May 15, 2011
Israel advocacy has become a buzz word for support of Israel and as I write this there is a huge conference with an array of influential speakers taking place in London. Why didn’t I join them?? Well to get there in time for the start I would have to have caught the special coach and that left here at 5am. Enough said.
Manchester will probably have a follow up event around November for the faithful.
But what will this conference achieve as there are say 500 supporters of Israel many members of pro Israel organisations listening to pro Israel speakers all concerned about the welfare of Israel post the Gaza incursion called Cast Lead back in January 2009.
Since that time anti Zionism and anti Semitism have reached huge proportions and there have been a massive number of physical and verbal assaults on Jews in the UK, be they mothers shopping in the supermarket, school children travelling to and from school and students on campus.
Some people think that the Israeli Government has done little or nothing to prevent this demonization but behind the scenes a huge campaign exists to support Israel with political parties and trade unions being informed at all levels.
The Middle East is an extremely complicated area at the best of times but during the past three months life has become even more complex and changes almost by the minute.
We must focus on our lives in the UK as that’s complex enough, pan Euro anti Semitism is again another very sad and getting sadder story.
To my mind there are three groups. The Jews who want to prevent the vilification and demonization of the state, the pro Palestinians who are promoting the aforementioned and the vast majority who don’t care as it’s not their problem.
So do we confront the Palestinian supporters, not is my opinion, leave them to protest and have their meetings, facing them gives them energy and a platform for their venomous rhetoric. I know I have been there and met them and they are very unpleasant.
So concentrate on the majority of our fellow countrymen who are very much more sympathetic to Israel than you may imagine and you will be pleasantly surprised.
As Jews we need to be better informed daily about events in Israel and as the websites of the Israeli press are so accessible getting up to the minute information is easy. And you can Tweet and Facebook that information to keep you circle of friends informed.
Don’t be shy about writing to MP’s and not just your MP they receive many letters and lots of information from pro-Palestinian supporters and very little from us Jews. Always be polite and never be confrontational. Ensure that your facts are accurate and support them with their source.
Write to news papers, and get your friends especially non Jews to do this, don’t worry if you don’t get into print.
Again online add comments to blogs and articles that you see, encourage non Jews to do so as non Jewish names are very important. Don’t just look at the daily national press, look at local press online from wherever. You don’t have to live in Glasgow or Dublin to read and react to papers in those areas.
Don’t get into an online argument if you want to respond to someone be very short and sharp.
Speak to non Jewish groups at all levels from a play group to evening class and business networking events to support Israel and again be aware of your facts.
This is advocacy at its most effective and as I and my colleagues network though our daily lives don’t be embarrassed to stand up and be counted.