On Wednesday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m., Dr. Eric Mandel, founder and director of MEPIN, the Middle East Political and Information Network, and Northeast co-chair of StandWithUs, will speak at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus. The title of his talk will be “Attacks from the BDS Crowd: The 10 Nastiest Things You Will Hear about Israel and What to Do About It.” He will speak about what claims students are most likely to hear on the college campus. He will debunk the most common myths about Israel and the Middle East and present the most effective ways to counter them. This event is being hosted by the Jewish Federation. The event is free and open to the entire community.
Dr. Mandel, an eye surgeon by training, has been spending less and less time on his medical practice to share his over 30 years of Middle East expertise and educate people with the facts in order to help them answer the naysayers.
“When I speak to the Israeli leadership,” said Dr. Mandel, “after the existential threat to Iran, the second most feared threat is the boycott movement, the demonization of Israel, and the goal to isolate it and turn it into a 21st-century South Africa. BDS is a movement that is not a peaceful movement. Its goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.”
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS) is a global campaign against Israel, coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee.
Dr. Mandel told the Jewish Link, “Israelis across the political spectrum from left to right are against labeling items from across the Green Line, i.e., the 1949 armistice line. They know that soon everything with a ‘Made in Israel’ label will be considered odious to every part of the world. It’s an existential threat to Israel’s economy and is a profound security to the state.”
Dr. Mandel reflected that, unfortunately, there have been too many people who have been giving a platform to the BDS movement, thinking it is something that should be debated. “BDS should not be given a voice in pro-Israel forums and organizations, because BDS is about the destruction of the Jewish state, not a two-state solution. The BDS crowd doesn’t allow other voices to be heard. And they choose their own set of facts. They have a right to free speech, but not in a pro-Israel forum. They should not be given legitimacy, because their goal is to demonize and destroy Israel.” That is why Dr. Mandel devotes as much time as he does to educating the public with facts and answers.
Dr. Mandel revealed three of the myths he will take on with the Jewish Link. To hear the truth and what to answer those who believe these myths, as well as the other seven myths, people will have to attend the event:
• Israel being called an apartheid state.
• Israel as a racist Nazi fascist state.
• The IDF targets Palestinian children as part of its policy.
According to Talia Mizikovsky, Federation’s director of Jewish student life of Hillel Northern New Jersey, “We wanted this event to stand out in terms of practicality and usefulness in training students in Israel advocacy. We worked with our FDU student board to hone in on what aspects of Israel education students are currently missing, and create an event that would fill those gaps. This is part of an effort to restructure our Hillel program to include more visibility, more publicity and more student leadership.” Hillel of Northern New Jersey is made up of Fairleigh Dickinson University, Bergen Community College, Ramapo College and William Paterson College.
Lisa Harris Glass, Jewish Federation’s managing director of planning and impact, shared, “We at Federation believe in investing in Jewish continuity and building a positive Jewish identity, something we have in common with Hillel International. When you’re investing communal dollars you need to do that in the most impactful way you can and with the best results.”
MEPIN is a private Middle East research analysis read by members of Congress, their foreign policy advisors, members of the Knesset, journalists and organizational leaders. StandWithUs is an international organization dedicated to educating the public about Israel, while fighting the BDS movement against Israel.
Dr. Mandel regularly briefs members of Congress and their staffs about the current geopolitical situation in the Middle East. He also meets with members of the Israeli leadership and think tanks. He is a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post, writing about the U.S.-Israel relationship, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the BDS movement.
The event will be held at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus in Wilson Auditorium, Dickinson Hall, 140 University Plaza Drive, Hackensack. For more information contact [email protected]. For more information about Hillel of Northern New Jersey, visit http://www.jfnnj.org/hillelnnj. For more information about MEPIN, visit http://mepinanalysis.org.
By Sara Kosowsky Gross