Take the fight to BDS on campuses

I’m tired of reading reports of students complaining of anti-Semitism on campus. I’m tired of Facebook posts of Jewish students being threatened because of their ‘Jewish agendas’. And I’m especially tired about hearing about the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement attempting to enter university campuses.

According to a recent report by the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Israel events skyrocketed by over thirty percent this year. Enough is enough.

The pro-Israel movement on campuses needs to shift from reactive to proactive. The fight needs to be taken to the anti-Israel movement, not vice-versa. Waiting for the anti-Israel movement to arrive on campuses only to react to anti-Semitism does not work, and the statistics are proof. Students, don’t be afraid, you must begin to advocate. It’s important to remember that at the very basis of Zionism is the ‘new Jew’ — the Jew that fights back, refuses to be a victim, and writes his or her own destiny.

You can take your campuses back. There is a simple three step solution. It worked on my campus as a student. It can work for yours too.

1. Influence powerful clubs and organizations

Pro-Israel advocates need to start running for leadership positions in any and every organization that has influence on the campus. At the University of Arizona, we had advocates writing in the newspaper, student government, and greek life. And when you join these organizations, you need to make relationships with fellow student leaders that make a difference. Teach them why Israel is an asset to the United States. I don’t need to remind you that the student leaders of today will be the nation’s leaders of tomorrow.

Photo credit to Nicole Siegel – former CatPAC President

2. Get on the offense 

Start reaching out to the clubs and organizations that you’re involved with before the anti-Israel movement can get to them. Don’t wait for a BDS resolution to be drafted, rather, pre-empt it by writing a pro-Israel resolution. Write opinion editorials in the school newspaper highlighting the shared values between the US and Israel. Craft activities for various clubs that highlight special interests and Israel.

Op-ed written during Operation: Pillar of Defense

3. Do not respond to the tactics of the anti-Israel movement

It doesn’t matter if they interrupt a lecture on Israel. No student should get violent. No student should be vulgar. You cannot change the mind of an anti-Israel activist, but you can change the mind of your average student on the sideline. So stick with your values and show average students that pro-Israel advocates won’t stoop down to their level.

It’s up to you.

I can’t continue reading statistics about anti-Semitic attacks and anti-Israel events on American campuses. Letting the anti-Israel movement control American campuses must stop. If students don’t begin to fight back, the anti-Israel movement will only grow stronger. The lies of the anti-Israel movement will spread to more and more students—the same students that will be the future generation of the US.

So on a final note to the students that are reading this post. You are on the front lines. You can choose to be proactive instead of reactive. Don’t consider this a fight for university campuses, consider this a fight for the future of a pro-Israel America.

About the Author
Joey is a writer, social activist, and new immigrant to Israel. He works as a program manager for an international Israel education organization, where he trains students from around the world in Israel activism. Before immigrating to Israel, Joey received a BA in Middle Eastern studies and political science at the University of Arizona. He served as a lone soldier in the IDF with the Paratrooper Brigade.
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