The Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are teaming up to launch a national campaign against efforts advocating boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel, according to an article by the JTA:
The JFNA and the rest of the Jewish federation system have agreed to invest $6 million over the next three years in the new initiative, which is being called the Israel Action Network. The federations will be working in conjunction with JCPA, an umbrella organization bringing together local Jewish community relations councils across North America.
The network is expected to serve as a rapid-response team charged with countering the growing campaign to isolate Israel as a rogue state akin to apartheid-era South Africa – a campaign that the Israeli government and Jewish groups see as an existential threat to the Jewish state.
One of the foremost battlegrounds in the BDS debate has been the college campus, but that gets short shrift in the article, with only two quotes from Federation officials mentioning student activity, including this one:
Michael Papo, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, said that Indiana has not yet witnessed a full-fledged anti-Israel boycott campaign.
“But it could happen,” he said. “It could happen quickly. It could happen on our college campuses, and it would be helpful to have that national network to call for help.”
This is potentially troubling. The JFNA and JCPA can do what they want, but if this money means more organizational meddling in Jewish student discourse and activism (and, therefore, less independent student activism), that’s a bad thing.
Read the full article here.