To Be Brave is Our Challenge

“Bravery is to be a Zionist on a college campus”(Alan Dershowitz). As Israel is slandered in the global world community, on networks like the BBC, CNN, New York Times etc. the college community begins to soak in the lies that are told in repetition, thus creating a false narrative. Seeming to take a page literally out of Hitler’s playbook, Mein Kampf, the media have proven true the statement: If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.

Across college campuses and social media alike, I hear from everyone, acquaintances to close friends, that they either won’t discuss Israel at all, or they condemn it. One can hear daily: “Israel is a pariah state”; “Israel is an Apartheid State”; “Israel is ethnically cleansing the Palestinians”; “Israel is guilty of crimes against humanity in their offensive against the Palestinians”. Again and again and again, lies are repeated, often with catchy phrases like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” (which by the way implies, with a picture of Israel, that a “free Palestine” would mean the end of Israel’s existence as both a Jewish State and a state in and of itself).

Zionism is the belief in the self-determination of the Jewish people. Zionism is an understanding that no matter your sexual orientation you must be allowed to marry your partner. Zionism is the protection of human life no matter your religion (warning extremely graphic content), race or ethnicity. Zionism is a belief in justice, equality, fairness and freedom. I am a proud a Zionist, and condemned for it.

At liberal college campuses in particular, students are keen to take on the “quintessential human rights cause”, the fight for the “underdog”, the struggle for “Palestinian liberation”. In defense of these students, the media, in particularly in the last 50 days, has done an incredible job showing only the Hamas narrative, using numbers reported by the political wing of Hamas to the United Nations.

The allegedly apolitical organization Amnesty International, released yet another statement condemning Israel, opening with the phrase, “At least 2,104 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 495 children, had been killed by the time Israel and Hamas agreed (to) a ceasefire on 26 August, according to UN figures.” Ignoring the nearly 5000 rocket attacks on Israel in 50 days, Amnesty chose to discuss civilian death tolls out of context (as per usual when discussing Israel and the Disputed Territories). One only has to do minimal research to find the countless examples of Hamas terrorizing reporters, rockets launched from UN schools, Palestinians forcibly used as human shields, among other true human rights violations.

And thus we come to a crossroads in which Israel and her allies have a choice: display the truth and be attacked for it physically or emotionally, or step back and refuse to offend others as so many college students do. The fact of the matter is this: I have no choice. Israel is equality. Israel is safety. Israel is personal. Israel is home.

So I am asking you for help, and I know it is a challenge. Speak up, speak out, and speak the truth. Do your research, understand the facts and in particular the context in which figures are distorted. Without you Israel is alone, fighting a war on three fronts: in the media, in the political world, and on the ground. She needs your help.

About the Author
Seth Greenwald is passionate in his fights both against anti-Semitism on college campuses as well as the fight against anti-Israel bias and slander worldwide. Seth first developed a passion for Israel after traveling there for his Bar-Mitzvah, kindled that passion through United Synagogue Youth, and has continued to develop throughout his undergraduate career at Clark University. Seth also served as an intern at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle Eastern Reporting for America (CAMERA), Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and the David Project.