Welcome to the first of many EIE blogs, where I will be sharing a variety of information from educational facts to personal stories to help YOU become your own advocate for Israel and the Jewish nation! My name is Barbara Melamed and I joined EIE about a year ago. My passion for the organization began once I started to notice my lack of education within Antisemitism and found myself unable to defend Israel and counter argue misinformation that came my way. I was stunned by how many of my friends felt this way as well and knew EIE would help me grow and force me to educate myself. Over this past year I have gathered many facts that changed the way I speak about Israel and gave me a foundation for defending my home. It can be easy to respond to hate with emotion but what is important to remember is that what matters most is factual evidence and the truth. With that, we could become unstoppable! I decided the best way to launch this blog would be to share the most versatile and frequently used facts and responses I have collected with all of you. So welcome! And open yourself to learning, growing, and empowering!
With that here are 5 Major Facts/Responses About Israel For Every Student:
1. The decisions of the Israeli government do not represent all of Israel and all of Jews. Israel doesn’t represent all Jews and all Jews don’t represent Israel. There is no need for a lengthy elaboration for this one being that it is extremely straightforward. ALL Jews do not represent EVERY decision Israel makes, and to say this demonizes the entire Jewish nation and the entire Israeli population.
2. Israel is Diverse.
Many individuals make the false claim that Israel is an ‘Apartheid’ state, and this cannot be further than the truth. Israel is actually an extremely diverse nation. They even go as far as to include THREE different languages on the signs throughout the country. Additionally, what is the state made up of alongside Jews? Arabs. Yes, there are Israeli Arabs that live with rights in Israel. Not only do they live in Israel but they can serve in government, as many Israeli Arabs are on the Knesset. What is interesting to note however is that there are 0 Israelis living in Palestinian Territory. That is because if an Israeli would try, they would fear for their lives. So next time you hear the claim that Israel is an ‘Apartheid’ state or that Arabs do not live in Israel you can discuss the diversity of Israel and the fact that Arab citizens of Israel represent one-fifth of the population!
3. Israel is a relatively new country. Now you may be thinking, why is this a relevant and important fact? What does it truly tell about Israel? Because, due to this, Israel is held to an extreme double standard as opposed to the rest of the world. It is a country that is grappling with the same issues and challenges as countries that have been around for centuries longer. Israel is such a big player and on such a big stage, but that means that they have a lot of eyes on them. Which means judgement and misinformation can be spread even more easily.
4. People start Israel’s story in 1948, which is not the beginning of the Jewish nation’s tie to the land. This story is simply just one version of a long history of the state. People tend to reference only modern Israel. But what is important to stress and what we need to talk about is our indigenous
story/indigenous connection. There’s archeological evidence that supports or indigenous roots all throughout Israel. Saying Jews are indigenous is not saying that no one else is, it is simply stating that our history started long ago.
5. Personal Stories! As important as it's to have these generic facts regarding Israel, what makes the country so strong is our own individual ties to it and our own individual ties to our Judaism. So whether it be an ancestral story of persecution and a journey towards freedom, or it be a direct Antisemitic attack against yourself- use it! Use your emotions and your truths to illustrate and educate those who have fallen victim to the misinformation and Antisemitism spreading the globe. Find those who are looking for the truth and give them your truth.