As the professional leaders of an organization that works to support Israel on campus, we are often
asked by other Israel supporters if the pro-Israel community is winning or losing the battle on
campus for Israel. Our answer is it depends on which battle you are talking about.
We are winning one battle but losing the other.
The pro-Israel community’s battle in much of the rest of the world, where Israel is mostly unpopular,
is to halt efforts to turn Israel into an international pariah akin to apartheid South Africa. Our battle
in the U.S., however, where Israel is mostly popular, is to maintain long-term two party support. It’s
not good enough that we stop the U.S. from becoming anti-Israel. We have to make sure the U.S.
remains pro-Israel, which is a much taller task.
Our primary task on campus is not to fight the anti-Israel voices, but it is to build pro-Israel support.
It is not to counter the negative, but to promote the positive. It is not to teach young people how to
debate, but how to make friends.
The David Project is not alone in making these observations. In publishing this white paper, “A
Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges,” we hope to
capture a growing consensus among numerous organizations in the pro-Israel community about
the real problem and the best solutions. In outlining a strategy, we hope others will join forces with
us in building stronger ties to faculty, training and educating student leaders, and promoting a
positive program of change.
In so doing, we believe that American leaders, both Jewish and non-Jewish, will more likely see
the value in the U.S.-Israel relationship, and, when they take the helm, will be much more likely to
continue two-party support.