In August 2010, we published a page addressing our view of how Israel Advocacy should and should not be conducted. It is listed under “Advocacy” on our home page. With all of the discussion about what should be done to promote the peace process, address the Iranian nuclear situation, BDS schemes and a whole host of other issues, I thought it would be good to share the We Are For Israel Advocacy Statement again.
Where Our Advocacy Differs
Singling Out Israel for Criticism – We believe that it is illegitimate to single out Israel for blame and censure in respect of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Even in the context of “blaming both sides,” offering general criticism of the Palestinians while specifically condemning Israeli policies and actions amounts to a double standard that obscures history in a morally questionable manner.
Seeking Unilateral Concessions from Israel – We believe that pressing Israel alone to make concessions is not only unjustified but frequently motivated by political interests, naivety, ignorance, misinformation or even anti-Judaism. Any concessions should be made in the context of the peace process and should be reciprocal in nature.
Advocating Boycotts, Divestment or Sanctions against Israel – We believe that actions designed to weaken Israel’s economy and harm her society should be viewed as being anti-Israel and must be opposed by Israel advocates. Those favoring these tactics are functionally negotiating for the Palestinian side and diminishing the likelihood that the Palestinians will enter into peace negotiations themselves.
Seeking Action by the United States to Pressure Israel to Yield to Palestinian Demands – We believe that America should support Israel in its efforts to negotiate a secure and lasting peace with the Palestinians by working with Israel and the Palestinians to reach that goal. America should not work against Israel on behalf of the Palestinians by pressuring Israel to accept Palestinian demands while receiving nothing in return. The mere appearance of one-sided pressure on Israel fosters Palestinian intransigence and encourages their refusal to come to the negotiating table. This tactic is neither pro-Israel, nor pro-peace.
Obscuring Palestinian Obligations and Commitments – We believe that heightening awareness of Palestinian obligations and responsibilities is a pre-requisite for advancing the peace process. We believe this to be an essential part of Israel advocacy. These commitments include actively combating the use of violence against Israel, ending the glorification of those who have committed acts of violence, and ceasing the incitement of hatred against Israel and against Jews, especially in school curricula and in state sponsored media. Peace should be promoted.
Criticizing Israel When Israel Acts to Ensure the Safety of Her Citizens – We believe that Israel has an absolute right to self-defense. The only way to reduce significantly the need for heightened defenses – including the naval blockade of Gaza and the West Bank security barrier – is through the peace process. When difficult choices must be made between the safety of Israel’s citizens and the needs or convenience of Palestinians, the right to self-defense must come first.
Turning Support for Israel into a Partisan Issue – We believe that our advocacy should not be motivated or influenced by political party affiliation. The best course for Israeli advocacy is a non-partisan approach that welcomes support for Israel from all and eschews it from none.
Demeaning or Vilifying Israel’s Elected Leaders – We believe that Israel’sdemocratically elected leaders, no matter what their political leanings, should be treated with respect and offered support in the pursuit of the goals of security, prosperity, and peace.
Careless Words Exploited by Israel’s Detractors and Enemies – We believe that we must consider how others might use, distort or manipulate our words in reference to Israel. We have seen and heard the words of Jewish leaders and organizations, often offered out of concern for Israel, utilized by those who seek to harm her. This is especially so in the case of those promoting the use of boycott, sanctions, and divestment schemes.
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