I would like to send a big thank you to Zionist Seminar for coming to
speak to us, and to Rolladin bakery for offering us the use of their
space.  There was a lively interaction between the Zionist Seminar
group and The 10-15 people who showed up, and many useful ideas came out
of it.

For those who were unable to make it, Kate Zangrilli has graciously
provided a summary (attached below) of some of the main items.  Thanks


Summary of YZOA meeting with the Zionist Seminar group - March 25, 2003

        Yossi, a member of the Zionist Seminar group (ZS) brought up the
idea that Israelis fight two wars: the military war against terrorists and
the war for fair public opinions.  The Palestinians have the appeal of the
underdog, while Jews have a long history of being the victims of hate.
These are both justifications for actions in the media.
        The public opinion war is just as important as the military
aspects.  Israel continues to suffer increasing economic isolation from
European embargoes and divestment campaigns (especially among universities
who stop investing in/giving scholarships to Israelis).  There is a US law
against the boycotting of Israel.  There is also the problem of defining
anti-Semitism as anti-Jewish without being anti-Israel.  This is popular
among "intellectuals" who are introducing this as a new way of thinking.

There was extensive discussion of how we as activists, can organize and
carry out activities that are Pro-Israel rather than Anti-something else.
Some activities suggestions/ideas:

1) Create a media bias education program
        a) Show a power point presentation of different photographs and ask
           the participants what they see and how it makes them feel.
        b) It is an educational tool that does not push any opinion or
           doctrine down anyone's throat.
        c) A successful presentation shows the media as a pawn.

2) Show films about Israel without politics
        a) Show Israeli charity and beauty
        b) Ex - Film: "Tikun Olam" (Changing the world)

3) Rally / Demonstration
        a) Invite Jewish and non-Jewish families to a fair and give out
           information that demonstrates the Israeli point of view

4) Develop correspondences between American and Israeli students
        a) Have a "Victims of Terrorism" fund; raise money through a raffle
           (one way to collect phone numbers and email addresses and
           names) or through a potted plant sale
        b) Coordinate with the localJewish Education Institute (JEI)
                i) They can help coordinating informative and interesting
                   interactive games and speakers

5) Pittsburgh: SAVE THE DATE: April 7-9 at Hillel; Eyewitness Speakers Series
        a) Saul Kramer (IDF soldier from Jenin operation), Concordia student
           activist who videotaped riot; family of students who died in
           the Hebrew University massacre; Shoah (Holocaust) survior; film
           showing: "Relentless"

6) Advertise sources of "unbiased" information about Israel such as
the Jerusalem Post.  (Kate's tip: Try to find sources that are not
obviously Israeli, otherwise people will assume bias where there is none.)

7) Recruit dynamic speakers as language barriers can be an issue for reporters
        a) Unfortunately, the media often picks and chooses what interviews
           to show, so having one dynamic speaker does not guarantee that
           his/her message will be disseminated.  Be aware of this, and
           try to counter it as best you can.

8) Imitate Chabad's method of turning all individual Jews into leaders
(pyramid scheme)

9) Interact with Allies: Eg - Catholics, Indians; wmust engage and support
their causes as well as our own
        a) Have a contact person in each group
        b) Invite your contacts to all events and meetings

10) Evening for Jewish history and archaeology: not political necessarily,
but shows truth about many issues that about our history that may
otherwise cause confusion and lead

11) Have a blood drive for victims of terror

12) Focus on Symbolic meaning by selling pro-Israel stickers to people for
$1 while collecting names and addresses
        a) Some professors are isolated and persecuted by their peers!!

13) Jacques notes the need the constant need for more people and more
people's time.  Many North American Jews seem to feel that they have the
luxury of not doing anything; that these events somehow don't affect them.
They are wrong.  Eg - note recent headline: "Peace protesters assault
Jewish student at York University"

14) Recruit public and private high school students to get people
started early

15) Yossi: Key to reaching non-Jews: Personal stories

16) Jacques: Key to reaching non-Jews: Changing the moral equation

17) Hashbara - explaining the situation, noun

18) Support Israeli Businesses: Ex, Gap, Victoria's Secret, kids' games.
Make a list of Israeli businesses to support
        a) If you get an email that says certain product does or does not come
           from the mid-east, instead of making it a policy to buy or not
           buy that product, call and check with the company.  This will
           let the company know that there are those who pay attention to
           what they do, and will give you the most accurate information.
           Do the same for companies that are said to be affiliated with
           terror regions.

19) When someone says to you that Israel is racist, here is a possible

All citizens in Israel are equal under the Israeli law irrespective of
religion, race, belief, sexual orientation, etc., and anyone may become a
citizen.  There is a policy of automatically granting citizenship to any
Jew who applies, but anyone can obtain citizenship through regular
channels, as per any Western country.  Jordan has a similar policy.
Their country code states that any Palestinian who applies is
automatically granted citizenship, UNLESS they are Jews.  It is also
illegal to be Jew in many Arab countries, and Christians are considered
second-class citizens.  A useful though experiment is to consider that
anywhere in North America or Israel, groups can and do build Mosques,
Churches, Synagogues, and all kind of other places of worship (indeed,
Israeli tax dollars go to aid in the construction of Mosques).  Now, try
to imagine someone trying to build a Church or Synagogue in one of the
Arab-Muslim countries.  Hard to imagine isn't it.  That's probably because
it's illegal.  It bring the message home though.  It can also be noted
that many Muslim Israeli citizens have a higher standard of living than
elsewhere in the region.

20) Media work is vital to the protection of Israel

21) Jacques mentioned plans for an Arabs for Israel speaker series.
(Kate's note: engage your Arab friends in discussion to see if they
support Zionism or if they know people who do.)

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