Pro-Israel Strategy Faces Campus Setbacks

Divestment Push Advances at Brown and Cal-Irvine

Campus Debate: Students at the University of California-Irvine debate a proposal to call for divestment from Israel.
josh Friedman
Campus Debate: Students at the University of California-Irvine debate a proposal to call for divestment from Israel.

By Seth Berkman

Published November 29, 2012, issue of December 07, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 4 of 4)

Eran Shayshon, an advocate of the “beyond the conflict” strategy at the Reut Institute, in Israel, said: “Clearly, when clashes erupt, there’s a fertile ground to promote anti-Israel sentiment and much more criticism of Israeli policy. But it also diverts attention from efforts that seem marginal to the bigger story.”

Shayshon, who is director of national security and global affairs at Reut, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on influencing change in the Jewish world, said that groups like Irvine Divest were only interested in media exposure. But he acknowledged that the resolution helped “reawaken pro-Israel groups on campus.”

Lisa Armony, director of the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family Services, Orange County, which was created in 2008 to counter anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity at UC Irvine, agreed that pro-Israel students were rallying in response to the resolution.

Rothstein, of StandWithUs, said that pro-Israel students felt attacked by the divestment measure. She said that when Israel is not being attacked on campus, “you have the luxury of doing education on Israel technology and humanitarian aid.”

Cecilie Surasky, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group that supports some forms of BDS, dismissed the idea that the beyond-the-conflict strategy had quelled campus support for BDS. “Divestment efforts and criticism of Israeli occupation [are] simply becoming more normalized and accepted,” she wrote to the Forward in an email. “Years ago, no one even talked about Palestinians. Five years ago, student activists had to educate others about the occupation. Now, everyone knows about the occupation; the debate is about how to end it.”

Contact Seth Berkman at berkman@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.