It’s Israel Apartheid Week and the Israeli veterans and student activists of Reservists on Duty are reporting to campuses across America. Their mission is fighting back against the lies and the hate.
The annual anti-Israel campus events have become notorious for anti-Semitism and assaults on Jewish students. Posterboard walls rise on quads depicting Israel as a racist apartheid state. Fake checkpoints manned by anti-Israel activists dressed in the uniforms of Israeli soldiers pop up around the country.
Meanwhile Jewish students tuck their Stars of David into their shirts. Distinctive Jewish clothing is put away. Most Jewish students just try to keep their heads down until the ugliness of the week passes.
It’s a tough time to be pro-Israel. But the Shillman Fellows of Reservists on Duty are used to challenges.
Reservists on Duty was co-founded by Amit Deri. A major in the Israeli Defense Forces, Deri hadn’t paid much attention to politics during his decade in the military. While in the IDF, he didn’t know “what was happening outside the military”. And once he did, he was determined to fight back with the truth.
Deri had lost one of his best friends in the fight against terrorism. And he and other IDF vets founded and staffed Reservists on Duty to ensure that those sacrifices in the War on Terror would not be in vain.
On American college campuses, Deri saw for the first time just how ugly the lies were.
At the University of Houston, a school that Deri describes as one of the worst, alongside UC-Berkeley and UC-Irvine, a girl told him, “You’re taking organs from Palestinians and putting them into Israelis”.
Like American soldiers during the Vietnam War, Israeli soldiers are demonized and spat on. There is no bizarre atrocity and no impossible horror, too implausible or unlikely to attribute to the men in green.
Reservists on Duty challenges the prejudices and lies by bringing actual Israeli veterans to campus.
Every Israeli Apartheid Week, they call up the ‘reservists’ who jump into action.
“We’re sending our guys there during Apartheid Week to engage with students exposed to these carnivals of hate,” Deri says.
In 3 weeks, they’ve hit over 30 campuses. The University of San Diego is one of them.
The University of San Diego isn’t holding an Apartheid Week, but Jonathan Elkhoury showed up anyway to tell his story. The Arab Christian refugee was only nine years old when he came to Israel. Like many of Israel’s Jewish refugees, his family came to Israel fleeing Islamic violence and built a new life in Israel.
Now, while working on his degree, Jonathan Elkhoury is challenging lies and preconceptions by telling his story. On campuses where no ugly smear or conspiracy theory about Israel is too extreme, he brings his own experience of both sides to bridge the gap and tell the truth about Israel and its people.
It’s not easy.
He’s been called an Uncle Tom and was spat on at George Mason University for waving an Israeli flag.
At UC Irvine, he was told that Haifa is an apartheid city with a separate transportation system for Jews and Arabs. Elkhoury, who had lived in Haifa laughed and replied that it was the most diverse city in Israel. As a child, he had grown up attending a school with students of different of religions and backgrounds. He knows better than anyone else that the apartheid myth is really a big lie.
And now, at the University of San Diego, Elkhoury had achieved a breakthrough.
It was an “amazing moment,” Elkhoury told me. Usually the anti-Israel activists heckle, yell and refuse to participate. But this time, he had convinced a Muslim student from the West Bank to hold a dialogue. As their conversation evolved, the student agreed that the ‘Palestinian’ leadership was the problem.
The amazing moment was just another day for an amazing organization and its Shillman Fellows.
Deri, along with Elkhoury, had been spat on at George Mason University. Elkhoury has been at UC Berkeley. At UC Irvine, one of the women with Reservists on Duty was pushed and another spat on.
But some of the activists have seen worse in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. It’ll take a lot more than spitting and shoving to stop them. Instead, the members of Reservists on Duty go on the offensive.
When anti-Israel activists hold a ‘die-in’ at Berkeley to protest Israel, Reservists on Duty show up in IDF medic shirts with medical equipment, and announce, “We are IDF medics, there’s been a Hamas terror attack, and we are here to treat wounded regardless of their race or religion.”
The creative disruption is part of what Deri calls a ‘chutzpah’ strategy.
Nov 27, 2019 0
(Photo: Aish.com / YouTube)
Despite advances in modern medicine, China is setting up roadblocks to cope with an outbreak of an ancient plague that once wiped out one-third of the world’s population and may have been one of the plagues that God used to strike Egypt.
Chinese officials installed temperature scanners at airports and checkpoints on main roads in an attempt to stop the spread of Bubonic plague as a fourth case was discovered in less than three weeks. A program to exterminate rats and fleas, which carry the disease, was also launched in Inner Mongolia where the disease seems to be originating.
Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.
Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.
The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Pope Francis Meets Thailand’s Buddhist Patriarch in Golden Temple (screenshot)
Pope Francis topped off his three-day visit to Thailand last Saturday with a meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple. The meeting took place in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha. The Pope followed Buddhist custom by removing his shoes.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood. The Declaration s a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
An Israeli company says it is using space travel technology to help solve one of the most pressing problems down on Earth — the reliance on diesel fuel, a major source of pollution.
Israeli startup GenCell has developed an electric generator based on a hydrogen-energy technology used to power some of the most-famous space missions in history.
The verse (Deuteronomy 6:4) Shema Yisrael – “Hear Oh Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is One” – is understood to (in Wikipedia’s words) “encapsulate the monotheistic essence of Judaism.” It’s understood to be a declaration not only there is one and only one God, but also that God’s oneness is all-inclusive. God includes every particle of existence is within Him. God is not just ruling over the world. God encompasses the world. Time and space and all of us are within God. Nothing stands outside of God’s Oneness, and God encompasses all existence equally
Watching events unfold in Israel is an experience in split-screen living. On the right side of the screen is the chaos outside our gates, in neighboring lands. And on the left side of the screen is the chaos inside.
On the left side of the screen on Tuesday, 15,000 Israelis gathered Tuesday evening outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to demand legal justice for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of what they view as an anti-democratic usurpation of political power by Israel’s legal fraternity.
It hard to believe that two weeks ago, Israel was on the brink of war. With the Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing nearly 500 missiles from Gaza into Israel within a 48-hour period, even Tel Aviv was put on alert and certain train routes were canceled. My mind immediately raced to a Christian group I was going to host for Shabbat in Jerusalem Israel – Pastor Leroy Armstrong of Proclaiming the Word Ministries.
Turkey’s little remarked on but ongoing mistreatment of historic churches is increasingly reflective of that nation’s growing sense of Islamic supremacism.
Before the Turks invaded it, Anatolia (present day Turkey) was an ancient Christian region; a large chunk of St. Paul’s epistles were sent to or dealt with its churches, including the seven of the Apocalypse. With the Turks’ conquest, colonization, and subsequent Turkification of Anatolia—hence why it’s now simply called “Turkey”—tens of thousands of churches were systematically desecrated and turned into victory mosques.
Sorek was the grandson of a Rabbi who survived the Holocaust, and was universally described as a kind, gentle soul. His funeral was interrupted by Palestinians shooting off fireworks celebrating his murder.
Two terrorists, including one affiliated with Hamas were arrested for the murder. And at the time, Hamas said in a statement, “We salute the hero fighters, sons of our people, who carried out the heroic operation which killed a soldier of the occupation army,” Hamas said in a statement. The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad also hailed the killing as “heroic and bold.”