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Responding to attacks
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Responding to attacks

Thank you for the April 14 article “Advocacy Trainer counsels leaders on defense tactics” featuring David Olesker, the founder and director of the Jerusalem Center for Communications and Advocacy Training. However, the article omitted that the program was sponsored by the Community Relations Committee of MetroWest.

In addition to the April 6 training session for supporters of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ, including its Women’s Philanthropy board, executive committee, and the Israel & Overseas Committee, a session was held on April 5 for 30 members of the CRC. This program is part of a CRC community-wide campaign to provide Jewish community leaders with effective strategies to counter assaults on Israel’s legitimacy. The program was the first in a series of training opportunities of the community.

The CRC also brought Olesker to speak to high school students at the Golda Och Academy and a workshop at Rutgers Hillel that was sponsored by American Jewish Committee.

Over the past year, the world has witnessed accelerated assaults on Israel’s legitimacy. This assault on Israel’s right to exist aims to make the creation of the Jewish state an historical error based on the current events of the time. This growing campaign aims to cast Israel as a colonial power that suppresses the rights of Palestinians and engages in human rights abuses and even war crimes.

This assault is making its way onto college campuses, churches, labor unions, media reports, women’s organizations, and international forums. Organizations are calling for boycotts of Israeli products and threatening to divest from companies working in Israel, and activists are trying to stop aid to Israel. This year in New Jersey, more than 12 anti-Israel programs attended by large audiences were brought to the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University.

We as Jewish leaders and ardent supporters of Israel need to be armed with the most compelling facts and strategies to respond to attacks on Israel’s legitimacy. We are on the frontlines and should educate those who spread misinformation or false accusations in the supermarket, by a neighbor, in your children’s classroom, in the office, or in issue-based women’s organizations. The Jewish community has always been at the forefront in speaking out against injustice and in support of human rights.

David Dranikoff
Israel & World Affairs Committee
Community Relations Committee of MetroWest

Melanie Roth Gorelick
Associate Director
Community Relations Committee of MetroWest

 

 

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