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Newsletter – November/December 2020

CAMERA on Campus is Hiring

As the new year begins, CAMERA plans to hire for two open positions, one within our Jerusalem office and one within our Boston office. Follow this link to learn about the positions in more detail.
Social Media Manager
CAMERA seeks a Social Media Manager who can enhance our brand and build strong online communities through our various social media platforms. The Social Media Manager will be responsible for developing and administering social media content that is designed to engage users and create an interactive relationship between our followers and CAMERA. The successful candidate will also be required to collect and review social media data to develop more effective campaigns.  The position will be based in our Jerusalem, Israel office. Send resume, cover letter, and examples of graphic designs to No phone calls, please.
Campus Advisor
CAMERA seeks a full-time Campus Advisor to join its growing team of young professionals providing support and guidance to students interested in Israel activism. The Advisor will oversee CAMERA Fellows, CAMERA-supported Israel organizations, and help develop and implement effective measures to meet challenges facing Zionist students. The position will be based in our Boston office.Send resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to No phone calls, please

CAMERA on Campus' #MizrahiStories Campaign Huge Success

Eliana Rudee of JNS covered CAMERA on Campus' inaugural #MizrahiStories campaign, which covered the history, culture, and remarkable diversity of the Jewish people. Read an excerpt of her article below. "To raise awareness of the diverse Mizrahi community and culture, other events include screenings of “The Forgotten Refugees,” with a speaker discussion and panels featuring Mizrahi students that give a platform for them to share their stories. CAMERA also hosted, in partnership with StandWithUs, Hillel at Baruch College, the Israeli-American Council and Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa (JIMENA), a Nov. 16 panel with Jews of Iraqi, Yemenite, Syrian, Turkish and Dagestani heritage. Speakers include pro-Israel, Mizrahi and LGBTQ activist Hen Mazzig; Menashe Khamiov, who speaks about the history and culture of Bukharian Jews; Gibraltar-raised Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum; and founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, Itamar Marcus, whose presentations focus on how the Palestinian media misrepresents Mizrahi Jews, falsely claiming that Jews have no connection to the Middle East." We have so many organizations and individuals to thank who supported our campaign, advised us on our materials, and shared and took part in our activities. We are so humbled by the CAMERA Fellows, Mizrahi, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, and non-Jewish alike who jumped on board this campaign, understood it's importance, and published dozens of articles, shared and created social media posts and graphics, and hosted various unique and thoughtful events to help celebrate Mizrahi Jewry on campuses across North America, UK, and Israel. The rest of this newsletter is dedicated to them and will showcase the many important activities shared throughout the month of November and into December. Visit our new website for the #MizrahiStories Campaign to view all of the material created and shared.

Being a Mizrahi Jew on Social Media

"Here’s where the problem most noticeably manifests: Typically, when a Mizrahi Jew (a Jew with ancestral and ethnic links to the Middle East and North Africa) exhibits pride in their culture, the comments are flooded with users claiming that this culture is “stolen.” Oftentimes, when Israelis create videos that highlight Arabic-influenced music or dances, commenters claim that Arab influence in Israel does not exist and the creator of the video is a “colonizer.” This sentiment promotes the erasure of Arab citizens in Israel and also distinctly Mizrahi Jewish culture and music."

Read more to grasp the bigotry and ignorance being spread on the popular social media application, TikTok. CAMERA on Campus is now on Medium! Please follow our page.

Watch: Mizrahi Stories: Voices from Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq and Dagestan 

On November 17th, CAMERA partnered with JIMEMA, StandWithUs, Israel American Council's Mishelanu and Hillel of Baruch College, City University, John Jay College, Pace University, School of Visual Arts, Fordham University, the Fashion Institute of Technology,  and The New School to present a discussion on the culture and history of several different Mizrahi communities, including Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq and Dagestan. For the full video, please click here.

"Israelis are Stealing our Culture"

"Later in the session, Abulhawa began to describe how Israelis are “stealing our culture” in an attempt to “indigenise themselves.” In a recent article for Al Jazeera, she spoke of Mizrahi Jews – Jews who have maintained communities in the Middle East and North Africa – describing them as “Arab Jews” who “spoke Arabic [and] ate the same foods” as their Arab compatriots. The term “Arab Jew” has been heavily criticised for its inherent paradoxy. "Arab" is an ethnicity that Jews were, for centuries, excluded from despite their hundreds of years of residence in Arab-majority nations. Attempting to post hoc define Jews as Arabs is an invalidation of the Jewish experiences and identity." Read More

WatchPMW's Itamar Marcus in Conversation with University of Birmingham CAMERA Fellow

On November 17, CAMERA on Campus UK, Birmingham Israel Society and University College London Friends of Israel virtually hosted Dr Itamar Marcus, the chair of Palestinian Media Watch. While chairing the event, I asked Marcus how the Mizrahi exile is perceived within Palestinian society, and whether politicians and media deny that these stories of persecution and expulsion even occurred, as they often do with the Holocaust. Read More
Click Here to Support Students
Is Normalization with Israel a Betrayal of Palestinians?
Though many are celebrating the historic Abraham Accords between the United Arab Emirates and Israel along with the additional normalization treaties that were signed with Bahrain, Sudan, Morocco and Bhutan, there are those who are spreading malicious lies against these peaceful agreements. In Israel for instance, soon after the treaty was announced, many citizens, Jewish and Arab alike were excited to hear the news. Fouad (last name held for security) a Hebrew University student, was thrilled to be featured in a university video posted on social media featuring his support for the Abraham Accords and calling for academic cooperation between the countries. Quickly after, harassing and threatening comments were directed towards Fouad for his traitorous language. CAMERA's Campus Advisor in Israel, Eitan Fischberger writes for the Jerusalem Post that, "Even a teaching assistant at the university chimed in, writing, 'I don’t understand who lets a guy from Tamra [city in Israel] to go out and talk like that. A breathtaking sight this morning. Really shameful, really really shameful.'” Read More In the University of Pittsburgh newspaper The Pitt News, CAMERA Fellow, Joshua Beylinson proactively addressed these and false dangerous claims coming from the Palestinian Authority leadership and noted the various peace treatries offered by Israel that the Palestinians declined time and time again. As Joshua correctly stated, "Peace will not come when Palestinians are represented by leaders who are clearly more interested in destroying Israel than building a state of their own." Read More At George Mason University (GMU), instead of needing to debunk the dangerous falsehoods shared in the Middle East by disgruntled Palestinian dictators, CAMERA Fellow Sean Culley addressed similar claims at home stemming from Rutgers University Professor Noura Erekat (formerly at GMU) in GMU's newspaper, The Fourth Estate. "…Noura Erakat, a professor at Rutgers and formerly at Mason, who wrote in an article for NBC News that the agreements are a 'charade' and perpetuate 'oppression.'" Sean rightfully noted, "Noura Erakat’s reading of the recent peace deals with Israel as an imperialist scheme misses the true goals of the agreements: peace, stability and coexistence. A professor, who wields influence over her students, shouldn’t be so nonchalant in misinforming her audience and distorting the reality of the peace accords." Read More
Exclusive CAMERA Fellowship Webinar Continued with Fleur Hassan-Nahoum

Throughout this academic year, CAMERA will be providing exclusive webinars for CAMERA Fellows, allowing them to engage in in-depth conversations with some of the most renowned scholars on Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

CAMERA continued the series on November 15th with Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.  Fleur discussed with the students her own Sefardi heritage and addressed some of the challenges the community faced outside of Israel and at times with the country. She also shared how she is making waves and building stronger connections with the Arab-Israeli Jerusalem population in her role as Deputy Mayor.
In addition to hearing from Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, the CAMERA Fellows received access to Harif co-founder Lyn Julius' book, "Uprooted: 3000 Years of Jewish Civilisation in the Arab World Vanished Overnight, " a historical account of Jewish civilization within the Arab world.
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Hate Doesn't Belong in the Classroom
As November was "Mizrahi Heritage Month" UC Berkely's CAMERA Fellow, Maya Reuven, writes how, "It has been incredible to watch Mizrahi Jewish narratives finally receive the respect and recognition they deserve in the United States. But what breaks my heart now is how quickly anti-Zionists have manipulated these narratives for the sole purpose of demonizing the Jewish state. UC Berkeley’s Bears for Palestine is the latest group to join this trend, as part of their Palestine 101 curriculum." Many inaccurate and extreme materials dedicated to anti-Zionism appear with their material, but one article by Ella Shoshat, stood out particularly during this month. It was, as Maya states in the Algemeiner, "Shohat’s suggestion that there is a “Palestinian-Sephardi alliance” against the existence of Israel that is indicative of just how disconnected from reality and incredibly manipulative the article is." Read More Even more dangerous than this student-led class at UC Berkely was  Bill AB 331, which would make an ethnic studies course based on the AB 2016-mandated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) a graduation requirement for all California high school students. UC San Diego CAMERA Fellow, Benjamin Zaghi explained in UC San Diego's newspaper. The Guardian, that "Unit six of the ethnic studies curriculum requires students to write about Irish and Jewish Americans’ 'evolution in white identity' and how they have supposedly gained 'racial privilege.'" Fortunately, the bill vetoed but Benjamin shared an important message to his peers. "…while I am grateful that the Instructional Quality Commission remained objective, I am quite fearful about the future of Jewish students who support the Jewish state. Assembly Bill 331 reminded the Jewish and pro-Israel community that while they have a voice, they are not the ones with the keys to the doors." Read More
#This Is What A Zionist Looks Like
"Hey guys! My name is Eden Janfar, I'm from Great Neck, New York and I am a Finance major on a Pre-Dental Track at @binghamtonu. My parents immigrated from Iran to America around 1979 after the Islamic Revolution, with much of my family also moving to Israel. Some of my favorite hobbies include practicing piano, crushing in #spikeball, and dominating on the basketball court. I am a #Zionist because the only place that took my family after they were exiled was #Israel, a land with equal rights for all. After 2000 years, we finally have a #Jewish homeland again, a place were #Jews will no longer feel scared or ashamed to simply live. Because of this, I hope to make #Aliya in the future and raise a family there as well. Am Israel Chai
"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.To be featured in our  #ThisIsWhatAZionistLooksLike campaign, please follow this link.
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