Deborah Shamilov

Deborah Shamilov

CAMERA — the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America — held its annual student leadership and advocacy training conference in Boston last week. The conference is dedicated to helping students combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel agitators on college campuses.

Deborah Shamilov, a Rutgers University student, was among the attendees. Last year, the anti-Israel atmosphere at Rutgers shocked her. “One friend of mine was subjected to ugly anti-Semitic remarks,” she said. “Another friend had the professor of her Middle Eastern studies class make an anti-Semitic comment about ‘Jewish power.’” She added that Rutgers has an active chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine. The group can get loud and aggressive on campus, especially during its “Israel Apartheid Week,” which Shamilov describes as “Hate Week.”

The four-day conference emphasizes hands-on learning techniques — role-playing, debate practice, public speaking exercises, “letter to the editor” workshops, even training in Israeli martial arts. Students also attend lectures and study academic papers on the Middle East conflict.