Advocating for Israel
By Vivian Henoch, Editor myJewishDetroit
January 1, 2013
Research which has been cited by pro-Israel advocates has shown that when a Jewish individual talks to his/her non-Jewish friend, neighbor or co-worker about Israel, even just once in a year, the non-Jew’s awareness of and support for Israel increases. Fifty two percent of Americans report having a Jewish neighbor, co-worker or friend. But only 13% of those people say the Jewish person has spoken to them about Israel!
Every person can be an effective Israel advocate.
Everyone has the ability to educate and advocate when talking to co-workers, neighbors and friends.
Where to start
Are you proud? Worried? Uncertain? Here are a few talking points to help your discussion along. Consider your own personal stories. When you speak from the heart about your visits to Israel or your family and friends living in Israel, you add context to your “talking points” and strengthen your stand.
Israel’s right to exist
Israel’s right to exist is not debatable; Israel was created by the United Nations in 1948, and has been a member in good standing of that organization ever since. Is there another U.N. member who’s credentials are challenged?
Most Israelis recognize the claim of Palestinians for a national identity and future state. Israelis want peace and most accept a two-state solution in which their Jewish state of Israel lives side-by-side in peace with a Palestinian state.
The fight against terrorism
Israel is an ally in the United States’ fight against terrorism. In political debate, we accept no less than an outright condemnation of terrorism as an immoral act.
A vibrant and strong democracy
Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. All of its 8 million citizens — including an Arab minority of over 1 million – enjoy freedom of speech, religion, association, expression, the press, free elections with multiple parties, separation of powers and gender equality. In addition, Israel’s democracy has led to a flourishing economy, with a high percentage of citizens with university degrees and Nobel Prize winners heading high-tech, medical research, and other start-ups showing the way.
Still, threats loom
Israel faces a missile threat from states like Syria and non-state actors like Hamas and Hezbollah, terrorist threats from Islamic Jihad and Al Qaida, and a potential nuclear threat from Iran. As such, she needs the continued support of the United States coupled with the Israeli people’s ingenuity, resourcefulness and determination to defeat the odds against survival as the only Jewish state.
Millions of Israelis in southern and central Israel have been under attack by Hamas terrorists who fire rockets and missiles indiscriminately as they target innocent men, women and children. Even Jerusalem, with its Muslim and Christian population and important holy sites, has been under fire.
How can you help?
Join other American Jews who are standing with Israel in their time of need by taking action.
Contact your members of Congress and President Obama thanking them for their support of Israel’s right to self defense.
Write to the editors of local newspapers, radio or TV expressing support for Israel’s fight, opposing terrorism and expressing hope for peace.
(You can quickly and easily send your messages to Washington and the media by clicking on the E-Advocacy links on the Detroit JCRC website’s home page, www.DetroitJCRC.org)
Show and tell your co-workers, neighbors, friends and even family members that you care about Israel and want peace for the region. Let them hear a personal voice – yours, instead of just relying on what they see and read in the media.
Send a contribution to Detroit’s Jewish Federation or another Jewish organization which helps Israel in this time of need.
“One-click” email messaging
• To send an email to your U.S senator, click here.
• To send an email to your U.S. representative, click here.
• To send an email to President Obama, click here.
• To send an email to your Michigan state senator, click here.
• To send an email to your Michigan state representative, click here.
• To send an email to Governor Snyder, click here.
– by Allan Gale, Associate Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
A message from Our Partnership Region
As an Israeli working for our Detroit Federation, I couldn’t be more proud of our amazing organization. It is very rare for someone to be able to say that he’s working for an organization that is truly making a difference in people’s lives. I personally don’t take that for granted and I’m honored to be able to say that I work for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Last November when Israel was under attack and all schools were closed, our Detroit Federation helped fund trauma counseling, social activities and transportation mobilizing thousands of school children out of harms way. If all those kids and their families could personally deliver a message back to the Detroit community, I’m sure it would be this: “TODA RABA Mikol Halev!” Thank you with all our hearts! And that “Thank you” goes to each and every one of you for all your hard work and dedication that makes this possible. -Yoav Raban, Federation’s Outreach and Engagement Coordinator