BOSTON, April 17th, 2023 – On May 15th, 1948, Zionism — the political, social, religious, and cultural movement found across diaspora Jewish communities worldwide —manifested through the establishment of the State of Israel.
Since its birth, Israel has fervently stood by commitments from its founders to ensure “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex” and guarantee “freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture.”
Today, Israel is a thriving cosmopolitan democracy established in the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people. It is a country bursting with history, culture, and innovation, and hosts much of the world’s Jewish population and a number of minority groups.
Kylie Heering, CAMERA Fellow at UCLA is enthusiastic about hosting Israeli Arab speaker and activist Yoseph Haddad in a few weeks as a part of the This is Zionism campaign. She believes that amplifying the voices of minorities in Israel is a positive step to facilitating fair and honest dialogue about Israel and Zionism on campus.
“I am proud to stand with Israel, a country that honors and respects all of its citizens. I hope to highlight the reality of coexistence and pluralism in the world’s only Jewish state.” said Heering.
Unfortunately, this reality is hardly presented in the media and academia. Detractors like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR), and their supporters falsely and ludicrously equate Zionism with “white supremacy,” “racism,” and “ethnic cleansing.”
By slandering the movement for Jewish liberation, they unjustly target the world’s only Jewish state and its supporters with flagrant displays of antisemitism.
“Anti-Israel bias is a growing problem on college and university campuses, and it is imperative that we take action to combat it,” said Hali Spiegel, North American campus director for CAMERA.
CAMERA on Campus’ This is Zionism campaign prepares and unites a vast network of CAMERA fellows, coalition group members and supporters to speak the truth where it needs to be most heard. Our latest campaign builds on our highly successful #ThisIsWhatAZionistLooksLike social media effort.
“We’re committed to the fight,” said Aviva Rosenschein, Israel and UK campus director for CAMERA. “Our team is making a concerted effort to ensure that college students have the tools they need to fight anti-Israel bias no matter where they encounter it — whether it’s on the quad, the classroom, or in discussions with their peers.”
The campaign will feature a range of activities and events for students on campuses in the United States, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom, including a series of talks from prominent speakers, a social media campaign, and community events.
In light of the campaign, CAMERA on Campus UK Fellow, Samantha Lewkowicz plans to host a vigil at the University of East Anglia on April 25th, in observance of Yom HaZikaron, the Israeli equivalent of remembrance day in the UK and memorial day in the United States.
Lewokowicz had this to say in anticipation of the vigil, “Israel isn’t just a country, it is a manifestation of the spirit, values and identity of the Jewish people. I am privileged to host an event honouring the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and security of the Jewish people.”
One exciting feature of this year’s campaign is our newly rebranded “This Is Zionism” Instagram page, which continues to profile college students, influencers, celebrities and community members who are unabashed about their support for the State of Israel and Zionism. Follow this link for the chance to be featured.
The campaign website (zionism.me) includes numerous articles, backgrounders and infographics that are comprehensive and easy to reference in any situation, from a candid discussion to a research paper.
Saul Hakim, incoming president of Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO) at SUNY Binghamton is excited to make sure of the resources on the campaign website to refute the claim that Israel is opposed to peace, an argument that groups like Students for Justice in Palestine often propagate.
“The Jewish people have extended an olive branch for over seven decades. Let this be clear: our pursuit of peace and coexistence with our Arab neighbors has and will always be genuine. Consequently, I will never be ashamed to stand with Israel.”
For more information about the campaign, visit www.zionism.me and follow @CAMERAonCampus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok. Also, be sure to follow our @ThisIsZionism Instagram page, and use our hashtag #ThisIsZionism on Twitter and Instagram.
Interested in contributing to the campaign? Visit opensubmissions.camera to review our submission guidelines and have your article featured on the CAMERA on Campus website.
For more information about CAMERA on Campus, follow this link.
Managing Editor, CAMERA on Campus