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How to Respond to Anti-Israel Sentiment and Claims

by Rabbi John Rosove

November 18, 2012 | 12:49 pm

I received an email today from a young woman away at college who I have known for most of her life. She is a strongly identifying Jew, smart, open-minded and open-hearted. She asked me for help in addressing the following statement made to her by a college friend:

“Israel is the aggressor. Israel won't compromise. Israel needs to be stripped of its military because it is using it too liberally. Israel is the bully."

About five years ago it became clear to me that college students, in particular, and adult Jews as well, do not have the background necessary to respond effectively to the kinds of statements that my friend shared with me. And so, I wrote and compiled a document entitled “Facts, Responses and Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” that offers, to the best of my ability, a concise history of the conflict drawing on facts and modern scholarship from a variety of sources.

My goal in writing this piece was to state the most common myths and distortions made against Israel and then to offer the true history behind the claim. (Note: I have not added to this document since April, 2010).

This past year I published another piece in the CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly entitled “The International Delegitimization Campaign Against Israel and the Urgent Need of a Comprehensive, Two-State, End-of-Conflict Peace Agreement” (Winter, 2012).

I referred my college student friend to both of these pieces which can be accessed on The Temple Israel of Hollywood Website under “About Us” and “Clergy.”  http://www.tioh.org/about-us/clergy/aboutus-clergy-clergystudy

If you yourself need more information, or you feel your high school and college student children and grandchildren could benefit, then I ask you to refer them to these pieces as a beginning to gaining greater understanding.

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