Friday, 13 Dec 2019 - 15 of Kislev, 5780

Brussels bootcamp trains ‘officer corps’ of young activists to advocate for Israel, counter anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic narratives

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With expert speakers from StandWithUs, the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and media  experts from the The Guardian newspaper and Euronews, participants got stuck into the basics of lobbying and media relations, whilst Swedish Israel advocate Saskia Pantell shared top tips on best practice and winning on social media.

 

BRUSSELS—Three Brussels-based Jewish and Israel advocacy groups have started  building a Europe-wide army of young and engaged activists. 

An intensive two-day course organised by the European Jewish Association (EJA) with partners Europe Israel Public Affairs (EIPA) and the European Centre for Jewish Students (ECJS) brought around 50 young activists and want-to-be activists from across Europe to Brussels. The bootcamp ended Monday.

With expert speakers from StandWithUs, the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and media  experts from the The Guardian newspaper and Euronews, participants got stuck into the basics of lobbying and media relations, whilst Swedish Israel advocate Saskia Pantell shared top tips on best practice and winning on social media.

A gala dinner took place where participants heard from Holocaust survivor and president of the Jewish Forum in Antwerp, Regina Suchowolski-Sluzny, and watched videos of good and bad interviews and Palestinian children’s tv segments versus Kazakhstan’s infamous Borat.

The participants represent the first draft of a new “officer corps” of young activists, who will go back to their countries and advocate for Israel, build local armies and effectively counter anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic narratives.

They will be regularly briefed and trained on best practice and campaigns from Brussels and from Israel, and will share knowledge and support each other.

“Our Bootcamp was an intensive course in advocacy. Across Europe, with rising antisemitism directly linked to rising anti-Zionism, the stakes have rarely been higher,” commented EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin.

”The picture from the youth in Scandinavia was particularly shocking. We wanted to inspire, to show these brave young activists that they are not alone, that there is support and to help them build networks, not only for mutual support, but for best practise in countering these antisemitic narratives.”

“This bootcamp is the start of a long journey for these young “soldiers”, and one that wil help them lead, encourage and inspire others in the months and years ahead,” he added.

 

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