Last week, The Sunday Times of London ran an obscene anti-Israel cartoon by Gerald Scarfe, a well-known caricaturist. It depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu constructing a wall out of the bodies of Palestinians, and sealing the bricks with their blood. The cartoon conjured up a host of anti-Semitic images, especially the vicious Blood Libel. Times publisher Rupert Murdoch was quick to offer a “major apology” for the “grotesque, offensive cartoon.”
Although the apology was welcome, the fact of the cartoon suggested the ways Israel remains singled out for criticism in the West, with commentary that goes well beyond politics and policy to condemn the legitimacy of Israel and the humanity of the Jewish people.
Countering such tendencies can be hard, but this Sunday’s Step Up for Israel Advocacy Summit in Whippany aims to give participants the tools they need. Experts from Jewish communal groups will share tips and techniques for effective outreach to the media, church leaders, and other organizations, as well as provide essential background on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Organizers of the summit — including the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and the NJ American Jewish Committee — are encouraging people of all backgrounds to learn what it takes to deter attacks on Israel’s legitimacy and help craft effective responses.
The CRC represents a community that seeks peace through a negotiated solution that ensures justice and security for all sides. But justice and security will remain elusive so long as influential leaders, opinion-makers, and media demonize Israel. So come to the summit. Add your name to action alerts and petitions. And push back against those who seek to weaken Israel through misinformation, false accusations, and centuries-old intolerance.
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