Dec 3, 2013
By: Miranda Lapides, Hasbara Fellow '13
It’s been quite an exciting semester for the pro-Israel community here at George Mason! The Israel Student Association has had two big events this semester, our first one being a fundraiser for Syrian refugees called Step Up for Syria. We had papers face down and for every $5 that was donated to a paper, we would flip that piece over. Ultimately, the flipped papers created a larger image of a Syrian child, a fact about the conflict, and an inspirational quote by Anne Frank. We raised about $360 that would go to the Red Cross to improve the quality of life for refugees. Our group along with members of Alpha Epsilon Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon helped make this successful event possible.
Nov 13, 2013
By: Ron Feingold '13 & Shira Frishman '12, Hasbara Fellows
One of the most basic concepts discussed in an introductory economics class is that people respond to incentives. Whether they are used to reward positive and wanted behaviors or to punish unwanted ones, incentives play a major role in the decision making of individuals.
Governments oftentimes use incentives to promote a certain policy amongst their citizens. Last week, for example, the Israeli government released 26 Palestinian prisoners — all convicted murderers — as a goodwill gesture to encourage and expedite the American-brokered peace talks.
Anti-Israel groups sink to new low on the West Coast
By: Alan Levine
There is currently a debate at the University of British Columbia as to whether student fees will go to fund a future Canadian flotilla to Gaza. Also at the University of Southern California, last week, anti-Israel groups openly opposed a fundraiser for survivors and victims of the genocide in Darfur.
All UBC students pay a small fee to support student activities. This money is then allocated to various campus groups. One campus group has proposed donating $700 of its allocated money to a new Gaza flotilla, similar to the one that made headlines when one if its vessels, the Mavi Marmara, clashed with Israeli troops last May.
That ship, which called its self “humanitarian,” was actually funded by a group with ties to terrorist organizations including Hamas. The ship was packed with all sorts of weapons and the passengers openly bragged of their intentions to clash violently with the Israeli army. (See a great video about it here).
According to David Frum in Canada’s National Post, the UBC student group that oversees student funds put a temporary stop to the flotilla funding, pending a vote by the full student council. The anti-Israel student group, “Solidarity with Palestinian Human Rights” (SPHR), have responded with “a campaign of abuse and intimidation.”
The UBC Alma Mater Society President Bijan Ahmadian tweeted on Thursday: “Shaken from the physical intimidation by the SPHR President at my office today. Had to call security to remove him.”
A student coalition including Hasbara Fellows, the UBC Israel Action Committee, and Hillel has launched a petition against “shipping my student fees to Gaza.” View, sign, and spread the petition here.
At the University of Southern California, last week, anti-Israel groups openly opposed a fundraiser for survivors and victims of the genocide in Darfur. The fundraiser, organized byHasbara Fellows Shanel Melamed, Stephanie Aziz and Kevin Javidzad and co-sponsored by ‘SC Students for Israel and the Campus Democrats, was protested by an anti-Israel student group on campus.
We have seen anti-Israel student groups side with Iranian-backed Islamist regimes before. They were apologists for Hezbollah during its 2006 war with Israel and for Hamas during operation Cast Lead in 2008 and 2009. But choosing to bash Israel over condemning the Sudanese regime is, to the best of my knowledge, a new low. To say these radical student groups support the Sudanese regime may be putting words in their mouths, though not a far stretch of the imagination. What we can say for sure—at least at USC—is that they find it more important to bash Israel than to come together to support the victims of Darfur.