Enabling Israel activism in just two clicks

Pro-Israel campaigners are doing amazing things up and down the country, rising to the challenge of campaigning for Israel in the face of increasing hostility.

There are now more than 500 councillors signed up to Local Government Friends of Israel, and local Friends of Israel groups have been set up in almost every part of the UK. But there is always more that can and should be done to support Israel in the face of the ongoing attempts to delegitimise the Middle East’s only democracy.

Too often politicians are swamped with petitions and thousands of emails from anti-Israel campaigners. In the past they haven’t heard enough from Israel’s supporters. Direct email, social media, videos. It is all critical in making our case and standing up for Israel, but we have been too slow to harness the revolution in social media to our advantage.

We in the pro-Israel community must not be afraid to take this step forward. We may not all be tech wizards, but now is the time to show real strength in numbers. We can frame the online conversation on Facebook and Twitter and become a louder voice nationally and in our local communities.

With this in mind, my organisation, We Believe in Israel, has launched a new website which gives activists the ability to campaign in just two clicks, from their mobile phones or tablets, on the latest and most relevant issues affecting the pro-Israel community in the UK.

You can visit the new site here: http://www.webelieveinisrael.org.uk

We are the fastest growing pro-Israel grassroots organisation in the country, with 10,500 activists subscribing to our emails, and a target of getting this to 20,000 by the end of the year. We give thousands of supporters of Israel in the UK the knowledge, skills and inspiration to become active campaigners. But we were lacking something until now – an accessible, easy-to-navigate, good looking and effective campaigning hub for activists up and down the country.

This new website fills that gap. It signifies a step-change in campaigning for Israel. The latest technological tools are now being deployed to help us to raise our issues with the people in charge.

To kick off this new era, we have launched a new campaign on an issue that has also been raised right here on the pages of the Jewish News – the disgraceful presence of flags from the terror group Hezbollah at the recent anti-Israel Al Quds day march earlier this month.

Regrettably, the police did nothing to stop people brandishing signs from this virulently antisemitic organisation. In light of that, we are urging pro-Israel activists, within and from outside the Jewish community, to write to the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan asking him to get the Metropolitan Police to abide by counterterrorism guidance issued by the Home Office.

The Israel haters have gone from the political fringes to taking control of the NUS and the Labour Party in the last year. But we are rising to that challenge and we are taking the fight back to them with guts, passion and energy. Now we have the right tools to do it as well.

About the Author
Luke Akehurst has been the Director of We Believe in Israel since 2011. We Believe in Israel is a broad coalition of over 19,000 supporters of Israel. Outside of work he was a Councillor in Hackney in East London for 12 years, has stood for Parliament twice and served on the Labour Party National Executive Committee. He was previously an award-winning Director at global PR company Weber Shandwick.