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May 04, 2011

CAMERA Fellows Interviewed in Hadassah Magazine Story

Hadassah Magazine interviewed several CAMERA Fellows who provided their perspective of anti-Israel propaganda on their college campuses:

Jewish college students today not only confront the challenges of independence, uncooperative roommates, intense classes, but also threats to their identities and the measure of their support for Israel. The upswing in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, scheduling of Israeli Apartheid Week and anti-Israel lectures have caused Jewish organizations, local campus groups and individual students to devote time and resources to making Israel a priority. Delegitimizing Israel even reached the hummus market in 2010, as a controversy at Princeton and DePaul Universities broke out over the sale of American-based Sabra products in their dining halls.

“You have to really care about Israel to put yourself on the line,” says Micah Toll, 21, a mechanical engineering major at the University of Pittsburgh. “It doesn’t fit into college schedules or lifestyle.” Until this year, Toll says, anti-Israel extremism was not much of a problem at Pittsburgh. Now, mock checkpoints, a play called I Heart Hamas funded by student activities fees and anti-Israel bias at the campus newspaper have caused him to become more involved. He is a fellow of CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, one of the groups that tackles the campus environment. ... For me, it’s easy, because Israel advocates for itself through its civil rights record, its being the only democracy in the Middle East.

Judith Leibowitz, 21, a journalism and psychology major at Brooklyn College, decided to [engage rather than disengage]. “I wear a Magen David all the time,” she says. “I am not scared of the Palestinians on campus. They are not afraid to wear their hijabs and burkas. [Jews] who are afraid to openly express their religious affiliation are giving up the fight for Israel.”

Despite the location of the campus—in the heart of Jewish Flatbush —Leibowitz notes that the Palestinian Club, founded in 2009, is more active than the “largely apathetic” Jewish student population, which makes up about a quarter of the 16,000 daytime students. ... Leibowitz was studying in Jerusalem during the 2008 terrorist attack on Merkaz Harav Yeshiva. “I realized there was nothing being said on campus when I returned,” she says, adding that she organizes pro-Israel events through a CAMERA fellowship.

Posted by AS at May 4, 2011 03:51 PM

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