While I applaud informing Jewish high school students of the pressures they will likely confront dealing with vociferous anti-Israel critics on college campuses (“College prep,” May 20), this sounds like the same ineffectual approach that has been going on for the past decade.
Platitudes like “know your history” and “make contact with local Jewish community groups” are impotent. Our college students are unprepared for both the intensity and sophistication of the anti-Israel rhetoric that has become so prevalent. Our vast network of Jewish organizations has been woefully inept in creating cohesive strategic responses that refute our opponents’ cunning deceptions and misinterpretations.
We American Jews have rightly criticized Israel for its hasbarah (communications). It is time we own the sad truth that we here have done an awful job of providing our children the sophisticated tools needed to make the case for Israel. Where is the coalition that recognizes the urgency of protecting not only Israel but also our youth? Today’s anti-Israel shouters are tomorrow’s voters and legislative support of Israel will disappear in another 10 years.
Our national organizations are constantly fundraising on behalf of this very cause, yet their results are paltry, fighting today’s battles with yesterday’s mentality. Op-eds and radio commercials accomplish little against mock checkpoints on campus and viral marketing. We are all losing as a result.