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When Israel is attacked, Jews must step up
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When Israel is attacked, Jews must step up

If you’ve been trying to get into New York City lately, especially anywhere on the east side, you know that traffic is jammed because of the United Nations General Assembly. And the traffic is not the only frustrating thing about the United Nations.

Regularly, the UN and its various committees, commissions, conferences, and councils single Israel out for censure and condemnation. And make no mistake: It’s not really about Israel. It’s about Jews. Famously, in 1975, the General Assembly adopted a resolution equating Zionism with racism. No other national self-determination movement has ever been condemned like this. Years later, the reprehensible resolution was repealed. Even so, as the watchdog group UN Watch has reported:

The legacy of 1975 remains fully intact: UN committees, annual UN resolutions, an entire UN bureaucratic division, permanent UN exhibits in New York and Geneva headquarters — all dedicated to a relentless and virulent propaganda war against the Jewish state. Together, they have made the UN into Ground Zero for today’s new anti-Semitism, which is the irrational scapegoating of Israel with the true intended target being Jews. Not only do these anti-Israel measures incite hatred against Israelis and Jews everywhere, but they have done not a thing to help the Palestinian situation. On the contrary: they give strength and succor to extremists.

Regardless, the UN remains a forum for much activity and a lot of it affects Israel and therefore, our community. Last week, President Obama addressed the General Assembly and took up a number of issues, including the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war, Iran’s drive to achieve nuclear weapons, the upheaval in the many Arab states, and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. In his own General Assembly speech on Oct. 1, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about Iran’s nuclear program. All of these issues are complicated.

So how do you discuss them in an informed manner when your children or grandchildren ask you a question? What do you say when a neighbor or co-worker makes a comment about Israel? What do you, yourself, think when you read an opinion piece in the newspaper or see a report on the news?

On Sunday, Oct. 20, the Community Relations Committee of Greater MetroWest will hold its third annual Step Up For Israel Advocacy Summit. We’re not going to tell you what to think, but you will be able to get better informed, hear from experts, ask some questions, and even get hands-on advocacy training.

In addition to authorities speaking on the chaos in the Middle East, Syria, the race to an Iranian nuke, and all the issues in the news, we’ll also be learning about a new movement in Israel advocacy: the drive to show the world all the positive things Israel is and does.

As anyone who’s been to Israel knows well, it’s a dynamic and exciting place bursting with creative energy. But how do we communicate this to a world that only wants to see Israel through the tunnel vision of “the conflict”? Come and find out!

The summit will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. Please stay for the optional interactive advocacy workshops, 1:30-2:30 p.m. The entire event is free and open to the public.

Please RSVP here.

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