Mordechai Cohen
Mordechai Cohen

Slogans Can Be Useful in Israel’s PR Battle

If you do not know Dr. Rachel Fish, you should. She is super smart and articulate. She is an accomplished academic and even more importantly, she educates our Jewish youth. She is there for our next generation. She teaches about anti-Semitism and about Israel. A few years ago, New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, named her to be the first executive director of his Foundation to Combat Ant-Semitism.  She is also a warrior. She worked for the David Project and was instrumental in creation of a documentary titled Columbia Unbecoming. The film exposed Columbia University professors who intimidated students who had different political views, especially about Israel. Part of the film featured students describing personal attacks from faculty. Columbia, you should be ashamed.

Dr. Fish also single handedly got Harvard University (her school for her master’s degree) to return a $2.5 million gift from the former ruler of Abu Dhabi. He backed a think-tank that sponsored anti-Semitic and anti-American speakers. Rachel, you had my admiration when I heard that you teach our next generation. The fact that you are a warrior and were able to stop Harvard from taking money from a think tank that backed Holocaust denial and promoted the blood libel puts you in a very select circle of people I consider Jewish heroes. Kol Halavod! I would be honored to meet you one day.

As I write this, there is a war raging between the terrorists in Gaza firing rockets onto Israel and Israel responding.  As I write this there is a war raging on social media delegitimizing Israel. Israel is being hit with terrible attacks from late night TV hosts to protesters in many cities across the US and Europe. More than ever the Jewish community and especially Jewish students need recourses to help them become educated. Dr. Fish has a very important webpage dedicated to educating people about the issues. Especially during this time, it is very important to read. See

Despite the war raging today, the rumors are that there will soon be a cease-fire between the Hamas terrorists and Israel. With a hopeful cease-fire on the horizon, some of the anti- Israel flames are expected to subside. However, more anti-Israel sentiment will soon be felt, weather it will be about possible Arab evictions from Jewish homes in Sheikh Jarrah or because there are people that simply hate Israel, they hate Am Israel, the Jewish people and the Jewish country, the State of Israel.

Our youth need to be deeply educated as Dr. Fish does so very well, but they also need some useful one-liners for both themselves and to answer their peers. Our Jewish youth need some good slogans. Dr. Fish categorically rejects using slogans and instead wants only to educate. Dr. Fish, you are of course right, we need educated Jews and slogans can be unhelpful. I understand your aversion to slogans, but they also have their place.  It is good for Jewish students to have a few slogans in their back pocket. Having a few one-liners, especially in the face of libelous attacks on Israel, is good for students as well for adults.

Dr. Fish, please reconsider you refusal to work with slogans. Companies pay Madison Avenue a fortune to come up with a good line. They are not wasting their money. Slogans have their place and our students, especially during times when social media is filled with so many attacks on Israel, need a few good ones. I am old enough to remember President Regan saying to Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, “Tear down that wall”. For those that remember, I hope you will agree with me, that line was pure genius. Here is one from Ben Gurion back in 1939, “We will fight the White Paper as if there is no war, and fight the war as if there is no White Paper.” Ben Gurion’s declaration was so powerful.

Sometimes a one-liner can be useful and sometimes even educators should embrace a good slogan.

Reader, do you agree that one-liners and slogans can sometimes be useful? Alternatively, do you agree with Dr. Fish and for you slogans are entirely unhelpful? Additionally, Do you have a one-liner that you like? Do you have a slogan that’s appropriate for the current situation? Please share.

I’ll end with my favorite general Jewish one-liner, in fact its only three words, the best three words ever. Am Israel Chai!

About the Author
Mordechai Cohen loves teaching, loves to see people excited by their Jewish heritage and loves to see people fall in love with Israel. He is married to a sabra and they have 4 wonderful children. Mordechai lived in southern California, Toronto and now Lod, Israel. He has served as teacher and administrator in a variety of Jewish educational settings; currently he is proud to be an educator at Jewish National Fund's Alexander Muss High School in Israel and a member of the Forum of Interfaith Leaders – a joint program of the Ministry of Interior’s Division of Non-Jewish Affairs and Beit Morasha. Please note - any views expressed are Mordechai's and Mordechai's alone and Mordechai might change his views at any time. The views he expressed do not represent anybody else's views, unless of course they do.
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