December 18, 2007

Buying hasbara on campus

Thanks to a chap from Ramallah for sending me this snippet of news. Apparently a wealthy Californian based couple are to fund students to promote Israel on campus. This is from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
An advocacy group is hiring students as on-campus promoters of Israel.

StandWithUs is offering up to $1,000 a year this semester to 38 Emerson fellows, Jewish student leaders at key colleges and universities targeted by the organization. Their duties will include bringing in speakers and films that show Israel in a positive light.

Officials from StandWithUs told reporters that they gave particular consideration to applicants from “problem campuses” such as Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan, which the organization identifies as hotbeds of anti-Israel sentiment.

More than 100 students applied for the fellowships, funded by California-based philanthropists Rita and Steven Emerson.

StandWithUs is an international pro-Israel education organization founded in 2001.
You learn so much from one small snippet of news. Zionists have to be paid for hasbara now. Of course there were always the Foxmans of this world with half a million dollars a year to claim that Europe is on the brink of another holocaust but I thought there was enough zionists idealism in the Jewish youth of today for them to do hasbara on campus for free. And what's all this about philanthropy? Funding zionism is philanthropy? I don't think so. And what about these ""problem campuses" such as Columbia, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan, which the organization identifies as hotbeds of anti-Israel sentiment." Even the JTA has put "problem campuses" in quotes as if to distance itself from an allegation. And the sentiment thing, what's that? I thought academia was about truth, not sentiment. If I'm right then most students, I'm sure, just won't buy hasbara on campus.

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