface on campus, discussed the tactics of anti-Israel groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, and worked to mentally inoculate themselves against the manipulation and intimidation of such groups.
The students reported that it was helpful to practice refuting the shocking lies parroted by anti-Israel groups. Many of the students in the session were new to the types of behavior and fallacies promoted by groups such as SJP, and therefore felt more able to advocate for Israel armed with the facts and new-found confidence.
Samantha had a wonderful time working with the students, and can’t wait to further deepen CAMERA’s work at Florida Atlantic University. As a university with our longest-running Emet Israel group (through the CCAP program, CAMERA worked with FAU students to create and energize Owls for Israel back in 2011), Florida Atlantic and its Israel activists hold a special place in the hearts of CAMERA on Campus staff.