Posts tagged with 'sjp'

Conversation, Not Confrontation: Moving Forward Together

Posted by Shapiro Ron on February 27, 2012 @ 1:59 am

In preparation for Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine’s ‘Israeli Apartheid Week,’ below is the text for the Columbia/Barnard Hillel Israel Va’ad fact sheet. Click here for the flyer image file.

Sustained Security

  • Since construction of the security barrier began in 2003, the number of terrorist attacks in Israel has declined by 97%.
  • The purpose of the barrier is to establish security, not to create a social divide. It is not the permanent solution.

Economic Progress

  • The Palestine Investment Conference is actively working on new and innovative ideas to advance the Palestinian economy. One project is the planned city of Rawabi, which is in its early stages, and once it is fully built, it will be the first planned Palestinian city.1
  • Ramallah, the largest city in the West Bank, has been undergoing a construction boom, and the large increases in property development are indicators of strong economic growth.2
  • There have also been positive joint economic ventures, such as the burgeoning relationship between the Palestinian city of Jenin and the Israeli area of Gilboa. The two cities have worked to create joint business enterprises and are planning an industrial zone to connect the two cities.3

Working Towards Democracy

  • Since the Oslo Peace Accords, 96% of Palestinians live under full Palestinian civil administration, of which 55% live under Palestinian security control as well.
  • The Palestinian Authority has instituted its own criminal justice system and court structure to try Palestinian people according to their own legal system.
  • The prospect of a viable Palestinian state is moving towards becoming a reality. This state will govern its own people by passing and enforcing its own laws. Israel, judged by its repeated offers to the Palestinians to create a Palestinian state, wants such a state to be created; Israel does not want Palestinians to continue to live under its authority.

Civil Equality

  • All Israelis, including Arabs, have equal rights.
  • Arabs have been elected to every Knesset (Israeli Parliament) since Israel’s founding. At present Arabs hold 14 of 120 seats.
  • Palestinians living in the West Bank can bring cases to the Israeli Supreme Court if they feel that the security barrier causes them excessive harm. In the past, the Court has ruled in favor of Palestinians and ordered the route of the barrier to be moved.4





African Americans and Jewish Americans Joining Together for Israel

Posted by Shapiro Ron on April 28, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

This piece was featured on Israel Campus Beat on Thursday, April 28, 2011.  It was written by Elianna Mintz.

A letter that the Vanguard Leadership Group published in many campus newspapers across the country.

Courtesy: Israel Campus Beat

When members of Columbia University’s pro-Israel and African American student groups accepted an invitation to hear two leaders of the Vanguard Leadership Group (VLG) speak on campus recently, they assumed it would be an interesting program, but they had no idea they would be a part of a groundbreaking event.

As they RSVP’d for the program, they could not have known that the event would herald significant change at Columbia. Once they arrived, however, they realized just how potent the unification of the campus’ African American and Jewish American students could be.

Most were unfamiliar with VLG, an Atlanta-based honor society for high-achieving African American students at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. Established in 2003, VLG is committed to instilling a global mindset within their students and as such has had been engaging the pro-Israel community since 2007.

VLG founder and executive director Jarrod Jordan traced the history of the group’s strong embrace of Israel to the 2008 AIPAC Policy Conference, where members were in the audience when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama stressed the importance of the historic relationship between African Americans and Jewish Americans.

“Obama explained that together African Americans and Jewish Americans are pushing America forward,” Jarrod recalled. “He expressed gratitude to AIPAC for their continuance of that relationship, which inspired us to pursue that relationship as well.

Continue reading…

Columbia Spectator: How to be an activist

Posted by Shapiro Ron on March 28, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

This piece was featured in the Columbia Spectator on Friday, March 4, 2011. It was written by the Columbia Spectator Editorial Board, not a LionPAC member.

A month ago, as the campus was exploding with discussion of ROTC, ROOTEd—a subset of the Office of Multicultural Affairs—played a role in promoting an admirable type of dialogue. Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Education initiated a discussion among students, encouraging them not necessarily to fall on one side or the other, but to examine the frame of the debate and question how different groups were presenting the issue. When discussion, a huge part of our lives at this activism-saturated University, is so often polarized and “dialogue” between groups can turn into shouting matches, thoughtful debate like this is especially valuable and rare.

Continue reading…

Where are the moderates?

Posted by jonathanhuberman on March 4, 2011 @ 10:36 am

C-SJP misrepresents the views of moderate Palestinians.

Courtesy: Amalia Rinehart, Columbia Spectator

This was featured in the Columbia Spectator on Friday, March 4, 2011.  It was written by Jonathan Huberman, LionPAC Director of Public Relations.

During Israeli Apartheid Week, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestinehas once again offensively exploited a historical tragedy. No rational person can deny the plight of the Palestinians, and no moral person can ignore their suffering. However, labeling Israel as an apartheid state grossly distorts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and belittles the suffering of South African apartheid victims. If Apartheid Week has proven anything, it has shown that C-SJP misrepresents the moderate majority of Palestinians and works against a peaceful two-state solution.

Israel is a democratic, multi-ethnic country that upholds equal rights for all of its citizens. Minorities comprise 20 percent of Israel’s population, and they enjoy the same civil liberties as any Israeli. Israeli-Arabs vote in Israel’s democratic elections and hold seats in Israel’s parliament. An Israeli-Arab, Salim Jubran, is a judge on Israel’s Supreme Court, and other Israeli-Arabs have served as deputy speakers of the Israeli parliament. Not surprisingly, a recent poll showed that 40 percent of Israeli-Arabs living in East Jerusalem would rather relocate their homes and maintain Israeli citizenship than join a Palestinian state. In contrast to citizens of other Middle Eastern nations, Israeli-Arabs enjoy greater political freedom and opportunity in Israel than they would in any other Arab country.

Continue reading…

Israeli Apartheid Week 2011 – Official Press Release

Posted by jonathanhuberman on February 28, 2011 @ 6:29 pm


New York, NY—This week, our campus must again contend with deceitful anti-Israel propaganda, as Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (CSJP) participates in the International Israeli Apartheid Week. Apartheid refers to the system of racial oppression that occurred in South Africa, and CSJP seeks to equate Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians with the racist South African regime. Beneath the façade of the apartheid analogy, CSJP makes the insidious allegation that Israel is an inherently immoral and colonial regime with no right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. These claims are false and offensive, and we cannot stand by silently as our fellow students vilify our homeland.

Israel is a moral country, and we should feel proud to defend it as an island of egalitarian democracy in a sea of despotic oppression. Israel provides equal rights to all of its citizens, regardless of their background. Israeli-Arabs vote in elections, hold seats in the Knesset, and sit on the Israeli Supreme Court. When Israel takes measures of self-defense, such as its construction of the security barrier, it does so from a desire to protect its diverse population, not to enforce racist ideologies. While some inequality does exist in Israel, as it does in every western democracy, the Israeli government has persistently sought to preserve its cultural richness and equality.

LionPAC urges everyone on campus to participate in the many LionPAC and other Hillel sponsored events this week that will respond to the false moniker of apartheid and to help Hillel on College Walk as we seek to further an honest presentation of the facts. Lastly, as always, check back often on for event announcements, insightful blog posts, and relevant Spectator op-eds.