“Israel is an apartheid state.” “Israel violates human rights of Palestinians.” “The settlements are an obstacle to peace.” To help community members gain the knowledge to counter such accusations, the Step Up For Israel Advocacy Summit will take place on Sunday, Oct. 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. The event is free and open to the public.
The summit — sponsored by the Community Relations Committee of MetroWest and the Jewish Federation of Central NJ together with American Jewish Committee’s NJ region and in partnership with local synagogues and organizations — will present experts from 14 advocacy organizations who will arm participants with tools needed to speak up for Israel with confidence.
Keynote speaker will be Lorna Fitzsimons, executive director of BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre, and an outspoken supporter of Israel. As a member of the British Parliament (1997-2005), she was a leader of the campaign group Labour Friends of Israel.
The morning program will focus on countering assaults on Israel’s legitimacy and will include panel discussions on media monitoring and political engagement. Community members can sign up for “How to Advocate Effectively” workshops — Media Monitoring and Response, Advocacy on College Campuses, Political Advocacy, and Interaction with Christian Groups — each of which will run twice, from 2 to 3:30; to register, visit www.ujcnj.org/Summit.
Advocacy organizations participating in the summit include the AJC, Anti-Defamation League, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA), The David Project, Hasbara Fellowships, Honest Reporting, Israel Action Network, The Israel Project, Israeli Consulate of New York, Jerusalem Online U, MEMRI-The Middle East Research Institute, and Stand With Us.
On Sept. 21, the CRC launched CampaignForTruth.info.
The website was launched to coincide with the opening of the UN General Assembly and the expected Palestinian unilateral bid for full-member status.
“Even as Israel faces unprecedented challenges, many in the media, on college campuses, and elsewhere accuse Israel of everything from war crimes to shark attacks,” said CRC Israel advocacy chair Sarit Catz. “We have created this website to ensure people know the facts, the truth, and how to respond to these false claims.”