CAMERA on Campus is prouder than ever of our students who, despite the difficult conditions we now live in, are still dedicated to educating their peers on the truth about Israel.
From planning and hosting experts on virtual platforms, to holding their own writing workshops in order to teach their allies how to address bias and inaccuracies that may appear in classroom syllabi, articles, or social media posts, our CAMERA Fellows and allies are determined to ensure that Israel is accurately portrayed under any all circumstances. And of course, our Fellows continue to pen their own articles and counter false charges that groups like SJP, JVP, Palestinian Societies and their ilk are adamant to perpetuate.
This newsletter will highlight just a handful of the many creative activities and articles our students have shared over the last month.
Taking “Never Again” Seriously on Campus and Beyond
UC Berkeley CAMERA Fellow Maya Reuven eloquently describes how the Holocaust has become manipulated by the “woke” generation and demoted to being comparable to the many “quarantined” at home.
Maya writes, “Inappropriate comparisons to the Holocaust, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. Recently, there has been a pattern of reducing well-known Holocaust survivors to much more mundane titles. Twice this past semester, this has been the case with Elie Wiesel — A Nobel Laureate who entered the public eye after writing a book about his experience in the Holocaust. A simple google search of Elie Wiesel yields this description of Wiesel’s life and accomplishments, but instead, a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley introduced Wiesel as an “award winning Romanian author.” And it gets worse — last semester, in an article honoring a student who won the Ethics Essay Contest, the Daily Cal demoted Wiesel to the title of simply a “Boston University Professor.”
Perhaps it’s this misrepresentation of history that now compels people, including those who consider themselves “woke”, to use the Holocaust as the punchline in their latest tweet. Amid all the chaos and fear that has characterized the COVID-19 crisis, people were quick to jump online and compare their experiences with shelter-in-place to those of Anne Frank.”
Watch: CAMERA on Campus Fellows and Staff Create
Moving Tribute to Fallen Soldiers on Yom HaZikaron
CAMERA’s Yoni Michanie led a virtual meeting with university students on Yom HaZikaron providing a space for our students to share stories and memories about those they lost in battle and to terrorist attacks. Yoni began the gathering by sharing the stories of five young, brave Israeli soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the current and future lives of the Israeli people.
Celebrating Yom Ha’Atzmaut with our Partners
CAMERA on Campus is proud to kick off Israel Independence Day Celebrations with our partners from North America, UK and Israel.
On Monday, April 6th, CAMERA’s Campus Advisor and Strategic Planner, Yoni Michanie,provided answers to some of the most common and challenging questions students may encounter from their peers. The event, “No Partisanship, Just Accuracy: How to Answer Difficult Questions About Israel” was co-sponsored by Fuel for Truth, NYU’s Realize Israel, Brookly College’s Bulldogs for Israel, UC Davis’ Aggies for Israel, Boston University’s Students for Israel, Vanderbilt’s Dores for Israel and Yeshiva University’s Macs for Israel.
On April 16th, Yoni provided a similar exclusive presentation to alumni and current participants of Reservist of Duty in Israel.
Watch: The Correlation Between Anti-Israel Activism and Racism
On Thursday, April 23rd, CAMERA’s UK Manager and Analyst Adam Levick joined news anchor and translator Eylon Levy to discuss the connection between those who aim to discredit and demonize Israel with general racism while answering the following questions:
Does anti-Zionism equal racism?
Are pro-Palestinian activists, in their failure to hold Palestinians morally responsible for their actions, compromised by what’s been termed “liberal racism”?
In celebrating the creativity of our current students and alumni, CAMERA on Campus will be highlighting some of the new projects by our CAMERA Fellows and leaders of CAMERA-supported Israel student organizations.
Ariella Charny, a graduate of Tufts University and alumna of CAMERA’s Fellowship, is an artist and recently started experimenting with creating “zero waste art” by using discarded waste such as clothing, wood, and other materials, to create beautiful images.
Her artwork, for example the elephants depicted above, was made entirely of discarded clothing, natural glue she made at home, and a plank of discarded construction wood.
On Yom HaShoah, the UMass Amherst Hillel was targeted with graffiti that read “Palestine” in Arabic. Please click here to read further and to view CAMERA’s statement.
Though things are quieter on university campuses, anti-Israel student activists are still sharing anti-Israel propaganda on their social media pages and publishing articles in campus and local newspapers. Just as during the normal school year, our staff and CAMERA Fellows are closely monitoring what kind of “educational material” is being shared and are quick to respond with the correct information.
At Clark University, CAMERA Fellow Monica Sager published her article in the university’s Scarlet newspaper rebutting the claim that “Palestinians have been trying to implement a peace plan with the Israelis for so long now,” blaming Israel for the lack of peaceful negotiations.
To counter, Monica shared that, “There has been a consistent and enduring rejection by the Palestinians of all peace initiatives with Israel. A major anti-Zionist proponent, Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini, was a Holocaust-era Palestinian nationalist who backed violence against the Jews, organizing violent protests and ceaselessly calling for the expulsion of Jews in the Levant. His successor, Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat founded Fatah to fight for the “liberation of Palestine,” unapologetically calling for Israel’s destruction and the expulsion of all Jews, refusing to keep the peace-keeping and security agreements of the Oslo Accords. The current leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has continued this pattern of hate, openly refusing to acknowledge Israel’s existence, funding terrorism and walking away from the negotiating table, walking away in 2008 and, most recently, in 2020.”
For CAMERA on Campus’ blog, Columbia University CAMERA Fellow, Marc Cohen detailed how some Columbia University students publicly refuse to condemn Hamas and its terrorism.
“At an event hosted on February 20th, 2020 by members of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, collectively known as Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza, was referred to as a “political group.” It wasn’t clear to me how two student groups on campus could possibly describe Hamas as merely a “political group” – a group that has killed hundreds of innocents intentionally and mandates the killing of Jews in its charter. After having clarified to the presenters that Hamas was, in fact, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States for over 20 years, Canada for over 15, and many other countries, I asked the presenters a simple question: “Can you condemn Hamas’ attacks on innocent Israeli civilians?”
University of Nottingham CAMERA on Campus UK Fellow, Daniel Marcus, describes for the Jewish News how unfortunately common it is for Israeli speakers and Zionist student societies to be “no-platformed.”
“In my time as the Israel and Campaigns officer on the board of the University of Nottingham Jewish Society, I set out with a simple goal: to foster positive and constructive conversation about Israel. My aim was to present as much information to my fellow students about Israel as possible; try to show them how I, as well as most Jews feel when they talk about Israel; and try to create an honest and pragmatic framework for discussion when addressing the ongoing conflict. I wasn’t interested in slogans and signposting – just good, honest, healthy discussion and debate. I thought that this would be an easy task, to bring intelligent and well thought-out conversation to an intellectual space… but I was mistaken. The task of hosting productive discussions about Israel on campus was possibly the most difficult I have ever undertaken in my life.”
“Upon returning from my trip to Israel, I decided to further my pro-Israel advocacy by becoming a Fellow for CAMERA on Campus. Through this fellowship, I have been given the opportunity to write opinion pieces on Israel, learn about international media trends from renowned journalists and receive briefings on conflicts throughout the Middle East.
Through serving as a CAMERA Fellow, I was able to attend the organization’s annual conference in Boston, where I was welcomed by Jewish and Christians alike. What we all shared was a deep-rooted desire to ensure Israel was portrayed accurately on our campus and Jewish students were supported.”
Please visit this link to learn more about the CAMERA Fellowship and how to apply to become a 2020-2021 CAMERA Fellow.
A Fellowship Made For You
CAMERA on Campus is excited to announce that we now have 7 different Fellowship Tracks! Whether you love to write, host events, create social media campaigns or want to focus on educating a specific community, you can find your place at CAMERA.
“My name is Noah Shufutinsky and I’m a rapper/producer by the name of #WestsideGravy. I grew up in the United States and have always been very connected to my #Jewish identity. I’m a #Zionist because a huge part of that identity is maintaining a connection to my ancestral homeland and affirming the rights of my people to express that connection and embrace our culture. I incorporate these themes into my musics with songs like, “Diaspora,” “Black Man,” and “Benjamins Baby,” where I discuss the struggles I’ve faced with bigotry and how I haven’t allowed it to stifle my identity.” — @westsidegravy
This Is What A Zionist Looks Like” is a CAMERA on Campus Instagram project which aims to show the world that Zionists come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse interests. We showcase different Zionists, their stories, their interests, and their beliefs.