CAMERA on Campus is thrilled to be holding its 10th Annual International Student Leadership Conference on August 9 – 11, 2020.
Though it will be different than in past years, having to be held online due to Covid-19, judging by the number of students who will be attending, excitement for the conference has not waned. At least one hundred students from around the world—from universities in the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, and the United States—will log on to the CAMERA conference.
The students will hear from many notable scholars and speakers, such as: George Mason Law Professor Eugene Konotorovitch; Maccabee Task Force Executive Director David Brog; South African Human Rights Activist Olga Meshoe Washington; and CAMERA’s Executive Director Andrea Levin, among others.
The students will be discussing many of the most pressing issues now facing Zionist campus activists, including the legality of Israel applying sovereignty to parts of the West Bank; the relationship between Zionism and the fight against anti-Black racism; the best answers to common myths and misinformation about Israel; and skills and tips for handling social media, online events, and campus recruitment during the coronavirus pandemic, among other topics.
On July 22nd, CAMERA's Campus Managing Editor Zach Schildcrout moderated a fascinating conversation with journalist Haviv Gur on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how it has shaped the current political arena.
Incitement? Hatred? Look No Further than Israeli Campuses
"Back down towards the sandy beaches of Tel Aviv, students at TAU have openly supported terrorists. In April, the student branch of the Balad Party commemorated 'Palestinian Prisoners Day' by voicing solidarity with Israa Jaabis, who was imprisoned after she tried to murder Israeli policemen with a car bomb in 2015. According to the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon, the same group helped bring a production of the play 'Return to Haifa' to their campus, based on a novel of the same name by notorious PFLP leader Ghassan Kanafani. On another occasion, students interrupted a talk on campus by an Egyptian lecturer, labeling him a 'traitor,' 'wicked,' and a 'collaborator for normalization,' ostensibly for lecturing at an Israeli university, even though they themselves are studying at the same institution (the irony is not lost)." Read more
"A June 19 post on the @BIPOC.Syracuse page stated 'There are professors at SU who are openly Zionist to the point that it hurts Palestinian students…This shit runs deep.' This set off an anti-Semitic witch hunt targeting Miriam Elman, a Jewish faculty member at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs who was also mentioned in a @BlackatCuse post on June 20.
Despite being on leave for the past year, Elman was singled out by a malicious and libelous smear campaign for her support of Jewish self-determination and prior service in the Israeli Defense Forces.
"For example, they presented their research in such a way that either skewed or completely ignored well-documented facts about Palestinian society and its relationship to Israel. For example, as they shared the stories of the various Palestinian women, the grieving women were exclusively portrayed as victims of Israeli oppression who had lost their children during acts of 'resistance.' The word 'resistance' itself is a loaded term that serves as a common language between anti-Israel activists (such as the inherently antisemitic BDS campaign) and Islamic extremists that attempt to pass off political delegitimization, discrimination, and terrorism against Israelis as legitimate tools of Palestinian nationalism." Read more
On July 23rd, CAMERA on Campus co-sponsored the Women's Committee of Americans Against Antisemitism event with Kasim Hafeez. Hafeez, Middle East Advisor at Christians United for Israel, described his journey from radical Islam to becoming an ardent Zionist and supporter of Israel.
An Academic Attempt to Frame Israel as a Devious Colonial Enterprise
"It was evident from the outset of the meeting that Evron was out to dismiss the reality of Israeli society so as to frame it as a devious colonial enterprise. He guided the discussion with statements such as 'Israel is a white, European culture' and 'Israel is a white-supremacist society.' This shouldn’t come as a surprise since Evron is the facilitator of the 'Occupation 101 Course' that boasts that it does not aim to be 'balanced' or 'equal' to 'both sides' in its history of the Arab-Israeli conflict." Read more
"For example, on Jan. 7, 2020, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace Lara Friedman tweeted that the Trump administration’s recent executive order extending protections to Jews under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (Title VI/CRA) was actually drafted to 'target … campus free speech critical of Israel.' Her subsequent thread is a compilation of news articles, op-eds, briefs from legal institutes and congressional letters to the Department of Education that supposedly validate her claim that our freedoms are under attack. Notably, one of the congressional letters that Friedman links to alleges Title VI/HEA violations, not discrimination in violation of Title VI/CRA and the executive order. She confuses two entirely different statutes.
But that’s beside the point. The important takeaway is this: Schools found to be in violation of Title VI/HEA and/or Title VI/CRA are at risk of losing federal funding, not their right to speak freely. A professor wants to advocate for the BDS movement? Fine, but efforts to implement those policies at an institutional level, or to predominantly teach one-sided narratives within a Title VI/HEA-funded department are likely antithetical to the law’s provisions." Read More
Metrics of Success for 2019-2020
"Shalom, my name is Bernardo Eckermann, but you guys can call me Bernie. I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and immigrated to Victoria, Canada in 2015. My family is Sephardic of Dutch and Portuguese origin. I'm a 19-year-old majoring in history and hoping to join law school in the near future. During my summers I work as a steel framer for a drywall company named Swiftsure. I am a Zionist because I comprehend the necessity of the existence of the Jewish state for the safety of our people, faith, and culture. Although Israel provides resilience to the Jewish people never seen before, it is consistently under attack on many different fronts. From military threats, from dictatorships to public smearing by biased western journalists and politicians. As a Jew and a Zionist, I take advantage of each opportunity to combat and stand up for our country, whether during a conversation at job site or a debate in a classroom." – @bernardoeckermann
"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.