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Steeltown success for Hasbara Fellows

Nov 13, 2012
Hasbara Fellow and McMaster University student Sean Haber writes about major accomplishments in Steeltown.

Another semester is slowly drawing to a close, and McMaster University’s
Israel on Campus (IOC) is proud to say that it is shaping up to be a successful one for
Mac’s pro-Israel community.

The first event of the year was Bedouin Night, a fun social event by a bonfire
that celebrated Israel’s Bedouin population. Many of the students with fond
memories of Bedouin tents in the Negev enjoyed the guitar, drums, and homemade
pita, but everyone was a fan of the Bedouin tea! Before the event, we tabled in the
McMaster University Student Center in order to promote the event and teach
passersby about the Bedouin’s of Israel . A lot of people were fascinated to hear
about the Bedouin’s culture and contributions to Israel, such as that of Ishmael
Khaldi, the first Bedouin vice consul of Israel, who said that he is a “proud Israeli”
and has defined Israel as “one of the most culturally diversified societies and the
only true democracy in the Middle East.”

Our next event was a contribution to “McMaster Peace Week,” where we gave
out “peaces” of cake, which were beautifully decorated with Israeli flags and peace
signs. We also raised money for Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), a charity that promotes
peace through medicine by providing lifesaving operations for the children of
Israel’s (otherwise) hostile neighbours. Supporters of the peace week initiative
were impressed that over half of children saved by SACH come from the Palestinian

We were proud to have Israel’s consulate general to Toronto, DJ
Schneeweiss, as a guest at Mac. Mr. Schneeweiss spoke to a number of our pro-Israel
students about the importance of advocating for Israel at universities. He taught us
that Zionism is a movement of ideas, and Israel needs us to fight the poisonous ideas
developing on campus. Needless to say, everyone whom Mr. Schneeweiss spoke to
came out of the room inspired to work harder at our essential job.

After tabling in the Student Centre about Israel’s environmental innovations,
IOC hosted an “Israeli Wine and Canadian Cheese” night. The event took place at a
quaint restaurant in Hamilton, and we toasted to both Israel’s environmental
successes and the amazing and growing partnerships between Israel and Canada.
We were also proud to invite a number of campus political leaders, so that they
could join us in celebrating the connection between our two nations.

Last, but certainly not least, this week we were excited to be the first stop on
the Canadian tour of a number of Israeli soldiers. These friendly and inspiring
soldiers have come to Canada to meet Canadian students, learn about life here, and
teach us about life in Israel and the army. Everyone enjoyed hanging out over lunch,
and then going on a hike to a lake behind campus. One thing is for sure—the Israelis
were very impressed by the Fall scenery, but less impressed with the Fall weather.

Overall, Mac IOC is very proud to say that this past semester has been very
fulfilling, and that hopefully, the next one will be even more so!

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