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June 19, 2013 2

Anti-Israel Groups Organize Youth Summer Camps

As sum­mer nears for mil­lions of stu­dents across the coun­try, anti-Israel orga­ni­za­tions are recruit­ing them to spend some of their free time being indoc­tri­nated in anti-Israel advo­cacy and a one-sided nar­ra­tive of Pales­tin­ian his­tory and culture.boycott_divestment_sanctions

The Amer­i­can Friends Ser­vice Com­mit­tee, a Quaker orga­ni­za­tion that has long engaged in efforts to dele­git­imize Israel, has teamed up with the noto­ri­ously anti-Israel group Jew­ish Voice for Peace to hold a four-day-long “Sum­mer BDS Insti­tute” in late July for college-age stu­dents who are already involved in pro-BDS (Boy­cott, Divest­ment and Sanc­tions) cam­paign­ing on their col­lege cam­puses or are inter­ested in launch­ing a BDS cam­paign on cam­pus next year.

Pro­po­nents of BDS, an almost decade-old move­ment, seek to demo­nize Israel, dele­git­imize Israeli pol­icy and, in its most extreme forms, pro­mote the destruc­tion of the Jew­ish char­ac­ter of Israel in an effort to turn pub­lic opin­ion against the Jew­ish state.

The pro­gram will train stu­dents about orga­niz­ing and imple­ment­ing a cam­paign, deal­ing with media requests, “direct action” plan­ning and more. The pro­gram, which will take place in New York, is cyn­i­cally being pro­moted as “fun in a sum­mer camp-like envi­ron­ment!” on AFSC’s web­site. It is the lat­est effort by off-campus anti-Israel groups to pro­vide stu­dents with the tools to bet­ter orga­nize and ini­ti­ate pro­grams attack­ing Israel on campus.

JVP is one of the lead­ing pro-BDS orga­ni­za­tions in the United States and is the pri­mary group behind, thus far unsuc­cess­ful, efforts to pres­sure TIAA-CREF, a major finan­cial insti­tu­tion, to dis­in­vest from multi­na­tional com­pa­nies that work with Israel. AFSC has also, to a lesser extent, played a part in pro­mot­ing BDS in the U.S. and spon­sors dozens of anti-Israel events and pro­grams across the country.

In Sep­tem­ber 2008, AFSC mem­bers met with Iran­ian pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad when he was vis­it­ing New York for the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly. AFSC was one of five reli­gious groups to spon­sor a din­ner and con­ver­sa­tion – billed as an “inter­na­tional dia­logue between reli­gious lead­ers and polit­i­cal fig­ures” – with the Iran­ian leader, one of the world’s most promi­nent anti-Semites. ADL force­fully con­demned the meet­ing as a “per­ver­sion of the search for peace.”

Sep­a­rately, Amer­i­can Mus­lims for Pales­tine, the lead­ing orga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing anti-Zionist train­ing and edu­ca­tion to stu­dents and Mus­lim com­mu­nity orga­ni­za­tions in the coun­try, plans to hold a sum­mer camp for youth aged 8–12 in Chicago on Sat­ur­days through­out the summer.

AMP, which had pre­vi­ously been in the busi­ness of train­ing high school and col­lege stu­dents and adults to engage in anti-Israel cam­paigns, has a highly polit­i­cal agenda and reg­u­larly demo­nizes Israel. At times, the group has also pro­vided a plat­form for anti-Semitism under the guise of edu­cat­ing Amer­i­cans about “the just cause of Pales­tine and the rights of self-determination.”

A descrip­tion for the camp notes that the chil­dren will be taught about “Pales­tine and its his­tory,” which will likely be a much dis­torted ver­sion of the his­tory of the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict. The descrip­tion also notes that the chil­dren will learn about Pales­tin­ian arts, cul­ture and his­tory and “par­tic­i­pate in fun activ­i­ties.”

ADL described the sum­mer camp pro­grams as venues to “indoc­tri­nate the next gen­er­a­tion of activists with biased mes­sages intended to sin­gle out Israel” and crit­i­cized AMP’s “cyn­i­cal cal­cu­la­tion that there is no such thing as being too young to start learn­ing how to hate Israel.”

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